Quick Action Can Help Save a Tooth
Summer is finally here and ball fields all over the area will soon be filled with young players enjoying their favorite sport. But this is also the time of year when Williamsburg Dental treats the most sports-related mouth injuries.
Studies from the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) indicate that one in ten athletes will get hit in the mouth and suffer tooth trauma. That means that whether you’re a weekend warrior, a world class athlete or 10-year-old shortstop, there is a ten percent chance you or someone you know will suffer from a sports-related tooth injury. The doctors at Williamsburg Dental have seen their share in their combined 100 years of practicing dentistry in Delaware County, PA, and say that awareness and quick action can make all the difference when it comes to saving a tooth that is damaged or knocked out on the field.
What Can Happen, What to Do
“If a fracture occurs, try to find the broken piece and bring it with you to your dentist. He or she may be able to bond it back to the tooth,” explains Dr. Robert Spennato. When a tooth is displaced or loosened, the injured person should try to push the tooth back into its position, says Dr. Spennato. “If that is too painful or not possible, contact your dentist immediately. Most will agree to meet you at their office as soon as possible to reposition the tooth.”
An avulsed tooth or one that is completely knocked out needs prompt, careful attention. Dr. Joe Capista offers these important tips to help save the tooth and ensure a successful reimplantation:
• Proper Handling: Find the tooth as quickly as possible and be very cautious about handling it. Never hold the tooth by the root and never wipe the root with anything. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with water.
• Proper Storage: If the tooth cannot be reimplanted in the injured person’s socket immediately, store it in a moist environment, preferably inside the person’s cheek. Other storage options would be in a container with sterile saline or a cold glass of milk.
• Time is of the Essence. Always carry your dentist’s emergency phone number with you at all times. If a tooth has been knocked out, it has the best chance of being reimplanted in the first 30 minutes after the injury occurred.
Their best advice for an injury free mouth this summer? Play it safe and wear a mouth guard. WD offers Agility Sports Mouthguards, custom-fitted athletic performance guards designed specifically for amateur up to professional athletes. If you or your child is playing a sport this summer, consider being fitted so you can have a winning smile to go with that winning goal/hit/score.