What just happened? You were walking around the corner to your car when something came out of nowhere and smashed into you.
You look around. There’s a bicyclist on the ground. His bike is a few yards away from him, and he’s holding his knee.
A young woman runs up to you.
“Are you OK?” she asks.
A look on her face suggests that something else is wrong.
“You’re bleeding, and I think that’s your tooth,” she says, pointing at a small white object on the sidewalk.
She remains surprisingly calm.
“I’m going to help you. You need to rinse your tooth. I’m going to call Atlanta West Dentistry for you.”
You wonder what good that will do. It is the weekend after all. At our office in Marietta, GA, we understand that dental emergencies need to be dealt with as quickly as possible.
Call (770) 635-5336 to reach us.
If you are calling outside of our regular hours, then you should listen for the emergency contact number on our answer message. Calling that number will get you the help that you need as soon as possible.
You were unlucky to encounter the bicyclist. The force of the impact from his helmet to your jaw dislodged one of your teeth.
If there was anything fortunate about this situation, it’s that the knowledgable young woman was there to help.
She found your tooth, and she explained that it was important to pick your tooth up by the crown.
If you can meet with one our dentists quickly, it may be possible to save your tooth. That won’t be possible if the roots are damaged. (However, we do have ways of replacing your missing tooth if it can’t be saved.)
The young woman instructs you to rinse the tooth and rinse your mouth. Then, she asks if you are still bleeding?
You say that you are, so she purchases some gauze and a small bottle of milk. She tells you to hold the gauze in place to soak up the blood. When it stops, she tells you to rinse your mouth again.
“Now, carefully, try to place the tooth back in its socket,” she says.
The missing tooth is in the front of your upper row of teeth. Gravity does not seem to want it to stay.
“That’s okay. Put it in here,” she says, opening the milk bottle. “This will help preserve your tooth until you can see the dentist.”
She enters the address to Atlanta West Dentistry into your GPS and places a small bag of ice in your cup holder.
You try to thank you, but your realize your mouth is starting to swell.
“Don’t thank me, just get help,” she says. “And use the ice pack to keep down the swelling if you come to a stop. Drive safely.”
She closes the door and waves you on.
If we are able to see you quickly and your tooth is still in good condition, it may be possible to secure it in place with a stabilizing splint.
This will bind your dislodged tooth to its neighbors until it heals. You will need to be careful to avoid putting pressure on that tooth for a short time, but it is possible to regain full use of that tooth if it can be re-placed shortly after the accident.
That said, many times saving the tooth is not possible, but that does not mean you have to leave with a gap in your smile.
The best way to replace a lost tooth in modern dentistry is to get a dental implant and a dental crown. The implant replaces the root of your lost tooth, and like the root, the implant is placed into your jaw.
As you jaw heals from the procedure, we will place a dental crown on the end of your implant. This will give you the appearance of a full set of teeth while restoring the full function of your missing tooth.
The staff at Atlanta West Dentistry will do whatever we can to help if a dental emergency, like the scenario described above, should happen to you. It does not matter if you are a long-time patient or this is your first visit to our office.
If you are anywhere near Marietta, GA, at the time of the injury, you should call our office as soon as you can.
There’s no way to anticipate emergency situations like the one described above, although many dental emergencies arise from people neglecting their oral care.
A professional dental cleaning can prevent or identify problems so they can be treated before they become dental emergencies. If you have not yet scheduled your next dental appointment, call our dentists at (770) 635-5336 or fill out our online form.
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