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Trauma

What to do when a tooth is chipped or knocked out.

The management of this type of injury (avulsion) depends on whether a primary (baby) or adult tooth is involved.

Primary teeth should never be replanted. You should still visit the dentist, as there may be other injuries may have been sustained and require management. It is important where possible to locate any tooth fragments as they can be lodged in the soft tissues or even inhaled.

Adult teeth should be replanted (put back into the socket in the correct orientation) as soon as possible, preferably within 5 minutes. The tooth can supported with a splint made from aluminium foil or by biting onto gauze.

If replantation is not possible, the tooth can be placed into milk, saline or ideally Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution (available in many sports first aid kits). Knocked out teeth should never be placed into water. If no appropriate solution is available, it can be wrapped in cling-film, or as a last resort placed in the cheek-pocket in the mouth, however this should not be done in young children at risk of inhaling or swallowing the tooth.

All injuries of this nature require urgent dental assistance. At kinderdental your child will be triaged, assessed and managed as an urgent priority.

The management of a fractured tooth depends on whether a primary (baby) or adult tooth is involved, the size of the fracture, whether the pulp (nerve) has been exposed and any other associated injuries. You should seek a dental appointment as soon as possible.

Always try and find the fragments as teeth fragments can be lodged in lips, other soft tissues or even inhaled. In some cases, it may even be possible to reattach the broken fragment.