I was eight years old having an ice skating lesson when all of a sudden, my mother’s worst nightmare came true—her child was flying through the air, landed face-down, and resurfaced toothless. As a second-grader, my main thought was how ridiculous I was going to look with a missing front tooth, but my mother was more concerned about what to do with the tooth fragment she was now holding. Thankfully she rushed me to the dentist and my tooth was able to be saved. But if you were in that situation—or worse, if your own tooth got knocked out—would you know what to do?
Dental accidents are scary, but if you react quickly, you have a higher likelihood of being able to save your tooth. Whether your tooth is entirely avulsed (knocked out) or just partially broken, you should see your dentist or endodontist immediately—within the hour, if possible.
Some people believe that if you cannot recover the broken tooth or piece of tooth, the tooth is not worth saving. This is not true! As long as the roots of the tooth are still intact, you have options.
Besides the fact that an empty tooth socket can be painful to live with, there are many reasons to restore your natural tooth instead of extracting it. These include:
Almost two decades after that fateful skating lesson, my front tooth is healthy and looking great. So if you find yourself in a dental emergency, don’t panic! Just keep your tooth safe and moist and see a dental professional right away.