Avid Dental
Avid Dental

What should I do to minimise dental trauma?

More importantly than finding the tooth if it has been dislodged, ensure that the patient is safe.

If the trauma to the head was severe, do not attempt to move the patient as the patient may have suffered neck injuries. If the bleeding is severe, try to arrest the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound. If the patient is suspected of having neck injuries, suffering from severe bleeding or lost consciousness, call an ambulance immediately. The number for an ambulance is [000].

If believed that the patient hasn’t suffered from significant neck injuries, is conscious and the bleeding is under control, remove any dangerous material from the immediate vicinity. Ask the patient for his/her name, current location and current day. This is to assess if the patient has potentially suffered a concussion. Note any nausea or disorientation.

When the tooth is located (if the tooth was dislodged), clean the tooth with pasteurised milk, and store in a container of pasteurised milk. If pasteurised milk is unavailable, rinse the tooth with saline/clean water/saliva and store the tooth in the patient’s mouth. If suitable, replant the tooth. Do not store in the patient’s mouth if there is a high risk of swallowing, such as with very young children or unconscious patients.

Once the tooth is cleaned and stored, contact your local dentist immediately. The odds of uncomplicated recovery and saving the tooth rapidly declines with time. If the tooth has been replanted or if the teeth appear to have moved, it is still strongly advised to consult a dentist as there are further potential issues such as:

  • Fractured facial bones
  • Alignment of teeth
  • Debris in the wounds
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.