Overview

When you contact your dental practice or Health Board for a dental appointment, you MUST tell them if you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID19) OR you are currently self-isolating OR you have possible symptoms.

Dental practices have to comply with social distancing measures so please do not attend without having made an appointment first.

Have you just knocked out a front tooth and you still have the tooth?

Knocking out a tooth is a dental emergency if you still have the tooth. If it’s an adult tooth, you should try to put it back into place straight away (described below) and seek dental care as soon as you can. Call your dental practice for advice.

If you do not have a regular dentist, call the appropriate dental helpline number for your Health Board area:

https://111.wales.nhs.uk/localservices/dentistinformation/

Only handle the tooth by the crown (the white bit that sticks out of the gum).

If you cannot put the tooth back into position, place it in milk (covering the whole of the tooth) and call your dental practice or the dental helpline number for your Health Board area. Do not forget to take the tooth with you to your appointment.

What to do with a knocked-out tooth

Adult teeth

The sooner a knocked-out adult tooth is re-implanted, the more likely it is to embed itself back into the gum. If you have knocked out a tooth, you should:

  • find the tooth
  • hold it by the crown (the white bit that you can usually see in the mouth)
  • if the tooth is dirty, rinse it in water/milk or lick the tooth to clean it
  • put it back into position (adult teeth only); never try to re-insert a baby tooth (see below)
  • bite on a handkerchief to hold the tooth in place
  • go to see a dentist as an emergency

If you can't put the tooth back in position, put it in milk and see a dentist as soon as possible.

If you can’t find the tooth at all, see ‘A lost tooth’ section below for advice.

Baby teeth

If your child knocks out a baby tooth, do not try to re-implant it because you may damage the adult tooth growing underneath. If in doubt, call your dental practice.

At the dentist

Please only attend if you have called to make an appointment first.

If you've put your tooth back in yourself, the dentist will check that it's in the correct position by having a look and taking an X-ray. They'll splint (attach) it to the teeth either side to hold it in position for two weeks. 

If you've put your tooth in milk and gone straight to the dentist, the dentist will numb the affected area and reposition the tooth. They'll check that it’s in the correct position by taking an X-ray before splinting (attaching) it to the teeth either side for two weeks.

A lost tooth

If you can’t find the tooth, you may have swallowed or inhaled the tooth. If this is possible and you have developed a cough, you should attend your local Accident and Emergency Unit.

Options to replace a missing tooth include:

  • denture – removable false tooth/teeth that you take out to clean
  • bridge – a false tooth that is glued to the teeth either side of the gap, using a special dental cement
  • implant – a titanium screw is placed in the jaw bone, then a false tooth attached

Your dentist will be able to help you to decide on how to replace the missing tooth (not all options will be available on the NHS)

Bleeding

If your accident was serious and you think you have also broken your jaw and/or you have other symptoms such as vomiting, feeling drowsy or dizzy, you should attend your local Accident and Emergency Unit.

If the injury has caused bleeding, try to stop this by trying the following:

  • Take a handkerchief (or similar) and bite down or hold firmly in place for 30 minutes
  • Do not rinse your mouth out as this will encourage the wound to bleed even more
  • Do not take Aspirin as a painkiller as this thins the blood

If you cannot control the bleeding, call your dental practice. If you do not have a regular dentist, call the appropriate dental helpline number for your Health Board area.

Prevention

To protect teeth from getting broken or knocked out, consider buying a mouthguard (gumshield) to use when playing contact sports or for activities where there is a risk of damage to the teeth. Mouthguards are most effective when made by your dentist, who can take an accurate mould of the teeth. 



The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website nhs.uk
Last Updated: 17/02/2021 12:57:42