What Should You Do If Your Tooth Is Loose After A Car Accident?

Getting into a car accident can be painful and traumatic. If you're coming away from an accident only to realize that one or more of your teeth seems to be wiggly or loose in the socket, then you shouldn't avoid this issue. This can easily become a bigger problem without assistance. Here's what you should know and do if this has happened to you.

What May Have Happened

With any kind of severe and sudden blow to the face, it's possible for a tooth to be knocked out. However, if a tooth is only loose, that means that it hasn't been completely dislodged from the socket.

However, your gums aren't the only thing responsible for holding your teeth in place. Your jaw also plays a role. When adult teeth initially grow in, the jaw gradually builds bone cells around the base of the root, fusing it to the jaw and keeping it firmly in place. This essentially means that if a tooth is loose, it's possible that the jaw bone has experienced a fracture that allows the tooth to move around. Alternatively, the tooth itself may be damaged and no longer fit properly in the socket.

What to Do

In this day and age, there are options for resolving this problem without having to completely remove the tooth. If you haven't already made one, you should set up an appointment with an emergency dentist right away. Getting your tooth taken care of now is essential, as waiting too long can allow the tooth to become damaged further, or it may cause total loss, depending on the current condition of your tooth.

What to Expect

Your emergency dentist will see you as quickly as possible and will perform both a visual examination as well as an x-ray scan of your teeth and jaw. From there, they'll be able to tell if your tooth is damaged, the jaw is damaged, or both.

If your tooth is only partially dislodged and there isn't much damage to the surrounding structure, your dentist will likely apply a splint to the loose tooth. This helps to hold it in place, like a broken bone, until the gums and jaw close up around the root again. Once this healing process is complete, you can expect your tooth to be completely normal again.

Alternatively, if the tooth or jaw is too damaged, the tooth may require a root canal. This process removes the interior of the tooth, putting a stop to pain. A splint may still be necessary in order to reseat the tooth in its proper location. 

Visit a dentist who offers emergency dental care to get treatment.