Dental accident

A dental accident occurs when a tooth or part of a tooth breaks off owing to an external trauma, becomes very loose or displaced or is knocked out.

Overview

A dental accident occurs when a tooth or part of a tooth breaks off owing to an external trauma, becomes very loose or displaced or is knocked out. This can happen while doing sport, at work or at home. Toothache and bleeding in the mouth may occur. The dentist should be informed immediately of a dental accident. so that a decision can be taken about the next steps.

Symptoms

  • Tooth is loose or displaced
  • Tooth or part of a tooth has broken off
  • Tooth has been knocked out
  • Toothache is possible
  • Soft tissue (mucosa of the mouth, lips) can bleed

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Dental injury caused by collision, impact, blow, etc.
  • Situations
    • Sport, traffic, working, playing, at home, etc.
  • Frequently affected
    • Children and young people
  • Risk factor
    • Individual tooth positioning

Further treatment by your dentist / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Dental examination
Possible therapies
  • Soft tissue is bleeding: stop the bleeding, inspect the wound, stitches, if necessary
  • Displaced or loose tooth: correct position with a brace
  • Tooth has broken off: glue or partially replace the tooth
  • Tooth has been knocked out: it may be possible to put it back

What can I do myself?

  • Immediately call the dentist if a tooth is injured
    • Inform the dentist about what has happened, where, when and how
    • Dentist will decide whether and how urgently treatment is needed
  • Bleeding
    • Stop bleeding with a compress or gauze (just dab)
    • Cool externally
    • Don't swallow blood, spit it out
  • Displaced or loose tooth: don’t jiggle or try to reposition it yourself
  • Tooth has broken off/been knocked out
    • Don’t throw the tooth away (can possibly be put back/glued back)
    • Don't touch the root
    • Don't clean the tooth
  • Storing a broken/knocked out tooth: keep it moist
    • In cold UHT milk (for a short time)
    • In a sterile salt solution
    • In cling film or a plastic bag with a little saliva
    • In a tooth rescue box (from the pharmacy)
  • Inform insurance company without delay
  • Important, as high follow-up costs may be incurred
  • Employees: insured via the employer
  • Non-working people (children, youths, pensioners): health insurance is responsible

When to see a doctor?

Further information

Swiss Dental Association (Schweizerische Zahnärzte-Gesellschaft)
www.sso.ch

Zahnmedizinisches Zentrum Berlin (Dental Centre Berlin): Zahn-Erste-Hilfe (tooth first aid)
www.zzb.de

Synonyms

dental accident, tooth contusion, tooth fracture, tooth trauma, dental trauma

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Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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