Avulsion & Subluxation

Knocked out or Loose Tooth Solutions

Avulsion is a word that describes the complete displacement of a tooth from the socket due to trauma.  An avulsed tooth is a true dental emergency. If you have a tooth knocked out you’ll need a dentist to repair it ASAP, but before you get to the office there are several things you can do.

  • Try your best to keep calm
  • If you can find the knocked out tooth, pick it up by the crown (the white part). Avoid touching the root.
  • If the tooth is dirty, wash it for about 3-5 seconds under cold running water.
  • Try to replant the tooth if possible. You can bite on a handkerchief to hold it in position.
  • If you are unable to replant the tooth, place the tooth in a glass of milk. You can also keep it in your mouth between your molars and the inside of your cheek – just don’t swallow it.
  • AVOID storage in water
  • Call the office and see Dr. Hemphill ASAP.
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What Will the Dentist do for My Avulsed Tooth?

When a tooth is knocked out, the nerves, blood vessels and supporting tissues get damaged. The nerves and blood vessels can’t be repaired. An avulsed tooth will require a root canal. The good news is the bone can reattach to the root of the tooth once it’s put back in place.

Once you’re at the office Dr. Hemphill will put the tooth back into place. If the tooth or bone is broken, then the process can get more complicated. Dr. Hemphill will flush the socket clean then slip the tooth back into place. It’s important to re-implant the tooth as soon as possible – ideally within an hour of the accident.

Dr. Hemphill may perform a root canal right away, or may wait. It depends on how long the tooth was out of the mouth and other factors. Regardless, the tooth will receive a splint to hold it in place. If the bone around the tooth was not fractured, the root usually will reattach firmly to the bone in about three to four weeks. If the damage is more extensive reattachment may take six to eight weeks of repair time. 

What if My Avulsed Tooth Can’t Be Used?

Sometimes too much time has passed or the avulsed tooth is not salvageable. When teeth are broken or fractured below the gum line, it may be best to extract the fragment and insert a dental implant, bridge or a removable dental prosthesis.  For younger adults, implants are the first choice. They function like natural teeth and preserve the integrity of the jawbone.

How to Treat Subluxation or Loose Teeth

Subluxation is a word that describes a traumatic injury in which the tooth has increased mobility, or is loosened, but has not been knocked out or completely displaced from the jawbone.  You may notice bleeding, increased mobility, and sensitivity to touch with a subluxation. A loose tooth is much less concerning than one that’s been knocked out, but you should still see Dr. Hemphill to make sure the damage is not significant. Oftentimes no treatment is required depending on the severity.  When the damage is significant, a splint and root canal therapy may be needed.

Six Common Causes of Loose Teeth

Trauma to the Mouth
Any time you experience an injury to your mouth, ligaments and connective tissues can stretch and can result in loosened teeth.
Primary Occlusal Trauma
When teeth experience a biting force that is beyond their tolerance. The force is usually long-lasting and is typically caused when patients clench their teeth or suffer from bruxism – nighttime grinding.
Secondary Occlusal Trauma
When teeth have weakened bone and gums, and can’t handle normal biting force. Usually, periodontal disease is the underlying issue.
Periodontal Disease
Also known as gum disease. It occurs when bacterial plaque and tartar infect the gums. The infection, when untreated, destroys gum tissue which can result in loss of connective tissues and bone leading to loosened teeth.
Pregnancy Hormones
High levels of estrogen and progesterone that are released during pregnancy can cause ligaments around the teeth to loosen. This is typically a temporary problem and doesn’t result in tooth loss.
A disease that affects both men and women. Osteoporosis causes bones to lose density and weaken. As the condition advances, it can cause loose teeth.

What Our Patients Say

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    West Hill Family Dental has been serving my entire family for 10 years. They have always been great and treat us like family. I will continue to use them because of the high level of care and comfortable atmosphere.
    Jim Barilla
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    Today was my first visit with West Hill Family dental. The staff was awesome! So warm and welcoming! I felt at home the moment I walked in the door. Melissa (hygienist) was awesome and very sweet. Dr. Hemphill was very personable. I am a nervous Nelly with the dentist but they really helped me feel comfortable.
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  • Jorge Gallo
    "Going to the Dentist," isn't something most folks look forward to. Fortunately, the Team at West Hill Family Dental makes that experience an enjoyable event with a friendly, thoughtful and genuinely concerned approach to both routine care and one-off emergencies. The atmosphere is relaxed and positive; everything from scheduling to changes is accommodated with little fuss and a genuine enthusiasm to see you at the next opportunity. And the overall quality of care, execution and attention to customer needs are unmatched by most practices, and certainly by the cookie-cutter pop-ups that abound elsewhere. Highly recommended, family-oriented and very professional in every aspect of care and delivery - they're definitely on the list of recommendations to new residents and neighbors!
    Jorge Gallo
  • patient-review
    In the past I have had bad experiences with dentist and I have switch many times and I think I have finally found my forever home. Kim and Monica at the front desk are amazing they make sure that if you have any concerns, they will accommodate you in any way they can. They also socialize with you which makes visiting the dentist feel like visiting family. This is by far the best dentist I've ever been to and would recommend them to anyone.
    Ivy M.
  • patient-review
    Dr.Robert Hemphill and his staff are so friendly.I was very nervous to get my treatment done,doctor made me understand and kept me calm.I always walk out happy, feeling I have seen the BEST doctor who took care of my dental treatment.Kinga the dental assistant is so kind and helpful,Kim such a lovely person always smiling and happy,Monica is superb too, she calls and double confirms the appointment so that I don’t forget. Thank you once again.
    Savy Sri

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