By Staff Sgt. Christian A. Boyd, 374th Dental Squadron
/ Published June 11, 2013
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan --
Dental avulsion, or having your tooth knocked out, is a dental emergency which requires immediate attention (within 30 minutes) to give the tooth a better chance of survival. Dental avulsion is the complete displacement of a tooth from its socket. How does this happen? One huge factor involves sports. Let's say you are playing basketball and all of a sudden you decide to go in for a rebound, then BAM! An accidental elbow to the mouth... and, you are not wearing a sports guard, which would decrease your chances of tooth trauma. Your tooth is nowhere to be found in your mouth! You look around frantically and your teammates suddenly stop and try to assist. You try not to panic, but then a few feet in front of you, there it is...your front tooth!
"What do I do?" If you find yourself in this situation, quickly pick it up carefully by its "crown", which is the chewing top part of the tooth. Do not dust it off. Gently wrap it in a milk or spit moistened tissue or towel. Avoid using tap water if possible. It's important not to scrape root part of the tooth either, even if it's dirty. Your tooth needs to be transported immediately. If there's too much debris on it, submerge it in whole milk for a better chance to reimplantation. One note of caution: Baby teeth are not replanted. If it's knocked-out, it stays out.
Tooth saving materials exist called "Save-A-Tooth" or "EMT Tooth Saver" kits. These kits can be purchased and kept in your home and/or travel first aid kit. The following locations around base keep these kits available as part of their first-aid:
374th MDG Urgent Care Clinic
374th Dental Squadron
Mendel Elementary School-Nurse
Yokota Middle School-Nurse
Yokota High School-Nurse
Yokota West Elementary School-Nurse
BX Enlisted Club
Officers Club Yujo Community Center
374th Security Forces Squadron Samurai Fitness Center
Teen Center Natatorium
Wakamono School Age Program Youth Center
Kanto Lodge Commissary
The Yokota dental clinic offers "boil & bite" sports guards for immediate use. In addition, customized sports guards can be made for long term wear. Wearing a mouth guard, whether it is a "boil & bite" or customized mouth guard, is a sure way to prevent this type of injury. Boil & bite sports guards are available on a walk-in basis. For inquiries, please call the Yokota dental clinic at 225-8864, option 2.