112 Where There Is No Dentist 2012
If the bone around the roots of the teeth is cracked, those teeth will be
loose. Do not take the teeth out until the bone is healed. Otherwise,
bone will come out with the teeth and there will be a big hole in the jaw.
Instead, support the teeth, in order to hold both sides of the bone steady.
1. With your thumb and finger, gently
move the loose teeth and bone back
into normal position.
2. Cut a hypodermic needle and use it
as a splint. Make it long enough to fit
around two strong teeth on each side of
the loose teeth. Curve the needle so it
fits the curve of the teeth. To make the
sharp ends smooth, use a file or rub the
ends against a stone.
3. Tie each tooth to the needle. Use short
pieces of 0.20 gauge ligature wire (page 110).
Put one end of the wire under the needle.
Bring it around the back of one tooth and
out to the front again over the needle.
Use the end of a small instrument to
hold down the wire at the back of the
teeth. Then twist the ends together.
Tighten the wire around each one of
the 6 teeth.
4. Cut the ends of the ligature wire. Turn
them toward the teeth, so they will not
cut the lip.
5. Tighten the wires the next day, and then once each week. But be
careful. Only ½ a turn usually is needed. More, and the wire will break.
Always twist in the direction a clock moves. With this habit, you will
remember which way tightens the wire and which way loosens it.
6. Explain to the person that it takes 4 weeks for the bone to heal. The
wires must remain on the teeth for this time. To help the teeth to heal,
ask the person to:
• give these teeth a rest. Use other teeth for chewing.
• clean both the teeth and the wires with a soft brush.
• rinse with warm salt water, 2 cups every day (page 7).
• return to have the wires tightened every week.
7. After 4 weeks, cut and remove the wires. Ask the person to watch
those teeth. A dark tooth and gum bubble are signs that the tooth is
dying. Take it out, unless you can give special nerve treatment.