Up to 5 million teeth are knocked out every year, in children, teens, adults and seniors. If the right action is taken after a tooth has been knocked out (in dental terms, “avulsed”), it can be successfully replanted and last for years. Having the proper insight and taking quick action increases your chances of saving an original tooth. An avulsed tooth is one of the most serious dental emergencies for permanent teeth, and while there are other options, saving and replanting it restores your original smile. Dr. Darian Hampton at The Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry explains how to properly save and care for a knocked out tooth.
- Handle the tooth with care. Don’t touch the root, as it can damage very easily.
- If the tooth gets dirty in its fall, hold it by the crown (the upper part) and rinse it with milk (or water if there is no milk handy). Wiping the tooth off with fabric or a washcloth may damage the tooth.
- It’s very important to keep the tooth moist. Drop the tooth in milk. If you do not have milk, place your tooth in between your cheek and gums.
- The tooth may slip right back into its socket if you try. However, don’t force it — the most important thing is to get to the dentist’s office (while keeping the tooth moist) within an hour of your incident.
Reattaching a Knocked Out Tooth
It can be a bloody mess when a tooth has been knocked out. Nerves, blood vessels and tissues are often damaged, which is why a root canal is needed in most cases, but it all depends on how long the tooth was out of the mouth and your unique situation. In some instances, the root easily reattaches firmly to the bone. For several days, you may need the avulsed tooth to be held to the teeth on either side with either a wire or composite. These are only a few examples of how a knocked out tooth may be treated; the most important thing to remember is to get to the dentist as quickly as possible after a tooth has been knocked out.
To learn more about what to do in case of an emergency, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hampton today.