Many people assume that if a tooth is knocked out, it’s gone forever. However, this isn’t really the case. If you’re able to salvage the tooth with a certain amount of it still intact, then there’s a strong chance that a dentist will be able to reinstall it. Below, we look at what to do with a knocked-out tooth.
However, achieving this typically means acting shortly after the initial incident that has knocked the tooth out. For this reason, time is somewhat of the essence if you’re interested in preserving your teeth.
What to Do with a Knocked-Out Tooth?
If you’ve recently had a tooth knocked out or are just interested in knowing what to do if the situation should arise, take a look at this overview that describes best practices.
Common Causes of Dislodged Teeth
There are many possible causes of acute dislodged teeth. In most cases, this type of accident is incurred by sudden force applied to the mouth. Sports injuries, bicycle and car accidents, and other types of sudden impacts have the potential to dislodge one or more teeth. In addition, chewing on hard foods or objects can potentially cause teeth to dislodge.
Besides, in all of these cases, acting quickly and decisively can mean the difference between successfully reinstalling your tooth or, on the contrary, losing the tooth and needing to pursue more complicated and costly dental procedures.
In anticipation of such issues, you can also try talking to your dentist preemptively about the types of habits and behaviors you can engage in to avoid having your teeth harmed. This has the potential to save you time and money down the line.
1. Pick the Tooth Up Via the Crown
If you should have a tooth knocked out, trying to find the tooth more or less immediately should be your first priority. Don’t leave your tooth at the site of the accident.
Once you have located your tooth, try to pick it up via the crown rather than by the roots. Touching the roots with your bare hands could compromise the integrity of the tooth and make it impossible to reinstall.
2. Clean the Tooth
If your tooth is dirty at all, gently rinse the tooth with water in order to remove any dirt. Do not use soap or chemicals to rinse the tooth off. In addition, scrubbing or drying the tooth to any serious degree should also be avoided. Ensuring that it is clean and moisturized should be your first priority in terms of preserving it for installation. This is something of an essential step, as a dirty tooth has the potential to endanger a patient via infection.
3. Reposition Immediately
Once you’ve found the tooth and cleaned it, you should attempt to reposition it back in its socket. Gently push the tooth in with your fingers, and make sure to always handle the tooth by the crown. After this, attempt to position it above the socket and close your mouth.
Once the tooth is in your socket, you can continue to hold it in place with your fingers or by biting down on the tooth until you’re able to see a dentist.
4. Keep the Tooth Moisturized
While you’re preparing your tooth for reinstallation, you should attempt to keep your tooth moisturized at all times. This is essential if you’re planning on being able to reinstall it.
If you’re unable to reinstall your tooth into its socket prior to visiting the dentist, try placing the tooth in milk or inside of your mouth in the cheek. You can also try using an emergency tooth preservation kit, of which there are several varieties. You should avoid using regular tap water, as root surface cells can’t tolerate this material for long periods of time.
5. Find a Dentist within 30 Minutes
One should attempt to reach the dentist within 30 minutes of their tooth being dislodged. This gives the dentist the highest chance of success in terms of attempting to reinstall it. However, even teeth that have been dislodged for several hours can often be reinstalled. That being said, making it to your family dentist within this short period of time gives a patient the highest chance of success overall in terms of being able to preserve their tooth.
The Dentist Glendora Trusts
Glendora Family Dentistry offers the residents of Glendora and beyond the finest quality dental work available. If you need tooth reinstallation following an accident, then contact us today and consider us a resource as your community emergency dentist.