Would you know what to do if you knocked out your tooth? Whether the cause is an accident, sports injury or assault, it is important to know what to do if your tooth is knocked out. While losing a tooth is never fun, most teeth can be reinserted if the roots are kept alive.
While the best option is to see your dentist as soon as possible, there are some important things you can do along the way.
Handle the Tooth with Care
If you or someone you know is involved in an accident, make sure they aren’t in need of emergency medical assistance. Blunt facial trauma, even if minor, warrants a trip to the nearest emergency room. This holds especially true if your tooth is knocked out.
However, while awaiting medical assistance, it’s important to preserve the knocked out tooth or teeth. When a tooth severs from its socket, the ligament is usually destroyed. In order to survive, the tooth must be reattached to its nerve fibers. If you find your tooth, carefully pick it up by the crown, not the root. Gently remove the dirt and either place it back in the socket or place it in between your cheek and gum. Keeping the tooth in your mouth while in route for emergency treatment may help preserve the tooth.
Place the Tooth in Milk
If you aren’t able to put the tooth back into the socket, the next best thing is storing it in milk. Milk helps prevent the cells within the root from swelling and bursting. Remember that storage is only intended for up to six hours while awaiting treatment. Your dentist will then be able to stabilize your tooth and decide if it’s salvageable.
Saving a Knocked Out Tooth
When the proper procedure is followed, you have an approximately 90 percent chance of a knocked-out tooth. The key is knowing how to preserve it and seeking immediate assistance. If your dentist is not available, you should head to the nearest emergency room. Most hospitals have a dentist on staff who may be able to save the tooth.
You can’t prevent accidents but you can prevent tooth loss with proper dental intervention. Regular dental checkups ward off gum disease, which is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Performing proper dental hygiene and having regular cleanings not only catch potential dental issues early but also help save your tooth.