What to Do When You Knock Out a Tooth

What to Do When You Knock Out a Tooth

Knocking out a tooth can feel like the end of the world, especially when it’s a permanent tooth. But you can save your tooth if you act quickly. 

At Le Dentistry & Associates in Norcross, Georgia, Phuong Le, DMDUyen Hoang, DMD, and our skilled team of providers consider a knocked-out tooth a dental emergency. But, before you get to the office, there are some things you need to do with your knocked-out tooth so we can try and save it.

In this blog, we tell you what you need to do if you knock out a tooth.

1. Handle your tooth carefully

If you knock out a tooth, locate the tooth right away and handle it with care. Pick it up by the crown, which is the chewing part of the tooth.

And try not to touch the tooth roots. The roots of your tooth contain tooth fibers — called periodontal ligaments — and we need these in order to successfully reattach the tooth. 

If there’s any dirt or debris on the tooth, gently rinse it off with water or milk. There’s no need to disinfect the tooth or use toothpaste. These actions may damage the tooth fibers. 

2. Store your tooth correctly

The best place to put a knocked-out tooth is back in the mouth. If you can, put the tooth back in its open socket. If you can’t, try to put it between your cheek and gum. Your saliva will help keep your tooth moist, and it will also help slow down root deterioration.

If keeping your tooth in your mouth isn’t possible, store it in a sealed container filled with whole milk. The pH level, proteins, and carbohydrates in milk creates an environment that can allow the root cells in your tooth to continue growing while you’re enroute to the office. 

Placing the tooth in a cup of your own saliva also works. Or, you can try Save-A-Tooth®, an emergency tooth-preserving substance.

3. Get to the dentist right away

You must act quickly when you have a knocked-out tooth to save it. The tooth will start dying within 15 minutes after getting knocked out.

At the office, we’ll aim to rinse off any debris, reimplant the tooth in its socket, and splint it to the neighboring tooth. You may need to keep the splint in place for 2-8 weeks, allowing an adequate amount of time for the tooth to reattach itself.

While the damaged tooth’s roots can reattach to the bone, you’re going to need a root canal to ensure survival of the tooth.

Even if you do everything right, we can’t save every knocked-out tooth. But, we have alternative treatments that can restore a lost tooth, such as dental implantsdental bridges, and dentures.

If you have a dental emergency, call 678-252-9881 right away so the team at Le Dentistry & Associates can provide the help you need. If you don’t have an emergency, you can call the number or book an appointment online.

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