Any type of hard blow to your mouth could result in a knocked-out tooth (otherwise known as an avulsed tooth). Sports injuries, falls, and other types of accidents all pose a threat to your smile. What should you do if one of your teeth gets knocked out? While the situation may be scary, do not panic. Instead, call our office immediately and let us know what happened. We will act fast with the goal of preserving your tooth. On this page, we’ll discuss some steps you can take to increase the chances that your tooth can be saved.
Gently pick up the tooth, touching it only by its crown (the part that you normally see above the gumline). Then, carefully rinse off any debris. If possible, attempt to put it back in its original socket. If you cannot do that, store it in a glass of milk or in a tooth preservation solution. (Tooth preservation kits are available at most pharmacies. It may be wise to keep one on hand if you often play sports or engage in a lot of high-risk physical activities.) As a last resort, place the tooth in a glass of water. The key is to keep it moist.
You may be in a significant amount of pain. Over the counter pain relievers can help to manage your discomfort. A cold compress on the side of your face may keep swelling to a minimum. Clean gauze can be used to control bleeding.
Bring your tooth with you when you come to your emergency appointment. The sooner you get to our office, the greater the odds that we will be able to splint the tooth back into place. Ideally, you should receive treatment within 1 – 2 hours of when the tooth gets dislodged.
When you arrive, we will quickly assess the situation and do all we can to ensure your comfort. Then, we may use a splint made of composite resin and wire to secure the tooth in its socket. With successful tooth replantation, the splint can usually be removed after 2 – 6 weeks, after the tooth has had an opportunity to form a new bond with the surrounding tissue. In many cases, an avulsed tooth also requires root canal therapy.
Our team will give you detailed instructions to help you care for your replanted teeth. For example, you may need to stick to a soft diet for a few weeks and take antibiotics or other prescribed medication.