If your tooth has recently been knocked out of your mouth, you’re probably panicking. A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency, after all, and one of the most urgent ones. The first thing you should do is try to stay calm while you call your dentist, but what should you do until your appointment? Should you try and save the knocked-out tooth by putting it back in its socket? Read on to find out!
Is It Possible to Place a Knocked-Out Tooth Back into the Mouth?
Short answer: yes. A tooth can be reimplanted into its socket after it has been dislodged, even though its blood vessels and nerves cannot be repaired. If you place a knocked-out tooth back into its socket, it can start the process of reintegrating with the underlying bone. The tooth is also kept moist, which is critical to keeping it “alive.”
Of course, if you want to successfully save the tooth, you’ll need to do a few key things.
Tips for Handling a Knocked-Out Tooth
When a tooth is knocked out, time is of the essence. First, do your best to remain calm as you locate the tooth. When you find it, carefully pick it up by its crown (the part that you normally see), not the pointed root end. Try not to remove any tissue that may still be attached to the root. If dirt or other debris has gathered on the tooth, gently rinse it off with cool water, but do not scrub or dry it. At that point, you can gingerly position the tooth back into the socket, root first.
If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth into its socket, try to store it elsewhere in your mouth, such as under your tongue or between your cheek and teeth. As a last resort, you can store the tooth in a container filled with milk or saline solution. Plain water isn’t recommended since it doesn’t have the nutrients the tooth needs to survive.
Once you’ve gotten a handle on your knocked-out tooth, do whatever you can to get to a dental office within 30 minutes to an hour.
Why You Need to See an Emergency Dentist for a Knocked-Out Tooth
Although you might be tempted to head straight to the emergency room, only a dentist has the expertise to replant a dislodged tooth. By seeing an emergency dentist right away, they might be able to successfully reattach the tooth. You’ll likely still need root canal therapy, but at least you’ll avoid the complications that come with tooth loss (not to mention the costs of replacing a tooth).
Just because a tooth is knocked out of your mouth doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s lost. If you act quickly and store the tooth in its socket while you head to your dentist’s office, there’s a good chance that your natural smile can be saved!
About the Practice
Our three expert dentists at Meadowbrook Dental Care strive to improve the oral health of the Mineola, NY community. To that end, we offer same-day appointments for patients with dental emergencies. We’re happy to treat patients of all ages and get them back to smiling as quickly as possible. If you’re dealing with a knocked-out tooth or any other dental emergency, please contact our office at 516-284-1234.