Teeth can get knocked out in a variety of accidents and injuries, and millions of people experience a knocked-out tooth or teeth every year. Whether an adult tooth or baby tooth has been knocked out, there’s always a chance that your dentist will be able to save the tooth.
Here’s what you need to know to have your best chance at restoring your knocked-out tooth!
If You Seek Treatment ASAP, Your Tooth May Be Able to Be Saved
If your tooth or your child’s tooth has been knocked out, do your best to seek treatment as soon as possible. Ideally, you should get to a dentist within 30 minutes of knocking out your tooth, but your dentist may still be able to save the tooth if it’s been out for an hour or longer .
While the blood vessels and nerves that sustained your tooth can be repaired, your knocked-out tooth will need root canal therapy in order to be saved. You may not be able to save a tooth that’s been broken into pieces, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek emergency care from your dentist just in case!
What Should You Do After a Tooth Is Knocked Out?
There are a few important steps to take to secure your best chance at saving your tooth after it’s been knocked-out:
- Step One: Find your tooth and gently pick it up by the crown end (the chewing surface). If it’s dirty, you can gently rinse it with water . Don’t use soap, don’t dry the tooth, and don’t place it in any type of cloth or bag.
- Step Two: If possible, immediately put your tooth back in its socket, and gently bite down to hold it in place. However, do not do this step if the tooth that fell out is a baby tooth, or if you aren’t sure whether or not the tooth is a baby tooth.
- Step Three: If your tooth cannot be placed back in your mouth—or you aren’t sure if it’s a baby tooth—put the tooth in a container with saliva or milk. It’s essential to keep the tooth moist at all times, but don’t put the tooth in tap water as it may cause more damage .
- Step Four: Take your tooth, including any pieces of it, and get to your dentist as soon as possible!
Consider Keeping a Kit On-Hand for Dental Emergencies
You can consider keeping a kit on-hand for dental emergencies, which can contain a list with the phone numbers of nearby dentists, gauze, a container for a knocked-out tooth, and over-the-counter pain medication. Having a kit will help you act fast in the event that you experience a dental emergency!
If you can’t see your dentist, you can always go to the emergency room, but a dentist is your best bet for safely and effectively restoring your tooth. Most dentists offer emergency hours and can accommodate you to help save your knocked-out tooth!