Can You Save A Knocked-Out Tooth?
Losing a tooth can be a frightening and upsetting experience. A hit on the face, a fall or other sudden accident can knock out a tooth entirely. Seeing your tooth on the ground can easily cause you to panic so much that you won’t know what to do next. But can you save a knocked-out tooth?
According to leading dental experts, the answer is yes — as long as you act quickly and follow these tips:
Pick up the knocked-out tooth by its crown as quickly as possible.
Be gentle in handling the tooth and don’t touch or hold it for too long. It is important that you touch only the crown or its top (the chewing surface) so that you won’t damage its roots.
Use water or milk to clean the tooth if it is covered with dirt.
Be careful in rinsing the tooth with water. Do not use soap or a toothbrush to clean the avulsed (knocked-out) tooth. Handle the tooth as little as possible and don’t wrap it in tissue or paper towels. Natural teeth should not be out of the mouth for more than 60 minutes. It is also crucial that they are kept moist.
Try putting the tooth back in its socket.
The best way to keep the tooth moist and safe until you see is your dentist is to put the tooth back in its original socket. Use your fingers to lightly push the tooth in its original location. Make sure it is facing the right way. You can hold the tooth in place by gently biting down on it or with the use of your finger. However, if it doesn’t go back into place easily and without pressure, do not force the tooth into the socket.
Keep the tooth moist.
If the avulsed tooth won’t stay in place in in its original socket, submerge the tooth in a glass or container of milk and put all of the tooth’s fragments into the milk. There are also special dental kits which you can buy at drug stores that you can use to store and keep your tooth moist in.
Your odds of saving a knocked-out tooth will be higher if you will be able to see your dentist immediately. Ideally, you should go to your dentist’s clinic within the hour of the accident so that he or she can re-implant the tooth as soon as possible.
You will need to undergo root canal therapy to complete the process of re-implanting the tooth. This is because the nerves, blood vessels, and supporting tissues of the avulsed tooth are also already damaged. Therefore, they have to be removed to avoid an infection. Unfortunately, they can’t be repaired anymore as well. The good news is that the bone can reattach to the root of the avulsed tooth once it is put back properly.