A knocked out tooth is a type of dental trauma. It can be frightening, but in many cases the tooth can be saved. Appropriate action and prompt treatment increase the chances of saving the tooth.
What do you do in the case of a knocked out or traumatized tooth? Here’s what endodontists recommend.
Put the Tooth Back in Place
If a tooth is knocked completely out of your mouth you will need to clean it off. Pick it up by the crown of the tooth only and avoid touching the root. Carefully rinse it with water or milk, making sure to plug the drain of the sink first or rinse in a bowl or container. Attempt to immediately put the tooth back in the socket in the correct position. If your tooth is back in place, bite down on some gauze or a clean cloth to ensureit’s fully seated.
Keep the Tooth Moist
If you can’t get the tooth back into the socket, it should be kept moist, store it in a cup of milk or hold it in your mouth between your cheek and gums. It is crucial to keep the tooth moist in order for it to be saved. Do not store the tooth in water, as it will cause the cells of the tooth to begin breaking down.
Seek Immediate Dental Treatment
Once you have secured the tooth in the socket or in the proper source of moisture, call Forest Lake Endodontics immediately at 651-464-9888. During regular office hours we will see you right away for dental trauma. After hours please leave a voicemail message and someone will contact you with further instructions.
How Long Can the Tooth Live Outside of the Mouth?
The ideal time frame for saving a knocked out tooth is between 5 and 60 minutes. This offers the best chance that the tooth will still be viable. But as long as the tooth is kept moist in either milk or saliva, it may be salvageable for up to an hour or more.
Treatment for a Knocked Out Tooth
A tooth that has been knocked completely out of the socket will require some treatment. The tooth will be stabilized using a splint attached to the neighboring teeth. As the tissues heal the support structures will tighten down on the root of the tooth and secure it in place as it was before the injury.
The tooth may also need root canal therapy following dental trauma. When a tooth is hit hard enough to be knocked completely out of the mouth, there is a high chance that the dental pulp has sustained some level of injury. The dental pulp is the soft tissue at the center of each tooth containing blood vessels and nerves. When the tooth is damaged due to injury, the pulp is at risk of infection or may result in loss of blood supply to the tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Trauma
Should you put a baby tooth back in the socket if it is knocked out?
No, a baby tooth should not be put back in the socket. Doing so could damage the permanent tooth underneath it. If a baby tooth is knocked out before it is ready to be naturally shed, a space maintainer may be used to hold the place open until the permanent tooth is ready to come in.
What happens if the tooth can’t be saved?
In some cases a knocked out tooth can’t be saved. Either it was out of the mouth for too long or the tooth itself was too damaged. In this case the tooth can be replaced with either a dental bridge, dental implant or partial denture.
Why See an Endodontist for Dental Trauma?
An endodontist specializes in restoration of teeth from the inside where the dental pulp resides. Dental trauma commonly leads to damage that affects the dental pulp, making endodontists uniquely qualified to provide treatment for dental injuries.
Forest Lake Endodontics provides dental trauma treatment, including knocked out teeth and other dental injuries. We will do our best to save your teeth whenever possible.
Call 651-464-9888 immediately in case of a dental trauma and we will make plans to see you as soon as possible.