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05 Jan 2017

What to do if you have a tooth knocked out?

Dental trauma is emotionally upsetting to everyone, especially when it occurs to their front teeth. It may surprise you to learn that every year, around five million teeth are knocked out. Depending on the degree of damage, your endodontist or a dentist will need to do a root canal to help maintain the tooth in the mouth long-term. A root canal is done if the tooth’s surrounding nerves and tissues are irreparable. A knocked-out tooth is also called as an avulsed tooth, and is one of the most serious dental emergencies for permanent/secondary teeth.

Now, What Can You Do?
The adage “Time and tide wait for none” is apt for this condition, so act quickly to fix the damage. Get the dentist right away within 30-60 minutes of the incident. Both adult and a baby tooth can be saved. As prevention is better than cure, in this article, I will share with you the ideas that will prevent further damage to the avulsed tooth and also how to react and save your precious tooth.

How To Save Your Teeth?
Always try to save the real tooth if there is any piece missing or broken. The root of a damaged tooth must be handled with the utmost care without being touched directly as it’s the most sensitive part and can get damaged easily. Better pick the tooth from the top called as the crown (chewing edge) which does not connect to the gum. Hold the crown (chewing edge) of the tooth and rinse it in milk or water if dirty. (Preferably use milk).

Dry Tooth Is Dead Tooth.
1. The tooth should always be kept moist, so don’t wipe it off with any fabric. Don’t brush the tooth. Or use any kind of chemical on it. Keep the tooth submerged in a glass of milk or place it your mouth properly by supporting it with the help of gum and cheek. Since children will likely swallow the tooth, it is recommended that the tooth be placed in a cup submerged in milk or salt water, preferably with a lid.
2. Ideally, to fix/re-implant, the dentist should be called immediately after the accident. For a baby tooth, don’t replace it as it may be very close to the permanent tooth. Replacement may actually damage the permanent tooth, so an x-ray is taken prior to re-implantation.
3. Prior to seeing the dentist, keep the tooth moist or try placing it in its socket correctly without any pressure. (In many cases it will fit in the socket easily).

How Will Your Dentist Address It?
Make sure you call a dentist with good reviews like or you can always contact me. When the dentist arrives, they will take an x-ray the area and exam the site. They will determine if the tooth can be saved and make all attempts to reposition the tooth into the original site.

After this, a root canal may be performed on you depending on the damage and certain external factors. Often, the dentist will use a splint to support the avulsed tooth with the help of soft wire and/or combined material. Normally this wire will remain for about one week.

How Soon Does It Get Repaired?
More damage means more time required for its rejuvenation. So, if the tooth/bone is intact, your tooth will take three to four weeks. If not, then it takes nearly 2 months to get reattached.

When Should You Revisit Your Dentist?
Within twelve to twenty-four weeks, your dentist will re-examine the tooth. If all goes well, then the tooth is infection free, and you will return to your normal check-ups. The relationship between you and your dentist goes on for two to three years for your tooth to ensure its health.

So, now you are well informed about “what to do if you have a tooth knocked out?” And in case you have any further doubts about it, feel free to consult me.

For more information on what to do in case you have a tooth knocked out or for other dental problems, or a dental consultation, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com.