You didn’t see that large rock in your path. One second, you’re riding your bike and enjoying the nice weather—the next, you’re on the ground with a lot of facial pain. And what’s worse, you discover that you’ve knocked out a tooth!
What should you do? How should you deal with this situation? Above all else, try not to panic! Stay calm and follow these five essential steps if you want to save the knocked-out tooth and get back to normal oral function as quickly as possible.
Handle the Tooth Touching Only the Crown
As soon as you find the tooth, be careful with how you handle it. When you pick up the fallen-out tooth, do not disturb the root portion. Pick it up by the crown or the part of the tooth you use to chew food. Touching the exposed root can contaminate it and lead to infections or complications.
Rinse with Care
Depending on where this dental emergency occurs, your tooth may have dirt or other debris on it. After you’ve picked it up, assess the tooth and see if it needs to be rinsed. Only use water—no soap or chemicals—to clean the tooth, and do not scrub or wrap the tooth afterward. Just gently rinse the tooth with clean water.
Put The Tooth in the Socket
The best place to put the tooth is back where it belongs—in the socket! To do this, gently push it in with your fingers, again only touching the crown. To get it completely in position, close your mouth slowly and keep it closed to hold the tooth in place.
Moisten the Tooth
In some situations, getting the tooth back in the socket may not work perfectly. In this case, you need to keep the tooth moist. Your first thought could be to put it in water, but you shouldn’t! Instead, store the tooth in milk or place it between your gums and cheek. If you have a dental emergency kit, there may be a tooth preservation solution in there that you may use as well.
Get to Your Emergency Dentist ASAP
Even if you follow all the previous steps exactly, you still must go to your emergency dentist. In fact, you need to go right away! Not only can they make sure the tooth is back within the arch, but they may decide to put a splint on the tooth to facilitate healing. This oral appliance attaches the loose tooth to the surrounding teeth until the gums and other tissues grow back.
Keep in mind that the tooth can be saved only for a limited time, meaning you need to arrive at your dentist’s office well within an hour of the injury for the best odds of successfully re-implanting the tooth. Otherwise, you’ll need to explore your replacement options.
Ultimately, your actions immediately following having a knocked-out tooth will determine how soon you can have a complete, strong smile again. When you take these steps, you can save your tooth and get back to spending quality time out in the beautiful August weather!
About the Practice
At Quiet Corner Dental, we invite anyone going through a dental emergency to come directly to us for help. Our dentists have decades of combined experience and clinical training to handle your situation and help you find relief. If you have a knocked-out tooth, contact us right away by calling our Putnam office at 860-928-3723 or by visiting our Contact Us page here.