Dental emergencies happen often, but when it happens to you, will you be ready? Having a tooth knocked out is considered a dental emergency and should be handled with care in order to have the tooth replaced. If you have a tooth knocked out, or your child has a tooth knocked out, see the instructions and tips below on how to handle the situation.
How To Handle The Tooth
When the tooth is knocked out, be sure to handle it by the top of the tooth (where you chew), not by the root. If the tooth has any gum residue, tissue or anything else that is attached to it, leave it alone. If the tooth landed on the ground or elsewhere and is dirty, be sure to rinse it gently in warm water.
What To Do With The Tooth
Try first to place the tooth the right way into the socket where it was knocked out. If this is not possible, or it won't go back into the socket, keep the tooth in a glass of milk or a glass of salt water. If you don't have milk or salt water handy, you can also keep the tooth in your mouth (in your cheek between the gum and teeth).
Call The Dentist
Contact your dentist immediately and let them know that a permanent tooth was knocked out. Inform them that it is an emergency and that you need to get in right away. If it is after hours or on the weekend (when the office is closed), there may be an emergency number that you can call. Sometimes, you can even go to an emergency clinic that does dental work as well.
- Only permanent teeth should be replaced, baby teeth should not attempt to be replaced, as there will be a permanent tooth underneath. Call the dentist if a baby tooth was knocked out, just in case the dentist needs to check the gum for any damage.
- According to Backup Care, a tooth that has been knocked out begins to die within 15 minutes, so it is essential to get to the dentist right away in order to help save that tooth. If the tooth cannot be saved, you can most likely get a bridge (or a false tooth) to go in its place, but this can be costly.
- To help prevent teeth from being knocked out, such as when playing sports, always wear a mouth guard. Teeth can be knocked out while eating, so try your best not to eat hard candies, ice or food that contains bones.
Although it can be difficult to prevent a dental emergency such as a knocked out tooth, knowing how to handle the tooth and what to do in that situation will help increase the chances you have in saving that tooth. For more information, contact a dentist, like Paul Dona DDS.