What should I do if I have my teeth knocked out?


24 May 2023

What should I do if I have my teeth knocked out?

Teeth may get knocked out, or avulsed, in various circumstances, often related to accidental trauma or injuries. This can occur during contact sports, falls, car accidents, or any other incident that involves a strong impact to the face. It's a fairly common dental emergency that requires immediate attention. Although it can happen to anyone at any age, it's seen more frequently among children, teenagers, and young adults who participate in physical activities and sports. It's important to note that proper use of mouthguards during such activities can significantly reduce the risk of teeth getting knocked out.

A knocked-out tooth is considered a serious dental emergency. When a tooth is knocked out, the nerves, blood vessels, and supporting tissues suffer damage, which can lead to significant problems if not addressed immediately.

The nerves and blood vessels can't be repaired, which is why knocked-out teeth will require a root canal. But the bone and supporting tissues can reattach to the root of the tooth if it's put back into place promptly. That's why it's important to see a dentist or an endodontist (a specialist in tooth pulp problems) as soon as possible.

It's worth noting that the long-term prognosis for a knocked-out tooth varies depending on how the injury is managed and the specific circumstances of the avulsion. The quicker you act, the better the chances of saving the tooth.


What do I do if my tooth is knocked out: 5 steps

If your tooth gets knocked out, follow these steps immediately to increase the chances of saving your tooth:

  1. Find the Tooth: As soon as your tooth gets knocked out, locate it and pick it up by the crown (the part that's usually exposed in the mouth). Avoid touching the root of the tooth (the part that's usually below the gum line).
  2. Clean the Tooth (If Necessary): If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with milk or saline solution, if available. If neither is available, use water. Do not scrub or wipe the tooth, as this can damage the root surface, which is necessary for successful reimplantation.
  3. Try to Reinsert the Tooth: If possible, try to place the tooth back into the socket it came from. Hold the tooth by the crown and gently push it into the socket. Make sure it's facing the right way. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, it's critical to keep it moist.
  4. Keep the Tooth Moist: If you can't reinsert the tooth, place it in a cup of milk. If milk is not available, put the tooth in your mouth, between the cheek and gums. As a last resort, place the tooth in a cup of water. There are also tooth preservation kits available in pharmacies that can keep the tooth viable.
  5. See a Dentist or Endodontist Immediately: Get to a dental professional at East Meadow Dental Clinic as soon as possible, ideally within 30 minutes to an hour of the tooth being knocked out. The faster you act, the better the chances of saving your tooth.


Can a knocked out tooth heal on its own?

A dislodged tooth can't mend itself independently. It's a dental crisis that necessitates urgent care from a dental practitioner or an endodontist at East Meadow Dental Clinic. The tooth needs to be reinserted and stabilized in its socket as soon as possible for the best chance of saving it.

If you have a tooth knocked out, it's crucial not to delay dental treatment. The longer the tooth is out of the socket, the less chance there is for successful reimplantation. If the tooth is not reimplanted within about an hour, the cells on the root of the tooth can start to die, making successful reattachment to the bone less likely.

If the tooth cannot be reimplanted for some reason, a dentist can discuss replacement options with you, such as a dental implant or a bridge.

It's important to note that this information applies to permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is knocked out, it should not be reinserted because of the risk of damaging the developing permanent tooth. In such cases, reach out to a dental professional as soon as possible for further guidance.

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