More often than you think, accidents can result in getting your tooth knocked out. But you can save your smile if you take the right steps. A tooth getting knocked out should be treated as an emergency, so you must visit a dental professional immediately. The sooner you get there, the more likely the dentist or oral surgeon will be able to successfully reattach the knocked-out tooth. Here’s what to do if your tooth gets knocked out.
Retrieve the Knocked-Out Tooth and Get Help Immediately
Handle the knocked-out tooth carefully, touching only the crown to minimize contamination. If it’s dirty, gently rinse the tooth with cold water — without soap or any other cleaning agent. Don’t use a toothbrush as it may damage the soft parts of the tooth. If it’s a permanent tooth, try reinserting it into the socket.
Be as gentle as possible when trying to reinsert the knocked-out tooth back into its socket. Use your finger to gently press in the tooth until its crown aligns with the crowns of the adjacent teeth. Bite down on gauze or a piece of clean cloth to stabilize the tooth until you get to the dentist. If a baby’s tooth gets knocked out, the reattachment is best left to the dentist.
Understandably, reinserting a knocked-out tooth may prove too frightening or painful a task. In that case, fill a plastic container or bag with milk or any other ADA-approved product, and place the knocked-out tooth inside. Doing so keeps the living cells of the tooth moist and alive until you get to the dentist.
Alternatively, you can temporarily store the knockout-out by wrapping it inside a clean wet cloth or a bottle cap filled with your saliva. If nothing is available to safely store the tooth, place it under your tongue or between your gums and cheek.
What if You Can’t Find the Missing Tooth?
If you can’t retrieve the missing tooth, your dentist or oral surgeon has the following options to restore your smile.
- Dental implant. A tooth replacement rooted with metal screws, replacing the missing tooth with an artificial one made from materials that look and feel like a real tooth.
- Dental Bridge. A pontic (false tooth) to bridge the gap left by the missing tooth. The abutment of the adjacent teeth keeps the pontic in place.
- Partial Denture. A removable replacement for the missing tooth.
These alternative solutions can restore the appearance and function of the missing tooth.
How To Avoid Getting Your Tooth Knocked Out
Here are a few precautions to avoid you or your child losing a tooth.
- Wear a mouth guard when engaging in sports and other recreational activities in which you’re at high risk of rough contact to your face and mouth.
- Never use your teeth to cut or pry things open. Instead, use an appropriate tool.
- Teach your children to never play or run around with objects in their mouths.
- Reduce or eliminate hazards in your home that may lead to young children getting their teeth knocked out.
- Arrange regular dental check-ups to ensure you and your children’s teeth are healthy and strong.
Keep Your Smile Intact
You can save your smile if you act fast and take good care of the knocked-out tooth until you get to the dentist. Contact Synergy Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center in case of dental emergencies.