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Tooth Knocked Out? Don’t Panic!

Having a tooth knocked out is something nobody wants to experience. But if you happen to find yourself in this unfortunate situation, there are some important steps to take to ensure that your tooth is successfully replaced.

First of all, do not panic! Simply remain calm and carefully follow these guidelines: Immediately call your dentist’s office to arrange an emergency appointment, even if it is after business hours, as the answering machine will likely have an emergency number to call. Try to hold the tooth by the crown to avoid contaminating the root. Resist the urge to scrub or clean the tooth off. The root will very likely contain delicate tissues that are vital to successful replacement. If the tooth is very dirty, gently rinse it off with water using extreme care. If the tooth is reasonably clean and can be re-inserted into the socket, do so and hold it in place. If not, place the tooth in milk. Do not use water. If the tooth remains in the water for a long period of time, the cells in the tissue may swell and burst, impeding the tooth’s ability to adhere to the socket. Milk will not have this effect. For the greatest chance of success, try to see your dentist within half an hour. Your dentist will carefully re-insert the tooth and will likely splint it to the neighboring teeth for stability while the tooth re-attaches to the bone.