Dental News

What to Do When a Tooth is Knocked Out

December 20, 2013

Follow these tips and hightail it to the dentist in Port Hueneme CA for the best chance of saving a knocked out tooth.

What to Do When a Tooth is Knocked OutGetting a tooth knocked out is more common than you think—it isn’t just something that happens in bar brawls in Hollywood movies! According to the American Association of Endodontists, over 5 million teeth are knocked out in children and adults every year due to accidents ranging from car wrecks to sports injuries to falls. The good news is that with swift action and an emergency visit to your dentist in Port Hueneme CA, most teeth that have been knocked out of their sockets can be successfully reimplanted. Here’s what to do if you or a loved one get your tooth knocked out.

Judge Your Priorities Wisely

If the person who has had their tooth knocked out is unconscious or severely injured, obviously saving their life rather than saving the tooth will be your top priority. You should call 911 first and make sure the person gets the medical care they need before looking for the tooth.

Find the Tooth

If you can find the tooth or tooth fragments, pick them up gently by the crown of the tooth. Avoid touching the root of the tooth, as this could cause further injury to the living tissue and interfere with reimplantation later on.

Gently Clean the Tooth

If the tooth is dirty, you can gently rinse it with water. Do not use soap or alcohol, do not scrub or scrape the tooth, and do not attempt to dry it with a tissue or cloth afterwards.

Protect the Tooth

Next, you will need to protect the tooth and keep it from drying out. If possible, reinsert the tooth back into the socket. This is the best option because the sooner the tooth gets reinserted the more likely it is to survive. Carefully push the tooth into the socket and then hold it in place with your fingers or by biting down gently.
If you can’t reinsert the tooth because it is too fragmented or because you are in too much pain, you can protect it by placing it in a cup of milk or a cup of saliva, or by tucking it in your mouth between your cheek and gum. Do not put the tooth in tap water as this will damage the roots over time.

Visit the Nearest Available Dentist within 30 Minutes

Ideally, you should try to get an emergency appointment with a nearby dentist in Port Hueneme CA within 30 minutes in order to have the best possible chance of saving the tooth. However, there have been cases of teeth being saved even after being out of the mouth for an hour or more.
Your dentist will examine your injuries and professionally reinsert the tooth for you. A splint may be used to help stabilize the tooth for the next few weeks to help it heal. Depending on the amount of damage that occurred when your tooth got knocked out, you may need to get a root canal to arrest decay or nerve damage.

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