Can You Save a Knocked Out Tooth?

Posted on: May 2, 2018

ToothA knocked-out tooth is not something to take lightly. If you do not preserve this tooth in the proper manner, your dentist will find it is difficult or even impossible to place it back in your mouth. Also, it is possible to save, knocked-out teeth, known as avulsed teeth. However, your actions (or lack thereof) following this unfortunate incident are of the utmost importance.

A Look at What Happens When a Tooth is Knocked Out

As soon as a tooth is knocked out, the blood vessels, nerves and nearby tissues will endure considerable damage. It is impossible to repair the blood vessels and nerves. This is precisely why knocked-out teeth require a root canal therapy. The bone will reconnect to the tooth root as soon as it is back in place. The chances of saving a tooth are especially high for youngsters.

While it is a bit more challenging to save an adult tooth, it is not impossible. It is important to note that people should not reposition baby teeth in the mouth. It is only the permanent teeth that people should return to the mouth when possible.

How to Proceed After Your Tooth is Knocked Out

Meet with your dentist as soon as your tooth is knocked out. Do not touch the portion of the tooth below the gums. This part of the tooth is known as the root. Contact with the root will cause much more damage. If you spot any sort of dirt or other gunk on the tooth, wash it off with milk. People need to hold a dirty tooth by the uppermost portion, known as the crown. Do not wipe the tooth with any type of fabric as such contact could cause irreversible damage to the periodontal ligament fibers

Above all, the tooth should be kept moist.  Place the tooth in a protective container and cover it with your saliva. If you do not have such a container, use a cup or baggie. Place the tooth in a cup of milk. If you do not have milk on-hand, alternatively, you could put the tooth in a cup or baggie of water. Keep the tooth as moist as possible and it will make it that much easier for the dentist to put it back in your mouth.

As long as the tooth is intact as opposed to broken up into several pieces, there is a chance it can be saved.

How the Dentist Will try to Save Your Knocked-out Tooth

It is your responsibility to notify the dentist as soon as your tooth is dislodged. Try to get to the dentist’s office within an hour of this unlucky event. In some cases, putting the tooth back in the mouth is a fairly straightforward process. In other situations, this repositioning will prove difficult.

If the tooth or bone breaks, it will be that much more difficult for the dentist to save it. This oral health professional will flush the debris away from the socket with water before putting the tooth back in place.  If the tooth is not fully dislodged, then it is best to leave it in place to keep it clean and moist.

Request a dental appointment here: or call Robert B. Shelton, DDS MAGD at (903) 757-6243 for an appointment in our Longview dental office.

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