Your teeth are designed to withstand regular wear and tear as you chew, bite, grind, and perform other routine oral functions. But accidents can happen, and an ill-timed bite or blow to the face could generate enough pressure to cause a tooth to fall out of its socket.
If this occurs, there is a narrow window of time for you to save the tooth. So prompt action is necessary if you want to successfully restore the dislodged tooth back into your smile.
Knowing what to do ahead of this incident can help you react more confidently if this scenario arises. So read on to find steps you should take if you accidentally knock out one or more of your teeth.
Preserve the Tooth as Well as Possible
Collect your knocked-out tooth as soon as you can so that you can preserve it properly. Without its connection to the blood vessels in your mouth, the tooth can quickly start to deteriorate, making it harder to reattach it successfully.
Handle the tooth by its crown rather than its sensitive roots. These roots contain nerves that can easily sustain more damage if you touch them.
The tooth might become dirty if it touched the ground. Do not rub it with a cloth or other material because the action might hurt the tooth further. Carefully rinse the tooth if needed with milk or water.
If you can, gently place the tooth back in its socket. The saliva will help to keep the tooth moist and healthy. Tuck the tooth in your cheek if you cannot put it in the socket. Do not force it into place if you feel pain or discomfort in the socket.
If you worry about swallowing the tooth, you can also store the tooth in a cup submerged in spit. You can also place it in a cup of milk or water. Milk works better than water because it contains nutrients that will better preserve the tooth.
Attend Emergency Dentist Appointment
Call your dentist right away if you knock out one or more of your teeth. Or head straight to your dentist’s office for an emergency appointment. You usually have a window of half an hour to an hour to properly restore the tooth back in your mouth, so do not wait to contact your dentist.
Bring the tooth with you to the appointment. The dentist will evaluate it along with the rest of your smile and then carefully clean the socket by flushing the area with water. Then they will put the tooth in the socket and keep it in place with a splint.
The tooth should reattach itself within a few days. A fractured tooth might require more time to heal properly. If the dentist cannot replace this tooth, they can discuss other dental treatments to restore your smile after this tooth loss. Ask your dentist if you qualify for implant dentistry, the most comprehensive tooth replacement solution.