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I Just Knocked Out My Tooth; What Should I Do Now?

October 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — cordiniperio @ 10:18 pm

A tooth can become dislodged anywhere at any time. In fact, children and adults in America suffer from more than five million teeth being knocked out every year. The good news is that a tooth that becomes dislodged from the gum isn’t necessarily lost. If you act quickly and take the proper steps, you can maximize the chances of your tooth being reimplanted in your mouth. Here are a few steps to take while you make your way to the emergency dentist after you knock out a tooth.

Secure the Tooth

The first step in saving a dislodged tooth is finding it. Always hold the tooth by the top part (called the crown). Never touch the root, as this part of the tooth is full of delicate tissues that will be in shock after being separated from the gum. Injury to these tissues can reduce the chances of successful reimplantation.

Clean the Tooth if It Is Dirty

If the tooth is dirty, gently swish it around in a bowl of lukewarm water. Do not use hot or cold water or soap or other cleaning chemicals, and do not scrub the tooth as doing any of these can cause damage to the sensitive root structure. Do not wrap the tooth in a cloth or tissue, as these materials are too abrasive.

Prepare the Tooth for Safe Transport

The tooth must be kept moist at all times. If you can, reposition the tooth in its socket as soon as possible. Gently push it back into place using your fingers or place it root-downward above the socket and gently bite down on it. Gently hold it in place with your fingers or by keeping your teeth closed on it.

If the tooth cannot be replaced in its socket, try storing it in the cheek or lip. Otherwise, keep it in a container with some saliva or milk. Do not use regular tap water as it can be harsh on the exposed root tissues. Many stores and pharmacies sell emergency tooth preservation kits that can keep a dislodged tooth in reimplantable condition for up to twenty-four hours, so you might want to stock up on some if you’re putting together a first-aid kit.

Get to Your Emergency Dentist

Ideally, you’ll get to your dentist’s office within thirty minutes, but it is possible to save a dislodged tooth if it has been displaced for an hour or more. It’s best to have your emergency dentist in your contacts list ahead of time, so if you are making plans for a vacation, you might want to find the contact information of a reputable dental office. Give the office a call to let them know you are coming as you start heading that way.

A dislodged tooth can often be saved if you act quickly and know what to do. Keeping a cool head in a stressful situation can help you attain the best possible result.

About the Author

Dr. Franco Cordini graduated from Creighton University School of Dentistry before completing extensive specialist training in periodontics at the University of Louisville. He has been in practice for more than twenty years and currently serves patients from his office in Louisville, KY. Areas of expertise include dental implants, periodontal treatments, wisdom tooth extractions, and emergency dentistry. If you have knocked out a tooth, dial (502) 425-5010, or contact the office online to schedule an appointment.

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