Saving a Knocked-Out Tooth

Approximately one to three million permanent teeth are accidentally knocked out each year. Both adults and children are at risk.

With proper emergency action, a tooth that has been entirely knocked out of its socket often can be successfully replanted to last for years. Because of this, it is important to be prepared and know what to do if this happens to you, or someone around you. The key is to act quickly, yet calmly, and to follow these simple steps.

1) Pick up the tooth by the crown (the chewing surface) and not the root. The tooth should be handled carefully – touch only the crown – to minimize injury to the root.

2) Clean tooth with water.
If dirty, gently rinse the tooth with water, remembering not to handle the root surface.
· Do not use soap or chemicals.
· Do not scrub the tooth.
· Do not dry the tooth.
· Do not wrap it in a tissue or cloth.

3) Reposition tooth in socket immediately, if possible.
The sooner the tooth is replaced, the greater the likelihood it will survive. To reinsert, carefully push the tooth into the socket with fingers, or position above the socket and close mouth slowly. Hold the tooth in place with fingers or by gently biting down on it.

4) Keep tooth moist at all times.
The tooth must not be left outside of the mouth to dry. If it cannot be replaced on the socket, put it in one of the following:
· Emergency tooth preservation kit
· Milk
· Mouth (next to cheek)
· If none of these is practical, use water (with a pinch of salt if possible).

5) See a dentist as soon as possible.
Bring the tooth to a dentist or endodontist as soon as possible – ideally within 30 minutes. However, it is possible to save the tooth even if it has been outside the mouth for an hour or more.

On November 2, 2012, posted in: News for Patients by