Knocking out a tooth can be scary. Whether it happens as a result of an injury or an accident, it can be difficult to know exactly what you need to do to save your tooth, especially while you’re in a state of panic. If your tooth has been knocked out, should you place it back into the socket? Do you need to go directly to the dentist? Read on to find out. When you act calmly and quickly, you can increase the likelihood of keeping your tooth alive long enough so your emergency dentist can help!
Can You Put a Knocked-Out Tooth in Its Socket Yourself?
If you find yourself in a situation when you have a knocked-out tooth, you can and should put it back into its socket if you are able to do so. However, you can’t just get back to your normal activities afterward. This only helps to temporarily keep your tooth alive until you can get to the dental office. Your tooth will not stay in this place permanently without the help of a dental professional.
What Steps Should You Take to Save a Knocked-Out Tooth?
To save your tooth, you should be taking the following steps:
- Locate Your Tooth: You must find your tooth and pick it up by the crown. Don’t touch the root because you don’t want to cause any additional damage to the soft tissue.
- Clean Your Tooth: If you see any dirt, gently rinse it off with water. Don’t use soap to clean it. Avoid scrubbing or drying off the tooth. It needs to be moist for the root to stay alive.
- Put the Tooth in the Socket: If you are able to, you should place the tooth back into the socket where it belongs. Gently push it in with your fingers and hold It in your mouth by softly biting down on it.
- Keep Your Tooth Moist: If you aren’t able to put your tooth back into your mouth, you need to keep it moist in another way. You could hold it in your cheek or place it in a container of milk. Don’t use water because the surface cells of the root cannot tolerate this for long.
- See Your Emergency Dentist: Within an hour, you should see your emergency dentist. If you wait any longer, it will be much less likely that the tooth can be saved.
What If Your Tooth Cannot Be Saved?
If you get to the emergency dentist and your tooth cannot be saved, this doesn’t mean that you will have to go on without a tooth for the rest of your life. With modern dental technology, there are several different tooth replacement options out there. For instance, your dentist may recommend that you get a dental implant or bridge to fill in the gap depending on your needs.
Knocking out a tooth can be scary, but by taking the steps listed above, you can ensure that you continue to show off a complete smile!
About the Author
Dr. A. Gary Goodman is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for more than four decades. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and is committed to continuing education to keep his knowledge and skills sharp. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Dental Association, the Maryland Dental Association, and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. To learn more about emergency dentistry or to schedule an appointment at his office in Annapolis, visit his website or call (410) 263-1919.