Tooth Knocked Out? How to Handle a Dental Injury

tooth knocked outHaving a tooth knocked out can be terrifying. But as long as you know what to do in the situation, there’s no need to panic.

Calmly following the proper steps will improve the chances that you can keep your tooth.

Handle Your Tooth Carefully

Once you realize you’ve lost a tooth, try to recover it right away. Even if it’s damaged, there’s a chance you can save it.

Pick up your tooth by the crown. Tooth roots are covered with tiny fibers, ligaments and tissues that keep the tooth attached to gums. If you handle the root, you could accidentally destroy many of these tissues. Without those fibers, the tooth can’t reattach to the socket.

Stop the Bleeding

You may experience a good deal of bleeding from the empty socket. Rinse your mouth very gently with mild water. Bite firmly on gauze packs or bags of black tea to encourage clotting.

Clean the Tooth

Check your tooth for debris and loose pieces of broken bone or tooth. Rinse your tooth in a bowl of lukewarm or cool water. Don’t use hot water, running water, or any soap and don’t scrub your tooth.

Holding it by the crown, move the tooth gently in the water to loosen dirt or other debris. Cleaning your tooth roughly could scrub off some of those root fibers.

Try to reinsert your tooth back into the socket, if possible.

Store the Tooth

If you can’t get the tooth back in, you must keep it safe to increase the odds of it successfully reattaching.

Place your tooth in a container of milk or even saliva. Some sports facilities and First-Aid packages may have special kits like Save-a-ToothⓇ. Don’t use plain tap water since that can kill the living fibers on the tooth root.

As a last resort, tuck the tooth securely in your mouth between the inside of your cheek and the side of your jaw. The important thing is to keep your tooth moist and clean.

See a Dentist

The next crucial step is visiting a dentist as soon as possible, preferably within a half hour.

A dentist like Dr. Satnick will check your tooth’s condition, cleanse your mouth, and gently reinsert your tooth into the socket.

Treating a Knocked-Out Tooth

Trauma that dislodges a tooth can also cause permanent damage to the nerve inside it. Replacing the tooth immediately encourages it to reattach, but more is needed to keep it alive.

Dr. Satnick may recommend that you have a root canal. In some cases, a root canal should be done right away.

Most dislodged teeth will need a root canal after being successfully reinserted into the gums. However, young people with teeth that are still developing may not need endodontic therapy.

The next time you or your child get a tooth knocked out, you’ll know exactly what to do. Knowing who to contact in a dental emergency is another important way you can prepare. For reliable emergency tooth repair in Ventura, call Dr. David Satnick DMD.


 Schedule an appointment with Ventura dentist Dr. David Satnick, DDS, or for more information call 805.639.3050 now!

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