Can a Knocked Out Tooth Be Saved?

Can a Knocked Out Tooth Be Saved?

Team Dental Trauma

Accidents happen. You might be playing sports with friends, accidentally slip at home, or suffer some kind of injury when you least expect it. Sometimes, those injuries will knock out a tooth. Baby teeth are meant to fall out, so there’s no need to worry about saving it. However, what do you do if you accidentally knock out a grown adult tooth?

The good news is that in many cases, adult teeth can be saved! However, there are a few steps you should keep in mind, suggestions that will greatly increase the odds of saving your knocked out tooth. We highly recommend memorizing or saving this page, because these tips will mean the difference in whether you can reinsert your knocked out tooth or are forced to replace it.

Prepare for the worst with a emergency tooth preservation kit

Before we go into the key steps to help you save your knocked out tooth, we highly recommend keeping an emergency tooth preservation kit in your home or motor vehicle. These kits come with special liquid that you can use to clean and store your tooth until you make it to a dentist. Emergency tooth preservation kits are both small and affordable, so always try to keep one on hand to greatly increase the odds of saving teeth if they are knocked out. 

Step #1: Retrieve and clean the tooth

If you or someone you’re taking care of has lost a tooth by accident, retrieve it as quickly as possible. However, for this and the remaining steps, only handle the tooth by the crown. If you touch the roots, you risk contaminating or damaging them, making it even more difficult to save the knocked out tooth.

After retrieving the tooth, gently wash it off with water. Do not use soap or chemicals, and do not try to dry the tooth off or wrap it with a towel or paper. Your goal is to simply clean the tooth of dirt and other contaminants without damaging the tooth any further.

Step #2: Attempt to Reinsert the tooth

Depending on how the tooth was knocked out, you may be able to reinsert it. Open your mouth and gently reinsert the tooth by biting down on it or pushing it back in place. It’s okay if the open socket is bleeding, but do not try to force the tooth back in if reinserting it is very painful. If you’re helping someone who is younger or nervous, you may want to hold off trying to reinsert the tooth until you meet with a professional.

Step #3: Keep tooth moist and head to the dentist

If you cannot reinsert the tooth, then store it in your emergency tooth preservation kit if you have one. If you do not, fill a cup with milk and place your tooth in it. While it is important to try and keep your tooth as moist as possible, do not store your tooth in tap water. The chemicals used to treat tap water will damage the surface roots of your tooth, making it harder to save your knocked out tooth.

Try to go to your dental specialist as soon as possible. Ideally, you want to try and get in for an emergency dental visit within 30 minutes of losing your tooth. However, if it takes longer than 30 minutes to see a dentist, don’t lose hope. By following the above suggestions you may be able to save your tooth even if it takes hours to see a specialist, though every minute that passes does decrease the chance of successfully saving your knocked out tooth.

Rely on Lindenwold Dental Center for professional dental care

Are you a resident of or live near Lindenwold, New Jersey? If so, then you should consider visiting our offices for expert dental care. We’re happy to help in the event of a dental emergency, but we can provide our best services and oral treatments if you have an appointment. This includes a range of restorative, cosmetic, and general dentistry services that will help you achieve your perfect smile.

Contact us today if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment here at Lindenwold Dental Center!