It’s estimated that nearly five million teeth are knocked out every year, according to the American Association of Endodontists. If you happen to find yourself in this scary situation, it’s essential that you act quickly and correctly. Handling your knocked-out tooth carelessly can reduce the likelihood that it can be put back in place! Read on as your Greeley emergency dentist explains how to handle a knocked-out tooth.
What to Do If Your Tooth Is Knocked Out
The first thing you should do if you knock out a tooth is call your dentist. Then, locate your tooth if you can. When you pick it up, make sure you only handle it by the top portion (the crown) and avoid touching its roots. The roots of a tooth have very sensitive cells on its surface that need to be kept intact. Since they’re extremely delicate, you need to avoid touching them or exposing them to water, disinfectants, or soaps. Any of these factors can burst the cells and make it much harder for your dentist to reattach the tooth.
The tooth needs to be kept moist in order to stay viable. If you’re able to, carefully position the tooth above its socket and very gently push it into place with your fingers. Then, softly bite down on a piece of clean gauze to hold it in place. Saliva is the best liquid to store your tooth in to keep it healthy until you can reach your Greeley dentist.
What If You Can’t Put the Tooth Back in Its Socket?
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to reinsert a knocked-out tooth. In these situations, you can hold the tooth between your gums and cheeks (just be very careful not to swallow it or bite down on it). Alternatively, you can keep it in a container of saliva or milk. These liquids will help preserve the delicate cells on the roots of your tooth. Never keep a knocked-out tooth in water or mouthwash!
Can a Knocked-Out Tooth Be Saved?
You’ll need to see your dentist within 30 minutes for the best chances of successful reattachment. If the tooth is still viable, they’ll ensure it’s positioned into the socket correctly and connect it to the neighboring teeth with a splint. This will hold the tooth in place and facilitate the healing process. However, if the knocked-out tooth can’t be replaced or if you couldn’t find it, it’s important that you replace it with a dental bridge or implant right away. Leaving gaps in your smile can cause crooked teeth, bite misalignment, and jawbone deterioration.
Hopefully, you’ll never experience a knocked-out tooth. However, it’s always a good idea to know what to do just in case an emergency strikes!
About the Practice
At Greeley Complete Dentistry, we do everything we can to help prevent dental emergencies with routine checkups, excellent preventive care, and early detection of oral health issues. However, we know that accidents happen. That’s why we offer same-day emergency appointments whenever possible should you find yourself with a knocked-out tooth or other dental emergency. We offer nitrous oxide sedation, custom dental bridges, and in-house dental implant placement to help you get back to enjoying your happy, healthy, and complete smile as soon as possible! To learn more, feel free to contact us via our website or at (970) 356-7474.