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I Just Knocked Out a Tooth; What Now?

August 11, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — ornelasdental @ 8:28 pm

While everyone would rather avoid knocking out a tooth, nobody can anticipate when it’s going to happen—meaning that it’s important to understand what to do if it happens. A tooth’s chances of being saved begin to fall shortly after being separated from the mouth, so you’ll need to act fast if it ever happens to you. Ideally, you will get the tooth to an emergency dentist within one hour of it being dislodged. Here are some steps for taking care of your tooth after it gets knocked out and transporting it to the dentist’s office.

Handling the Tooth

The first rule of handling a dislodged tooth is to never touch the root, which contains sensitive tissues that need to be protected if the tooth is to be salvaged. Take care to handle the tooth by the crown and never wrap it in a cloth. If the tooth is dirty, swish it around in a bowl of lukewarm water. Cleaning it with running water, hot or cold water, or with chemical cleaning agents can damage the delicate tissues in the root.

Storing and Transporting the Tooth

Now that you know how to pick up and clean your tooth, you must get it to the dentist. If you can, you will want to place it root-downward in its socket and hold it in place with your fingers or by biting down on some gauze. If this won’t work, do not force it; instead, try storing it within a lip or a cheek, in a container with some saliva, or in a cup of milk. Many pharmacies carry special products that can keep a lost tooth in savable condition for up to twenty-four hours, so you might want to include some in your first-aid kit.

Getting to the Emergency Dentist

Your dentist is well-prepared to deal with dislodged teeth and can reimplant them in the mouth if they can do so in time. Give their office a call to let them know you’re coming before you start making your way there. It’s best to know where the dentist is ahead of time and have the front desk’s phone number in your address book. If it’s after hours, the emergency room can provide you with pain relief and can help keep your tooth in a savable condition until it can be brought to a dental office.

Dislodging an adult tooth is a frightening crisis, but it is one that can be resolved. By knowing what to do ahead of time, you can get a dislodged tooth to the dentist sooner and experience a much better outcome!

About the Author

Dr. Joe Ornelas earned his dental doctorate at the Indiana University School of Dentistry and stays up to date in the field by continuing his education and participating in local dental societies and study clubs. He is currently a member of the American Dental Association, the Indiana Dental Association, and the Master Series Study Club. His office in Crown Point, IN provides preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. If you have knocked out a tooth and need help, dial (219) 663-2892, or to schedule a dental appointment, contact his office online.

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