Trips, falls, sports mishaps, and other accidents all carry the risk of causing a knocked-out tooth in Plymouth, MA. If that happens to you, it is important that you take prompt action. Your quick thinking will increase the chance that your dentist can successfully replant the teeth and spare you from suffering a brand new gap in your smile. What exactly should you do? In this blog post, we will discuss five practical steps you can take.
1. Carefully Pick up the Tooth and Call Your Dentist
You should not automatically assume that your tooth is a lost cause. Locate it, and gently pick it up — but be sure that you only touch its crown (the part that you normally see above the gumline). Tooth roots tend to be more sensitive and vulnerable to damage.
While you are searching for the tooth, ask a friend or family member to call your dentist and tell them what happened. Your dental team will provide personalized first-aid advice and make room in their schedule to see you ASAP.
2. Rinse off Any Debris
If there is visible debris on the tooth, rinse it off with water. Do not use soap or other cleaning agents, and do not scrub the tooth or rub it with a towel. The goal is to clean the tooth as gently as possible.
3. Put the Tooth Back In Its Socket
Still handling the tooth only by its crown, attempt to replace it in its socket. You can gently push it in with your fingers, or position it above the socket and then slowly close your mouth. Hold the tooth in place by gently biting down.
4. Keep the Tooth Moist
If you find it difficult to place the tooth back in its socket, do not attempt to force it in. Instead, use other means to keep the tooth moist. You can store it in a glass of milk. Or, you can purchase a tooth preservation kit from a nearby pharmacy. Use plain tap water only as a last resort because tooth root surface cells cannot tolerate it for an extended period of time.
5. Head to Your Dentist
After your tooth gets knocked out, you have a limited timeframe in which it may be possible to replant it. In most cases, your window of opportunity is one or two hours. When you arrive at the dental office, your emergency dentist in Plymouth will quickly assess the situation and do what they can to mitigate your pain. Then, they may splint the tooth into its socket. The splint will stay in your mouth for several weeks, after which it will be removed and, hopefully, your tooth will once again be a functioning member of your smile.
A knocked-out tooth isn’t necessarily lost forever. Following the above steps will increase the chances that it can be saved.
About the Author
Dr. Steve Aveni has more than 40 years of experience in dentistry. During his accomplished career, he has helped countless emergency patients find fast pain relief. If you have questions about how to handle a knocked-out tooth or other dental problems, he would be pleased to assist you. Contact our office at 508-812-7692.