HANDLING THE DISLODGED TOOTH
When a tooth gets dislodged, pick it up carefully by the crown (the part of the tooth that is usually visible). Avoid touching the root as you rinse it carefully with clean water or saline solution. You can use your saliva to clean the tooth.
Do not scrub it or attempt to remove any attached ligaments. This can reduce the chances of successful reattachment of the tooth. Avoid using soap, bleach, or any cleaning products that can damage the cells on the tooth.
PLACING THE TOOTH IN THE SOCKET
If you can, gently insert the tooth in the socket to hold it in place. If you can hold it there until you get to the emergency room, it will improve the chances of successful reattachment. If you are unsure how to put the tooth back in, leave it be and wait until you get to the dentist.
Attempting to reimplant the tooth is only necessary for a permanent tooth. If you are dealing with a baby tooth, trying to reattach it can damage the permanent tooth underneath. If the dislodged tooth is broken, pick up the pieces to ensure you have the entire tooth.
KEEPING THE TOOTH MOIST
If you need to transport the tooth outside the mouth:
- Place it in the right solution. The tooth should remain moist to keep it healthy and ensure the best results
- If you cannot insert the tooth in the socket, place it in a salt solution
- If you do not have a tooth-preserving system solution handy, place it in a container with milk
Milk is biologically compatible with tooth material, making it an ideal solution for keeping periodontal cells healthy. Avoid using pure water as it can lead to the death of the cells. Do not dry the tooth or store it in a tissue or towel.
GET TO THE EMERGENCY CENTER
Get to the emergency room as quickly as possible for dental care. The dentist will determine if the tooth is in good condition and viable to return to full function. Dental X-rays will help determine if optimum healing will occur.
The dentist will attach or splint the tooth next to the adjacent tooth for proper immobilization and support. If the tooth was outside the mouth for over 20 minutes, the dentist might soak it in a solution. The tooth will remain in the salt solution for about 30 minutes. It is treated with an antibiotic before reattachment.
The dentist may prescribe antibiotics after the procedure. It is not possible to sterilize the tooth before reattachment. It means some bacteria may get into the body through the teeth. Antibiotics, and maybe a tetanus shot where necessary, will help prevent infections. It is possible to save a tooth outside the mouth for one hour. However, it is best to get emergency care within 30 minutes.
For more on what to do when a tooth gets knocked out, visit Sand Lake Dental at our office in Orlando, Florida. Call (407) 355-0608 to book an appointment today.