Having a tooth knocked out can be a painful and shocking experience, but the actions you take during this time are extremely important. If the situation is handled well, there's a good chance that you'll be able to keep your tooth and can avoid a time-consuming and possibly expensive replacement dental implant. Whether your tooth has just been knocked out or you want to know what to do in case it ever is, read on to learn what steps you should take to preserve your tooth.
Save and Protect Tooth
The first thing you must do to have a chance at keeping your tooth is to protect it once it's knocked out. If your tooth is still partially connected to your gums, leave it where it is — it's right where it needs to be. However, if the tooth is completely dislodged and out of your mouth, you'll need to take steps to keep the root alive.
Knocked out teeth should be dusted off and kept in a container with milk. Milk has the same pH level that your mouth normally does, so it can support and protect the root of the tooth, which is essential for it to be put back in your mouth. Avoid water at all costs, as the pH level can potentially harm the tooth root.
Use Dental Adhesive/Put It Back In
Ideally, the milk should only be a temporary solution until you can put the tooth back into your mouth. If your jaw bone is damaged or broken or a portion of the tooth is still in your jaw, you should skip this step. If the tooth cleanly came out, however, you should attempt to put it back in the socket it came from.
Putting your tooth back in will allow the root of the tooth to not only be protected, but to receive necessary nutrients and blood flow from the gums. While it's not a permanent fix, this step can prolong the life of your tooth and increase the odds of being able to use it once you get to a dentist.
Visit Your Dentist Immediately
Once you've carefully looked after your tooth, get to a dentist right away. Every minute counts when it comes to restoring your tooth, as the longer it's out, the more likely the root of the tooth is to die. Once the root has died, you'll have no choice but to go with a dental implant as a replacement.
Having a tooth knocked out can be unpleasant, but finding out that your tooth can potentially be restored is probably a pleasant surprise. With these steps and a visit to your dentist, your own tooth will be back to normal in no time.