More than five million teeth are knocked out every year in children and adults. Many knocked-out teeth happen as a result of sports injuries or other accidental blows to the face. The good news is that if proper steps are followed immediately after the tooth is dislodged, it is possible for Dr. Elkhal to help you save the tooth!
Steps to saving a knocked-out tooth:
- Pick up the tooth by the crown (the chewing surface) NOT the root, the tooth should be handled carefully.
- If dirty, gently rinse the tooth with water.
Do not: use soap or chemicals, scrub the tooth, dry the tooth, wrap the tooth in a tissue or cloth.
- Reposition the tooth in the socket immediately, if possible.
The sooner the tooth is replaced, the greater the likelihood it will survive. To reinsert, carefully push the tooth into the socket with your fingers, or position above the socket and close your mouth slowly. Hold the tooth in place with your fingers or by gently biting down on it.
- Keep the tooth moist at all times.
The tooth must not be left outside the mouth to dry. If it cannot be replaced in the socket, put it in one of the following:
- Emergency tooth preservation kit (such as “Hanks Balanced salt solution”)
- Mouth (next to cheek)
Regular tap water is not recommended for long-term storage because the root surface cells do not tolerate water for long periods of time.
- See Dr. Elkhal within 30 minutes of the injury.
Bring the tooth with you to your emergency appointment ideally, within 30 minutes. However, it is possible to save a tooth even if it has been outside the mouth for an hour or more.