When the sidewalks and roads are icy, it’s easy to take a spill and injure a tooth. In fact, more than five million teeth are knocked out each year between both children and adults. With proper emergency care, a tooth that has been knocked out of its socket can be successfully replanted and last for years.
Our experts here at Wildwood Dental are chiming in to share these five steps to saving a knocked-out tooth:
Locate the Tooth
Search the injury site to recover the tooth, and handle it very carefully. Touch only the crown (the top part used for chewing) to minimize injury to the root.
Avoid soaps and do not scrub it or dry the tooth. Scrubbing can damage root cells that are needed to re-implant the tooth in the jawbone. Additionally, do not wrap the tooth in a tissue or cloth, as this can dry it out.
Reposition the Tooth
The sooner the tooth is replaced, the greater chance 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 It Moist
The tooth must not be left outside the mouth to dry. If it cannot be replaced in the socket, cover it completely with milk, or inside your mouth, next to your cheek.
Try to visit us 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.
Losing teeth is a normal part of life. If you follow these steps, Drs. Beck and Kim can reattach the lost permanent tooth or provide a cosmetic solution.