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What to do with a Knocked Out Tooth

Posted on December 27, 2016 by Kochevar Endo

According to the American Association of Endodontists, more than five million teeth are knocked out each year. Five million. That’s a lot of teeth. If you or your children compete in any form of contact sports, you understand the risk. So what do you do with a knocked out tooth? Can it be saved? Of course it can, but acting fast and following important steps on the way to the endodontist is important. After a tooth is knocked out, your goal should be to get to the endodontist or dentist within 30 minutes. Here’s what to do.

Pick up the Tooth

Only pick the tooth up by the crown, and never by the root. Picking a tooth up by the root can damage it. Do not leave the tooth at the site of the accident.

Gently Rinse the Tooth

If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with water.

  • Do not use chemicals
  • Don’t scrub it
  • Do not dry the tooth
  • Don’t wrap the tissue in cloth or paper

Reinsert the Tooth

For your tooth to survive, it must be replaced in its socket as soon as possible. This requires little more than placing the tooth back in its socket. Carefully reinsert the tooth by pushing it back into its socket, or position the tooth above the socket and gently bite down on it to hold it in place. You can also use your fingers to hold it in place. Maintain this connection all the way to the dentist or endodontist.

Keep the Tooth Moist

If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth, there are other ways to preserve it until you reach help. Place the tooth in one of the following:

  • An Emergency Tooth Preservation kit (save-a-tooth kit)
  • A glass of milk
  • In the mouth next to the cheek

Get Help Quickly

Getting to the dentist or endodontist in under 30 minutes is ideal. Saving a tooth beyond an hour after it has been knocked out is possible, however.

Hurry! Don’t wait with a tooth that’s been knocked out. Time is not on your side, but we are. Dental related injuries don’t always occur during business hours, so don’t hesitate to give us a call night or day at 801-282-1651.

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