If your tooth has been knocked out, call your dentist’s office immediately. How quickly you can receive treatment is one of the determining factors in saving your tooth, particularly within the first 30 minutes.
To preserve the tooth until you can receive treatment, you should:
- Touch only the crown of the tooth. Do NOT touch the roots.
- Gently rinse the tooth to clean it. We recommend rinsing with milk. If no milk is available, use water. Do NOT wipe it off with a washcloth, shirt, or other fabric. Do NOT try to remove attached tissue fragments. This could damage the tooth and make it impossible to replace in the socket.
- If possible, try to place the tooth back into its socket, or store it in the mouth. Apply gentle pressure by biting down on a cloth or gauze to keep the tooth in place. Do NOT try to force the tooth back into the socket. If the tooth will not go in, just keep it moist and get to your dentist and soon as possible.
- If you cannot place the tooth back into your mouth, keep it in a plastic bag or a cup with milk, a saline solution, or your saliva. Keeping the tooth moist will allow your dentist to place the tooth back into the socket. Do NOT place the tooth into tissue paper.
- When you call your dentist, give as much details as possible about your situation. If you cannot get in for an immediate appointment, go to the nearest emergency room with your tooth.
Your dentist will splint the knocked-out tooth to the teeth on either side of it with a soft wire or composite material to hold the tooth in place for several days. If the bone around the tooth is intact, the root will reattach to the bone in 3-4 weeks. If damage was sustained, you may require 6-8 weeks of time for repair. Your dentist will examine the tooth again in 3-6 months, and will follow up for the next 2-3 years to ensure that the tooth re-implanted successfully.
If the tooth can be placed back into the socket by your dentist within the hour, you may be able to save the tooth. Further treatment for your tooth will depend on how long the tooth was out of the mouth.