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First Aid for Knocked Out Teeth: What You Need to Know

August 11, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — cstonedentalfargo @ 6:19 pm
A child with a knocked out tooth crying

There are few common experiences that seem quite as frightening as having a tooth knocked out of its socket. Blows to the face, car accidents, or trauma from contact sports like football are all culprits for tooth avulsion (the medical term for a forcefully removed tooth).

So how would you weather such an event? Without knowledge or training, your first instinct would probably be to panic! As with most emergency situations, this would only make the problem worse. You need to see your dentist right away.

Continue reading for an anti-panic checklist that will help you get through this traumatic experience with confidence and keep your smile looking bright.

Step 1: Find the Tooth

The first step is arguably the most important. Once your tooth has been knocked out, you’ll need to locate it and assess your situation.

If the tooth is still intact, hold it by the top (crown) and rinse it with milk or tap water to clean it off. Do not use disinfectant or anything that would dry the tooth out.

If you find only a piece of the tooth, keep it for later and rinse it in the same way.

If you cannot find the tooth, it’s possible you may have swallowed it. If you suspect this may be the case, your dentist will be able to give you an x-ray to locate it.

Step 2: Store the Tooth for Transport

The first thirty minutes are critical to the success of your tooth’s reimplantation and recovery. If possible, you’ll need to reinsert the tooth into the socket after it has been rinsed. Gently hold the tooth by the crown and push the root back into the socket, biting down slightly on some cotton gauze or a moistened tea bag to hold it in place.

If you’re too afraid to put the tooth back into the socket, you can hold it in your cheek to keep it moist and in its natural environment, or you can put it in a container of whole milk.

Step 3: Schedule an Emergency Dental Appointment

Once the tooth has been stored, it’s time to pick up the phone and call the dentist for an emergency appointment. The faster you see your dentist, the better the odds that your tooth will be successfully reimplanted.

After the first thirty minutes, the odds of restoring the natural tooth go down, but some patients have had a successful reimplantation after an hour.

Your dentist will take x-rays and treat any injuries to your face before assessing your tooth and placing it back into the socket if you had not done so yourself.

Step 4: Practice Aftercare for Your Tooth

After seeing your dentist, there is a possibility that you may not need additional follow-up appointments, but if the tooth is still loose or becomes unbearably painful, you’ll need to go back.

Your dentist will be able to splint the tooth if it’s loose, attaching it temporarily to the adjacent teeth until it successfully takes hold into its original position again. They can also check for infection or perform additional treatment, as necessary.

For the first few days after your tooth is recovering, it’s a good idea to focus on softer foods to ensure there’s no re-injury. You should also brush around the affected area gently and rinse with warm, salty water or medicated mouth rinse.

Accidents happen, and knocking out a tooth can be distressing. However, with this checklist and some swift action, you can improve your chances of saving your tooth and preserving your smile. Always consult your dentist for a professional assessment after an incident. Getting your tooth into the right hands at the right time can make all the difference.

About the Practice

Dr. Stacy Goodwill and Dr. Jessica Majidian are your friendly and professional dentists at Cornerstone Dental. Dr. Goodwill is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and a Fellow in the International Dental Implant Association, the premier professional organization for implant prosthetics. Dr. Majidian graduated with high distinction and was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society. She is a proud member of SPEAR Education. To schedule emergency dental care or make an appointment for treatment, visit the website here or call (701) 237-3583.

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