Can a Knocked Out Tooth Be Saved?
It may seem rare, but a knocked out tooth can happen more often than you would think. A tooth may be knocked out due to some sort of trauma, such as a sports injury, an accident, a fall, or a blow to the mouth. If you or someone in your household has a knocked out tooth, you may be wondering if it can be saved. Here’s what you need to know.
Fast Action is Required to Save a Knocked Out Tooth
A knocked out tooth may be saved if it is treated as soon as possible. If you or someone in your family has a knocked out tooth, pick it up by the crown only and avoid touching the roots. Rinse the tooth with milk and attempt to put it back in the socket. If you can get it back in the socket successfully, bite down on some sterile gauze and call Heart of Texas Endodontics at 254-778-4400.
If you can’t get the tooth back into the socket, put it in a cup of milk while you call us. During office hours we will make arrangements to see you as soon as possible. After hours follow the instructions provided on our after hours recording and leave a message. Someone will contact you shortly with further instructions.
How Long Can the Tooth Survive Out of the Mouth?
Immediate treatment offers the greatest chance of saving a knocked out tooth. The chances of saving the tooth are still good within 30 minutes of the tooth coming out as long as it is stored in milk, not water. In some cases a tooth can last for up to an hour in milk and still be successfully put back in place.
Treatment For a Knocked Out Tooth
The first step in treating a knocked out tooth is to place it back in the socket. A splint will be used to support the tooth while the support structures heal and tighten back down on the tooth to secure it. A few weeks later, once the gums and jaw bone have healed, the tooth will most likely need a root canal.
Why See an Endodontist For a Knocked Out Tooth?
An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the health of the teeth from the inside, primarily the dental pulp at the center of each tooth. Dental pulp is a soft tissue made up of blood vessels and nerves that sustains the tooth. When a tooth is knocked out there is often damage to the dental pulp that is best treated by an endodontist. Going to an endodontist may increase the chances of saving your tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should you not rinse or store a knocked out tooth in water?
You should never rinse or store the knocked out tooth in water because both tap water and distilled water can cause the cells of the tooth root to break down, preventing it from being viable to put back into the socket.
Why should you avoid touching the roots of the knocked out tooth?
The roots of your teeth are softer than the crown because they don’t have the hard layer of enamel that covers the chewing surface of the tooth. If you pick the tooth up by the roots you could cause irreparable damage that will prevent it from being saved.