One of the most traumatic dental injuries a person can experience is having a permanent (“adult”) tooth knocked out. Many knocked-out teeth happen as a result of sports injuries or other accidental blows to the face. The good news is that if proper steps are followed immediately after the tooth is dislodged, it is possible for your Phoenix endodontist to help you save the tooth.
Saving Your Knocked-Out Tooth
- Pick up the tooth by the crown, not the root. It’s essential for the tooth’s survival that you pick up the tooth by the biting surface, not the root.
- Gently clean the tooth if it is dirty … but be careful how you do it. Gently clean the tooth with water. It’s important not to clean the tooth with soap or chemicals, to scrub the knocked-out tooth, or to wipe it with or wrap it in a cloth.
- Keep the tooth moist at all times. The best ways to keep the tooth moist after cleaning it are to keep it in milk, in the contents of an emergency tooth preservation kit such as Save-A-Tooth, or to place it back inside of your mouth.
- Reposition the tooth in its socket if that is possible. The sooner the tooth is replaced, the greater the likelihood it will survive. If you can get the tooth to sit in its socket, hold the tooth in place with fingers or by gently biting down on it.
- See your Phoenix endodontist immediately. Time is of the essence with a knocked-out tooth. The first hour is crucial. If you can get to a Phoenix endodontist within the first 20 minutes for emergency treatment, that’s even better.
Once you arrive at your Phoenix endodontist, he or she will splint the tooth in place and evaluate its condition. The splint may stay in place for up to several weeks. Because the tooth has been knocked out by its roots, he or she may recommend root canal treatment to avoid infection and provide long-term stability for the tooth.
“Don’t assume that if your tooth has been knocked out, it can’t be saved,” says Dr. Susan Wood, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Your Phoenix endodontist can often save your tooth, and it can remain in your mouth for a lifetime.”