A knocked out tooth can be a frightening experience, for children and parents. But knowing what to do can help make dental emergencies like this less stressful. If this happens to your child, here are the right steps to take for your child’s health and safety, and for the best chance of saving the tooth.
1. Baby Tooth or Permanent Tooth?
The first step is to determine whether the tooth is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth. Baby teeth cannot be put back in the socket because there is a risk of damage to the permanent tooth beneath it. However, it is safe to put a permanent tooth back in the socket when possible.
2. Carefully Handle the Tooth
When handling the knocked out tooth, only touch the crown of the tooth. Don’t touch the root at all to avoid damaging it.
3. Clean the Tooth
Holding the tooth by the crown, if there is large visible debris (grass, soil, etc), gently remove but do not scrub the root surface.
4. Put a Permanent Tooth Back in the Socket
If it is a permanent tooth, attempt to put the tooth back into the socket. If you can get it into place, bite down on some sterile gauze or a clean cloth and call your dentist.
5. Store the Tooth Safely
If the tooth is a baby tooth or if you can’t get a permanent tooth back in the socket, place it in a cup or container of milk or saliva. Adults may be able to hold the tooth in their mouth between their cheek and gums, taking care to avoid swallowing it. You can also purchase a tooth preservation kit to have on hand in case this situation arises.
6. Call Your Dentist
A knocked out tooth is a dental emergency, and timing is crucial. During regular office hours call Marigold Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics at 973-821-7161 and we will see you as soon as possible. After hours please, follow the instructions to leave a voicemail and someone will contact you shortly to provide assistance or go to your nearest Emergency Department.
Frequently Asked Questions About Knocked Out Teeth
How long can a tooth be out of the mouth and still be saved?
Ideally the tooth should not be out of the mouth longer than 30 minutes for it to be saved. But if a tooth is properly stored in milk or saliva, it may still be viable for up to an hour.
How is a knocked out tooth treated?
If the tooth can be put back in the socket, it will be splinted to the other teeth for stabilization while the jaw bone and gums heal and tighten around the tooth again. After a few weeks to a month the tooth should be stable again and the support structures should be healed.
Why Choose Marigold Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics?
When it comes to dental emergencies, you need a pediatric dentist with the experience necessary to handle the situation with the best chance of saving the tooth. Marigold Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics frequently handles dental emergencies with the utmost compassion and a calm demeanor. We put children and parents at ease, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.
In case of a dental emergency, call 973-821-7161. During our normal office hours we will see you as soon as possible. If a dental emergency occurs after hours please follow the instructions to leave a voicemail and someone will contact you shortly to provide assistance.