A tooth can get knocked out from a blow or an accident. It happens to children all the time but knowing how to handle a dental emergency is very important. When the entire tooth is knocked out, it is said to have avulsed. Avulsed tooth needs immediate and prompt treatment .If action is taken quickly preferably within 30 minutes there is a chance to save the tooth.
Emergency action can save the avulsed tooth so that it can be replanted successfully and last for years to come. What can be done if a tooth gets knocked off?
- Locate the tooth at the accident site and pick it up by the crown (the chewing surface) and NOT the root.
- If dirty, gently rinse the tooth with water. The tooth should never be scrubbed or washed with any soap or chemicals. It should be very gently handled to preserve the cells on the root surface.
- Try to reposition the tooth into the socket immediately, if possible. Push it in with your fingers slowly and hold it in place by biting down on it.
- If repositioning is not possible, or you are unable to do it, store the tooth in cold milk (do not use flavored milk). When milk is not available, place the tooth in the child’s mouth (between the cheeks and gums). Be very careful and do not let the child swallow the tooth.
- Milk teeth cannot be replanted. This holds good only for permanent tooth.
- Do not use regular water for storage of the tooth as the root surface cells gets destroyed.
- See a dental surgeon within 30 minutes of the injury.
If you cannot find a knocked-out tooth, it is still important to see a dentist as soon as possible. The tooth, whether permanent or milk tooth, might be pushed up into the gums and would need to be re-positioned.