A knocked-out tooth, known as an avulsed tooth, is an unexpected but common occurrence that requires a visit to an emergency dentist. This most often occurs due to an injury or trauma. Patients who have an avulsed tooth need to take proper care to ensure it can be saved and reattached with no issues.
What to do when a permanent tooth is knocked out
Patients who have a knocked-out tooth should carefully pick the tooth up by the crown only. It is vitally important to avoid touching the root as this can cause irreparable damage, and reattachment may no longer be an option. Sometimes the tooth may have soil or blood on it, and it can be tempting to clean it off. Instead, lightly splash a little water over it but do not enclose it in any material or packing.
If possible, return the tooth to its home in the socket and keep it in place by lightly pressing down on gauze with your finger or other teeth. If the tooth cannot be held in the socket, it is important to keep it moist. This can be achieved by storing it in a small container with milk or putting it in the inside of the cheek. Patients should avoid storing the tooth in tap water since this can damage the root surface cells and may prevent replantation.
By following these steps before going to an emergency dentist, patients increase the chances of having the tooth reattached.
Emergency care is essential
Time is of the essence when a tooth has been knocked out. The sooner a patient can get into the dentist, the better the chance becomes for replantation. Patients should try to see an emergency dentist within 30 minutes of the accident for the best possibility of reattachment. However, it is still possible for the tooth to be replanted within a few hours after it has been knocked out.
The dentist will be able to put the tooth back in the socket and position a splint to help keep it in place.
Replacement options provide alternative solutions
There are certain times a knocked-out tooth is unable to be reattached, particularly when it has been damaged beyond repair. If this occurs, many replacement teeth options are available. The most common include implants, bridges, and crowns.
What to do if a baby tooth is knocked out
Parents of young children may be alarmed by an avulsed baby tooth and wonder if their child needs to see an emergency dentist. A baby tooth that has been knocked out will typically not require immediate care as long as any bleeding and pain are minimal. Parents can make a regular appointment for an exam.
An avulsed permanent tooth is a dental emergency that needs to be addressed immediately. By taking proper care of the tooth and getting to an emergency dentist as soon as possible, patients may often be able to have it reattached. If it cannot be saved, there are replacement options available for restoration.
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