How traumatic to have your permanent tooth knocked out! If it is still intact, try your best to save it. While the success rate is highest in children, some adults have managed to salvage their avulsed teeth as well.
In an avulsed tooth, the blood vessels, nerves and other supporting tissues will be damaged. You will thus need a root canal procedure. The good news is that once replaced in its socket, the roots of the knocked out tooth may become reattached to the underlying bone! To increase your chances of saving the tooth, it is vital that you get to the dentist as soon as possible, preferably within 30 minutes. Here are some tips :
- Handle the tooth with care.
- Avoid touching the tooth root(s) as it is easily damaged.
- Rinse the tooth with either milk (preferred) or water. Hold the upper part of the tooth when rinsing.
- Do not wipe the tooth any fabric, kitchen towel or tissue as this can damage the tooth.
- Keep the tooth moist. Your options are to :
- Gently slip the tooth back into its socket, ensuring that it is facing the right way. Do not use force.
- Place the tooth in your mouth, between the cheek and gum.
Please note that the first 2 options are highly effective but are choking hazards; they are not suitable for young children and the elderly.
- Alternatively, you can keep your tooth in either of the following, in order of preference :
- A container of milk
- A container of saliva
- A container of water
- Get to the dentist as soon as possible. Call the clinic on the way so arrangements can be made for you to be seen promptly.