A knocked out tooth is a serious dental emergency for a child or adult. It is essential to start first aid for knocked out tooth immediately because you can save knocked out teeth with reimplantation if you act fast enough.
If you suspect you sustained other facial injuries like a fractured bone or a concussion, go to the hospital for emergency care.
If you’ve knocked out a tooth without additional injuries, then follow these first aid steps to give yourself the best chance at reimplantation.
First, gently bite down on gauze to control any bleeding in your mouth. Then find the tooth, prepare it for transport, and contact your dentist for an emergency appointment.
First Aid for Knocked Out Tooth: Find and Clean the Tooth
Finding the tooth as quickly as possible is important because every minute it spends out of your mouth, the less likely reimplantation will work. Do not pick it up by the root; only handle it by the crown.
That is the part you can see in your mouth, and the root is the part inside your gums. Touching the root can kill cells essential for reimplantation.
If the tooth has dirt and debris on it, clean it in a bowl of lukewarm water. Do not hold it under running water; rub it with your hands, or use a brush to clean it. All these cleaning methods can damage the root cells you are trying to preserve. Once it is clean, you can prepare it for transit to the dentist.
First Aid for Knocked Out Tooth: Storage for Transportation
The goal of first aid for knocked out tooth is to keep the knocked out tooth viable for reimplantation. Reimplantation is the reconnection of your tooth to its position in the jaw. This is possible if the periodontal ligament cells on the tooth’s root are kept alive.
If the knocked out tooth’s root is fully intact, you can reinsert it into the socket and gently hold it in place with your fingers and gauze during transport. If the root is broken, you can keep the tooth between your gums and cheek. These methods are inappropriate for young children who may accidentally swallow the tooth.
You can also store teeth in milk, unsweetened coconut water, propolis, or an oral rehydration solution (ORS) bought over-the-counter at a pharmacy. Use what you have rather than spending time purchasing a storage solution. Propolis and an ORS are reported to be the best options, but they are not often readily available. Milk and coconut water work for up to three hours after the trauma occurs.
Avoid refrigerated storage solutions if possible. Room temperature solutions are the best choice. If you want to store it in milk, microwave a half cup of milk for 20 seconds to achieve room temperature.
Get to a Dentist Immediately
The sooner you get to a dentist after your dental emergency, the better. The dentist can splint the tooth to adjacent teeth and schedule you for a root canal. If all goes well, the tooth will reimplant successfully. If the tooth loses too many periodontal ligament cells, it is lost permanently, and you may need a dental implant.
Quickly administered first aid is your best chance at keeping your natural tooth.
At Gordon Family Dental, we have emergency dentists who can relieve your pain and administer the appropriate treatment for your injury. Please contact us on (02) 9159 6163 immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing a dental emergency.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Network Meta-Analysis of 10 Storage Mediums for Preserving Avulsed Teeth
Effect of temperature and seven storage media on human periodontal ligament fibroblast viability