How to Treat Knocked Out Tooth?

  • January 10, 2024
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How to Treat Knocked Out Tooth?

What Happens When a Tooth Gets Knocked Out?

An avulsed tooth, also known as a knocked-out tooth, refers to a dental condition where a tooth is entirely dislodged from its socket. This occurrence, commonly associated with accidents or trauma, is considered a dental emergency. Immediate attention is crucial when dealing with an avulsed tooth to enhance the likelihood of successful re-implantation or other necessary dental interventions. Recognized colloquially as a "knocked-out tooth," this condition demands prompt and appropriate care to preserve the tooth and minimize potential complications.

Why Immediate Action Matters

Immediate action is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, the damaged blood vessels and nerves within the tooth can be protected from further harm if re-implantation is attempted promptly. Secondly, the longer the tooth remains outside the socket, the more challenging it becomes to re-establish blood flow and nerve function. Thirdly, the exposed root can quickly dry out, reducing the likelihood of successful re-implantation.

The success of re-implantation depends on the vitality of the tooth and the speed at which it is re-inserted. If treated promptly, there is a higher chance of the body accepting the tooth back into its natural position and allowing for the restoration of blood flow and nerve function.

How to Handle a Knocked-Out Tooth

  1. Pick it up by the Crown, Not the Root: The first step in handling a knocked-out tooth is to pick it up by the crown, the chewing surface. It's crucial to avoid touching the root to prevent damage to the delicate cells necessary for successful re-implantation. Using clean hands or a sterile cloth, gently pick up the tooth.
  2. Rinse, but Don't Scrub: If the tooth is dirty, it can be gently rinsed with milk or saline solution. It's important to avoid using water, soap, or any cleaning agents as these can cause further damage to the exposed root. The goal is to remove dirt without scrubbing or damaging the root surface.
  3. Attempt to Reinsert the Tooth: If possible, try to reinsert the tooth into the socket. Hold it in place by gently biting down on a clean piece of cloth or gauze. This helps keep the tooth in its natural environment, preventing it from drying out and increasing the chances of successful re-implantation.
  4. Keep it Moist: If reinsertion isn't possible, keeping the tooth moist is crucial. Place it in milk or the person's saliva. It's important to avoid storing the tooth in water as water can damage the sensitive cells on the root surface. The ideal solution is to keep it in the person's mouth, between the cheek and gum.