If an adult tooth has been knocked out completely, we might still be able to have it reattached. You’ll need to see a dentist preferably within the next hour after your injury. To give yourself the best chance of keeping your natural adult tooth after it’s fully removed, follow these steps:
- Be very gentle with the knocked out tooth as it can be damaged easily, especially the delicate root surface. In fact, avoid touching the root surface at all, if possible. The best first aid is to put it right back into the hole it’s just come from! The quicker the tooth gets back into the socket, the better the long-term outcome.
- Gently rinse the tooth with water if it needs cleaning. Don’t scrub or use chemicals when cleaning your lost tooth.
- Reposition the tooth in its socket if you can. If not, make sure to keep the tooth moist in your cheek or a glass of milk.
- If the tooth won’t go back in for any reason into the socket, NEVER FORCE IT, it’s important to keep the tooth’s root from drying out. Gently wrap the tooth in plastic to prevent drying out, and fully immerse the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium if readily available. Once that’s done, try to get to your dentist or oral health professional, or hospital emergency department, as soon as possible to see about getting that tooth replanted and stabilised.
- Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.
If a baby tooth is knocked out, do not attempt to replace it. Re-implanting a knocked out baby tooth may cause damage to the developing adult tooth. Try to get to your dentist or oral health professional, or hospital emergency department, as soon as possible.