Can a Knocked-Out Tooth Be Saved? An Emergency Dentist Explains
July 6, 2020
You’re riding your bike one sunny morning to get some fresh air during quarantine. Out of nowhere, you hit a bump in the road and fall face-first into the gravel. As you start to get up, you notice that the impact knocked out one of your front teeth! You start to panic. You’ve heard that a knocked-out tooth can be saved, but you’re not exactly sure what to do. The most important thing is to remain calm and call your emergency dentist right away. Keep reading to learn more about how your tooth can be saved.
What to Do If Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out
Locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown, which is the portion that is normally visible above the gumline. Gently rinse it off with water, taking care to not scrub it or remove any tissue particles that may still be attached. Ideally, you should place the tooth back into its socket by inserting it and then slowly biting down. If this isn’t possible, hold the tooth in either a container of milk, or the space between your gums and your cheek. Avoid storing the tooth in tap water, as that can harm it. Then, call your emergency dentist immediately. Your tooth has the highest chance of being saved if you get treatment within the hour.
How You Can Manage Pain
In many cases, dislodging a tooth can be painful. Use a gauze pad or piece of cloth to curb bleeding, switching it out if it gets soaked. Applying a cold compress to your cheek can mitigate both pain and swelling. Just don’t hold it there for more than 10 minutes at a time. You could also take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen to alleviate your discomfort. Your dentist might prescribe more pain medication as well.
How Your Dentist Can Treat a Knocked-Out Tooth
If you can reach your dentist’s office quickly, there’s a high chance your tooth can be saved. Often, the tooth will require a root canal, but that’s significantly better than losing the tooth entirely.
In the event that the tooth can’t be saved, you have plenty of options to replace it. Most dentists will recommend placing a dental implant and restoring it with a crown. This solution replaces the tooth from the root up, resulting in a prosthetic tooth that feels as natural as it looks. A dental bridge could also be used to literally “bridge” the gap in your smile. If several teeth got knocked out, you might be a candidate for a partial denture. Your dentist will evaluate your unique situation and determine which options works best for you.
If you knock out a tooth, that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be saved. As long as you contact your emergency dentist quickly and remain calm, odds are you can get through the ordeal with your whole smile still intact.
About the Author
Dr. Bita Kamali earned her dental doctorate from Baylor College of Dentistry in 2000. She has the expertise needed to save knocked-out teeth, and her office will schedule you in for an emergency appointment as soon as possible when you call. She even offers sedation options to soothe your nerves during this stressful situation. If your tooth has been dislodged, contact Dr. Kamali at (972) 818-1300.