Visiting the dentist is typically planned far in advance, but at certain times you might experience a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. If your tooth is knocked out, the pain and bleeding can be quite overwhelming, thus it's vital that you seek medical help straight away. If you see the dentist quickly enough, it's quite possible that your tooth can even be preserved and re-implanted in your mouth. Read on to learn what to do when your tooth is knocked out.
Collect the Tooth
Collect the tooth immediately, using the fingertips to handle the tooth only by the crown -- avoid touching the tooth roots at all costs. If your tooth has landed in the dirt or has otherwise become dirty, you can rinse it off in lukewarm water whilst holding it gently.
Place the Tooth Back Into the Socket
Victoria State Government's Better Health Channel calls the chances for saving a knocked out tooth "excellent," as long as it's re-implanted in the socket straight away. Hold the tooth by the crown whilst you gently guide it back into its socket. Your tooth will likely be quite wobbly, but if at all possible, keep it in the socket until you're able to reach the dentist's office. The exception to this rule: baby teeth. If it's a baby tooth, simply read below to learn how to preserve the tooth.
Preserve the Tooth
If you're unable to place the tooth back into the socket, preserve it by dropping it into a cup of full cream cow's milk. Other types of milk don't contain the preservatives that full cream cow's milk offers. Although these preservatives are only effective for a short while, they can keep your tooth alive and healthy whilst you're en route to the dentist's office. This can allow you up to an hour to visit the dentist so the tooth can be saved.
See the Dentist
The dentist can often save your knocked out tooth -- but time is running out from the moment the tooth is dislodged. Phone your dentist to let them know you're en route with an urgent issue. This allows your dentist sufficient time to prepare for the appropriate treatment, and it allows the office staff time to place you on the daily schedule.
As long as you're cautious and react swiftly to a knocked out tooth, your chances of keeping a full smile are good. Contact your dentist to learn more about handling a knocked out tooth today.