5 steps to handle a knocked out tooth


When yours or yours child’s tooth is knocked out, don’t panic. Instead, follow these five steps to improve the chances that the tooth can be salvaged. When a tooth has been knocked out, time is of the essence.

The goal is to be able to keep the tooth alive and the ligaments re-attachable.

1. Handle a knocked out tooth with extreme care and gentleness. Avoid touching the root of the tooth and handle it by the crown only. This will reduce damage to the root, which is essential.

2. Keep the knocked out tooth clean. If it is dirty then rinse it in water. Avoid any chemicals, soaps, and scrubbing. Do not wrap the tooth in a towel or tissue not should it be pat dry.

3. Insert the knocked out tooth immediately back in the socket. It is essential to put the tooth back into the socket because that will give the tooth the greatest likelihood to survive. Continue biting on the tooth to keep it from coming out.

4. If tooth cannot be re-inserted keep it moist. This step is integral in keeping the tooth alive long enough to get to a dentist. Place the tooth into a tooth preservation kit (sold online and good to have on hand if you have kiddos). The tooth may also be placed in milk or kept in the mouth next to the cheek. The tooth must not dry out. Water is not recommended for storage of the tooth due to ineffectiveness of keeping tooth cells alive.

5. See a dentist within 30 minutes of the incident.  Bring the tooth to the appointment with you.

Dr. Owyoung Andrew Owyoung, DDS, has been providing comprehensive family dental care for 29 years to the Sacramento area. Widely considered a top dentist in Sacramento, the staff at Soft Touch Dentistry are equipped with the knowledge, experience, and equipment to deliver an unparalleled dental experience.

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