If a tooth has been completely knocked out or avulsed from its socket, it's essential to contact our office as quickly as possible for care. With prompt treatment from our skilled professional team, an avulsed tooth can often be reinserted into the socket and saved.
Rescuing an avulsed tooth depends largely upon the length of time it's out of the mouth and how the tooth is handled and stored. For one thing, the tooth must be handled carefully to prevent further damage. Try to handle the tooth by its uppermost portion, the crown, and avoid touching the root. If the tooth needs to be cleaned, hold it by the crown and ever-so-gently rinse it with milk or water. Do not attempt to dry the tooth manually.
While it's essential to handle the tooth carefully to avoid further damage, you also need to keep the tooth moist. You can place the tooth in milk or store it between your gums and cheek. If you're concerned that your child cannot safely maintain the avulsed tooth between the cheek and gums, have them spit some saliva into a cup and maintain the tooth that way.
Without forcing it, you can also try to place the tooth back into the socket gently. However, if you can't or are reluctant to do this, you can maintain the tooth as instructed above until you get to our office. Remember, time is of the essence. To re-implant and save the tooth requires immediate care.
Once placed back into the socket, we typically splint the tooth to the adjacent ones to give it the stability required for healing. Since the tooth's nerve and blood supply is damaged when the tooth is avulsed, a root canal will be needed. Our endodontist will determine if a root canal procedure needs to be performed right away or later. Whatever the case may be, our office will schedule follow-up visits to closely monitor the tooth's health, stability, and healing.