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What to do When You Knock Out a Tooth

A man with tooth ache.Accidents happen, but knowing what to do when a tooth is knocked out can make a world of difference! While abruptly losing a tooth can be shocking, a loose tooth can be reset in some cases. The first, best option is always to save a natural tooth, and there are a few steps you can take to increase the odds of saving a natural tooth. At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, our staff will do our best to save an avulsed tooth or provide other options to replace a missing tooth.

Avulsed Tooth

An avulsed, or knocked out, tooth is a tooth that has become completely dislodged from the socket. Although this is often seen as an extreme case, avulsed teeth can potentially be reset into the socket and have restored function. Fractured or broken teeth, however, are not considered avulsed and require additional treatment, such as a dental crown.

Here are some tips that can help you save an avulsed tooth:
•  Contact our Office: Generally, there is an hour-long window to return the tooth to its socket and have it reset. Time is of the essence—contact our office for guidance.
•  Place the Tooth in Your Mouth: If the person who has lost the tooth has the capacity to do so, the tooth can be placed back into the socket. If the tooth landed on dirt, grass, or an otherwise dirty surface, it is okay to lightly rinse the tooth with water to remove debris. However, do not scratch or scrub away anything from the surface of the tooth that cannot be removed under running water! Some material, such as important connective tissue that is necessary to reattach the tooth, may resemble debris or plaque. If returning the tooth to the socket is too painful, the tooth can instead be held under the tongue. Water can potentially cause the cells around the root of the tooth to swell or eventually burst, so placing the tooth in water is not recommended.
•  Alternative Ways to Protect the Tooth: The methods of protecting and transporting an avulsed tooth make a significant difference in successfully placing and resetting it. If the tooth cannot be returned to the socket or held in the mouth, the tooth can alternatively be transported in milk. As previously mentioned, water can significantly damage the avulsed tooth and hinder recovery, but the chemical makeup of milk can preserve an avulsed tooth as effectively as saliva.

Protecting Your Teeth

We will always encourage our patients and loved ones to maintain active lifestyles and regularly participate in sports or other outdoor activities, but we also understand that physical activity and high-intensity sports can pose a threat to your smile. While active, we encourage everyone to utilize a mouthguard to protect their teeth. Wearing a simple retainer-like device can have a huge impact on your oral health.

At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, our office can aid in customizing a mouthguard to fit your smile. Having a customized mouthguard on-hand ensures greater comfort, meaning an increased likelihood of wearing it.

If you or a loved one has knocked out a tooth, contact Dallas Oral Surgery Associates as soon as possible at 214-363-9946.

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