TOOTH (AVULSED TOOTH)
Dentists refer to a knocked-out tooth as an "avulsed"
tooth. This is one of the most serious dental emergencies, but
the damage isn't necessarily permanent. If you act quickly,
there's a good chance the tooth can be saved.
What You Can Do
When a tooth has been knocked out, the nerves, blood vessels
and supporting tissues are damaged, too. The nerves and blood
vessels can't be repaired, but if your dentist can put the tooth
back in place within an hour after it was knocked out, there's
a good chance that the supporting tissues will reattach and
hold the tooth in place.
It's essential to get to a dentist right away. In the meantime,
here's what you should do:
Pick the tooth up by the upper portion (the crown).
Avoid touching the root end.
the tooth is dirty, rinse it under running water for a few seconds.
Don't scrub it because the tooth can be damaged easily. When
the tooth is clean, tuck it between the cheek and gum or, preferably,
place it back into its own socket. Make sure it's facing the
right way. The tooth has a better chance of surviving if it's
kept in its natural environment. Another option is to put the
tooth in a container of milk, or spit into a cup and place the
tooth in the cup with the saliva. The most important thing is
to keep the tooth moist. Use a cup of water if nothing else
is available. You can also purchase a kit at some pharmacies.
The kit contains a solution similar to natural saliva.
Remember, if you act quickly and get to your dentist
as soon as possible, there's a good chance the tooth can be
We Will Do at All Day All Night Dental
Putting the tooth back in place is a simple procedure. Your
dentist will use water to flush debris from the tooth socket.
Then he or she will slip the tooth back into place. The tooth
may be splinted to adjacent teeth with plastic resin and orthodontic
wire. This keeps the tooth stable so it can heal and reattach.
tooth does not always reattach in the right way. If it doesn't
reattach properly, the tooth may eventually fuse to the jawbone.
If this happens, the root of the tooth can erode or be reabsorbed
into the body. This occurs slowly. Your dentist will monitor
this condition and may suggest further treatment such as a root
nerves and blood vessels that were severed when the tooth was
knocked out often don't heal. If this happens, the tooth may
begin to darken. This is usually a sign that you will probably
need to have root canal treatment. If you do not get treatment,
the tooth will weaken and be more likely to break and crack.
If this happens, you are more likely to develop an abscess,
which is an infection. Sometimes, you will not know that you
have an infection, but if you see something near the damaged
tooth that looks like a pimple that comes and goes, you should
see our All Day All Night Dentist.
STEPS TO SAVE A KNOCKED-OUT TOOTH
quickly and a knocked-out tooth may be able to be reimplanted
in the jaw.
that are pulled up by the roots may survive if they're put back
into soil right away. The same is true of teeth. They may seem
bony and lifeless, but teeth are alive and can often be saved
as long as you act quickly.
blood vessels and nerves in knocked-out teeth (also called "avulsed"
teeth) are usually damaged beyond repair. But microscopic ligaments
in the jaw may reattach to the root of the tooth once it's put
back into place.
a tooth is avulsed, time is of the essence and the quicker you
get it back in the mouth, the better," says Dr Phillip
F. Ajaje BDS (Sydney Uni).
odds of saving a tooth are highest in young children, but adult
teeth can be saved as well. Even if the tooth reattaches, however,
you most likely will need root canal treatment to clean out
the damaged nerve.
How the tooth is handled right after the accident will largely
determine whether it can be saved. To improve the chances of
the tooth being saved, Dr. Phillip F. Ajaje suggests doing the
the tooth carefully. Avoid touching the root of the tooth (the
part of the tooth that was embedded in the gum) because it can
be damaged easily.
If the tooth is dirty, hold it by the upper part (the crown)
and rinse it off with milk until most of the dirt is washed
away. If you don't have any milk available, then it is best
to leave the tooth alone. Wiping it off with a handkerchief
or shirttail may cause additional damage.
It is important to keep the tooth moist. If possible, drop it
into a glass of milk. If no milk is available, then place the
tooth in the mouth between the cheek and gum.
A young child who has had a tooth knocked out may not be able
to safely "store" the tooth in his or her mouth without
swallowing it, so don't give the tooth to a young child for
safe-keeping in his or her mouth. Place the tooth in milk or
have the child spit into a container and place the tooth in
the cup with the saliva. The most important thing is to keep
the tooth moist. Use a cup of water if nothing else is available.
Get to a dentist as quickly as possible. If getting to a dentist
immediately after a tooth has been knocked out is impossible,
then you may want to try slipping the tooth back into its socket.
In many cases, it will slip right in. Make sure it's facing
the right way. Don't try to force it into the socket. If it
doesn't go back into place easily and without pressure, then
it's better just to hold it between the cheek and gum or to
keep it in milk, saliva or water.
Even if the odds of success seem poor, Dr. Phillip F. Ajaje
recommends that you try to save the tooth. "I can remember
seeing a youngster who appeared in the office with a knocked-out
tooth after a three-hour trip from summer camp," Dr. Phillip
F. Ajaje recalls. "I reimplanted the tooth, hoping for
the best. The front tooth remained in place for five years until
she reached her late teens, at which time a permanent solution
The Next Step
usually takes about two weeks for ligaments in the jaw to firmly
reattach to the tooth. Because soft tissues inside the tooth
probably are damaged, you'll most likely need a root canal at
some point, which will prevent the tooth from darkening or becoming