Huntington Beach dentist Dr. Jason Cellars provides friendly service to patients who want to protect their smile from common conditions like cavities and gum disease. Our experienced team is also available to treat dental emergencies. One of the most commonly asked questions about an avulsed tooth, or a knocked-out tooth, is whether or not the tooth can be saved. While every case is unique, there are general tips that may help you improve your chances of saving a tooth that has been knocked out.
- An avulsed tooth must be handled with care. The root portion of the tooth is incredibly fragile. If it is damaged, the tooth may not be salvageable.
- The tooth will need to be cleaned as gently as possible in order not to disrupt the root. Handling ONLY by the crown, the tooth can be rinsed under water or milk. Milk is advised due to the calcium content that supports the mineralization of enamel. DO NOT rub the tooth, brush it, or wipe it with a cloth.
- As the tooth is transported to your Huntington Beach dentist, keep it moist by placing it in milk, if at all possible. If milk is not available, the tooth can be put into a cup or baggy into which the patient has spit. The saliva is gentle to the tooth. In a pinch, place the tooth in water, or in between the cheek and gums.
- Depending on the age of the patient, it may be feasible to put the cleansed tooth back into the socket. It can be held in place by gently biting down on a paper towel or gauze. If the tooth feels "out of place" in the socket, do not force it. Take it out and transport it using the cup method.
- A tooth that has been badly broken during the physical trauma may not be salvageable.
Saving the Knocked-out Tooth
In many cases, treatment for a knocked-out tooth is quite simple. If care is performed within an hour of the injury, we may flush the socket to remove any debris, and then slip the tooth into place. In some instances, the tooth may be stabilized by splinting to adjacent teeth. This gives the root the best opportunity to reattach to the bone.
After treatment for a knocked-out tooth, it is necessary to follow up with your Huntington Beach dentist regularly to asses healing over the long-term.
Do you need emergency dental care? Call (714) 848-4247.