Tooth Knocked Out? Your First Steps Matter

Having your tooth knocked out isn’t all that uncommon. On average, it happens to over 5 million children and adults every year, usually due to an unexpected injury. Taking action quickly can reverse the damage and end up saving your tooth. 

Our team of dental professionals at K Street Dental & Orthodontic Group in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Washington, DC, offers emergency dentistry, providing our expertise when you have a dental crisis, such as getting your tooth knocked out.

Before you come in to see us, you can save your tooth by taking action immediately.

The importance of acting quickly

Your knocked-out tooth has a survival rate based on how long it remains outside of its socket. If you can get your tooth back in its socket or stored properly within 60 minutes after the injury, it has a good chance of fully recovering.

If you wait longer than an hour, its survival rate begins to decline significantly.

Action steps

If your child sustains the injury of a knocked-out tooth, determine if the tooth is a baby tooth or permanent. A baby tooth doesn’t need to be reimplanted.

But if the injury happens to a permanent tooth of a child or an adult, then you should:

If you aren’t able to put the tooth back in its socket, place the tooth between your cheek and gum, or put it in a cup of saliva or milk to keep the roots of the tooth moist.

Seeing your dentist

After your tooth gets knocked out, do your best to get to our practice in less than an hour to increase your chances of saving the tooth, and have the tooth with you when you arrive.

We first evaluate the severity of the injury, looking to see if the tooth or bone is broken. We flush the socket with water to clean out any debris and slip your tooth back in place.

In some cases, we may need to perform a root canal right away. Deciding factors depend on how long the tooth has been out of your mouth. 

We attach your tooth to a soft wire or a composite material to hold it in place for several days or longer. This allows the roots to attach to the bone, which takes about three to four weeks. If you have more extensive damage, a full healing can take six to eight weeks.

To ensure a successful healing, we need to see you again in three to six months. After that, you can continue your routine yearly checkups as usual.

To learn more about what to do if your tooth gets knocked out, contact our team at the location nearest you. Or if you experience a dental emergency, call us for an immediate emergency dentistry appointment.

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