20 May 2024

Can a Knocked-Out Tooth Be Saved? A Guide to Emergency Treatment

A knocked-out tooth is a frightening dental emergency. Whether it happens during a sports game, a fall, or an accident, the first few minutes are crucial for saving the tooth. With quick thinking and proper action, you can significantly increase the chances of a successful reimplantation and regain your smile.

Can a Knocked-Out Tooth Really Be Saved?

The good news is, yes! In many cases, a knocked-out tooth can be saved if you take immediate action. The faster you act, the better the chances of successful reimplantation, which is the process of placing the tooth back into its socket.

The Golden Hour: What to Do in the First 60 Minutes

Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do if you experience a knocked-out tooth:

  1. Stay Calm: Panicking can cloud your judgment. Take a deep breath and focus on taking the necessary steps.
  2. Find the Tooth: Locate the tooth carefully. Handle it by the crown (the white part you see) and avoid touching the root.
  3. Rinse Gently (Optional): If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with milk or lukewarm water. Don’t scrub or use harsh chemicals.
  4. Reimplantation (If Possible): If you feel comfortable and the tooth is whole, try to carefully reinsert it back into the socket. Don’t force it – if it doesn’t go in easily, stop and proceed to step 5.
  5. Keep it Moist: If reimplantation isn’t possible, it’s critical to keep the tooth moist to preserve the root cells. The ideal storage medium is milk. Place the tooth in a small container filled with enough milk to cover the entire root. If milk isn’t available, use a mild saline solution or even your own saliva (as a last resort).
  6. Seek Emergency Dental Care Immediately: Time is of the essence! Head straight to OKC-OMS or your nearest emergency oral surgeon or dentist. Ideally, you should be seen within 30 minutes of the injury for the highest chance of success.

What Happens at the Oral Surgeon’s Office?

Once you arrive at OKC-OMS, our team will take X-rays to assess the situation and determine the best course of action. In many cases, they can reimplant the tooth and stabilize it with a splint to allow the ligament and bone to heal. Depending on the severity of the injury, additional treatments like root canal therapy might be necessary to ensure long-term success.

Aftercare and Long-Term Prognosis

Following the oral surgeon’s post-treatment instructions carefully is crucial for successful healing. This may involve soft foods, gentle cleaning around the area, and avoiding strenuous activity. While dental implants are a great tooth replacement option, a natural tooth offers several advantages, so prioritizing its recovery is important.

Don’t Wait – Contact OKC-OMS Today!

Knocking out a tooth is a stressful experience, but your smile can be restored with immediate action and proper care. If you have a knocked-out tooth, contact OKC-OMS for emergency dental and facial trauma care. Our team is experienced in handling dental emergencies and will work diligently to save your tooth. Remember, the sooner you seek help, the better the chances of a successful outcome. Call us or schedule an appointment at our Oklahoma City, Yukon, or Shawnee locations.