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How to Save a Tooth That Has Been Knocked Out

Updated on May 7, 2007

Model of Mouth

Steps for Saving a Knocked Out Tooth

Time is of the essence when a permanent tooth has been knocked out. With proper treatment as soon as the tooth is knocked out, it is possible for a dentist to place the tooth back into the socket. It is vitally important to get to a dentist immediately.

Before going to the dentist, locate the knocked out tooth. This is of utmost importance. When the tooth is found, pick it up by its hard surface, the crown, not by the root. Try not to touch the root of the tooth at all.

Attempt to clean the knocked out tooth only if it is dirty. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it off gently. Put it under a very slowly running faucet, barely faster than dripping water. Remember to handle it by the crown and not to touch the root. Don't use anything other than water to clean the tooth. Don't scrub the tooth or attempt to wipe dirt off of it.

Do not place the tooth in tissue or a cloth. Attempt to place the knocked out tooth back into its socket. The sooner this is done, the greater the chances for saving the tooth. To re-insert the tooth, push the tooth into the socket very carefully. Keep the tooth in place by very gently biting down on the tooth or by holding it in place with fingers.

If for some reason the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket, keep the tooth moist at all times, especially the root. Either place the tooth in some milk to transport to the dentist or have the victim keep the knocked out tooth somewhere in his mouth. If none of these options are available, at least keep the tooth in some water, preferably with just a tiny bit of salt.

Get to a dentist, or preferably, an endodontist as quickly as possible. The chances of saving the knocked out tooth are much greater if the endodontist is seen within thirty minutes. However, it is sometimes possible to save a tooth over an hour after it has been knocked out.

Memorize these instructions for possible use in the future. If they are followed correctly, there is a very high chance that a knocked out tooth can be saved, put back into the victim's mouth, and last for many years.


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      polla 6 years ago

      thank you

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      Paul Krasner 7 years ago

      Gatorade or milk are old wives tales and do not work. The best way to save knocked out teeth is to have a Save-A-Tooth system in your home first aid kit just like you need to have band aids, burn cream and an Epipen. They can be purchased on line, are inexpensive and last for two years. When used, 90% of knocked out teeth can be saved.

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      veronica Freeze 9 years ago

      you shouldn't put it in water. Additionally gatorade works too!

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      2thgen 10 years ago from Singapore

      Totally agree.... a knocked-out tooth or avulsed permanent tooth is a true dental emergency. If you do not properly preserved and subsequently replante a knocked-out tooth, you might face a lifetime of high dental bills in addition to added inconveniences of hours spent in the dental chair and possibly other dental problems.

      Get your copy of our popular guide "Ways To Handle Avulsed Tooth" now. It can make a difference on how ready are you to handle a knocked-out tooth situation.