What to do if a tooth is knocked out
Every year accidents do occur and teeth are knocked out. If a tooth is knocked out, remain calm and act quickly.
The following steps should be taken:
- Carefully find the tooth, handle it by the crown only (not the root) and ensure it is clean. The crown is the smooth white part of the tooth that is normally visible in the mouth.
- If the root is dirty, and the patient is calm and conscious, they can gently suck the tooth clean. Alternatively, rinse the tooth in milk or very briefly in water.
- Immediately replant the tooth in the socket making sure the tooth is facing the right way around. Time is critical and immediate replacement is best, but should ideally not be delayed beyond 30 minutes.
- Hold the tooth in place. Aluminium foil may be used to help stabilise the tooth, or the patient can bite gently on gauze or a soft cloth.
- If you are unable to replant the tooth, keep it moist by putting it in a cup of milk, sealing it in plastic wrap or placing it in the patient’s mouth next to the cheek, if the patient is able to do so.
Seek immediate Dental Treatment – Time is Critical.
Points to remember:
- Do not hold the tooth by the root surface.
- Do not scrape or rub the root surface.
- Do not let the tooth dry out.
- Do not put the tooth in ice.
- Avoid rinsing or storing the tooth in water for more than a one or two seconds.
- Do not remove any tissue or gum fragments from the tooth.