How To Handle An Avulsed Tooth

avulsed tooth

An avulsed tooth simply refers to a knocked out tooth. Whether it is as a result of an accident or biting on a piece of food that is too hard, a knocked out tooth needs immediate attention if it is to be saved. The good news is that this problem can be fixed. When a patient acts quickly after an incident, there are high chances that the tooth can be saved.

What To Do About Avulsed Tooth

After a tooth has been knocked out, the supporting tissue, blood vessels and the nerves get damaged. The blood vessels and nerves cannot be repaired. Despite that, a tooth can be reattached to the bone through a root canal where the root of the tooth is reattached to the bone once it is put back into place. 

The odds of saving a knocked out tooth are higher in children than adults, but that does not mean that it is not possible in adults as well. Reattaching can only be done on permanent teeth only.

Immediately a tooth has been knocked out, it is important to get to a specialized dentist as quickly as possible. To avoid damaging the tooth further, you need to do the following:

  • Be careful when you handle the tooth. Do not touch the part that as under the gum (the root) since it is very delicate and can damage easily.
  • If the tooth has dirt on it, rinse it with milk but make sure that you hold it by the upper part while doing so. If there is no milk, you can use clean water instead. After washing, don’t wipe it off with any fabric. Doing so could cause damage to the tooth.
  • Ensure that the tooth remains moist. You can keep it in a glass of milk. If you are not in a position to do so, place the tooth inside your mouth between the gum and cheek. Do not trust a young child to keep the tooth in their mouth for safety. If the knocked out tooth belongs to a young child, you can place it in a cup with the saliva. Placing in a cup of water should be the last option. The main point is to ensure the tooth remains moist.
  • You can try to slip the tooth back into its socket. You can hold it there until you get to the dentist or if it can’t go back into place without pressure, use the options stated above to keep it moist.

What The Dentist Will Do

Once you get to a dentist, he or she will use water to get rid of any debris from the socket. He will then try to slip the tooth back in place. Try not to take too long before going to the dentist after an accident because ideally, a knocked out tooth needs to be reattached within the hour of the accident. After the initial step, the dentist may perform a root canal. However, the best course is determined by how long the tooth was out of the mouth and other factors. 

After successfully reattaching your tooth, whether through root canal or splinting the avulsed tooth to the teeth on either side, you need to go back to your dentist after 3 to 6 months for checkup.

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