What to Do When a Tooth Is Knocked Out: A Practical Guide

If you knock a tooth clean out of your mouth due to an accident, you're probably not going to calmly go online and look up what you should do next. Sure, you should remain calm, and seek immediate dental treatment. As far as the best way to deal with the immediate aftermath, there are a few practical points to remember, if the worst should happen to your poor tooth.

Where's the Tooth?

Where is your missing tooth? Locate it, pick it up carefully, taking care not to touch its base (which is where the delicate, still-living nerve endings are located). Rinse the tooth under gently running water to remove blood and debris. Can't find the tooth? You will still require emergency dentistry to treat your injury, even though the tooth cannot be located. You might even have swallowed it. Although your tooth cannot be reattached, there are a number of prosthetic replacement options available. 

How Should You Transport the Tooth?

There are specific tooth preservation kits designed to safely transport a knocked-out tooth to the dentist. Submerging the tooth in UHT milk for transport is also a good option. When you're bleeding from the mouth and are in pain, you're unlikely to be able to locate a carton of milk and a suitable container. Instead, place the tooth inside your cheek. You can even put it back into its socket and bite down gently. This keeps the tooth hydrated at an optimum temperature, improving your chances of reattachment. Be very careful not to accidentally swallow the tooth. Don't soak it in water either, as this will kill the tooth's delicate nerve endings.  

What About the Blood?

To rinse out the blood that has accumulated in your mouth, simply gently swirl water in your mouth, before spitting it out. Mouthwash has antiseptic qualities, but several of its active ingredients (such as ethanol and hydrogen peroxide) can cause extreme irritation to the open wound in your mouth. Just rinse and spit with water, and leave any antiseptic applications to your dentist.

How Should You Get to the Dentist?

You're unlikely to be in a fit state to drive yourself to the emergency dentist, but this is precisely where you need to go. Ask a friend or family member to drive you, or call a taxi or rideshare service. The important thing is that you're not behind the wheel while you're in pain and are bleeding, meaning your concentration could well be compromised.

The practical elements of preserving a knocked-out tooth and getting to the emergency dentist are rather basic and easy enough to remember should you ever be in such a predicament.

For further tips, reach out to a company like Rowville Dental Surgery.