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Here at Dr. Rossen’s office we see several emergencies per week, and every once in a while we will have a patient come in that has had a tooth hit so violently that the entire intact tooth, root and all, will completely come out of the socket. This is called an avulsed tooth, and believe it or not, if you follow the guide below, it will sometimes have the potential to re-implant itself in the mouth with very little further treatment required.

  1. If the tooth looks whole, and not in pieces, there’s a good chance you can save it.
  2. The outer layer of the tooth may look a little pink and weird, but do NOT try to remove anything from the tooth surface because those cells are still alive and important for getting the tooth to reattach.
  3. You’ll want to keep those cells happy by not allowing them to dry out.
  4. If there is any dirt on the tooth, do not rinse it with water because that can kill the cells. Use saline solution or milk.
  5. The best way to keep the cells alive is to stick the tooth back in the socket. Make sure to orient the tooth in the direction it should normally be – the flattest side is the one you should see.
  6. If you don’t have the stomach for that, place the tooth in your cheek next to your teeth. Your saliva will keep the cells warm and moist. Don’t swallow your tooth.
  7. A third option is to place the tooth in a milk or saline bath.
  8. Call us immediately, even if it is after hours, because there’s always a chance that we’ll be able to help you save the tooth.

We hope that this never happens to you because it can be quite a traumatic event! But if you do ever knock out a tooth or are with someone who does, just remember to act as quickly as possible because timing is critical for saving the tooth.