I got my tooth knocked out last night during a ball game. Someone on our team told me to put the tooth in milk, and I could do that since the game was at our high school. I still have the tooth, but my sister told me that she read online that it’s too late to save it.
Our game wasn’t over until 9:00 pm, so I wasn’t thinking about calling a dentist. My coach took me out of the game, and since the bleeding was not severe, I felt comfortable waiting to see a dentist. That was my mistake. I don’t have a regular dentist because my mom didn’t like the dentist that we saw last year for our checkup. Is it too late to save the tooth? Thank you. Austin from St. Paul, MN
Thank you for contacting Cornerstone Dentistry. We are sorry to hear about your accident. Your efforts to save your tooth by putting it in milk were beneficial. Milk’s antibacterial properties, proteins, and sugars can help sustain a knocked-out tooth. Still, a knocked-out tooth requires immediate attention to save it.
Is It Too Late to Save Your Knocked-Out Tooth?
It is too late to save a knocked-out tooth that has been out of its socket overnight. According to the American Association of Endodontists, you should rinse off a knocked-out tooth and return it to its socket immediately. Then, see a dentist or endodontist within 30 minutes. Sometimes, a dentist may be able to save a knocked-out tooth that has been out of its socket for an hour or more, but the longer you wait, the risk of losing the tooth increases.
What Happens If You See a Dentist Right Away?
When you see a dentist immediately for a knocked-out tooth, a dentist will take these steps:
- Apply a local anesthetic to the tooth socket
- Sanitize the tooth
- Place the tooth in the socket
- Stabilize the tooth with a small wire bonded to the back of the tooth and secured by adjacent teeth
- Allow several weeks for the tooth to reattach to the bone
As the tooth heals, eat foods that do not require a lot of chewing and chew away from the healing tooth.
What Happens After Your Knocked-Out Tooth Is Back in Place?
After your knocked-out tooth is back in the socket, your dentist or endodontist will monitor it to determine if the trauma affected the tooth pulp. If you need root canal treatment, your dentist will take impressions of the tooth for a customized dental crown to protect it. You may need root canal treatment to remove damaged tissue and replace it with a dental filler material.
What If a Dentist Cannot Save a Knocked-Out Tooth?
If a dentist or endodontist cannot save a knocked-out tooth, a dental implant is the most effective way to replace it. An implant is a titanium screw that replaces a tooth’s root. After the artificial root fuses with your jawbone, your dentist will attach a custom crown. If you choose an advanced cosmetic dentist, your implant crown will match the color and characteristics of the surrounding teeth. A dental bridge or a partial denture are alternatives to a dental implant, but they do not function as well as an implant or last as long.
Schedule an Appointment Right Away
Even if it is too late to save your tooth, see an advanced cosmetic dentist right away for an examination of your mouth and the teeth surrounding the missing one. After an exam and x-rays, the dentist will explain your treatment options.
Sugar Land, Texas, dentist Dr. Siny Thomas sponsors this post.