What To Do! A Knocked Out Tooth!
Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith
Tooth avulsion, or getting a tooth "knocked out", is not an uncommon occurrence. It can happen during any contact or adventure sport, playing on a playground, jumping on the bed, or an automobile accident, just to name a few scenarios.
The key to saving the tooth is time. Should you accept this mission, you have approximately 15 minutes to re-implant the tooth. Here's what you do:
1) Assess to make sure that there are no other medical needs that should take priority.
2) Make sure the tooth is intact. There should be no sharp or jagged edges to the tooth; it should appear wholly intact. If there are questions about whether the tooth is fractured or not, do not attempt to re-implant it.
3) Make sure there is no gross debris on the tooth. Very gently rinse off dirt or foreign material from the tooth. Try not to rub the root surface of the tooth.
4) Make sure there is no gross debris in the tooth socket. Rinse the area gently with water, if necessary.
5) Re-implant the tooth into the socket in the original orientation.
In short: whole tooth, clean off the dirt, stick it back into place.
There will be instances where either you are unable or unsure as to whether the tooth should be re-implanted or as to your skills as an on-the-spot dentist. There are two tooth storage solutions that provide an optimum liquid environment to protect the tooth. These two storage solutions are Hank's Balanced Salt Solution and Save-A-Tooth System. Unless you are a little league coach, a well-stocked ambulance, or a dentist with a kid on the sports team, you most likely won't have access to these solutions.
The other two liquids you could store the tooth in are milk or saliva. Neither one of these is optimal, but they beat storing the tooth in water, or worse, letting the tooth dry out.
Quickly and safely make your way to the dentist. We just might be able to save this tooth yet.
Kyle Griffith DMD
7090 E. Hampden Ave.
Denver, CO. 80224