If your tooth is knocked out, you will be in disbelief. Even a tooth that falls out on its own will likely cause you to panic. Your thoughts will undoubtedly turn to whether it is possible to put the tooth back in your mouth.
After the tooth falls out, the dentist might be able to put it back in your mouth. However, the unique circumstances of your accident determine if the dentist will be able to reposition the real tooth or if it will be necessary to place an artificial tooth in the vacant space. What matters most is you bring the tooth to the dentist as quickly as possible. The dentist will do his or her best to put the tooth back in the socket. Ideally, you will bring the tooth to the dentist within an hour of your injury.
What About A DIY Approach?
The tooth should be put back in the socket after the injury. However, many knocked-out teeth are the result of physical contact in youth sports. It is not advisable for a child to attempt to put a loose tooth back in his or her mouth. This re-positioning of the tooth should be performed by an adult as quickly as possible.
If the tooth looks clean, position it in the socket and obtain assistance from an emergency dentist right away. Hold the tooth along the area of the crown (the shiny white portion seen when you smile) as opposed to the root. Touching the root has the potential to backfire as it has sensitive cells necessary to connect to the tooth.
Once the tooth is back in place, bit softly on a napkin or handkerchief until the dentist is available. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it off with milk or cold water. Refrain from scrubbing it or applying any sort of disinfectant. Such actions have the potential to damage the delicate cells along the root that is necessary to connect the tooth with the gum.
Time Is Of The Essence
The cells along the tooth root are meant to connect quite tightly to the tooth socket if they do not perish. The cells along the tooth root will dry and die if you fail to put the tooth back in place in a timely manner. If the cells perish, the tooth will not reconnect.
The Dentist’s Role In Reconnecting The Tooth
A tooth re-positioned in it socket will likely be connected to a neighboring tooth. This connection is only possible with the use of a splint. The splint holds it in position to facilitate the healing process. In some cases, a replaced tooth will appear slightly discolored and require additional work. This is a minor inconvenience compared to the problems that will arise if the tooth is not re-positioned or replaced in a timely manner.