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Myths and Facts about Your Knocked Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is typically an unexpected dental emergency as well as a major cosmetic concern. You’ve probably heard some things about how you should handle the tooth or what you can do to save it, but how much of what you know is fact and how much is myth?

In this post, the expert team at Dental Studios, with offices in Summit and Westfield, New Jersey, clears up confusion surrounding the myths and facts about a knocked-out tooth. We also recommend solutions for repair or replacement, if needed, to ensure the health and beauty of your smile. 

Fact: A knocked-out tooth doesn’t mean it’s lost forever

More than 5 million kids and adults experience the trauma of a knocked-out tooth each year. If it happens to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost your tooth for good. The steps you can take within the first 30 minutes of an accident may help you preserve your natural tooth and allow our dentists to reattach it in its rightful place. 

Be sure to handle your tooth with care. Don’t touch the root — instead, pick up your tooth by the crown (the part that’s visible in your mouth). It’s safe to rinse the tooth in water, but don’t wrap it in a tissue or cloth where it can dry out. Immediately call the Dental Studios location closest to you.

Often, if you seek immediate treatment — within 30 minutes of losing your tooth — we may be able to save the tooth and help you avoid extensive dental reconstruction and surgical procedures

Myth: You shouldn’t try to put the tooth back in your mouth

On the contrary! We recommend carefully rinsing the tooth and putting it back into position immediately if you can. Put the tooth into its socket in your gums and gently close your jaw to hold the tooth in place until you can get treatment. 

Keeping your tooth moist is essential, which is why you shouldn’t wrap it in a tissue where it can quickly dry out. The best place to keep your knocked out tooth moist is in its original position. If you can’t put it back in its socket, hold it carefully in your mouth against your cheek on your way to the dentist’s office.

Fact: Milk can help preserve a knocked-out tooth

It may sound strange, but if you can’t get the tooth back into its socket because of a serious mouth injury, it’s best to put the tooth into a small container of milk — not water. Milk contains proteins, sugar, and antibacterial properties that can help keep your tooth alive for a short period of time.

Fact: Acting quickly increases your tooth’s survival rate

When you put a knocked-out tooth back into its socket within five minutes of the accident, it’s quite likely your tooth will survive. After 60 minutes of the tooth being out of your mouth, the survival rate of your natural tooth significantly decreases. 

Myth: You should always visit the emergency room for a knocked-out tooth

If you or your child suffers serious facial injuries, is bleeding extensively, or is unconscious, it’s best to seek immediate medical care at the emergency room. However, if you just have a knocked-out tooth and are otherwise OK, contacting your dentist right away is the best option.

Our experts at Dental Studios specialize in emergency dentistry and are highly skilled at diagnosing dental problems and repairing and replacing teeth. The medical pros at an emergency room can treat your injuries, but they ultimately may refer you to an emergency dentist like us to ensure the best outcome for your oral health. 

Fact: You have options for replacing a knocked-out tooth

Ideally, reattaching your natural tooth is the best solution. But if your tooth was damaged or it didn’t survive the accident, you still have options that help preserve your oral health and are aesthetically pleasing. 

Dental implants

Dental implants are the gold standard in tooth replacement because they’re most like your natural teeth in both form and function. Custom-made dental implants look just like the surrounding natural teeth, become a permanent part of your mouth with a titanium tooth “root,” and allow you to eat your favorite foods without worry.

You care for implants just as you would your natural teeth, so brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings keep your implant and your whole mouth healthy for a lifetime. 

Bridges and crowns

dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic that replaces a missing tooth. The bridge holds a crown securely in place. If you are missing a front tooth, for example, your dentist creates a crown that matches the adjacent teeth and then secures the new tooth to the surrounding teeth.

If you or a family member has a knocked-out tooth or any other dental emergency, give us a call immediately.

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What Our
patients say
  • I had an excellent experience with this practice! The dentist was very kind and listened attentively to my concerns. Everything went great and they checked on me a few hours after I got home. Great doctor and caring staff!

    by Damian L. on 8/29/21