As a continuation of our dental trauma series, we will be discussing the what-to-do’s if you or your child knocked out or “avulsed” a permanent tooth.
The two front teeth are by far the most commonly avulsed teeth due to their position and the nature of how we fall or how facial injuries occur. Management of an avulsed permanent tooth differs from that of an avulsed baby tooth. Unlike a knocked out baby tooth, we do want to re-insert that knocked out permanent tooth asap. Our American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend re-implantation within 60 mins. Research shows the cells that line the root of the teeth begin to die within 5-10 minutes outside of the socket.
What to do if a permanent tooth is knocked out
- Locate the tooth. Rinse any debris like dirt with cold water.
- If you are comfortable with the idea, YOU can re-insert the tooth into the socket yourself. Remember time is of essence here, the sooner the better.
- One way of making sure you are putting the tooth the right way is to match sure it matches the adjacent tooth. If you are not comfortable re-implanting the tooth, please call your child’s dentist or your family dentist asap. The dentist will instruct you to bring your child and the tooth to the office right away.
- Place tooth in the transport solution. There are 3 ways of transporting the tooth, either in cold milk, the saliva of the person’s tooth, or one of the commercially, ready-made tooth solution called “Hank’s Solution” or “Save-a-tooth”, or saline. These should all be in the first-aid kit.
Thank you for reading today!
Dr. Christy Jen received her undergraduate and dental degree from the University of Washington, and completed her pediatric dental training at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She practiced in Michigan and Louisiana while her husband finished his surgery training before finally making Alaska their home.