Avulsed tooth

Do you or your family member have knocked-out or dislodged tooth? It is very important what you will do with it during the first hour after trauma.  Dentists call such incidents an “avulsed tooth”. It is a very serious emergency for your tooth, so you need to do everything you can to fix the damage as soon as possible. If you do it in an hour, there is a good chance that the tooth could be saved.

What happens with the tooth during the trauma

During and after the trauma the tooth is damaged in many ways. Nerves and blood vessels break, so they can’t be repaired. Because of that, you will need root canal treatment. On the other hand, if you react quickly, there’s a good chance that the tooth can reattach to the bone and get back into its old place. Also, the younger the patient is, the better the chances there is for the tooth to reattach to the bone. However, adults have the option of having their teeth re-implanted.

What to do when such trauma occurs and how to prevent damaging the tooth further:

  • Handle the tooth carefully
  • Don’t touch the root
  • Hold the tooth by its crown
  • Don’t wash the tooth with any washcloth or other fabrics
  • Keep the tooth moist
  • Put the tooth in milk
  • If you don’t have milk, the best option would be to put it in your mouth, so it could soak in saliva. Children might not be able to keep it in their mouth without swallowing, so ask them to spit saliva in a cup and put the tooth in it.
  • If you are not able to put it in milk or saliva, then just place the tooth in a glass of water. It is very important to keep the tooth wet.
  • Try to put the tooth back in the socket. Just make sure that you place it in the right direction. If you have to use force to put it back in, then just keep it moist and try to find your dentist as soon as possible.

Your Dentist’s actions

depending on how intense the trauma was, whether bone is broken, and if the tooth can simply be put back into place.  Your dentist might need to flush the debris from the socket. Then he will put the tooth back in it. Ideally, the tooth should be re-implanted within an hour of the trauma.


Root canal treatments can be performed right away or you may need to wait a couple of days. It will be decided depending on how long the tooth was out and whether it was kept dry or moist.


What’s more, the dentist will splint the tooth with wires or composite materials to keep the tooth in place. This would hold the tooth for several days. The dentist will decide how long the splint should remain.

What to expect


If the bone around tooth wasn’t broken, the tooth should reattach in about three to four weeks. If the bone is damaged it may need from six to eight weeks to recover. You will need to visit your dentist for regular check-ups to see if there are any signs of infection or inflammation. If everything is healing successfully, the dentist will follow up with you for the next two to three years to ensure that everything is alright.




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