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What can I do if I witness someone losing a tooth (getting it knocked out)?

Most of us are fortunate enough not to have witnessed or experienced an accident such as this. Luckily these situations rarely occur; however, if they do, it is important to know what to do. An encouraging fact is that many ‘lost’ teeth can be replanted with a good long term prognosis. Some of the factors that will help this prognosis are under our control.

The first and most important thing to remember is DO NOT touch the root. If your tooth is laying on the ground, pick it up by the crown (typically the crown is the whiter, shorter part of the tooth; the root is normally long, and yellowish in color).

If clean cold water is available, rinse soil or debris off the tooth. Place the tooth back into its socket. If unable to manage this, place the tooth in your mouth in the pouch by the cheek. If you have access to milk, place your tooth into a jar full of white milk and cover the lid.

  • Do not rub any debris off the tooth.
  • If the tooth is still partly in the socket, keep it there.
  • Immediately proceed to your dentist with your tooth (it would be a good idea to phone the office before arriving so they can prepare as time is of the essence).

The dentist will make every effort to reposition, and immobilize the tooth into the socket. There will be follow up appointments made to evaluate, and further treat this tooth.

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