What to do when a child or an adult knocks a tooth out of the mouth?
Most recent studies state that the TIME outside of the bony socket in the jaw is the most critical factor for the survival of a tooth. If the tooth can be re-implanted into the socket within 30 minutes, or if it can be kept in a specialized media similar to the body’s physiology, or in a cup of milk, before it is re-implanted, the chances of success are fairly good.
If the tooth has been out of the socket and dry for more than one hour, the chances of long term success are vastly decreased. Time is most critical. Get to the dentist immediately!
In a young child, if the permanent tooth has an open apex, (i.e. the root is not completely formed or is open), and it is re-implanted within an hour, there is a chance that the pulp tissue inside will re-establish a new blood system. Most importantly, if the tooth has been knocked out, it is best to call your dentist immediately to re-implant the tooth and have it splinted. Carry the tooth in a closed container with enough milk to completely submerge the tooth.
If the root is fully developed and fully closed, a new blood supply is not likely to occur. Carry the tooth in a container of milk as stated above. The tooth should be re-implanted and splinted. Root canal treatment should be started within two weeks after the tooth is re-implanted and splinted.
Even after the emergency situation has been handled and the tooth has been stabilized, it is vital to have follow-up appointments with the Root Canal Specialist over the next months, and also over the years. Root resorption (a process in which the root is eaten away), and ankylosis (a process in which the tooth becomes fused to the bone or partially replaced by bone) are potential future problems in these traumatized teeth.