A tooth avulsion happens when you lose your permanent tooth. Accidents and injuries can knock out a tooth. You must seek immediate treatment to save your tooth. You can first reinsert your tooth yourself or save it in liquid. Then you should seek help from a dentist for further treatment.
When your tooth gets knocked out, the nerves, blood vessels, and supporting tissues become damaged in the process. Because of this damage, unfortunately, the nerves and blood vessels can’t be repaired. Therefore, all avulsed teeth will need a root canal. On the bright side? The bone can reattach to the root of the tooth once it’s put back into place!
What is an avulsed tooth?
An avulsed tooth occurs when a tooth is completely dislodged from its socket. Avulsed teeth are dental emergencies and require immediate treatment.
To save your tooth, try reinserting your tooth right away. Teeth treated within 30 minutes to one hour have the best chance of success.
If you can’t see a healthcare provider immediately, keep your tooth in milk or saline solution until you can see a provider. Your health provider will usually use reimplantation to attempt to reattach the knocked-out tooth.
An avulsion is one of the most serious dental injuries and the outcome for an avulsed permanent tooth is dependent on the actions taken at the place of the accident.
If a tooth is avulsed, make sure it is a permanent tooth before replanting it. (You should not replant a baby tooth!)
What causes tooth avulsion?
Knocking a tooth out of your mouth requires a significant amount of force. The most common causes of avulsed teeth are:
- Bicycle accidents.
- Sports injuries.
- Traffic accidents.
Sports injuries can knock out a tooth. Sports injuries that can cause tooth avulsion to include:
- Martial arts.
What are the symptoms of an avulsed tooth?
An avulsed tooth is a tooth that has been completely knocked out of your mouth. When your tooth is avulsed, no parts of it remain in your mouth. Symptoms of an avulsed tooth may include:
- A gap in your mouth where your tooth used to be.
- Mouth pain.
Losing your tooth may cause bleeding. If so, place a clean handkerchief or small washcloth over the socket and bite down. Avoid aspirin, which can worsen bleeding. If you’re in pain, ask your healthcare provider about what pain-relieving medications are most appropriate for you. Please consult your healthcare provider for any head trauma, particularly if you experience dizziness or nausea. They can rule out any other injuries.
How do healthcare providers treat an avulsed tooth?
Most often, you’ll see a dentist if you have a tooth knocked out. How your dentist treats an avulsed tooth depends on whether you could reinsert the tooth yourself or keep it moist. If you put your tooth back into the socket before seeing your dentist, the dentist will:
- Make sure you have positioned your tooth correctly.
- Splint your implanted tooth to the surrounding teeth for seven to 10 days. If the bone around your tooth has also fractured, your provider may leave the splint for at least six weeks.
- Evaluate the pulp condition and schedule a root canal if necessary (removal of the soft center of your tooth) within two weeks.
If you stored your tooth in a moist liquid, your dentist will:
- Gently rinse your tooth if needed, usually with saline.
- Give local anesthesia (numbing medication).
- Reinsert your tooth.
- Splint your implanted tooth.
- Schedule a root canal.