A Parent’s Guide: What to Do When Your Child’s Permanent Tooth is Knocked Out

Accidents can happen, and for parents, witnessing their child experience a knocked-out permanent tooth can be distressing. However, knowing the immediate steps to take is crucial for the best possible outcome in terms of the tooth’s preservation and the child’s oral health. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through each step to follow if your child’s permanent tooth is knocked out.

Step 1: Stay Calm and Act Quickly

Remaining calm and acting swiftly are paramount when a permanent tooth is knocked out. 

The first hour, often referred to as the “golden hour,” is crucial for the tooth’s chances of successful re-implantation. Staying composed ensures effective decision-making during this critical period.

Step 2: Handle the Tooth with Care

Gentle handling of the knocked-out tooth is essential. Avoid touching the root and instead, hold the tooth by the crown—the visible part when it’s in the mouth.

This cautious handling minimizes the risk of damage to the delicate root and any attached tissues.

Step 3: Rinse the Tooth with Milk or Saline Solution

If available, rinse the dislodged tooth with milk or a saline solution. This helps remove debris or dirt and maintains moisture, a crucial factor for successful re-implantation. 

The rinsing process should be gentle to avoid any additional trauma to the tooth.

Step 4: See a Dentist Immediately

Seeking professional dental care promptly is paramount. A dentist can assess the condition of the tooth, ensuring it is correctly repositioned and stabilized. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection, and follow-up visits may be recommended to monitor the tooth’s progress.

Risks of Delaying Treatment

Immediate dental care is critical after a permanent tooth is knocked out to maximize the chances of saving the tooth and prevent further damage and complications. Timely intervention increases the likelihood of successful re-implantation, preserving the natural structure of the tooth.

Delaying dental treatment after a tooth is knocked out poses several risks. The longer the tooth remains out of its socket, the lower the chances of successful re-implantation. Root deterioration begins within 15 minutes and significantly reduces the likelihood of saving the tooth after an hour.

Furthermore, delaying treatment increases the risk of infection. The exposed tooth root can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, leading to infections that may spread throughout the body, causing severe health issues.

It can also impact surrounding teeth and gums. Adjacent teeth may shift out of place, causing alignment and bite problems. This misalignment can lead to additional dental complications, such as jaw pain and difficulties with chewing.

In some instances, a knocked-out tooth can damage nerves and blood vessels in the surrounding area, resulting in long-term complications like chronic pain and numbness.

What Will the Dentist Do?

Upon reaching the dentist’s office, a thorough examination will be conducted to assess the condition of the tooth and its surroundings. 

Depending on the severity, the dentist may attempt to re-implant the tooth, securing it with a splint for several weeks. In cases where re-implantation is not possible, alternatives like dental implants or bridges may be considered.

Emergency Dentistry at Upbeat Pediatric Dentistry

Knowing what to do when your child’s permanent tooth is knocked out empowers you to take swift and effective action during a potentially distressing situation. 

By staying calm, handling the tooth with care, seeking immediate dental care, and understanding the risks of delay, you contribute to the best possible outcome for your child’s oral health. 

At Upbeat Pediatric Dentistry, we understand the stress that dental emergencies can bring to both parents and children. Our emergency dentistry services are designed to provide prompt and effective support during such critical situations. 

If your child has experienced a knocked-out permanent tooth, don’t hesitate to contact our office for immediate professional assistance. We are dedicated to helping your child maintain a healthy and happy smile.