Friday, February 14, 2014

What do I do if my child has their front tooth knocked out or knocked loose?

            Even when parents make every effort to protect their children from accidents, they still happen. But what should you do if they suffer trauma to their teeth? Depending on the severity of the injury, there are some different options to consider and below we will discuss some simple signs and symptoms to look for.

            If a child has a baby tooth knocked completely out of the jaw, we typically don’t recommend having the tooth reimplanted since they will eventually be replaced by the permanent teeth. However, if a permanent tooth is knocked out, the goal is to reimplant it as quickly as possible. As soon the injury occurs, you should try to keep the tooth moist by placing it into milk or clean water as an alternative. Then immediately call your dentist because their goal will be to place the tooth back into the socket as quickly as possible. The sooner the tooth is replaced into its original socket, the greater the chance of retaining the tooth.  If the tooth has been cleaned in milk or water and you feel confident about placing the tooth back correctly into the socket, be sure you still see the dentist as soon as possible.

            If the tooth is knocked loose but not completely out of the socket, your first call should again be to your dentist. We would look to see if the tooth needs to be realigned back into its proper position and stabilize the area. Many times we will need to anesthetize the area before moving the tooth back to avoid additional pain and discomfort. If the tooth is very loose, we will need to temporarily splint it to the adjacent teeth during healing and allow the bone to tighten around the tooth.

            In many cases of trauma, the injured teeth will eventually need root canal treatment to eliminate any pain or infection. Depending on the damage to the crown of the tooth, the affected tooth may also need a dental crown to protect against further harm or fracturing of the remaining structure. However, even if every instruction is followed perfectly, the tooth may still eventually be lost or non-restorable. Unless there is very serious trauma that requires you to go to the emergency room, try to contact you dentist as quickly as possible to help increase the chances of saving your child’s tooth after an injury to the front teeth.

For more questions, visit us at

Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.


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