Two ways to treat a knocked out tooth

Posted on: 13 March 2017


Significant physical trauma to the mouth can lead to a tooth being knocked out of its socket; when this occurs, the tooth is said to be 'avulsed'. There are several different treatment options which a dentist may choose to employ to address this issue. Read on to find out more about these treatments.


Where possible, a dentist treating a person with this problem will always attempt to re-implant the knocked out tooth. However, this is usually only a viable treatment option in instances where the tooth has been appropriately stored in a container of either milk or saline solution and only if the patient has managed to get to their dentist within an hour or so of having their tooth dislodged.

In such cases, the dentist will, after numbing the patient's mouth, place the tooth back into its socket and insert a splint device to stabilise it. This splint will ensure that the tooth does not move during the healing process. It will normally be left in place for up to ten days (or several weeks, in some cases). If the trauma affected the pulp of the tooth, the dentist may also perform root canal therapy, in order to prevent inflammation and infection. Additionally, as a precautionary measure, the dentist may prescribe a course of antibiotics, as the development of an infection could negatively impact the success of the procedure.

A dental bridge

In instances where re-implantation is not a viable treatment approach, or where re-implantation has been attempted but has failed, the patient may, after the wound has healed, be referred to a dentist that specialises in cosmetic dentistry. Then, the patient can have the missing tooth replaced with an artificial one.

There are several approaches to tooth replacement, including dental bridges and artificial dental implants. The former is often favoured over the latter, largely because the process of getting a dental implant fitted can take several months, whereas a bridge can be fitted in a matter of days.

A bridge is composed of an artificial tooth, attached to two crowns that sit on either side of it. It is usually made from metal, ceramic or porcelain.

The artificial tooth is inserted into the empty socket and the crowns are positioned over the ends of the two adjacent teeth. The primary purpose of the crowns is to stabilise and thus help to prevent the movement of the false tooth. Provided there is no further physical trauma to the mouth, a dental bridge can last more than a decade before it needs to be replaced.