Reinsertion Of Living Teeth

If a tooth has become knocked out, the first initial response of most patients is-despite the best advice of Douglas Adams- to start panicking. This is understandable, as probably the patient is visualizing a missing tooth, disintegrating alveolar tissue, huge bills for reconstructive surgery, expensive dental implants, and possibly even false teeth! All this adds up to make the patient start to hyperventilate and freak out...but wait! There may be a different solution! 


The tooth that is missing can be reinserted, at home, without fear of injury. This is a great alternative to dental implantation, as it is free, or nearly free (explanation to come), does not involve invasive surgery, and does not tax the immune system, but does stop alveolar degeneration and tooth loss. There are certain things to consider though, as this solution, like all other solutions, is only good in certain cases. And of course,a  dentist will need to see the tooth, and you will need to book an emergency appointment, as the tooth may need to be adjusted to the proper angle or depth.


First and foremost, all of the parts of the tooth have to be intact. The crown as well as the root, cementum, and all have to be intact, if any parts of it were broken when the tooth got knocked out, the tooth cannot be reinserted. 

The second is that the tooth needs to be relatively clean and should be cleaned with saline and milk, NOT tap water! This is because certain cells live in the cementum and the regions beneath it will die when coming into contact with tap water. The tooth needs to be reinserted within 5 minutes of it getting knocked out, or it can be stored in milk for up to an hour after the incident. 

How To Do It

Have someone else do it for you, as a mirror image may distort what you are seeing, and may hinder your ability to reinsert the tooth well. If no one else is around, stand in front of the mirror, and hold the tooth by its crown, do NOT touch the cementum!! By holding the crown, push the roots back into place, you will feel where they need to go. There may be excessive bleeding, do not worry about that, this is quite normal in the case of oral trauma. Push the tooth as far in as it will go, and make sure to do it gently but firmly! Use mouthwash to lessen the risk of infection, and keep drinking milk until you can see a dentist, as this will keep the tooth alive. A dentist will need to be seen.