The dental term for a lost tooth due to an injury is “avulsed.” An avulsed tooth is a fully intact tooth that has come out of the tooth socket. Any part of a tooth that comes off while the tooth root is still in the bone is called a fracture or a break. If a tooth fractures at the gum line, likely the root will need to be extracted, and the tooth is not salvageable. But, if the entire tooth comes out of the socket and you can retrieve it unharmed and get to a dentist immediately, you may be in luck.
What to Do If You Lose A Tooth
Find the tooth
Handle the tooth only by the crown (the part that shows in the mouth) and try not to touch the root
If it looks dirty, do not scrub it, lightly rinse it in milk (or water if that’s all that’s available)
If the tooth is not dirty, try to place it back in its socket if it’s possible given your injuries (make sure it is facing the correct direction!) If you can place in back in, hold it in with a cloth until you get to the dentist
If you are unable to place in back in the socket, store it in a glass of milk or your saliva on your way to the dentist
Your other option is keeping it in your mouth between your teeth and cheek on your way to the dentist
Try to get to a dentist within 30 minutes after the avulsion
If you cannot get to a dentist, go to an emergency room
If the tooth was salvageable and your dentist was able to place it back in the socket, the bone will firm back up around the root of the tooth over some time. The tooth will need a root canal treatment because the blood supply and the nerve have been severed. If the tooth was not salvageable, an implant or bridge must eventually be placed to fill the space. Of course, if it was a baby tooth that was lost, it is still essential to get to the dentist immediately, but it is may not be necessary to place the tooth back in the socket.