What You Can Do
When a tooth is partially loosened or dislodged from its socket, dentists call it an extruded tooth. As long as the nerve and blood vessels remain intact, an extruded tooth may be saved without root-canal treatment, depending on how displaced it is.
To save the tooth, it's essential to see your dentist right away. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever or apply a cold pack or ice to relieve pain until you reach the dental office.
What Your Dentist Will Do
Your dentist will clean the area and then put the tooth back in the right position. He or she may use a plastic splint or orthodontic wire brackets to keep the tooth stable until it has a chance to heal.
If the nerves or blood vessels were damaged, your dentist may recommend root canal treatment to prevent the tooth from becoming discolored or developing an abscess, which is an infection. The dentist should do a series of tests to determine if the nerve has been damaged. These tests also may have to be done at follow-up appointments because the tests may not be accurate right after the tooth is injured.
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Reviewed by the faculty of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine