A knocked-out tooth cannot stay outside its socket for very long before it dies. This is why knocked out (avulsed) teeth are a dental emergency and require immediate attention within an hour. If you can't get a tooth back into its socket within an hour, there is a good chance that the tooth and its nerves may die. You'll then have no chance to save the tooth.
So if you have knocked out a tooth, put the tooth back into its socket if you can. Or place the tooth in some milk, which will keep the tooth alive, and then get to an emergency dentist within an hour. An emergency dentist can do several things for a knocked-out tooth.
1. Rinse the tooth and the socket
There is a good chance that your tooth and the tooth socket picked up dirt during the accident. So, before the dentist can do anything else, they must first clean the tooth and then rinse the socket to ensure that the area is free of dirt and contaminants. If you have a chance, you should also rinse dirt from the tooth before you set off for the dentist's office, using milk or water.
2. Place the tooth back into the socket
If the root of your avulsed tooth is still intact, your dentist will put the tooth back into its socket as soon as possible upon your arrival at the dentist. Sensitive nerves and blood vessels cover the roots of teeth. These blood vessels and nerves will die if they are not placed back into the tooth socket within an hour.
3. Secure the tooth with wires
In many cases, knocked-out teeth are loose once a dentist places them back in a patient's mouth. But to properly reintegrate with the jawbone, a knocked-out tooth needs stability as it heals over the next few weeks and months. So your dentist may use wires or other materials to attach the knocked-out teeth to your other teeth for stability during the healing period.
4. Perform a root canal
If your dentist thinks that your tooth might die, then they will perform a root canal on the tooth to remove the damaged or dead material. This will prevent a possible tooth infection from occurring.
5. Explore tooth replacement options
If your tooth and gums are badly damaged, then your dentist will suggest tooth replacement options such as temporary dentures, a dental bridge or dental implants.