Dentist tells what to do if the tooth is knocked out

A popular pediatric dentist on TikTok went viral after sharing a largely unknown tip: if one of your teeth gets knocked out, it’s best to put it back in right away.

Lisa Bienstock (@doctorb.thatsme), who is said to be a dentist in Arizona, explains this while retelling a story about one of her patients. The video has over 7 million views.

In the video, she explains that she received a call from a parent of a child who was injured at a birthday party. She says someone lost control of a bat while swinging a piñata, and the loose bat knocked out six of the child’s front teeth, four of which are adult teeth.

She says that when the parents called an ambulance, they didn’t tell them that the teeth needed to be put back in the mouth within 60 minutes. Otherwise, the chance of the teeth being saved is very small and the child will have to be implanted later in life.

“If your children’s teeth are knocked out at the front and they are permanent teeth, they are adult teeth, please put them back in the socket,” says Bienstock. “Even if it’s the wrong way, just bring them back in and then call your pediatric dentist.

Bienstock explains why this is best in another video.

“So the tooth is alive and there is a blood supply where nerves and blood vessels flow through. It’s called the ‘pulp’ and it’s also in the root of the tooth,” she begins. “If a tooth is out of the mouth for more than 60 minutes, that blood supply dies off and the tooth is no longer vital.”

“When you put the tooth back in the mouth, the nerves and blood supply can remain vital and integrate and flow again, and the tooth is fine in the end,” concludes Bienstock.

In a third video, she describes the correct process for reimplanting a tooth.

In short, she says to rinse (do not scrub) the root with sterile saline or, if none is available, clean water. Then hold the crown and put it back into the socket. One, she says, can use a paper towel to bite down on to keep it in place.

If that’s not possible, storing the tooth in the mouth or in milk is a viable option as long as professional help is sought quickly, she adds.

Reimplanting an adult tooth after it has been knocked out could save it from permanent removal. However, if the tooth is a milk tooth, it is better to just leave it knocked out.

As the Cleveland Clinic states on its website, “If the tooth is placed back into the socket within five minutes of being knocked out, the tooth is likely to survive.” There is still a good survival rate between five and 60 minutes if the tooth has been stored properly. If the tooth is out of the mouth for more than 60 minutes, the chance of survival decreases significantly.”

In comments, TikTokers were shocked by this revelation.

“I definitely never thought I would do this,” wrote one user. “Thank you for sharing!”

“You just solved one of my recurring nightmares,” added another.

Many feared that this would be painful.

“My whole mouth is ready to crawl out of my face and I’m ready to let it,” said one TikToker. “When I think about all of this, my pulp hurts.”

However, some commenters shared that it might not be as painful as it sounds.

“I put my son’s front tooth back in immediately after it was knocked out,” recalled one commenter. “It didn’t hurt him then.”

Some TikTokers said that dentists should inform patients about future incidents.

“Dentists should mention to parents when they take their kids for teeth cleanings so that it is more widely known… and how to save and set teeth,” wrote one commenter.

In the comments, Bienstock agreed.

“Knowledge is power! If you didn’t have that information and didn’t know what to do when this happened, it would be scary. But you can have peace of mind knowing you know what to do in the scenario” , she says, “We hope you never need it!”

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*Initial publication: April 16, 2022 at 8:51 am CDT

Braden Bjella

Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine and more.

Braden Bjella Dentist tells what to do if the tooth is knocked out

Jaclyn Diaz

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