A great option for transporting the tooth to the dentist is in milk if it’s available. If the tooth is clean, putting the tooth in the pouch of the child’s cheek works well since saliva has a compatible pH and is osmotically isotonic with the periodontal ligament cells. There are also kits called Save-a-Tooth which some sports organizations keep on hand. As you probably know, water is a no-no as it will cause PDL cells to burst.

BUT: while this is all well and good for adult teeth, it’s pretty much moot for primary teeth, since it is not a good idea to re-implant a primary tooth. Yes, a re-implanted primary tooth might heal and become functional, but the chance of ankylosis is high. This could cause problems with the eruption of the adult tooth and many headaches down the road.

So usually an avulsed primary tooth is left out and some kind of temporary prosthesis can be made to address speech and aesthetic concerns. Of note, aesthetic and speech issues are temporary, as studies show that even if the space is left without a prosthesis, there really aren’t any long-term detriments to speech, and aesthetically we know the adult tooth is going to appear on stage in a few years.

So, there you have it! If you think I’ve left anything out or would like to add to the discussion, you’re welcome to comment below!

Thanks again for playing along with one of my pop quizzes, stay tuned!