Dental Emergencies: What to Do about a Knocked-Out Tooth

dental emergencies

Did you know more than 5 million teeth are knocked out each year in the US? Dental emergencies like a knocked-out tooth are common in contact sports for kids and adults alike. 

The actions you take in the first five minutes after losing a tooth can make all the difference. So, it’s essential to know what steps you need to take to save your tooth in the long term.

Keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know now, so you’ll be smiling later!

What to Do for a Knocked-Out Tooth

If you experience a knocked-out tooth, you’ll need to follow some immediate steps to prevent permanent damage. If your tooth is chipped or broken into pieces, gather all the pieces to take to your dentist. 

If the tooth is in one piece, you’ll need to follow specific steps to increase the chances of saving your tooth. These steps include:

Pick up the Tooth by the Crown 

You’ll need to pick up the tooth carefully by the crown and not touch the tooth by the root. The tooth root has important fibers and ligaments that must remain intact for proper healing.

If you see visible dirt on the tooth, rinse it quickly with tap water and make sure not to scrub it clean.

You’ll still need to follow the same steps if your child loses a baby tooth since losing baby teeth too early can cause gum damage or problems with crooked or overlapping teeth later on.

Reposition the Tooth Back Into The Socket

If a tooth is placed back into the socket within 5 to 10 minutes after it’s knocked out, there is a much higher chance the tooth can survive. If your tooth is out of your mouth for more than an hour, survival chances drop significantly.

So, your first step is to put your tooth back into its socket right away, if possible. You’ll need to hold the tooth by the crown and position it above the socket, then bite down gently while holding the tooth in place.

If it’s impossible to put your tooth back into the socket, you’ll need to keep it moist by placing it in milk or holding it inside your mouth next to your cheek. It’s important to avoid soaking it in tap water for too long because it damages the cells on the tooth root’s surface.

See an Emergency Dentist

Having your tooth knocked out is a dental emergency, so it’s important to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

Your dentist will flush the debris from your tooth socket and immediately put the tooth back into place. They will also splint the tooth on both sides with a soft wire or a dental composite material. 

In some cases, your dentist might perform a root canal right away, but it’s also possible they’ll wait until the area is less sensitive. 

If the bone around the tooth isn’t damaged or fractured, the root will usually reattach to the bone within four weeks. 

Find the Best Dentist for Your Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies like losing a tooth can be a scary experience, but as long as you take these steps quickly, you’ll have a better chance of saving your tooth.

If you need a dentist you can trust, it’s time to turn to Plage Dentistry. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry services, implants, crowns, and dental emergency appointments.

We look forward to helping you, so make sure you contact us today to schedule an appointment!