Ask the Dentist – Help! My tooth got knocked out!

Ask The Dentist – Help! My tooth got knocked out!

-by Dr Mark Rehermann

Getting your tooth knocked out due an accident or injury can be a scary and traumatic event, but proper action can save the tooth so that it can be replanted successfully and last for years to come.

1. Pick up the tooth by the crown, NOT the root.
The crown is the functional part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth.
The root is the unseen portion that supports and fastens the tooth in the jawbone.

Try to locate the tooth immediately and handle it carefully when you pick it up.

Try to avoid touching the root—grab it near the chewing surface instead.

2. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with water.
Use only water to gently rinse off any dirt. Do not use soap or chemicals. Don’t scrub or dry the tooth, and don’t wrap the tooth in a tissue or cloth.

3. Reposition the tooth in the socket immediately, if possible.
Try to put the tooth back into its socket right away. Gently push it in with your fingers, by handling the crown, or position it above the socket and close your mouth slowly. Hold the tooth in place with your fingers or by gently biting down on it.

4. Keep the tooth moist at all times.
The tooth must stay moist at all times, either in your mouth or, if it can’t be replaced in the socket, put it in milk, in your mouth next to your cheek, or in an emergency tooth preservation kit (such as Save-a-Tooth®). It is best not to use regular tap water; root surface cells can’t tolerate that for extended periods of time.

5. Try to see a dentist within an hour of the injury.
Bring the tooth with you to your emergency appointment ideally. It’s best to see the doctor within 30 minutes; however, it is possible to save a tooth even if it has been outside the mouth for an hour or more.

Questions? Please reach out and our team will be happy to help.