Do you find our website user friendly?
Yes   No

Take These Steps to Save a Knocked-Out Tooth

Even though teeth are resilient, they're not indestructible. An accidental collision involving the face could damage teeth, even knocking a tooth completely out of its socket.

At first, it might seem like the end of the line for that particular tooth. But it doesn't have to be—if you know what to do. But you'll have to act quickly: The longer the tooth is out of its socket, the less chance it will survive long-term.

Here are the steps you should take to save a knocked-out tooth.

Find the tooth. It's important that you locate the missing tooth quickly. When you do, don't handle it by the root end: It still contains delicate periodontal cells that are essential if the tooth is going to rejoin with the ligaments and bone. Use clean water to rinse off any dirt or debris.

Reinsert the tooth. Holding it by the crown and not the root, reinsert the tooth into its empty socket, hopefully within an hour (the faster the better). You want to make sure it's good and snug, so apply a little force when you do this. Place some clean gauze or cloth between the tooth and its opposite on the other jaw, then have the person bite down and hold it in place.

Get immediate dental care. It's preferable to find a dentist as soon as possible (if not, then the nearest emergency medical facility). The dentist will x-ray the tooth to make sure it's positioned properly, and may adjust it further if necessary. They may also splint the tooth to adjacent teeth to help stabilize it until it fully reattaches with the jaw.

Again, time is of the essence—the quicker you can perform the above steps, the better the tooth's chances. Any delay could jeopardize the tooth's ability to reattach, or it could shorten its lifespan.

You can also get guidance on treating a knocked-out tooth and other dental emergencies with a free mobile app developed by the International Association of Dental Traumatology (IADT). Just look in your Android or IOS app store for ToothSOS.

If you would like more information on what to do during a dental emergency, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When a Tooth is Knocked Out.”

You Might Also Enjoy...

Keeping Gum Disease at Bay Could Help Your Overall Health

It’s bad enough the diseases caused by poor dental hygiene or lack of dental heckups could be leaving your teeth and gums more at risk. But current scientific research seems to indicate those same dental diseases may also cause you problems in other...

Which Cosmetic Dentistry Option Is Right for You?

You want to change the appearance of your smile, but how? At Dr. Jeff DiMariano's dental office in Sacramento, CA, you can explore cosmetic dentistry services that improve the shape, color and alignment of teeth and gums.

A Loose Tooth is a Sign of Deeper Dental Trouble

A loose primary (“baby”) tooth is often a cause for celebration. A loose permanent tooth, however, is a cause for concern. A permanent tooth shouldn't even wiggle. If you have a loose tooth, it's likely you have a deeper dental problem.