What to Do If You Knock Out a Tooth

An accidental blow to the face can prove disastrous for your oral health. The pressure generated from this type of impact may cause one or more teeth to fall out of their sockets. Missing teeth will put you in danger of other dental complications.

Although a dentist can help you restore your smile in the wake of tooth loss, you should preserve your natural dental structure as well as you can. If you want to save a knocked-out tooth, you will need to take swift action and seek emergency care from your dentist.

You can react promptly and efficiently in the event of this dental emergency when you know what to do ahead of this incident. Learn the steps you should take as soon as you can if you lose one or more teeth when you read on.

What to Do If You Knock Out a Tooth

Preserve the Knocked-Out Tooth

If you lose a tooth, the tooth no longer has access to the blood vessels that connect it to the rest of the body and keep it healthy. So you should take action to preserve the tooth’s health before the dentist can restore it.

Make sure you handle the tooth by its crown rather than its sensitive roots. Otherwise, you could risk damaging the tooth further and reducing the dentist’s ability to save the tooth. If you must clean the tooth, rinse it carefully with milk or water. Do not rub at it with a cloth or other material.

If possible, place the tooth gently back into its socket. Your saliva will keep it moist and therefore healthy. But do not force the tooth into this place. You can also tuck the tooth into your cheek for similar preservative benefits.

If you worry about swallowing the tooth accidentally, you might also store the tooth in a cup submerged in spit. Alternatively, you can also keep it in a cup of milk. Milk works better than water for this task because it contains more nutrients that can preserve the tooth.

Attend an Emergency Dental Appointment

Prompt action is necessary if you want to save a knocked-out tooth. So call your dentist or head to their office for an emergency appointment as soon as you can, preferably within an hour of the accident. Bring your dislodged tooth with you to the dentist’s office.

The dentist will examine the knocked-out tooth as well as the rest of your smile to evaluate the extent of damage. If the tooth remains intact, the dentist will put the tooth back in its socket along with a splint to keep it in place. It may take four weeks for it to heal.

If the tooth suffered a fracture or other damage, it may take even longer to heal properly. And the dentist might have trouble saving the tooth. You can discuss tooth replacement solutions if restoration of the knocked-out tooth is not viable. Contact your dentist for details about your treatment options as soon as possible.