Knocked out tooth? Here’s what you need to do

When a tooth is knocked out or avulsed it is most commonly due to an injury or accident. However, this does not necessarily mean the tooth has been lost forever. If quick emergency action is taken the tooth can be saved.

When an adult tooth or teeth become removed from their socket, you should reinsert it back into the gums as soon as possible. The longer the tooth is left out of its socket, the less likely it becomes to recover the tooth. Moreover, as soon as an injury to your teeth has occurred you should see the dentist for an emergency appointment.

Baby teeth on the other hand, should NOT be put back into the gums. The main reason being, it can damage the adult tooth developing underneath.

Adult Tooth Knocked Out – Process

1. How to handle the tooth

Handle the tooth with care by only picking it up by the crown. The crown is the part of the tooth that is naturally exposed in the mouth (circled below).

Tooth Model Crown Area

2. Cleaning

If the tooth is dirty, you will need to clean it before placing it back into the gums. Do this by gently rinsing the tooth with a milk or saline solution. Do not use water, soap or chemicals. Moreover, do not scrub or let the tooth become dry.

3. Place the tooth into the socket

Gently place the tooth back into its socket, making sure the root goes in first and the tooth is facing the correct way. Keep the tooth in place biting down on soft material such as a handkerchief.

Tip: If you are unable to re-insert the tooth back into its socket, put the tooth in a container filled with milk or saline or wrap it in plastic food wrap.

4. Pain relief

If the area is causing pain, take over the counter pain relief such as Paracetamol. As well, an ice pack can be applied to the area. Apply the ice pack 20 minutes on and then break for 20 minutes off. This should considerably reduce swelling.

5. Dentist visit

See the dentist right away. Most dental practices will be able to fit you in between appointments for an emergency visit.

Dental Visit Checking Teeth Gums

Baby Tooth Knocked Out – Process

Do not reinsert the tooth back into the child’s mouth. This can cause damage to the adult teeth underneath. In some cases, the baby tooth can become fused with the adult tooth, which affects the adult tooth’s natural development.

When a baby tooth has been knocked out, it is best practice to see the dentist. This way, the dentist can see if any damage has been made to the surrounding teeth.

Afterwards, the child can place the tooth underneath their pillow for the tooth fairy to collect.

Broken or Chipped Tooth – Process

If you have a minor broken or chipped tooth, the dentist in most cases can cement the tooth back together. However, for severe cases where the root of a tooth has been exposed, root canal therapy may be needed. Your dentist will be able to tell you the best solution for your case.

1. Cleaning

Rinse your mouth out with water if needed. Make sure not to swish the water around as this can reopen any wounds. If the area is still bleeding, apply pressure with a gauze or a wet empty tea bag. Take care not to swallow or inhale the gauze or tea bag.

2. Pain relief

If the damaged tooth is causing pain, take over-the-counter pain relief such as Paracetamol. An ice pack as well can be applied to the area. Apply 20 minutes on and then break for 20 minutes off. This should considerably reduce the swelling.

3. Tooth care

If part of the tooth has been removed, place it into a solution of saline or milk. Do not wash the chipped tooth or scrub in any way. Additionally, if it needs cleaning, gently rinse the tooth with saline or milk.

4. Visit the dentist

Visit the dentist for an emergency appointment as soon as possible. From here, our dentists will be able to assess if your tooth can be repaired. Treatments may include cement bonding, a tooth filling, a dental crown, or root canal therapy.

Dental Visit Emergency Appointment

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Need an emergency appointment? Contact one of our Coastal Dental Care practices or book an appointment online 24/7 today!