Knock out a tooth? What to do in this emergency

If you've lost teeth due to trauma, this is considered a dental emergency. Getting to your Red Deer dentist’s office quickly increases the chances that they may be able to save the tooth.

What causes teeth to get knocked out?

Knocked-out teeth are commonly the result of an impact to the jaw or face.

If you are dealing with tooth loss due to injury or accident, take the following steps:

1. Find the tooth and pick it up by the crown (don’t touch the root).

As soon as you've lost your tooth, try to find it. Be careful to pick the tooth up by the top or 'crown' (the part exposed above the gum line when it is in your mouth).

2. Gently rinse the tooth with water if it’s dirty.

Use only water to rinse any debris or dirt from the knocked-out tooth. Avoid using chemicals or soap. Do not scrub or dry the tooth, and do not wrap it in cloth or tissue, as any of these actions may result in damage to the delicate root.

3. If possible, place the tooth back in the socket.

Try to replace the tooth in its socket right away. You can try to gently push it in (remember to only touch the crown, not the root). Another option is to try positioning it above the socket.

Close your mouth slowly to push it in. Using a finger, hold the tooth in place. You might also gently bite down on it.

4. Keep the tooth moist.

If you’re unable to place the tooth back in its socket, it must be kept moist until you get to the dentist. Place it in a cup of milk, or keep it in your mouth next to your cheek. Avoid storing it in regular tap water, as the root surface cells will not be able to tolerate water for an extended period of time.

Using this method of preserving a tooth may increase the likelihood of your dentist being able to replace it.

5. Get to your dentist’s office within 30 minutes of knocking out a tooth.

Ideally, you should go to your dentist’s office within 30 minutes of losing any teeth. However, it may still be possible for your dentist to save a tooth if it has been outside the mouth for an hour or more.

How can I be prepared for an at-home dental emergency?

Dental emergencies can happen any time, but there are some things you can do at home to prepare in case you experience one.

Keep these things around the house at all times, as they are handy to have in a dental emergency:

  • Over-the-counter painkiller (such as ibuprofen)
  • Ice pack
  • Small container with a lid to preserve a knocked-out tooth
  • Gauze
  • The phone number of our Red Deer dentist’s office

Type "dentist near me" into your favourite search engine, and our information will likely come up. As soon as you are able to call our office, do so and we will make room in our schedule to see you as soon as possible.

Do you have questions about what to do with a knocked-out tooth? Contact our Red Deer dentists right away.

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