Emergency Dentist Tips: How to Save a Knocked-Out Tooth

A patient at 21st Century Dental shows off his knocked-out tooth before visiting our emergency dentist.

Did you know that there are over 5 million knocked-out teeth each year? We see this a lot with athletes who play contact sports, such as football, boxing, and hockey.

Many people are under the impression that once a tooth is knocked out, there’s no chance of saving it. However, that’s not always the case.

In fact, taking the right steps immediately after the accident can raise the odds that the tooth will be salvageable. Let’s go over our emergency dentist’s recommendations on what you can do if your tooth is ever knocked out.

Emergency Dentist Tips: How to Save a Knocked-Out Tooth

When it comes to knocked-out teeth, it’s important to work fast, according to our emergency dentist. Here’s how to handle this situation, from the first aid to the storage process as you bring the tooth to your dentist.

First Aid

Knocked-out teeth can cause excruciating pain and a good amount of blood. The first priority is to stop the bleeding. You can do so by holding gauze on the gum and socket area with a little bit of pressure, just as you’d do with any other open wound. As you’re doing that, scan the ground for your tooth.

Permanent teeth can generally be reimplanted if you get to the emergency dentist in time. However, baby teeth cannot be put back in, as this can lead to issues with the permanent teeth down the road.

If your child was the one who knocked out their tooth, be sure to take them to the dentist right away to ensure that the injury didn’t cause damage to that part of the mouth.

Find the Tooth

Once you get eyes on the tooth, remember that you want to steer clear of the root. The root consists of various fibers (periodontal ligaments), which help with the healing process. The only place you should hold onto is the crown of your tooth.

It’s important to track down the tooth quickly because it increases the odds that it will be able to return to its place in the gumline. If you can’t find your tooth for some reason, don’t feel like you have to stress about it. 21st Century Dentistry offers a variety of options to replace your missing tooth.

Keep It Clean

If your tooth was knocked out, the chances are that it hit the ground and came into contact with dirt, dust, and whatever else might be lurking on the floor.

Clean off your tooth under a gentle stream of water. Steer clear of soap for this, and do not scrub the teeth with your hands or any other cleaning utensil. (Have questions about cleaning your tooth? Contact an emergency dentist near me.)

Keep It Moist

If your tooth doesn’t stay wet, you might not be able to put it back in. That’s why we suggest inserting the clean tooth back in your mouth along your cheek, gums, or in the socket. You can also bite down if you prefer to keep the tooth in place in the socket.

Note: If you don’t have your whole tooth, you will not want to put it back into your socket, as it can affect the healing process. The best thing to do in this situation is to contact an emergency dentist, such as your friendly local 21st Century Dentistry.

Saliva and milk can both help the tooth maintain moisture. If it’s too uncomfortable to add the tooth to your socket, or it’s not easy to keep in your mouth, gently set it in a glass of milk (not regular tap water–as this type of water can be hard on root surface cells for long durations).

See an Emergency Dentist

If you have a knocked-out tooth on your hands, now’s the time to act. There’s a tiny window on how long you can act, and that’s usually between 30 minutes to an hour. (In some cases, we can still salvage the tooth if it’s not been more than two hours.)

At 21st Century Dentistry, we offer prompt, high-quality emergency dental services to ensure you get the care you need fast. Our team accommodates same-day appointments, and our emergency dentist can be reached after-hours when needed.

The first thing we’ll do is clean the tooth. Then, we may add a splint to secure the tooth.

We’ll ask you how the tooth came out, how long it’s been out, how you cleaned it, and other questions. Then, we’ll do all we can to get your tooth back into position in no time.

By choosing our experienced team, you can have confidence that your tooth will be reinserted safely and effectively. Before you know it, it will feel like the tooth was never knocked out in the first place.

Facing a knocked-out tooth or another dental emergency? 21st Century Dentistry, Nashville’s go-to emergency dentist, can help. Call us today at (615) 488-7446, or get in touch online to schedule an appointment.

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