Tooth Knocked Out? Take These Steps Immediately

More than 5 million adults and children experience a knocked-out tooth every year. Getting a permanent tooth knocked out can be scary, but this is a very common dental emergency. Even though it’s common, knocked-out teeth require urgent dental attention. If you wait until the next day, it increases the chance that your tooth won’t reattach. 

If you or your child experience a knocked-out permanent tooth, your best chance to save it is to contact a skilled dentist with experience handling dental emergencies, such as Dr. Kenneth Higgins and our experienced team here at IDTC Dental Center in Grand Prairie, Texas. 

In this article, Dr. Higgins explains the steps you can take immediately 一 even before calling our office 一 that can help you save your tooth.

1. Locate your tooth

Depending on the accident, your tooth may have been physically knocked out of your mouth. Once you find your tooth, it might be dirty (especially if you were playing on a game field). Pick up your tooth by the crown (i.e., the chewing surface) and never by the root. Touching the root can cause additional damage to your tooth.

2. Rinse your tooth

If your tooth landed on the ground, rinse it off until it’s free of dirt and debris. You can rinse it with water, but don’t soak it. Additionally, don’t dry it off with paper towels or napkins. 

3. Place your tooth back in the socket

It’s critical to keep your tooth moist, and one of the best ways to do so is to place the tooth back in your socket carefully. If it doesn’t fit back or if your mouth is swollen, don’t force it. If it does fit back into the socket, hold it in place by biting down gently.

If the socket isn’t an option, try the tips in the next section.

4. Keep your tooth moist

If your tooth gets too dry, it can impact the health of the roots. Try these strategies for keeping your tooth moist:

It might be tempting, but never store your knocked-out tooth in water. The water can cause the cells in the tooth roots to swell and burst.

5. Seek dental care within 30 minutes

Your tooth has the best chance of reattaching if you receive dental care within 30 minutes of the injury. Because swift care is so critical, we always reserve appointments for emergencies that arise throughout the day. If you experience a knocked-out tooth, give us a call and let us know you’re on your way.

Tip: Store our phone number in your phone, so when a dental emergency arises, you’ll already have it ready to go.

6. Take a deep breath

Experiencing a dental emergency can be scary, but it’s critical to take a deep breath and remain calm. If your child is injured, encourage them to take deep, slow breaths.

Reduce your risk of getting your tooth knocked out

The adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies here too. It’s not always possible to prevent a knocked-out tooth, but there are simple steps you can take to reduce your odds. Tips for reducing the risk of getting your tooth knocked out include:

To make an emergency dental appointment, call Dr. Higgins at 972-362-2375 and request your consultation. For non-emergency appointments, you can use our online scheduling tool.

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