What to Do if You Get a Knocked-out Tooth

What to Do if You Get a Knocked-out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency. You should see a dentist as soon as possible. But what are you supposed to do immediately after the injury? If you know what to do with your knocked-out tooth, you’re more likely to be able to save it.

You’ll want to try to get to a dentist within a half hour of the injury. Our Bern Ave location in North Carolina is open on nights and weekends.

These are the steps you’ll need to take to protect your tooth while you’re en route to the dentist.

Pick Up the Tooth

You might be tempted to leave the tooth wherever it was knocked out. But you shouldn’t! Quick action by your dentist can actually save the tooth, so you don’t need a full replacement.

It’s extremely important that you don’t touch the root. This is the pulpy bit at the bottom of the tooth. You should only pick the tooth up by touching the enamel. That’s the part that you use to chew.

The root is the nerve that runs through the tooth. If you want the best chances of reattaching a knocked-out tooth, the root needs to be undamaged.

Gently Rinse

Chances are, your tooth fell on a dirty floor or the ground outside. If the tooth has dirt on it, gently rinse it using water.

Again, you should be certain not to touch the root with your hands.

Some important notes about this:

  • ONLY use water. You should NEVER use chemical cleansers, soap, or even toothpaste.
  • Do not scrub at the surface of the tooth. Just let the water gently run over it.
  • Do not dry the tooth. It will air dry.

Though it may seem like the best course of action, you shouldn’t wrap the tooth in fabric. If you can’t put the tooth back in your mouth, it’s better to transport it by hand.

Put the Tooth Back

If you can put the tooth back, you should do that right away. You don’t even need to be at the dentist. Just place the tooth upright in the empty socket in your gums.

You can push it down from the top with your fingers. If you’re having trouble with that, you can place the tooth above the hole. Then slowly and gently close your mouth. Your jaw should naturally push the tooth back into place.

The tooth will still be loose at this time. Make sure that you’re lightly biting down or holding it with a fingertip. You’ll want to keep it in place until you reach the dentist.

Moisten the Tooth

It is vital that the knocked-out tooth remains most. When it’s inside your mouth, that’s fairly easy to do. All you need to do is moisten it with your tongue.

If there’s no way for you to put the tooth in the socket, you’ll need milk. Follow these steps:

  • Place the knocked-out tooth in your mouth, inside your cheek.
  • Sip a bit of milk and hold it in your cheek without swallowing.
  • This will keep the tooth moist until you reach the dentist.

Another option is to use a special tooth preservation kit, if you happen to have one on hand. Most people don’t, though.

As mentioned, you shouldn’t wrap your tooth in cloth. You also shouldn’t use tap water to keep your tooth moist. Tap water can damage the surface cells in the root of the tooth.

See an Emergency Dentist Near New Bern Ave

You’ll have the best chances if you visit a dentist within a half hour of your knocked-out tooth accident. Make sure you bring the tooth with you. Even if you haven’t followed all of these instructions, your dentist will still try to save it.

There have been some cases in which teeth have been saved after being knocked out an hour beforehand. But time is of the essence. The faster you see a dentist, the better your chances.

Here at Carolina Dental Arts, our Bern Avenue practice is fully equipped for dental emergencies. We are a Spanish speaking emergency dentist open on Sunday, as well as other days of the week. If you’re dealing with a knocked-out tooth, we’re available for emergency care during the nights as well.