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Take These Steps Immediately If Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out

You may think your days of losing teeth are part of your childhood past, but every year, more than 5 million children and adults experience knocked-out teeth. While losing a baby tooth may be cause for celebration, a knocked-out adult tooth is a dental emergency

If your tooth gets knocked out, don’t panic. The experienced dentists at Dental Studios in Summit and Westfield, New Jersey, specialize in helping patients with dental emergencies of all kinds — including saving knocked-out teeth. 

Restoring a knocked-out tooth requires quick thinking and fast action. Here are the steps to take right away if your tooth gets knocked out.

1. Keep your knocked-out tooth safe

The first step in saving a knocked-out tooth is keeping it safe. Recover your tooth from wherever it landed — and when you handle your tooth, be sure to hold it by the crown, or the part you use when you chew. Avoid touching the tooth root.

2. Carefully clean away any debris

Before taking any other steps, carefully rinse away any dirt or debris from your knock-out tooth. Don’t use any type of chemical cleaner — use only water or milk to rinse the tooth. 

When a tooth gets knocked out of place, some of the connective tissues may get ripped away with it. If you damage this delicate tissue when you clean the tooth, your provider may not be able to restore it. 

Never rub, scrape, or scrub your tooth — even if some material seems to stick. 

If your tooth got knocked loose or out but didn’t fall on the ground or other surface, you don’t need to rinse away the blood. It’s safer to leave it alone. Your Dental Studios provider properly cleans and prepares your tooth before attempting to restore it.

3. Try placing your tooth back in its socket 

One of the best things you can do to help save your knocked-out tooth is to gently place it back in its socket as quickly as possible. This keeps the root safe and maintains moisture, which is essential for reattachment. 

Holding the tooth by the crown, gently set it over the socket. Once it’s in place, close your mouth slowly and gently close your jaw to nudge the tooth back in place.

Never force a knocked-out tooth into its socket! If you can’t do so easily, move on to the next step.

4. Keep your knocked-out tooth moist 

It’s not always possible to get your tooth back in its socket. In this case, find another way to keep it moist as quickly as possible. If you wrap the tooth in a napkin, paper towel, cloth, or tissue, you risk drying it out and damaging any connective tissue, which could make reattachment impossible.

Don’t use regular tap water to keep a knocked-out tooth moist. The minerals and chemicals naturally occurring in tap water destroy the surface cells of your tooth’s roots. 

Instead, fully submerge your tooth in a small, clean container of milk, saline solution, or saliva. If none of these is available, keep the knocked-out tooth in your mouth next to your cheek and avoid touching it with your tongue.

5. Go to the dentist right away

A knocked-out permanent tooth is one of the most pressing dental emergencies. The sooner you can get to the dentist — ideally within an hour — the more likely it is that your Dental Studios provider can reattach it and save your tooth. 

Unfortunately, dental emergencies don’t always happen close to home. If you can’t get to your provider within an hour of losing your tooth, follow the steps above as it’s sometimes possible to restore a tooth that was knocked out for longer than an hour if it’s been properly cared for. 

If you’re out of town, contact an emergency dental provider near you as soon as possible.

For emergency dental services and all of your dental needs, contact Dental Studios online or over the phone in Summit or Westfield, New Jersey.

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What Our
patients say
  • I had an excellent experience with this practice! The dentist was very kind and listened attentively to my concerns. Everything went great and they checked on me a few hours after I got home. Great doctor and caring staff!

    by Damian L. on 8/29/21