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What to Do if Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out

Jul 01, 2023
What to Do if Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out
Knowing what to do if your tooth gets knocked out can spell the difference between saving or permanently losing your tooth. Read on as we share our top tips for taking action and increasing your chances of saving a knocked-out tooth.

Accidents happen, and sometimes they result in a knocked-out tooth. While it can be a distressing situation, it's important to remain calm and take the right steps to maximize the chances of saving your tooth. Immediate action is crucial when dealing with a knocked-out tooth, and that’s why our team of providers reserves appointment slots each day for dental emergencies here at Urbandale Smiles.

In the meantime, read on to learn what you should do if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

Stay calm and handle the tooth with care

When a tooth gets knocked out, it's essential to stay calm and composed. Panicking may lead to further damage or loss of the tooth. Handle the tooth with care, avoiding any unnecessary touching of the root.

Taking a few deep breaths can help because deep breathing shifts your body out of fight-or-flight mode and into a more relaxed state. If you’re helping someone else who’s lost a tooth, encourage them to take a few deep breaths, too.

Retrieve the tooth and rinse it gently

If possible, locate the knocked-out tooth, and pick it up by the crown, the top part visible of your tooth. Avoid touching the root (or the underside of your tooth) to prevent any potential damage to the delicate tissues.

If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently with clean water, but don’t scrub it or use any soap. Avoid using any chemicals, toothpaste, or brushes. The goal is to remove dirt or debris without causing harm.

Reinsert the tooth (if possible)

If you can, try to reinsert the tooth into its socket. Make sure it’s facing the right way, and push it in gently using your fingers. Bite down slowly on a piece of gauze or a clean cloth to keep the tooth in place. This step is crucial, as it helps preserve the tooth until you can reach a dentist. If you can reinsert your tooth into the socket within five minutes, the chances of successfully saving your tooth are increased.

If that’s not possible, you can also keep your tooth in the pocket of your cheek.

Keep the tooth moist

If you can’t reinsert the tooth, you need to keep it moist to prevent it from drying out. Place it in a clean container and cover it with either milk, saliva, or a specialized tooth preservation solution available at pharmacies. Avoid using water, as it may damage the tooth's cells.

Seek immediate dental attention

Contact us at Urbandale Smiles immediately after securing your tooth. Time is of the essence, as the chances of saving the tooth decrease significantly after an hour. Be prepared to provide our team with all the necessary information, including how long it’s been since the tooth was knocked out.

Manage pain and swelling

To alleviate pain and reduce swelling, you can apply a cold compress on the affected area from the outside. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also be taken as directed.

Follow your dentist's advice

Once you reach the dental office, Dr. Wu, Dr. Flinkman, or Dr. Sanborn will assess the situation and determine the best course of action. They may clean the tooth, reposition it, and stabilize it with a splint or wire to aid the healing process. Follow their post-treatment instructions carefully to ensure the best possible outcome. Rest assured that we apply our same holistic dental principles to emergency dental care, too.

While a knocked-out tooth can be a distressing situation, it's important to act quickly and correctly to maximize the chances of saving the tooth. Stay calm, handle the tooth with care, and take immediate steps to keep it moist until you can reach our office in Urbandale, Iowa.

Remember, time is critical, so seek professional help as soon as possible. With prompt action and professional intervention, there’s a chance to save your tooth and restore your smile.

For dental emergencies, call us at 515-276-7800. For less urgent matters, feel free to use our online form to book an appointment.