Knocked out teeth? Here's what to do in this emergency

What can you do if you’ve lost teeth due to trauma? This is considered a dental emergency. If you get to your Ottawa dentist’s office soon enough, they may be able to save the tooth.

What causes knocked-out teeth?

Knocked-out teeth are commonly the result of an impact on the jaw or face.

If you are dealing with knocked-out teeth, take the following steps:

1. Find the tooth and pick it up by the crown (don’t touch the root).

Immediately after you lose your tooth, attempt to retrieve it. Carefully pick the tooth up by the crown (the part exposed above the gum line when it is in your mouth).

2. Gently rinse the tooth with water if it’s dirty.

Rinse the tooth with only water to remove any debris or dirt. The use of chemicals or soap should be avoided. Scrubbing or drying the tooth, as well as wrapping it in cloth or tissue, may cause damage.

3. If possible, place the tooth back in the socket.

Try putting the tooth back in its socket right away. You can try to gently push it in (continuing to touch the crown only, not the root). Another option is to try positioning it above the socket.

Close your mouth slowly to push it in. Using a finger, hold the tooth in place. You might also bite down on it.

4. Keep the tooth moist.

If you can't put the tooth back in its socket, keep it moist until you can get to the dentist. Put it in a cup of milk or keep it next to your cheek in your mouth. Avoid storing it in regular tap water for an extended period of time because the root surface cells will not be able to tolerate water.

Using this method of preserving a tooth may increase the likelihood of your dentist being able to replace it.

5. Within 30 minutes of the injury, get to your dentist’s office.

If you lose a tooth, you should visit your dentist's office within 30 minutes. However, if a tooth has been out of the mouth for an hour or more, your dentist may still be able to save it.

How can I prepare for a dental emergency at home?

Dental emergencies can happen any time of the day or night. There are some things you can do at home to prepare in case you experience one.

Keep these things around the house at all times, as they are handy to have in a dental emergency:

  • Over-the-counter painkillers (such as ibuprofen)
  • Ice pack
  • Small container with a lid to preserve a knocked-out tooth
  • Gauze
  • The phone number of our Ottawa dentist’s office

If you type "dentist near me" into your favourite search engine, our information will most likely appear. Please contact our office as soon as you feel safe to do so. We will make every effort to see you as soon as possible.

Do you have questions about what to do with a knocked-out tooth? Contact our Ottawa dentists right away.

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