Welcome 7:30am- 8:00pm
Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm

Skip to main content

Take These Steps Immediately If You Have a Knocked-Out Tooth

Take These Steps Immediately If You Have a Knocked-Out Tooth

When a permanent tooth gets knocked out, the clock starts ticking. The sooner you respond with the right actions, the greater your chances of saving the tooth. All it takes is knowing what to do when faced with this unexpected dental emergency, and we’re here to help.

In addition to offering same-day emergency dentistry services at Family Dental Care in West Palm Beach, Florida, Dr. Sujay Trivedi and Dr. Michael Westcott want to equip you with the information you need. If your tooth comes out, take these steps, then come see our team right away. With prompt care, we can likely save the tooth — and help you preserve your smile.

Why you need to act fast

When a tooth gets knocked out, most people want to leap into action. And you should. The longer your tooth is exposed to the air, the less likely it is to successfully reroot in your mouth.

If you can provide proper care for your tooth within five minutes, you have a high likelihood of saving it. If it takes you longer than five minutes to locate the tooth, you don’t necessarily need to panic. Dentists can often successfully reroot teeth that have been out of the mouth for up to an hour.

At the 60-minute mark, though, your odds of saving the tooth plummet. The bottom line? The faster you can respond to a knocked-out tooth, the better off you’ll be. 

What you need to do

The first order of business is to locate the tooth. It may still be in your mouth, so pause, take a moment, and let the shock settle. Check your mouth before you swallow. 

Handle it with care

When you find the tooth, pick it up by the crown (the part that shows above your gum line), not the root. The root is fragile and needs to be protected so that it can successfully reintegrate into your mouth. 

Rinse it gently

Rinse the tooth gently with water. Don’t use soap or anything else to clean it. To prevent dropping the tooth down the drain, it can help to lay a towel in the sink basin before you turn on the faucet. 

Keep it safe and moist

Try to reposition the tooth in its socket. Biting down gently on some gauze might help you keep it in place. If you can’t get the tooth back in its socket or you’re worried you might swallow it, put it in a small cup. You must keep the tooth moist, so cover it with some of your saliva or milk. Don’t use tap water, because it can damage the root of the tooth. 

Head to our office ASAP

Bring your tooth, either in your mouth or in a cup, to our office as soon as possible. Dr. Westcott and Dr. Trivedi can try to reposition the tooth in its socket. Seeing us as quickly as possible increases the odds of the tooth’s successful reattachment in your mouth. 

Same-day emergency dental care

For any emergency dentistry need, call our Family Dental Care team at 561-556-1698 today. For any other dental care needs, you can also use our easy online booking tool to schedule a visit anytime.

You Might Also Enjoy...

When Is a Root Canal Necessary?

A root canal obviously isn’t ideal, but dentists only recommend it when it’s necessary to save your tooth from deep decay and infection. Learn when it’s the right treatment solution for your oral health.