What Do You Do When A Permanent Tooth Gets Knocked Out?

Sports injuries, falls, bicycle accidents, and car accidents can all lead to facial trauma, including knocking out a tooth.  If you’ve suffered from a knocked-out tooth, try not to panic, but do act quickly. Read on for the American Association of Endodontists’ recommended step-by-step guide of what to do if a permanent tooth is knocked out.

Six Steps to Take After a Permanent Tooth is Knocked Out. 

  1. Find the tooth

Do the best you can to locate the tooth, if possible. If you’ve sustained other, serious injuries, this may not be possible. But if your tooth has been knocked out due to an injury such as a fall, or during a sporting activity, it’s best to try to find the tooth.

  1. Pick up the Tooth Carefully
    You should avoid touching the root of the tooth. Instead, pick up the tooth by the crown (visible part of the tooth). 
  2. Gently remove debris
    If the tooth is dirty, gently remove debris.  Don’t try to scrub it. Avoid using chemicals including soap. Don’t dry it or wrap it in any kind of cloth.  
  3. Attempt to Put the Tooth in the Socket
    If you are able, gently guide the tooth back into its socket, and push it down gently. Remember to only touch the crown of the tooth.
  4. Keep the tooth moist
    The tooth needs to stay moist. If you cannot get the tooth back into its socket in your mouth, put it in a small cup of milk if available. If nothing is available to keep it moist, try to hold the tooth in your mouth near your cheek.
  5. Seek endodontic treatment ASAP
    Head to an endodontist immediately, because time is of the essence. You have the best chance of saving the tooth if you can get treatment within 30 minutes. In some cases though, knocked-out teeth may be able to be saved, even if they’ve been out of the mouth for an hour or more.

How does an Endodontist Save a Knocked-Out Tooth?

If you’ve had a permanent tooth knocked out, an endodontist may be able to successfully replant the tooth. They will guide the tooth back into position and use splints to stabilize the tooth. This can allow your gum tissue to reach the tooth root and begin reattaching. After several weeks, you will likely need a root canal to clean out any infection or decay and then seal the tooth. You may then need to have a permanent crown fabricated by your general dentist. 

What is an Endodontist?

All endodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are endodontists. An endodontist is a dentist who has received post-dental school education and specialized training, to care for the interior of the tooth (pulp). Endodontists are highly specialized practitioners who treat tooth pain, tooth abscesses, tooth injuries, and cracked teeth. They perform intricate procedures such as root canals, emergency dental surgery, apical surgeries, and endodontic re-treatment. 

Emergency Treatment for a Knocked-Out Tooth in Flint, MI

Contact Lindemann Root Canal Specialists if you've experienced any trauma to the face or jaw, resulting in a knocked-out permanent tooth, or broken tooth by calling 810-732-7900.  Dr. Matthew Lindemann is a Board-Certified endodontist who is highly experienced in treating dental trauma including broken teeth and knocked-out teeth.