When you or a loved one has a tooth that is loose, broken, has been knocked out of your mouth or forced out of position the absolute best thing to do is to get to the dentist as quickly as you can.
If you can get treatment within an hour or so of the incident it’s more likely that the tooth can be saved – dependent on the type and severity of the injury of course. In any case, fast treatment will reduce pain and the chance of infection.
So the first thing you do immediately following any injury to the teeth is to call your dentist and book an emergency appointment. Then follow the steps below to increase the chances that treatment will be successful.
What should I do when a tooth is knocked out?
Note: this information is for adult/permanent teeth only. For baby teeth, take the child to a dentist or ask your pediatrician for advice.
If you have the tooth that was knocked out, take it to your dentist.
Don’t touch the root end (the part that was below your gum). Touching the root can make it more difficult for your dentist to successfully reattach the tooth. You can handle the tooth by the crown.
Keep the tooth moist. Rinse it gently under water and then carefully replace it in its socket if possible. If not, place the tooth between your cheek and gums, or immerse it in milk.
If the person whose tooth was knocked out seems confused, dizzy or nauseous, you may want to avoid replanting the tooth in its socket or placing it back into the person’s mouth – they may not be aware enough to avoid swallowing it. Ask your dentist for guidance.
Teeth that have been knocked out can be reimplanted, reattached, or may need to be replaced.
What should I do when a tooth is cracked or broken?
Rinse your mouth with warm water, and apply an ice pack to the outside of the face to prevent or reduce swelling. Head to your dentist, who will evaluate the break and decide whether the tooth can be repaired with a composite restoration or whether you need a crown.
What should I do when a tooth is pushed out of position?
Try to reposition the tooth in its normal position, but do so very gently and carefully. Do not force the tooth; just carefully nudge it back into place if possible. Try to keep the tooth from moving (bite down gently, or support it with your tongue) and get to the dentist.
Your dentist will most likely reposition and stabilize the tooth. Adults may need to follow up with a root canal treatment. Children’s teeth tend to be better at recovering from trauma than an adult’s, but your dentist will want to monitor the tooth’s progress. To learn more about this great alternative to insurance, click here or call one of our AtYourService Customer Care Representatives at 1-800-238-5163.