At McComb Family Dental, our doctors and team have chosen to exceed all of OSHA and CDC recommendations, as well as the State of Ohio dental requirements. We do this for you and your family.

4 Steps You Should Take When You Knock Out a Tooth

August 4, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — mccombdental @ 7:42 pm
a closeup of a hand holding a lost tooth

Sometimes life comes at you pretty fast, and you might be happily minding your own business when out of nowhere, you suffer a dental injury that knocks out one of your pearly whites! But in these situations, the very last thing you should do is panic; by keeping calm and taking the correct action, you can ensure that your smile’s beauty and functionality aren’t jeopardized. Here are four simple steps your emergency dentist thinks you should follow if you or someone you know has knocked out a tooth, to ensure that there aren’t any long-term consequences.

Step #1. Quickly Secure the Tooth

You should know that a displaced tooth has the best odds of being reimplanted if your dentist can assist you within 30 to 60 minutes, meaning that you should act fast to locate and secure the tooth. Once you’ve found it, pick it up by its chewing surface and do not touch it by the root. In some cases, a tooth that’s been knocked out can be returned to its socket by the patient; gently place it back into its normal position, biting down on a piece of gauze to keep it steady. If this isn’t working, don’t try to force it. Young children also shouldn’t be expected to do this.

Step #2. Carefully Tend to the Tooth

If the tooth is dirty, you can gently rinse it off with tap water; do not use soapy water, disinfectant, or any other type of cleaner. You also shouldn’t rub or scrub the tooth at all, as this can damage it and make reimplantation less feasible. You’ll also need to prepare the tooth for transport. Ideally, the tooth should be transported in the patient’s mouth; however, if this isn’t possible, a small plastic container or Saran wrap should be used—do not use a tissue or cloth. You can also store the tooth in a cup of milk or your own saliva to prevent it from drying out. Emergency tooth preservation kits, such as Save-a-Tooth, can similarly be used if you have one handy.

Step #3. Promptly Contact Your Dentist

It’s still possible to salvage a displaced tooth even if the one-hour window has passed, but you shouldn’t take any chances—call your dentist at once and explain the situation. They’ll let you know when to come in; emergency dentists typically have time baked into their schedules for these types of situations, so you shouldn’t stress about speeding to the office or inconveniencing them!

Step #4. Cautiously Safeguard Your Smile

As you’re waiting to attend your appointment, you’ll be responsible for protecting your tooth, as well as the rest of your smile, from further harm. Once you’ve situated your tooth for travel, you can address any oral bleeding with a clean handkerchief or gauze. You should also avoid taking aspirin, since this has the potential to worsen bleeding. If for some reason you’re unable to arrange emergency dental care, you can visit an ER for symptom relief; just keep in mind that most hospitals aren’t fully equipped for handling dental emergencies, and often are only able to provide symptom relief.

More than five million teeth are knocked out every year in children and adults alike, so if it happens to you, don’t despair! Proper emergency treatment can save the tooth so that it’s able to remain a part of your beautiful smile for years to come.

About the Practice

The talented team at McComb Family Dental has served the dental needs of the McComb, OH community for several years, offering a wide range of services including emergency dentistry for patients with knocked-out teeth and other urgent issues. If you have any questions about the blog or you or a loved one has knocked out a tooth, don’t hesitate to contact the practice for assistance. Telephone: (419) 293-2335. 

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269 Park Drive South, McComb, OH 45858 USA
Dr. Marion Arbogast DDS (419) 293-2335 (419) 293-2512