What to Do When a Permanent Tooth Gets Knocked Out

15 Jan

Getting a permanent tooth knocked out — whether in a fight, a sporting or recreational activity, or just a terrible mishap — is considered a dental emergency, and one that is not uncommon. More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year.

When this happens, your tooth needs immediate attention. Do not wait until morning or the next day to deal with it. In fact, the longer you wait, the less likely it is that we’ll be able to reattach your tooth. Your best bet is to get to a dentist or emergency department within the first 30-60 minutes after losing a tooth. The sooner, the better.

At Infinity Smile Center, Dr. Harry Ashitey is an emergency dentist who has the skills and experience to help you if you lose a permanent tooth.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to save your tooth, possibly avoiding the need for a crown, dental implant or bridge. Here’s what you should do to increase your chances of keeping your tooth when it gets knocked out — after you contact us.

Find the tooth!

Don’t leave it lying around. Pick it up by the crown (the place where you chew) and never the root (the place where it attaches to your gum). Touching the root can damage it, making it more difficult for Dr. Ashitey to successfully reattach the tooth.

Rinse your tooth

If your tooth gets knocked out and lands on the ground, rinse it so it’s free of dirt and debris. Only use water, not soap. Don’t dry it or rub it with a washcloth or towel.

Place the tooth back in the socket, if possible

If possible, gently place the knocked-out tooth back in its rightful place. But only do this if it goes back easily. Don’t force it into the socket. Hold the tooth in place by biting down on it gently or holding it in place with your fingers.

Keep your tooth moist until you get to the dentist

If you can’t place your tooth back in its socket, you need to keep the tooth moist until you get to the dentist. You can do this by holding it between your cheek and gum, or by placing it in a cup of milk if you have it in your refrigerator. If milk is not available, you can also keep it moist with saliva. Don’t use tap water.

How to avoid getting your tooth knocked out

There are simple precautions you can take to reduce your risk of getting your tooth knocked out, chipped, or fractured. Aside from walking away from a fight, tips to preserve your teeth and smile include:

  • Wear a mouthguard while playing sports, especially contact sports
  • Avoid biting down or chewing on hard foods such as candy, ice, or unpopped popcorn kernels
  • Don’t try to open packages or other items with your teeth
  • Practice good oral hygiene habits to keep your teeth strong and healthy

For more information on what to do when you get a tooth knocked out, or about other dental emergencies, call us to make an appointment with Dr. Ashitey or request an appointment at our in Lewisville, Texas, office using our online form.



TX 121, Lewisville, Denton County, Texas, 75057
United States

Call us today!

(972) 573-4723

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri: 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sat: closed
Sun: closed

Book Now

Contact us today to request an appointment