Knocked Out Tooth

If a tooth is knocked out, it is vital to get to the dentist immediately. If you/ your child are a patient of our practice we will see you immediately. If we reimplant a knocked out tooth within 30 minutes, even up to one hour, it may be possible to save the tooth.

  • Find and pick up the tooth by the enamel or top portion of the tooth to prevent damage to the root.
  • Handle the tooth as little as possible and do not touch the root.
  • If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with cold running water for 10 seconds.
  • If possible, replace the rinsed tooth in the socket and hold it in place with your fingers. Gently bite down on it.
  • If you cannot replace the tooth in the socket, keep it moist in a container of milk or saline.
  • Transport the tooth to us in a glass of milk or, in the case of an older child, in the child’s mouth (next to the cheek).
  • For ‘baby’ teeth, do not try to replace the tooth in the socket. This could damage the formation of the permanent tooth.

More FAQs

What if I have only got part of the tooth?

It is not a good idea to try and put the tooth back into the socket if it is not complete. Contact us as soon as possible and they will tell you what can be done to restore the tooth. You may need dental x-rays to see if there is any root damage.

Is there anything I should do if I haven't got the tooth?

If you cannot find the tooth, you may have inhaled it. If you think you may have swallowed or inhaled it, you may need an x-ray at a hospital  to be sure of this.

What if it is a baby tooth?

Most dentists would not recommend putting back a baby tooth in case an infection damaged the adult tooth underneath. There is no way to temporarily replace a baby tooth, so the only treatment is to wait for the adult tooth to appear.

What other treatment may I need?

If the tooth has re-implanted successfully you may not need any other treatment, as long as you keep up your regular check-ups with your dentist. If the tooth becomes loose, it can be ‘splinted’ to the teeth next to it. This means it will be temporarily attached to keep it firm until your dentist can tell whether it has re-implanted successfully.

If the tooth is lost or doesn't re-implant successfully, it can be replaced at first with a denture. Then, when the socket has healed fully, you can have a bridge or dental implant.

Is there anything that I can do to avoid getting a tooth knocked out?

If you are playing sports, particularly contact sports, you should always wear a mouthguard (gum shield).

This is a rubber-like cover that fits over your teeth and protects you against a blow to the mouth. We can have one made for you by taking an impression of your teeth and sending it to a laboratory. The laboratory then makes the mouthguard so that it fits your mouth exactly.

Mouthguards can be clear or coloured - for example, in the colours of the team kit if you want to wear one while playing sport.

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