first aid knocked out tooth

First Aid for a Knocked-Out Tooth

If you suffer a knocked-out tooth, quick action is essential if you hope to save it.

When a permanent tooth is knocked out, an oral surgeon may be able to put it back in place, but the chances of saving the tooth depend on how fast you get professional attention.

first aid knocked out tooth

The steps you take after a fall or accident results in knocked-out tooth also make a difference.

Step 1: Carefully Rinse the Tooth

Pick up the tooth by the crown — not the root end — and rinse off any dirt. Use only water, and don’t scrub. Don’t dry it off, either, as it needs to stay moist until it can be re-implanted.

Step 2: Reinsert or Store the Tooth

After rinsing, carefully attempt to put the tooth back into the empty socket. Gently position it with your fingers, handling it only by the crown. If reinsertion is impossible, tuck the tooth above the socket or in your cheek. If that’s uncomfortable, store it in a small container of cold milk.

Step 3: Treat the Symptoms

Once you have the knocked-out tooth safely stored, use sterile gauze or cloth to control any bleeding. Hold an ice pack or cold compress to your cheek to help with the swelling and pain. If necessary, take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Step 4: See an Oral Surgeon Immediately

To improve the odds of saving your tooth, you need to get to an oral surgeon’s office within 30 minutes. If you wait longer, and it will probably be lost for good.

Can an Oral Surgeon Save Every Knocked-Out Tooth?

Even with proper first aid and prompt professional attention, not every knocked-out tooth can be successfully re-implanted.

If yours cannot be saved, talk to your oral surgeon about your replacement options. Living with missing teeth is never a good idea, as it can lead to further oral health issues. A dental implant is often the best choice, as an implant restores optimal mouth function and helps prevent bone loss in the jaw. A fixed dental bridge or removable partial denture won’t provide the same benefits.

If you live in the central Indiana area and suffer a knocked-out tooth, contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Our professional team will make every effort to see you right away, giving you the best chance of saving your tooth. And if it’s beyond saving, we can explain your replacement options and put you on the path to a fully restored smile.

When you need quick, emergency treatment for a knocked-out tooth, call Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Indianapolis.