What to Do If You Lose a Tooth

July 15, 2021

hockey player who lost a toothMillions of teeth are either knocked out or fall out each year. But if it happens to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean your tooth is lost for good. Instead, knowing the proper emergency action can help save your tooth so that it can be replanted and last for many years to come.

Remember these tooth-saving steps to protect your smile until you receive medical attention:

  • Step 1: Pick up your tooth by the crown, NOT the root. First, locate your tooth and carefully pick it up by the crown (the chewing surface). Never touch the root of the tooth.
  • Step 2: Inspect and clean the tooth. If your tooth is dirty, you can use water to rinse it gently. Avoid scrubbing and using soap or other harsh chemicals. Once the tooth is clean, don’t dry it. Next, inspect the crown and root for fractures and determine if any portion appears to be missing.
  • Step 3: Reposition the tooth back in the socket, if possible. It may sound strange, but you should try to put your tooth back into its socket immediately, if possible. Hold it by the crown and gently push the tooth in its socket with your fingers, or position it above the socket and slowly close your mouth to guide it along the way. If it doesn’t go all the way in, bite down gently on gauze or a moistened paper towel to help keep the tooth in place.
  • Step 4: Keep the tooth moist. Your tooth needs to stay moist at all times, whether it’s in your mouth or not. If your tooth won’t go back in its socket, put it in a glass of milk or in your mouth next to your cheek. You may also use an over-the-counter emergency tooth preservation kit (such as Save-a-Tooth®) if you have quick access to it.
  • Step 5: See a dentist within 30 minutes of the injury. Reimplantation is possible if your dentist acts fast, but chances of success are unlikely after 2 hours or more. Ideally, you should see a dentist or endodontist within 30 minutes of losing your tooth. However, it is possible to save a tooth even if it fell out more than an hour prior. Bring the tooth with you to your appointment, and if your dentist isn’t available, go to the emergency room instead.

Get Treatment Today!

At College Ave Modern Dental, we offer emergency dental services to help relieve your pain and provide treatment as quickly as possible. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, contact us today for a same-day appointment.