How To Save a Knocked-Out Tooth

General & Cosmetic Dentists Serving Omaha, Bellevue, Lincoln and Nearby Nebraska

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Posted: September 30, 2021

Dental trauma is more common than you might think. More than five million teeth are knocked out every year as the result of accidents and sports injuries. If you or your child are dealing with this situation, emergency dental care may help save the tooth so it can last for many years.

First Aid for a Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, there are several steps involved in saving it:

  • How to save a knocked-out tooth infographicFind the tooth: You may have to search the ground or the grass.
  • Pick it up by its crown: Make sure to hold the chewing surface of the tooth, which is the part that is normally visible above the gumline. Never touch the tooth by the root because doing so can prevent proper healing. It contains important fibers and ligaments.
  • Rinse it with water: Gently clean any visible dirt or debris off the tooth. Do not use soap, mouthwash, or chemicals. Similarly, avoid scrubbing the tooth, as this is too harsh.
  • Put it back into the socket: Adults and calm children may be able to reinsert the tooth into the socket in the correct position. Try to lightly push the tooth in with your fingers. If you get it into the socket, hold it in place with your finger or gently bite down on it. Do not try to reinsert a baby tooth. You could accidentally damage the permanent tooth below.
  • Keep the tooth moist: Your mouth will keep the tooth moist if you can reinsert it. If you are not able to do so, then you will need to get creative. You can hold the tooth loosely in your mouth or place it in milk. The sterile balanced salt solution (BSS) in tooth preservation kits also works if you happen to have one on hand. Do not use tap water.
  • Call our dentists right away: Time is a crucial factor in the survival of a knocked-out tooth. The odds are good if the tooth can be replaced into the socket quickly. But the survival rate for an avulsed tooth decreases the longer it has been out of the mouth. Call our staff to get into our office as soon as possible. We will likely reimplant the tooth.

Schedule an Emergency Dental Visit in Omaha

Do you require an emergency dental appointment in Omaha? Please call one of the following four office locations to ask about availability: Hillsborough: 402-445-4647, Village Pointe: 402-505-7474, Ralston Square: 402-733-4441, or Dundee: 402-502-5593.

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