What to Do If You Lose a Tooth

July 22, 2021

Hockey Player Missing a ToothEach year, millions of people lose their teeth or have them knocked out due to an injury. Reimplantation technology has made it possible to fixate even a completely avulsed (knocked out) tooth back into its socket. However, any time you lose a tooth should be considered a dental emergency. Seeing a dentist as soon as possible is essential to not only preserve your smile but also ensure your condition doesn’t worsen over time.

If your tooth is knocked out, try to remain calm and remember these tips to increase your chances of saving it:

  • Handle your tooth by its chewing surface and never grab it by the root. The root contains important fibers called periodontal ligaments, which are essential for proper healing.
  • If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently with tap water. Do not scrub the tooth or attempt to dry it.
  • If possible, put the tooth back in its socket. Then, hold it in place with gauze or a clean washcloth until you see a dentist.
  • If your tooth won’t go back in the socket, place it in your mouth next to your cheek or in a small glass of milk (not tap water) to keep the root moist.
  • Call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment. If you can’t see a dentist right away, go to the emergency room instead. Be sure to bring your tooth with you.

Importance of Timely Action

Time is the most crucial factor in the survival of a lost tooth. After about an hour outside the mouth, your tooth’s chance of survival will decrease significantly. Permanent teeth are most likely to be saved if they are replaced within 15-30 minutes. However, teeth can be successfully reimplanted even an hour after the injury as long as they have been stored properly.

At Advantage Dental Group, we offer various emergency dental services to quickly resolve painful symptoms and find long-term solutions to preserve your smile. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, contact our office for a same-day appointment.