Whatever the circumstances, if your tooth is knocked out you should seek emergency dental help immediately – the quicker you are treated the greater the chance of saving the tooth.
When handling the tooth, hold it by the crown (the top bit) and not the root.
Do not rinse or clean it – either hold it in your cheek (not recommended for children) or put it in a glass of milk.
What to do if you have a tooth knocked out – First Aid
If you have lost a tooth and need emergency dental help to stop the bleeding, we recommend you apply direct pressure to the bleeding area, biting down on to a piece of gauze may make it easier to apply constant pressure.
Please do not pull the tooth out if it is still attached, the attached tissue could be providing a blood supply to the tooth which will help to keep it alive.
Place the avulsed tooth into the patient’s mouth (inside their cheek is good) or if possible place the tooth back into the socket being careful not to touch the root – also be sure to place the tooth back the right way round!
Sometimes it’s not possible to put the tooth back in an emergency if this is the case carefully place it into a container of milk – this will help to keep it hydrated and increase the chances of the emergency dentists being able to replant it.
What do if you a tooth is knocked out of position or place
If the tooth is knocked out of place but is still attached to the mouth, even if this is by a thin ‘cord’ of tissue, please do not pull it out as this may be providing a blood supply to the tooth.
If you are able, place the tooth back into the socket, if this is not possible place it inside the patient’s cheek and go straight to accident and emergency.
Knocked-out Tooth Treatment
Once you have has basic first aid and the tooth has healed there are 3 possibilities:
- The tooth is in place and everything is fine – no further treatment necessary.
- The tooth is in place, but is slowly going darker – this can often happen, if it does we can try whitening the tooth, or we may need to use a dental veneer to cover it.
- The tooth is not still in place and there is a gap. For this, we can either make a denture, bridge or place a dental implant.
Dr Paul Abrahams is the principal dentist at SmileMore and has worked in North London for 21 years providing general and cosmetic dental care.
Dr Paul Abrahams heads up the SmileMore Dental Care team. He qualified at Guys Dental Hospital in 1989, and has undertaken extensive postgraduate studies in cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry since.