Boy and girl showing their missing teeth in the mouth

If the tooth is knocked out..

Unfortunately, unexpected accidents can happen and your tooth can get knocked out.

The most common situation in which you may knock your teeth out is playing contact sports and accidents. Other common circumstances where you can knock your teeth out or fracture the teeth are skateboarding, falling over, car accidents, bicycle accidents and trampoline falls.

  • Both adult teeth and baby teeth can get knocked out. Upper front teeth are more likely to get knocked out than back teeth.
  • For very severe accidents, the tooth will be completely dislodged from its socket, and we might not be able to save it. If it can’t be saved, the options will be dental implants, dental bridges or dentures.
  • If the tooth is fractured without any damage to the underlying structures, a dental crown or porcelain veneer can be placed.
  • In some instances, you will fracture the underlying bone and cut your lip and gum tissue. We can check the bone fractures in the x-ray films.
  • The nerve may also become infected as result of the accident. In these instances, if you want to save the tooth, root canal treatment is advised.
  • We firmly believe that prevention is better than a cure. Fluoride treatment will make the teeth strong. It won’t prevent your teeth fracturing but may minimise the severity.
  • Our dentists strongly recommend wearing a custom-made mouth guard when participating in any contact sports. Wearing a custom-made mouth guard will protect your teeth and minimise the potential damage.
  • If the tooth is knocked out, it is important to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible for further treatment.

What to do if the tooth is knocked out?

follow these steps:

  • Remain calm.
  • Pick it up, touching it by the crown only. The crown section is the smooth white part or chewing surface you see in the mouth.
  • DO NOT hold or touch the root.
  • If the root is clean, place the tooth back into the socket in the mouth in its original position. Do this as soon as possible and gently bite down on a gauze or handkerchief.
  • If the tooth or root is dirty, rinse it with one of the following:

  1. Saline solution (this is ideal)  

2. Milk

3. Water – rinse only for a couple of seconds and DO NOT scrub the root section.

  • Place the tooth back into the socket in its original position as soon as possible and then gently bite down on a gauze or handkerchief.
  • You should ideally do this procedure within 30 minutes. If you do this correctly, this will increase the chances of it surviving.
  • If the tooth cannot be placed in its socket, keep it moist all the times by either placing it in your mouth next to the cheek or placing it in a clean, moist and sealed plastic bag. Do not place it in water.
  • Time is crucial so if your tooth has been knocked out, see your dentist or an emergency dentist as soon as possible for further treatment.

What immediate steps sould I take, when the tooth is knocked out?

  1.  Keep the tooth moist at all times  
  2.  DO NOT clean it with tap water.
  3.  DO NOT clean it water for more than a few seconds.
  4.  DO NOT scrub it clean.
  5.  DO NOT dry it.
  6.  DO NOT use soap or any chemicals.
  7.  DO NOT put it in ice or ice water.
  8.  DO NOT wrap it in tissue or cloth.
  9. DO NOT hold or touch the root section.

Time is critical so it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible.