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It’s surprisingly easy to lose a tooth. Teeth are often knocked out when we play contact sports, get an infection, or trip and fall. But losing a tooth isn’t like getting a cavity or chipping your teeth. You can only save it if you act fast.

To replace a missing tooth, you’ll need a dental implant, bridge, or dentures. Avoid these costly procedures by doing everything you can to save the lost tooth. Here’s what to do when you have a knocked-out tooth:

Is It a Baby Tooth?

Did your child lose a tooth? If so, it might not be a dental emergency. They could have lost a baby tooth. Unlike your permanent adult teeth (that don’t grow back), a baby tooth will be replaced by a permanent adult tooth.

If it’s hard to tell what kind of tooth they’ve lost just by looking at it, we recommend booking a dentist appointment so a professional can inspect the tooth.

Why It’s Important to Act Fast

The sooner you take action, the better your chances are of saving the tooth. If you can replant the tooth in the socket within minutes of knocking it out, it keeps the ligament of the tooth alive. This increases the chances that the tooth can survive.

Prevent a Knocked-Out Tooth

Once a tooth is lost, replacement options are costly. It can be distressing to lose a tooth; if you’re missing a tooth, you may feel embarrassed about your smile. What can you do to prevent a dental emergency?

If you play any contact sports, be sure to wear a mouthguard! This will keep your teeth safe if you’re involved in a collision.

Do you grind your teeth at night? Bruxism weakens the teeth, making them more likely to break or crack. Keep your smile intact by wearing a night guard.

Finally, talk to your dentist if you suspect that you have a tooth infection or gum disease. These conditions increase your chances of losing a tooth. By seeking early treatment, you can ensure your smile stays protected.

The First Few Steps

Here’s what you need to do right away to save your tooth:

  1. Locate the knocked-out tooth. Pick it up by the crown, not the root. If there is any dirt on the surface of the tooth, you can gently rinse it off with water, but avoid rinsing the underside.
  2. Try to put the tooth back in its socket. Then, slowly and gently bite down on a piece of gauze. Replanting a tooth will increase the chances that it can be saved. If a young child has lost a tooth, we do not recommend this step; there is a risk that they could swallow or choke on the tooth.
  3. If you can’t reinsert the tooth, keep it in a cup of milk. It’s important to keep the tooth moist. If you don’t have a cup of milk or water, keep the tooth inside your cheek.

And now, the last step (which may be the most important one):

Call an Emergency Dentist 

It’s best to see a dentist within an hour of losing a tooth. Don’t wait until the next day. When you call our emergency dental clinic, we will make you an appointment as soon as possible. Our dentists are on call 24/7. Contact us now!