Knocked Out Teeth

Disclaimer: Please be advised that this information is provided to assist in an emergency but does not substitute tailored dental or medical advice given by a practitioner who is familiar with the patient’s history and has completed an examination of the patient.

A knocked out adult tooth requires urgent action. If the tooth is put back into its socket within 30 minutes it has a much better chance of reattaching than if left until later.

Call your dentist immediately to make an urgent appointment.

To protect the adult tooth before the dentist is seen:

  • Find the tooth and pick it up by its crown (white part). Do not touch the root.
  • If the tooth is dirty, gently and briefly rinse it for 10 seconds with cold running water or milk, or have the patient or parent suck it clean
  • Try to replace the tooth in its socket. Have the patient bite down on a handkerchief to keep it in place. Every effort should be made to do this, especially if there is a delay in seeing the dentist.
  • If unable to replace the tooth in its socket try one of the following:
    1. Have the patient or parent carry the tooth in the mouth between the cheek and teeth. If the patient is young and likely to swallow the tooth, have them spit in a container to cover the tooth with saliva.
    2. Put it in a glass of cool unexpired milk, sterile contact lens fluid, or saline
    3. Wrap it in cling wrap

    DO NOT store the tooth in water

    Knocked out baby teeth should NOT be reinserted into the gum. If a young child has sustained dental trauma it is still best to see a dentist as soon as possible.