When an adult tooth is knocked-out, it can likely be put back into place, but this dental emergency needs to be dealt with right away. The blood vessels and tissue that fed and secured the tooth cannot be saved. This places the responsibility of keeping the tooth safe squarely on your shoulders. Fortunately, preserving a knocked-out tooth is not incredibly difficult, but swift action is needed.
Please note: we make every effort to provide emergency dental services in the shortest amount of time possible, but DeWitt Dental Associates is not a 24/7 facility. If this is an after hours emergency, please visit the closest Urgent Care.
Steps to Care for a Knocked-Out Tooth
Keep your tooth clean:
- Only handle your knocked-out tooth by the crown. Be very careful to avoid touching the roots
- Do not use a washcloth or any other cleaning implement to scrub your tooth. If it has become dirty, rinse it off, gently, with milk. If no milk is available, use a light stream of warm water
- Do not scrub the tooth
Teeth that are not broken can often be placed back into the socket while you wait for your emergency dentistry appointment. If possible, gently slide the tooth back into place and leave it there until your dentist can address the issue. Be sure the tooth is facing the right way and be careful not to try and force it back into place.
If you cannot place the tooth back in the socket, take steps to keep your tooth moist:
- Place the tooth in a glass of milk
- If no milk is available, place the tooth between gum and cheek
- If “cheeking” the tooth causes discomfort, spit in a cup and place the tooth in saliva
- If nothing else is available, place the tooth in a cup of water
There are tooth preservation products you can purchase that will work to keep your tooth moist. These products can be useful if they are on hand, but saving a knocked-out tooth requires swift action. A trip to the store could push you past the 30-60 minute window you have for getting the tooth put back in place.
You will want to come into our office as soon as possible after a tooth gets knocked-out. Teeth that have been out for longer than 60 minutes may become impossible to put back in place. Once at our office, we will clean the socket, perform any needed treatments, and work to secure the tooth with a splint. The splint, made of soft wire and dental bonding, will need to stay in place for up to six weeks. Over this period, the tooth should reattach.
The success of this emergency dentistry service may not be known for three to six months. If the tooth fails to reattach or if infection is present, additional steps will need to be taken at this point.
What if My Tooth Can’t be Saved by Emergency Dentistry?
You have only a short window of time after having a tooth knocked-out to successfully have it put back in. If putting a tooth back in place is impossible, tooth replacement options can be discussed.
At Dewitt Dental Associates, we offer same day dental crowns, crafted with CEREC technology, that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. These crowns can be used for emergency dental bridges, allowing us to repair your smile during a single office visit. Dental implants can also be used to secure a crown, though the process is slightly longer.
When you come to our office for a dental emergency, all steps are taken to preserve the natural tooth. When this is not possible, we will discuss all other options and help you choose which method of tooth replacement will best meet your needs.
Are you having a dental emergency? Call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 right away. Located in Cherry Creek our emergency dentists welcome patients from all Metro Denver communities.