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Oakton Dentistry by Design

5 Steps to Follow If You Have a Knocked-Out Tooth

September 13, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — oakton @ 1:56 am
person with knocked-out tooth covering their mouth

Did you recently lose one of your permanent teeth? Whether your knocked-out tooth happened as the result of a sports-related accident or by other means, it can be pretty alarming. Your initial reaction may be to panic, but it’s important to stay calm and work through the necessary steps to prevent additional damage. Read on to learn about the five steps you should follow if you knocked out a tooth until you can see your emergency dentist.

Step #1: Call Your Emergency Dentist

The first thing that you should do after experiencing a knocked-out tooth is to contact your dentist. The sooner you can get to them, the better your chances are of saving the tooth. Ideally, you’ll be able to get to your dentist’s office within 30-60 minutes. If they can’t see you that soon, your emergency dentist will fit you in as soon as possible. If the incident occurs after hours, listen to their voicemail. It may give you information on what to do next.

Step #2: Find & Clean the Tooth

After calling your dentist, try to locate the tooth. If you’re able to find it, pick it up by the crown, which is the top part of the tooth. Avoid touching the roots of the tooth since this could damage it. Rinse off the tooth with clean water. Don’t use any cleaning agents since this may damage the tooth further. Additionally, don’t scrub away any tissue that’s stuck on it.

Step #3: Store the Tooth

Keep the tooth damp until you are able to see your dentist. Rather than storing it in plain water, attempt to put the tooth back in the socket if possible. If you aren’t able to do this, you can also store it between your gums and cheek. Alternatively, you can keep the tooth in a small container full of milk or saliva. Make sure to take your knocked-out tooth with you when you see your dentist.

Step #4: Clean Your Mouth

After you put the tooth somewhere safe, you should rinse your mouth out. This will help get rid of any leftover debris. If the tooth broke and not all of it got knocked out, inspect your mouth to see if there are any pieces still lodged in the socket. If there are, you can use dental wax to cover them so they don’t scratch your cheeks, tongue, or lips.

Step #5: Keep Your Smile Safe

If possible, avoid eating until your appointment so you don’t get any debris in the socket. If you have to eat before then, chew carefully and on the other side of your mouth. If you’re experiencing any pain, add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of water and gently move it around your mouth to disinfect the area and lessen inflammation. You can also apply a cold compress or take over-the-counter pain medicine.

If you have a knocked-out tooth, it needs to be handled quickly and correctly. This will raise your chances of having it repaired and getting your smile back on the right track!

About the Practice

Drs. Pasquale J. Giordano and Joseph A. Khalil are skilled dentists who lead the compassionate team at Oakton Dentistry by Design. They aim to help patients of all ages keep their smiles healthy by administering a variety of effective treatments. If you have a knocked-out tooth or another dental emergency, they can fit you in for a prompt appointment to repair the damage. Call (703) 938-4300 or visit their website for more information or to make an appointment.

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