What to do if you knock out a tooth
Do you know what to do if somebody you know gets a tooth knocked out? This simple knowledge may enable you to save the tooth and become a sports / playground hero!
Prevention. Sports guards are recommended for all ages in the following sports:
Acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, across, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.
Children between the ages of 7 and 10 are more likely to suffer from an avulsion due to the elasticity of their bone at this age. However, if the lost tooth is a baby tooth, the best option is to do nothing. If you try to put the tooth back in the socket you risk damaging the adult tooth underneath. It is still a good idea to visit the dentist to check for any other trauma to the face that may have occurred.
For adult (permanent) teeth follow these steps:
- Find the tooth and call us. Put our number in your contacts so that you don’t waste precious time looking for it. 250-479-7177. We will fit you in immediately for an emergency. If it is outside office hours, call the office and an emergency contact number will be on the message, either Dr. Gakhal will meet you at the office or set you up with another dentist who can see you right away.
- Hold the tooth by the crown (white part) only (do not touch the roots, you can damage them). Be gentle and do not try to detach any of the ligaments / blood (you need them for the tooth to survive)
- If the tooth is dirty gently rinse the tooth off with Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution if you have it (First aid may have this if you are at a sporting event). If this solution is unavailable rinse under cold water or saline solution. The idea is to just get the dirt / debris off of the tooth, not to get it super clean.
- If you can, place the tooth back into the tooth socket. Placing the tooth the socket, has the highest rate of ligament and blood vessel reattachment. Gently hold the tooth in place by biting on a handkerchief and head to the dentist.
- If you cannot place the tooth in the socket, the next best place is in the mouth under the tongue, or in the cheek next to the molars. Do not do this if the patient is too young or too traumatized to hold it in place, or if there are any other reasons to believe that it might be swallowed.
- If you cannot place the tooth in the mouth, put it in a small container filled with (in order of preference) Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution, Milk (whole is best), Saline Solution, Saliva. DO NOT put it in plain water, this can kill the tooth.
- Head to the Dentist immediately, re-implanting the tooth within 30 minutes of dislodgment has the best chance of success.
- Once the tooth has been re-implanted by the dentist it may need root canal therapy. In all cases it will need to be monitored closely and proper oral hygiene is required for the best outcome.