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What to Do With a Knocked-Out Tooth?

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

DID YOU KNOW YOU USUALLY HAVE LESS THAN AN HOUR to save a knocked out adult tooth? So, what do you do? As your South San Francisco dentists, we want you to be prepared and to know that you can count on us for same day emergency appointments.

If a whole tooth gets knocked out in one piece, there is a limited window (not much longer than an hour) in which the tooth has a chance to be successfully replanted, so the sooner you can see your dentist, the better.


What to Do:

  1. Handle the tooth by holding it at the crown.

  2. If necessary, gently rinse with water only (Do NOT touch or scrub root. Do NOT use soap, alcohol or other cleansers)

  3. Attempt to replant: Try to place it back in the socket and hold it in place with a washcloth or gauze. If that isn’t possible, store it in cold milk.

  4. Go to the dentist immediately: You have 30min to an hour

What NOT to Do With a Knocked-Out Tooth

Here are a few important don’ts for knocked-out teeth:

  • DON’T touch the root.

  • DON’T let it dry out.

  • DON’T scrub or clean it with soap, alcohol, or peroxide.

  • DON’T put it on ice.

Any of these could kill the root, making the tooth impossible to replant!

What About Knocked-Out Baby Teeth?

Most of the time, when a baby tooth gets knocked out, it isn’t an emergency. Typically a dentist wouldn’t replant a baby tooth because that might create problems for the permanent tooth underneath. However, if it wasn’t loose beforehand, we recommend at least giving the dentist a call for some advice. There might be less obvious damage than what happened to the tooth.

We're Here When You Need Us

If you ever knock out a tooth, you can count on your team of dentists and specialist at South San Francisco Dental Care. With an entire dental team in your corner, it's easier than ever to book a same day and next day emergency appointment. We also offer interest-free financing, so you can get the treatment you need when you need it the most. We've got you covered!



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