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How to Deal With a Knocked-Out Tooth

Source: Dr. Marketing

If you've ever experienced a dental emergency, you know how scary and painful it can be. One of the most common dental emergencies is a knocked-out tooth. Whether it's due to a sports injury, a fall, or any other type of accident, a knocked-out tooth can be a serious problem if not handled properly. In this post, Bright Smile Dental will go over what to do if you or someone you know experiences a dental emergency involving a knocked-out tooth.

What Causes a Knocked-out Tooth?


A knocked-out tooth, also known as an avulsed tooth, occurs when a tooth is completely displaced from its socket. This can happen to both primary (baby) and permanent teeth. Some common causes of a knocked-out tooth are: 

Trauma or Accidents

Direct trauma to the mouth and face, such as from falls, sports injuries, car accidents, or other types of impacts could result in a lost teeth.

Biting Hard Objects

Biting down on hard objects like ice, hard candies, popcorn kernels, or non-food items can cause teeth to be dislodged. 

Weak Tooth Structure

Some individuals naturally have weaker tooth enamel, making their teeth more susceptible to damage.


Grinding or clenching your teeth, especially during sleep (bruxism), can exert excessive force on your teeth, leading to wear and loss over time.

Decay and Gum Disease

Neglected oral health can weaken the structures supporting the tooth, making it more susceptible to being knocked out.

When to Seek Professional Help for a Knocked-out Tooth in Santa Ana

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When you have a dental emergency such as a knocked-out tooth, it is important to seek professional dental care immediately to avoid complications such as tooth loss, infection, or damage to surrounding teeth. Seek dental care from our doctors at Bright Smile Dental in Santa Ana:

  1. Within 30 minutes of the incident, to increase the chances of successfully re-implanting and saving the tooth. Time is of the essence because the cells on the tooth's root surface can quickly deteriorate without a blood supply.
  2. If you experience severe pain, significant swelling, or any signs of infection (such as fever or pus discharge), it's imperative to seek immediate dental or medical attention. These symptoms may indicate complications that require urgent treatment.

What Not to Do When You Have a Knocked-Out Tooth

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Understanding what not to do when you have a knocked-out tooth is just as important as knowing the correct actions to take. Here are some things to avoid:

  • Do not touch the root of a knocked-out tooth.
  • Do not clean the tooth with soap or chemicals.
  • Do not let the tooth dry out.
  • Do not try to reinsert a baby tooth (primary tooth) that has been knocked out.
  • Do not try to force a tooth back into the socket if it does not fit easily.

Remember, the most effective way to handle a dental emergency is to seek professional care immediately. With prompt treatment, our dentist, Dr. Bui, at Bright Smile Dental may be able to save your tooth and avoid further complications.

First Aid for a Knocked-Out Tooth

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While waiting for professional dental care, providing immediate first aid for a knocked-out tooth can significantly increase the chances of saving the tooth. Here are some steps you can take for first aid:

Managing Facial Injuries

If you have a facial injury along with a knocked-out tooth, it's important to manage the injury first. Here are some things to do:

  1. Apply pressure to the area to control bleeding.
  2. Use a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  3. Take over-the-counter pain relievers to manage pain.

Handling the Knocked-Out Tooth

If you have a knocked-out tooth, it is important to act quickly to increase your chances of saving the tooth. Here's what you should do:

  1. Pick up the tooth by the crown (the part that is usually visible in the mouth) and avoid touching the root.
  2. Rinse the tooth gently with water or milk, but do not scrub or clean it with soap or chemicals.
  3. Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket if possible. Hold it in place with a clean finger or by biting down gently on a piece of gauze. Avoid re-implanting a primary tooth as it can harm the developing permanent tooth underneath.
  4. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, store it in a container of milk, saline solution, or your own saliva. Do not let it dry out.
  5. Seek dental care immediately.

Can a Knocked-Out Tooth Be Saved?


If you act quickly and seek dental care immediately, there is a good chance that your tooth can be saved. Our dentist at Bright Smile Dental will clean the tooth and socket, and then reposition the tooth back into the socket. They may use a splint to hold the tooth in place while it heals, restoring your tooth. 

Tooth Restoration Possibilities

There are several options available for tooth restoration if you've experienced a knocked-out tooth. The proper course of action will depend on the severity of the injury and how quickly you seek treatment. One possibility is re-implantation, where Dr. Bui will attempt to put the tooth back into its socket. This is most effective when the tooth is replaced within 30 minutes of being knocked out. If successful, the tooth can be saved and restored to its normal function.

It is important to note that not all teeth can be saved, and in some cases, extraction may be necessary. Our dentist in Santa Ana will be able to advise you on the proper course of action based on your individual circumstances.

Regardless of the treatment option chosen, it is important to seek prompt dental care after a tooth has been knocked out to increase the chances of successful restoration.

Alternatives if a Knocked-Out Tooth Cannot be Saved

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If your tooth cannot be saved, there are several options available to replace it. Here are some of the most common options:

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a popular option for replacing missing teeth. They are artificial tooth roots that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. Once the implant has fused with the bone, a crown is placed on top to create a natural-looking replacement tooth. Dental implants are a long-lasting and effective solution for tooth loss.


Dental bridges are another option for replacing missing teeth. A bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth that are anchored to the remaining natural teeth on either side of the gap. Bridges can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, metal, and ceramic. They are a good option for people who are not good candidates for dental implants.


Dentures are removable prosthetic devices that are used to replace missing teeth. They can be made to replace a few teeth or a full set of teeth. Dentures can be made from a variety of materials, including acrylic, porcelain, and metal. They are a good option for people who are not good candidates for dental implants or bridges.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are similar to full dentures, but they are used to replace only a few missing teeth. They are anchored to the remaining natural teeth using metal clasps. Partial dentures can be made from a variety of materials, including acrylic, porcelain, and metal.

If your tooth cannot be saved, our team at Bright Smile Dental can help you choose the proper option for your needs and budget.

Let our caring professionals help you with your dental emergency

A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency that requires prompt action. In the face of a knocked-out tooth, your swift and informed actions can make all the difference. Remember, time is your ally in preserving your smile and oral health. By following the steps outlined in this guide and seeking professional help promptly, you increase the chances of saving your tooth and restoring your confidence.

At Bright Smile Dental, we understand the urgency and anxiety that can accompany dental emergencies. Our team of experienced professionals is here to provide you with immediate care and expert guidance. Whether it's re-implantation, dental implants, bridges, or dentures, we offer a range of solutions tailored to your needs. Your smile is your greatest asset, and we're committed to helping you keep it shining bright. Don't let a knocked-out tooth dim your confidence. Contact us today at (714) 775-0202 and let us be your partner in preserving your beautiful smile because at Bright Smile Dental, your oral health is our top priority.

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