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Be Prepared for Dental Emergencies – How to Save a Knocked Out Tooth

A dental emergency can happen when you least expect it and knowing what to do is important if you want to be able to save your tooth, minimize pain and discomfort, and get the treatment that you need.

One of the most severe dental emergencies is a knocked out tooth (also known as a dental avulsion), and the team at Sol Dental wants you to know how to manage this situation while you wait for your emergency appointment.


1. Pick up the Tooth Immediately

Don’t leave your tooth at the site of the accident. Do your best to locate it on the ground, and pick it up as soon as you can to minimize environmental contamination. When picking it up, avoid contacting the “root”, which holds it in the proper position in the socket.

Instead, handle it only by the “crown,” the chewing surface that is normally exposed in the mouth.

2. Clean the Tooth Gently With Warm Water

Do not use soap or any kind of other chemical compounds to clean the tooth. If there is dirt or any other debris on the tooth, simply run warm water to rinse the dirt off.

You should also avoid rubbing or scrubbing the tooth, as that may damage it. Do not put the tooth in any kind of cloth, paper towel, or napkin.

3. Reposition the Tooth in the Socket if Possible

The best place to keep your tooth while you seek emergency treatment is in its original socket. When your tooth is replaced in the socket, it will be kept moist, and in the proper environment. Try to reposition the tooth in the socket. Gently push it in, using your fingers.

You can hold it in place with a finger, or by biting down on the tooth gently while it’s in the mouth.

4. Keep the Tooth Moist At All Times

If you can’t put the tooth back into the socket due to pain or bleeding, you still must keep it moist. Alternatives include putting the tooth in a bag or jar of milk, or “holding” it in your mouth, between your cheek and your jaw. You could also use a purpose-built kit like Save-A-Tooth, if one happens to be available.

Do not put the tooth in tap water. The cells of the root cannot tolerate this environment for a prolonged period of time and will begin to die quickly.

5. See Your Emergency Dentist Within 50 Minutes of the Injury

Ideally, you should have someone call ahead to your dentist as soon as the injury occurs so the dentist they can make space in their schedule for your emergency dentist appointment.

For the best chance of saving the tooth, care should be given within 30 minutes of the injury. If the tooth is properly cleaned and cared for, it can often survive outside of the mouth for an hour or more. Still, prompt care is required for the best possible results.

Come to Sol Dental for Dental Emergencies in Tempe!

At Sol Dental, Dr. Jaclyn Orozco always makes dental emergencies a priority. We offer treatment for patients who walk in with serious dental emergencies, and we can also offer after-hours, holiday and weekend appointments in some cases.

We offer emergency dentistry for the whole family. Whether you’ve got a toothache, your dental crown might be failing, or your child’s tooth is knocked out during a sports event, we’re here to help in Tempe.

Contact us now for a same-day appointment by giving us a call at (480) 360-3311, or coming to our office in person at 2139 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282. We hope to see you soon!


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