How Fast Do You Have To Act To Save A Knocked-Out Tooth?

It’s one of the most terrifying dental emergencies you can experience: a knocked out tooth. No matter how it happens it’s definitely a source of fear and surprise, and with good reason! The pain, shock, and panic that you may experience when you lose a tooth can be so overwhelming that you don’t act fast enough to save it, too.

At Northwest Dental Group we’re dedicated to treating emergency patients as fast as we can. That means we’re always available to see you as soon as possible, even outside of normal business hours. In the case of a knocked out tooth we’ll be sure to see you as soon as possible – every minute counts!

Time Is Of The Essence

When a tooth is knocked out of your mouth you don’t have much time to save it. The tissue that’s still attached to it starts to die fast, and without your body to keep it alive it won’t be able to be reattached.

In most cases a lost tooth has about 30 minutes of life before it’s in danger of not being able to be reattached. That doesn’t mean the 30 minute mark is the absolute cutoff, though. In many cases it’s possible to reattach a tooth within an hour, or sometimes a bit longer.

The bottom line for treating a knocked out tooth: it has to be fast!

How To Address The Injury At Home

An intact tooth that gets knocked out needs to be cared for very carefully. Every mistake you make can increase the chances that it’s not going to be successfully reattached, so be sure you stay on top of the situation by following these steps.

  • Locate the tooth right away, and when you handle it only touch the crown, never the root.
  • If any tissue is still attached to the tooth be careful not to damage or remove it. It needs to stay there to ensure the tooth fits back in place.
  • Rinse the tooth gently under some water to be sure it’s clean.
  • Try to place the tooth back in the socket – this is the prefered way of treating a tooth and will prolong the time we have to get reattached securely.
  • If you can’t get the tooth into the socket you can place it in a glass of milk or between the cheek and gums. Don’t put a tooth in water – it can’t tolerate too much exposure for too long.
  • Whatever you do, don’t let the tooth dry out! When a tooth loses moisture the cells and tissue on the outside of it will die, and reattachment will be impossible.
  • As soon as the situation is under control call our Rochester office at 507-216-6252 so we can get you in ASAP!

Preventing Knocked Out Teeth

There’s only one thing better than being able to restore a tooth that’s been knocked out, and that’s not losing one in the first place. If you or your child participate in sports or any other physical activities were tooth loss is a risk then we want to help you be sure that it’s not going to happen!

Sure, there’s all sorts of everyday situations in which you could lose a tooth – you may even slip and fall and bust one out! But let’s be realistic – there’s a big difference between having an accident and participating in an activity that could easily cause you a serious injury.

For all of those cases we’re glad to craft custom athletic mouthguards for you and your family. Our mouthguards are in a total different league from those you’d buy at the sporting goods store. They can be customized based on the sport you play, made to match your team colors, and are made from an impression of your mouth so that they’re sure to fit perfectly.

Wearing a mouthguard drastically reduces your chances of suffering from broken teeth, split lips, punctured teeth, tooth loss, and even concussions – you should never take the field without one!

Are You Ready For An Emergency?

If you’re having a dental emergency you can always reach our Rochester office right away at 507-216-6252. For non-emergency treatment needs we’re always here to help as well, and you can request an appointment right here online.

We hope to see you at Northwest Dental Group soon!