What To Do If You Knock Out A Tooth?

So you’re playing baseball and your teeth catch the ball before your glove does. Or maybe you tripped over a tree root and your teeth caught your fall. Our teeth are always trying to help, but sometimes they do too much and can get caught on the wrong side of an accident.  If that’s the case, don’t worry. We can help!

In the event, you knock a tooth or teeth out (also called tooth avulsion) remain calm. There is a good chance we can save the tooth so that you can keep it, but you will have to act quickly and carefully.

If your tooth is knocked out the blood vessels and nerves that were connected to the tooth have been separated and cannot be repaired. At some point, the tooth will require a root canal but the bone can reattach to the root so that you can keep the tooth.  The younger you are the more likely the bone is to heal around the tooth.  Primary or ‘baby’ teeth cannot and should not be saved but happily, an adult tooth will replace it.

What to do

If you lost a tooth or teeth it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible after the tooth has been knocked out.  You can call our office at 208-853-2221, or if it’s after office hours, give Dr. Jensen a call on his cell phone at 801-592-5695.  Be very careful while handling the tooth to prevent additional damage.

Follow these recommendations to increase the chances of saving your tooth:

  • Be gentle with the tooth. The root and the tissue attached to it are very delicate and can easily be injured. Try to handle only the top, white part of the tooth and leave the root alone.
  • If the tooth is dirty it can be rinsed off with milk. If milk is not available, water can also be used. Do not scrub the tooth clean with a brush or wipe, as doing so can damage the root.
  • Keep the tooth damp. If the tooth dries out the root will be damaged, and it will not reattach to the bone. The tooth can be kept moist by putting it in a glass of milk. If milk is not available the tooth can also be stored in your mouth so that your saliva will keep it wet. Sometimes younger children can accidentally swallow the tooth so placing it in their mouth is not advised. If a young child has lost a tooth have them spit into a cup and place the tooth in the saliva. As a last resort water may also be used; however, the previously mentioned methods will generally yield a better result.
  • If you are able you can try to put the tooth back in its socket. A lot of times it will slide in. When doing this make sure the front part is facing forward. Do not be forceful as you can damage the bone. If it does not go in easily keep it moist until you can come in and see us.

What We’ll Do

Again, give us a call as soon as you lose your tooth because minimizing the time the tooth is out of your mouth is critical.  When you get to the office, we will take an x-ray to evaluate the bone around the socket.  Dr. Jensen will then rinse the socket with saline and place the tooth back in the socket if you have not already done so. Ideally, the tooth should be re-implanted as soon as possible. We see the best results when this is done within an hour of the accident.

Depending on how long the tooth has been out of the mouth a root canal may be done at the time you come in or we may wait and re-evaluate things at a future appointment.  Dr. Jensen will then splint the tooth to the teeth on either side so it will not move. Limiting movement of this tooth is important so the bone can reattach to the root. Usually, this takes 3-4 weeks as long as there was not significant damage to the bone, which can then require additional repair time.

Healing will be monitored at regular intervals to determine if the bone has successfully reattached to the bone. This is normally done in 3-6 months. As long as there is no issues or infection, the next check will be done at your next appointment.

We know it’s a bad day if you lose your front tooth, but fortunately, if proper precautions are taken there is a good chance we can put it back and you can keep it for years to come.

Toothache - suffering young man with teeth problems

Your Emergency Dentist In Boise

Some days come with unexpected struggles. You’re just living your life happy as a clam, then boom – you bite down on a seed and chip a tooth. Or little Freddie is guarding the soccer goal like a champ, then bam – he takes a kick to the mouth and a tooth flies out. Emergencies happen, and Dr. Jensen is here to help you in your time of stress and need.

Patients can reach Dr. Jensen after hours with a dental emergency by calling or texting his cell at +1-801-592-5695.

When To Call An Emergency Dentist

People have different pain levels, different responses to blood, and different ideas of what constitutes an emergency. The most common situations in which you should call the dentist for a same-day appointment are as follows:

  • Knocked out tooth
  • Intense oral pain in a tooth, the gums, jaw, or jaw joints
  • damaged crown or filling that leaves you unable to eat
  • A chip or crack that’s causing pain to the point that you cannot sleep
  • A crown or a veneer has come off in the front (yes, front teeth cosmetics are treated as an emergency in our dental office)

When to Go to the Emergency Room  

If your mouth, head, face, or jaw is bleeding significantly and cannot be controlled you should go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care.  Once the bleeding has been controlled and you have been evaluated for significant injuries, you can call our office for an emergency dental visit to address any tooth related concerns.

You should also go to the emergency room if you think you may have broken your jaw and are in severe need of immediate assistance.  If you are in stable condition but think your jaw is broken call our office and we may work with an oral surgeon to help you receive treatment.

When to Schedule a Convenient Appointment

If you are experiencing a toothache that does not keep you up at night, and taking over the counter pain medication helps you function during the day, you should schedule a dental visit for a convenient time. Waiting will only create the potential for a future dental emergency.

If your crown or filling becomes dislodged, but you can fit it back in place, put a dab of toothpaste on the underside of the restoration and replace it on the affected tooth. Then, call us to schedule a convenient appointment for us to recement or replace the restoration.

Right now, before you forget, log +1-208-853-2221 into your smart phone under “Emergency Dentist.” We’ll be literally a phone call away, the next time you have a dental emergency.

First Response For Dental Emergencies

Whether you need to see the dentist immediately or can wait and schedule a visit later in the week, you need to learn first aid response for urgent dental trauma. These tips are a good start.

Tooth Falls Out

When a permanent (adult) tooth is dislodged, find the tooth if possible. Hold it by the hard crown/tooth portion, not the root. If the tooth is very dirty, you may gently run it under a trickle of water to clean it, but DO NOT SCRUB THE ROOT. If you are able to, place the tooth back where it goes and call our Boise office ASAP.  If you are not comfortable doing this then place the tooth in a small container of either the patient’s saliva or regular milk, and bring the tooth to our office.  Timing is critical as the odds of success in saving the tooth go down significantly after the tooth has been out of the mouth for more than an hour.

Restoration or Temporary Falls Out

A crown, inlay, onlay, or filling may come out of place when you least expect. If possible, find the restoration. If it is in one piece, place a dab of toothpaste on the inside and put it back into place. If the restoration is in pieces, bring them to our office as it may help us to match the color of its replacement. If you cannot find it, don’t panic.

Call +1-208-853-2221, and we’ll determine on the call whether you need to come in immediately or make an appointment for a more convenient time.

Severe Toothache

Sometimes, people experience the quick onset of a significant toothache when a piece of food is lodged between teeth. Before calling the dentist or panicking, or even taking medication, try to floss around your hurting tooth. Once the rogue piece of food is dislodged, your comfort will be restored. Dr. Jensen has found popcorn kernals, toothbrush bristles and even a crab shell lodged beneath the gums so if this is the source of pain cleaning it out will bring relief and help you avoid a dental appointment.  If flossing does not help, call us at 208-853-2221 to schedule a limited exam.

Call Us Today

If you want a dentist who’ll be available when you need him most, call us to schedule a new patient appointment today. We’re conveniently located in Boise on N Maple Grove Road, at the intersection with Ustick Road. We’re open early hours, Monday through Thursday, with Friday and Saturday reserved for large cases as needed.

Right now, before you forget, log +1-208-853-2221 into your smart phone under “Emergency Dentist.” We’ll be literally a phone call away, the next time you have a dental emergency.
Patients can reach Dr. Jensen after hours with a dental emergency by calling his cell at +1-801-592-5695.