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It’s never expected, but it happens. Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but sometimes life gets in the way. At our Sunny Isles dental office, we’ve found that teeth most commonly get knocked out by:

  • Car accidents, particularly during airbag deployment
  • Sports injuries like baseball or basketball
  • Simple slip-and-fall injuries

Seek medical attention!

If you’ve been in an accident, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor first, particularly if you were in a car accident, lost consciousness, or experienced other injuries.

What to do with the tooth when it gets knocked out?

If a tooth was knocked out in one piece, it’s very possible to save the tooth. Here’s what to do:

  1. Pick the tooth up by the crown (the part that shows when you smile). Avoid touching the tooth’s root
  2. Rinse the tooth with clean water
  3. Gently place the tooth back into the socket
  4. See a dentist ASAP

If you can’t get the tooth back in the socket, put it in a cup of milk (do NOT use tap water) or hold it in your mouth between your cheek and gum. This is the best way to keep a tooth viable while you seek out a dentist for emergency treatment.

If there are no complications or other injuries, the tooth can be saved! However, in some cases, a lost tooth must be replaced with an implant or bridge.

What if I knocked out my implant?

Implants are very durable. However, just like your natural teeth, an implant can be knocked out as the result of an accident or traumatic injury.

But unlike a knocked out tooth, don’t try to replace a damaged implant. Instead, see your dentist as soon as possible for an exam and to discuss your options. Depending on how the implant was lost, it may be possible to reinsert it. In other cases, a bone graft may be required to provide the strength and stability needed to restore the implant. Don’t worry though — it’s much more common for the crown of the implant to break off than it is for the entire implant to fall out.

If this happens, the crown may be bonded back in place or a new crown can be made to fix the problem.

How long do you have to reimplant a tooth?

In an ideal scenario, getting the tooth back in place within 30 minutes is ideal. However, the key number to keep in mind is seeing a dentist within 2 hours. Reimplanting a tooth after 2 hours have passed greatly reduces the likelihood of saving the tooth.

Will a loose tooth always end up falling out?

Sometimes an accident won’t knock a tooth out, but will make the tooth feel loose in its socket. If this is the case:

  • Resist the urge to wiggle the tooth with your tongue
  • Contact your dentist right away for an appointment
  • Your dentist may be able to give you more advice over the phone if they can’t see you right away

What if a kid gets their baby tooth knocked out?

A child’s so-called “baby teeth” are designed to fall out naturally as the adult teeth beneath them begin to grow. But if a baby tooth is lost before its time, get seen by a dentist to have it checked out. X-rays can help determine if there are any structural issues that need to be addressed.

Generally speaking, it’s something to keep an eye on but not something that always requires treatment. Your child’s dentist can monitor the development of their adult teeth and make sure the missing tooth doesn’t lead to crowding or misalignment in the neighboring teeth.

What happens when you knock a tooth out?

Inside your mouth, your teeth, gums, and jawbone all work together in perfect harmony. When one is damaged (like when a tooth is knocked out), the health of the others suffer. After a tooth is knocked out:

  • Neighboring teeth are at risk for misalignment and decay
  • Your gums become more prone to infection
  • The jawbone begins to degrade, a process known as resorption

All of these issues can be avoided, either by reseating the lost tooth or replacing it with an implant or other restoration.

What are the most common ways teeth get knocked out?

According to many sources, the most common causes of teeth being full knocked out (the technical term for this is avulsion) are:

  1. Car crashes
  2. Sports injuries
  3. Falls
  4. Clumsy accidents
  5. Eating — particularly common in cases of decayed teeth

Is a broken tooth an emergency?

If a tooth is fully knocked out, it is definitely a dental emergency. And in most cases, it may warrant a trip to the emergency room, too. Always see a doctor first if you’re suffering other injuries or if you lost consciousness during an accident — even for just a few seconds.

But do you need to see an emergency dentist right away?

  • Yes, if the tooth was fully knocked out or more than half of it has broken off
  • No, if it’s just a small chip or crack that’s not causing pain or discomfort

But we know that any kind of damage to a tooth can lead to worry, stress, and anxiety. We’re happy to take a look and let you know whether treatment is needed right away. 

Call our office at (786) 629-1503 to schedule your appointment.