What To Do If You Dislodge a Tooth


           If you should partially or completely avulse (dislodge) one of your teeth in a sports or other accident, there are a few simple guidelines to follow so that you will have the best possible chance of retaining the tooth. These steps are to be taken while keeping in mind that it is most important to GET TO A DENTIST AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.


2 avulsed teeth that have been reimplanted.

           If one of your teeth is partially dislodged (also known as subluxation):

  • Try placing it back into its normal position with your tongue or by gentle finger pressure.
  • If this cannot be easily accomplished, do not attempt to force it into place. Besides being painful, trying to force a partially avulsed tooth back into its normal position can cause damage to both the root of the tooth and its socket. This can jeopardize the ultimate survival of your tooth.
  • Get to the dentist as soon as possible so that, if you could not properly reposition your tooth, he or she can reinstate it correctly and then splint it in place to stabilize it during the healing process.
  • If your tooth is subluxated and there is a delay in getting to a dentist, try not to disturb it with either your bite or through chewing. Injured gum tissue around the tooth can be cleaned and soothed with salt water rinses.


           If one of your permanent teeth (do not try to save baby teeth) is completely dislodged:

  • When you retrieve your tooth, hold it by its crown (that portion of the tooth normally visible beyond the gum tissue) and NOT by the root.
  • If the root of your tooth is obviously soiled, clean it under running water. Make sure that the sink's drain is plugged and some water has run so that you don't lose or damage the tooth if you should drop it.
  • Attempt to reimplant your tooth gently. Again, trying to force your tooth back into place may result in injury to the tooth or the socket that could preclude its successful retention.
  • If you are unable to reimplant your tooth, it should be stored until your earliest opportunity to see a dentist. Save-A-Tooth is a kit available from the 3M company that contains a special replenishing solution in a protective holder for avulsed teeth. It is the ideal storage method for your tooth until you get to a dentist. Sports facilities (the majority of avulsions are due to sports accidents) should have these kits on hand during events. If one is not available, cold fresh milk in a clean container is the best alternative.


Related Pages

Join Our eMail List


Dr. Barry F. McArdle, D.M.D. ~ 118 Maplewood Avenue, The Captain Moses House, Suite B-7, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Questions or Request an Appointment: Contact Us     Phone: 603-430-1010     Email: drmcardle@mcardledmd.com     Website: http://mcardledmd.com