Emergency Info

Dental emergencies can be a serious health issue, handing the emergency properly prior to seeing a dentist is key and could save you time and money, as well as decrease the risk of permanent damage to the teeth and surrounding structures.  If you have a dental emergency contact your dentist immediately.        knocked out tooth



Athletic-Type injuries in permanent teeth:

Fractures/chips, avulsions (tooth completely knocked out), luxations (tooth knocked out of position but still in the mouth).  Save any chipped or missing pieces if possible, keep the pieces moist.

If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out DO NOT:

  • Handle the tooth by the root
  • Brush or scrub the tooth
  • Attempt to sterilize the tooth

The best course of action for a knocked out permanent tooth or a permanent tooth that has been knocked out of position is to immediately re-implant the tooth or reposition the tooth back into its normal position.

  • Prior to repositioning or re-implanting gently rinse the tooth with water, do not scrub the root or try and remove any fibers. 
  • Once repositioned gently bite into a towel or handkerchief to stabilize the tooth. 
  • Do not force the tooth back into position.
  • If you cannot re-implant the tooth, you must keep the tooth moist.  Place the tooth in "tooth saver" solution, or in cold milk, saliva or if none of these options are available place the tooth in water with a pinch of table salt.Time is of the essence, teeth re-implanted within 30 min to an hour have the best chance of successfully healing.

Other Helpful Info

  • The above rules do not apply to baby teeth.  If your child has trauma to a baby tooth contact your dentist immediately.  Attempting to replant or reposition a baby tooth could cause lasting damage to the developing permanent tooth which lay buried in the jaw above the existing baby teeth.
  • Warm salt water rinses: 1 teaspoon of salt in 8oz of water.  The warmer the water that you can tolerate, the more effective. Swish around the affected area 3-4x a day.  This will speed up healing time and decrease pain and swelling.
  • Helpful for:
    • Toothaches
    • Food/debris caught between teeth or in gums
    • Swelling due to infection or trauma
    • Canker sores/ulcers
    • Pizza/temperature burns
    • Cuts or trauma in the mouth
    • Pain associated with erupting teeth


  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil):  In general if you are able to take these medications they are much more effective in managing dental pain when compared to Acetaminophen (Tylenol)  and Aspirin.
  • Swelling/Abscesses:  Abscesses can pose a serious health risk.  If you believe you have a dental related abscess contact your dentist immediately.  If you have a severe facial swelling which causes difficulty in breathing or your eye to become swollen shut go to the emergency room, IV antibiotics may be indicated.  In the meantime follow the warm salt water rinse protocol listed above.
  • Soft tissue injuries or cuts:
    • Warm salt water rinses
    • Use a damp piece of gauze or a damp tea bag and apply pressure to the bleeding area for 10-15 minutes.
    • Place a cold compress on the outside of the mouth near the injury to reduce pain, swelling, and bleeding.
    • If you cannot stop the bleeding call your dentist or go to the emergency room.