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Treatment for Broken or Knocked-Out Teeth

Call 911 if the person:

  • Has a serious injury
  • Is unconscious

  • Has a serious injury
  • Is unconscious

Call 911 if: The person has a serious injury or is unconscious.

A knocked-out permanent tooth is a dental emergency. Knocked-out teeth can be re-implanted in many cases. A permanent tooth that is re-implanted within 30 minutes has the highest chance of success.

1. Collect Teeth or Teeth Fragments

  • Handle teeth carefully because damage may prevent re-implantation.
  • Touch only the crown, the top part of the tooth. Do not touch the root of the tooth.
  • Rinse tooth gently only if necessary. Do not scrub, scrape, or use alcohol to remove dirt.

2. Re-Insert or Store Teeth

  • Rinse mouth with warm water.
  • If possible, reinsert permanent teeth into the correct sockets and have the person bite on a gauze pad to hold teeth in place.
  • If you can't reinsert permanent teeth, or for baby teeth or teeth fragments, store them in whole milk or between your cheek and gum to prevent drying.

 

3. Treat Symptoms

  • Control bleeding with sterile gauze or cloth.
  • For pain and swelling, apply a cool compress. Encourage a child to suck on a frozen pop.
  • For pain, take ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

 

4. Get Help

  • For teeth that have been knocked out, see a dentist or go to an emergency room immediately. Take the teeth or teeth fragments with you. Even if the teeth have been successfully reinserted, you should see a dentist.
  • For chipped or broken teeth, call a dentist.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on November 20, 2013

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