Treatment for Broken or Knocked-Out Teeth

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on January 16, 2020

Call 911 if the person:

  • 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 the tooth gently in a bowl of lukewarm water for no more than 10 seconds only if there is dirt or foreign matter on it. 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


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



American Dental Association: "Dental Emergencies or Injuries."

Doughlass, A. American Family Physician, February 2003.

KidsHealth: "Dental Emergencies;" "Knocked-Out Tooth;" and "Tooth injuries."

Children's Hospital Boston: "Teeth injuries."

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