Impact to the face, whether during an accident, while playing sports, or getting into a fight, can often result in damage to your teeth. If the impact is hard enough, one of your teeth may be knocked out of its socket, which is a dental emergency. In many cases, if you act quickly the tooth has a chance to be saved. Take the following steps after one of your teeth is knocked out:

Stop the Bleeding

When a tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, there may be a lot of blood which can be scary. It is important to stop the bleeding quickly so you can focus on taking additional steps to save your tooth. Use gauze or clean cotton and apply pressure to the tooth socket until the bleeding in the mouth subsides.

Handle the Tooth with Care

When handling the tooth that has been knocked out, it is essential to be very careful. When holding it, make sure you pick it up by the crown and not the root, as the root can easily be damaged. If the tooth has become dirty, try rinsing it with milk, or water if milk is not available. Do not use any type of cloth or fabric to wipe off the tooth, as doing so can cause damage.

Keep the Tooth Moist

It is imperative that you do not let a knocked out tooth become dried out. If possible, try placing the tooth back into the socket where it will stay moist from saliva; do not try to force the tooth back into the socket. If that does not work, place the tooth between your gums and your inner cheek. You can also place the tooth in a glass of milk if you are afraid of accidentally swallowing it.

Immediately See a Dentist

The sooner you see an emergency dentist after one of your teeth is knocked out, the better the chance of saving it. If the tooth is knocked out outside of your dentist's regular business hours, find an emergency dentist in your area who can provide immediate treatment. A dentist will be able to place the tooth back into the socket and then apply splints to each side to keep it in place; if there was no damage to the bone around the tooth the roots usually are able to reattach to the jaw in a few weeks. A root canal is usually required after a tooth is knocked out, but the timing of the procedure will depend on your personal situation.