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Alternative Names Return to topTeeth - broken; Tooth - knocked out
Definition Return to top
The dentist's term for a knocked out tooth is "avulsed."
Considerations Return to top
A permanent tooth that is knocked out can sometimes be reimplanted. In most cases, only permanent, adult teeth are reimplanted into the mouth. Baby teeth are usually left out.
Immediately contact your dentist when a tooth is broken or knocked out. If you can find the tooth after the accident or injury, bring it with you when you seek medical help.
Causes Return to top
Tooth accidents are commonly caused by:
First Aid Return to top
Save any tooth that has been knocked out for possible reimplantation. Bring it to your dentist as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less chance there is for successful reimplantation. Handle the tooth only by the crown (chewing edge).
Use one of the following options to transport the tooth:
Teeth that have been badly fractured may expose nerve tissue inside the tooth. In this case, immediate attention is needed to avoid infection, abscess, and pain.
Simple chips or fractures may be tended to on a non-emergency basis, but should still be fixed to avoid sharp edges that can cut the lips or tongue, and for cosmetic reasons.
DO NOT Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
See a dentist immediately if:
In the case of simple tooth fractures, a non-emergency dental appointment can be made.
After a major accident, if you are not able to bring your upper and lower teeth together, the jaw may be broken. This requires immediate attention. You may call a dentist, but also seek help at a hospital.
Prevention Return to top
References Return to top
Roberts JR, Hedges JR, eds. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2004.
Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2002.Update Date: 5/28/2008 Updated by: Jason S. Baker, DMD, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Private Practice, Yonkers, New York. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network