The Complete Guide: What to Know in a Dental Emergency

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The Complete Guide: What to Know in a Dental Emergency


It is a scary experience when you a dental emergency. But don’t fret! There are many things you can do to save knocked-out teeth and maintain good oral health. Here, we will discuss the most common and effective ways of saving knocked-out teeth.

What is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is any accident that causes damage to the teeth, jaw, or gums. It can range from a chipped tooth to an abscessed gum. A dental emergency is also any loss of one or more teeth due to injury. If you are encountering any of these situations, you are having a dental emergency.

Common Causes of Knocked-Out Teeth

Knocking out your tooth can happen in any situation, but some of the most common causes are during sports activities (playing high impact sports like football), motor-vehicle accidents, and everyday life.

Preventing Knocked-Out Teeth

There are many things you can do to prevent your teeth from getting knocked out. Wearing protective headgear during high impact sports is the best thing you can do. Rubber mouth guards will save your teeth from being damaged, fractured, or even knocked out during these activities. Also make sure that your mouth guard is the right size and fits well. Lastly, always follow the rules of your sport to avoid injury.

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

One of the most common dental emergencies is experiencing a knocked-out tooth. If you experience a knocked-out tooth, follow these tips from the American Association of Endodontists.

  • First, act quickly. It’s important to get to your dentist within 30 minutes if you’re able.
  • Locate the tooth immediately; don’t leave it at the site of the accident. Handle the tooth carefully when you pick it up, and never touch the root of the tooth, only the crown (chewing surface).
  • Use only water to gently rinse off any dirt. Do not use soap or chemicals. Don’t scrub or dry the tooth, and don’t wrap the tooth in a tissue or cloth.
  • Reposition the tooth in the socket immediately, if possible. Try to put the tooth back into its socket right away. Gently push it in with your fingers, by handling the crown, or position it above the socket and close your mouth slowly. Hold the tooth in place with your fingers or by gently biting down on it.
  • The tooth must stay moist at all times, either in your mouth or, if it can’t be replaced in the socket, put it in milk, in your mouth next to your cheek, or in an emergency tooth preservation kit (such as Save-a-Tooth®). Don’t use regular tap water; root surface cells can’t tolerate that for extended periods of time.

When to Go to the Dentist vs. the Emergency Room 

You should go to the dentist within 30 minutes of a knocked-out tooth. However, if you experience a dental emergency and it’s not possible to visit the dentist immediately, there are a few conditions where going to the emergency room at a hospital is more appropriate. Some examples include:

  • Severe bleeding that cannot be controlled with pressure, accompanied by teeth that are knocked out or badly broken.
  • Problems breathing after a tooth has been knocked out.
  • When the jaw does not look normal after replacing a tooth (if it is deformed).
  • If you have any further questions about dental emergencies, call your dentist to get their recommendations for treatment options.

Emergency Dentistry in Broomfield

We know that you cannot always prevent a dental emergency from occurring. If you experience a dental emergency, you may feel uncertain about what you should do. In the case of an emergency situation, we urge you to contact our office as soon as you can. At Mountain Aire Dentistry, we provide emergency dentistry so you have a solution for all of your dental needs, at any time. We can help with emergencies, such as:

  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Knocked-out teeth
  • Cracked or fractured teeth
  • Partially knocked-out (extruded) teeth
  • Lost or damaged dental restorations (such as a filling or crown)
  • An object stuck between the teeth that does not come loose with gentle flossing
  • A severe, lasting toothache or tooth pain
  • Injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth (such as a the gums, lips, cheeks, or tongue)

If you have experienced trauma to the head or neck, we recommend that you go to the emergency room before calling your dentist, even if your smile has also been injured. Contact us today to learn more.

291 E Flatiron Crossing Dr,
Broomfield, CO 80021

(303) 731-7755


When you visit our Broomfield dental office, your smile is our top priority. Our Dentists invite you to experience the difference a warm and caring team can provide for you and your family. Enjoy a unique and comfortable dental experience designed to bring a healthier and happier smile back into your life. We invite you to call or visit our Broomfield dental office and discover the exceptional difference we offer to those we serve.