Dental Emergencies

Tooth and Root Completely out of Socket

Insert tooth in the socket at site of injury in order to minimize drying of tooth. If tooth is dirty, rinse it for 10 seconds in cold tap water. Seek help from dentist when possible for further treatment, including splinting and antibiotic regimen.

If tooth cannot be immediately placed back in socket, then tooth should be stored in milk or in the mouth between the cheek and gum.

Treatments for these situations include splinting of teeth to root canal therapy, depending on the situation presented.

Crown/Cap came off

Using an over the counter dental adhesive (i.e. denture pastes/creams) works in these cases. If the tooth is broken to the gumline very little can be done due to lack of tooth structure remaining to reattach the crown. Temporary crowns may not be the same color as the final crown. Tooth sensitivity is normal and will lessen once the permanent crown is cemented. Flossing will sometimes “pull” the temporary off; “pull” floss from the side to avoid uplift of temporary.

Baby Teeth Injuries

More often, there is just loosening of the baby teeth. An X-ray should be taken to determine extent of injury and to see if the underlying permanent tooth is injured.

If the permanent tooth is injured, it may be necessary to remove the baby tooth to ensure normal development. If the baby tooth is forced into the jaw, it will usually grow out again within a few months. If an infection develops, treatment by the dentist is needed so that the permanent tooth stays healthy.

Control any bleeding by applying pressure with gauze or tissue, and give a lot of TLC to your child.

Sometimes a broken piece of tooth can be replaced with adhesives and composite resins.


Use of mouth guards and face masks in sports is the best measure in ensuring having long lasting, healthy teeth.

Reference: “Traumatic Dental Injuries, A manual; 2nd Edition” by Andreasen, Andreasen, Bakland and Flores. 2003.