Knocked out or broken teeth

If permanent teeth are knocked out, there is an excellent chance that they will survive if they are immediately placed back in the tooth socket and dental health advice is sought straight away. Every minute the tooth is out of the socket, the less chance it has of surviving.

Adult tooth knocked out - what should I do?

If the knocked out tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with milk without touching the root and follow the steps below. Do not scrub.

  1. Stay calm and act quickly.
  2. Locate the tooth and hold it by the crown (smooth white part), not the root (the yellow part).
  3. Replant the tooth immediately, if possible.
  4. If the root has dirt on it, gently rinse the tooth with cold tap water briefly and put the tooth back in its place.
  5. Hold the tooth in place. Lightly bite on a clean handkerchief to hold it in position and go to the dentist immediately.
  6. If the person is conscious, hold the cleaned tooth by the crown and replace it into its socket using light pressure.
  7. If you cannot put the tooth back in place, place it in a cup of milk or saline solution.
  8. Seek immediate advice or treatment from an oral health professional (see Emergency dental care).

Knocked out toothhow to pick tooth up

Replacing knocked out toothWho to call for dental emergencies

If you can't replace the tooth:

  • Do not let it become dry and do not use tap water.
  • Place the tooth in milk or saliva (preferably the patient's).
  • Seal it in plastic wrap.
  • Seek immediate advice or treatment from an oral health professional. (For public dental emergency care call: 1300 360 054 or go to our Emergency dental care page).

Knocked out baby tooth - what should you do?

Do not try to put a baby tooth back in its socket because:

  • it may fuse to the socket, which leads to difficulties when it is time for the tooth to be shed.
  • it may damage the permanent tooth underneath the socket
  • the child may inhale the tooth by accident.

Contact an oral health professional. To find a community dental clinic near you, go to community dental clinics or call 1300 360 054

Broken or fractured tooth - What should you do?

Cracked or fractured teeth may or may not be painful. It is recommended that you see an oral health professional, as early recognition can improve the survival of the damaged tooth.

  1. If the tooth fragment is broken and is intact, store it in milk or saliva (preferably the patient's).
  2. Seal it in plastic wrap.
  3. See an oral health professional as soon as possible.

Related information:

Emergency dental care
Mouthguards - which mouthguard offers the best protection?