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Redwood City, CA
81 Birch Street, Redwood City, CA 94062.
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Santa Clara, CA
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Emergency Dental Care: What to do if Your Tooth Falls Out

Accidents are unavoidable and can occur anywhere. Take the case of a college setting, for example. With a bustling student population biking, riding scooters, rushing to classes with heavy backpacks, and participating in contact sports, maxillofacial trauma, and dental emergencies are bound to occur. Thus, it’s good to be aware of what to do in such situations. Acting swiftly and contacting your emergency dentist in Palo Alto increases the chances of saving the tooth and minimizing potential long-term damage.

My tooth fell out: What should I do?

Losing a tooth is a common occurrence. The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) estimates that roughly 178 million Americans are missing at least one permanent tooth. With such a large number of people in this situation, it’s critical to learn what to do if you lose a tooth.

  1. Handle the tooth with care: Handle the fallen tooth delicately and avoid any contact with the root area. The periodontal ligaments (tiny fibers attached to the root) play a vital role in successful reattachment. Touching or damaging these fibers can significantly decrease the chances of successful re-implantation.
  2. Rinse away debris: Use lukewarm water or milk to rinse any visible dirt or debris from the fallen tooth. Don’t scrub or use any cleaning agents, as they can harm the delicate tissues on the tooth’s surface.
  3. Reinsert the tooth if possible: If the fallen tooth is clean, attempt to place it back into its socket. However, avoid forcing it into place. Use your fingers or bite down softly to push the tooth into the socket and hold it in position.
  4. Store the tooth properly: If reinsertion is not possible, store the tooth appropriately until you can get to a dentist. Place the tooth in a sealed container and fully submerge it in milk or a saline solution. Both milk and saline help preserve the tooth and maintain its viability until professional assistance is available. Alternatively, if these options are not accessible, you may carefully tuck the tooth under your tongue, making sure not to swallow it.
  5. Contact Your Stanford emergency dentist immediately: Time plays a critical role in the successful preservation or reattachment of the tooth. Thus, it is advisable to visit a Stanford emergency dental office near you as soon as possible, ideally within the first 1-2 hours following the incident.
  6. Dentist intervention: The dentist will make every effort to reinsert the tooth into its socket or bond any broken fragments back into place. They will assess the condition of the tooth and surrounding tissues to determine the most suitable course of action. In cases involving nerve damage, endodontic treatment (root canal therapy) might be necessary to save the tooth.
  7. Tooth knocked out of position: If a tooth has been forcefully moved from its original position but is not fully dislodged, it is crucial to seek dental attention within 24 hours. The longer the tooth remains out of position, the more difficult it becomes to reposition it successfully.

What will Palo Alto dentists do if a tooth falls out?

If re-implantation of the fallen tooth is impossible, there are other potential tooth replacement options that Palo Alto dentists may recommend:

Removable partial denture

A removable partial denture (RPD) is a prosthetic device that can be easily taken in and out of your mouth. It serves to replace a missing tooth and is often the most cost-effective solution. This denture is custom-made to fit your mouth and restore your ability to speak or chew properly.


A dental bridge is a suitable option when a tooth is missing. The dentist can bridge the gap by placing a false tooth, made typically of porcelain, in an empty space. The bridge is supported by abutment teeth, which are adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. Dental bridges are designed to blend flawlessly with your natural teeth, providing a natural appearance.

Temporary denture

A temporary denture is commonly used when a patient plans to undergo a dental implant procedure in the future. Dental implant procedures can take several months and involve multiple surgical steps. During this waiting period, a temporary denture, sometimes accompanied by a flipper tooth, can be utilized. The flipper tooth is a removable retainer that sits on the roof of the mouth and has a prosthetic tooth attached to it.

Dental implant

Dental implants are among the most common and effective methods of tooth replacement. They are designed to mimic the look and function of natural teeth. They usually consist of a titanium post surgically placed in the jawbone to serve as an artificial tooth root. This post fuses with the bone over time, providing a solid foundation for a prosthetic tooth (crown) to be attached. Dental implants offer an effective and permanent solution for replacing one or multiple missing teeth.

Fallen Tooth? Contact your Palo Alto dentist right away.

When faced with a dental emergency or traumatic injury, schedule an appointment with your Stanford emergency dentist as soon as possible. Dentists are equipped to handle emergencies and provide the necessary treatment. By seeking prompt dental care, you increase the chances of saving your tooth, minimizing complications, and restoring a healthy smile.

Need a Dentist Urgently? Contact Emergency Dental Care in Palo Alto

Need a Dentist Urgently Contact Emergency Dental Care in Palo Alto_Palo Alto Dentists

Regardless of how much care you take of your teeth, accidents still occur. These unforeseen situations usually referred to as dental emergencies, require you to seek out emergency dental services in Palo Alto.  They need to be handled by an emergency dentist as any delays can result in permanent damage or force you to undergo more complicated and expensive treatment procedures later on.


Signs you need dental emergency care

Below are some examples that qualify a trip to an emergency dentist in Palo Alto:


  • Fracture or Broken teeth
  • A painful toothache that won’t go away
  • Knocked out permanent teeth
  • Chronic jaw pain
  • Unusual swelling
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tooth abscess
  • Something is stuck between your teeth

If you are unsure whether what you are going through is a dental emergency, contact a dentist and ask. When it comes to dental health, it’s best to be safe than sorry.


Steps to take if you experience a dental emergency

From fractures to knockout, you have some time to manage the situation until you see the dentist. Here are general steps you can follow as you wait for treatment.


  1. Breathe deeply and assess the situation. If you are in a position to see your mouth or teeth, try and assess the situation without panicking. Did your tooth crack or fall out? If your tooth fell out, follow the next step.


  1. Store your tooth safely. Try to salvage your knocked tooth and store it somewhere safe. Don’t forget to carry it with you when going to the dentist’s office.


  1. Contact a dentist. Quickly search for the best emergency dentists in Palo Alto and give them a call. Set an appointment so that you can be examined and treated. During the call, explain as comprehensively as possible what transpired and what you think the issue is. The dentist will guide you on what to do next. Usually, the dentist’s instructions help you better prepare for the visit.


Going to the hospital vs. dentist for your dental emergency

Dental emergencies, like other medical emergencies, call for varying levels of care based on their seriousness. Where you go for treatment depends on the kind of dental emergency you have.

When to go to the hospital 

Emergencies involving the mouth and face that call for urgent medical attention include jaw dislocations, jaw fractures, abscess, an infection that affects your swallowing or breathing, serious lacerations or cuts to the mouth, etc. These are situations where you would want to go to a hospital ER directly.

When to see a dentist 

Some emergencies that are not life-threatening, per se, but still might need immediate care. If you get a permanent tooth knocked out, or break or crack your tooth, unless it is bleeding a lot, you can visit a dentist’s office.


How to avoid dental emergencies  

There are several things you can do to avoid the kinds of injuries we have discussed above. Do the following to ensure your teeth remain in top shape:

Practice daily dental hygiene 

Brushing and flossing frequently are crucial for oral health. Bacteria in the mouth can blend with food debris, eventually causing gum disease or tooth decay. Gum disease can potentially result in a visit to the emergency dentist.

Watch what you eat

You possibly grew up hearing that crackers, candies, starchy and sugary foods are not that good for your teeth. Soda, fruit juice, and coffee are all drinks you should drink sparingly. Sticky meals usually get stuck between your teeth and may be difficult to remove. Hard, crunchy snacks can damage your teeth, especially if you bite hard on them, resulting in a dental emergency. Thus, avoid sugary and very hard or chewy foods.

Wear a mouthguard 

Mouthguards are very helpful, particularly if you play contact sports or participate in recreational activities where the possibility of dental injuries is higher.


Sealants are generally provided as preventive care for kids; however, they are great for adults as well. Dental sealants are transparent, plastic resin coatings that even out the chewing surfaces of the molars. So, why would a dentist want to use sealants to smoothen or even out your molars? Food debris usually gets stuck in the grooves of the molars and could transform into plaque left untreated.

Schedule regular dental checkups

Frequent dental checkups help you to spot problems before they develop into a dental emergency.  Although some people only need dental examinations once per year, creating a bespoke plan with your Palo Alto dentist is encouraged. A dentist can make recommendations depending on your age, medical history, and health goals. For instance, people with gum disease may require more regular visits.


Never wait to see your dentist

No one wishes to make unplanned visits to the dentist; however, don’t wait to get the help you need if an emergency happens. Emergency dentists in Palo Alto are always ready to assist!

Article resources:
Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including: