Dental Trauma Management

Dental trauma is commonly caused by:

  • Accidental falls

  • Sports related accidents

  • Fighting

  • Car accidents

  • Biting on hard food


When this occurs the tooth can sometimes break or even fall out. The most important thing to do is get to a dentist as soon as possible. If we are not open, you can visit the emergency department of a hospital.


The chance of saving a tooth is heavily dependent on the time it takes to get treatment started. Generally you want to get to a dentist within the hour.


If a tooth is broken, try and find the piece that has broken off and bring it with you, sometimes it can be bonded back on. If a tooth has been knocked, but doesn't look like it's broken, looks longer, shorter or tilted, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible as there may be damage to the root of the tooth or to the bone surrounding it.


If a tooth has been knocked out, the first thing to remember is never to touch the root of the tooth. Only handle the tooth by the crown (the white part). You should then determine whether its a baby tooth or an adult tooth. If you're unsure, treat it like a baby tooth. Once you have determined what it is, follow these steps:

  1. Call your dentist and tell them you're on the way

  2. Remember to only handle the tooth by the crown (the white part)

  3. If the tooth is dirty, briefly wash it with milk, saline or cold running water for no more than 10 seconds

  4. If its an adult tooth, try and put the tooth back into the gap. Once in, the injured person should bite on a handkerchief or gauze to hold the tooth in place. If its a baby tooth, just bring the tooth in with you as it is - no need to transport it as below.

  5. If you're unsure or you can't get the adult tooth back in, it can be transported either in:

    • a glass of milk

    • a glass of the injured persons spit (blood and saliva)

    • the injured person's mouth between the inside of the cheek and gum

    • a special storage medium for knocked out teeth


  6. Get to the dental surgery as quickly as possible. Within 60 minutes is best for survival of the tooth.


We will then do our best to ensure the best possible outcome of the tooth.


Please be aware that for any traumatised teeth there is a significant chance that the nerve of the tooth could be damaged which may result in a need for root canal therapy.