Tag Archives: saving a tooth

My son’s tooth was knocked out by a baseball–should I have seen an emergency dentist?

My eight year old son lives and breathes baseball. He is constantly playing with baseballs, bats, if not on a ball field, and is always practicing. With that comes many bumps and bruises. However, he recently took a ground ball right to the mouth. He saved the ball, but lost his front tooth! There was some blood, and his mouth and gums were swollen, but he didn’t seem incredibly upset. The coach and I helped him calm down, and once he was back to his normal self, we took the tooth home for the tooth fairy.  Should I have taken him to an emergency dentist?


Dear Sarah,

I’m thankful your son is okay! Even the best ball players take one for the team from time to time. I can answer your question in two ways.

One, if your son has already lost his front tooth, I am very hopeful you have already sought dental attention. If the tooth he lost was permanent, it would have needed immediate emergency dental attention in order to be implanted again. The best course of action would have been to carefully collect the tooth, making sure to keep any attached tissue intact, place it it in wet towel, or even back in your son’s mouth, and head to the an emergency dentist right away.

If the lost tooth was not an adult tooth, it would not have been a dental emergency, nor a great need to have the tooth implanted again. However, he may have damaged his mouth in another way, or possibly  injured the adult tooth underneath. If this is the case, a  it might recommended that a spacer be placed to make sure the adult tooth has room to grow in, so visit to your family dentist, or a pediatric dentist, would be a good plan.


Can I put off a root canal?

If I am not in pain, can I put off a root canal. If so, how long?

Deidre I. – Louisiana


If your infection isn’t active, then you can put it off indefinitely. However, if there is pain, even a little bit, that means you have an active infection. Sometimes the pain stops and then starts again. Whenever there is pain, I suggest you get seen right away.

If you don’t have a dentist, you can always go to an emergency dentist, at least just for this treatement. Then, you can take your time looking for a new dentist.

Another sign of infection is if you have a pimple on your gums or some drainage in your mouth.

If you put off the root canal too long, you run the risk of your tooth becoming unsaveable, due to root reabsorption.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert dentist Dr. Matt Roper.