Rebuilding Your Smile When You Lose a Front Tooth
Dental avulsion is the clinical term for a knocked-out tooth. It’s commonly caused by maxillofacial trauma from sports activities, car crashes, or falls. Avulsion is particularly devastating when it happens to a front tooth. If you take action right away, a dentist in Everett, WA, might be able to save your natural tooth. Otherwise, you can consider other restoration options, such as a dental implant procedure .
If you can get to the clinic within an hour of the accident, your dentist may be able to save your natural tooth with a process called replantation. After cleaning the socket and the tooth, your dentist can insert the tooth back into place and install a tooth splint to hold it securely. If the replantation attempt is successful, the root of the tooth should reattach to the jawbone within a matter of weeks. You can improve the chances of successful replantation by taking the following steps immediately after the avulsion:
- Pick up the tooth by the crown—never touch the root.
- Rinse off the tooth if it’s dirty, but do not scrub the root.
- Place the tooth in a cup of milk.
- If no milk is available, keep the tooth inside your mouth—between your molars and cheek—until you get to the dentist’s office.
If it’s not possible to replant an avulsed tooth, or if you lost the tooth due to an infection, then a dental implant is the next best option. During a dental implant procedure, a small hole is drilled into the jawbone to make room for a synthetic version of a tooth root. Once this implant is positioned, the area is left to heal. Later, the dentist can place a custom-made crown on top that mimics the look and function of a natural front tooth.
A partial denture is designed to replace one or multiple missing teeth. This can be a good option for people who are not candidates for implant surgery. A partial denture isn’t fixed in place, however, and it requires some extra care. Some patients with avulsed front teeth may decide to get a partial denture for the time being, with the intention of replacing it with a dental implant later on.