Rebuilding Your Smile When You Lose a 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.
Dealing With a Knocked-Out Tooth
Dental emergencies can happen at any time, so it’s best to know what to do if you should experience or witness one. By preparing yourself for an emergency, you can increase the chances of saving a tooth, taking the proper steps on your way to the dentist in Everett . A tooth may get knocked out during sports, falls, car accidents, or other events. Watch this video to learn how to deal with a knocked-out tooth so you can reduce the odds of needing a dental implant.
If a tooth gets knocked out, remember that it should only be handled by the crown—not the roots. You can place the tooth in clean water to remove dirt or debris, but do not hold it under running water as this could dislodge essential parts of the tooth. If the tooth is clean enough, you may try to place it back in its socket as you get ready to go to the dentist. This is usually advisable only for adults, as children might accidentally swallow the tooth. The sooner you get to the dentist, the greater the chances are of saving the tooth.
About the Author - Dr. Michelle Steinhubel, DDS
“Dentistry really fulfills me because it is an artistic science, where I improve the health of our patients every day,” Dr. Michelle Steinhubel says. “Blending the artistry of tooth restoration with the science and technology of today delivers incredible results.” Dr. Michelle Steinhubel, DDS graduated from Creighton University School of Dentistry with her Doctorate of Dental Science in 1998 and completed her residency at University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1999. Prior to opening All Smiles, Dr. Michelle practiced general dentistry for the US Air Force in Okinawa, Japan for three years and then in Arizona for a year. For more than 15 years, Dr. Michelle Steinhubel and the team at All Smiles Northwest has been helping people in Everett get beautiful, healthy smiles