Sometimes adults lose a tooth because it is knocked out. Car accidents, sports injuries, and poor dental health can unexpectedly force a tooth out of your mouth. You are not alone. Millions of teeth are knocked out every year.
Fortunately, you have options if a tooth is suddenly gone that allow you to continue to eat and chew normally. Read on to learn about these three practical options for a knocked-out tooth.
1. Reattach the Tooth
An emergency dentist is able to reattach the tooth back into its space if you keep the tooth safe and react quickly. Try to schedule a visit as quickly as possible after the incident. Here are some tips that will help you save your tooth:
- Handle the tooth only by the crown and not the delicate roots
- Refrain from cleaning the tooth — a light rinse in water is sufficient
- If possible, reinsert the tooth into its place and gently bite down
- Or, stow the tooth in a small amount of milk to keep it moist
A skilled dentist that handles the tooth in time can splint the tooth to neighboring teeth to hold it into place as it heals. The root can anchor itself firmly to an unfractured bone and knit together in a few weeks.
Don't worry if you are unable to reach a dentist in time to save the tooth or cannot find the lost tooth. You still have other options to replace that knocked-out tooth.
2. Dental Implants
You may need a dental implant to replace one or more missing teeth. Implants look and function like real teeth. An implant consists of a titanium screw that fuses to your jawbone with a realistic crown attachment. Dental implants require a surgical procedure with extensive healing time afterward. For your implant to be successful, you must:
- Enjoy good oral and physical health
- Possess enough bone in the jaw to support the implant
- Have healthy gums without any periodontal disease
Although an implant crown is constructed of artificial materials, it still needs regular dental care like real teeth. Gum tissue surrounding an implant is still susceptible to plaque and infections.
3. Single Tooth Dentures
You still have options if you are not an ideal candidate for a dental implant. Single tooth dentures do not have the same strict requirements as an implant does, but can still look and act like a real tooth. Single tooth dentures are less expensive and much less invasive than implants. Some types of single tooth dentures are easily removed for better care.
Ask your dentist which method they recommend for you in the event you experience a knocked out tooth.