What To Do About Your Missing Tooth
You never saw that coming. Your son and his friend were playing catch in the backyard, and you learned two things the hard way.
First, your son has a stronger throwing arm than you realized.
Second, he really needs to work on his aim.
The pitch that got away struck you right in the mouth. Now you are bleeding and one of your teeth is loose. That’s not good.
None of your teeth have felt this way since you were 11 or 12 years old. You make the mistake of wiggling the tooth with your tongue … and it falls out.
Now, what do you do? We recommend you start by rinsing the tooth, rinsing your mouth, and calling the dentists at Hubbard & Leath Dental if you live in or near Rochester Hills, MI.
If you can, try to keep the tooth in your mouth. If it won’t stay, place it in a container of milk to bring with you.
◼︎ Option 1: Saving The Tooth
In an ideal world, this what we would do any time a tooth is knocked loose.
If we can see you quickly and your tooth is in good shape, it may be possible to place the tooth back into its socket.
In some cases, we can use a stabilizing splint to hold the tooth in position while your mouth heals. Over time, the bone should grow around the root to keep it where you want it to be.
◼︎ Option 2: Get A Dental Implant
If your tooth cannot be saved, then this is the next best option.
Dental implants have been a real game-changer in the field of tooth replacement. Before implants, tooth replacement was focused on filling in the space above your gumline.
This restored the appearance of your smile, but it was not as secure as it could be. Dental implants replace the roots of your missing teeth.
A single implant can be placed in your jaw, where the bone will bond to it, just like it did with the root of your natural tooth. Then, we can add a dental crown to restore the appearance and function of your missing tooth.
This kind of tooth replacement also helps your remaining natural teeth by providing the same kind of mutual support for them than your lost tooth once did.
◼︎ Option 3: Get a Dental Bridge
If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to get a dental implant and a dental crown, you could get a dental bridge instead.
A dental bridge is made by fusing dental crowns together. A traditional bridge used to replace a single tooth would include three crowns.
The crowns on the outside are called abutment crowns. These are used to bond your bridge in place.
The crown in the middle is called a pontic. It fills in the gap created when your tooth was knocked out.
To prepare your mouth for the bridge, we will need to grind down the teeth on either side of the gap in your smile. By doing this, we can bond the bridge in place.
Those teeth will provide the support for your bridge when you use it to bite and chew food.
◼︎ Option 4: Get A Removable Denture
This would not be our first, second, or third choice in most circumstances.
This kind of tooth replacement would involve attaching a dental crown to what is basically a plastic plate that fits inside your mouth. The plate may have hooks to connect it to other teeth to hold it in place.
This kind of replacement is neither as comfortable nor as stable as the other replacement options mentioned above.
◼︎ Option 5: Do Nothing
Of all your options this is the worst thing you can do.
If you do not replace your lost tooth, you may be inviting more problems down the road.
For example, you can lose up to one-fourth of the bone mass in that part of your jaw within 12 months. Over time, this could put you at risk of losing more teeth.
Our recommendation, if you couldn’t replace the missing tooth immediately, would be to talk to one of our dentists to come up with a plan to do so in the near future.
You Deserve A Complete Smile
Losing a single tooth can affect your ability to eat as we all your self-confidence. We’ve seen it with patients at our dentist office in Rochester Hills, MI.
It’s also why the Hubbard & Leath Dental team would rather help you find a way to replace your lost tooth as soon as possible.