Whenever a person is participating in physically risky activities, like contact sports or bicycle stunts, it is highly recommended to wear a mouthguard. But what happens if it’s too late – what if an accident has already occurred and you’ve found yourself with a missing front tooth? It’s important that you know your front tooth replacement options. Call our office for any information, it is absolutely best to be informed before an incident takes place.
If you or someone you love (my daredevil son comes to mind) finds themselves in the midst of dental trauma with a knocked out tooth, here are a few quick steps to follow to give yourself the best possible chance for potentially saving the tooth:
- Stay as calm as you can – we know this can be hard, but this will also help stop any bleeding as quickly as possible. Try to think positive thoughts. If you have a young child in this situation, it is even more important to remain calm. If you don’t panic, it is less likely that your child will panic.
- Find the tooth. Pick it up by the crown, the white part. Do not touch the root. If the tooth root is dirty, rinse quickly with water.
- Attempt to place the tooth gently back into the mouth like it was. Hold the tooth in place by biting softly down on a cloth.
- If it is not possible to place the tooth back into the mouth in the original position, hold it inside the mouth between the cheek and molars, if this is not a swallowing risk. Otherwise, place the tooth in milk. Do NOT store the tooth in plain water.
- Seek professional dental treatment immediately. You can contact any Eagle Rock Dental location with available service hours to be seen right away.
- Call 911 or seek emergency medical treatment for uncontrolled bleeding, or if you experience dizziness, fainting, confusion, or any other symptoms of a concussion.
There are many reasons we may be missing a tooth, but missing a front tooth would be a special case to most people. Of course, as dental professionals, we know that all teeth are important, but we understand and acknowledge how important front teeth are. They are visible – they are what others see when you smile, and if you have a missing front tooth, any of the front six, chances are you want to know your options to replace that tooth, as soon as possible.
Heal the original tooth: This is, of course, the best and most preferred possible option.
If you’ve knocked out a front tooth and sought treatment right away, there may be a possibility to save the original tooth. In some cases, your dentist may try to place the tooth back into it’s original position, anchor it in place, and encourage you to avoid biting and give you other special instructions to allow the hard and soft tissue to heal back around the tooth. It’s important to note that this may not be an option for everyone, and it may also not be successful. Your dentist will ask you to come back for a check up in a few days, and may tell you to contact them right away if you notice your tooth turning dark or black, or any concerning symptoms.
If the original tooth can’t be healed successfully, there are a couple of other options available to you.
Dental implants are the best possible replacement option for a missing front tooth, assuming the original tooth cannot be saved. Implants are strong, and designed to fuse with surrounding bone. Dental implants are designed to last for life.
An immediate removable denture, also known as a flipper, is an excellent interim measure to address the appearance of a missing tooth, while you heal and wait for the permanent crown. An immediate denture is not designed to last a long time like a regular denture, but it is designed to help get you through until your permanent tooth replacement option is available.
Another front tooth replacement option is a fixed bridge. A bridge consists of a pontic, or the crown in the middle replacing the missing tooth, and two anchors that cover the two adjacent teeth and are cemented into place. Bridges can last quite a while and also have a natural look and feel. However, if the adjacent teeth are healthy, a fixed bridge would require the “preparation” or shaving down, of those otherwise healthy teeth, which can potentially compromise their health in the long term, and those teeth may eventually require treatment or even replacement.
These are just a few of the options available to repair or replace a missing front tooth. To explore other options, call our office and speak with a professional today!
The loss of a front tooth can be an emotionally charged event. No matter what, we are here to make sure you have the best possible care to help you restore the health of your original tooth if possible, and if not, to ensure you have the best information and options available to take action and feel comfortable and confident in your smile.