If a child loses a tooth you figure it will grow back. The game changes when it is an adult. Adults mostly lose teeth through sporting accidents. Whether it is roughhousing, tackling or tumbling, without a mouth guard, anyone could quickly lose a tooth due to an accidental jaw hit.
An adult could also lose a tooth following trauma. You could even trip or be involved in a car accident and end up losing a tooth or two. Regardless, always address a loose tooth head on. As soon as it happens, visit a dentist and consider immediate dentures.
While accidents are well outside your control, there is one aspect that you can take care of to make sure that you keep all your teeth – oral hygiene. An adult could lose a tooth to oral infections or root decay. It is proper to schedule frequent visits to a dentist even when everything is alright.
Having said that, what do you do if you lose a tooth? Fortunately, some practices can help make that smile as good as new. Take the following measures as soon as you drop the tooth:
Recover the tooth
If your tooth is avulsed, it is crucial that you handle it with care. Do not grab it by the root; otherwise, you damage it further. This could make it impossible for the dentist to repair it. As soon as you recover the tooth, rinse it in a water bowl and preserve it in saliva, a sterile salt solution or a bowl of milk. Be careful not to wipe or scrub the tooth.
Reinsert tooth into the socket
Often the solutions that seem most straightforward work. One such case is putting your tooth back; that way, the root remains protected until you see a dentist. Hold the tooth in place using medical gauze or a tea bag but do not force the tooth if it does not fit.
Visit a dentist
Reinserting the tooth is only a temporary solution. The sooner you seek medical attention, the better your chances of having the tooth restored. Remember that when you lose a tooth, you lose bone mass as well. Your body begins to remove the bone in your jaw where the tooth’s anchor lay.
In fact, you lose up to 40% of bone mass in the first two months of a missing tooth. No wonder, the shape of your face begins to change. Once at the denture clinic, you have some options:
How a denture clinic can help you
At the clinic, the dentist will first establish whether the tooth can be reattached. If it can, that will be the first option they will advise. In most cases, however, seeing as many people lack the know-how for when they lose a tooth, by the time they come to the dentist, reattaching the tooth is not an option.
In such a case, the dentist might recommend immediate dentures. Partial dentures will help to improve your smile and more importantly, to prevent bone loss. As a thing to note, you do not need to have all your teeth missing to wear dentures. They can be fixed to replace just the tooth that is missing.
The dentist might also recommend dental implants. The implants are placed in the missing tooth space to stimulate the growth of bones to keep you looking the same. While the immediate danger might seem past, failing to get immediate dentures can have severe long-term effects. Contact your local denture clinic for more information on partial dentures.