When we’re young, nature has a simple option for tooth replacement – you lose a baby tooth, and your adult, or “permanent” tooth grows in.
Too bad it’s not that easy when you’re older!
As an adult, losing a tooth can be stressful. You can lose a tooth as a result of an injury, like a sports injury, fall, or car accident. Or a tooth can become loose or fall out as a result of gum disease.
What to do if You Lose a Tooth as an Adult
The good news is that you can re-insert the tooth as long as you keep the root alive…and get to your dentist quickly.
Here’s what to do:
- Handle with care – handle the tooth gently – always from the top (crown) and never from the bottom. You’ll need the roots at the bottom to reinsert the tooth.
- Clean it gently – gently wipe off any dirt, and be especially careful at the bottom of the tooth.
- Reinsert the tooth into the socket – keeping the tooth in your mouth will help keep the roots alive. Make sure it’s secure in the socket, however. You don’t want to swallow it by accident!
- Store the tooth in milk – if you can’t reinsert the tooth, store it in cold, whole dairy milk.
- Get to your dentist immediately.
Source: Colgate.com: What To Do With A Knocked-Out Tooth
Dental Services for Tooth Replacement
Unfortunately, not every tooth can be saved. If you lose a tooth, or several teeth, there are a few options for tooth replacement. Today we’re going to discuss dental implants, crown and bridge, and dentures.
Implant dentistry is the insertion of an artificial tooth in place of the lost natural tooth. The artificial tooth is set on a titanium screw that acts like your root.
Dental implants are a great option for tooth replacement, as the new tooth looks and feels exactly like your missing natural tooth.
- Procedure: The procedure typically takes two visits, the first to place the titanium root and the second to place the new artificial tooth. Additional visits may be required to correct problems with your bite. Learn more about implant dentistry.
- Caring for your dental implants: the tooth stays in your mouth, and you brush and floss it just like your natural teeth.
- How long dental implants last: with proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. It is important to note that some implants do fail, especially if they are not properly cleaned and cared for.
Crown and Bridge
Many people have crowns placed on top of their teeth to correct a damaged or cracked tooth or cover a filling.
A “crown and bridge” is used for tooth replacement. With a crown and bridge, an artificial tooth is attached between two crowns. The crowns are then anchored to the two healthy teeth on either side of your missing tooth, slotting the artificial tooth into the gap. This is the “bridge”. Bridges can replace more than one missing tooth.
- Procedure: Like implant surgery, installing a crown and bridge typically takes two visits. The first visit to prepare the area for the crowns and take a cast of your teeth to make the crowns and artificial tooth or teeth. The crown and bridge is set in place on the second visit. Additional visits may be needed to adjust the bite. Learn more about the crown and bridge procedure.
- Caring for your crown and bridge: the crown and bridge stays in your mouth. Brush as regularly as you do with your natural teeth. Flossing is different – your dentist will show you how to properly floss using a floss threader.
- How long crowns and bridges last: with proper care, crowns and bridges can last 10 years or more.
Dentures are a device made up of a metal for clasps, and porcelain or acrylic artificial teeth that you place in your mouth to fill in gaps left by missing teeth.
A partial denture (or partial) is made up of one or more artificial teeth with clasps that fit onto nearby natural teeth. Complete dentures, full dentures or “false teeth” are used when all your natural teeth are missing.
Unlike the other options, dentures are temporary – they can shift in your mouth and can easily be removed.
- Procedure: the procedure varies depending on the type of denture, but typically involves one visit to assess and measure your jaw and prepare the area of dentures, and a second visit to insert the dentures and adjust the fit if needed.
- Caring for your dentures: Dentures should be removed from your mouth and cleaned at least once a day. Dentures should also be removed overnight to allow your mouth and jaw to relax. Store dentures in warm water when you’re not wearing them. Your dentist may need to adjust the fit from time to time.
- How long dentures last: Properly maintained and securely fitted, dentures typically last five to ten years.
Need a Tooth Replacement? Contact Cranberry Hill Dentistry Today.
Dr. Aaron Langdon at Cranberry Hill Dentistry in Waterdown has expertise in all aspects of cosmetic dentistry, including tooth replacement. He even offers full mouth rehabilitation, reconstructing your teeth for health and beauty. Use our form below to make an appointment, or call our offices at 905-689-9551.