I was at my son’s football game and the opposing teams got into a fight. One of them took off their helmet and spit out his mouthguard to yell. Then he was hit in the mouth and lost a tooth. I watched him spit it out of his mouth. It got me to wondering if there’s any way for an adult tooth to be saved if it’s knocked out?
Yikes! I’m glad you wrote. Knowledge is preparation. Yes, there are some occasions where a tooth can be saved, but there are a lot of factors involved. First, you should know this is a dental emergency. Here’s what will give you your best chance:
- It’s important you get to your dentist within 30 minutes. This is a time-sensitive issue.
- Make sure you call your dentist’s office to let them know what happened. This way they can be prepared to treat you immediately.
- Only hold the tooth by the crown (the part that is visible when you smile). Never touch the root.
- It needs to be kept moist. If you’re able, gently place it in a small cup of milk. If you’re not able, put it between your gums and cheek.
Replacing a Tooth Which Can’t Be Saved
It the tooth can’t be saved, there are many options in tooth replacements.
The top of the line replacement is a dental implant. It requires surgery, but it’s the most stable and is like having a healthy natural tooth again. As with any of the best things, this is also the costliest option.
A dental bridge is also a great choice. The upside is it doesn’t require surgery. The downside is it will require the two adjacent teeth to receive dental crowns. That’s fine if they already need work. But, if they don’t you’re just grinding down healthy tooth structure.
Going down the ladder in options, you could get a removable partial denture. This isn’t secured the way the above two options, though they will clip onto your other teeth.
As a last resort, you could get a dental flipper. But, this is meant to be a temporary option while you wait for or save up for a better option.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Rick Root.