Tag Archives: dental bridge

When a Tooth is Knocked Out

I was at the playground and saw a boy who was hit in the mouth and lost a tooth as a result. His mother just tossed it because it was a baby tooth, but it got me to wondering. What would I do if it was an adult tooth?

Melissa

Dear Melissa,

a hockey player with a knocked out tooth

Whenever a tooth is knocked out, it’s a dental emergency whether it’s a baby tooth or an adult tooth. Even though the baby tooth doesn’t need to be saved the dentist needs to check the pulp of their tooth to make sure no damage was done which will affect the adult tooth underneath.

With an adult tooth, it’s even more serious. You have about 30 minutes to try and save the tooth. Call your dentist right away and let them know what happened. They’ll be available and ready as soon as you get there.

If you don’t have a dentist, you can do an internet search for an emergency dentist. These are general dentists who will see non-established patients in cases like yours. Again, let them know you’re trying to save a tooth so they’ll be prepared. Time is of the essence.

You’ll only want to handle the tooth by the crown (the part which is visible when you smile). Try never to touch the root. Additionally, you’ll want to keep it moist. If you can, put it in a glass of milk. If that’s not available, you can just place it between your gums and your cheek.

If Your Tooth Can’t be Saved

There are times when a tooth can be saved. In that case, you’ll have options for your replacement. Ideally, you’d want a dental implant. That’s almost like having a natural tooth. However, if it’s a teenager or child you’re talking about an implant isn’t possible. Their jaw has to be finished growing.

After a dental implant, the next best option is a dental bridge. This suspends a false tooth between two crowns. There are other options as well if neither of those work for you such as a removable partial denture or a dental flipper. A flipper is only meant to be temporary though, while you are waiting for a better replacement.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Tooth Replacements for Clumsy Stuntman

I’m a stuntman by trade. Lately, I seem to be losing more teeth than usual. I’ve been losing one a year. I don’t know if dental implants will help that or if I should get a dental bridge. But, that’s a lot of teeth to grind down unnecessarily. What do you think? Will dental implants hold up?

Carl

Dear Carl,

Abutment and crown being placed on dental implants

I’m sorry you’re having such bad luck with your teeth. I don’t know if that’s common to your particular field or if you’re just in an unusual spate right now. If it’s unusual, the first thing I’d do is talk to your dentist and see if you can figure out if there is something else contributing to your tooth loss. At a rate of a tooth a year, it won’t be long before you’ll be in serious danger of facial collapse.

One of the leading contributors to teeth coming out early is gum disease. If you’re suffering from that, treating that is your priority. You won’t be a candidate for dental implants while having gum disease anyway.

If it’s a matter of just being unlucky at the moment, I’d make sure you’re wearing some type of mouthguard. This will give your teeth a bit of a buffer when things are going wrong.

Will Dental Implants Hold Up?

Before we go into dental implants, I want to address your comment about a dental bridge. When you’ve lost a lot of teeth, it’s not really a great option. If the teeth are all in the same area, you would need quite a large bridge. If one part of it breaks, the whole thing has to be replaced. It’s a better option when you’re missing a single tooth.

But, you’re missing several teeth. If they’re all in different places, you will have to crown two adjacent teeth for each false tooth. You were right in being concerned about grinding down healthy tooth structure.

While dental implants are a fantastic tooth replacement and they’re as stable as your natural teeth, they are only as stable as your natural teeth. This is another reason to wear a mouth guard and address the root cause.

Who Should Place Your Dental Implants?

You don’t want just any dentist placing your implants. Look for two particular skill sets, both of which require post-doctoral work to be significant enough to make a difference. The first is training in reconstructive dentistry. The second is training in cosmetic dentistry. It isn’t encouraging to replace your teeth but to end up with an ugly replacement.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.