Help! I Have a Dental Emergency

November 12, 2018 4:27 am | Published by
I just lost a front tooth. It’s a permanent tooth. Can it be saved? Dan Dear Dan,
Hockey player with missing tooth

A knocked out tooth can be saved

Call your dentist immediately and let them know what happened. They should have room in their schedule for dental emergencies. If he or she doesn’t, do an internet search using the term “emergency dentist“. In order to save a knocked out tooth, you need to get to the dentist within 30 minutes. Even then it’s not a guarantee. That’s one of the reasons I want you to call them right away. This way they can be ready for you and give immediate treatment when you get there. Two things which will help: 1. Only hold the tooth by the crown (the visible part). You never want to touch the root because you risk doing irreparable damage. 2. Keep the tooth moist. The easiest way to do that is to gently place it in a cup of milk.

If Your Tooth Can’t Be Saved

Hopefully your tooth can be saved, but on the off chance it can’t there are tooth replacement options. The best is a dental implant. This puts a prosthetic tooth root into your jaw and a dental crown on top. It’s the top of the line replacement. The next best option is to get a dental bridge. This suspends a false tooth between two dental crowns. It makes more sense if one of your adjacent teeth already need a dental crown. Otherwise, you’ll just be grinding down healthy tooth structure.

Reasons for a Lost Tooth

There are three common reasons for a lost tooth:
  • Trauma
  • Severe Decay
  • Gum Disease
I bring this up because the way you phrased your question concerns me. You didn’t say you knocked out your tooth, just that you lost it. I hope that doesn’t mean that it just came loose and fell out. That would indicate very advanced gum disease. In that case, even if they reattached the tooth it will just fall out again. You’ll need to get your gum disease treated and under control or you will lose more teeth. I hope I’m just overreacting about semantics, but I just wanted to make sure. This blog is brought to you by Portland Dentist Dr. Mo Saleh.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: