It can be a frightening experience when you suddenly lose a tooth, but you aren’t alone. Around 178 million people in the U.S. are missing a tooth, according to epidemiological studies, and around 40 million are missing all of their teeth. Tooth replacement is an option, and here is what you need to know about what to do when you lose a tooth.
Why You Can Lose a Tooth
There are several reasons why someone can lose a permanent tooth. A few of the reasons include lifelong poor dental care, tooth decay and disease, injury or trauma to the tooth, gum disease, bruxism (tooth grinding), and smoking. Another reason is age. You’re more likely to lose a tooth as you get older than when you’re younger. No matter the cause of tooth loss, there are a few things that can be done.
Tooth Loss First Aid
There may be a possibility of reimplanting the tooth that has been lost. First, do not handle the roots of the tooth, but look over the tooth to see if it seems intact (no fractures or missing portions). If there is dirt or debris on it, rinse it for under 10 seconds gently by placing it in a bowl of water. You can try to put the tooth back into the socket and hold it in place until you get to an emergency dental office. If you are unable to put the tooth back into the socket, place it in a bag of milk and call your dentist immediately so you can be seen as soon as possible. The faster you act, the better your chances are of reimplanting.
If reimplantation is not possible, there are several tooth replacement options such as dental implants or bridges, however, implants have become the “go-to” method for tooth replacement as it involves a single tooth versus a bridge which will involve the adjacent teeth to the missing one as well. Your dentist can discuss all your dental options at the time of the visit after giving you a thorough examination to look at your bone and gum structure. Options will be determined based on your oral health.
If you have lost a tooth and would like to know your tooth replacement options, we’re here for you. Whether it is for cosmetic purposes or for functional purposes, we can give you several options to replace a lost tooth. Give our office a call for more information on how we can help you!