Children love when the Tooth Fairy visits them overnight.
Losing a tooth as a child was exciting because you knew you were going to wake up with a quarter or small gift under your pillow. However, losing a permanent tooth as an adult isn’t so fun.
Many adults lose permanent teeth due to sporting accidents, incidents at work, or dangerous falls. Having a chipped tooth or large gap is embarrassing for many people, and it makes eating much more difficult.
Below is a guide on what to do if you lose a tooth. You won’t end up with a quarter under your pillow, but this guide is still worth the read.
What to Do if You Lose a Tooth
If you’re wondering what to do if you lose a tooth, there are a few steps you’ll need to take as quickly as possible.
First, find the tooth you lost. This isn’t possible for every situation, but locate it if you’re able to.
Does the tooth have some tangly-looking tissue at the end of it? Don’t mess with it! Handle the tooth by the crown, and rinse off the tissue with a saline solution.
We know it sounds nasty, but try to put the tooth back in its place if possible. Secure it in place with gauze. Softly bite down or hold the gauze in place until you reach the dentist’s office.
If you aren’t able to put it back in place, preserve the tooth and tissue in a glass of saline solution or milk. Water doesn’t work too well in preservation.
Seek out a dentist’s office, such as Axiom Dentistry, as quickly as you can. Go to the nearest emergency room if you aren’t able to find an open dentist’s office.
Things to Avoid
Before seeking help from a dentist or medical professional, there are a few things to avoid. Avoiding these things isn’t to punish you but to help make the process easier in the end.
Avoid Food and Drinks
The open tooth socket is an open wound. Food and drinks can cause infection and pain before the socket is closed.
Use a straw if you must drink water before seeing the dentist. Make sure the straw is past the area of the missing tooth, and be gentle and slow when sipping your water.
Avoid Pain Medications
Not using pain medications is difficult due to the pain of the open wound. Unfortunately, pain medications interact with the sedation your dentist or doctor will use when treating you.
Is the pain unbearable? Hold a heating pad or ice pack to your jaw to numb the pain as much as possible. If you’re waiting in an emergency room or in an office, ask a nurse or the receptionist if they have anything you’re able to use.
Don’t Ignore It
When you lose a permanent tooth, it’s a major inconvenience to visit a dentist to get things sorted out. It’s especially hard for those with little time in their day or those who aren’t able to immediately afford to replace their tooth.
Not addressing the situation in a timely manner can lead to negative oral health consequences. It’s best to seek help from a dentist as soon as possible.
One possible outcome of not addressing the missing tooth is gum disease. Your teeth may start to shift in your mouth due to the gap, and this can cause missed spots when brushing.
Consistently missing a spot results in plaque build-up and lots of germs. These germs cause gum disease, and you might even experience tooth decay. Tooth decay leads to more missing teeth.
Misaligned Teeth and Bite
Because of the gap in your teeth, your teeth will shift. Teeth enjoy having the support of other teeth to lean on throughout your life. A lack of support causes them to move and seek support elsewhere, and you might start noticing a misaligned bite.
Stop misalignment before it’s too late by seeking help from a local dentist. Realigning your teeth will be painful and cost a large chunk of change.
Your Options for Replacing Your Tooth
When losing permanent teeth, there are several options for filling in the gap.
Talk with your dentist about which option is best for your situation, and discuss the repair process before the procedure. Don’t be afraid to ask about pricing and insurance before making a final decision.
A popular replacement for a missing tooth, especially the visible ones, is a tooth implant. The dentist will insert a small screw through the open socket and into the jaw.
They’ll then attach an implant on the screw, and your smile will look as good as new!
A painless and non-permanent option for replacing your missing tooth/teeth is partial dentures. It’s simply a metal frame that holds a replacement tooth that you’ll secure around your existing teeth.
Dentures don’t require any invasive procedures, and they’re usually the most affordable option.
If you lost several permanent teeth, a permanent implant-supported bridge is your best bet. Think of a bridge as dentures that you can’t remove.
They’ll place the frame and replacement teeth over the empty spots, and the dentist will then secure the bridge into its correct place. You’ll be surprised how secure and stable a bridge feels.
What to Do When You Lose a Tooth
It’s scary losing a permanent tooth as an adult. Make sure you read the above guide on what to do if you lose a tooth to be prepared for any potential tooth emergencies.
Never ignore your missing tooth, and seek out help from a dentist as soon as possible. You’ll have several options of replacing your teeth, such as an implant or dentures.
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