When pain and dental damage occur it can often be difficult to clear your head and decide on the best course of action; this is why it might be a good idea to learn a little bit about the different dental emergencies that can develop at any given time. Let’s take a look at knocked-out teeth in a little bit more detail so that you know what to do if you are unlucky enough to suffer this kind of dental damage.
Most people would probably agree that a knocked-out tooth would represent a dental emergency, if only because of the way the damage changes the way the teeth look when they are showing. However, some people would be happy to leave a socket empty if it means that they don’t have to go and see the dentist; but just because the space does not affect them on an aesthetic level, does not mean that there are not going to be issues with it further down the line. There are numerous conditions that can develop with an empty socket, such as bone loss or tooth movement, so it’s a good idea to get this kind of problem assessed at the earliest possible opportunity. Even if you are not bothered by the appearance of a space between your teeth, you should still report this kind of damage to your dentist; there are likely to be further issues with dental health if a socket is left empty for an extended period of time.
The first thing to do is to clean the tooth carefully to make sure that there are no dirt particles or bacterium that could cause infection later on – be careful not to scrub the root though, as there may be remaining tissue particles that could help with recovery later on. Next, you need to store the tooth while you make your way to the surgery – this might mean that you put it back into the socket to encourage early healing or storing it in a cup of milk to keep the minerals alive until you can get it refitted back into the tissue. Milk will help the tooth to function until it can be replaced but don’t use water, as this will cause the root to swell up and this will only kill the tooth even quicker.
Ideally, you need to get to the surgery within a couple of hours to make sure that the right treatment can be applied; longer than this and it is likely that the tooth will die and then replacement will be impossible. Fortunately, most emergency dentist are going to be available twenty-four hours a day, so it should not be too difficult to arrange an appointment within a few hours of the damage occurring.
The best treatment for a knocked-out tooth is to try and place the natural tooth back into the socket if that is possible; if the tooth is in one piece and it is not too badly damaged, the dentist will fit it back into the socket and it should be able to reattach gradually. However, this is obviously not going to be possible with every situation involving this kind of dental trauma, so if the tooth cannot be replaced, the dentist will have to look into one of several other options to treat the tooth loss and make sure that it is not a permanent condition. If you find yourself in this situation, your dentist will recommend one of three treatments;
Denture – This is a removable appliance that can be used to replace an entire jaw of teeth or just one or two; a denture is made from strong acrylic resin and it is secured in place by being clipped over the remaining healthy teeth or shaped to fit around them over the gum line. Dentures can also be fitted using denture adhesive and most people will take this kind of device out at night to give their gums a rest.
Bridge – This is similar to a denture in that it is temporary but instead of being clipped over the healthy teeth, a bridge is secured to the supporting teeth permanently for the duration of its lifespan, which will typically between four and six years. A bridge is fixed onto the anchoring teeth using dental crowns and it is important that these teeth are kept healthy or the appliance may fail long-term.
Dental implant – This is a permanent solution to the problem of tooth loss because the restoration is fitted right into the socket using a titanium screw that is topped with a porcelain crown; this is an expensive product but it could be worth the extra investment if you are looking for a permanent tooth replacement, rather than something that is going to need repair after several years of wear. Implants have to be fitted surgically because the rod has to be screwed into the tissue once a new socket has been created with a small drill bit; this might put you off getting the treatment but it is a necessary part of the process if the restoration is going to be successful long-term.
You should also be aware that implants are extremely expensive compared to other forms of tooth restoration but it could be worth the extra investment if you don’t want to keep going to the dentist to have more work done. You can also take out a dental loan if you would like to get an implant but you can’t afford to pay for it all in one go; if this is something that you might be interested in, you should mention it to your dentist at the first consultation.
If you have suffered a knocked-out tooth you should get to the emergency dentist as soon as possible; for treatment in the Kingston area of London you should contact the Pearl Dental Clinic. This surgery can provide twenty-four hour appointments to help with all kinds of dental problems that might need attention outside of normal working hours; contact the reception team now to arrange an appointment.