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Many people need some sort of tooth replacement after they get hit in the face.  Sometimes even biting into something hard can break, chip or altogether knock out your tooth.  

If your tooth is slightly chipped or just a little broken, it might not be an emergency.  Just book an appointment with your dentist to have the tooth smoothed out or filled in.

On the other hand, if your tooth is totally knocked out or badly broken make an emergency appointment with your dentist right away.

Why Immediate Tooth Replacement?

Invisalign Photo

If the tooth has been knocked out and you have recovered it, the dentist might be able to re-implant it back into the gum so it re-grows into your mouth like your other teeth.

The bone where the tooth used to be  starts shrinking in height and width almost immediately.  If you get the gap filled in quickly it will save your other teeth from “falling in” to the gap and becoming distorted.

If you wait too long, it might not be possible to fix the look of the teeth even with a denture because the bone has shrunk so much.

Food-impaction can occur that could complicate the situation even more.

The teeth opposite to the missing tooth or teeth can become distorted because of the gap.

What To Do While Waiting For Your Tooth Replacement If You Still Have The Tooth

  • Avoid touching the root of the tooth.  Hold it only with the white part.
  • Don’t try to clean the tooth by brushing or scraping it.
  • If the tooth needs cleaning, use milk or salted water
  • See if you can put the tooth back into the socket even before you get to the dentist (but get to the dentist absolutely as soon as possible).
  • When the tooth is back in your mouth, bite down on a clean cloth or kleenex or you can use a wet tea bag to hold it in place.
  • If you can’t re-implant the tooth by yourself, keep it in your mouth between your cheek and gums until you get to the dentist.
  • If you can’t keep the tooth in your mouth, put the tooth in a clean container and cover it with some milk or your own saliva.
  • Try to get to a dentist within an hour if at all possible, even if you have re-implanted the tooth yourself.  The dentist may apply a splint to keep the tooth in its place.

These suggestions only apply to adult teeth, not children’s temporary “milk” teeth.  Adult teeth will grow back but children’s milk teeth won’t.  Tooth replacement happens naturally with children’s milk teeth.

Tooth Replacement If You Have Lost Your Tooth

Your dentist will decide the best way to do the tooth replacement with one of these options:

  1. Denture – These are removable teeth (or tooth) that are clipped into the mouth.
  2. Bridge – A tooth made from synthetic materials is permanently attached to the adjacent teeth with cement.
  3. Tooth Implant – This is a false tooth that is screwed into the jaw bone.  This is a surgical procedure.

Tooth Replacement For A Chipped or Broken Tooth

Do not try to re-implant a tooth fragment back into your gums!  Keep it in a clean container and cover it with milk or your own saliva.  See a dentist as soon as possible.  If you preserve your tooth this way the dentist may be able to re-attach it to your tooth.

If re-attachment of the tooth is not possible, your dentist may be able to smooth it out.  If not, a filling or crown could be the solution.

If the tooth is broken down to the nerves and blood vessels in the centre, a root canal may be needed.

Missing a tooth or having missing teeth can be embarrassing and ruin your confidence.

Bridges, crowns, and dental implants are just some of the treatment options available to fill in those missing teeth and can dramatically improve your smile and confidence.

Leaving a missing tooth untreated can cause several problems or even further damage to the root further down the road if left untreated.

VIDEO: Leaving a Missing Tooth Untreated