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You Have Your Tooth Knocked Out?

What's next if you can't save your tooth?

Credit: María Victoria Heredia Reyes

After you had your tooth knocked out, the first thing you should do is to try your best to save it and here's an article explaining exactly how to save your tooth. What I want to do here is going a little deeper and talk about what you should do if your tooth can't be saved, with a missing tooth and an empty socket in your mouth, what you should do about it?

Here are 4 options to consider after your tooth is knocked out:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Dental bridge
  3. Removable denture
  4. Dental implant

Do Nothing

If your missing tooth is near the front, which is mostly the case, leaving it unfixed will obviously affect your appearance which will not only ruin your healthy smile, but it may also affect the way you speak. However, even the missing tooth is at the back of your mouth where it’s not noticeable, you can also suffer from bone loss. 

Since the tooth root of the missing tooth is no longer there to serve its purpose in your jawbone, this may cause the jawbone to deteriorate. As a result, you might be at risk of losing more teeth. 

Also, teeth are placeholders for one another, a missing tooth will cause your teeth to shift and change the bite for the whole side of your mouth. Therefore, It is not really an option to do nothing as you are putting your health at risk.

Dental Bridge

Dental bridge, also known as fix denture, is a dental prosthesis which uses the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth as anchors to support the artificial tooth (pontic) in the middle to bridge the gap left by the missing tooth. The anchor teeth adjacent to the missing tooth need to be filed down so that they can be capped with crowns. 

Some may argue that you sacrifice two perfectly healthy teeth to save a missing tooth and if one of the anchor teeth become compromised you are at risk of losing the whole bridge. A dental bridge is permanent and can only be taken out by a dentist so there is no chance for it to fall out and, with proper caring, a dental bridge can last for a decade or more. 

Flossing under the dental bridge is essential, using a floss threader can get the dental floss under the bridge, as food can be trapped underneath the dental bridge causing decay of the filed down anchor teeth.

Removable Partial Denture (RPD)

Removable partial denture is a prosthesis which has a gum-like color plastic or acrylic base with a porcelain or acrylic denture tooth attached to it. Depending on the situation, it might have metal clasps that hook to your healthy teeth as an anchor to help it stay in place. 

PRD can go in and out of your mouth and needs to be soaked in water with cleaning tablet daily. The modern denture looks very much like natural teeth and it is becoming more comfortable to wear with soft lining, but many people still prefer not to wear a removable denture because it can slip and fall out, and it is most embarrassing when it happens in front of your friends and family. 

The cost of a removing partial denture is the least expensive option as compared to dental bridge and dental implant so it may be a viable option if money is your concern.

Dental Implant

A titanium post is planted into your bone to replace your missing tooth root. After your bone has completely fused with the titanium post, which could take four to six months, a permanent crown is capped on the titanium post. The biggest advantage of an implant is that it is strong and durable, and it functions and looks like your natural tooth. However, dental implant is not for everyone if you have gum disease or your bone structure is not suitable for implant. 

In this case, you should have the issues resolved before considering an implant. The cost of an implant is considerably higher than a dental bridge, but it is a lot more durable than a dental bridge so even though the initial cost for an implant might be more but in the long run a dental implant might be the most cost-effective option after all.

in conclusion, there's no right or wrong answer for which option is the best as it entirely depends on personal preference as each case is unique. Although having your tooth saved is always the best option, but unfortunately not every tooth can be saved after it is knocked out. I hope by reading this article you will have a clear picture of what your options are. The most important thing here is knowing the pros and cons of each option so that you can ask your dentist the right questions to guide you to a wise decision which is most suitable for you.

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