Why You Shouldn’t Leave a Knocked-Out Tooth to Chance

Teeth are frequently damaged or knocked out by accident. A fall, an automobile accident, or an unfortunate physical altercation can leave you with fewer teeth then you had at the beginning of the day. Even if it was lost to coincidence, though, you shouldn’t leave the fate of your knocked-out tooth, and the rest of your oral health, to chance. With quick action, Dr. Wright and Dr. Heron may be able to replant the tooth, or replace it so that your smile’s appearance and function don’t suffer from the loss.

How a Tooth is Lost to Trauma

Your teeth are held firmly in place by their roots, which extend below the gum line and into sockets within your jawbone. The sockets are lined with semi-elastic periodontal ligaments that hold the tooth securely in place. Severe dental, facial, or jawbone trauma can damage these ligaments, tearing the root out of its socket and causing the tooth to fall out. Besides blunt force trauma, aggressive gum disease can also destroy the gums, jawbone, and ligaments that support your teeth. In the United States, untreated gum disease is the leading cause of permanent tooth loss.

In Case of a Dental Emergency

Having your tooth knocked out is one of the more serious dental emergencies. A crack or fracture can be repaired, and a toothache relieved with the right treatment, but when your tooth is knocked out, you have a much smaller chance of preserving any healthy tooth structure. Saving the tooth, however, isn’t necessarily impossible. If you can collect the tooth, rinse it and your mouth thoroughly with warm water and try to place it back in the socket. If it doesn’t fit, place the tooth in a small container of milk and bring it with you to our office. In many cases, the tooth can be replanted in its socket, but only if you seek treatment within the first hour or two.

Life After Your Tooth is Knocked Out

If Dr. Wright or Dr. Heron can’t replant your tooth, they may recommend replacing it with an implant-supported dental crown. A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root that, unlike a dental bridge, doesn’t require the support of adjacent healthy teeth. A bridge is supported by the remaining teeth that border the gap in your smile, called abutment teeth, which are sculpted to accommodate the dental crowns on either side of the bridge. By contrast, a dental implant is surgically inserted into your jawbone, where your tooth’s root was, and can support a lifelike dental crown once your jawbone has healed.

About Your Southlake Dentists:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.