Healthy teeth are strong and can typically put up with some pretty hard blows. But, even the healthiest teeth have their breaking point. A baseball to the face, a fall on the concrete, and sometimes even a bite of a hard piece of food can cause serious damage to teeth. If you have sustained damage to one of your teeth the potential for saving it depends on how quickly you get help, how extensive the damage is, and the options available to treat your injury.
How long ago did the damage occur?
The sooner you deal with tooth damage the more likely you are to have the tooth saved. If you have a tooth knocked out, give your dentist a call immediately. The sooner the tooth is reinserted the more likely it is to reattach and remain healthy. If your tooth takes a serious hit but doesn’t fall out you should still call the dentist. Teeth that get hit sometimes become loose and/or discolored. Let your dentist know the extent of the injury as soon as it happens so he can determine the best course of treatment.
How extensive is the damage?
The extent of the damage to your tooth is an important factor when determining if it can be saved. A small chip should not be a problem. A tooth that gets knocked loose or knocked out can be difficult to save. Your dentist will have to assess the injury to give you a realistic prediction. Even if you get into the dentist quickly and get work done there are some types of injuries that take time to show up in your teeth. It can turn into a waiting game when you have extensive damage.
Options for repairing damaged teeth
The options for repairing damaged teeth depend on the nature of the damage. Veneers and crowns can be used in some situations to cover up or repair damage like chips and cracks. Teeth that have been knocked out may require dental surgery in order to be reinserted properly. There is no way to predict the exact course of action because treatment of this nature has to be customized to the situation.
When the tooth cannot be saved
If your damaged tooth is beyond saving you do have some options other than living without a tooth. You can get a bridge made to replace the missing tooth. A bridge is like a place holder because it goes in the spot where the tooth is missing and can help protect against your other teeth shifting. The bridge is a device that connects to the tooth in front of and behind it-hence the name. A bridge is a semi-permanent solution to a missing tooth. It can be removed but it can also last for a relatively long time and do a good job of filling in for your natural tooth. A dental implant is a permanent solution to tooth loss. The implant is drilled into your jaw bone and functions like your natural teeth. It is an excellent solution for someone looking for a permanent solution to tooth loss.
If you experience trauma to your teeth give your dentist a call-even if you are not sure if the trauma caused any real damage. Your dentist can help you determine what type of intervention is necessary to protect your teeth from permanent damage or loss.