Fall accidents account for about two-thirds of dental trauma cases. Sports accidents and motor vehicle collisions also cause such injuries to the mouth. These are on top of the tooth losses due to oral health conditions, such as decay and gum disease.

Unfortunately, once adults lose a tooth, they can no longer grow it back, unlike primary (baby) teeth.

However, dental care treatments now provide ways to replace a missing adult tooth. We rounded up the steps you need to take as soon as you experience tooth loss, so be sure to read on.

Look for It

An avulsed tooth is the medical term for a completely knocked-out tooth. This is a common type of dental trauma caused by severe accidents, such as falls or car crashes. It can also happen if you sustain a hard blow to the mouth area.

If you knocked out a tooth yourself, do your best to find it and be sure to handle it by the crown and not the root. The crown is the top-most area (biting surface) of the tooth. Moreover, make certain you use a piece of clean cloth to pick it up.

Rinse and Put It Back

You can rinse a knocked-out tooth with milk or a saline solution before you put it back into its socket. If, for some reason, it no longer fits, place the tooth gently into a container with milk. According to experts, milk can help retain the appropriate pH level of an avulsed tooth.

Head Straight to an Emergency Dentist

It’s possible for an emergency dentist to re-implant a knocked-out tooth. However, their success depends on the first 90 minutes following an injury. In fact, experts say this seems to be the maximum limit for the survival of re-implanted avulsed teeth.

For that reason, it’s imperative to visit an emergency dentist right after you lose a tooth. The sooner the dentist can re-implant the tooth, the higher the odds of the procedure’s success.

Have Your Missing Tooth Replaced

If you can’t find a knocked-out tooth, your best bet is to explore your replacement options for missing teeth. Dentures, bridges, and dental implants are some examples of artificial teeth replacements.

Those are the same options you have if your missing tooth is due to dental decay or gum disease.

Tooth decay and gum disease, after all, are also culprits behind permanent tooth loss. For example, a severe cavity can cause the tooth to become so brittle that a huge chunk of it chips off. Worse, it can result in the entire visible area of the diseased tooth breaking off from its roots.

In such cases, even an emergency dentist could no longer put the tooth back into one piece. However, you’d still want to see an oral health expert ASAP to extract the remaining tooth parts. That’s because the decay and infection can spread to your adjacent teeth.

Gum disease, affecting close to half of US adults 30 years and older, can lead to tooth loss too. That’s because it can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. Without the gum’s support, the teeth can become wobbly and fall out of their sockets.

If you lost a tooth due to gum disease, your dentist would likely treat the diseased tissues first. From there, your dentist can help you decide whether to get dentures, bridges, or implants.

Follow These Steps Right after You Lose a Tooth

Remember: you only have 90 minutes at most to act if you lose a tooth due to an injury. As such, it pays to have the number of an emergency dentist on speed dial.

The most important thing, however, is to take better care of your pearly whites. This way, you can keep them healthy and strong for as long you live.

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