I lost a tooth: now what?


When you’re a kid, losing teeth is not a big deal—it’s another chapter of your life that is exciting and indicates you are growing up. And let’s face it, it meant a visit from the tooth fairy, which was always a great thing!

Now that we’re older, losing teeth is not such a great thing. The tooth fairy doesn’t visit us and we have lost our permanent adult teeth, now requiring us to have cosmetic dentistry procedures. If you lose an adult tooth that has minimal damage, in some cases the dentist will be able to re-implant the tooth. If the tooth is severely damaged, our dental practice has many different cosmeceutical options for you!

How does it happen?

Lost teeth are mainly caused by car crashes, falls, sport-related trauma, or chewing hard food. Losing a tooth can also be symptomatic of cavities or gum disease, which is treatable but will require you to have an examination so we can evaluate your dental health.

When you realize your tooth has fallen out, call us right away to schedule an appointment. Be sure to save it and bring it with you to your dentist appointment. It’s important to see the dentist as soon as possible, as the longer you wait, the less likely the dentist is able to fix it. To transport the tooth, place it in a container and cover with a small amount of milk or saliva.

Pain Management

To ease the pain of the gum where you lost the tooth, apply a cold compress to the mouth and gums, and apply some pressure to control bleeding. If your tooth is badly broken, your nerve endings may be exposed, and you should make an emergency appointment right away.

If your roots are exposed, do not touch, scrape, brush or clean the root of the tooth with alcohol or peroxide.

How we can repair this for you

Our dental practice offers a number of treatment options:

  • Dental implants are for patients who lose a tooth due to an accident or periodontal gum disease. The implant looks like a natural tooth, and is inserted into the site of the missing tooth, then a small post or “abutment” connects to the implant. We then cement the replacement tooth on top of the abutment.

  • Implant-retained dentures fit over the existing natural teeth or dental implants. They are held in place by dental attachments to provide maximum retention and function. This option would be good for the loss of several teeth.

  • Full Arch dental implants can be placed to function as a full set of teeth, which appear and function like a full set of natural teeth.

To prevent your teeth from falling out in the future, be sure to:

  • Wear a mouth guard when playing any contact sport

  • Avoid hard foods, such as bones, stale bread, and tough bagels

  • Always wear a seatbelt

  • Avoid cavities and gum disease by brushing your teeth at least two times per day, and floss at least once per day. Also remember to schedule a cleaning every six months.

At Shane McDowell, DMD, we guide our patients to find customized solutions for their dental issues. We can help repair a broken tooth, or if it’s not possible to repair or re-implant the tooth, we will find the right cosmeceutical solution for you.

To schedule your appointment for your missing tooth, contact us today at 239-936-0597 or info@myfortmyersdentist.com. We look forward to serving you!

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