Picture a warm afternoon. You’ve invited your family over for a cookout. As you tend to the burgers and hot dogs, your cousin and your son are tossing a baseball back and forth in the backyard.
Unfortunately, your sister isn’t paying attention to that. She walks behind them just as a throw gets away … the ball strikes her right in the jaw.
Everybody stops what they are doing. Your sister says she’s fine and runs inside. You ask your cousin to take over the grill.
You find your sister in the bathroom rinsing her mouth with water, and you see a tooth resting on the edge of the sink. It looks like she rinsed it clean.
“I’ll be fine,” your sister says calmly. “I’ll just call Bayou Dental Group.”
What can we do in this situation? We can do plenty if you live in or near Monroe, LA.
Handling A Tooth That Has Been Knocked Out
First and foremost, we have to say that the sister in the scenario described above did exactly what she should if her tooth got knocked out.
You should find the tooth (picking it up by the crown) and rinse it clean. Then, the person who lost the tooth should rinse her mouth to remove any blood.
If you can, place the tooth back into its socket and leave it there until you can see the dentist. If you can’t, then you should keep the tooth in a container of water.
In some case, it may be possible to save the tooth. If not, that’s OK, too. We have two options to replace missing tooth that would work well in this situation.
Dental Crown With A Dental Implant
The first option is a complete tooth replacement, thanks to two different tools we have available to help our patients.
The first is a dental implant. This replaces the root of a missing tooth.
Implants are titanium posts that we would place into your sister’s jawbone in the same space that her tooth once occupied. We used titanium because your bone reacts to it the same way that it reacts to your roots.
As you heal, the bone will grow around and bond to the dental implant. This process is called osseointegration, and it’s the reason implants make for the most solid and secure tooth replacements.
Her implant will have an abutment on one end. This abutment can be used to support one of our porcelain dental crowns.
We use porcelain because for cosmetic reasons and for restorative purposes.
From a visual standpoint, porcelain reflects light in the same way that teeth do. As a result, a porcelain crown will be practically indistinguishable from her natural teeth.
From a functional standpoint, a porcelain crown will act like a tooth, too. Your sister will be able to use it to bite or chew your food, and it will recreate the appearance of her smile.
A dental bridge is another way to replace the missing tooth. To make a dental bridge, we may have to remove parts from two more teeth, however.
A dental bridge could be made to span a gap inside your sister’s mouth. A traditional bridge gets its support from the abutments on either end. In this case, her teeth will become the abutments.
When we make a dental crown to repair a damaged tooth, we have to remove the damaged parts to form an abutment. With a dental bridge, we go through a similar process to make two abutments — one on either side of a missing tooth.
This bridge will be composed of three dental crowns that have been fused together. The two abutment crowns will be bonded to the abutment teeth. This will provide the support for the bridge.
The crown in the middle (a pontic) will fill in the space in your sister’s smile where her missing tooth once was.
This will complete the appearance of her smile and allow her to continue eating most of the foods that she enjoys. (We don’t know if your burgers and hot dogs are among those foods.)
Restorative dentistry is an important part of what we do at Bayou Dental Group. The patients who visit our dentist office in Monroe, LA, shouldn’t have to lose their smiles because of an accident or injury.
With dental implants and crowns or with dental bridges, we can rebuild their smile as good or better than it was.