Tips to Prevent Tooth Loss after Oral Injury
An oral injury can happen at any time. Some are lucky and suffer no damage, while others may experience a chipped tooth, or worse, tooth loss. When oral injury occurs, restorative dentistry treatments are available to replace missing teeth, repair dental damage, and return the smile to its previous health and beauty. Acting fast after an oral injury and seeking dental treatment as soon as possible can help preserve the smile. Protect your smile from tooth loss and oral injury with these tips from Woodstock, NY dentist Michael Tischler.
Common Causes of Oral Injury
Oral injuries often happen unexpectedly and can leave the teeth mildly to severely damaged. The extent of damage will vary depending on such factors as type of injury, point of impact, and strength of impact. Some common causes of oral injury include:
- A blow to the face
- A motorcycle or car accident
- Sports-related injury
- Biting something hard, like a corn kernel or pen cap
Tips to Prevent Tooth Loss after an Oral Injury
Sometimes, the teeth may appear undamaged after an oral injury, only to show signs of damage days or weeks later. Delayed damage is often the result of trauma sustained to the tooth's roots, which can injure the blood vessels nourishing the teeth. As a result, the tooth may turn gray or black and fall out. This is why it's important to seek dental treatment as soon as possible after an oral injury, even if there is no visible damage.
If a tooth becomes dislodged or falls out immediately after an oral injury, schedule an emergency dental appointment and take the following steps until you are able to see your dentist:
- Locate the lost tooth if it has fallen out
- Take special care not to touch the tooth's roots and instead pick the tooth up by its crown
- Clean the tooth in milk or a saline solution of salt and water
- Do not dry the tooth or let it dry out
- Carefully place the tooth back into the empty gum socket
- Gently apply pressure to keep the tooth in place by biting down on a soft, clean cloth or gauze
- See your dentist immediately for emergency treatment
Treatments for Oral Injury and Tooth Loss
Taking proper precautions after a tooth is injured can help prevent tooth loss and protect oral health, but sometimes an injury may be too severe to save the damaged tooth. In cases in which a tooth is lost or severely damaged, restorative dentistry treatments may be able to help. Popular treatments for dental damage or tooth loss after an oral injury include:
- Porcelain veneers: Chips or minor fractures may be treated with porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin shells that fit over the front surface of the teeth, effectively masking flaws.
- Dental bonding: Dental bonding is another treatment option for the repair of minor chips and fractures. With dental bonding, a soft resin is applied directly to the teeth and shaped to blend with the surrounding teeth. The resin is hardened and polished to create a flawless, beautiful finish.
- Porcelain crowns: Large fractures and severely damaged teeth may be saved and restored with porcelain crowns. Porcelain crowns fit over damaged teeth to prevent further damage and restore dental strength and appearance.
- Dental implants: Missing teeth may be permanently replaced with dental implants. Dental implants are small metal posts inserted into the jawbone. Dental implants act as artificial tooth roots to which different types of restorations can be attached to replace one or more missing teeth.
Which Treatments Are Right for You?
If you have suffered from tooth loss after an oral injury, or would like more tips on how to protect your smile, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tischler today.