I just lost a tooth. Is there anything I can do to save it?
If your tooth was lost because of trauma, and is completely intact, then the best thing you can do right now is store the tooth in cold milk and go see a dentist as soon as possible. Milk helps keep the delicate cells around the tooth alive, and the dentist may be able to implant the same tooth back in the socket. Usually, there will be a certain amount of time during which the tooth is splinted – i.e. connected to the neighboring teeth by means of a thin wire to prevent movement during the healing phase. After several weeks, our team will assess if the tooth is stable enough and this wire will be removed. In some cases, this tooth may need to be root canal treated as well.
What if I lost a tooth due to cavities?
These types of teeth cannot be saved. If a tooth is lost due to cavities, it implies that a lot of tooth structure has been damaged by the cavity causing the tooth to fracture. Depending on how the tooth fractures, it may be able to recreate this tooth with a filling, a crown, or a root canal and crown. If the fracture is very deep, then it may be needed to extract this tooth and replace it with a dental implant, a bridge, or a denture.
My tooth has been shaking for a long time and just came out today while eating something soft. Can I still save it?
This situation sounds like chronic gum (periodontal) disease. These types of teeth cannot be re-implanted back into the socket. They need to be replaced with a dental implant, crown or bridge. The Acharya Dental team will ensure that you are educated on proper oral hygiene techniques including tooth brushing and flossing to ensure that you don’t lose any more teeth and your replacement teeth serve you for a long time to come.
We will also check that your blood sugar levels are within normal limits in case you are a diabetic, as high blood sugar levels are strongly linked to gum disease.
I lost a back tooth, but it doesn’t bother me. Do I need to get it replaced?
In general, wisdom teeth do not need to be replaced (this is the 8th tooth on the four corners of your mouth). However, it is very important to replace all other teeth for several reasons:
- Your chewing efficiency may become reduced due to this missing tooth. It may take longer to chew food.
- The teeth on either side of the missing tooth will tend to grow into the space previously occupied by the missing tooth, leading to a permanent change in your bite.
- The teeth opposite the missing tooth will tend to grow into the space previously occupied by the missing tooth, also leading to permanent changes in your bite.
- The opposite teeth and the teeth on either side of the missing tooth may develop open contacts – i.e. a situation where increased food gets deposited between teeth due to wider spaces between them. This can lead to dental caries of adjacent and opposite teeth.
- The longer you wait to replace missing teeth, the greater the bone loss that will take place in this area. This presents a problem in the future as dental implants need good volume of bone to be successful. If very little bone is available, then the area will have to be developed with artificial bone grafting before a dental implant can be placed.
- If multiple teeth are missing, there is loss of facial volume and support, leading to an aged appearance.
- A missing front tooth does not look esthetic and can be a source of embarrassment.
What are my options to replace missing teeth?
Modern dentistry presents several options to replace your missing teeth. They include
- Dental crowns, if a portion of the tooth root still remains.
- Dental implants, where a titanium insert is placed in the jaw bone and ceramic teeth are attached to this insert.
- Bridges can be used to replace missing teeth by using the adjacent teeth as a means of support.
- Dentures are removable devices that can replace missing teeth. They are made of acrylic and rest on the gum tissue directly.
- In some cases, a tooth from one location can be transplanted to another location in the mouth. For example, a wisdom tooth or 3rd molar is not considered a very critical tooth for function and esthetics, and can be transplanted to the 2nd molar site.
How soon should I replace a missing tooth?
The sooner the better. The earlier you can show the spaces with missing teeth in your mouth to our trained team, the faster we can replace them for you. This is because if a tooth is just recently lost, not many regressive changes would have taken place yet and the ease and cost of replacing these missing teeth is minimal.
What is the cost to replace a missing tooth?
Depending on the method use to replace the missing teeth, there is a wide variation in the costs involved. In general, teeth replacement costs in India and teeth surgery costs in India are about 4-5 times less than the costs for the same procedure in the USA. Fillings and natural teeth implantation are relatively inexpensive compared to dental implants and bridges. At Acharya Dental, we will assess your specific case and provide you a with a suitable treatment plan addressing all of your questions.