What to do if you have a Broken or Knocked out Tooth

Nearly 50% of children will have some type of injury to a tooth during childhood. Many of these are preventable. While most traumatic injuries occur in children and teenagers, people of all ages can be affected. We see tooth trauma from all sorts of situations such as falls, sports injuries, playground injuries, fighting, car accidents etc. Accidents happen, and knowing what to do can be the difference between losing and saving the tooth.

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Should We Replace Missing Teeth?

Today’s gold standard for tooth replacement is dental implants. A dental implant is a small, titanium alloy screw which is used to surgically replace damaged or missing natural teeth. The implant is placed into the jawbone so that the screw can firmly connect the artificial teeth or any other prosthesis to the jaw. Implants can also be used to support loose, removable dentures. Prior to dental implants, a partial denture or fixed bridge was the standard approach for tooth replacement. With a fixed bridge, the two teeth on either side of the gap (abutment teeth) are crowned and these support a “pontic” (a false tooth) between them. The biggest disadvantage of this type of treatment is that the abutment teeth are drilled down to accommodate the crowns which can often compromise healthy teeth. The biggest advantage of dental implants is that they do not affect the integrity of the adjacent teeth. However, there must be a sufficient amount of healthy jaw bone to anchor the implant and the adjacent teeth and gums must be healthy. They also have a longer lifespan in comparison to bridgework. To assess the quality and volume of bone we can now use 3D scanners which makes treatment simpler and safer.

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