woman with missing tooth

Tooth loss is a natural occurrence among children as their baby teeth fall out to make way for their permanent, adult teeth to come in.

Tooth loss isn’t natural for teens and adults.

Tooth loss can happen any number of ways including decay, extraction and trauma. Most dental patients who lose a tooth do so through an accident or a fall where there is hard impact to the face and mouth.

A lost tooth is nothing to take lightly. In fact, a lost tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies.

That’s right. A missing tooth is an emergency that needs to be treated by a dentist immediately.

What to Do

If you experience trauma to the mouth and a tooth gets knocked out, you should first locate the tooth, clean it off and call your dentist. If possible, try to place the tooth back into the socket and gently bite down to hold it in place.

If you’re not able to place it back into your mouth, place the tooth in some milk.

Go to your dentist office immediately. If the dentist office is closed, go to the emergency room of your local hospital.

If you lost a tooth and are not able to find it, you’ll need dental work do to have a prosthetic tooth inserted.

Quick action is necessary if for your tooth to be saved.

Tooth Replacement Options

What if you didn’t make it to the dentist in time or if you couldn’t find the tooth? There are different dental options available to replace your missing tooth.

The most common tooth replacement option is with a dental implant. These are best for patients who are missing just one tooth or a few teeth in other parts of the mouth.

Dental implants are titanium rods that are inserted into the jawbone and topped with a tooth-like crown.

Patients missing multiple teeth would best benefit from a partial denture or dental bridge. A partial denture is ideal for patients missing more teeth than those who need a bridge. A dental bridge is good for patients who have multiple missing teeth that are next to each other.

Patients who are missing all or most of their teeth would best benefit from full dentures. Usually these patients are older and their teeth are more brittle and prone to breakage and falling out. Full dentures allow patients without teeth the ability to speak clearly, eat and drink.

Why Missing Teeth Need Replacing

A missing tooth creates an embarrassing gap between your teeth that can ruin one’s smile. The more teeth that are lost, the more embarrassing and self-conscious it is to smile.

Multiple missing teeth also make it difficult to eat, drink and speak clearly.

Missing teeth can also do damage to your mouth in ways you can’t readily see.

The roots of teeth maintain the strength, structure and proper alignment of the jawbone. When multiple teeth (or all teeth) are missing, the jawbone can become weak and brittle. It can also begin to droop which can negatively affect the patient’s facial structure.

When a few teeth are missing, the other teeth nearby can shift into the empty space causing the need for possible orthodontic work.

Losing a tooth is a serious matter. With quick action, a lost tooth can be saved and successfully put back into place. If the tooth can’t be found or too much delay is taken for the tooth to be replanted, a prosthetic tooth replacement is in order.

Dental implants, bridges, partial and full dentures are the most common and popular tooth replacement options for lost teeth.

If you have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, it is important to have them replaced. At Lincoln Dental Associates, we have a variety of tooth replacement options. For more information, contact us today.