"No I’m OK… It just feels a little loose, nothing to worry about.”
Wham! Your jaw just smashed into your teammates' elbow and of course, you weren't wearing a sportsguard! So what? Your tooth feels a little loose, but it doesn't seem serious. After all, in a couple days your tooth tightens up and everything seems fine. Or is it?
Well if your tooth was loosened enough, the vessels supplying blood to your tooth may be severed. The disrupted supply of blood causes your tooth to discolor. This means that your tooth is dying. Once your tooth starts to die you may eventually lose it, or leave it permanently discolored.
If you have a loose tooth, contact our office ASAP to see if emergency care is necessary! The sooner we can examine and determine the extent of the damage, the better your chances are of saving the tooth. Even if your tooth does not fall out in a couple of days, there still may be permanent damage. Left untreated, your tooth may discolor and fall out later.
To determine the extent of the damage, we may need to do a full exam, including x-rays of the mouth. Even if your tooth has begun to discolor, we may be able to stabilize and save it. We can even treat discoloration with bleaching.
If your tooth is beyond repair, there are three common courses of treatment available. The first is Stayplate, a retainer-like device with an artificial tooth attached to the plastic and wire. The retainer is discreet and the artificial tooth looks identical to your natural teeth. Like dentures, Stayplate is removable and cleaned every evening.
Another common solution is to create a bridge by attaching an artificial tooth to your healthy teeth on either side. By anchoring to nearby teeth, a permanent bond holds the artificial tooth in place.
Your most permanent solution is an implant. We insert a titanium post into the jaw where the damaged tooth was. Your jaw then heals over the next six to twelve months. Once fully healed, an artificial tooth attaches to the post. The result is a permanent replacement tooth.
Of the solutions available, Stayplate is the least costly. However, the best solution depends on the injury, your lifestyle, and budget. So remember, if you have a loose tooth, book your appointment ASAP.