Losing an adult tooth is an issue that you may fear is a permanent problem. But there are some different ways to deal with a missing tooth as an adult, to where you may not even notice a tooth is missing in the end.
Step 1: Protect the Tooth
Is the tooth still hanging on by a nerve? Your tooth may not actually be lost at all if it is still, in some way, connected. You should try to lock the tooth in place by taping over the area with gauze. Then, make an emergency appointment to see a family dentistry specialist like those at Pine Lake Dental Group. As long as you explain the situation, many dental offices should be able to accommodate you with last-minute notice to try and save an adult tooth.
Step 2: Learn About Types of Lost Teeth
Different types of procedures will be used, depending on how much of the tooth is lost. If the whole tooth is lost, that is one thing. But sometimes, a big chunk of a tooth will be cracked away from the base. Sometimes, a family dentistry provider can save this tooth by placing a crown or filling on the tooth. In short, the situation is different, depending on how far down the damage goes.
Step 3: Review Your Insurance Coverage
Before you get to the dental office, review how much your coverage limits for dental care are. Also see if your plan covers certain procedures at a greater percentage than others. That will help you and your dentist make the best decision about how to proceed.
Step 4: Get a Dental Evaluation
When you visit your dentist, they will give you their opinion on the dental procedure you should choose to replace or fix your tooth. The first option is to do nothing; you can leave the tooth gap as is. This is not often advised, since a space in your teeth could create misaligned or shifted teeth in the future.
The best fix for a missing tooth is usually dental implants, when you can afford them. The dental implants are fixed into your jaw for a permanent, non-removable prosthetic tooth. The material of the dental implant resembles a normal tooth, but the surface is actually much more durable and resistant to stains and cavities. Aside from dental implants, your dentist might offer you the option of getting a partial denture or bridge to replace an adult tooth, and either of these options is certainly better than a tooth gap.