Tooth loss of any sort can be difficult to cope with but it is particularly hard to deal with tooth loss that has resulted from an emergency situation – either as a result of decay or dental trauma. If you have no experience with dental treatment, you might be under the impression that teeth that are knocked-out or removed from the sockets are lost permanently and they cannot be replaced but that is not actually the case. There are numerous ways to replace teeth either permanently or temporarily, so the first thing to do is speak to a dentist about the injuries to your teeth and see what can be done to repair them effectively.
What are the options for treating tooth loss?
Dental implants – This is a form of restoration that is inserted right into the jaw bone, it is designed to mimic the structure of a real tooth with a titanium root fitted into the socket and a porcelain crown over the top of it. A dental implant should function almost exactly like the real thing if it has been fitted properly and cared for during its lifespan; the implant does have to be fitted surgically but it is not usually inserted under general anaesthetic, a local anaesthetic injection is usually sufficient. The materials used to fit dental implants are extremely robust and highly durable so they should last for decades without needing any real maintenance – possibly an entire lifetime in the right circumstances. Titanium is perfect for the role of tooth root because it is hard-wearing; it bonds well with human tissue and is resistant to bacteria, so infection should not become a problem later on. There is a fairly lengthy recovery period after dental implants are first fitted because the titanium has to be given chance to bond with the bone; it normally takes about six months for the implant to stabilise fully and then the permanent crown is fitted to complete the treatment.
Dentures – This product is often used to replace numerous teeth at once – sometimes all of the teeth if they have been removed or knocked out somehow. Dentures might have a bad reputation but there are modern versions that are natural in appearance and highly functional so that the patient can get on with life almost like they have their real teeth. Sometimes, dentures can become problematic because there may be some bone loss underneath the tissue as a result of the tooth removal; this can make it hard to secure the appliance firmly so that it can function properly. Denture glue can be used to hold the device in place but that is not going to solve the problem of tooth loss permanently; the denture only replaces teeth above the gum line so the bone loss will typically deteriorate over the following years. Dentures don’t last forever either, even though they are very durable, because they cannot adapt to changes in the jaw bone in the same way as something like a permanent implant could.
Partial bridges – Bridges are typically used to treat one or two lost teeth and they require healthy anchoring teeth to secure them into the empty spaces; crowns are attached to a dummy tooth and then fitted over the top of the neighbouring teeth to make it look like there is a real tooth sitting in the socket. As with dentures, bridges are not permanent and will have to be replaced at some point, mainly because the porcelain crown will not discolour in the same way as natural enamel does over time, which makes the synthetic teeth look more obvious among the real teeth. Furthermore, it is important to keep the anchoring teeth in a healthy condition otherwise the appliance will not be able to function properly long-term. Although bridges do have their uses they cannot encourage bone growth in the jaw in the same way that dental implants can, which means that there will probably be some deterioration beneath the gum line over time; this is something that the dentist must consider when providing long-term treatment to a patient who has suffered tooth loss.
How can I avoid tooth loss?
The easiest way to avoid tooth loss is to maintain your dental hygiene to a decent standard; this means brushing twice a day for at least two minutes, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist on a yearly basis to make sure that there are no problems developing with your teeth. Decay and gum disease are normally the result of poor dental hygiene that has deteriorated over the course of several months or years, so the best way to avoid this kind of problem is to make sure that these conditions are not given chance to develop or they are treated as soon as the early symptoms become apparent. Experts recommend visiting the dentist at least once a year to get your teeth assessed and this would also give you a chance to voice any concerns you might have about your dental health.
Obviously, there is no way to avoid tooth loss that comes as a result of a dental injury, since no one can predict when an accident may occur; however, you can put some safeguards in place to make sure that you have access to treatment when you need it. This means registering with a clinic that can provide twenty-four hour care to help with any problems you might have outside normal working hours; you may also have access to the newest restorative treatments to replace teeth that have been knocked-out or removed. You don’t necessarily have to be registered to receive emergency care but it could benefit you in the long-run if you have a lot of problems with your teeth and you need regular help.
If you are worried about your dental condition and you would like to speak to a dentist to avoid tooth loss, get in touch with the Pearl Dental Clinic and make an appointment; this London surgery can provide twenty-four hour emergency treatment to help if you need assistance outside normal working hours. Contact the reception team today to make an appointment and get any treatment you might need as soon as possible.