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Oral Injury and Tooth Loss: Prevention and Treatment

By Dr. Everett Heringer on February 07, 2017


A porcelain crown being placed on a dental implantIt's not uncommon for an oral injury to lead to tooth loss, but knowing what to do when an oral injury causes a tooth to become dislodged can help prevent tooth loss and protect the smile. Unfortunately, some teeth may not be saved after an oral injury. However, restorative dentistry treatments are available to repair dental damage, replace missing teeth, and restore the smile. Scheduling an emergency dental appointment can help when faced with oral injury and tooth loss. Contact Bismarck, ND dentists Everett E. Heringer and Brielle Renz for your emergency dental needs. In the meantime, read here to learn more about how to prevent tooth loss after an oral injury.

Steps to Take after an Oral Injury

An oral injury can occur at any time. Whether caused by a fall, a car accident, or a sports-related injury, an oral injury can cause a tooth to become chipped, broken, loosened, or completely fall out. If a tooth is knocked out by an oral injury, there is still a chance to save it. By taking the following steps, you may be able to prevent tooth loss after an oral injury:

  • Find the lost tooth and carefully pick it up by the crown, not the roots
  • Gently clean the tooth by rinsing in milk or a saline solution made of salt and water
  • Take care to prevent the tooth from drying out
  • Carefully replace the tooth within the empty gum socket
  • Apply light pressure to the tooth to keep it in place by gently biting down on a soft, clean cloth
  • Contact your dentist to schedule an emergency dental appointment

Treatments to Repair the Smile after Oral Injury 

Oral injuries can cause many types of dental damage besides tooth loss. Damage may be as mild as a small chip or more severe, like a broken tooth. In some cases, the dental roots may be injured and no damage may be immediately noticeable.

Instead, it may take several days or weeks for the damage caused by an injured tooth root to become apparent. When it does, the tooth may turn gray, die, or become loose. With that said, it's important to seek treatment after any oral injury, even if no damage is apparent, in order to protect the smile. Fortunately, there are many treatments available to repair dental damage and restore dental appearance and function after an oral injury. Some popular treatments include:

  • Porcelain veneers: Front facing teeth with small chips or cracks may be repaired with porcelain veneers treatment.
  • Dental bonding: Dental bonding is another treatment option that can repair mild chips and small cracks within the teeth after an injury.
  • Porcelain crowns: Teeth with moderate to severe chips and fractures may be restored with porcelain crowns.
  • Dental implants: Dental implants offer a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth. Dental implants may be paired with dental crowns for individual tooth replacement or implant-supported bridges and implant-supported dentures for multiple tooth replacement.

Discover Your Treatment Options

To learn more about your treatment options after oral injury, we invite you to schedule a consultation at Heringer Dentistry.

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Bismarck, ND 58501

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