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A chipped or knocked out tooth can be a very painful condition. Tooth injuries are most often caused during a sports activity or when you take a nasty fall. And such accidents can hamper your general well-being, your ability to enjoy food, your appearance and your precious smile.
Different types of tooth injuries:
- A minor chip: A minor tooth fracture usually involves chipping of the enamel only
- A major chip: A deeper fracture can involve chipping of both the enamel and the dentin of a tooth
- A serious fracture that exposes the nerve and blood vessels in the centre of the teeth
- A fully displaced teeth: Here the tooth is forced upward, downward or to the side
- A knocked off teeth: One that lands in your hand or shatters in the ground after impact
- Trauma injuries: A more serious accident that involves head, neck and facial trauma
- Wear and tear: Cavities or chewing and biting on hard objects like pencils, ice cubes, or hard chocolates can also lead to tooth injury
- Fighting the fight: When 'I'll break your teeth' ceases to be an empty threat
How are tooth fractures treated?
Treatment depends on the extent of your fractures. A knocked out teeth can be re-implanted in many cases. A permanent tooth that is re-implanted within 30 minutes has the highest chance of success. Here's what you can do to save your tooth:
- Collect your broken tooth: Carefully collect the tooth fragments to not cause any additional damage which may prevent re-implantation. Avoid touching the root part of the tooth. Wash it gently in lukewarm water and keep it in a small bowl of milk. Avoid scrubbing or scraping to remove dirt.
- Reinsert your teeth if possible: Once you rinse your teeth, try to reinsert your teeth in the cavity. This may be a painful exercise, so proceed only if you think you can bear through it. You can store it between your cheek and gum to prevent drying or in a bowl of whole milk.
- Take care of yourself: If there is bleeding, give your mouth a good rinse to clear off the blood that is blocking the view. Identify the source of bleeding and press in with a sterile gauze or cloth.
- Give yourself a treat: This is a great way to get your mind off the pain and works wonders for children. Treat yourself with an ice lolly/ frozen pop to ease out the pain. If there is any cut on your gums or lips, another equally tasty home remedy is to cover it with sugar which will temporarily stop the bleeding and the sweetness will help you to forget the pain for the time being.
- Go to a dentist: Even if it is a minor chip, it is always advisable to see a dentist, as the cut may be sharp and can eventually end up hurting your tongue.
Your teeth need to last your lifetime, so take good care of them, especially when faced with an injury.
- Firstly brush twice daily by using soft or ultrasoft brush.
- Brush in vertical motion, but not in horizontal motion. Don't apply pressure while brushing your teeth.
- After brushing use mouth wash in diluted form (1: 1). Don't use tooth pick to remove the food that gets lodged in between the teeth. Use interdental brush to remove the food stuck in between your teeth. After having food gargle nicely with normal water. Keep your teeth and mouth clean.
Tooth loss occurs due to various reasons decay and infection, fracture, accidents, gum disease, to name a few. Tooth loss has a negative impact on various aspects facial appearance, chewing efficiency, and overall nutrition. The attempts to restore the lost tooth have led to various advancements from removable dentures to cast partial dentures to fixed dentures to implants.
Listed below are features (covering advantages and disadvantages) of both dentures (fixed and removable) and implants. While dentures can be complete or partial, implants are more often partial, of course can be used to replace multiple teeth. A detailed discussion with your dentist along with oral and radiographic examination will help in making a decision.
Replaces tooth but more for cosmetic reasons than function.
Poor chewing efficiency.
Useful when multiple teeth are to be replaced, especially when no adjacent teeth are available for support.
If good bone support is not available, retention is an issue.
Not very healthy for the underlying jaw bone and adjacent gums.
Requires daily and routine maintenance.
Also called as bridges, as the artificial replaced tooth is a bridge between two natural teeth.
Requires removal of sound tooth structure as abutment (support). This is the major disadvantage with fixed dentures, which promoted further work from the dentists, ending up with discovery of implants.
Promotes tooth decay in the adjacent teeth.
Good support, so retention is not an issue.
Not as harmful to the underlying jaw bone as removable denture.
Requires maintenance but not like the removable denture.
Expensive compared to removable dentures.
Replacing a bridge also means the adjacent healthy teeth are affected.
Very good replacement alternative, replaces not just the crown structure but also the root structure.
An excellent option when the jaw bones and gums are extremely in good condition.
Almost natural restoration of both chewing efficiency and facial appearance, the person can eat almost anything.
Not as harmful on the gums like dentures.
Does not cause bone loss like dentures.
Can be used to replace single or multiple teeth, where multiple implants are placed and a bridge is placed over them.
The titanium screws that are used fuse with the jaw bone over a period of time.
The titanium is also biocompatible, thereby reducing chances of allergy.
Implants are expensive, and many insurance companies may not cover them.
If properly fabricated and maintained well, then it can last for decades.
The decision to go for a denture or for an implant should be decided based on a detailed evaluation of overall health and if required radiographic examination. Both dentures and implants have advantages and disadvantages, and the dentist will help make the right choice. If you wish to discuss about any specific dental problem, you can consult a specilized dentist and ask a free question.