If you have recently experienced tooth loss due to injury or prolonged dental issues, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps towards recovery so you can return to your regular activities. The process of regaining comfort and ability after tooth loss occurs in two stages – immediate aftercare regarding the site of your tooth loss and eventual replacement of your lost tooth.
Whether you’ve lost a tooth due to dental injury, had a planned tooth extraction at your local dental office, or experienced spontaneous tooth loss due to gum disease or tooth decay, aftercare is crucial. Treat the area carefully to promote healing. Steps include:
- Take prescribed pain medications or over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen
- Compress the area with gauze pads until bleeding stops
- Apply ice to the area to reduce swelling
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid using straws, rinsing, or forceful spitting for 24 hours
- Stick to soft foods for at least 24 hours, gradually adding solid foods back to the diet
- Limit activity for 24 hours, propping up your head when you lie down to prevent bleeding
- Brush and floss regularly, avoiding the site until it is healed
After the area has healed and you’ve regained some comfort and function, it is important to remember that your missing tooth can still affect your oral health – and your smile. Missing teeth can drastically alter your bite and cause shifting and other issues for your remaining teeth. Worse, you will likely experience bone loss and a weakened jaw.
Fortunately, there is no reason for the above issues to occur, as advances in modern prosthetic dentistry have produced several options for replacing your missing tooth. Depending on the location of the space and the condition of the surrounding teeth, you may consider these options for restoring your oral comfort and function:
- Dental implants. Implants are often the best option for replacing a single missing tooth. Your dentist will assess whether your jawbone is adequate for implant placement – if not, you may require augmentation with a bone-like material. Then, a titanium screw, fitted cap, titanium post, and porcelain crown will be fitted over a series of appointments for optimal support and healing.
- Dental bridges. Bridges are often chosen to replace multiple teeth, using the support of nearby, healthy teeth. Artificial teeth attached to a metal frame are placed in the mouth and fused to supporting teeth or crowns.
No matter the reason for your tooth loss, attention to aftercare for your tooth replacement is an essential step to maintaining your oral health. The sooner you address your missing tooth, the better your chances of avoiding significant bone loss. If you need dental help, Emergency Dental Service can help connect you to a provider near you – call 1-888-350-1340 24/7 or request an appointment online to address your missing tooth as soon as possible.