After practicing for so many years one thing I often see amongst my patients is the case of missing front teeth due to past trauma. Whether it be from sports, slip n’ fall or a bar fight; getting your front teeth knocked out is a traumatic physically and emotionally. There is no way to predict such an event; accidents happen in life. In this post, I am going to go over some protocols of what to do if something like this ever happens to you or someone you know.
Step 1- DON’T PANIC
I understand the embarrassment and anxiety of a toothless smile. Growing up I often had dreams of losing my teeth causing me to wake up in a pool of sweat. I can only imagine what it truly feels like when it happens in real life and the pain associated with it. If you find yourself injured with a broken smile just take a deep breath then follow the next steps.
Step 2- Locate your tooth
This is really important and often overlooked. If you knock a tooth out try your best to locate it and put it in a cup of milk (NOT WATER). Saline can be used too, but it is not easy to come across in local stores. This is important because a knocked out or broken tooth could possibly be used to temporize you aesthetically until a final treatment can be implemented.
Step 3- Contact your dentist or find one on google
If you are established with a dentist already contact them right away for an emergency appointment. If not, then google the closest dentists around you and go in for an emergency appointment. If you are near Clearwater, FL then my office will always be available for emergencies. As for other areas, keep googling and calling until someone accepts you to come in. There are many dentists out there so don’t ever think you can’t find one.
Okay so you’ve made it to the dentist office- Now what?
After filling out whatever paperwork necessary by your dental office the dentist will need an x-ray of the afflicted area. I like to first numb the patient up with an anesthetic to eliminate pain before anything else. From there, findings will be discussed and options are given.
There are many scenarios and treatments options of each scenario like flippers or implants. I want to talk specifically about an easy, cheap and effective option known as the “Bonded Maryland Bridge”. Do you remember when I told you to keep your tooth in milk and bring it with you to the dentist? This is where it’ll come into play.
I had a 20-year-old patient a few weeks ago slip during the rain and landed on her face breaking one of her front teeth totally off. Although she came in with extreme pain and a destroyed smile, she was able to walk out as if nothing happened to her at all. This is because after I took out her broken tooth I cut off the crown portion and bonded it to her adjacent teeth with strong adhesives. The entire procedure took less than 30 minutes and at the end of it, you could barely tell she had dental trauma or broken tooth.
Something like this, although is not a permanent solution, temporarily gives you your smile and confidence back until a long lasting solution can be implemented by your dentist.
From here a long-term solution can be planned out by your dentist. There are many options and they are all case specific, but to give some example your treatment modality might include:
1. Dental Implants
2. Fixed Dental Bridge
3. Removable Prosthetic a.k.a. Flipper
I hope this post reaches a few people out there, especially if they are in need. I will post pictures in the next blog post. Feel free to message my office regarding any questions.
Till next time,
Dr. Ravi Soni