While statistics show that over 120 million of us are missing at least one tooth, that doesn’t make it any easier when you are one missing it! More difficult still, is when a child loses a permanent tooth in an injury or accident. It can be a stressful situation and one that we do occasionally come across. So, what happens when your child chips or loses an adult tooth?
The first thing to do, if your child experiences this, is to go to see your dentist. Whether there is a chip or a crack in the tooth, or if the tooth is loose or missing, it’s the best idea to get in to see a dentist right away. If there is something that can be done, doing it sooner than later, is always in your child’s best interest.
There are a few treatments that can be done, depending on the injury sustained.
- My child’s tooth is chipped. Whether this is a front tooth or a back tooth, usually a chip in a tooth can be fairly easily restored with a resin filling, or bonding material. This is a tooth-colored material that is very durable, and it can work in a variety of situations to make the tooth whole again.
- My child’s tooth is cracked. If a tooth is cracked or broken, there is still a good chance that the tooth can be saved. Sometimes, a small crack can be treated just like a chipped tooth, using filling material, as described above. More often, in these situations, a crown could be placed on the remaining, unaffected structure of the tooth, keeping the aesthetic look and function of the tooth. Occasionally, a crack will run up and down, or vertically, in the tooth, and that could be a situation where the tooth cannot be saved. Regardless, your dentist will be able to assess the tooth and let you know what your options are.
- My child’s tooth was knocked out. In these situations, it is always good to get your child to the dentist right away. If possible, bring the missing tooth with and keep it in water or milk while transporting. While it is difficult, sometimes the dentist can try to place the tooth back into the socket and stitch the gums slightly to see if the tooth will reconnect with the tissue. This is not always an option and it doesn’t always work, but it is worth a try. If the tooth cannot be placed back into the mouth, the dentist can make sure the socket is clean so that it will heal as nicely and quickly as possible. Your dentist can also discuss future options for tooth replacement with you and your child at that time.
Any time a child has an injury involving their teeth it can be a traumatic situation. Getting them in to see their dentist right away is the best thing to do. These stressful situation are the times where it is helpful if you and your child have a dentist already so that you have a relationship with someone you trust and know. If you or your child don’t have a dentist currently, we recommend calling our office to set up a new patient exam! Today is a new day and a new opportunity to care for yourself and your family. We’d be happy to be a part of that!