While most parents don’t bat an eye when a youngster loses a baby tooth, losing permanent teeth is a different story. Before you panic about your child knocking out an adult tooth, use this guide to know what to expect and how to help your kiddo have a speedy recovery:
Common Causes of Chipped, Broken, and Lost Permanent Teeth
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), ten to 39% of dental injuries in children are caused by sports, particularly chipped and broken teeth. Facial trauma in general, like falls or running into companions, is also common cause of tooth injury. Finally, enamel erosion and tooth decay can increase children’s risk of breaking their permanent teeth.
After the Accident: Try to Save the Tooth
In some cases, detached teeth can be saved. Colgate’s dental blog states that if the tooth has completely come out, try to find and reinsert it if possible. While comforting the child, use sterile gauze to limit bleeding, and return the tooth to its socket. Ask the child to either hold the gauze in place or bite down on it.
If the tooth is dirty, rinse it in milk or water before returning it to the socket, being careful not to touch the tooth’s roots. Keep the tooth moist to encourage reattachment. Take the child and the tooth to a dentist as soon as possible for emergency pediatric dental care. Though they may seem unusual, these steps can help the child retain the permanent tooth.
What if the Tooth Can’t Be Saved?
In some cases, permanent teeth are able to reattach, but sometimes, this is not possible. To avoid other teeth crowding in or a vacant place in your child’s smile, dentists recommend treating the gap with an implant or a bridge.
An implant is a titanium post inserted into the jawbone and attached to a fake replica tooth. A bridge is a false replacement tooth that is secured to neighboring teeth. The replacement tooth is commonly made of ceramic, an extremely durable material that can withstand temperatures of 2,000 degrees celsius, or even 5,000 degrees for ITC coatings. Over several visits to the dental clinic, ceramic implants and bridges can be fitted to appear indistinguishable from original teeth.
If your child loses a permanent tooth, act quickly, but don’t panic. Dentists know the best way to treat these situations, and even if a tooth can’t be saved, your child’s smile can.