For a five-year-old, a loose tooth signals that a payday is on the way. For an adult, a loose tooth means something else, entirely. If you resist the urge to panic, however, there is hope and we can help you get through it.
The first thing to remember is to make an appointment with us A.S.A.P.! The longer that tooth sits there, wiggling loosely in your mouth, the more likely you are to lose it, completely. Don't assume that the loose tooth will just “get better” or go away or that tons of expensive dental work will be required: this isn't always the case. Schedule an appointment for us to examine your tooth as soon as you can and try to eat soft foods in the meantime. The first thing we will do is examine your mouth to determine the cause of your loose tooth. If an injury was involved, one option may be to try to splint the tooth. This involves securing it to the teeth on either side, using a composite bonding. This is only a temporary measure, as the composite bonding doesn't last very long.
If the loose tooth is due to periodontal gum recession, a deep cleaning will be in order to save it. A hygienist will remove the infection that has infected the gumline, causing your gums to recede. Once the bacteria have been cleaned out, the hope is that your gums will heal and tighten up around the tooth. If the tooth is still loose, a grafting procedure can be done to help “regrow” lost tissue.
Unfortunately, not every tooth can be saved. Perhaps too much damage was done or too much time has gone by and the decay is too severe. In cases where the tooth cannot be saved, extraction and implants are recommended for these cases. Implants improve the way you look as well as return natural eating and speaking function to adults who have lost their teeth. Other options include bridges and dentures, but we now have the ability to surgically implant individual teeth into the gumline, accurately mimicking your very own tooth!
Remember-your biggest adversary in dental care is time. If you notice any of your teeth feel loose, call us as soon as possible to make an appointment and have that tooth examined. Every day that goes by increases the chances of losing that tooth forever!