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BY: Dr. Mark Worthington
If you knock out a tooth, hold it from the hard end (not the root), rinse it off and place it in a container of milk or hold it in your mouth, bathing it in your saliva.
(You want to keep the root moist so that your tooth can be reimplanted.) Then get to a dentist right away, as most teeth can be reimplanted within an hour -- two hours at the very most.
If your own tooth can’t be reimplanted, then your dentist will use a dental implant. An implant is inserted straight into the hole if a whole tooth is lost with minimal damage to the surrounding gum bone area. However, if there is bone damage or other issues, you’ll probably require a temporary crown or denture. When the area’s ready to be worked on again in a few weeks or months, the denture can be taken out and replaced with an implant.
Advantages of Implants
Implants are now considered to be the best choice for replacing missing teeth and can last a lifetime. They not only have the same function of a normal tooth, but also can be cleaned just like your other teeth. They’re made out of porcelain, which gives a very realistic finish.
Your gum bone adapts very well to the titanium screw at the bottom of the implant, and the gum attaches to the porcelain surface nicely.
If your tooth is knocked out, you can visit your regular dentist to have the site immediately assessed. But they may refer you to an implant specialist if they’re not equipped to handle further treatment.
It can be costly to have an implant inserted and a denture, if needed, made -- particularly in Australia. (It usually costs thousands of dollars.) However, at our practice in New Zealand, the cost of this work is significantly lower than many Australian practices. As a result, we often have patients flying from Australia to our clinic in Auckland to have work done. If you need a new tooth, it probably pays to compare prices.
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