The loss of a front tooth is a very traumatic experience that may happen to anyone, but it is possible to replace lost tooth same visit with a dental implant!. Front teeth may be lost due to an accident, fracture, root canal failure or because of gum disease.
I would rate the fracture as the most leading cause of front tooth loss, followed by gum disease, root canal failure and the accident.
There are ways to minimize the chances of front tooth loss that can be implemented by anyone.
Front tooth fracture
- Fill cavities while they are still small. More filling material in the tooth – more chances of tooth fracture. Also, larger cavities may lead to a root canal treatment, which dramatically weakens the tooth.
- If possible, avoid crowns on front teeth for cosmetic reasons. In order to place a crown the tooth needs to be cut on all sides. This weakens the front teeth and may result in a fracture that is located at the junction of a crown and the root, right at a gum line. A more conservative cosmetic alternative to crowns on front teeth is porcelain veneers. Much less tooth grinding is required for a veneer placement vs. crown placement on a front tooth.
- If the root canal treatment has to be done in a front tooth, have a post placed inside the root to strengthen the tooth and minimize the chance of fracture. In many cases crowns can be avoided on front teeth even after a root canal treatment.
This fractured tooth was removed, dental implant and a fixed temporary crown were placed same visit. Temporary crown must be out of bite, shorter than the adjacent teeth to allow undisturbed dental implant healing.
Have regular cleanings and gum pocket measurements. 1-3 mm pockets are healthy; 4-5 mm pockets indicate early gum disease. Deep pockets may result in teeth becoming loose and eventually falling out if not treated. Gum disease also destroys bone that surrounds teeth and if sufficient bone is not present after tooth loss or tooth removal, implant placement becomes much more complicated. Your provider will determine if and when the tooth extraction is necessary to facilitate implant placement.
Root canal treatment failure
Generally I recommend root canal re-treatment if sufficient tooth structure is present. With each consecutive re-treatment, the success rate of a root canal treatment goes down. Extraction and implant placement is a viable option that may be recommended.
Front tooth loss due to accident
It is relatively rare to see tooth avulsion during an accident, but if it happens, remember to:
- Find the tooth as soon as possible;
- Handle tooth by a crown, don’t brush or rub it. Just rinse it for 5 seconds;
- Place the tooth into the socket and try to align it with other teeth; if you can’t place it in the socket, keep it in a mouth between back teeth and cheek. If the accident happened to a young child, place the tooth in a container filled with saliva or milk to avoid swallowing or choking.
- See the dentist as soon as possible. There is a good chance that root canal treatment can be avoided if the tooth is placed in a socket within 60 minutes and the root is not fully formed.