Theriot Family Dental

Dentist Can’t Replace My Tooth…Now What?

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My tooth was knocked out during a car accident. I was fine everywhere else. I managed to find the tooth and held on to it. I went to the dentist the next morning, but he said it was too late and my tooth can’t be saved. He told me to schedule a second appointment and we can discuss my options. I decided I would do some research ahead of time to have some idea what I’m getting into.


Dear Charlie,

Hockey Player with a tooth knocked out

I am sorry about the accident and your tooth! I don’t quite understand why your dentist did not take the time to explain your options right away. Obviously, he wasn’t using the chair time on restoring the tooth so he could have at least had a ten minute conversation with you. Basically, you have a few options. Your best tooth replacement would be a dental implant. This puts a prosthetic root in your jaw and then, after the bone has had time to integrate with the implant, a dental crown is placed on top. This is the closest thing to having a healthy natural tooth in your mouth again.

Your next best option is to get a dental bridge. This suspends a false tooth between two dental crowns. If your other teeth are perfectly healthy, you may not want to grind them down for crowns. However, if they need some work, this option makes sense.

There are lesser options too, such as a removable partial denture or dental flipper. These I would consider more as temporary solutions if you need to save up for something more permanent.

What To Do If Your Tooth Is Knocked Out

Hopefully, this type of thing will never happen to you again, but I wanted to advise you on how to have the best chance of saving your tooth if it ever happens again. Whenever a tooth is knocked out, it is considered a dental emergency. You need to get the tooth to your dentist within 30 minutes. When you transport the tooth, you want to make certain of two things.

First, is that you only handle the tooth from the crown, which is the part that is visible when you smile. Second, you want to make certain the root is kept moist. Ideally, you could place it in a cup of milk. If that isn’t available, then you can place it gently between your cheek. It is in your best interest to call the dentist and let them know you are on your way. This way they can be ready for you as soon as you arrive.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. John Theriot.