Adult tooth loss is more prevalent than most people realize. Common causes of adult tooth loss are gum disease, injury, cavities, and tooth decay. Understanding how tooth decay progresses and the steps to take when tooth loss occurs are essential to preserving your natural tooth and avoiding a dental implant or bridge. While dental implants and dental bridges are effective tooth replacement options, it is always better to preserve the natural tooth whenever possible. Root canal therapy is less expensive, takes less time, and is less painful when it is an option.
Tooth decay occurs when plaque and bacteria build up around the teeth. When tooth decay is left undetected, it begins to eat away at your tooth in layers. If the outer layer of the tooth is damaged, a simple filling can usually solve it. Once the decay reaches down into the middle of the tooth, root canal therapy is often needed to remove the infected tooth pulp from inside the tooth. If the tooth decay causes tooth loss, root canal therapy can sometimes still save the tooth if certain steps are taken, and the tooth roots are preserved well-enough.
If your tooth falls out, adhere to the following steps:
- Try to put the tooth back in the socket as soon as possible. Be sure that the tooth is facing the right direction. The longer the tooth is out of the socket, the less likelihood there is of saving the tooth with root canal therapy.
- If you cannot put the tooth in the socket, keep it moist by putting it in milk or water (with salt).
- Call and drive to Cascade Endodontics in Provo as soon as possible so that endodontist Dr. Jon Jenson can assess your tooth right away. Based on the length of time the tooth was out of the mouth and the stage of root development, Dr. Jon Jenson will determine whether root canal therapy is the best treatment for saving your tooth.
If root canal therapy cannot save your avulsed teeth, a dental implant, dental bridge, or dentures are common tooth replacement solutions. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits (i.e. flossing, brushing, regular dental cleanings) can prevent tooth decay, tooth pain, tooth loss, and the need for Provo root canal therapy.
If you are experiencing severe tooth decay or tooth loss, call Cascade Endodontics right away at 801-404-5810 to schedule an initial consultation with Provo endodontist Dr. Jon Jenson.