Is it too late to save my loose tooth? I tripped over a cement parking space block and fell face forward. That was two weeks ago, and now I am starting to feel that my left front tooth is loose. I chipped two other teeth, but they do not hurt. I was flossing two nights ago and thought the tooth was loose, but now, I am sure. My regular dentist is almost 45 minutes away, but I have not seen him for four years. Is this something I should see an emergency dentist for, or can I schedule with my regular dentist to be referred to an oral surgeon? – Thank you. Daniel W. from Macon, GA
Thank you for your question.
If your tooth is loose, you have a dental emergency. It is best to see your dentist, but find a nearby experienced dentist who takes emergency cases if the distance is a problem.
What Is the Treatment for a Loose Tooth?
Before treating a loose tooth, your dentist will examine and x-ray it. They can stabilize the tooth by splinting it or bonding it to adjacent teeth. Splinting or bonding will help tooth ligaments to heal on their own. A dentist will also check your tooth for internal damage. If the tooth pulp is affected, you will need root canal treatment to remove the dying tooth pulp after the ligaments heal. Root canal treatment will prevent infection and further problems with the tooth. The dentist will protect your tooth with a dental crown.
Until you see your dentist, take these precautions:
- Avoid chewing on the damaged tooth.
- Do not touch it or wiggle it.
- Do not floss between it.
- Eat soft food.
- Take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and promote healing.
If your tooth ligaments are mildly damaged, it will take a few weeks to heal. More extensive damage can take months. You will have periodic checkups to ensure the healing is progressing well. Closely follow your dentist’s instructions for caring for your tooth after the dentist stabilizes. In time, you can decide if you want your dentist to apply dental bonding to fill in the spaces for your two chipped teeth.
Dr. Rekha Reddy, a Dallas, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.