There are many things that can potentially impart enough force to severe the periodontal ligaments anchoring your teeth in place and cause the tooth to be knocked out of its socket. Hard falls, blows to the face, and playing in contact sports without a mouth guard all have the potential to knock one of your teeth out.
In many cases the tooth cannot be saved and any remnants must be extracted. This can compromise your mouth in a variety of ways. Losing some of the functionality to efficiently chew food is just the first complication. A knocked-out or extracted tooth could also slur your speech. In time the surrounding teeth can start to twist, turn and migrate to fill the void, leading to alignment issues and other complications.
In a situation like this, Dr. Jacqueline S. Reid may recommend having the tooth restored by installing a bridge. A bridge is a single piece of dental work that basically mimics the appearance of a natural tooth. It is joined to a pair of crowns that are anchored on abutments formed from the neighboring teeth.
First the dentist will need to form a pair of abutments out of each of the neighboring teeth. This is done by removing the majority of enamel layer of each tooth, leaving a small amount surrounding the dentin layer and root. A temporary crown is then placed over each abutment to protect them.
Your dentist will then form an impression of the area and the bite pattern of the corresponding teeth. This will be sent to the dental lab that creates your custom bridge.
When the dental lab has finished your permanent bridge, we will call you back in for a short second appointment. The temporary crowns are removed and your new permanent bridge is cemented in place over the abutments.
If you have a tooth that was recently knocked out, lost, or required extraction, you should call Jacqueline S. Reid DDS at 973.635.9456 to schedule an appointment.