Few dental incidents are as worrying as losing a tooth entirely. If one of your teeth has become wiggly, or if you’ve recently knocked out a tooth in a sports-related accident or after a fall, a million questions are probably running through your head: How did this happen? How do I fix it? How much is this going to cost me?

However, if one question prevails above the rest – is this replacing this tooth really that urgent? – there are a few things you should know.

a dentist looking at a missing tooth in a jaw

Consider the Cause

Naturally, the first thing you should do is visit your dentist. Here at Collins Dentistry and Aesthetics in Washington, expert cosmetic dentists Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins can assess your unique situation, ensuring the tooth hasn’t actually broken off or damaged other parts of your mouth. They’ll also be able to talk with you about whether you can put off replacing your tooth, the consequences of leaving a gap in your smile and give you some options to consider.

Secondly, you should question how you lost the tooth in the first place. If your tooth was knocked out in a sporting accident, you fell off your bike, or you were hit in the jaw by something, time is of the essence. If you properly rinse the tooth and your mouth and rush to the dentist immediately, there is a good chance (maybe 90%) that you can save your tooth. However, many cases of knocked out teeth require an artificial dental implant.

If one of your permanent teeth simply fell out while you were doing something “normal,” like eating or talking, that’s more worrisome. Only the most serious cases of temporomandibular joint disorders can cause root damage, but if you clench and grind your teeth enough, you can experience receding gum lines, weakening the connection between your tooth and jaw. The more common condition that leads to lost teeth is gum disease. Gum disease results when bad bacteria and plaque get in the natural pockets between your teeth and gums, eroding the enamel of your teeth and wearing away the gums. In advanced stages of gum disease, patients often lose their teeth. At these stages, your gum disease won’t go away even with excellent at-home care, and requires dentist intervention, so don’t delay. Schedule an appointment.

Implants: Your Best Bet

If you’ve lost or knocked out a permanent tooth, it’s important you come to see us. Every patient is different, as is every treatment plan. However, for most of our patients, dental implants are the best answer to a missing tooth both for aesthetic and health reasons.

A dental implant is installed into your gums and jaw, which means it stimulates your jaw like a natural tooth would. You may have heard the phrase “if you don’t use it, you lose it,” and that certainly applies to jaw mass. Without proper stimulation, the jaw can become weak, leading to more serious health problems in the future. Dental implants are also natural looking and don’t require any special care, so you can get back to normal life.

Talk to Your Dentist

Lost or knocked out a permanent tooth? Don’t panic; Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins, are dedicated to restoring your oral health and getting you smiling wide again. Plus, they can assess the damage and ensure the lost tooth isn’t indicative of a more serious issue.

To schedule an appointment with an implant dentist at Collins Dentistry and Aesthetics in Spokane Valley, please call (509) 927-2273 or send us an email today.