As much as we try to avoid them, accidents happen. And of course, some of those accidents can result in severe damage to your teeth. A bike crash, a car wreck, or even a sharply thrown baseball can shatter teeth and cause significant pain.
Fortunately, there is hope! The pain won’t be forever and your smile doesn’t need to be destroyed either.
Many patients who experience an accident will opt for a full mouth reconstruction, restoring a healthy bite and a healthy smile. Thanks to the specialized skills of our doctors here at Longleaf Dental, we’re able to offer full mouth reconstructions (in office), saving you time and money from having to visit several different specialists.
Should an accident happen, there are several steps involved in reconstructing your mouth. The first step is to visit us as soon as possible. We will take the necessary steps to quickly ease the pain and start the healing process.
If you come to our office because of an accident, one of the first things we’ll do is survey the damage. If one or multiple teeth have broken or shattered beyond repair, then an extraction may be required. We’ll quickly administer anesthetics to remove any pain and then get to work clearing the broken tooth.
If the remaining bits of tooth are too small when we attempt to extract it, then we will make several small incisions in your gum and expose the tooth’s roots. If required, we will remove some of the surrounding bone, which will allow the tooth to be removed. Once the damaged tooth is clear, we close the incisions with stitches that dissolve in a week’s time.
After having your teeth removed because of an accident, some patients may experience bone loss near the extraction area. This can occur because of extraction or, after the tooth has been removed, because the body sometimes reabsorbs the section of jawbone that is not being used.
The next phase of full mouth reconstruction will be implants, but patients who experience bone loss may not have enough bone support for dental implant restoration surgery.
Bone grafting fixes this problem by rebuilding the patient’s jaw, using human bone to create a better foundation for the dental implants. Bone grafting can also correct serious jaw problems and support proper healing.
Replace the Missing Teeth
Once the shattered teeth have been cleared, the gums have healed, and any required bone grafting is complete, we can begin replacing the missing teeth. Missing teeth obviously affects the way we look or speak, but missing teeth can also compromise your oral health by creating extra pressure on surrounding teeth or causing your jawbone to deteriorate.
For these reasons, we highly recommend replacing missing teeth. Traditionally, these were replaced by removable dentures. However, most people today are unhappy with dentures for the following reasons:
- They move around when you eat
- They interfere with your speech
- They can come out at the wrong times
- They are uncomfortable and can pinch your gums
- They cause your jawbone to shrink and, over the years, a collapse of the face
Other options include traditional crowns and bridges. A bridge requires that the adjacent teeth on both sides of the missing tooth be present. Those adjacent teeth are then ground down and crowned to help hold the bridge in place. Although it can work in some situations, many people find this solution to be uncomfortable and limiting. Furthermore, it does not provide the permanent function people want from their replacement teeth.
If you have a healthy mouth and are looking for a more permanent solution, then dental implants are most likely the best path to reconstructing your mouth.
If you’ve had an accident and need to replace missing teeth, then dental implants offer an excellent, permanent solution. They feel more like your actual teeth than dentures or a bridge, and they do not require neighboring teeth to be crowned.
Implants can replace individual teeth or entire rows of teeth, if required. Placing implants is a two-step process.
During your first visit, we will insert a titanium post into your gums and jawbone. We will, of course, numb the area and ensure it is pain free. Most patients describe these implants as painless or only mildly (and temporarily) painful after they leave the office. The length of this first visit will obviously depend on the number of teeth that require implants.
After the titanium implants are placed, you will need to wait for a few months before the rest of the procedure is completed. We need to provide enough time for the implant to become firmly planted into your jaw. If you’re replacing front teeth, a temporary denture can be provided so you don’t walk around with missing teeth for several months.
After a few months, we will place the new teeth onto the implants. Each tooth is made in a laboratory, matched to the exact shading of your teeth. We blend the new teeth into your bite so that they function effectively and comfortably. You should expect the new tooth to be comfortable and to look and function just like a natural tooth.
Had an Accident?
If you’re near Albany, Georgia and had a recent accident or if you need your mouth reconstructed after years of decay, then contact Longleaf Dental for your consultation.
Accidents and losing teeth can be scary, but our dentists have extensive experience and know how to restore your smile to perfect health. We work with you to provide a custom treatment plan that ensures your mouth is healthy for years to come.