A missing tooth is a common occurrence in children, whether they are knocked out accidentally or missing naturally before the permanent teeth come in. But if a missing tooth is a permanent tooth, retrieve it and place it back in the socket, if possible, to keep it moist. Alternatively, place the missing tooth in a cup of milk, or hold it inside your mouth against your cheek, being careful not to swallow it. (1), (2)
Treating a Missing Tooth
If you can see a dentist within an hour or so, he or she might be able to implant the missing tooth in its socket. The process of implanting a missing tooth includes:
- Splinting: Your dental professional will use dental wire to splint the formerly missing tooth to the teeth on either side of it for two to eight weeks to allow the bone to heal.
- Root Canal: A root canal of the missing tooth within one to four weeks might be necessary when an adult has a missing tooth replaced. A root canal might not be necessary in children if the root of the formerly missing tooth has not completely developed.
- Follow-Up: Any missing tooth that has been implanted should be monitored for several years to identify tooth pain, tooth discoloration, or dental abscesses that could indicate damage to the tooth pulp. (1), (2)