Posted on 6/25/2019 by Roberta Cerveny, DDS
|Patients often come in and complain of problems with just one tooth. It may be sensitive to hot or cold or it might feel loose. Sometimes it is just painful. It could also be chipped due to a small crack. What bothers them most is they practice good oral hygiene and can't understand why they have a problem at all.
The thing that often worries them most particularly with a loose tooth, is that they may have to have the tooth pulled. Fortunately, that is not always the case. Dentistry has come a long way and we now have many tools in our toolbox. Obviously, the first step is to figure out the cause of the problem.
What Kind of Solutions Are There?
If you have a chipped tooth, we may be able to cover it with a never, a thin piece of porcelain that slips over the existing tooth and matches the color of the adjacent teeth. For small cracks, they would have to be repaired. Depending on its location and depth, we could use a resin compound that would repair the crack. Otherwise, the tooth may need a crown to cover the cracked tooth and protect it.
If you have to swell around a tooth and a fever, it could be an abscess, which is basically an infection. For that, you would need antibiotics and then we would have to see what caused the abscess to determine the treatment plan.
Sometimes previous fillings can cause you problems as you get older and they get older. You may develop tooth decay around the edges of the filling. That tooth could be eligible for a sealant which would prevent bacteria from sneaking in and causing decay.
If you have a loose tooth, all is not lost, our options depend on the cause. One option is to bond it to an adjacent tooth to hold it in place. Another option, if gum disease is the problem, is to perform a deep cleaning. We go in and manually get rid of any bacteria and plaque that may be hiding under the gum line.
Once this is done and the gum has healed, it should tighten up around the tooth and make it strong again. Of course, if all else fails, extraction is the last resort.