Emergencies, by definition, are both unexpected and inconvenient. What do you do when a front tooth breaks at the most inopportune time? The best way of replacing a missing tooth depends on how desperate you are and how big of a crisis you are in.
If you can arrange to seek help from a qualified dental professional, that is clearly the better choice. However, this option is not always possible.
It may be necessary to use DIY methods initially that allow you to make yourself presentable before arranging to see the dentist for a temporary tooth replacement solution that yields a better and more long-lasting result.
In this article, we examine several temporary tooth replacement options to consider while waiting to see a dentist.
Best Ways to Temporarily Replace a Missing Tooth
First, we will discuss some over-the-counter do-it-yourself remedies. Then, we’ll progress to those offered by a dental professional. Coincidentally, the type of solutions will also progress from those that are very temporary to treatment options that are more long-term and allow you to live your life while working toward a permanent solution.
If a visible tooth is missing and you can’t get to the dentist, you may decide to make a trip to a local drug store in search of help. There, you are likely to find orthodontic wax. While not a permanent remedy, white orthodontic wax can be shaped to fill the void left by a missing tooth in a pinch.
Because it is sticky, orthodontic wax will adhere to the neighboring teeth. Once it has been shaped, it is possible to further refine its shape using a toothpick or wooden skewer.
Obviously, this is a very short-term fix as it is susceptible to distortion and temperature changes from eating and drinking.
Temporary Tooth Replacement Kits
These kits are sold at drug stores and supercenters and come with thermoplastic beads that are placed into hot water until softened. It is then possible to shape the beads with your fingers into a solid mass. While the mass is pliable, it can be further shaped to resemble a tooth that fills the space.
The thermoplastic properties of the material allow it to be molded to fit the contour of the adjacent teeth, temporarily locking the artificial tooth into place.
OTC Temporary Dentures
These kits contain a thin strip of veneers, with or without pink gum material attached, that is heated and shaped before being applied over your remaining natural teeth.
The veneer strips cover the teeth and any spaces, creating a uniform appearance. A self-setting thermoplastic material permits the DIY denture to snap into place over the teeth.
This thermoplastic material remains semi-flexible which allows the denture to be removed and reinserted without going through the process of re-adapting the adhesive to conform to your teeth.
Most of these kits also contain scissors and a file in order to trim, smooth, and customize the veneers to fit your arch properly.
When you have a single missing front tooth, a removable flipper can work as a temporary tooth replacement option.
A dentist or denturist will take impressions of your mouth. A single denture tooth is attached to a denture base secured by your remaining teeth, with or without denture adhesive.
This is a better short-term option than OTC products because the dental professional can actually choose a denture tooth that looks natural while filling the entire space left by the missing tooth.
Although you may not be able to eat tough meats or corn-on-the-cob with the flipper in place, it does allow you to attend social functions without the embarrassment of being seen with a missing tooth.
When one or more teeth are missing on the same arch, a partial denture can fill the gap and allow you to smile again with confidence.
Most partial dentures can be made to appear seamless with your remaining teeth and typically have clasps that allow them to hook to and be supported by the surrounding natural teeth.
Your denturist will take impressions, either physically or by using scanning technology, to design a partial that meets your specific needs. Typically, it takes time for a partial to be made by a dental laboratory. If you visit a denture clinic with an on-site laboratory, it may be possible to be fitted with a partial on the same day.
In more dire situations where there are multiple broken or missing teeth, and your natural teeth won’t support a partial, the dentist may suggest removing your remaining teeth for an immediate denture. An immediate denture allows you to regain your smile right after having the teeth extracted.
Make no mistake about it; this is a temporary tooth replacement option. With time, the gum tissue and underlying bone will shrink and resorb, causing the temporary denture to become ill-fitting.
The immediate denture should be replaced with a new denture 8 to 12 months after it is delivered. This route does buy you some time should you need to save for a final, long-term tooth replacement solution.
Real Solutions for Your Missing Tooth Emergency
Over-the-counter temporary tooth replacement products can help get you out of a real jam. But they are never a lasting solution.
The caring professionals at European Denture Center have both temporary and permanent restorative solutions to address your missing tooth emergency and get you back to living your busy life. Why struggle to fix the problem yourself? With an on-site laboratory in each clinic, European Denture Center will have you smiling again, often on the same day of your visit.