Tooth replantation is the reinsertion and splinting of a tooth that has been avulsed (knocked or torn out) of its socket.
In most cases, only permanent teeth are replanted. Primary teeth (baby teeth) do not usually have long enough roots for successful replantation. The only exception may be the canine teeth, which have longer roots and therefore a better chance of staying in place. In some cases, however, Dr. Muntaka Shah may choose to replant a child's primary tooth because there is risk to the permanent tooth that has not yet emerged.
To replant a tooth, Dr. Muntaka Shah from Lumos Dental in Edmonton or oral surgeon will first administer a local anesthetic to numb the patient's gums. He or she will then reinsert the avulsed tooth in its socket and anchor it within the mouth by installing a splint made of wire and composite resin. Some dentists remove the root canal nerve of the tooth and replace it with a plastic material before reinserting the tooth. The splint holds the tooth in place for two to six weeks. At that time, the splint can be removed and the tooth examined for stability.
When a tooth is dislodged, it is critical to recover the tooth, preserve it under proper conditions, and get the patient to Dr. Muntaka Shah immediately. The tooth should be handled carefully; it should be picked up or touched by its crown (the top part of the tooth), not by its root. The tooth should be rinsed and kept moist, but not cleaned or brushed. The use of toothpaste, soap, mouthwash, or other chemicals can remove the fibroblasts clinging to the root of the tooth. Fibroblasts are connective tissue cells that act as a glue between teeth and the underlying bone.
The avulsed tooth can be placed in milk or a Save-a-Tooth (R) kit, which is a tooth-preserving cup that contains a medium for preserving the fibroblasts around the tooth. The tooth and the patient should go to Dr. Muntaka Shah within 30 minutes of the accident since fibroblasts begin to die within that time. Rapid treatment improves the chances for successful replantation. In some cases, artificial fibroblasts can be substituted for the patient's own connective tissue cells.
If the tooth is a primary tooth, it should be rinsed and kept moist also. Dr. Muntaka Shah should be consulted to determine whether the tooth should be replanted by examining the gums and the emergent tooth. Dr. Muntaka Shah will take a set of x rays to determine how soon the permanent tooth is likely to emerge. Sometimes an artificial spacer is placed where the primary tooth was lost until the permanent tooth comes in.
Any injury to the gum is treated before the tooth is replanted. Dr. Muntaka Shah from Lumos Dental in Edmonton may give the patient an antibiotic medication to reduce the risk of infection. Cold compresses can reduce swelling. Stitches may be necessary if the gum is lacerated. Dr. Muntaka Shah may also take x rays of the mouth to see if there are other injuries to the jawbone or nearby teeth.