As a child, a loose tooth is associated with growth and development. It signals the loss of milk teeth and the coming of the adult teeth that will last us for the rest of our lives. However, as an adult, if you are experiencing loose teeth, it is not a healthy sign. It signifies poor oral hygiene, gum diseases like periodontitis, or even trauma.
Dr. Sudhakar Reddy. K, Oral & Maxillo Facial surgeon, and Implantologist at the Dental Implant Studio in Bengaluru talks about the importance of correct treatment for loose teeth. “Dental care is one of the most crucial but highly underappreciated health concerns in our country. We do not believe in preventive dental care and people do not approach a dentist unless they have a problem,” says Dr. Reddy.
The teeth are held in place by the root which grows deep into the bone of our jaws. Improper cleaning leads to food particle accumulation in the gums which encourages bacterial growth. These bacteria releases acids that cause root deterioration and receding gum. The weakening of the root causes the teeth to wobble.
The first line of treatment in such cases is deep cleaning. This is done to remove the bacterial infection as much as possible. However, the problem will recur in a matter of 6-8 months. “In these cases, the onus is on the patient to ensure that they get a deep cleaning done every 6 months, which no one does,” says Dr. Reddy. Other treatment methods include flap surgery, laser treatment, LANAP, etc. Dr. Reddy is of the opinion that all such methods are a stop-gap arrangement and they do not solve the root issue causing loose teeth.
Dental implants are the best long-term solution for loose teeth. “If dental implants are done as soon as the problem is noticed, it avoids a lot of complications that are noticed in the later stages,” says Dr. Reddy. Delaying getting an implant due to fear of surgery, or lack of knowledge will inevitably lead to irreversible damage to the bones. This will negatively impact the success of the implant when one finally decides to get it. “You need a healthy bone into which the dental implant can be inserted. If you wait too long, the bone becomes too deteriorated and it becomes impossible to put the implant successfully,” warns Dr. Reddy. The only recourse in such cases is to remove the teeth.
Usually getting a dental implant takes a minimum of 3 months as the implant takes time to fuse well with the bone. However, advances in dental science have drastically reduced this to just 3-4 days. This helped Asha (name changed) tremendously when she had to opt for a dental implant for a full set of teeth. Being the HR of a prestigious IT firm, it was impossible for Asha to remain toothless for 3 months, waiting for the implant to cure. Therefore, Dr. Reddy suggested she opt for the newer implant. Within a week Asha was back to work flaunting a dazzling smile.
With all these advances getting a dental implant has now become even easier. Dr. Reddy’s advice to his patients is to resolve the problem of loose teeth at the beginning itself by opting for a dental implant. This will ensure that the problem will never recur and will prevent further damage to the bones.