12 year-old Alif gets his tooth reimplanted
Alif is 12 years old. He’s a popular young boy with plenty of friends. Yesterday, Alif was playing over at his neighbour’s house … they decided to have a water fight!
You remember how it is … a water fight! You get a hose and spray all your friends with water and horse around … it’s fun! Everyone gets wet … everything gets wet …. and the floor gets slippery like a slippery side.
The trouble started when Alif fell down … he totally knocked out his front tooth! The whole tooth came cleanly out of his mouth.
He went home with blood everywhere. He was drenched in water and blood was all over him too.
His mum, Pn Lelawati, was besides herself … she didn’t know what to do … Alif’s dad got mad and scolded him … he was upset! I don’t blame them for getting upset … but kids, well they’ll be kids.
Poor Alif was even more upset … his mum consoled him and told him she’d figure out what to do … that she’s make sure everything would be OK.
Today, at lunch time, Pn Lelawati who works in Menara EON Bank, called us to ask if there was anything we could do.
I asked her, “Do you still have the tooth? Is it broken? Can you bring him into the clinic? If we re-implant the tooth within 24 hours, it may re-bond with the bone!”
She said she’d get time off and rushed home to Bangi to get Alif and his tooth. They came in an hour later.
I examined the tooth … yes, the root was not broken but the crown was just a little chipped. Alif however had three other problems besides the missing tooth …
- The socket where the tooth got knocked out was clean … no broken bone fragments … whew! That’s a good sign.
- … but he had an extra tooth just behind the socket … ah, that’s why his tooth was sticking out … it’s no wonder that the tooth got knocked out!
- … and he had cavities on the teeth on either side of the socket tooth … now I must clean and repair the cavities before I re-implant the tooth that got knocked out.
- … and he had chipped the other front tooth too.
I explained to Alif’s mum that I could re-implant his tooth but:
- I had to root fill the tooth first … that’s no problem as it’s easy! I have it in my hands!
- The tooth may rebond but it’s root will probably resorb (melt away) after a few years … I have reimplanted 4 other cases and they lasted about 4-6 years before the root melted.
The ONLY REASON why we would re-implant a tooth that gets knocked out is, to allow the bone to grow normally.
Alif facial bones have not matured to adult size yet …. we want his face to keep growing naturally.
You see Alif is only 12 years old … he’s just a kid in Primary school
- … he’s too young to wear a denture
- … he’s too young to do a bridge
- … his facial bones has not grown fully
- … if we don’t do anything, his teeth will collapse inwards and there will probably not be enough space to place a bridge later
- … his mid-line will probably shift into the space left by the missing tooth
His mum said to go ahead. “Do what you need to do.”
I explained everything to Alif … he was amazing! He was totally cool … he didn’t even make a sound when I gave him his injections and just squirmed a tiny bit when I cleaned out the cavities.
Alif watched me do the root filling … he watched me clean out the inside of his tooth, dry it and fill it. He didn’t even make a sound when I took out the extra tooth! In fact he laughed in relief when I had taken it out.
I re-implanted his tooth into his bone, repaired the chips and cavities and stabilised everything so the tooth couldn’t move.
He was an absolute angel. 😉
When we finished, I gave him the mirror and he broke into a huge smile! He got his tooth back!!!
His mum thanked us as she left … I reminded her that I needed to take x-rays next month to see how the bone has ‘taken’ the root filled tooth.
Alif could eat anything too … though he may want soft food for a day or two.
Alif and mum were smiling as they left the clinic.
… and I? Well I know I did a good job today.
I managed to give a young 12 year-old his tooth back ….
and he has a good chance to grow up naturally with TWO front teeth!
I love my job! 😉