I’ve recently taken up hockey and found I’m sort of a natural at it. In fact, a college team recently recruited me. I had my first tooth loss as a result and I finally feel like a real hockey player. I want to replace the tooth. I’ve always heard the best tooth replacement is a dental implant, but the guys on the team said I need a temporary replacement in case of getting hit in the same spot again. Would that be your recommendation too? If so, would a bridge be a good replacement?
This is a fun question for me. We don’t have a ton of hockey teams in Kentucky, but I can make an informed decision based on the principles behind the dental procedures.
First, you are correct that dental implants are the best tooth-replacement option. It gives you a prosthetic tooth root which helps to preserve your jawbone, as well as provide you something as strong and stable as your natural teeth. You can eat anything with a dental implant.
Given the sport you are in, there is a high likelihood of that same spot getting re-injured. If that happens, you won’t just lose the crown, but will also have some of the bone come out with the dental implant. This will require extensive repairs.
My recommendation is to have the implant portion placed into your jawbone, as if you were getting your dental implants. However, stop short of attaching the implant crown. This way, your jaw is protected and the implant is there and ready when you’ve graduated and finished with the sport.
In the meantime, instead of the crown, you can get a temporary tooth replacement, such as a dental flipper or removable partial denture. I wouldn’t get a dental bridge. This isn’t a temporary replacement and would require you to have crowns put on two healthy teeth.
I hope this helps. And, congratulations on finding a sport you love!
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.