I just found out that my son lost his front tooth. I realize it sounds cliché, but it was from getting a hockey puck to the face. He has made it all the way to playing college before it happened to him. After meeting with our dentist, it was recommended that he get a dental implant to replace the missing front tooth. So, we started the process. The tooth was extracted and a plug was put in. But, he talked with several of his teammates who raise a good point. Since he will continue to play hockey through college, they said it would be good to wait since the risk is high that it could happen again.
Do you know if there are any other options to avoid going through the entire dental implant process and then having it knocked out again? Would some sort of dental bridge work? Also, it is worth mentioning that he will be getting married in six months so we would like a solution in place before then.
-Paula in Washington
You have made a good point and it’s probably coming from a good source. I’m sure your son’s teammates have lost their fair share of teeth over the years. Dental injuries are far too common for hockey players, so it is definitely a legitimate concern to explore other options regarding your son’s front tooth. If the tooth was replaced with a dental implant and than suffered another trauma, the implant would likely damage the bone and cause other complications. If the dental implant came out, there would be a strong possibility that your son would also require bone grafting.
It sounds like you have moved forward with the implant dentist placing the root fixture. And there is nothing to be concerned about with that in place. However, it would be wise to postpone getting the porcelain crown placed until after college hockey is done. You mentioned the possibility of a dental bridge as a temporary solution. Even thought a dental bridge is another solution to replace a missing tooth, it requires the surrounding teeth to be shaved done in order to support the bridge between them. Since it sounds like your son’s other front teeth are healthy, this would not be the recommended option. That would mean he would have three teeth treated instead of one. Ultimately, it would endanger all three of those teeth if he were to suffer another dental hockey injury.
You should talk with your dentist about a removable flipper partial. This will work just fine as a temporary solution and it will also meet your need to have a solution in place for his upcoming wedding. When this type of restoration is done by a dentist that values aesthetics, it can be made to look natural. From a conversational distance, no one will know that he has a false tooth.
Then, when the time comes, he will be ready for a dental implant and this temporary solution will offer the least risk as he continues playing hockey.
Thank you for your question. Hopefully, this gives you some information to work with and determine what is best for his unique situation.
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD.