As a semi-pro hockey player I’m wondering if dental implants are right for several teeth that have been knocked out. I’ve been wearing partial dentures but they are super uncomfortable. I’m also sort of worried about getting dental implants and having them knocked out again. Is there something less expensive but just as good as dental implants for people who regularly get teeth knocked out? I’m not sure how to handle this situation. I knew the risks going into the game, but now that it’s actually happening I’m getting nervous about my appearance. I’m proud to be in the semi-pros, but I also want a decent smile. Thanks. Jon
If you’re playing hockey in the semi-pros, it’s most likely that you’ve been told to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth. Do you regularly wear it?
Protect Your Teeth and Your Investment in Dental Implants
If you don’t already do so, start wearing a custom mouth guard for every game. Dentists provide custom mouth guards that are made from impressions of your teeth. Several factors must be considered before you can receive dental implants.
If you regularly wear a mouth guard, dental implants might be an option for you. But if you experience a lot of impact to your mouth, implants can loosen and fall out, just like natural teeth. A dental bridge might be an option for you. It’s easier to add knocked out teeth to a bridge than to have individual implants replaced.
We recommend that you visit a prosthodontist for an examination and diagnostic studies. The health of your teeth will be assessed to ensure you don’t have periodontal disease. Gum disease reduces support for your teeth and can make them more easily fall out upon impact. Periodontal disease must be treated before receiving dental implants. Otherwise, the implants and your jaw bone won’t fuse to provide maximum support.
If you decide to get dental implants, there are several things to keep in mind:
- There is a healing period of several months before they are completely stable.
- During this time you should avoid any situation that might result in impact to your face and teeth. You will be advised to avoid games and practice sessions.
- An impact to your face or mouth can cause infection around the implants or dental implant failure. The implants would need to be replaced.
Schedule an appointment with a skilled prosthodontist to determine your options and what you can expect from each of them. Be certain to let him or her know that you are a semi-pro hockey player. Regardless of the treatment you receive, it needs to be planned for a time that you’re not in the midst of game season. This will give you time to receive the treatment and to have a healing period if you opt for dental implants.
This post is sponsored by American Board certified prosthodontist and Naperville implant dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.