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Hi Dr Hall
My son in college is a hockey player who just lost his front tooth due to a direct hit from a hockey puck. He started the process for an implant, meaning they removed the tooth and added a plug. He was recently told by other teammates that an implant is not a good option until he finishes playing the sport because a second trauma is possible. Is an Encore Bridge or a Zirconia Maryland Bridge a good option? He wants it also for cosmetic reasons as he will be getting married later this year. He Lives in CA and would be willing to come to see you if needed.
Geoff from California
Thanks for your question! I had never heard about this concern before – placing a dental implant in a hockey player, but your son’s teammates make sense. I went to the University of Minnesota Dental School. One of our oral surgery professors was official team dentist for I think it was the Minnesota North Stars hockey team at the time, and we heard a lot about hockey dental injuries. I would listen to those teammates. Getting a tooth knocked out is one thing. With that tooth anchored on a dental implant, the implant would be ripped out of the bone damaging who knows what else and requiring bone grafting on top of everything else.
There’s no harm in having the root fixture placed, but I would hold off on putting a crown on the tooth until after his hockey career is over. Meanwhile, no, a bridge is not a temporary restoration – whether it is an Encore bridge or a zirconia Maryland Bridge. A bridge requires tooth preparation on the adjacent teeth if it is placed properly. Besides, now you’re hooking three teeth together and that is going to magnify the risk to all those teeth should he have another accident.
What he needs is a removable flipper partial to tide him over. I would go to one of our recommended cosmetic dentists to get a great match of the false tooth to his other front tooth, which might require spending a little more money. Done well, no one will know it’s a false tooth.
– Dr. Hall
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