My son is a hockey player and he has just lost a tooth in a game. He was just going to get a dental flipper to replace it, but I think it would be better for him to get a dental implant. He’s worried that it will get knocked out again and doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on the repair. I’m thinking more long-term. Is he right or am I? I think we need a professional to interject an opinion here.
In a way, you are both right. In the long-term, it would be better for him to have a dental implant. This will help with chewing capacity, security, and prevent bone loss in the area. However, if he does lose that same tooth again, which is a real possibility in his field, then it will do much more severe damage because the dental crown will be secured to the implant. This could end up ripping through bone. Getting a removable replacement, such as a dental flipper, prevents that.
What I am going to recommend is a sort of compromise that will give him both the long-term security he needs with the safety of a flexible, removable option.
I think he should get the implant fixture placed. This will keep his bone structure secure. However, he should not get the dental crown attached to the dental implant. That should wait until he has finished his hockey career. Then, they can secure the crown to the implant and he will have the complete procedure.
That does not mean he needs to leave a gap on his teeth. Instead, I am going to recommend he use his plan of a dental flipper. This will give him the appearance of a full set of teeth, but if he gets hit in the mouth, it is easily removable and will not do any damage to his jaw or gums.