Mind the Gap: Dental Implants after a Sports Injury

Mind the Gap: Dental Implants after a Sports Injury

Hockey players aren’t known for having the best teeth. Some players are actually a tooth or two—or four—shy of having a full set of teeth. But whether you’ve lost your tooth due to a hockey stick or an accident, you should consider having dental implants.

While professional hockey players can opt to ignore a missing tooth, the rest of us are probably a lot more wary. It’s difficult to smile knowing that you’re about to reveal that gap where a tooth used to be.

Losing a Tooth

Imagine yourself playing some hockey during the weekend, thinking you would de-stress with a few friends, and you end up skating face first into the end of someone’s hockey stick. Instead of a fun weekend with friends, you’re now looking at a knocked out tooth and an emergency visit to the dentist. Because unless one of the other players is a dentist, you probably don’t have a dentist on-site to help you out.

The best case scenario for you is that you get to a dentist within 30 minutes. Your dentist can reimplant the tooth—with best results—if you manage to get help in half an hour. Longer than 2 hours, however, and you can kiss that tooth goodbye.

That’s when you need to have an artificial tooth as part of your dental implant procedure.

Dental Injuries in Other Sports

But it’s not only hockey players who are victims to errant elbows, other contact sports have a risk of dental injury. (Although we can safely say that wayward pucks tend to be restricted to hockey.) And it’s also not adults who have the highest number of dental injuries relating to sports.

It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that pre-teens and teens are the highest. That contact sports such as American football, basketball and hockey are on the list is to be expected. But biking is also on the list and it’s not even a contact sport!

Why Get an Implant?

If you do lose a tooth thanks to a sports-related injury, you might wonder why people would bother with dental implants in the first place. Why not just leave it like that?

Well, aside from aesthetic concerns, you might have problems with eating, it might cause the teeth on both sides of the gap to move and it could also cause speech impediment. And there’s another reason why you should consider dental implants: that gap left by your tooth will lead to bone loss.

This is because bone needs stimulation in order to keep its form and density, in this case, the stimulation comes from the teeth. Without it, the bone begins to lose form and the gum will shrink which can lead to further tooth loss.

Don’t just ignore that missing tooth! Aside from making your smile a lot less pleasing, it can lead to different problems. Look to dental implants to fix that injury to not only save your smile but also the rest of your teeth!

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