Tag Archives: temporary tooth replacements

Dental Implants for Hockey players

Help! My son is a recent professional hockey player. He recently had a tooth knocked out. We’d done some research and read that dental implants are the best replacement. However, his teammates who have been in hockey longer have told him that implants aren’t a good idea. But, we don’t want to leave the space open because he’s getting married in a little over eight months. Do you have any suggestions?


Dear Karlee,

I’m glad you wrote. What his teammates are trying to prevent is secondary injury. When you get a dental implant, a root is surgically placed into the bone of his jaw. Then, after a time of integration with the bone, there is a dental crown bonded to the root implant. Here’s the problem with that for your son.

If he has another puck or hockey stick to the mouth, which is likely in his sport, because of the bonding of the crown and implant, it will likely damage the bone in his jaw, requiring serious reconstructive surgery to fix. However, that doesn’t mean your son has to go without a tooth until the end of his career, and certainly not for his wedding.

Here is my suggestion. When a tooth root is missing in a jaw, your body begins resorbing the minerals from the bone in the area. This will lead to serious problems, so you don’t want to leave the area of the tooth root empty. Because of that, go ahead and get the implant surgery done. This will place the root form into his jaw and protect him from bone resorption. However, do NOT have the dental crown bonded.

Instead, he can use a temporary tooth replacement that is removable, such as a dental flipper. It will give him a tooth for the open space, but if his mouth is hit again, it will give without any consequences to your son’s jaw.

Once he is no longer playing hockey, then he can have the dental crown permanently bonded onto his dental implant giving him a secure tooth.

Best of luck to both of you and congrats on the upcoming wedding.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

a Maryland bridge is not a temporary tooth replacement

My daughter had a gymnastics accident which damaged a tooth. Three failed root canal treatments later and we need to extract the tooth. My plan is to eventually replace the tooth with a dental implant when she is old enough. In the meantime, we need a temporary replacement. My dentist suggested a Maryland Bridge. I just wondered what you’d think about that. I asked about a partial flipper, but he said she’d lose them because they’re removable and this will bond to her teeth in the back.


Dear Patricia,

First, I want to say your choice of doing a dental implant for her permanent replacement is a fantastic idea. It will serve her very well. I’m glad you realize she will have to wait until her jaw is fully developed. Some parents mistakenly think they can get a dental implant right away, while their child is still a teenager.

dental flipper
Dental Flipper

As for a temporary replacement, your idea is better than your dentist’s suggestion. While a dental flipper is removable and, yes, there is always a chance that your daughter will lose her flipper. In all honesty, though, you could replace several of them for the price of one Maryland Bridge.

With a traditional dental bridge, a false tooth is suspended between two crowns. That requires grinding down the two adjacent teeth, which is definitely not something you’d want to do to healthy tooth structure.

While a Maryland Bridge does not require damaging the adjacent teeth, it is not the temporary tooth replacement your dentist is saying it is.

tooth preparation for a Maryland Brdige
Tooth preparation for a Maryland Bridge

While the Maryland Bridge has two metal “wings” which will bond to the back of the adjacent tooth, without cutting a little groove in the tooth for it to hook into, the bonding is not going to stay. Whenever you are doing any removal of tooth structure, that is not a temporary replacement.

Go with your original idea and get a dental flipper for your daughter.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.