Have you lost one or more teeth to a sports injury? Unfortunately, that’s a fairly common problem in athletes, especially those who participate in contact sports. Replacing missing teeth after a sports injury is something you’ll want to have done as soon as possible, since leaving a gap in your mouth can lead to dental problems, such as adjacent teeth shifting to fill the gap. Missing teeth can also make eating and speech difficult, and having a gap in your smile can be rather embarrassing.
If you have missing teeth caused by sports injury, first of all – where was your mouth guard? Secondly, getting them replaced as soon as possible is a priority. That’s because the gaps they leave can affect other teeth, which may shift or tilt to fill them. Of course, there are also functional issues to consider, as missing teeth can make biting, chewing and speech difficult, and the aesthetics of missing teeth, which can affect a person’s appearance dramatically.
Options for replacing them range from dental implants – generally the best choice in adults – to dental bridges or partial dentures.
If you’re a candidate for dental implants in Oxnard, Ventura, and most adults are, they are the best option for replacing missing teeth caused by sports injury. Implant based restorations are the option that most closely resembles natural teeth in terms of appearance, structure and function. Since they, unlike any other option, replace missing tooth roots in the jaw, dental implants help prevent bone resorption that typically causes the jawbone to shrink away after tooth loss. Implant-based restorations can replace a single lost tooth or several, and once they’re in place, they look, feel and function like your natural ones. Additionally, they require no special care – you brush and floss them like natural teeth – and can last a lifetime. Dental implant restorations are generally not an option for children or teens who are still experiencing jawbone growth and development.
Dental bridges are another option for replacing missing teeth due to sports injury. Generally, there must be natural teeth at either end of the gap you’d like to fill, since they will be used to support the bridge. Dental bridges most commonly consist of two crowns to be fitted onto those natural teeth with the required number of false teeth placed between them. On average, dental bridges last 7 to 10 years, so they aren’t permanent solutions, and since they only replace the crowns of missing teeth, bone resorption will occur. Daily care consists of normal brushing as well as flossing around and underneath the bridge.
Partial dentures are typically the least expensive means of replacing missing teeth. Typically, they consist of false teeth placed into a gum colored acrylic base, and are retained by clasps made to fit over adjacent natural teeth. Partial dentures are removable, and should be taken out for cleaning after meals and at night. Care consists of brushing the denture, soaking in denture cleaning solution as needed and annual dental visits to evaluate their fit and condition. On average, partial dentures will require relining or replacement every 5 to 10 years, as jawbone and gum shrinkage cause instability.
So there are your basic options for replacing missing teeth caused by sports injury. Of course, deciding which is best for you is best done with the help of your dental professional, who will be familiar with your individual circumstances and needs. Once you’ve settled on an option and get your smile restored, invest in a quality mouth guard – one custom made by your dentist is best – to help prevent another round of dental restoration in the future.
ABOUT YOUR OXNARD, CA, DENTIST:
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Jivraj contact our Oxnard, CA, dental office today by calling 805-988-3320. Our office welcomes patients in and around Oxnard, CA, including Santa Barbara, Woodland Hills, Ventura, and the surrounding Southern California communities.