Should Athletes Wait to Get Dental Implants Until They’re Done Playing?

athletes dental implants

The world of sports is rough. Hockey players have to block shots and survive hits, football players get slammed to the ground on a regular basis, and basketball players are always being jostled around and elbowed. With all of these rigors, athletes’ teeth often suffer the consequences. It’s primarily hockey players that are known for their missing-tooth smile, though it can just as easily happen in other sports.

When it does, what should the player do? Is it a good idea to get dental implants immediately?

They Need to Wait, at Least a Little

Even if the athlete does intend to get dental implants immediately after the injury, they might have to wait a few weeks.

This is because the area is probably swollen and needs time to heal. If a dentist performs the implants when the area is irritated, they have a far greater chance of failing.

Why Most Athletes Wait for Dental Implants

Even after the initial swelling has gone down, most athletes choose to wait a little longer for their implants. It’s not that they don’t care about their appearance, it’s just that the recovery time is several months.

During that time their mouth is healing, they will need to avoid any situation in which their mouth might be hit or jostled. That would mean they’d have to stay off the field, ice, or court for a large part of the season, which is obviously not an option.

Alternative Options to Dental Implants

You probably don’t see too many toothless grins anymore. This is because there are alternatives to dental implants that work well for the short-term.

Many players get dental pieces that fit into their gums to wear when they’re out in public or giving interviews. These dentures fit their mouth exactly and have the appearance of their real teeth.

Players can also get a set of false teeth on a dental bridge, which they can remove for games to keep them safe.

Why They Can’t Wait Too Long

However, most athletes can’t wait too long to get their implants. Without teeth, the gums often start to recede, reducing the amount of tissue the implants will have to hook into. Over time, the jaw line might begin to sag and look unnatural as well.

If you’re an athlete who has suffered the consequences of the game and lost some teeth, Dr. Mann can help. He’s an expert in dental implants and will craft you a smile you love. Contact us today.