In the movie, Cinderella Man, which was based on the true story of a boxer named James Braddock, one of the boxer's teeth is replaced by a prosthetic tooth. The movie, which is set in the 1920s and 1930s, employs a tooth-replacement prop that is likely characteristic of that period. A single false tooth was connected to a metal band that could be placed in the mouth of the character and removed at will. However, nowadays, if a boxer loses a tooth from a blow to the mouth, he or she can have the tooth replaced with more permanent dental applications.
A Dental Bridge
As long as a boxer still has teeth bordering the gap left by a dislodged tooth, he or she can likely have a fixed dental bridge placed. A traditional fixed bridge includes one or more false teeth to replace the missing tooth, along with a dental crown on each end of the appliance to hold the bridge in place.
The crowns are attached to the teeth that border the gap in the mouth. To prepare for the placement of the bridge, the teeth are slightly shaved away so that the bridge crowns can fit over them without altering the look of the smile.
During an initial visit to the dentist, a mold of the boxer's mouth must be made. This mold is used as a guide for the laboratory fabrication of the bridge crowns and the replacement tooth. If the dentist prepares the bordering teeth during the first visit, a temporary bridge is applied until the permanent bridge is ready. During the final visit, the temporary or provisional bridge is removed along with the temporary cement, and the permanent bridge is affixed in the mouth.
A Dental Implant
A dental implant can also be used to repair a lost tooth. The implant procedure is a bit more involved.
The implant is surgically drilled into the jawbone. There, it fuses with the bone over the course of a few months. When the fusing is complete, the implanted rod or screw is as stable in the mouth as the patient's other teeth. The implant can be covered with a connector and dental crown to finalize the restoration. Once the crown is positioned, the implanted tooth should look the patient's other natural teeth.
The boxer must be careful throughout the procedural process and after the implant restoration is complete. If a blow to the mouth shifts the implant position, the application will fail and must be replaced by a new implant. Thus, it is important for the boxer to wear appropriate mouth protection even when sparring.
To learn more ways that a boxer can have a lost tooth replaced, visit a cosmetic dental service in your area.