What Is Sports Dentistry and Why Is It Considered Important?
Dentistry has several specialties and one of them is sports dentistry. Some specialists in dentistry only focus on oral surgery or perform root canals within their communities. Many dentists specialize in gum health while others focus solely on pediatric dentistry. Another specialty that people are not aware of is sports dentistry which is vital for everyone involved in sports.
What Is Sports Dentistry and Who Are the Practitioners?
General dentists and pediatric dentists are both practicing sports dentistry as well. The objective of a specialist in this field is to help athletes prevent dental damage when they are engaged in their favorite activities. They are also involved in treating athletes that regularly end up with dental emergencies.
The Type of Injuries Encountered by Athletes
Athletes are regularly visiting dentists for broken or fractured teeth, knocked out teeth, or damage to the soft tissue. You may believe these injuries are common with football players or boxers as they are regularly taking impacts on their mouths and need treatment from a sports dentist. These athletes indeed frequent dentists for treatment of their injuries but they are in no way the only ones that do so. Any athlete involved in any type of contact sports needs the help of a sports dentist because all are exposed to the risks of injuries. Perhaps the most common problem encountered by athletes is losing a tooth which happens when they are hit in the face by a ball resulting in the tooth breaking off and popping out completely.
Why Is Sports Dentistry Important for the Dental Health of Athletes?
Fortunately, sports dentistry in Phoenix, AZ, can help with every dental emergency athletes can encounter. They can also help athletes in the prevention of oral dental injuries by using the following methods:
Treating a Fractured Tooth
A fractured tooth can be treated by using three different methods.
- Minimal damage can be repaired by bonding the tooth.
- A crown can be provided to encase the tooth if the damage is significant or may also indicate a root canal.
- If the fracture has damaged the root the tooth will need to be extracted and replaced with implants.
How to Treat Knocked-out Teeth?
Teeth that are knocked out can be reinserted if it is still in a healthy condition. In some cases, athletes may need root canal treatment after having a knocked-out tooth. Dentistry in Phoenix is not able to save the tooth in all cases but they can certainly provide replacements such as crowns or dental or dental bridges.
Preventing Injuries with Mouth Guards
Getting injured when involved in contact sports is twice as likely when the athlete is playing without a mouthguard. Mouthguards act as protective barriers and when the athlete encounters an impact on the mouth the barrier absorbs the force to protect the teeth and jaw from injury. Studies have indicated that lip and oral lacerations are reduced when athletes wear mouth guards.
Educating Athletes about the Harmful Effects of Tobacco
Many athletes are accustomed to chewing or smoking tobacco which is one of the worst habits anyone can inculcate because it can cause mouth and throat cancer. Dentistry in Phoenix emphasizes the education of athletes and all patients in general on the harmful effects of chewing or smoking tobacco.
Taking Precautions to Protect All Athletes in the Family
Bodily injuries are common in sports and coaches, athletes and their parents are alert about them. Different types of protective gear have been developed by manufacturers for the knees and the head. Protective gear has been evolving over the years and professional athletes are taking additional care to protect themselves from injury. One example that can be cited is that of baseball players using batting helmets to protect their jaw.
Dentists are happy and excited that more people are now concerned about protecting their teeth when they are involved in sports. They are doing everything possible to help athletes protect their teeth and other dental investments. Athletes concerned about sports injuries are recommended to discuss with their dentist about protective wear they can use because it can mean the difference between a healthy smile and a concerning injury.