Fall sports have started and as an implant dentist we treat many athletes that have their teeth knocked out while playing the game. Whether at practice or on the field, contact sports can be dangerous. The American Dental Association reported that at minimum of 13 percent of teeth are lost due to sports injuries. This goes all the way up to 39 percent depending on the year and people throughout the U.S. pay around $500 million per year in order to restore their teeth.
Teeth are made of strong enamel and minerals. This makes them strong enough to endure constant biting and chewing, but not strong enough to absorb a blow to the face. There are certain things, however, that can be done in order to strengthen teeth before stepping into the court. Brushing and flossing throughout the day along with teeth cleanings twice a year will help to keep teeth healthy and therefore stronger. When someone has a tooth infection or gum disease, teeth are weakened, and they are more susceptible to injury during a sporting accident.
As an implant dentist, we work with athletes and other adults with missing teeth in order to provide a permanent replacement for natural teeth that have fallen out. Many people think that football players are at the biggest risk for having their teeth knocked out. While football is an aggressive sport, it is not the most dangerous for teeth. Players wear a mouth guard and helmet which helps to prevent facial and oral injuries. In basketball, however, players have no protection and are constantly facing elbow jabs from their opponents. The University of California conducted a study in order to determine conclusively, which sport was the most dangerous for their player’s teeth. Based on accident reports filed with the athletic department, 11 out of every 100 basketball players suffered from dental injuries, much more than any other sport.
It doesn’t matter what sport you play. If it is a contact sport, you are at risk for teeth becoming damaged or falling out. It can happen in hockey, football, and even track and field. You never know when it will happen so taking preventative steps to keep your teeth from becoming damaged or falling out is important. We recommend that patients wear a mouth guard to prevent injury. This can significantly reduce tooth loss.
If a tooth is knocked out during a game, the best way to replace it is by working with an implant dentist. We can restore the missing tooth in a way that looks and feels completely natural. We start by implanted a metal post under the gums and securing it to the jawbone. The post and bone will fuse together over time and, once healed, a new tooth is secured to the metal post. Since a new root system has been created, the tooth will stay in place during aggressive activity, making it ideal for athletes.