It is that time of year again when the world revolves around sports. Emergency dentistry should be available as kids of all ages and adults indulge in a variety of sports. All it takes is a fall or a blow to the head to create a dental emergency.
Sports Related Dental Trauma in Kids
According to a report published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 13% of all oral trauma kids experience is related to sports activities. Kids cannot be expected to know or understand about the prevention of sports related dental trauma. Parents and coaches are woefully unaware of how to prevent many of these injuries as well.
The NIH suggests that there is a need for a “Team Dentist” to serve from high schools on up to the professional teams. If a dentist was available or on call during games, emergency dentistry could be administered as soon as it was needed and there would not be the added stress of trying to find a dentist for emergency care or going to the hospital emergency room hoping that something can be done. Unfortunately, hospitals are still very limited when it comes to dental problems.
Main Types of Oral Trauma Requiring Emergency Dentistry
The American Dental Assistants’ Association reports that in any given year over 5 million Americans will lose a tooth while playing a sport. It’s easy to assume that one of the most prevalent accidents on the playing field would be having a tooth knocked out; however, it turns out that there are three main types of injuries that occur: cracked teeth, fractured roots, and tooth intrusion.
All these circumstances require emergency dentistry for the best chance of saving the tooth or teeth involved. In the instance of a cracked tooth, the severity and position of the crack will determine whether the tooth can be saved.
Fractured roots occur below the gum line and may not be detected until an infection develops. Root canal therapy may save the tooth, but only if the fracture is located and treated soon enough. Too often infection sets in before the tooth can be adequately treated and the tooth is lost due to necrosis.
Tooth intrusion is a sports injury that usually happens to younger sports enthusiasts. With this injury, instead of the tooth being knocked out, the blow drives the tooth further into the jawbone. This type of injury is more common with primary teeth. The jawbone around the tooth socket – the alveolar ridge – is not as hard as that of an adult. This is not a common injury with permanent teeth. The bone supporting adult teeth is usually hard enough to prevent this type of injury, but it does happen on occasion. Tooth intrusion is another instance in which immediate emergency dentistry must be administered.
A Word About Mouthguards
According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) mouthguards play a vital role in protecting teeth. Players are 60% more likely to experience dental trauma in the form of a cracked tooth when no mouthguard is worn. A properly fitted custom mouthguard is best. The International Academy of Sports Dentistry defines that as one that provides adequate support for posterior teeth.
Emergency Dentistry plays a significant role in saving teeth as more people take to the playing fields. When you need dental care of any sort, call The Smile Artisans. We provide convenient, high quality dental care.