Sports Dentistry has evolved to include all issues relating to the prevention, assessment and treatment of sports associated dental problems and oro-facial injuries.
At Melbourne Dentistry, a comprehensive prevention focused dental plan can be recommended for all levels of sporting competition and training, including:
Young children (with growing teeth),
Beginners of all ages (when skills are less developed and risks of injury may be increased),
Amateur players, and,
Sports Dentistry encompasses more than simply the provision of a sports mouth guard to minimise dental damage from sports traumas. It actually covers many varied issues relating sport, and oral health and wellness.
For example, recent studies have identified a correlation between dental problems (such as tooth decay, tartar formation, gum problems and tooth enamel erosion) and how much athletes train. A consumption of sports drinks alone did not account for all of these effects. The increased risk of dental problems was attributed to a significant reduction in the volume of saliva, along with a change in the protective chemistry of saliva during prolonged work out periods (when athletes trained for more than 9 hours per week).
For those who play contact sports, it is worth knowing that fractures of the jaw will often occur at the site of impacted wisdom teeth. The presence of impacted wisdom teeth at the angle of the lower jaw creates a point of weakness in the jawbone. To minimise potential risks for jaw fracture in sports where, speed and collision injuries to the face are more likely, preventive removal of wisdom teeth for some athletes should be considered.
Why would I need Sports Dentistry?
Consider the value of Sports Dentistry as an investment in both injury prevention and support for your wellbeing - so you continue to enjoy peak performance and the positive benefits sports offer for a happy and healthy life.
A thorough preseason screening – assessing current dental health to treat any conditions that could affect your overall sporting fitness or increase the likelihood or severity of dental injuries.
Advising preventive oral care – recommending individual dental hygiene techniques and remineralising therapies (based on fluoride, xylitol and casein phosphate) to reduce potential tooth decay and erosion risks.
Sports related dietary advice – strategies for managing hydration levels without compromising oral health or sport performance outcomes.
Properly fitted personal protective equipment – custom fitting the most appropriate mouth guard for your individual circumstances and sporting needs, taking into account:
Pre-existing dental work,
Orthodontic treatment - to protect your mouth and other players from penetrating injuries by your orthodontic treatment,
Demands of the sport played (speech considerations, breathing issues and comfort requirements),
Potential injury risks and dental injury history,
Different types of mouth guards and the protective aspects of each type (safety, strength, retention and shock absorption).
Mouth Guard Care and Maintenance Advice, including routine professional review of each mouth guard to ensure continued fit and function.
A Sports Field Emergency Kit – akin to a first aid kit, includes materials and information for the immediate management of the most frequent types of oral sports injuries until professional care is obtained.
Thorough evaluation, diagnosis and up-to-date management protocols for traumatic dental injuries, following the guidelines from the International Association for Dental Traumatology, for the best possible long term treatment outcomes.