Sports dentistry

Description :

Sports dentistry is the branch of sports medicine dealing with prevention and treatment of dental injuries and oral diseases associated with sports and exercise. Amateur and young athletes face greater risk of oral injuries, because they may not receive proper guidance and/or training. Although the indication of customized types of mouthguards has increased, and the effectiveness for preventing injuries has been demonstrated, there is a need to further specify the sport characteristic, age group, selected material, guard design, as well as time of use. Current evidence also shows that mouthguards may lose efficiency over time, due to use and regular maintenance.

Injuries, facial bone fractures and brain concussions should receive special attention, as sports-related blows may carry a considerable amount of energy. Aerial duels with projection of the body and consequent head and/or elbow contact completely change the impact received on the facial bone structure. Face shields, or customized masks made of scientifically determined cushioning materials, may be successfully applied and may be indicated for post-fracture use to reduce recovery time for the athlete. Customized sports mouthguards and face shields manufactured under the supervision of a dentist, should be favoured instead of commercially available pre-sized guards sold over-the-counter.