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Editorial

Dr. Parvez A. Khan

Authors : Dr. Parvez A. Khan .

Sports Dentistry is the treatment and prevention of oral/facial athletic injuries and related oral diseases and manifestations. In sports, the challenge is to maximize the benefits of participation and to limit injuries. Sports dentistry has a major role to play in this area. Prevention and adequate preparation are the key elements in minimizing injuries that occur in sport. In some sports, injury prevention, through properly fitted mouthguards are considered essential. These are the contact sports of football, boxing, martial arts and hockey. Other sports, traditionally classified as non contact sports, basketball, baseball, bicycle riding, roller blading, soccer, wrestling, racquetball, surfing and skateboarding also require properly fitted mouthguards, as dental injuries unfortunately, are a negative aspect of participation in these sports. Dental injuries are the most common type of oral facial injuries sustained during participation in sports. Treatment of oral/facial injuries, simple or complex, is to include not only treatment of injuries at the dental office, but also treatment at the site of injury, such as a basketball court or football or rugby field, where the dentist may not have the convenience of all the diagnostic tools available at their office. Knowledge and ability to do "on site" differential diagnosis is essential, without the use of radiographs and dental operatories, to determine the future treatment and prognosis of the injury.

Pre screenings and examinations are essential in preventing injuries. Examinations are to include health histories, at risk dentitions, diagnosis of caries, maxilla/mandibular relationships, orthodontics, loose teeth, dental habits, crown and bridge work, missing teeth, artificial teeth, and the possible need for extractions for orthodontic concerns or wisdom teeth. These extractions should be done months prior to playing competitive sports as to not interfere with their competition or weaken their jaws during competition. Determination of the need for a specific type and design of mouthguard is made at this time.

Mouthguard design and fabrication is extremely important. There are four types of mouthguards according to the dental literature. Stock, Boil and Bite, Vacuum Custom made, and Pressure Laminated Custom made.

(To be continued)

Editor

Dr. Parvez A. Khan
Dr. Parvez A. Khan