As a parent you are constantly worried about your teen, especially when they are in sports or athletics. You worry that they will tear their tendons in wrestling, sprain their ankle while playing volleyball or blow their knee during football. However, dental injuries are also common among young athletes, and you need to know what to do.
Common Dental Injuries
There are three common types of dental injuries: chipped teeth, dislodged teeth, and knocked out teeth.
You may think that a chipped tooth does not require a visit to the dentist, but this is incorrect. Depending on the nature of the chip or fracture, you may need to get a root canal done. If a crack in the tooth goes all the way to the root, then you may need to have the tooth extracted.
A dislodged tooth can either be pushed sideways or more in to the tooth socket. A dentist needs to reposition and stabilize the tooth as soon as possible. If your child is older than 12 years old than he or she may need to have a root canal done to help maintain the health of the tooth.
It is possible for a knocked out tooth to successfully be saved; however you should see a dentist within 30 minutes of the accident for optimal results. If you cannot put the tooth back in the socket on your way to the dentist then it should be stored in milk or in the mouth, next to the cheek.
Dental Implants Solve Problems
Your dentist may simply suggest that you get dental implants whether the tooth has been chipped, dislodged or knocked out. Implants are especially a good idea for teens because they have such a long life ahead of them.
Implants are made from titanium, and are completely biocompatible. They are installed in to the jawbone. This is preferable over something like dental bridges or even dentures because the implant helps maintain jaw health. The implant mimics the root system of a tooth and prevents bone loss from atrophy.
Dental implants are good for teens because they don't have to do anything extra to care for them. Your child can simply brush and floss their teeth like they normally would. There will be a brief period of food restrictions while your child's teeth are gums are healing after the surgery, but after that your child can eat and chew normally.
Naturally, as a parent, you are going to hope that your child does not have any injuries during their athletic career. But knowing what your options are before accidents happen will help you make the right choice if it is ever laid before you.