A trending Associated Press (AP) story about the National Hockey league’s concern over players’ knocked out teeth is a real concern for Prosthodontists, the dentists who specialize in replacing missing or broken teeth.
Prosthodontist Frank J. Tuminelli, DMD, FACP, who served as the team dentist for the New York Islanders for 10 years, knows that advances in digital dentistry could now be used rink side to treat hockey players immediately as most players want to “get back in the dame”. Professional hockey team dentists treating sports injuries to the mouth like Dr. Tuminelli tells what’s possible today in the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) digital dentistry video: Prosthodontists on Sports Injuries.
“The hockey tooth loss news may come up in questions as oral health professionals from around the world share treatment options possible via digital dentistry,” says ACP President-Elect Susan E. Brackett, DMD, FACP. “I was just at a college basketball game and took a look at a player who was hit in the mouth hard enough to cause bleeding and a loose tooth. I advised him of what I’d recommend as a prosthodontist since it was a front tooth. When I asked him, the player admitted that he wasn’t wearing a mouthguard at the time, and I reminded him to always wear his mouthguard to protect his teeth during practices and games like the ACP position statement recommends.”
Even if you’re not a pro athlete, knocking out a tooth can be a scary experience since most people don’t know what to do. Do you grab the tooth and call your dentist or do you just wait until your next dental appointment to show off your new smile? The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) advises patients that losing a tooth requires immediate assistance and oftentimes that assistance comes from a Prosthodontist.
“Missing teeth should be replaced right away, not just to restore a smile but to chew food properly, maintain jaw support, stabilize remaining teeth, and prevent a bigger problem down the road such as infection, loss of bone, as well as increased risk of disease,” said ACP President Carl F. Driscoll, DMD, FACP. “It’s far easier, cheaper, and better for your overall health to replace missing teeth immediately according to new research published in the Journal of Prosthodontics by board certified prosthodontist David A. Felton, DMD, FACP, showing dozens of studies correlating missing teeth to increased risks of cancer, dementia, COPD, aspiration pneumonia, and even an increased risk of passing away at a younger age.”
Prosthodontists are specialists at restoring or replacing broken or missing teeth with dental restoratives such as crowns, veneers, dental implants, bridges or dentures. This expertise has led some Prosthodontists to join the staffs of major sports teams to treat athletes who might knock out or damage their teeth.
Prosthodontists recommend that patients wear a mouthguard if they are involved in team sports or other activities in which they might crash or fall. Mouthguards help cushion a blow to the face, which will minimize the risk of breaking teeth and damaging the lips, tongue, face or jaw.
Prosthodontists have advanced residency training to restore smiles, most notably using digital dentistry, which enables Prosthodontists to restore or replace missing teeth quickly, accurately and efficiently. For example, a dentist can use digital dentistry solutions to scan a tooth or a mold of a tooth to create a digital design of a tooth restoration. The Prosthodontist can review and change the new restoration, either in the office or in coordination with the laboratory, before the restoration is milled from a block of porcelain. In an effort to expand its use, the ACP is designing a digital dentistry curriculum that will be piloted in select dental schools in 2017.
The ACP is the only prosthodontic specialty organization whose membership is based solely on education credentials. ACP members must be in or have completed an ADA-accredited advanced education program in Prosthodontics. Prosthodontists also specialize in digital dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and sleep apnea solutions.
About the ACP
The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) is the official sponsoring organization for the specialty of Prosthodontics, which is one of only nine recognized specialties of the American Dental Association. Founded in 1970, ACP is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing patient care, advancing the art and science of Prosthodontics, promoting the specialty of Prosthodontics to the public and other dentists and healthcare professionals, ensuring the quality of prosthodontic education and providing professional services to its membership. For more information visit GoToAPro.org.
About National Prosthodontics Awareness Week (NPAW)
During NPAW, April 3-9, prosthodontists nationwide will be hosting free events including oral health screenings, lectures, community service outreach and other activities to raise the public’s awareness about the importance of a healthy mouth and the benefits of seeing a prosthodontist.
As a way of giving back to the oral health community to celebrate National Prosthodontics Awareness Week (NPAW), the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) is offering FREE access to selected scientific research published in ACP’s peer-reviewed Journal of Prosthodontics. Free access to research helps dental professionals improve patient outcomes.