Office Info
Falls Church Smiles
David W. Urban, DDS, FAGD
313 Park Avenue,Suite 305
Falls Church, VA 22046

We are located in the heart of the City of Falls Church, convenient to Annandale, Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, Vienna, Tysons Corner, Seven Corners, Merrifield, Dunn Loring and Fairfax.

Monday - Friday
For your convenience, we are open as early is 8:00 a.m., and close as late as 6:30 p.m. Please call us at 703-532-1712 to book your appointment now.
Satisfied Dental Patient!

Sports Dentistry/Mouthguards

I know that as a general practitioner of dentistry my outlook is skewed.  I see the world through tooth colored glasses.  With the advent of World Cup soccer 2010, I am  posting my own little rant about the non-contact sport of soccer…and the neglect of parents and coaches.  My personal experience has shown  me that soccer is a game that can produce many serious injuries.  At the College of William and Mary in the Seventies, I broke the ankle of an opposing player in an intramural soccer match.  In the intervening years soccer has exploded in the United States.  It is estimated that twice as many Americans participate in soccer as in baseball, our supposed national pastime.  I think that many “Soccer moms” think that soccer is a safe sport to participate in.  The ball is soft.  There are penalties for rough play.  Yet, the dangers are there.   In an era of helicopter parents, it is surprising that I have never attended a youth league soccer match where a mouthguard was worn-and as a dentist-I look for them!

Recently, the Washington Post chronicled the life of an elite soccer player.  This player was a high school girl who played both interscholastic and travel/club soccer.  Among the many injuries described was the loss of a tooth.  This necessitated the replacement of this teeth with an implanted tooth.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/20/AR2009052003308.html

I would strongly urge the use of mouthguard. A custom mouthguard fabricated by a dental lab using molds taken by a dentist is the best alternative.  It is constructed with a concern towards comfort and safety.

Stock mouthguards are a less costly alternative that available at CVS, Walgreens, Sports Authority and other such stores.  Their only problem is that they are less comfortable to wear and you can’t really talk with the guard in place.  So, the player routinely takes them out.  An unworn mouthguard is NO protection.

Glidewell Lab has created a video on sports dentistry, highlighting sports injuries and mouthguards.  It http://www.glidewelldental.com/patient/mouthguards-trays/playsafe-sports-mouthguard-video.aspx

On a personal note, in 1973 I was elbowed in the mouth playing rec league basketball.  Several years later, I was diagnosed with a chronic abscess of the upper right front tooth.  A root canal was performed to cure the infection.  After the root canal my tooth darkened and subsequently needed a porcelain cap to make my smile right.  So, I bear the “scars” of my lack of a mouthguard.  I am lucky, some patients have a tooth knocked out and ultimately need an implanted tooth to give them back their smile.  Modern dentistry can provide a very good alternative for $4-5K.  Investing  in a $250 custom mouthguard is relatively cheap insurance.  The alternative is to look like the well-known fellow shown in the picture below.  The choice is yours!alfred

 

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