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Why Custom Fabricated Sports Mouthguards?
According to the American Dental Association, more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented annually in this country by sports Mouthguards. While this is an impressive preventative figure, it is unfortunately estimated by the National Youth Sports Foundation that more than 5 million teeth will be knocked out in sporting activities this year. These oral traumas will happen to children, high school and college level athletes. In fact, dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during participation in sports.
The benefits of sports mouthguard protection has been well documented. In 1995 Dr. Haymond Flamler's study on the high incidence of oral injuries showed that in football, where mouthguards are mandatory, only .07% of all injuries involved teeth and the oral cavity. Conversely, in basketball where mouthguards are not worn, 34% of all injuries to players involved teeth and/or the oral cavity! Obviously dental injuries could also be significantly reduced if children, teenagers and adults involved in the following sports wore custom fabricated mouthguards; soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, rollerblading, skateboarding, martial arts, boxing, hockey, kickboxing and mountain biking.
According to Dr. Ray Padilla, an active member in the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the lifetime dental rehabilitation costs can approach several thousand dollars per tooth, for the child or athlete who looses a tooth (or teeth) in a sporting injury. This does not include the associated costs of hours in the dental office and the possible development of secondary problems such as periodontal disease. The total rehabilitation costs for a single knocked-out tooth are more then 20 times the preventative cost for a Custom laminated, professional grade mouthguard!
Not All Mouthguards are Created Equal!
Comparing dentist fabricated, custom sports mouthguards with stock or boil and bite type mouthguards, typically found in sporting goods stores, reveals significant differences. Boil and bite type mouthguards do not fit as accurately as custom fabricated types so they often are uncomfortable and frequently interfere with the athletes breathing and speaking ability. At the First International Symposium on Dental Biomaterials in August of 1993, Dr. J. Park, Phd reported that boil and bite mouthguards provide a false sense of protection due to the dramatic decrease in thickness when the athlete bites it into place during its softened state. Dr. Park further stated that unless dramatic improvements are made, they (boil and bite mouthguards) should not be promoted by dentists to their sporting patients.