How much would you pay to keep your front tooth? $5? $10? $225? $5,000? Hopefully you won’t have to answer this question and here is a short story about my experience of having to.

30 years ago I was playing in a pick up basketball game when I got elbowed in the mouth and the contact knocked out my front tooth. I wasn’t wearing a mouthguard. Fortunately  I was able to quickly get to the dentist in about 15 minutes, the tooth was placed back into the socket and bonded to the adjacent teeth to support and hold it in place. Two weeks later I had a root canal and two years after that I had the tooth restored with a build up and crown. Because my gums receded, my tooth color had changed and it was a front tooth, ten years later I had the crown replaced as well as the placement of a post to stabilize the tooth.

Fast forward 20 years and by that time the treatment was failing because the root of the tooth fractured and the tooth could not be restored. I can’t say enough how emotional it was for me to have my front tooth extracted, but I had no choice. The next step in the process was to have the tooth extracted and an implant placed. Following surgery to extract the tooth, I had bone grafting and placement of the implant and then waited 6 months to finish the treatment with a crown on the implant.

Eugene Dentist Dr. Don Dexter's missing front tooth dental model

So what’s the purpose of this story? It’s to show that I was participating in a contact sport, wasn’t wearing a protective mouthguard and I got my front tooth knocked out. This resulted in an emergency dental visit, a root canal, two crowns, eventually the loss of the tooth and the placement of a dental implant  with a new crown to restore it. This was the high expense of the accident and doesn’t take into account the limited bite function of the tooth for 30 years and the emotional cost of having my front tooth extracted.

All of this might have been avoided if I had been wearing a mouthguard. A $2.50 stock mouth guard would provide some protection but not as much as the $10 “Boil and Bite” style. The $10 mouthguard would provide some protection but not as much as the $225 custom lab made mouthguard, which also reduces the risk of a concussion as well as tooth protection. The $225 cost of prevention is a lot less than the several thousands of dollars to treatment. Click here if you would like more information on our custom made sports mouthguards.

Although a mouthguard doesn’t guarantee that you won’t break teeth it greatly reduces the risk. As the Fall sports season begins make sure that you have your children properly fitted for and wearing  a protective mouthguard when participating in all sports. If at all possible spend the extra money for the custom fitted mouthguard, the benefit is significantly greater. If it is not possible to get the custom made then get the best one that you can afford. I can offer advice on what is available for you to consider.

The extra money you spend on a custom mouthguard for your child is well worth the investment and it is a lot less than the  emotional, physical and financial cost of fixing a dental problem that could possibly be prevented. Contact our office if you would like more information on the services we can provide.

Donald R. Dexter, Jr., DMD