A total of 25% of school-aged children will have a dental injury this year. Many of these injuries occur during sports and young athletes and their parents and coaches are being reminded that, even though wearing mouth protection is considered the first line of defense, their use is inconsistent and often outright ignored.
Fortunately, in the case of the worst injury, the knocked out tooth, there is an inexpensive back-up plan: The American Dental Association Accepted Save-A-Tooth® system. The Save-A-Tooth® allows a knocked out tooth to be preserved for at least 24 hours until it can be re-implanted by a dentist. Because a knocked out tooth begins to die within 15 minutes, time is of the essence.
In 2012, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation predicted that more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in youth sporting events that year. The foundation also said that athletes who don't wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to suffer damage to their teeth. The cost of replacing these 3 million knocked out teeth can cost $9 billion dollars initially and $90 billion over a lifetime.
SAY Soccer, a leading soccer association has also published literature about the widespread problem of permanently knocked out teeth among youth soccer players. “One in every 200 children will suffer this injury and may be faced with a lifetime of dental treatment and dental bills. Most of these avulsed teeth are lost needlessly because dental research has developed methods and technologies for saving almost all of them.” For this reason, SAY Soccer urges schools and sports teams to have a Save-A-Tooth® kit on hand so more knocked out teeth can be saved.
These statistics only underscore the importance of knowing how to treat dental trauma when it inevitably occurs. In the case of a knocked out tooth, the athlete’s tooth should be placed in a Save-A-Tooth® kit, an emergency tooth preserving system that preserves the knocked out tooth for 24 hours, according to the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Association of Orthodontists, and the American Dental Association.
If a knocked out tooth is not properly stored, the tooth will die within an hour and the injured athlete will have to have an artificial implant put in place of the natural tooth. This is a painful and expensive procedure, costing $2,000- $4,000 per tooth.
“Preventing the long-term and costly dental treatment associated with knocked out teeth is entirely possible nowadays; the main impediment is that action needs to be taken ahead of time and coaches need to be prepared with an item not always present in a first aid kit,” says Caitlin Krasner Director of Youth Sports Outreach at Phoenix-Lazerus, Inc.
Recent statistics have shown that this problem is not going away anytime soon and with summer youth leagues in full season swing, parents and coaches need to be aware of the risks and how to prevent their athletes and kids from suffering one of the millions of permanently knocked out teeth that occur every year.
Save-A-Tooth® is available on the website saveatooth.com and also included in The Complete Sports First Aid Kit at completefirstaid.com
Phoenix-Lazerus, Inc. manufactures and distributes the Save-A-Tooth® system, the Complete First Aid kit, the Complete First Aid Pro for Dental offices and the Complete Sports First aid kit. It has been in business since 2001 and is dedicated to producing products completely made in the USA with 100% USA-made parts. Save-A-Tooth® is only product in its class that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance and approval by the FDA.