Dental MouthguardsPosted by admin on Jan 2, 2012 in Dr. Pite's Blog | 0 comments
Sports are widespread in Victoria – and so are dental injuries caused by impact sports.
By using mouthguards, over 200,000 sports-related oral injuries are prevented each year according to the American Dental Association. Mouth guards cushion the force of a blow to the jaw and dissipate the energy, greatly decreasing the incidence and severity of concussions because the lower jaw (the mandible), is not forced back into the base of the skull (the TMJ), and harmful forces are not transmitted to the brain. These guards also protect the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth through cushioning. Costs related to replacing teeth lost due to trauma can run into the thousands, and can lead to a lifetime of dental problems.
TYPES OF MOUTHGUARDS
Requirements of Mouthgards:A mouth guard must be comfortable, have excellent retention, have little or no interference with speaking or breathing, wear well and resist deformation, and not be bulky but have adequate thickness to be protective.
(1) Stock Mouth Guards: These offer the least amount of protection. They tend to wear out quickly, have poor retention, are bulky, and make speaking and breathing difficult.
(2) Boil and Bite Guards: Approximately 90% of use. These are made of a thermoplastic material that is softened in boiling water, then adapted by finger and tongue pressure in the mouth by the athlete. Unfortunately, during the heating process and subsequent adaptation, thin spots develop in the material, offering greatly reduced protection. Often, they do not cover all the posterior teeth, and are frequently cut and adjusted by the athlete to make a more comfortable fit, further reducing their effectiveness. They are bulky and interfere with breathing and speaking.
(3) Custom Sports Guards: Custom made mouth guards are superior in every way to the stock and boil and bite guards. After an impression is taken, most commonly of the upper teeth, there are two possible custom mouth guards that can be fabricated:
-a- Vacuum Mouth Guard: Using a vacu-form machine, a piece of material (commonly EVA – ethylene vinyl acetate) is heated above a stone model of the upper teeth. The material is lowered on the model, and a vacuum pulls the material over the teeth. There are limitations. All material thins out when heated by as much as 50%, sometimes more. Additional layers cannot be added, because the material will not fuse unless heat and pressure are used. Because no pressure is used, the internal fit is compromised.
-b- Pressure Laminated Mouth Guard: By far the best sports guard available. These custom-fitted mouth guards are fabricated by a special machine, which fuses layers of material using heat and as much as 10 atmospheres of pressure. Therefore, the internal fit of these guards is extremely precise. These sports guards have virtually no elastic memory (they will retain their shape), will not deform with the heat of the mouth, and additional layers can be fused together to form a thicker guard, or to add material where extra protection is needed. These guards also have the additional advantage of being able to be customized. So, when a sports guard fits well, is personalized, and allows breathing and speaking, it is much more likely to be used.
We also offer bite-optimized Agility Guards for enhanced athletic performance.