News and Sports

NHL Dentists As The Unsung Heroes Of The Sport

One of the most typical sports injuries is damage to the teeth particularly in contact sports. According to the American Dental Association, athletes who do not wear mouth guards are more susceptible to oral injuries than those that wear one. When the teeth are displaced, there are braces for adults to put them back to their former position.

Gil Rivera is the Lighting team dentist who grew up in Puerto Rico and had never seen a hockey game until he attended the University of Connecticut. Three months after Rivera’s residency has been completed, he received a message from his senior partner at the dental practice. He was instructed to report downtown to Florida’s NHL team.

Knowing that the last thing that hockey players will need from a dentist is teeth cleaning, Rivera started to speed-read through different serious cases of extreme dental trauma. Rivera learned that the white tooth enamel which is one of the hardest biological substances on earth is no match to hockey sport.

Pucks, sticks and fists flying in different directions can be very dangerous for a hockey player who refuses to wear a mouth guard for protection. The worst nightmare for many people is inherent to hockey and ice.

Recently, Florida’s Troy Brouwer lost two of his front teeth. When Brouwer was playing for Flames, the same two front teeth were fixed by Kristin Yont, the resident dentist of the Calgary team. For hockey players, losing some of the teeth is considered a badge of honour. Hockey players are big and fast and since pucks are flying in all directions, losing teeth is fairly common.

Because teeth are aesthetically and socially important for hockey players, NHL dentists are considered as the unsung heroes of the sport. In the front rows of the bench, a dentist can be seen seated with a toolkit of needles, forceps, sutures and curettes.

A beautiful smile should never be out of the reach of patients. There are braces for adults that only cost $3,995, a price that is definitely lower than what most orthodontic clinics offer. However, the decision to have braces must not be based only on cost because it is an investment with life-changing results.

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