The Importance of Mouth Guards to Dental Health

Jeffrey Tocci pic
Jeffrey Tocci
Image: toccidental.com/dr-tocci

Dr. Jeffrey Tocci has owned a private dental practice in Wellesley, Massachusetts, for more than three decades. Through his practice, Dr. Jeffrey Tocci provides his patients with various services in the areas of general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and sports dentistry.

The field of sports dentistry primarily deals with the prevention and treatment of oral injuries resulting from athletic engagements. In terms of prevention, dentists’ can provide services as diverse as nutritional advising and custom mouth guard fitting. The mouth guard is arguably the single most important tool in a sports dentist’s arsenal when it comes to preventing oral trauma.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), as many as 2 million teeth are lost each year during athletic contests. Sports injuries, which are three times more common than auto accidents, are the leading cause of oral trauma. Despite the frequency of these injuries, only 7 percent of soccer and basketball players use protective mouth guards. Both sports present a higher risk of facial injuries compared to football and hockey. In particular, basketball players are seven times more likely to experience a serious oral injury.

The ADA further advises individuals involved with field hockey, gymnastics, rugby, volleyball, and martial arts to wear mouth guards. However, sports dentists will help patients involved in any type of athletic activity obtain custom mouth guards.

An Overview of General Dentistry Procedures

Jeffrey Tocci pic
Jeffrey Tocci
Image: toccidental.com/dr-tocci

Dr. Jeffrey Tocci has studied dentistry at the Harvard Dental School for Implantology, Tufts University of Dental Medicine, and the Georgetown University School of Dentistry. As a dental practitioner in Wellesley, Massachusetts, for more than 30 years, Dr. Jeffrey Tocci has performed an array of dental procedures, including fillings, crowns, and extractions.

Fillings, crowns, and extractions represent three of the most common dental procedures a patient may experience. Dental fillings are necessary when a tooth has been compromised by decay. Dentists replace the decayed portion of the tooth with various materials, and in many cases can naturally blend the color of the material with the surrounding teeth, rendering the simple procedure unnoticeable.

Crowns, meanwhile, also can be used to repair a decayed tooth, though a patient may also require a crown if they have cracked or completely broken a tooth. The installation of a crown helps dental professionals to strengthen and restructure the damaged tooth. Crowns are designed to function in the same manner as a healthy tooth so that patients can chew and bite without issue.

Finally, extractions involve the complete removal of a tooth. While dentists prefer to salvage a tooth through fillings or crowns, a tooth subjected to excessive decay or severe trauma may need to be taken out of the mouth and replaced. Patients have a variety of choices when it comes to replacing a tooth after extraction. Following extraction, dentists will ensure that patients retain a proper bite pattern so as to prevent additional oral problems in the future.