USMNT scored its first victory this week in a heart-stopping match against Ghana. But behind the scenes of the physical challenge that was Monday’s match, doctors work hard to help players. Unfortunately, professional soccer tends to neglect dentists and dental care.
Who Is Our Team Dentist?
Overall, the USMNT is cagey about the team doctors, and there is no mention of the team dentist on the official site or material. Of course, there isn’t much information about the doctors in general. We know that the team dentist in 2010 was Ed Howard, who had been the dentist since 2006.
Because soccer players don’t wear helmets or even mouthguards, soccer players are three times more likely to suffer dental injury than football players. However, they are only about a third as likely to suffer dental injury as hockey players. As with the NY Rangers dentist, the dentist for the USMNT isn’t compensated.
Professional Soccer Doesn’t Worry about Dental Injury
Although the USMNT dentist fits all players with mouthguards, players are not required to wear them during play. In other countries, professional soccer players are usually not even aware of whether mouthguards are used, and only about 22% of doctors recommend them. Half of the professional teams don’t even have a dentist.
What Types of Dental Injuries Do Soccer Players Suffer?
Dental injuries are actually common in soccer, although their frequency varies among the different studies available. They may account for up to 20% of all injuries reported to insurance. And about one in five of these injuries were more expensive than allowed for by insurance. About 80% of injuries are to the teeth, although 11% are broken bones. The most common type of injury is broken crowns of the upper front teeth, which accounts for about 45% of injuries. Only about 60% of team doctors reported knocked-out teeth, and in most cases these teeth could be replaced, so there was less need of dental implants than among hockey players.
The US Looks Forward
Fortunately, none of our players suffered dental injury during Monday night’s game, but it’s unfortunate that we have three players who may be out for injury in Sunday’s game against Portugal. Coach Jurgen Klinsman asserts that his team has the necessary depth for the challenge, but only the game will show. Monday’s win puts the US in great shape for advancing from group play, with one victory or two draws likely to lead to advancing.
Let’s go Team USA!
If you’re looking for quality dental care away from the field, in Rockland County, please call (845) 627-7645 today for an appointment at B & D Dental Excellence today.