dentist San Luis Obispo

‘Repairing sports inflicted tooth damage,’ a new report from the San Luis Obispo dentist

-A sports accident can go quickly beyond bruises and scratches, causing broken bones, head trauma, and broken teeth. “Everyone wants a great smile,” says Dr. Douglas Ng from SLO Family Dentistry. “Athletes of any age have several options for repairing or replacing broken teeth.”

Ng recently released the report, “Preventing sports inflicted tooth damage,” which examines the options for restoring a smile when teeth are damaged or lost. The first step is to take every precaution to protect the mouth and teeth during any kind of athletic activity. Some sports such as hockey, boxing, martial arts, and football, require a mouthguard, and some strongly recommend mouthguards for adults and require them for children. Other sports, such as equestrian sports, don’t require mouth protection, although other kinds of bodily protection are required.

Athletes and parents of athletes need to consider the risks of damaged or lost teeth resulting from the sports. “There’s no shame in protecting your teeth,” says Ng. “Wear mouthguards to protect your mouth and teeth just as you wear protective gear for other parts of your body.”

Athletes come to the dentist wanting an answer to, “What are my options when I break a tooth?”

  • Depending on the degree of the damage, a broken tooth can be filled, bonded, or repaired with a crown. If the break is bad enough a root canal might be necessary before the crown is applied.
  • A severely damaged or broken tooth can be extracted and replaced with an implant or a bridge.
  • A tooth that is knocked out (avulsed), can, in some instances, be re-implanted back into the socket. The success of this procedure depends on the length of time before the tooth is re-implanted and the condition of the socket. If the tooth is put back into the socket within five minutes, the socket is clean and untraumatized, and the injured person gets to a dentist right away, there is a chance the tooth will survive.


“Get immediate medical attention to rule out other injuries,” advises the San Luis Obispo dentist. Sports injuries can be life-threatening. Once the patient is stabilized and healed, the dentist can provide the appropriate dental procedures to save or replace damaged teeth.

In the cases of facial injuries, there is also the possibility of head trauma, which needs immediate medical attention. Some facial injuries with damage to the jaw might require treatment from an oral surgeon

As soon as any medical emergency is over, make an appointment with the dentist. Most dentists will make room on their schedule for emergencies. Damaged and broken teeth are subject to faster decay, abscesses from infection, bone loss, tooth loss, and general health issues. It’s important to start dental care as soon as possible.

Dr. Ng has been serving California’s Central Coast with quality dental care since 2008. A Southern California native, the San Luis Obispo dentist was a Regents Scholar at the University of California, Riverside where he graduated with honors. He then attended Loma Linda University School of Dentistry where he received his DDS and has since dedicated his professional career to providing his patients with the best that dentistry has to offer.

SLO Family Dentistry
862 Meinecke Ave #203
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 544-1246