Thursday, March 29, 2018

NBA player suffers tooth injury during basketball game

NBA player Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a front tooth injury during a basketball game against the Miami Heat on March 27, 2018.  An opposing player accidentally hit Love's upper front tooth, causing a likely subluxation.  Clinically a subluxated tooth demonstrates mobility, pain, and tenderness to touch.

Radiographically the tooth would need to be evaluated for possible coronal and/or root fracture.  Assuming the root and natural crown are not involved, a splint would be placed immediately for 2 weeks to stabilize the injured tooth; the affected tooth is then re-evaluated 2-4 weeks, 6-8 weeks, 6 months, and periodically every year.  If the injury causes pulpal injury, a root canal may be indicated.  If the injured tooth remains mobile and suffers bone loss, the tooth may ultimately need to be evaluated for a dental implant.

Sports players should consider, as a preventive measure, getting fitted for a protective sportsguard to help protect against possible injuries to their maxillary dentition.