Peter Fine highlights the pathway to a career in providing dental care for athletes
The role of the sports dentist is rapidly increasing as professional sport embraces the need for good oral health to be an integral part of all elite athletes’ awareness of the potential influence of diet, oral health, regular maintenance and correct preventative measures.
One of the legacies of the London 2012 Olympic Games that is now showing tangible results, was the realisation that the poor oral health of many of the world’s top athletes needed to be recognised and addressed.
Sports dentistry courses
The initial study, which looked at the oral health of over 300 Olympic athletes found poor oral health, high levels of caries, periodontal disease and erosion and an awareness by the athletes that poor oral health was impacting on quality of life and potentially performance.
This resulted in the establishment of the UCL Eastman Centre for Oral Health and Performance, and more recently a new information network for those with an interest in oral health in sport.
The centre is also now setting up a new list of London dentists who can provide emergency cover for professional sports clubs around the capital.
Those who have completed our sports dentistry short course are eligible to join: this bespoke CPD programme is designed specifically for those members of the dental team who are interested in combining their dental expertise with the care of all sports men and women.
Running for 12 days over a 10-month, period the sports dentistry programme includes dealing with facial trauma, prevention of trauma to the dentition, the impact of diet on dental health, the role that the dental professional can play as part of the medical team associated with both professional and amateur sports clubs and the controversial topic of drugs in sport.
New programme for 2016
The teaching is a mixture of didactic seminars and hands-on skills laboratory sessions. Teachers are drawn from the very experienced teaching staff at UCL Eastman Dental Institute and where appropriate experts in their field from around the UK are invited.
Alumni of the programme have gone on to look after the dentition of some of the top professional soccer, rugby and ice hockey clubs in the UK as well as appointments with international teams.
All members of the dental team are welcome, so do come and join us on 10 November 2016 when the new programme commences.
Peter Fine is director of the sports dentistry programme UCL Eastman Dental Institute