With Cardiff City FC having finally reached the ‘Promised Land’ of the Premier League, for the forthcoming season they will now compete week in week out with the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, etc. There’s no doubt that the excitement within the Welsh capital is rapidly growing in anticipation of the new season. Pre-season and in-season preparation work, from a dental perspective, is well underway with Cardiff City FC. My involvement in the pre-season period is to provide dental screenings of all senior and junior players. This allows me to build a portfolio on each player’s dental health to report to the sports medicine department. From a dental-screening point of view, I am recording oral hygiene and dietary habits, caries rates, 3rd molar status and any outstanding treatment need and ongoing pathology. Any complex or invasive treatments, such as extractions or root canal treatment, that potentially could hamper concentration performance or interfere with nutrition and training, are planned for and dealt with in pre-season as much as possible. In some cases, this dental screening may bring certain issues to light that the clubs sports medicine department may have been totally unaware of. Or it can reveal something the player may be hiding, such as chewing tobacco, multiple untreated carious lesions or multiple purulent discharging dental abscesses. This is why I now feel that dental input has a huge role to play within modern-day sports medicine.
With this role, there is an increased pressure to deliver high quality dentistry instantly, whether it is at 9am, 8pm or on a Sunday to ensure all players can ‘give their all’ on the pitch. The important point, from my perspective, is that I do not want to send players into a season with potential dental issues waiting to happen.