Lead, SD The American Dental Association reports that more than 5 million teeth are lost each year due to sports-related injuries. One dentist in Lead is trying to prevent local athletes from adding to that number.
Dr. Reid Stone was looking for a way to give back to his community when he noticed their love of local sports.
He said a surprising number of athletes don't wear protective mouth guards when not required, and he wanted to change that.
His office decided to give Lead-Deadwood students free, custom-fit mouth guards to help prevent the injuries he sees in present and past athletes.
Dr. Stone says, "The importance of it is not necessarily now, but what that does years from now. So injuries or damage to the nerves of teeth and things like that can be delayed, dormant for several years and start to creep up five to ten years later that maybe require root canals or dental implants or something that they thought was just a petty minor injury at the time."
This is the fourth year Dr. Stone has offered this service, and he hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of custom-fit mouth guards.