Whether for exercise, competition, or the simple enjoyment of recreational activity, increasing numbers of health-conscious Americans are involved in sporting activities. Approximately 30 million children participate in various sports programs and another 80 million are involved in unsupervised recreational sports. Dentistry plays a large role in treating oral and craniofacial injuries resulting from sporting activities.
Prior to the 1980s, little was available in the scientific literature in terms of sports-related injury assessment. Several injury surveillance systems have been established in an attempt to track sports-related accidents and injuries. While all injury surveillance systems provide valuable information on generalized sports injuries, very little information is available regarding dental or craniofacial injuries. In terms of data collection and analysis of dental injuries due to sporting activities, the field continues to be open for dentistry to assume a major leadership role in assessing dental injuries resulting from sporting activities.