In the picture: dr. Matteo Bignamini, dental surgeon and owner of The Dental Center.
Regular visits to the dentist should be a priority on a diver’s agenda. Any type of bubble or air space inside your body can cause pain and even physical trauma while diving. Some types of dental work, particularly root canals with temporary caps or crowns covering unfinished work, are not compatible with diving at all. As you ascend and air pressure increases inside your tooth or teeth, your dental work could literally explode inside your mouth, causing injury or accidental inhalation or swallow of portions of the dental structure.
Scuba Diving & Dental Issues
There are a number of dental issues that can cause problems for divers: muscle or joint pain, tooth squeeze and pain cause by ill-fitting dentures. If the regulator’s bite tabs are over an implant site, biting forces can be applied directly or indirectly to the healing implant. This may even occur to implants that appear to be out of bite.
Dental Conditions Exacerbated By Diving
If you have chronic dental pain of any type, you may find that diving causes the pain to increase. If you have problems with the roots of your teeth, and if your dentist has recommended a pulpectomy or root canal to rectify those problems, you’ll probably find that enjoyable diving is an impossibility until you have the problems fixed. Cavities, loose fillings, and any other dental work that is not securely bonded can cause pain and potential problems, too. If you are considering porcelain crowns, you should know that they have been known to shatter at a depth of just 65 feet, as have other types of fragile dental work. If your teeth are fractured, or if you wear any type of dentures or orthodontics, they could also pose a problem while diving. Dry socket infections can also cause problems, if you have a dry socket infection, you’ll probably have to wait between two and eight weeks before diving.
Some dentists specialize in providing dental work for divers. Some common services these dentists offer are tooth repairs that are compatible with diving, TMJ therapy to deal with the pain that can sometimes occur from the continuous jaw movements that are required to keep your regulator in place, and creating custom dentures for divers who cannot dive with standard partial dentures in place due to the risk of aspiration.
If you’ve just visited a dentist and have a temporary filling, make sure you tell him that you’re planning a dive. That way it won’t be only the sharks down there with a toothy grin.
We thanks for the medical support:
Dr. Matteo Bignamini, dental surgeon and owner of The Dental Center
Dubai Healthcare City
Al Razi Building 64, Block F 4019
PO Box 505006, Dubai, UAE
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