Emergency dentistry could be increasingly common among US sports players after recent figures revealed tooth fractures were one of the most commonly sustained injuries.
Statistics from the US National Youth Sports Safety Foundation have estimated that more than three million pearly whites will be lost this year as a result of accidents.
Dr Stephen Mitchell, associate professor in the paediatric dentistry department of the University of Alabama, revealed that basketball and baseball were two of the main sports that can result in the injuries.
The shocking figures have spurred a number of the country's dental experts to urge athletes to ensure they wear mouth guards at all times during contact sports.
"If the child has a full set of permanent teeth then a custom guard can be made that will provide protection but be small enough to make it easy to communicate with teammates," Dr Mitchell added.
This news comes after the American Dental Association estimated that mouth guards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in school and college football alone.