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Let's Fix It before It Breaks: A Career Almost Destroyed (Dental Work)


Copyright 2024, Mark Alan Wade

Primary Author: Train, J.
Journal Title: ITG Journal
Date Published: May-92
Language: English
Category: Orofacial Disorders
Key Words: trumpet performance musician medical dental teeth mouth
Full Citation: Train, Jack. Let's Fix It before It Breaks: A Career Almost Destroyed (Dental Work). ITG Journal 16, no. 4 (May 1992): 21, 27.
Full Abstract: A professional trumpet player underwent endodontia (root canal therapy) on his two front teeth. The patient was advised to have the crowns capped and the roots reinforced to strengthen the affected teeth. Such teeth have a high incidence of fracture. The trumpet player did not opt to have the teeth reinforced for fear of an interruption of his career. Ten years later, the front teeth broke off at the gum line. The patient had no current dentist and sought an emergency clinic to repair the teeth. The patient failed to inform the dentist that he was a trumpet player and aesthetically pleasing plastic crowns were fashioned. The trumpet player experienced a significant impairment in his trumpet playing and sought Dr. Jack Train for advice and repair. A study of the trumpet player's embouchure, photographs of the teeth before the accident and discussion of the original teeth revealed that a severe mal-occlusion (bad bite and mal-posed teeth) existed prior to the fracture. Train used an abrasive diamond to recontour the teeth back to their pre-injured shape. Finally, approximately one quarter of a millimeter was shaved off of the length of the caps and the trumpeter nearly recaptured his sound. Careful observation of his trumpet playing revealed that the thickness of the caps was the cause of unclear tonguing. This was corrected and the trumpet player fully recovered his playing abilities. It is advised that trumpet players seek out a dentist who completely understands the musician's demands on the dental structure and always inform the dentist if you are a performing trumpet player. Furthermore, the following advice should be followed concerning dental work on trumpet players: always bring your mouthpiece into the dentist's office when having work done on the front teeth; have a cast made of your teeth for reference in the case of future injury; always make a completely informed decision when treatment is recommended.