The 2016 summer Olympics dominated headlines in recent weeks, and athletes from the United States largely dominated their competition, with the U.S. outpacing other nations in gold and overall medals.
Watching all those athletes take their ceremonial medal bites got us thinking about another international competition: the Dental Olympics. In fact, there are multiple competitors for the title Dental Olympics, and one is based here in Texas.
Taiwan, which competes in the Olympics as Chinese Taipei, only earned a few medals in the summer games. But a Taiwanese dentist captured gold for his country in the recent Dental Olympics.
The international competition requires dentists and dental students to submit reports of work to a competition committee, which then narrows the field to 100 finalists. The winning dentist operates a clinic in rural Taiwan, where dental problems including tooth decay, periodontal disease and missing teeth are common.
The dentist’s award-winning work focused on restorative treatment he provided for a school teacher, whose dental health issues—which included cavities, missing teeth, and loss of bone density in the jaw—interfered with her job. The dentist performed what is often referred to as a smile makeover, a customized blend of cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry services designed to address multiple oral health and aesthetic problems. In this particular case, the dentist restored the teacher’s entire bite structure and replaced missing teeth, then worked with her to rehabilitate her speech.
Dental Olympics: Texas-Style
Texas is also home to a Dental Olympics, but this one is kept in-state and involves actual physical competition. And no, it’s not a race to place dental fillings or whiten teeth.
The Dental Olympics is an annual event in which students from three dental schools participate in sports ranging from basketball to flag football to ultimate Frisbee. The competition is coordinated between groups at the University of Texas School of Dentistry, the Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The program provides dental students an opportunity to bond with classmates, meet new friends, and form professional connections.
Texas Olympians Provide Reason to Smile
Incidentally, the Lone Star State sent a multitude of athletes to the 2016 summer Olympics, and many of them fared well. According to an NPR report, Texas is home to 33 Olympians, third-most in the nation behind only Florida (39) and California (124).
As the 2016 summer games closed, Texas athletes were also tied for third in most medals by state with nine. As an Austin American-Statesman article notes, swimmer Simone Manuel was responsible for four of those medals.
Austin dentist Dr. Dan Matthews and the entire team at Dan Matthews, DDS, are dedicated to helping patients achieve gold medal-caliber smiles. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile and would like to learn more about your cosmetic dentistry options, please call our Bee Cave Road office today at 512-452-2273 to schedule a free consultation.