As a long-time sports enthusiast, Dr. Mark Parhar of Tri-City Endodontics has been involved with a number of sports teams over the years promoting measures to prevent tooth trauma due to injury.
"I grew up playing sports," he says "and I found that sports dentistry was one way I could apply my training as a dentist to team sports such as hockey, basketball, and soccer."
Dr. Parhar has been involved with a number of different sports teams over the years as “team dentist.”
"At Tri-City Endodontics, we see a lot of hockey players as well as players from other sports. I worked closely with the Vancouver Giants (a junior ice hockey team in the Western Hockey League) and I really enjoyed that."
Dr. Parhar uses his expertise as a dentist with a specialty in endodontics, the treating of disease and infection in the soft tissue of teeth, to promote preventative measures for keeping teeth safe in contact sports.
"I promote the use of mouth guards in both children and adults playing sports to help prevent dental injuries," he says. "At Tri-City Endodontics we see a fair number of dental trauma. Whether it's from hockey or other sports, kids falling off their bikes, or playground accidents there's always a danger to the teeth."
A highlight of his involvement in sports was Dr. Parhar's work at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, where he was in charge of dental services.
"I helped coordinate dental services," he says, "and provided dental care for a number of the athletes."
He was also appointed director of dental services at the World Junior Hockey Championships in 2006 and the Memorial Cup in 2007.
In 2011, Dr. Parhar was given a Merit Award from the British Columbia Dental Association for his contribution to sports dentistry. He lectures regularly on dental trauma and provides input to the International Olympic Committee dental program on improving dental services for athletes during the Olympic games.
"Whenever sport has the potential to impact your face, such as in hockey, basketball, or soccer, injuries can happen. I work to help prevent these injuries and educate athletes about dental trauma."