In an interview with Sports Illustrated, University of Utah basketball star Dallin Bachynski revealed that he carries a fake tooth in his gym bag. The seven-foot senior plays center for the Utes, who are currently ranked in the NCAA's college basketball top 25 and anticipated to make quite a showing in this year's March Madness tournament. Bachynski wasn't shy about discussing his lost tooth, which was knocked out early in the year prior to the season.
"I got my tooth knocked out early in the year, so I have my flipper. I call it my tooth but it's technically a bridge. I don't play with it, so it's just in my bag. I used to wear a mouthguard, then I lost my tooth playing with one, so now, I don't wear one," Bachynski explained to Sports Illustrated.
What is a dental bridge?
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a dental bridge fills the gap left by a missing tooth. Dental bridges provide a wide range of benefits, including better speech and easier chewing, aesthetically adding to smiles and keeping remaining teeth in the correct position. Bridges are often nonremovable, but considering Bachynski removed his bridge during his interview with SI, this apparently is not the case.
Neglecting to get a bridge, crown or implant to cover the space left by a lost or damaged tooth can result in increased risk of gum disease or movement from the neighboring teeth. A dental bridge is commonly made from porcelain so that it blends in naturally with other teeth.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Bachynski lost his tooth during practice rather than in a heated game. The senior was going after a rebound against freshman teammate Jakob Poeltl€‹, and in the foray Poeltl's head bumped Bachynski's mouth.
Being from Calgary, Bachynski joked to the Tribune, "I'm a true Canuck now. It looks great, of course. Just smile big and deal with it, really."
Though Bachynski doesn't wear the bridge in games, the senior doesn't shy away from smiling when he's helping rally his team. The Utes boast a winning record and are a main contender for the PAC-12 title in 2015. Utah has faced defeats by notable ranked opponents, including the Arizona Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks. The Utes currently sit in second place in the PAC-12 behind the Wildcats.
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