Pats' Dentist Can Help Reduce Concussions ... But NFL Stiffs Him

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by psychoPat, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player Supporter

    ''This stuff is so simple,'' [Dr. Gerald Maher] said. ''It makes so much sense. When I explain this to another dentist, they'll say, 'It's just logical.' I know. I'm not this great scientist that has invented nuclear physics here. It's pure biomechanics.''

    Says 70% of football concussions occur through the jaw ... and his mouthguard protects against that.
  2. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    Now here is the big question. Are the Pats using this dentist's mouthpiece?
  3. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player Supporter

    The link says 40 of them did last year.
    ... At $400 apiece.
  4. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    This is the 5th or 6th time that interview has been run in different papers. And its over a year old. And that same doctor had the interview run in ESPN The Magazine when they did their whole thing on concussions and how the NFL wasn't stepping up.

    Now, Goddell may end up seeing him with this new policy they have in place. And I wouldn't be surprised if it happened sooner than later.
  5. PatsSteve1

    PatsSteve1 In the Starting Line-Up

    Diden't 1 of those stories say Mike Haynes used his mouthpiece? He's been around awhile anyway and if the NFL's recent "show" about concusions ignores this dentist, then it really was nothing but a show.
  6. Wotan_the_Wanderer

    Wotan_the_Wanderer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    If the league is so unreceptive, why not conduct a clinical trial or even a less formal study with boxers to assess if there's a decline in KOs. Seems to me that's the perfect test market.
  7. PatsSteve1

    PatsSteve1 In the Starting Line-Up

    * If Nike or Reebok bought the rights to his mouthguard they'd be mandatory.
  8. mtbykr

    mtbykr Supporter Supporter

    #37 Jersey

    Good point...mabey this doc should sell it to them.
  9. notex

    notex Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #87 Jersey
    the companies website...seems logical...the issue to me really isnt whether it works or not-its very apparent that it does IMO... but the NFL doesnt want to admit that its **** the bed the past several years by not using this device
  10. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative In the Starting Line-Up

    That's a great insight, and (for everyone involved) actually a really good idea!
  11. DarrylS

    DarrylS Supporter Supporter

    As mentioned this guy has been around for a while and the Pats have benefitted, but like so many things change will not happen league wide until they are threatened with all kinds of legal stuff.
  12. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker Supporter Supporter

    What are the results of the 40 who've worn these mouthguards, did any of them suffer any concussions ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2007
  13. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    That does seem like the key question. All the article really offers as "evidence" is the dentist's personal belief in his product (which he profits from, of course) and the word of other dentists that the idea seems reasonable. What's missing is data, which the NFL seems unwilling to muster. I'm curious why not...maybe preliminary evidence is uncompelling? Maybe the dentist is overselling his invention's real promise? Or maybe the league fears it would be too expensive to offer to every player, or they're just trying to ignore the issue?

    One other thing that article doesn't the Patriots currently foot the bill for the players who want the $400 mouth guard?
  14. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #95 Jersey

    The sample size (40) may not be large enough but if enough players used it they could do a retrospective study looking back at the data and comparing the number of concussions by players not using the device, versus the number of concussions in players using them. This could be correlated witht the expected number of concussions and see if it's statistically significant (Stats and Chi square test were 30 plus years ago).
    There is ample data that repositioning the TMJ minimizes trauma and some data indicates it may help performance and I could bore you with the links BUT the question remains. Is it better than what's currently available in terms of nightguards and does it minimize concussions? Without hard statiscal data, it's just anecdotal.
    Just my $0.02 this time as a DMD,

    As for the cost, $400 for 60 players (53 and PS) for all 32 teams is $768K.....the salary of one 10 year Vet or less thna 30 seconds of ad time at the Super Bowl.....weighed against potentially countless concussions....
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2007
  15. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player Supporter

    Is it even epistemologically possible ... or do i mean ontologically? ...
    to hijack a thread you started?
    Anyway ...

    Anyone interested in concussions prob'ly cares about the whole enchilada - grievous post-career trauma.

    PFT links to a chilling column from Austin about Earl Campbell ...
    Tony Dorsett, and a few others.

    While Tony Dorsett played with his kids and Archie Griffin and George Rogers played golf Friday at Barton Creek Resort, Earl Campbell was struggling to walk.

    Wearing a burnt orange, Texas golf shirt, white knee-length shorts and new Nikes with a Longhorn logo, Campbell used a walker to inch down a window-lined hallway overlooking one of his favorite golf courses.

    He took roughly six minutes to cover 40 yards – a distance he used to breeze through in less than five seconds as a punishing running back at Texas and during an eight-year, Hall of Fame career in the NFL, mostly with the Houston Oilers. Still wearing his trademark beard, now gray, he stands at a 45-degree angle, unable to straighten at his lower back. He can no longer straighten his knees, either.

    When the walker becomes too much work, he uses a wheelchair that he travels with at all times. During a 40-minute interview with a few reporters on Friday, Campbell was totally lucid one second and struggling to recall names and prominent dates the next.

    "The doctor says I'll be playing golf by October," Campbell said in eternal optimism, even though he hasn't swung a club in six years.

    full story here:
  16. Wotan_the_Wanderer

    Wotan_the_Wanderer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    That's actually the point I was getting at and I suggested boxing given that the league officials seem obviously unconvinced and therefore uncooperative, and also because with boxers one can further rule out performance attributes of other protective equipment likes helmets, shells and so forth. Further, though it's obvious that the detriments of concussions to former NFL players needs more serious and prompt attention given what we're currently hearing about pensions and the plight of retirees, most notably Ted Johnson for Pats fans, it seems to me that this isn't just a league issues. Rather, with enough serious research and data, it could be expanded to a public health/policy issue that affects peewee through college football as well as to even sports like girls field hockey. I don't know...the mouthguards today seem nothing more than souped up floride trays to me.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2007
  17. Wotan_the_Wanderer

    Wotan_the_Wanderer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Right and they'd also be much cheaper given that "me too" mouthguards from other companies would also follow.

    I always did find it curious that the one guy in China, Uzbekistan, Bolivia or whereever could charge $10K for a bottle of his cancer curing nony juice that a select few swear by. Now, I'm not suggesting this dentist's mouthguard is a scan. I don't know enough to form such an opinion. But I'm sure you get my point.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2007
  18. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    It isn't a rule that pro football players must wear mouth guards?
    I know we were required to wear em in high school.
  19. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Exactly -- it's clear that every football player should have a custom-fitted mouthguard with TMJ protection. The question is whether this dentist's patented invention is really superior at concussion prevention compared to others. There's plenty of competition and innovation in that field. (As a long-time TMJ patient, I've seen a variety of types myself!)

    The NFL has had a lousy record on concussions, so I'm not going to give them too much benefit of the doubt. But I'm also not ready to say they should have funded Maher's studies without knowing what he proposed. His device should be tested against other high-end mouthguards, not simply against the league average.
  20. PatsSteve1

    PatsSteve1 In the Starting Line-Up

    * It was 40 Patriots who used it LAST year. There's many more who have used it since Vagas Ferguson in 1980. It's been around awhile. It doesn't prevent concusions completely, but helps prevent 1 way they happen which is the way they happen the most. In another story that someone posted here a few weeks ago, I think it was A Samuel who had had 3 concusions, got 1 of these mouthguards a couple of years ago and hasn't had 1 since. I can't find that story.

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