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Throughout December, Magic City Dentistry is hosting a food drive to support Alabamians through Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. Read on to see how you can win big while supporting your community.
Win Big By Supporting Alabamians
“When we were developing this practice, we knew that we wanted to connect to this community that we love. We are always looking for ways to do that. Donating food during this time of year is a no brainer, is easy, and makes you feel good!”
Kristye Dixon, Practice Manager
If you’ve been here for a while, you know that Birmingham is essentially a small-town community in a big-city environment.
Being part of a small town means looking out for your neighbor, especially during the holiday season. So, Magic City Dentistry is collecting cans, dried food, and other non-perishable items to donate to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama.
From now until December 31, bring in any non–perishable food item to their office at 2117 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama 35203
When you donate an item to the food drive, you will be entered to win in a drawing held on January 6th. The winner will get to choose between either a Zoom In-office teeth whitening OR a teeth cleaning and check up!
Community Food Bank of Central Alabama
Helping out your fellow Alabamians is as simple as picking up an extra can or two when you go grocery shopping. By supporting the Community Food Bank, you’re helping thousands of Alabamians get the food they need.
The Community Food Bank supplies millions of meals each year by donating to 230 food pantries, shelters and children’s programs. These donations serve 60,000-80,000 Alabamians each month.
What Should I Bring?
Since high-protein foods help families create filling meals, seeking quality canned foods is better than just grabbing a random can from the shelf. But if you feel lost in the grocery store (like me), here’s a handy list of high-quality canned foods to bring to a drive:
- Tuna, salmon, chicken and other meats
- Soups and stews
- Canned chili
- Low-sodium vegetables
- Pasta or rice
- Canned or dried fruit
- Cereal, oatmeal, or grits
Want to support the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, but can’t make it out to Magic City Dentistry? Donate online.
Cover Vulcan in Canned Food
When you walk into Magic City Dentistry, Sonia Summer’s design for Vulcans on Parade is the first thing you’ll notice.
During the food drive, all donations will be stored around Vulcan. Although there is a lot of space, how incredible would it be to completely cover Vulcan with donated food?
Address: 2117 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama 35203
So, next time you visit the grocery store, consider picking up an extra can or two. Then, bring them to Magic City Dentistry and help cover Vulcan. By donating to the food drive, you can win a Zoom teeth whitening or a teeth cleaning and checkup! Your donation will help an Alabama family stay full during the Holiday season.
Be sure to snap a pic with as you cover Magic City Dentistry’s Vulcan with canned food and tag @bhamnow!
The post Support Birmingham at Magic City Dentistry’s food drive in December for a chance to win big appeared first on Bham Now.
One hundred years ago, the 19th Amendment was adopted. Women were finally given the right to vote, which was a centerpiece of the first women’s rights movement. Today, this milestone is commemorated as Women’s Equality Day, celebrated every year on Aug. 26 since 1971. Albeit difficult, women have risen to achievements beyond our wildest dreams. We’ve reached for the stars, literally, making an impact in all industries and professions, from engineering, science and technology, publishing, health care and so much more.
For me, dentistry provides a career that allows me to make an impact by fostering meaningful relationships with my patients, thus improving their health, and many women are choosing this field with the same mindset. According to the ADA Health Policy Institute, in 2018, nearly 50% of dental school graduates were women; this number was a mere 11% in 1978. When asked why she chose dentistry, Brianne Schmiegelow (Missouri-Kansas City ’21) stated, “I wanted the freedom to spend time with my family and friends and to have a life outside of my career, while still being able to make a lasting impact on my community through my work.”
While so many women have paved the way for us and made great strides in dentistry, such as Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Ida Gray, M. Evangeline Jordon and so many others, there are still times when we encounter people who challenge or doubt our abilities. On her external rotation, Taylor Little (Missouri-Kirksville ’21) experienced a patient who left the office because she was not a male provider. While most reactions are usually not this strong, Little says she recognizes she may be the first female provider some patients have ever had. To her, this presents a unique opportunity to bond with the patient and showcase her skills. For a fellow classmate of mine, she shared the experience of having interviewers ask her questions about family style and time commitment — all based on her gender. Sometimes it feels as if women can be shamed for desiring a powerful career or that some of society assumes we all want to be wives and mothers and do not think we could have time for both if we do. Progress is progress, but it has been slow, and while this can be discouraging, we can remember our advocates and support systems.
When asked what Women’s Equality Day means to him, Dr. Dylan Weber (Missouri-Kansas City ’20) stated that it’s the “recognition and celebration of the unique and innate power of all women. As a male dentist, I strive to contribute to a practice environment where my co-doc and mentor receives the same level of respect I do for merely being born male. This carries to the collective of our all-women staff who have been incredible in my introduction to dentistry in private practice.”
Women’s Equality Day means a lot of different things to a lot of people. For some, it’s a celebration of how far we’ve come; it is a remembrance of those who have paved the way to create these vast opportunities we sometimes take for granted. For others, it’s a reminder of how far we still have to go. The world isn’t perfect — and it won’t ever be — but we can take this time to remember those who came before us and to continue to push for equality, justice and peace.
~Alyssa Kieschnick, Missouri-Kansas City ’21, District 8 Wellness Chair
To succeed as a dentist, you need to be able to exercise clinical skills and training, but you also need to be able to communicate with patients and build a rapport.
In an age where reviews and feedback carry more weight than ever before, communication and customer service are essential elements of modern-day dental business success.
Why is communication important?
There are several reasons why communication is important both in terms of making patients feel comfortable and increasing your chances of running a successful dental business.
If you were to put yourself in your patient’s shoes, how would you feel if you climbed into a dental chair, and your dentist had nothing to say or they came across as aloof or disinterested? Many patients want to be greeted with a smile, they want to know what is going to happen to them when they get into that chair, and they want to be reassured. Dental anxiety is an incredibly prevalent problem, and if you’re feeling anxious, a friendly, talkative, supportive dentist can make all the difference. Communication can help to put patients at ease, it can lower levels of anxiety and fear, and it can also create a much warmer and more pleasant atmosphere. Many people read reviews and ask for recommendations before choosing a dentist today, and customer service is an integral factor in review scores. A patient may be reluctant to recommend a dentist even if they have done a brilliant job if they weren’t polite, for example.
Information and advice
Clear communication is also key for informing patients about dental conditions say’s Dr Mark Hughes from Define Clinic, offering advice and information and providing details about costs and the types of treatment that could be beneficial. As a dentist, you’re familiar with all the jargon and technical terms, but the majority of people you come across won’t necessarily know what you mean if you speak in dental talk.
If there is an issue, for example, a patient has a cavity, they want to know what the problem is, why it’s potentially dangerous, what can be done about it, and how much treatment is going to cost. If you can convey information succinctly and clearly, this will be hugely beneficial for your patients. In many cases, patients feel scared because they don’t fully understand what the issue is and what the solution entails.
If you tell somebody they need a root canal, for example, they might immediately feel panicked and terrified. If you relay this information and then take the time to explain what that procedure involves, how you can reduce and prevent pain, and how it will benefit them moving forward, this could help to make the patient feel more comfortable and content.
Effective communication methods
We tend to think of communication as talking, but there are other ways of opening up channels of communication and building a bond with patients. Body language is important, and it’s crucial to listen, as well as to talk. Welcome your patients with a smile, engage in eye contact, and ask them how they are. Listen to them if they have concerns or questions.
Communication in the 21stcentury doesn’t just involve face to face contact in a dental surgery. Today, there are multiple channels open to dentists, and you can reach out to patients in many different ways, for example, sending text reminders for appointments and sharing news and events at the practice via social media sites like Facebook. Use platforms like this to interact with clients, respond to queries and show off the treatments and services you’re offering.
Communication plays an increasingly important role in modern dentistry. Building bonds with patients and creating a friendly atmosphere benefits patients, as well as dentists aiming to run successful businesses, attract new clients and keep hold of existing patients.
Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash
The business of dentistry revolves around patient communication
Earlier this year, several health professionals and scientists formally asked the American Thyroid Association (ATA) to “demonstrate either scientific integrity and professional ethics” by Publish[ing] a position statement opposing the practice of community water ﬂuoridation (CWF) based on its impact on thyroid hormones, interference with glucose and calcium metabolism in susceptible populations, and general capacity …
November 3, 2020 — Englewood Health has launched a dental residency program for newly graduated dentists. Accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation, the one-year general dentistry residency offers residents supervised hands-on training, instruction, and clinical rotations in both inpatient and outpatient settings, while providing patients with both surgical and restorative services. Upon completion of the program, dental residents are prepared to provide oral health care independently in the community for a wide range of patients.
“This is an important and much-needed service for our community,” says John Minichetti, DMD, chief of dentistry at Englewood Health and program director of the Dental Residency Program. “In addition to training the next generation of dentists, our new dental clinic offers patients top-notch care, provided by well-trained residents under the supervision of highly regarded dentists from our community, regardless of income.”
Training Program for New Dentists
Launched in September, the dental residency program accepts three dental residents each year, with one resident continuing for a second year as program facilitator. Each of Englewood Health’s dental residents has completed a four-year dental school program, graduating with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree. The program is supervised and taught by a volunteer faculty of 16 private-practice dentists from throughout northern New Jersey.
As part of their training, residents complete clinical rotations through Englewood Hospital’s anesthesia, emergency medicine, internal medicine, pathology, and radiology departments, as well as a rotation at the oral maxillofacial surgery trauma center at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, where they participate in multidisciplinary care.
In addition to general dentistry training, the program provides the dental residents with a one-year, 300-hour implantology course, given on weekends, where they learn to perform implant surgery and prosthetic rehabilitation.
Dental Clinic for Underserved Patients in the Englewood Community
A newly established outpatient dental clinic, located at North Hudson Community Action Corporation (a federally qualified health center) on South Van Brunt Street in Englewood, staffed by the dental residents and supervised by the faculty members, is open for appointments Monday through Friday. The facility has four treatment rooms and state-of-the-art equipment, including an advanced CTCB scanner and digital imaging. The dental clinic provides:
- a full range of general dentistry services
- availability to everyone in the community, based on need
- safe care for medically compromised patients
- consultative services for Englewood Hospital patients, including inpatient medical and surgical, radiation oncology, cardiology, and emergency medicine
Services offered in the outpatient dental clinic include:
- oral examinations
- root canals
- operating room dentistry for patients who are dentophobia, medically compromised patients, special needs patients, and some pediatric patients
- pediatric dentistry
- specialized care for patients with special needs, including autism spectrum disorder
In addition to outpatient services, Englewood Health’s Department of Dentistry now provides hospital inpatient consultations and care for toothache, broken dentures, and other conditions. Consultative services are provided by dentistry residents under the supervision of attending dentists, including in radiation oncology, cardiology, and emergency medicine.
“Dental health is intrinsic to overall health and well-being,” says Dr. Minichetti. “Our team is restoring patients’ oral health by eliminating pain, enabling them to eat properly and more nutritiously, and improving their appearance—all of which ultimately can impact socialization, job opportunities, and overall functioning in society.”
He adds, “Prevention is essential. Dental conditions such as gum disease can lead to tooth loss and jawbone deterioration; they can also be a risk factor for heart and systemic disease. A history of smoking can lead to oral cancers that might go unidentified. It’s important not to neglect one’s teeth and gums.”
“With the dental residency program, new dentists gain experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings and, as a health care system, we ensure that everyone in our community has access to high-quality, affordable dental care.”
For more information on Englewood Health’s Dental Clinic, call 201-537-4442.
The post Englewood Health’s New Dental Residency Program Meets Community Need for Affordable General Dentistry Services appeared first on Englewood Health.
It is well known that coronavirus can spread in airborne particles, moving around rooms to infect people, and this has been a major consideration when looking into patient and clinician safety.
Research, published in the Journal of Dentistry, has led the way in helping shape national clinical guidance for the profession to work effectively under extremely challenging circumstances.
The findings have been used by the Dental Schools’ Council, Association of Dental Hospitals and the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme to guide key Covid-19 policies for the profession.
Research revealed that aerosol generated procedures — such as fillings and root canal treatment — can spray aerosol and saliva particles from dental instruments large distances and contamination varied widely depending on the processes used.
In the open clinic settings, dental suction substantially decreased contamination at sites further away from the patient, such as bays five meters away. Often these distant sites had no contamination present or if contamination was detected it was at very low levels, diluted by 60,000 — 70,000 times.
It was also found that after 10 minutes, very little additional contaminated aerosol settled onto surfaces and therefore is a suitable time to clean a surgery after an aerosol-generating procedure.
Dr Richard Holliday, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry at Newcastle University, UK, said: “Our research has improved our understanding of dental aerosol generated procedures and identified how cross-contamination could be a risk for spreading Covid-19.
“When the pandemic began, dental services were significantly reduced and there was an urgent need by the profession to focus on how dental clinics could work in a safe environment for patients and staff.
“We now have a much greater understanding of where the splatter of aerosols go and how far they travel during different procedures and settings, allowing clinical teams to make informed decisions to protect people.
“I am pleased that our research here at Newcastle has been used nationally by leading dental bodies to inform their policies on how the profession should carry out procedures during the pandemic.”
A research team from the School of Dental Sciences, including clinicians, dental nurses, microbiologists and scientists carried out the study.
The team used the tracer dye, fluorescein, while carrying out aerosol-generating procedures on a dental mannequin to analyse how far and where aerosol particles and saliva travelled from the patient’s mouth.
A range of procedures were done and the effect of suction and ventilation analysed. Experts looked at contamination close by and also in an open plan clinic.
Kimberley Pickering, a research dental nurse involved in the study, said: “For the safe re-opening of dental services, it was essential to understand the behaviour of the aerosols that come out of a patient’s mouth during dental work.
“We now better understand where the aerosols go and how far they travel during different procedures and settings.
“We also understand how dental aerosols settle over time, which has helped inform cross-infection control procedures.”
Further research will continue to focus on where aerosol and droplets from dental instruments travel and how far they go. Experts will also look at how long aerosols hang around in the air and examine a number of common dental procedures and methods of controlling aerosols.
A key part of the research will investigate if viruses can be carried in dental aerosols, and if viruses remain infective at a distance from the procedure. This will help experts to understand how to reduce the risk of microbes, like Covid-19, being spread by aerosols during dental treatment.
Student case study
The research led the team to develop a new clinic configuration to allow the safe return of dental students and their patients.
Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences is one the first universities in the country to recommence teaching aerosol-generating procedures to students in person during the pandemic.
Fourth year student Paddy Crawshaw said: “Being a dental student during the pandemic has been a big challenge, but dental students feel lucky to come into University every day and get in-person teaching as it’s a privilege to treat our patients.
“The Dental School has been very supportive since the pandemic began. It is clear that senior clinicians and academics have worked hard behind the scenes to allow us to return to clinical teaching.
“The common goal of delivering first-class treatment for our patients has enhanced the Dental School’s sense of community and this has really helped me through this term.
“I am proud of the way Newcastle Dental School and all of its staff and students have come together in the face of adversity through the Covid-19 pandemic. To know we are one of the first schools in the country offering a full range of student-led treatments for our patients makes me feel lucky to be studying here.
“Due to the extensive research undertaken by the School I have never felt unsafe, whether extracting a tooth or doing a simple examination I know the School’s protocols are allowing me to work safely.”
Organized dentistry expresses concerns regarding the U.S.-Mexico Tourism Improvement Act
By Jennifer Garvin
Washington — Until Mexican programs achieve accreditation through the Commission on Dental Accreditation, U.S. dental schools should not build relationships with Mexican schools.
This was the overarching message of an April 23 letter from the Organized Dentistry Coalition to Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, lead sponsor of HR 951, the United States-Mexico Tourism Improvement Act. If passed, the legislation would expand tourism between the United States and Mexico, including for dental care.
In the letter, the organizations said they believe patients’ dental care when visiting dentists trained in non-accredited Mexican dental schools cannot be guaranteed and urged lawmakers to include this in the legislation. Currently, no Mexican dental schools are accredited through CODA.
“The Commission on Dental Accreditation serves the oral health needs of the public through the development and administration of standards that foster continuous quality improvement of dental and dental-related educational programs,” the organizations wrote. “Accreditation ensures academic quality and public accountability.
“We believe that, until Mexican programs have received CODA accreditation, U.S. dental institutions should not build relationships with Mexican institutions for the purpose of having patients visit Mexican facilities for treatment.”
The organizations also recommended that Congress consider other factors critical to patient safety such as licensure of dentists and facilities following accepted asepsis, infection control and biohazard control protocols when assessing the feasibility of building partnerships among dental institutions between the United States and Mexico.
“These safeguards are critical components to dental care that patients in the United States take for granted. Lack of attention to these details may lead to a false sense of security for patients seeking care outside of the United States,” the letter concluded.
Follow all of the ADA’s advocacy efforts at ADA.org/Advocacy.
Teeth develop through a complex process in which soft tissue, with connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels, are bonded with three different types of hard tissue into a functional body part. As an explanatory model for this process, scientists often use the mouse incisor, which grows continuously and is renewed throughout the animal’s life.
Using a single-cell RNA sequencing method and genetic tracing, researchers at Karolinska Institutet, the Medical University of Vienna in Austria and Harvard University in the USA have now identified and characterized all cell populations in mouse teeth and in the young growing and adult human teeth.
“From stem cells to the completely differentiated adult cells we were able to decipher the differentiation pathways of odontoblasts, which give rise to dentine — the hard tissue closest to the pulp — and ameloblasts, which give rise to the enamel,” say the study’s last author Igor Adameyko.
Some of the finds can also explain certain complicated aspects of the immune system in teeth, and others shed new light on the formation of tooth enamel, the hardest tissue in our bodies.
“We hope and believe that our work can form the basis of new approaches to tomorrow’s dentistry. Specifically, it can expedite the fast expanding field of regenerative dentistry, a biological therapy for replacing damaged or lost tissue.”
AncientPages.com – If you think going to a dentist is an awful thing, be thankful you didn’t live thousands of years ago. Our ancestors understood the importance of healthy teeth, but the methods and instruments used in those days were far from pleasant.
Historical evidence proves that dentistry started around the areas of China,
Egypt, India, Etruscans of Central Italy, Assyrians, and Japan. While exploring and researching mummies, archaeologists have learned a mouthful of information on ancient dentistry.
The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus Sheds Light on Ancient Egyptian Dentistry
There is a lot of historical evidence revealing that ancient Egyptians practiced medicine thousands of years ago .
The Edwin Smith Papyrus is an ancient Egyptian medical text, named after the dealer who bought it in 1862, and the oldest known surgical treatise on trauma. The papyrus was written sometime before 3000 B.C. and it gives instructions on how to heal and treat wounds in the mouth.
Although there were detailed instructions about curing mouth problems, the evidence and writings within this time lead people to believe that the actual teeth were still considered untreatable. To begin with minor dental work was performed, but later as the knowledge increased doctors were able to carry out more advanced procedures.
The ancients doctors were familiar with almost all modern dental diseases.
The earliest signs of dental surgery were between 3000 and 2500 B.C. and usually involved drilling out cavities or pulling teeth. It might be hard to imagine having your teeth drilled into without the comfort of shots and happy gas, but Egyptians by 1550 B.C had prescriptions for dental pain and injuries. Interestingly, through all these years, there has never been any evidence in mummies or writings that mechanical or false teeth were ever used. This has been somewhat of a surprise to scientists as we would expect ancient Egyptians who were rather lavish to replace missing front teeth with artificial teeth.
Nevertheless, ancient Egyptians have also been credited with the invention of toothpaste. The world’s oldest-known recipe for toothpaste comes from ancient Egypt in fact. When discovered, the Egyptian toothpaste formula formula from the 4th century AD caused a sensation among dentists who described it as an advanced recipe “ahead of its time”.
Egyptians are believed to have started using a paste to clean their teeth around 5000BC, before toothbrushes were invented. Ancient Greeks and Romans are known to have used toothpastes, and people in China and India first used toothpaste around 500BC.
Etruscan Civilization Experimented With Golden Teeth
The Etruscans were a group of agricultural people who evolved into an urban population of craftsmen, traders, and navigators who lived in a network of cities and dominated the area of the Mediterranean around Italy in the 8th and 9th centuries BC. The origins of the Etruscans are lost in prehistory, but the main hypotheses are that they are indigenous, probably stemming from the Villanovan culture, or that they are the result of invasion from the north or the Near East.
The Etruscan people were very intelligent and always strived to increase their knowledge in a number of areas, such as for example medicine and dentistry. The courage to travel across sea to trade with other civilizations is proof of their industrious and courageous personalities. Archaeological discoveries reveal that their image was important to them and they were the first people were to take basic work in the mouth to a more artistic level. Using the knowledge of dentistry they learned from travel, they began to experiment with filling gold teeth.
In one preserved mouth, gold bands were wrapped around the teeth and cemented by soldering with heat. Human and animal teeth were used as artificial teeth and held in place by gold bands. Performed around 700 B.C this is the first time in history a form of prosthetics was ever used in the mouth, and would be the only use for many years.
The Etruscan prostheses were remarkable because they used gold bands which were soldered into rings instead of the gold wires which are seen in other cultures (Egyptians, Phoenicians) of the same time.
Ancient Greek Dentistry
Some years ago, a mummy was found with many devastating dental problems. Around 2,100 years ago, at a time when Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of Greek kings, a young wealthy man from Thebes was nearing the end of his life. Rather than age, he may have died from a basic sinus infection caused from a life of painful cavities. The man, whose name is unknown, was in his 20s or early 30s. A modern-day dentist would have a hard time dealing with the young man’s severe condition and one can imagine that the ancient dentist must have felt overwhelmed.
A 3D reconstruction of the 2,100-year-old mummy’s teeth. They were in horrible shape with “numerous” abscesses and cavities, problems that may have resulted in a sinus infection, possibly fatal.
Credit: Image courtesy International Journal of Paleopathology.
Greek dentists struggled to stop and cure his cavities. Linen soaked in medicine was packed in the holes in his teeth in an attempt to relieve the pain. Cloth in the tooth prevented food from entering and festering in the area. Greeks prided themselves in their strength and ability to handle pain. So, when cavities were found in the teeth, Greeks would often deal with the pain rather than have the tooth pulled. Losing a tooth would be a great loss and the pain was a small price to pay, but at the end the ancient dentists failed and the man died.
When the unknown men died he was mummified, his brain and many of his organs taken out, resin put in and his body wrapped. Curiously, embalmers left his heart inside the body, a sign perhaps of his elite status.
Dentistry In Ancient China
The history of dentistry in China is closely aligned with the remarkable developments in Chinese medicine over at least six millennia.
Rudimentary dental extractions were performed as early as 6000 BC, when the first signs of adornment with human teeth were described. Around 2700 BC ancient Chinese started using used acupuncture to treat pain associated with tooth decay. Doctors in ancient China treated toothaches with arsenic about A.D. 1000. They are also noted for their development of using silver amalgam for filling teeth. The Chinese were particularly advanced in their observation of the oral cavity.
In an ancient work called the Canon of Medicine, dentistry is discussed.A section of this work is dedicated specifically to mastication and deglutition. The Chinese were also interested in systemic diseases and their connection to oralmanifestations. For example, they recognized that prior to the development of measles, white spots would appear in a person’s oral cavity. Another significant area of study among Chinese surgeons in Chinese history of dentistry was oral surgery. Scientists have discovered many writings regarding the extraction of teeth and the instruments utilized to perform such tasks.
The great Sung landscapist Li T’ang depicts a country doctor cauterizing a patient’s
arm by burning it with the powdered leaves of an aromatic plant. The treatment is
called Moxibustion , which is widely used along with acupuncture for treatment such as relieving toothache.
In addition, information has been found in Chinese history of dentistry relating to the abscesses of teeth and other oral structures. The Chinese based many treatments for abscesses on scientific observation. Finally, the Chinese surgeons delved extensively into surgery techniques of the oral cavity..
There were actually four distinct periods of medical development in China: the Mystical Period; the Golden Period; the Controversial Period; and the Transitional Period. The Golden Period was marked by the appearance of the first textbooks to describe preventive and restorative dental techniques, as well as the first colleges. Dentistry then moved through the dark times of the Controversial Period, when war mongering stymied progress. Lasting until 1800 AD, it came to an end with the domination of Western medicine and dentistry.
In Mesopotamia Diseases Were Often Blamed On Pre-Existing Spirits And Gods
Before the advent of the current medical establishment, many ancient cultures had believed that worms were the cause of various illnesses and diseases such as tooth decay known as cavities today.In fact, tooth worms have a long history, first appearing in a Sumerian text around 5,000 BC.
References to tooth worms can be found in China, Egypt and India long before the belief finally takes root (pun intended) into Western Europe in the 8th century.
For example, the Chinese believed there were worms in the teeth that caused tooth decay and pain. They had several remedies that they employed successfully to kill these worms.
The ancient Babylonians had also believed that worms in the form of demons had caused diseases in people.
In Mesopotamia diseases were blamed on pre-existing spirits and gods. Each spirit was held responsible for only one of what we would call a disease in any one part of the body. So usually “Hand of God X” of the stomach corresponds to what we call a disease of the stomach. A number of diseases simply were identified by names, “bennu” for example.
Clay tablets contained more than 100,000 cuneiform scripts belonging to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians who lived in Mesopotamia were collected. In 700 BC, Asurbanipal, the Assyrian king, collected these scripts in a library built in Ninova. Among these tablets there were some parts about toothache. The laws of King Hammurabi, which had been responsible for the lack of surgical development, brought social and legal responsibilities to doctors for the first time.
In Mesopotamia gods and spirits were blamed for diseases.
Among these rules that reached us today is “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. If the person damaged the tooth of another person of the same social class, then his tooth should be removed. However, if he damaged the tooth of another person of lower social class, he was fined 166 gr of silver to be paid to the other person.
By examining the surviving medical tablets it is clear that there were two distinct types of professional medical practitioners in ancient Mesopotamia who also treated toothaches.
The first type of practitioner was the ashipu, in older accounts of Mesopotamian medicine often called a “sorcerer.” One of the most important roles of the ashipu was to diagnose the ailment. In the case of internal diseases, this most often meant that the ashipu determined which god or demon was causing the illness. The ashipu could also attempt to cure the patient by means of charms and spells that were designed to entice away or drive out the spirit causing the disease. The ashipu could also refer the patient to a different type of healer called an asu. He was a specialist in herbal remedies, and in older treatments of Mesopotamian medicine was frequently called “physician” because he dealt in what were often classifiable as empirical applications of medication.
Dentistry has evolved over time from a rather barbaric practice to a technologically advanced industry. Preventative maintenance such as teeth cleanings help people avoid some of the serious problems that people of the past were faced with when it came to teeth.
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Expand for references
Ancient History Encyclopedia – Etruscan Civilization
Loevy HT, Kowitz AA. – The dawn of dentistry: dentistry among the Etruscans
Live Science – Mummy with Mouthful of Cavities Discovered
Gentle Dental – Ancient Dentistry
Xu Y1, MacEntee MI. – The roots of dentistry in ancient China
Dr. Muna – Chinese history of dentistry
Smile The Dental Magazine – Dentistry in Ancient Civilizations
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Dr Tallan Chew, postgraduate student, Adelaide Dental School, University of Adelaide co-authored the study.
“Information about 1096 randomly selected Australian people aged 30-61 was collected through questionnaires, dental records and treatment receipts in 2009. Their self-rated dental health score was checked when they had their dental work and two years later,” she says.
“Patients who had root canal work reported similar oral health-related quality of life as people who had other types of dental work.
“The effect of root canal work on patients’ oral health-related quality of life was compared to other kinds of dental work such as tooth extraction, restoration of teeth, repairs to the teeth or gum treatment, preventative treatment and cleaning.”
Every year millions of root canal treatments are performed globally (more than 22 million in the USA alone), which may have a profound positive effect on the quality of life of patients. A root canal treatment repairs and saves a tooth that is badly decayed or is infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Most people associate having root canal work with a lot of pain and discomfort.
“There is growing interest in the dental profession to better understand the effect and impact oral diseases and their associated treatment, such as root canal work, have on patients’ quality of life,” says Professor Giampiero Rossi-Fedele, Head of Endodontics at Adelaide Dental School, University of Adelaide who co-authored the study.
“A biopsychosocial view of health is increasingly replacing a purely biomedical model.
“Treatment outcomes need to be re-examined from a patient-based perspective using self-reported measures as this more accurately reflects the patients’ perception of treatment outcomes and the effect it has on their overall well-being.
“Patient-reported treatment outcomes are now the principle driving force behind treatment needs, as opposed to clinician-based treatment outcomes.
“With this change in emphasis, the perspectives of patients and their relatives are important factors in identifying need for treatment, treatment planning, and determining outcomes from any health care intervention as part of shared decision making,” says Professor Rossi-Fedele.
Earlier this year, after realizing that the dental needs of patients were not being met in downtown Birmingham, Dr. Robin Pruitt finding this unacceptable, decided to open up a second office, Magic City Dentistry, on 1st Avenue North between 20th and 21st Street next to the Atomic Lounge. And, this is anything but your typical dentist office!
Nearly 25 years of experience
A dentist, doctor, and surgeon, Dr. Pruitt has been practicing dentistry for nearly 25 years at his practice, Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics.
“I went to undergraduate and dental school at UAB. Immediately after I graduated, I purchased an existing practice from Dr. Joe Schilleci. He was going to stay with me for 7 months, but he stayed a little bit longer, about 19 years,” said Dr. Pruitt with a chuckle.
As owner of Magic City Dentistry, Dr. Pruitt wanted to establish a new dental office downtown that was anything but ordinary. He wanted patients to begin to actually like going to the dentist. He wanted his patients to “EXPERIENCE SOMETHING DIFFERENT”
“Your average dental office does what I call your basic “bread and butter” dentistry – your fillings, crowns and cleanings,” stated Pruitt. “When it comes to having teeth surgically removed, sedating patients, root canals, implants surgically placed, gum work and major cosmetic dentistry, most dentists refer that out. Most doctors haven’t received the advanced training in dental school needed to proficiently perform these complex procedures.
What I realized a long time ago is that if you are good at what you do and your patients like you, then they want to stay with you. They don’t want to bounce around and be sent to multiple different doctors. I also learned that in general, no one likes going to the dentist. It’s not a massage day. It’s not a mani-pedi. It’s not a day at the hair salon. So understanding this principle and making the visit to the dentist as enjoyable as possible is what my offices strive for each day as our number one priority.”
A Broad Practice
Over the years, Dr. Pruitt broadened his practice learning, training and techniques especially with all of the things they didn’t teach in dental school like taking wisdom teeth out, learning how to sedate patients, training to become an expert in implantology (implant placement), and with cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics such as Botox and dermal fillers.
“We have patients everyday of the week, male and female, who are in for their regular cleanings and then they stay for a few extra minutes to do Botox,” added Pruitt. “We do a little bit more than just regular dentistry in both my offices. Downtown at Magic City Dentistry and in Vestavia Hills, we do cosmetic dentistry, implant placement, sedation, Zoom whitening, veneers and all types of oral surgery including wisdom teeth. Patients are constantly asking us to change their smile with cosmetic dentistry and Dr. Sollenberger and I do a beautiful job at that”
Passing down love of dentistry to his children
What makes Magic City Dentistry and Dr. Pruitt’s practice in Vestavia special is his love of dentistry. His own personal example has led two of his three sons to choose dentistry for their career.
“I have three sons, 19, 21 and 23 years old. All my sons know, I love what I do career-wise, and never have I said you have got to do this as your profession. But my oldest son Carson is in his 2nd year of dental school. My middle son Chance who is a senior at Auburn, is in the process of interviewing at different dental schools, and hopefully he will be starting dental school in the Fall. My youngest son Cam, who is 19, is starting off as a sophomore at Auburn in business and engineering, but who knows if he’ll end up in dentistry. As my wife says, they all act just like you Robin! I’m not sure if she means that as a compliment. Ha Ha!”
“They see their dad loves to do what he does. I don’t come home and complain about my work. I enjoy seeing the patients, I enjoy making a difference in another individuals life, I enjoy my interactions with people everyday and I love wearing a lot of hats everyday.”
Along with his two dental offices, Dr. Pruitt provides consulting to multiple different Dental offices across the state and owns a dental assistant school that trains about 100 dental assistants a year.
He is a big supporter of the UAB School of Dentistry. He lectures as a volunteer during the school year, and annually hosts along with his wife Kelly, a reception for the school’s Dean, faculty and students at his home. He also regularly travels to Guatemala, to perform much needed dental work and provides oral surgery advanced training to Guatemalan dentists in that country’s impoverished communities.
Magic City Dentistry, a Special Vibe
Dr. Pruitt is especially proud of his Magic City Dentistry office. Built to fit the vibe and feel of the downtown Birmingham scene. The place, with its urbane design, loft appearance and exposed brick walls, looks more like an art gallery than a dental office. In fact, two open house-like events have already been held since July exhibiting the works of local artists John Lytle Wilson and Paul Cordes Wilm.
Most importantly, Magic City Dentistry offers much needed affordable dental services, in the downtown area.
Pruitt summed the new office up best, “We Made it FUN!”
That seems to be the secret of Dr. Pruitt’s success. Having fun, loving what you do and making a difference in other people’s lives.
The post Magic City Dentistry owner Dr. G. Robin Pruitt, Jr. puts FUN in your dental visit appeared first on Bham Now.
The unexpected evolution of oral health.
Throughout a dental career, it is inevitable to experience moments we wish we could take back, re-do or have another chance. Expressed in words of wisdom offered by Bill Gates, “It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”1 The dental hygienist is a primary educator and advocate of patient oral health; a periodontal therapist focused on keeping the integrity of soft tissue, bone, and teeth. If given the time, tools and opportunity, we can likely recall a few, (if not several) patients we wish we could retreat, spend more time educating or complete a more thorough evaluation.
The following case demonstrates how traditional data collection for healthy patients can overlook valuable information over time. Kathy is an existing patient of 10 years. She is happy with her smile, and as a young, accomplished adult she does not have any dental concerns. Historically Kathy has minimal restorative dentistry and previous orthodontic treatment with fixed brackets and wires. Although her original orthodontic treatment was nearly 15 years ago, she still maintains a fixed lower lingual wire. Kathy schedules routine preventive dental hygiene appointments that include radiographs as prescribed, periodontal charting and digital imaging in the form of photography and intraoral camera use. Her dental chart sings praises of healthy tissue color and tone with minimal scanty deposits at every visit.
In 2016, at Kathy’s bi-annual dental hygiene appointment, the dental hygienist of record notes that Kathy has not had any digital photographs taken in 9-years. Annual full-mouth comprehensive periodontal charting and routine bitewing radiographs throughout the 9-years showed little changes to the overall dental hygiene assessment, treatment plan, implementation, and evaluation.
“Shocked” is an understatement when the dental hygienist viewed the pictures of Kathy’s teeth from 2007 and 2016 side by side (Figures 1,2). Many questions surfaced “Why?”, “How?” and “When?” did this happen?
The photographs provided evidence that Kathy’s oral environment had changed. The dental hygienist expressed her concern that Kathy’s teeth were shifting and gums were receding regardless of her fixed orthodontic retainer and good oral self-care habits. Fifty percent of adults between 18-64 years of age present with recession; studies show causes of gingival recession include: trauma, male gender, malpositioned teeth, inflammation, and tobacco consumption.2 Previous notes indicated that orthodontics was suggested at the initial onset of recession however Kathy did not understand the value of treatment as her smile looked fine and she already had braces in the past. The dental hygienist suggests taking an intraoral digital scan with the iTero Element® scanner to do a bite analysis.
The dental hygienist explains to Kathy that the color map of the Occlusogram allows for easy identification of the size of tooth contact, location, symmetry, and intensity of her bite. It provides an instant, relatable visual to the patient to be able to see areas at risk, create awareness and determine interest for prevention strategies. Today’s patients seek a customized experience. Leveraging technology helps make the complicated and sometimes overwhelming diagnosis more manageable and easier to understand. An iTero Element® scan can be captured and processed within minutes for use as an immediate chairside education tool. Existing patient scans can also be accessed using myiTero.com on an operatory computer with internet access; both formats allow access to the Viewer tool and Occlusogram.
Let’s look at Kathy’s Occlusogram (Figure 3). With its intuitive visuals, it was easy to explain how the misplaced pressure on the buccal inclines of the maxillary posterior teeth and buccal surfaces of the mandibular posterior teeth (non-working cusps) could contribute to the collapsing of Kathy’s arch forms, increasing horizontal force vectors and placing additional strain along the gum line due to improper axial stimulation. Vertical forces are less harmful because they provide axial stimulation to the teeth and bone while horizontal forces are extremely damaging via torqueing and off-loading.3 We explain to Kathy, that although her bite is fairly evenly distributed across her back teeth, the pressures are too heavy and not ideally positioned. By looking at the occlusal views, Kathy can also appreciate that the overall arch form has changed since completing her initial orthodontic treatment years ago, setting the stage to show Kathy what can be done to minimize the risk for additional recession.
The iTero Element intraoral scanner offers proprietary software to engage and educate patients about their current dental condition and possible outcomes with clear aligner therapy. To help Kathy comprehend and visualize the goals of treatment, we utilize the Invisalign® Outcome Simulator (Figures 4 and 5). By placing a picture of Kathy’s current dentition next to the simulated outcome, she can see the projected changes to correct the lingual inclinations of her posterior teeth significantly reducing the risk for future gum recession and the overall change in the arch form. The dental hygienist invites the doctor to review and re-enforce her findings.
With practice and teamwork, the dental hygienist and dentist collaborate to assess and diagnose the malocclusion. These conversations are most impactful when supportive and co-operative relationships exist between the dental hygienist and dentist. The dentist continues the conversation by explaining how utilizing clear aligner therapy to position the teeth and the bite correctly would make a difference in Kathy’s overall health, stability, and longevity of her teeth and gums. Providing orthodontic treatment on the ground of deleterious effect of malocclusion and mal-positioned teeth on periodontal condition is justified.4 Cultivating a collaborative effort between the dental hygienist and dentist builds patient confidence and increases treatment acceptance.
Kathy underwent 82-weeks* of clear aligner therapy. By up-righting, the posterior sextants the arch form changed from an omega-shape to a broad, wide arch. The first molar width increased from 27mm to 34mm increasing the overall oral volume. The bite forces were redistributed to support good future teeth, bone and gum health by eliminating deleterious horizontal force vectors. These TimeLapse images (Figures 6 and 7) show how despite re-positioning of the teeth, no additional recession resulted. The dental hygienist will be able to utilize future scans to monitor the existing recession and ensure no “surprises” happen again! Best of all, Kathy feels that her smile is more beautiful and confident than ever (Figures 8 and 9).
In summary, periodontal disease will become more evident once complete records are part of the dental hygiene process of care. Patients must understand their periodontal status to make good health care decisions. When we can perform to the highest standards of our profession, everyone benefits including the patient, the practice, and dental professionals. The periodontal exam is not optional; it is the foundation of how we treat patients today to protect their oral and overall health for the future. However, what is the most valuable records we can accumulate in order to monitor the progression of periodontal disease? With the iTero Element® scanner, dental hygienists can have confidence with data collection and analysis in the form of the Occlusogram, Invisalign® Outcome Simulator and TimeLapse technology to provide exceptional periodontal therapy and recommendations as the oral environment evolves.
Dr. Dana Colson practices wellness-based dentistry in midtown Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 1977. Dr. Colson holds accreditation in several professional organizations, including the ODA, CDA, IAOMT and HAPA. She is a graduate of both the Pankey Institute and a current Mentor at the Kois Center in Seattle. In 2016, she graduated from Rotman Business School, University of Toronto with a global MBA and an eMBA from St. Gallen, Switzerland. Dr. Colson has authored the book, “Your Mouth: The Gateway to a Healthier You” and has lectured extensively in Canada and internationally on Invisalign, lasers, the mouth body connection, cosmetic dentistry and integration of her unique wellness-based approach to dentistry.
Ljiljana Hinton RRDH, a clinician of 20+ years, received her Honours Restorative Dental Hygiene degree from George Brown College where she is a part-time Clinical Instructor. Ljiljana has continued studies in periodontics, esthetics and occlusion with the Kois Center, Spear Education, the Dawson Academy and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. She enjoys her role educating internationally as a Lead Clinical Trainer and Faculty Member with Align®. Ljiljana works full-time in a general practice advocating comprehensive dentistry to optimize patient health.
Moore JI. Bill Gates Quotes About Life, Business and Love [Internet]. Everyday Power Blog. Everyday Power Blog; 2019 [cited 2019Feb6].
Available from: https://everydaypowerblog.com/bill-gates-quotes/
Kassab MM1, Cohen RE.J Am Dent Assoc. 2003 Feb;134(2):200-5
McCoy G. “The Etiology of Gingival Erosion”. J Oral Impanto. 1982
Ngom PI, Diagne F, Benoist HM, Thiam F. “Intraarch and interarch relationships in the anterior teeth and periodontal conditions.” Angle Orthod. 2006 March;76(2)236-42
* Treatment times may vary depending on case complexity and must be determined by the doctor
The opinions expressed in this white paper are those of the author(s) and may not reflect those of Align Technology.
The author was paid an honorarium by Align Technology in connection with this white paper.
©2019 Align Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Invisalign, iTero, iTero Element, the iTero logo, among others, are trademarks and/or service marks of Align Technology, Inc.
or one of its subsidiaries or affiliated companies and may be registered in the U.S. and/or other countries. www.iTero.com | MKT-0003086 Rev A
Nina Kraviz is well-acquainted with the nightlife, but the world of afterhour sets are a far cry from the more violent midnight realm that the techno producer occupies in the new videogame, Cyberpunk, 2077. Out today (December 10) via developers CD Projekt, the game is set in the fictional metropolis of Night City, Calif., where chaos abounds.
It is amidst this virtual landscape that Kraviz appears in the game as a “ripper doc,” an underground type of plastic surgeon who fits people with less-than-legal cybernetics like robotic arms and robotics-enhanced eyes. One of the game’s primary ripper docs, Kraviz has major interaction with other players, fitting them with the same clinical precision that real life Nina used to clean teeth when she worked in dentistry, before her DJ career skyrocketed.
“She has this metal thing on her hand,” Kraviz says of her character, “and it looks like the dental drill that I know so well.”
Recording her lines in English and her native Russian, the producer also made five original tracks for Cyberpunk 2077, contributing to a soundtrack also featuring Run the Jewels, A$AP Rocky, Grimes and more. Her contributions include, she says, “Italo-disco, another murky, trippy techno track, one proper dance banger and… abstract soundscapes.” Watch IRL Kraviz play a live set featuring her music from the game below.
With the game launch, Kraviz joins the list of DJs moonlighting as video stars, with Moodyman, Keinemusik and Palms Trax appearing as resident DJs in the new in game nightclub of Grand Theft Auto V and Diplo showing up as a player in FIFA 21’s Volta Football series.
Here, Kraviz talks about Cyberpunk, music and why she’s been careful to not get too obsessed with gaming.
What compelled you to get involved with this project?
When Cyberpunk approached about collaborating on the in game music, I immediately said “yes.” The idea to compose music for such a special computer game was a dream come true. I felt like the aesthetic and vision of Cyberpunk fit in line with what I’m doing, sound-wise. Later on, we discussed how I could get a bit more involved with the game, and the idea of the in-game character was born.
Are you a gamer yourself?
I feel like I’m a potentially obsessive gamer, so I’m being careful with that. I have to adhere to reasonable disciplinary standards in order to finish my new album.
How collaborative has the process of inserting yourself into the game been?
The look of my character was a total surprise to me! A pleasant one! This was one of the rare occasions where I let loose of control. I have been taking maximum pleasure in my part though: from making the music and dubbing my character in the studio to witnessing the creation of it.
How similar is Cyberpunk Nina to real life Nina?
Did you see that chair in the ripper doc clinic where she works? It’s so reminiscent of a dentist chair in the hospital where I worked. It’s mental. She also has this metal thing on her hand, and it looks like the dental drill that I know so well. It’s thrilling that my former profession was somehow implemented in my character.
There is also this one little detail that I noticed: when you talk to Cyberpunk Nina, she kind of shifts from one foot to another and looks away every now and then. Perhaps it’s because behind this storm-beaten woman dressed in kitschy clothes hides a shy, child-like person. I found it really sweet.
What mood were you attempting to create with your songs on the soundtrack? Was producing for a game in any way different than making music otherwise?
In some tracks, the vibe is very dark and scary, in some very dreamy, but more on the hopeful side. The only difference in terms of production was that on some of the tracks I had the game in mind. I imagined Night City and how it would feel walking or driving there.
Anything else you want to say?
I haven’t been this excited in a very long time. I can’t wait to play the game myself and drive around Night City listening to my own radio station in the car. I heard the city is quite big, and by the time I get to one of the six ripper doc clinics in the game I would probably get the chance to test all my songs on the radio. Mental!
The last week of February marked my fifth trip to Guatemala as a volunteer with the Open Wide Foundation. I traveled with my colleagues, Spear dentists Dr. Everett Heringer and Dr. Rick Timm, along with our families and staff from our practices. It was inconceivable at the time that the trip would mark the last week of volunteers in the Open Wide clinic for the reminder of 2020 due to the global emergence of COVID-19. When I returned home to Atlanta, I presented a photo slideshow of our trip to my staff and listened to the office buzz … “Dr. Merriman just returned from Guatemala …” It became clear to me that my patient community wanted to know what I do beyond this practice. Sharing my contribution to the story of Open Wide makes my staff and patients proud to incorporate “How we give back” into our office culture.
During one of my initial trips, I brought my daughter to experience a week in the Open Wide clinic in Peronia. It was shortly after the clinic was built by the local community in collaboration with the Open Wide Foundation and it was open year-round and staffed by the local municipal dental team. At this early point, it was only practical to focus on basic dentistry. One morning, I had a 14-year-old girl sit in my chair who had an abscess and caries exposure on an upper molar. I will never forget it. As I do in my practice in Atlanta, I told her and her mom, through the translator, that she needed a root canal. “We must get her sent over to get this done,” I said. Her mom without hesitation replied, “That’s not going to work. We can’t afford a root canal. Please, just extract it.” That was not something that I wanted to do; she had beautiful teeth except for this one. But I also could not leave her in immense pain. Reluctantly, I extracted the tooth. It just left me in an emotional moment, thinking, “That’s not what I feel good about.” I knew extractions were necessary on most outreach trips where the resources are unavailable to save a tooth. Still that time, I’ll never forget, I was at lunch and I could feel my daughter watching me talk about it with such emotion. That interaction really led me to see how we might be able to do more here. I realized it could be possible to provide quality restorative work in the Open Wide dental clinics.
Supporting the development of permanent clinics in underserved areas that would eventually be adopted by the local communities was exactly what the founders had in mind when envisioning the foundation. At Spear Summit 2011, I remember myself and many other Faculty Club members deciding to say “yes” to the initial call by Glen Wysel and Imtiaz Manji to invest in the development of the Open Wide Foundation – before the actual clinic in Peronia was even built. The mantra was “Open Minds, Open Hearts.” It was a heart tug that made me say “yes.” I could just hear my daughter’s voice and I knew she would go if I asked her. To step out into an experience like this, in a developing country, I needed to be able to trust it was going to be safe to bring my family and it was going to be set up where I could use my skills to truly serve the people. I trusted that Spear leaders would put things together in a quality way because Spear had such a network for success.
From the beginning we recognized in Guatemala similar needs that many of us had witnessed while doing mission dentistry in other remote areas across the globe. Dentistry is not often a priority in communities where good health care is unaffordable and families struggle to feed their families. In most impoverished areas there are no trained dentists or established clinics. Guatemala has the highest rate of caries in the Western Hemisphere. Those were reasons enough to start there.
Empowering Guatemalan communities with restorative dentistry
This groundwork of permanent clinics with ongoing care really made it possible for the advanced restorative program to get a foothold. Our volunteer group was collectively moving in that direction, to the point that it evolved to program committee planning where we now can review patient cases as a team, months in advance of a trip. To support us, the local staff selects patients and sends photographs, X-rays and the patient charts so that we can prepare our materials. (Our corporate representatives from Brassler, Cosmedent, Ultradent and Patterson are so generous in their support of donated materials that we often have leftover supplies to leave at the clinic.) This allows us to be prepared when we arrive, so we can focus on complex cases. Many who have missing front teeth or badly decayed front teeth are made whole again. With a restored smile, the patients we serve will have access to more opportunities in life … it is clear they value their smiles just as much as we do
What I will say about Open Wide – is that the foundation has such a network for success; it is always being improved. The organization’s vision stays focused on the concept of sustainability. The teaching we do with local Guatemalan dental students and dentists during our advanced restorative weeks, gives them the tools and training to be able to do it themselves after we’ve returned to the U.S. It is such a unique experience to share your skillset, time and money in a sustainable model and watch it resonate in the community for years to come. What we are accomplishing in our advanced restorative week is lasting. We are teaching the dental students and staff, who come up and watch us work at the chair, how to do the best clinical work possible. Over the years, I have seen the local team become more engaged and inspired to apply what they are learning. The staff and students are now following standard operating procedures and protocols developed and written by Open Wide’s team of dentists. Most recently, newly written COVID-19 protocols developed with guidance from Open Wide dentists and health experts in the field of infection control have guided the process of reopening when the time comes.
The staff we have worked with over the last 10 years will keep striving to improve and they will continue to have our support when they need it. Support not just from Spear dentists, but from the partnership with manufacturers such as A-dec and Dentsply Sirona who have provided critical equipment that has led to the Peronia clinic being known as the most technically advanced public dental clinic in Central America.
Advanced Restorative Week in Guatemala
There are so many patients that have impacted me over the years. These patients are incredible. Patients travel many hours overnight across the country in buses in preparation for an appointment during advanced restorative week. Access to these services are very rare in the public health setting around the world and the patients selected know that. They are so appreciative, grateful and you know that it is a pure situation that is rewarding to see. When we hand a mirror to the patients – and that could be any of the eight that we saw that week – as you see them looking at themselves, you just see the look on their face and it’s an amazing expression to see. You just can’t believe how they react, and nothing is taken for granted.
One of my colleagues, Open Wide Foundation Clinical Director Dr. Mike Johnson, shared one of his unforgettable memories about when one of his team members had completed eight upper anterior composite veneers on the teeth of a young lady in her 20s whose mouth was riddled with tooth decay. After three hours of tedious work, they gave her a mirror. She was speechless at first and then burst into tears. She told them, “I am one of nine children from a very poor family and this is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.” Being able to use our skills to give patients such a life-changing experience is a feeling difficult to put into words.
There is no amount of money that could substitute for those experiences. The local staff call us the “crying dentists,” and we hope that patients know that we’re crying because we are touched to see patients look in the mirror with their new smiles, not because we are tired after working at the dental chair for four hours. Those experiences are just too numerous to name them all. It is just every time you work on these people, they are so grateful.
COVID-19 in Guatemala – not just numbers on a chart
Since the pandemic has forced the closures of Open Wide clinics and borders, volunteers have had to postpone their trips and find new ways to support the work in Guatemala.
The COVID-19 numbers we see on the charts or hear in the news about Guatemala aren’t just data to us. They are real people, many of them friends. In response to the immediate needs since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Open Wide was able to donate its clinic inventory of 1,300 masks and 4,200 gloves to be used in “The Market,” which is the public health service complex for the Municipality of Villa Nueva that includes Peronia. The local team in Guatemala continued to support their municipality, working as public health responders during the shelter in place order issued by the government. Open Wide worked with the team throughout the summer to develop COVID-19 protocols to prepare them to present them to the Municipal Directors of Health, as required.
We are not there and can’t be there right now, but we still want to make sure that all the effort that has been put forth to make Open Wide’s mission a success continues. We want to sustain this work. That’s the whole point of sustainability – meaning we support start-up clinics in underserved communities with equipment and supplies, and then we mentor, train and teach local dentists so that they can continue when we go home. But we still need to get over the hurdle that COVID-19 has created for us. Open Wide’s program funding comes from donations given by each volunteer team that works in the clinics, so when volunteers can’t go, the funding stops. So, I think we must recognize that we must step up to ensure that we, keep it viable.
Personally, I can’t wait to get back to Guatemala again. Hopefully restrictions will be lifted by February 2022, when my next trip is scheduled. But if I had to say to anybody who’s thinking about doing this trip to the clinic or volunteering – I wish I hadn’t waited so long to have done something like this. But I’m glad when I did, that I did. If you are thinking about volunteering, you could go by yourself or with someone. If I had a preference, it would be to share this experience with someone as I do with my family, staff and colleagues.
Jim Merriman, D.M.D., F.A.G.D., is a Spear Faculty Club and Visiting Faculty member in private practice in Atlanta.
How to support Open Wide’s efforts in Guatemala
As 2021 dawns, there’s a line of teams waiting to go. Open Wide still doesn’t know for sure when that will be as it cannot know when COVID-19 advisories will be lifted. But until then, the foundation continues to move forward with gratitude for all the volunteers and donors who have been steadfast in their commitment to the work they set out to do 10 years ago. During this COVID-19 pause, Open Wide leaders spent some time looking back at thousands of photos shared by volunteers and hundreds of stories told, like Dr. Merriman’s. They are inspired by friendships across borders, camaraderie among volunteer teams, adventure and fun, and of helping others and, in doing so, returning home with life-changing memories to share, as Jim does, with staff and patients.
Open Wide is about more than words a dentist speaks to a patient. It is an opening of the mind, the heart, the spirit. It is about opening a door to a better way of life. It means to give generously and in doing so receive far more than you could have hoped for.
OPEN MOUTHS. OPEN HEARTS. OPEN MINDS.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners recommends adult horses receive annual oral and dental exams by licensed veterinarians. Doing so can help horses avoid nutritional and behavioral issues related to tooth pain. To help you brush up on your equine dental knowledge, we’ve scoured our archives and collected 10 important resources available to you for free on TheHorse.com.
Find more equine dentistry information by searching “dentistry” or by visiting the dentistry and dental problem subtopics on TheHorse.com.
ARTICLE: Study: Dental Work Improves Feed Digestibility in Horses Increased feed digestibility means greater conversion of feed to energy and–ideally–reduced feed bills.
ARTICLE: EOTRH: An Important Dental Condition in Aged Horses Scientists reviewed research on this painful disease that affects a horse’s teeth, gums, and bone.
ARTICLE: Signs Your Horse Needs a Dental Exam Are your horse’s teeth bothering him? Here are some common signs to watch for.
ARTICLE: Complications Rare Following Equine Tooth Extractions Researchers reviewed dental records from 428 tooth extractions. Here’s what they found.
ARTICLE: The Evolution of Equids and Dental Work The modern horse’s dentition results from millions of years of evolution in response to changing food sources and climates. Likewise, how veterinarians treat today’s equine teeth must evolve and improve constantly.
ARTICLE: Equine Wolf Teeth While these teeth usually don’t pose a health risk to the horse, they are often removed in performance horses.
ARTICLE: Back to Basics: Equine Dental Terminology and Anatomy Having a basic understanding of dental anatomy and terminology can help owners comprehend this complex topic.
SLIDESHOW: Equine Dental Care and Health Dental care is an important part of keeping a horse healthy and happy throughout his life. Learn about common tooth problems and regular dental care in this slideshow.
ARTICLE: Year by Year, Tooth by Tooth Answers to equine dental-care questions will vary with each individual horse and circumstance. Horses do, however, have some general tendencies based on age, gender, career, overall health, and dental health that provide guidelines from which to make recommendations.
SPONSORED ARTICLE: What to Expect During Your Horse’s Dental Exam Dental exams are safe, routine procedures that will keep your horse feeling his best all year.
Tooth Decay or Cavity? Study Finds No Drill Dentistry Works
Turns out that the research of Dr. Weston A. Price DDS from early in the last century wasn’t so far fetched after all.
No Drill Approach to Tooth Decay
Many holistic dentists already employ a no-drill approach to a lot of the tooth decay that presents in their offices.
However, most conventional dentists have been slow to get on board.
Now, with this new study, perhaps more will stop poo-pooing consumers who wish to be more conservative in the treatment of dental decay issues.
Wendell Evans, the lead author of the study published in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, had this to say about the findings:
It’s unnecessary for patients to have fillings because they’re not required in many cases of dental decay. This research signals the need for a major shift in the way tooth decay is managed by dentists… Our study shows that a preventative approach has major benefits compared to current practice. (1, 2)
The bottom line is that dental decay is not a rapidly progressing disease that most believe it to be.
Dental Decay vs Cavity
As it turns out, there is a big difference between simple tooth decay and a full-blown cavity.
Most importantly, Dr. Evans and his team found that dental decay does not always progress.
… it takes an average of four to eight years for decay to progress from the tooth’s outer layer (enamel) to the inner layer (dentine). That is plenty of time for the decay to be detected and treated before it becomes a cavity and requires a filling. (3)
Evans suggests that developing a set of protocols called the Caries Management System (CMS) can prevent, stop and even reverse (YES REVERSE) tooth decay long before a drill is necessary. 30-50% of patients respond well to this approach.
[The CMS] showed that early decay could be stopped and reversed and that the need for drilling and filling was reduced dramatically. A tooth should be only be drilled and filled where an actual hole-in-the-tooth (cavity) is already evident. (4)
These pictures of reversed tooth decay serve as an easy example of what can be done at home with dietary intervention alone. For even more visuals, check out these photos of another patient who resolved issues with dental decay.
Does your dentist insist on drilling early decay right away without even attempting to reverse it first?
If so, your dentist might not be up on the current research which suggests an important difference between tooth decay and a cavity that truly requires a drill.
Perhaps it’s time to get a second opinion from a holistic natural dentist!
The picture above is the sign outside the office of my dentist Dr. Carlo Litano of Natural-Smiles.com – (727) 300-0044.
Call around in your community and see if they offer similar services for young children as well as adults.
If you live in the Central Florida area and decide to see Dr. Litano, be sure to tell him that you are a Healthy Home Economist reader and get 10% off your first visit!
(1) Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (Volume 47, Issue 2)
Since 2002, Sarah has been a Health and Nutrition Educator dedicated to helping families effectively incorporate the principles of ancestral diets within the modern household.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, her work has been covered by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.
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Oral health is an essential part of overall hygiene and well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities, gum disease, and gum infection, which, if left untreated, can lead to systemic inflammation. Recently, a number of dental products containing cannabidiol (CBD) and other plant cannabinoids have been introduced to the marketplace. While we’ve seen plenty of outlandish products of dubious benefit (such as CBD-infused pillows and sportswear) come to market lately, CBD products may actually have a promising future in oral health.
When one talks about cannabis therapeutics, oral health has not generally been a topic that figures in the discussion. But recent data suggests that cannabinoids could become a staple in the dental field in the years ahead. Several toothpaste manufacturers have taken note of research showing that CBD and other plant cannabinoids have antimicrobial properties relevant to dental care.1 infused toothpastes and mouthwashes.
Better than Colgate
A 2020 study conducted by researchers in Belgium showed that cannabinoids were more effective in reducing the bacterial colony count in dental plaques as compared to well-established synthetic oral care products, such as Oral B and Colgate. To demonstrate this, the researchers recruited sixty healthy adults and arranged them into six different groups based on the Dutch periodontal scoring index (DPSI) representing different levels of gum health.2
CBD products may have a promising future in oral health
Samples of plaque were collected from intradental spaces between their teeth, and the samples were then plated on two separate Petri dishes. Four divisions in the dishes were then made, and on each section, cannabinoid (12.5%) or toothpaste (undiluted) was spread/streaked on the surface of the agar plate using microbrush applicator. On Petri dish A, a combination of four plant cannabinoids – CBD, cannabichromene (CBC), cannabiniol (CBN), and cannabigerol (CBG) – were used. And on Petri dish B, cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), Oral B, Colgate, and Cannabite F (a toothpaste formulation of pomegranate and algae) were used. The resulting bacterial colony count was much higher in the Colgate, Oral B and Cannabite F treatments, whereas significantly less colony count was observed in all the cannabinoid treatments.
In a subsequent study, the same group of researchers demonstrated that cannabinoid infused mouthwashes containing CBD and CBG at <1% (that did not contain alcohol or fluoride) were as effective as 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwashes in reducing dental plaque. This is both an intriguing and important finding since chlorhexidine mouthwashes are currently considered the gold standard in the field of dentistry for plaque reduction. This second study followed a similar design as the previous study, recruiting 72 healthy adults and placing them in different groups based on their DPSI scores and subsequently harvesting and plating plaques from intradental spaces in each patient. Zones of microbial inhibition were measured to compare the efficacy of each product.3
Based on these findings, it appears that cannabinoid formulations produce desirable results, perhaps even more so than traditional chlorhexidine mouthwashes, which have a propensity to stain teeth when used with regularity.
By highlighting the potential of CBD and other plant cannabinoids in the prevention of dental plaque formation, these two studies hint that the role of cannabinoids in dentistry could be vast. However, it’s important to caveat that these are preliminary in vitro studies, and in vivo studies and clinical trials are needed to fully assess the long-term safety and efficacy of CBD-infused dental hygiene products. Additionally, it is paramount that these findings be replicated by other groups, especially given that the authors of these papers have a financial stake in their findings. In particular, Stahl is a founder of CannIBite, a company involved in making cannabinoid infused dental products.
Kyle Boyar is a cannabis scientist with a background in neurobiology, microbiology, and analytical chemistry. He is currently employed as the Director of Product Science at TagLeaf and also serves as Vice Chair and Awards Committee Chair for the ).
Copyright, Project CBD. May not be reprinted without permission.
- Cannabinoids and cannabis extracts are known to possess antimicrobial properties through their olivetol core, which serves as the pharmacophore for this activity. A pharmacophore refers to the part of a compound’s molecular structure that’s responsible for a specific biological or pharmacological interaction with a trigger or target.
- Stahl V, Vasudevan K. Comparison of Efficacy of Cannabinoids versus Commercial Oral Care Products in Reducing Bacterial Content from Dental Plaque: A Preliminary Observation. Cureus. 2020 Jan 29;12(1):e6809. doi: 10.7759/cureus.6809. PMID: 32038896; PMCID: PMC6991146.
- Vasudevan, K., Stahl, V. Cannabinoids infused mouthwash products are as effective as chlorhexidine on inhibition of total-culturable bacterial content in dental plaque samples. J Cannabis Res 2, 20 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-020-00027-z
New knowledge on the cellular makeup and growth of teeth can expedite developments in the treatment of tooth sensitivity and regenerative dentistry—a biological therapy for damaged teeth. The study, which was conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, is published in Nature Communications.
Teeth develop through a complex process in which soft tissue, including connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels, is bonded with three types of hard tissue into a functional body part. As an explanatory model for this process, scientists often use the mouse incisor, which grows continuously and is renewed throughout the animal’s life.
Despite the fact that the mouse incisor has often been studied in a developmental context, many fundamental questions about the tooth cells, stem cells and their differentiation and cellular dynamics remain to be answered.
Using a single-cell RNA sequencing method and genetic tracing, researchers at Karolinska Institutet, the Medical University of Vienna in Austria and Harvard University in the U.S. have now identified and characterized all cell populations in mouse teeth and in the young growing and adult human teeth.
“From stem cells to the completely differentiated adult cells, we were able to decipher the differentiation pathways of odontoblasts, which give rise to dentine—the hard tissue closest to the pulp—and ameloblasts, which give rise to the enamel,” say the study’s last author Igor Adameyko at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, and co-author Kaj Fried at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet. “We also discovered new cell types and cell layers in teeth that can have a part to play in tooth sensitivity.”
Some of the finds can also explain certain complicated aspects of the immune system in teeth, and others shed new light on the formation of tooth enamel, the hardest tissue in our bodies.
“We hope and believe that our work can form the basis of new approaches to tomorrow’s dentistry. Specifically, it can expedite the fast expanding field of regenerative dentistry, a biological therapy for replacing damaged or lost tissue.”
The results have been made publicly accessible in the form of searchable interactive user-friendly atlases of mouse and human teeth. The researchers believe that they should prove a useful resource not only for dental biologists but also for researchers interested in development and regenerative biology in general.
Jan Krivanek et al. Dental cell type atlas reveals stem and differentiated cell types in mouse and human teeth, Nature Communications (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18512-7
Breakthrough for tomorrow’s dentistry speeds tooth sensitivity treatments (2020, September 23)
retrieved 23 September 2020
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
A young woman who got 613 points in the 2019 Leaving Certificate has withdrawn her High Court challenge over the manner in which Leaving Cert grades were standardised this year after getting a place on her course of choice.
Martha Woods, who claimed standardisation had unfairly impacted on her ambition to pursue a dentistry career, has withdrawn her case because she has since secured a place on her chosen course, dentistry in UCC.
In her case, Ms Woods, Millbrook House, Murragh, Enniskeane, Co Cork, had said the points for dentistry in UCC rose this year from 590 points to 613, the final applicants for that course all had 613 points, places were allocated by random selection and she failed to get a place.
When her action came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan last week, he accepted it was a “very important” matter but adjourned it for a week after expressing concern about the courts’ ability to accommodate early hearings of a multiplicity of cases concerning the 2020 Leaving Cert grading process.
When the case returned before the judge today, he was told Ms Woods has obtained a place on the UCC Dentistry course and was as a result withdrawing her case.
Ms Woods, represented by Pearse Sreenan SC, instructed by Amy Connolly, of Cantillons Solicitors, had brought the judicial review proceedings against the Minister for Education, State Examinations Commission, the State, CAO and UCC.
Mr Justice Meenan said he was pleased with the outcome and wished Ms Woods every success at university and in her career.
Separately, the judge has said he will treat another case initiated earlier this month as the lead case addressing issues with the 2020 Leaving Cert process and hoped to give that an early hearing date.
That case is by Áine Finnegan, from Fairview, Dublin, who missed out on a place in Medicine at Trinity College Dublin by two points after three of her calculated grades were reduced.
The judge expected the outcome of the Finnegan case would decide some or all of the issues raised in other cases, adding parties in other cases may seek to be joined to the lead case.
Going to the dentist can be a stressful experience, especially for younger children. That’s why Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics is trying a new strategy. Meet Presley, the new emotional support dog helping patients smile and relax!
The Importance of Emotional Support Animals
Dogs have long played an integral role in the American family, offering unconditional love and—of course—lots of snuggles. In fact, research shows that close contact with dogs can help lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and improve overall health. However, the concept of a live-in pet has been lagging behind in the dental field—until now!
A couple of months ago, Dr. Pruitt of Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics announced his new employee—a toy Aussiedoodle named Presley. Aside from being adorable, Presley is being trained to provide comfort and affection—and to detect when patients need it.
If a patient is nervous or uncertain, Presley will place her head on a patient’s lap, climb into the dentist’s chair and wag her tail or offer her soft fur to calm a patient’s nervous system and remind the patient that everything will be okay. For most appointments, Presley just sleeps in the patients lap during the procedure. I can’t say I blame her—being adorable 24/7 must be exhausting!
“Adding an emotional support animal to the practice is something that I have been thinking of doing for quite a while. With all that is going on in the world, I could not think of a better time to incorporate Presley into the practice. What she provides to the patients is immeasurable—she is my new essential healthcare worker.”
Dr. Pruitt, Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics
Here’s what patients have to say about Presley
From elderly patients to young children, Presley has been a hit at Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics. Here’s what a few patients have said about Presley:
Tracey: “Having Presley to pet and hold during my multiple dental procedures helped me to stay relaxed and calm. She is so adorable! She took my mind off of my mouth and all I could think about was how I could put her in my purse and take her home with me! Such an added benefit of being a patient of Dr Pruitt and Vestavia Family Dentistry!”
Olivia, age 11: “I really don’t like getting my teeth cleaned but when I found out Presley was there, she comforted me so much and now I’m never scared to get my teethed cleaned at that office again! The only bad thing was that I couldn’t take her home with me. She’s such a nice sweet puppy!”
Miranda: “I was very anxious about my dental appointment, and that’s when Dr. Pruitt brought Presley in. She is such a sweet puppy and being able to love on her during my appointment was very comforting and helped me relax. It was a special experience for me and definitely one I’ll never forget. I’m grateful for Dr. Pruitt and Presley for a truly unforgettable dental visit.”
Carson Pruitt: “Even as a dental student, I can relate to patients in that I also do not like going to the dentist. Having Presley in my lap for the duration of my appointment really helped with my dental anxiety and is something unique to Vestavia Family Dentistry. Every dentist should have a trained dental anxiety dog, like Presley, to help ease patients at their appointments and to help them forget they are sitting in a dental chair!”
Kala: “I love Presley, I’m starting to want one just like her. She made all of my dental appointments go by so smooth and easy and she helped to keep me relaxed and calm. I said I would never get another dog but she might have changed my heart.”
Want to meet Presley?
- Connect: 205.823.3223 | Email | Website | Facebook | Instagram
- Address: 2816 Columbiana Rd, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
- Hours: 7AM-5PM, Monday-Thursday; Call for availability Friday; Closed Saturday and Sunday
If you want a chance to meet Presley, plan a visit to Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics. The team has been taking extra precautions to stay safe at the office, including taking the temperature of each guest and asking a short questionnaire.
Swing by Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics to meet Presley—and be sure to tag @bhamnow with your thoughts!
The post Meet Presley, the new emotional support puppy at Vestavia Family Dentistry appeared first on Bham Now.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, small businesses across the country have had to make changes to stay in operation. Bellingham Pediatric Dentistry has implemented new technology to not only better protect their patients from transmission of COVID-19, but to change kids’ experience at the dentist altogether.
“We were closed down for two and a half months,” says Dr. Sawyer Negro, pediatric dentist and owner of Bellingham Pediatric Dentistry, referring to the initial coronavirus lockdown in March and April. “It really gave us a good time to pivot and accelerate where I wanted my practice to go, so that I could be delivering the most compassionate care to all of my families and kids.”
Part of Dr. Sawyer’s business pivot was to implement use of the Solea dental laser. It’s the first dental laser to be cleared by the FDA as safe and effective for both hard and soft tissues, meaning the hard enamel that covers teeth as well as the surrounding gums. Because of the type of energy the laser uses and the tiny wavelength at which it operates, the Solea allows Dr. Sawyer and his team at Bellingham Pediatric Dentistry to offer patients a safer and more comfortable dental experience.
Dr. Sawyer most frequently uses the laser for filling cavities and frenectomies, a procedure in which he operates on infants with a constriction in their tongue or lip that is inhibiting them from successfully breastfeeding. With the Solea laser, he is able perform the frenectomies knowing that infants will feel less post-operative discomfort. The way the laser energy penetrates into the tissue provides natural analgesia, causing the area to be numb for about four to six hours.
“Often these little one-month-olds come out of the procedure smiling,” Dr. Sawyer says. “It’s one of my favorite parts of my practice.”
The natural numbing is true for most cases where Dr. Sawyer uses the Solea laser, which also helps him be more efficient in seeing his patients. Instead of having to give kids a shot of local anesthetic, wait until it takes effect, and then come back to administer a procedure—which takes more time and often ends up requiring more than one visit to the dentist—Dr. Sawyer can fill a cavity or do another simple procedure during a routine teeth-cleaning appointment.
The efficient and relatively pain-free nature of the Solea laser was a big motivator for its implementation.
“I always try to view my patients as my own kids and how I would like to treat them,” says Dr. Sawyer. “If I don’t have to give my daughter the scariest part of the dental visit, of course I’m going to go for that option.”
If he’s able to take away the connotation that going to the dentist is scary or every time you go to the dentist you have to get a shot, that will be a success for Dr. Sawyer.
“I’m really trying to reshape the dental experience, so that these kids can grow up to be young adults with healthy smiles and low dental fear anxiety, so they don’t have to dread it,” he says. “There are so many adults who avoid going to the dentist and then end up with larger cavities that get out of control.”
The Solea laser also allows Bellingham Pediatric Dentistry to lower the chance of coronavirus transmission within their office. The laser greatly reduces the aerosolization of particles from the mouth that could spread around the clinic, because it operates with about 75 percent less air pressure than a conventional hand drill.
The laser also kills any viruses or bacteria with which it comes into contact. The Solea uses thermal energy at a temperature that far exceeds the temperature required to kill viruses and bacteria. So if a patient were carrying the virus in their saliva, any saliva that gets pushed out of their mouth wouldn’t still carry the virus.
Dental lasers have existed within the industry for several decades, but this laser is the first FDA-certified laser for all tissues. By targeting collagen and hydroxyapatite—the main component of enamel—the Solea laser helps decrease potential bleeding after a surgery and provides the natural numbing.
While it doesn’t mean he will never have to use a conventional drill or a numbing shot again, Dr. Sawyer is proud to be the first dentist in Whatcom County to be using a Solea laser.
“Just having this option [so] I can do work without having to get the kids numb is, I think, revolutionary,” he says. “The technology is great, but it’s really about their experience, and making sure they have a good experience to carry with them through the rest of their lives.”
Up to 99.9% Reduction in Aerosols & Splatter
Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, dentists are understandably concerned with the risk of disease transmission from patient to practitioner and staff. There is evidence that aerosol generated during dental procedures may harbor active pathogens that can infect the dentist or hygienist. Small, invisible particles may contain these pathogens to a small extent, but larger droplets and splatter are likely to contain significant concentrations of these active pathogens and are less easily removed by nearby suction.
To investigate how Solea® can help dental practices reduce the risk of transmission, the Convergent Dental R&D team designed two structured and controlled studies: a macroscopic and a microscopic. Study results demonstrate that Solea supports safer dentistry by reducing aerosols and splatter by up to 99.9% compared to the traditional drill.
Solea vs. the Drill: General Device Settings
The studies described below were performed by a dentist in a dental clinic using a conventional high-speed drill and the Solea all-tissue laser. Each study also used an HVE suction device during each procedure.
High-speed drills rotate at speeds up to 400,000 rpm, use air pressures in the range of 30-40 psi, and utilize water flows in the range of 30-60 ml/min. The high-speed drill used in this study rotated at 350,000 rpm, used 30 psi air pressure, and used a 50 ml/min water flow rate. These settings followed manufacturer approved guidelines and were deemed acceptable by the dentist.
Solea has a range of settings that can be adjusted by the practitioner. For this study, the following manufacturer approved guidelines were used: 10 PSI, 8 ml/min water flow, 50% cutting speed and 1.25mm spot size. These settings were deemed acceptable by the dentist.
Macroscopic Testing: Splatter Spread and Visualization
The objective of the macroscopic approach was to obtain a visualization of the splatter and droplet spread generated during a hard-tissue dental procedure. To mimic this, extracted human molars were placed in a model of a human head, and mounted in normal positions inside the mouth. To clearly view the splatter created, food dye was added to the water reservoirs in both Solea’s and the chair’s system. The high-speed drill and laser were each operated for ~10 seconds.
The drill generated splatter as far as 45cm while Solea only produced minimal detectable splatter a few millimeters from the mouth (Figure 1). The study confirmed that Solea produces, at a minimum, 97% less splatter than the drill.
Figure 1. Images showing the splatter (darker color) generated by High Speed Handpiece and Solea on a cover sheet located above the operatory chair.
Microscopic Testing: Quantification of Splatter Concentration
The aim of this study was to quantify splatter and aerosol residue created directly outside of the oral cavity. Extracted human molars were again placed in a model of a human head and food dye was added to the water reservoirs in both Solea’s and the chair’s system. Glass slides were placed at various distances from the tooth, and both the drill and laser were used to cut following the clinical settings previously described. The slides were then examined under a microscope to compare splatter coverage (Figure 2).
A computer program (ImageJ) was used to quantify and compare the total coverage area of the residue.
The study results show that Solea produces ~98% less splatter at 2mm from the tooth, and ~99.9% less splatter at 8mm (Figure 3). Compared to the drill, Solea produces exponentially less splatter as you measure farther from the tooth.
Figure 2: Example splatter coverage on glass slides at 2cm from the tooth.
Figure 3: Quantification of splatter coverage at various distances from the tooth.
These structured and controlled studies corroborate that Solea supports safer dentistry by reducing dental splatter and aerosols by up to 99.9% compared to traditional handpieces. Solea achieves this by utilizing ~67-83% less water flow, ~74% less air pressure, and by cutting without contact, as opposed to drills, which cut using burs that spin at up to 400,000 RPM.
These findings support recent guidance provided by the ADA, recommending dentists use clinical techniques that “reduce aerosol production as much as possible, as the transmission of COVID-19 seems to occur via droplets and aerosols.”
REFERENCES: 1. Ando Y, Aoki A, Watanabe H, Ishikawa I. Bactericidal effect of erbium YAG laser on periodonto-pathic bacteria. Laser Surg Med 1996;19(2):190-200. 2. Cavalcanti BN, Seraidarian PI, Rode SM Water flow in high-speed handpieces: Quintessence International vol 36 (5) 2005 3. Miyazaki A, Yamaguchi t, Nishikata J,Okuda K, Suda S,mOrim K, Koboyashi T, Yamazaki K, Yoshikawa E, Yoshie H. Effects of Nd:YAG and CO2 laser treatment and ultrasonic scaling on periodontal pockets of chronic periodotitis patients. J Periodontol 2003;74(2):175-180. 4. Niemz MH, Laser Tissue Interaction: Fundamentals and Applications, Springer 2003. 5. Olivi G, Genovese MD, Caprioglio C. Evidence-based dentistry on laser paediatric dentistry: Review and outlook. Eur J Paediatr Dent 2009;10(1):29-40. 6. Russell AD, Lethal effects of heat on bacterial physiology and structure. Sci Prog 2003;86(1-2):115-137.
The post Reducing Aerosols and Splatter for Safer Dentistry with Solea<sup>®</sup> appeared first on Convergent Dental.
This Mercury-Free Dentistry Week, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Consumers for Dental Choice, the nonprofit advocates moving mercury-free dentistry from dream to reality.
From protecting dentists’ right to practice without mercury-laden dental amalgam fillings to obtaining mandated fact sheets to inform patients about amalgam’s mercury content, to bans and restrictions on amalgam use around the world, Consumers for Dental Choice and its leader, former state Attorney General Charlie Brown, are making mercury-free dentistry more widely available than ever before.
And, that progress is starting to sway the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the chief regulator of dental amalgam, at the federal level. Thanks to your donations, Consumers for Dental Choice has reopened the door for FDA action against amalgam.
I ask that you continue your support by donating at ToxicTeeth.org, and I will match all donations during Mercury-Free Dentistry Week (August 23 to 29, 2020) up to $150,000. So, double your impact today. Together, we can win the campaign for mercury-free dentistry at FDA that has come so far.
>>>>> Click Here <<<<<
Consumers for Dental Choice Sues the FDA — and Wins
The FDA is legally required to classify — that is, issue a rule for — all medical devices, including dental amalgam. But for 30 years, FDA dodged its legal duty to classify amalgam.
Consumers for Dental Choice put an end to FDA’s negligence. In 2008, this dynamic nonprofit organization assembled plaintiffs and sued FDA, demanding that amalgam be classified. The judge agreed and told FDA to sit down with Consumers for Dental Choice to determine a deadline. FDA was compelled to commit to classifying amalgam by July 2009.
But when July 2009 came around it was clear the FDA had not considered the science — especially the evidence of harm amalgam can cause vulnerable populations like children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Its abysmal rule reflected it, posing no restrictions on amalgam use to protect the public — or even requiring that patients be told that amalgam is made of mercury.
Nonetheless, FDA’s rule acknowledged that amalgam could be harmful and that there was no proof of safety for the populations most susceptible to this toxin:
“The developing neurological systems in fetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor. Very limited to no clinical information is available regarding long-term health outcomes in pregnant women and their developing fetuses, and children under the age of six, including infants who are breastfed.”
Fortunately, Consumers for Dental Choice never puts all its eggs in one basket. So, Charlie and his team challenged FDA’s rule while pursuing other opportunities to advance mercury-free dentistry, like defeating pro-mercury state dental boards, fighting for amalgam fact sheet laws for patients at the state level and getting amalgam into the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
And as Consumers for Dental Choice racked up win after win — regaining licenses for mercury-free dentists persecuted by state boards, gaining fact sheets to protect dental patients, achieving an amalgam reduction requirement in the Minamata Convention — the FDA’s rule became more and more outdated and the U.S. slipped further and further behind.
Consumers for Dental Choice’s Game-Changing Return to FDA
Almost a decade after the FDA issued its flawed amalgam rule, Consumers for Dental Choice launched a nonstop campaign focused on getting FDA moving again on amalgam. And that campaign is starting to bear fruit. To succeed, Consumers for Dental Choice brought a whole new ball game to the FDA, giving the agency even more reasons to act.
First, Consumers for Dental Choice assembled an accomplished team of experts to approach the FDA. In 2018, they unveiled the Chicago Declaration to End Mercury Use in the Dental Industry at the University of Illinois School of Public Health.
This declaration, signed by 50-plus heavy-hitter environmental groups, called on the FDA “to bring its policies in line with the Federal Government as a whole and with its responsibilities under the Minamata Convention and to publicly advise a phase down of the use of mercury amalgams with the goal of phasing out entirely.”
Furthermore, it recommended immediately ceasing amalgam use in children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Working with some key signatories to the Chicago Declaration, Consumers for Dental Choice sent the declaration to FDA — and their team got meetings with the top of the agency.
Second, Consumers for Dental Choice organized a strong showing of public support from you. Do you remember its online petition that almost 50,000 of you signed? Consumers for Dental Choice presented it to the FDA in person at its first meeting with the agency and has continued to make sure your voice is heard via such means as the public comments on patient preferences it asked you to submit to the FDA last spring.
As one article’s headline described the result, “FDA Gets Mouthful on Mercury Dental Fillings After Requesting Public Comment on Device Regulation.” Third, Consumers for Dental Choice presented the FDA with new science showing amalgam’s harmful effects.
FDA Flips Their Position on Amalgam
Having reached the top of the agency, Consumers for Dental Choice could submit scientific studies that someone at the FDA would read. As a result, FDA’s most recent scientific review of amalgam flips FDA’s position on a major issue.
FDA now recognizes evidence that shows once dental amalgam is implanted in the human body, its elemental mercury can convert to toxic methylmercury — the same type of mercury that the FDA warns about in fish.
Furthermore, FDA is starting to recognize the bioaccumulative effect of amalgam’s mercury. With patients exposed to so many sources of mercury — from high-mercury fish in their diets, occupational exposures in their workplaces and waste incinerators emitting mercury in their neighborhoods — the mercury from amalgam could very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Consumers for Dental Choice laid a track record of victories on the table at the FDA. Working with strong local partners, Consumers for Dental Choice has won amalgam phase-out set dates in the Philippines, Ireland, Slovakia, Finland, Nepal, Moldova, Czech Republic and New Caledonia.
Consumers for Dental Choice has also won — again partnering with a local partner — bans on amalgam use in children in the European Union, Vietnam and Tanzania, and public warnings about amalgam’s mercury in Nigeria.
And, it let the FDA know about these victories because if other countries can do it, so can the U.S. Armed with this new support, Consumers for Dental Choice succeeded in persuading the FDA to reopen the amalgam issue, starting with a new FDA review and scientific advisory committee meeting.
Consumers for Dental Choice Convinces the FDA
In November 2019, the promised FDA scientific advisory committee met to discuss metal implants and specifically dental amalgam. First, the committee heard from the public, primarily Consumers for Dental Choice’s team of 16 experts.
Consumers for Dental Choice executive director Charlie Brown testified alongside 15 heavy hitters from the Children’s Environmental Health Network, Tuskegee University, International Indian Treaty Council, Organic & Natural Health Association and Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, as well as city and county commissioners, a physician expert in environmental justice, a pharmacist specializing in toxicology and several attorneys — all speaking out for mercury-free dentistry.
You can see Consumers for Dental Choice’s team and their colleagues in action in the video at the top of this article, which shares highlights of the advisory panel meeting. The FDA advisory committee members discussed amalgam among themselves. They recommended that the agency provide information to patients about the risks of dental amalgam, especially for vulnerable populations.
Committee members expressed particular concern about the disproportionate use of amalgam in disadvantaged populations, including communities of color and low-income communities that are already exposed to higher levels of toxins. And many committee members even called for an end to amalgam use:
• Dr. McDiarmid — “I’ll speak for myself and say I think that the evidence is there because we can show an exposure and we know the behavior of these neurotoxicants in the developing brain of children. We really need to think about continuing to just bless this because the evidence isn’t quite there.”
• Dr. Connor — “But it seems like if a product came on the market today that said it’s 50% made with a material we know is highly toxic and we’re only going to use it predominantly in disadvantaged populations, we wouldn’t be having a meeting, you know? FDA would not approve it without a meeting.
So, I mean, I’ll leave that right there in terms of our discussion, but if this were coming on the market today saying it’s 50% highly toxic material and we’re predominantly going to use it in disadvantaged populations, it wouldn’t even be a question.”
• Dr. Weisman — “So given all that, my feeling is that mercury-containing amalgam should probably be on its way out.”
• Mr. Lison — “I think everybody would agree that mercury in the body isn’t a good thing. I see no reason why it shouldn’t be phased out as quickly as possible.”
Even the FDA advisory committee chair, Dr. Rao, agreed as he summed up the committee’s conclusions to the FDA:
“And I think, generally, the Panel feels in response to Question Number 6 that the evidence that was presented and is available currently confirms what was previously known and tends to move the needle a little bit further along in the direction that there is some recognition and understanding of the risks associated with mercury-containing amalgams.
These risks are to the environment and also to the patient, and potentially, to the — and to the dental professionals involved in the insertion of these. I don’t think there’s been any clear understanding of a quantified increase in risk that is available currently.
But the trend seems to be that when there are alternatives available to the use of mercury, the general direction should be to move away from using mercury-containing amalgams and towards non-mercury-containing products to help with dental restorations.”
So, the consensus of its own advisory committee is that FDA’s silence on amalgam must end. But as executive director Charlie Brown explains:
“FDA has a history of not acting on advisory committee recommendations, so Consumers for Dental Choice is keeping them on the agency’s plate. We’ve been following up with meetings, letters from experts and multiple memos answering specific questions raised at the committee meeting.”
Now It’s Your Turn to Act
Consumers for Dental Choice has brought a whole new ball game to FDA, and this time it looks like the FDA is ready to play ball. But you don’t have to wait on the government; you can go to a mercury-free dentist now by checking out Consumers for Dental Choice’s listing of mercury-free dentists.
With your continuing support, this effective advocacy organization can make the dream of mercury-free dentistry a reality at the FDA. Will you consider a donation to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating mercury-free dentistry?
If you donate during Mercury Awareness Week (August 23 to 29, 2020), I will double your money. I’ll match you, dollar for dollar (up to $150,000). Donations are tax-deductible and can be made online at ToxicTeeth.org. Checks can be mailed to:
Consumers for Dental Choice
316 F St., N.E., Suite 210
Washington DC 20002
Thank you for helping make the dream of mercury-free dentistry into reality for all patients, everywhere.
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The American Dental Association Board of Trustees has adopted an ad interim policy stating dentistry is essential health care to help guide advocacy for the dental profession during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kingma Pediatric Dentistry is a favorite with families whose children may have medical complications or other special needs.
VAMPIRES HAVE been a boon for Maven Lore’s bottom line. Once a graphic designer by trade, Mr Lore now makes fangs full-time in New Orleans. He attributes an increase in demand for his prosthetic vampire teeth to a growing interest in the undead. The popularity of vampire-themed films, novels and television programmes has helped create a customer base with a growing taste for fangs.
Halloween is now a billion-dollar industry in America. The National Retail Federation expected consumers to spend $8.8bn this year. Yet unlike candy corn or spider-web decorations, fangs have become a year-round phenomenon. Most of Mr Lore’s clients wear their fangs—which can cost as much as $1,200—regularly. Ninety percent of his customers are women between the ages of 20 and 40. They tend to be active in the vampire subculture of people who identify as or at least behave like vampires. Other customers want pointier teeth or simply think fangs will help them express their personalities better—“like jewellery”, Mr Lore says.
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A “fangsmith” in industry parlance, Mr Lore begins making vampire teeth by examining a client’s face and smile. He then tries to match the shade of the client’s human teeth to one of six acrylic tones. Next, he rolls two small balls of putty between his fingers and places each shaped fang on the tooth it is meant to cover—either the canine or the incisor, depending on the style. Finally, Mr Lore asks clients to hold their lips up for about five minutes as the acrylic sets.
Ninety percent of the time the fit is so precise that the fangs—which are otherwise removable—remain in place without glue. Unless, that is, they are being fitted on dentures, in which case they require a bit of adhesive.
Among Mr Lore’s most popular fangs are his Classic Canines, which look friendly, as fangs go. The Daywalkers are a double set covering the canine and the lateral incisor teeth that mimic fangs appearing in films such as “Underworld” and “The Vampire Diaries”.
Teresia Lischewski (pictured) bought a pair of Mr Lore’s fangs last Halloween and wears them “as often as humanly possible”. She says she gets regular use out of her fangs by attending vampire balls, comic-book conventions and events in the world of cosplay, in which humans dress up as characters from cartoons or video games. Ms Lischewski’s vampire teeth have been so well received that her human husband is even saving up for a pair of his own.
What is it about summer and forgetting to take care of our teeth?
Is it the oppressive heat in Birmingham, Alabama or just having more time on our hands? We all seem to lapse into some bad habits concerning our dental care. Think about it – Summer is the only time we all try “Pop Rocks and Cokes”… Right?
Let’s get the summer started off right in 2019. Dr. G. Robin Pruitt, Jr. and the staff at Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics gave Bham Now some useful tips to pass along to our readers for the summer. Check them out.
Tip #1 – Drink the right beverage
It is hot out there. Birmingham has already experienced record high temperatures reaching in the mid 90s in May. This summer, stay hydrated and healthy. But think carefully when you choose your beverage – some drinks can increase your risk of tooth decay.
For example – When you are hot, you sweat. Don’t reach for a sports drink to rehydrate. Many sports drinks contain sugar as their top ingredient and can be as bad for your teeth as drinking soda. If you are going to have a sports drink, look for one that is low in sugar to prevent damage to your teeth.
The best alternative? Water. Keep your mouth moist by drinking water throughout the day. This helps wash away plaque-causing bacteria and can even improve your breath. Also, save some money by choosing tap – fluoridated tap water which strengthens your enamel, making your teeth more resistant to decay.
Tip #2 – Avoid bubbles, try tea
Simply put, drinks with bubbles – the carbonated drinks which may contain acid – can wear down your enamel. If you must drink the carbonated drinks use a straw. This reduces contact with your teeth. Finish the drink quickly, instead of sipping over a long period of time. Same concept. Less contact, less damage to your teeth.
An alternative to the bubbles. Along with water, try tea. Tea contains compounds that suppress bacteria, slowing down tooth decay and gum disease. Just remember: Don’t add sugar!
Tip #3 – Don’t chew ice
Chewing ice may cool you off on a hot summer day, but it is not good for your teeth. Use ice as something to cool your drink and not as a food. Chewing ice can leave your teeth weak and vulnerable to breaking and can cause damage to your enamel.
Tip #4 – Teeth Healthy Snacks
Whether it is packing snacks for summer day camps or on vacation. Choose teeth-healthy snacks. Fresh foods are full of vitamins and dairy products such as cheese & yogurts are full of calcium. Make sure to pack a healthy snack for days on the go!
Tip #5 – Play Sports – Protect your teeth
Stay safe during summer activities – Wear a mouthguard during summer sports. Even though summer sports may not be high contact, your teeth can still be at risk if you take a fall. Also, don’t run at the pool – wouldn’t want to slip and fall! Be safe and protect your teeth.
Tip #6 – Pack a dental “kit” for those vacations
Don’t you hate checking into a hotel or beginning that camping trip on that summer vacation and you notice your remembered the shampoo and soap, but forgot the toothbrush, floss and mouthwash. Hop on over to the local drugstore and fully stock your travel bag with all these dental necessities for the whole family.
Tip #7 Make your summer appointment now
Stay on routine and go ahead and schedule your end-of-summer appointment – it’s a good idea to make your child’s back-to-school appointment early in the summer to avoid the August rush and help ensure you get the appointment time that works best for you.
If you have any questions about any of these tips, Dr. Pruitt and the staff at Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics welcome your questions and will try to provide you answers.
Also, feel free to re-visit their New Year’s resolution list of tips story – Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics recommends 5 dental resolutions for 2019.
Who says you can’t make mid-year summer dental resolutions too!
Reach them at 205-823-3223 or visit their website at:
The post 7 summertime dental tips from Vestavia Family Dentistry and Facial Aesthetics appeared first on Bham Now.
A Canadian man is facing a lifetime ban on practicing veterinary medicine after accusations he’s been performing unauthorized horse dentistry.
The Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) is seeking a permanent injunction against Kelvin Brent Asham, accused of treating horses—including giving one horse a sedative—without veterinary certification.
An investigator described Asham’s actions as “a display of lawless bravado,” according to court documents.
The MVMA says it’s been trying to stop Asham for the past three years: It first became aware of his activities in 2015, when a complaint was filed about a 16-year-old gelding he had treated. Asham sedated the horse, filed down its teeth—a process known as “floating”—pulled one tooth and tried to extract another.
Leon Flannigan, an animal protection officer in Manitoba, investigated the claims and determined the horse had suffered “irreparable damage.” In an affidavit, Flannigan said he’d met with Asham in 2016 at a Tim Horton’s donut shop in Selkirk. Asham allegedly told Flannigan he’d been floating horse teeth since 1996 and had performed the procedure on four other horses owned by the same person as the gelding.
Asham also told Flannigan that most vets float teeth improperly, and that he had different tools than vets use. “Off the record, I do thousands of horses,” Asham allegedly told Flannigan. “I do a good job. I am willing to fight this in court.”
This incident caused the MVMA to send Asham a cease-and-desist letter in 2017, as he is not a licensed veterinarian.
But last year, the MVMA found out that Asham was still working as a equine dentist and was recommended on Facebook. The MVMA hired private investigator Russ Waugh to go undercover and try to hire Asham.
According to Waugh’s affidavit, Asham told him the horse Waugh brought in could be treated for $200 CAD (about $150), the average price for floating teeth. After the investigation, the MVMA filed suit against Asham, asking a judge to ban Asham from acting as a vet.
“By engaging in the unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine, the respondent effectively declares himself to be outside the law,” writes Robert Dawson, an attorney for the association.
This isn’t Asham’s first run-in with the law: In December 2001, the then-37-year-old was arrested after admitting to carrying 10 one-kilogram bricks of cocaine in his truck. Asham and Barry Vaughan Hancock, who was also in the truck when it was pulled over, were each charged with possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking.
At the time, Hancock was an equine dentist.
Recently on this site several articles have appeared discussing opioid prescribing after wisdom teeth removal see for example the posts Do Oral Surgeons Give Too Many Opioids for Wisdom Teeth Removal? and Opioid Prescriptions From Dental Clinicians for Young Adults and Subsequent Opioid Use and Abuse. Very recently several interesting studies regarding opioid prescribing have published.
The first study is titled “Trends in Opioid Prescribing for Adolescents and Young Adults in Ambulatory Care Settings” written by Hudgins et al. appearing in Pediatrics in June 2019 (vol.143, no. 6, e20181578). The article explored opioid prescribing for adolescents (ages 13 to 17) and young adults (ages 18 to 22) receiving care in emergency departments and outpatient clinics. Data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) and National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) over the time period from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2015 was used. It was found the most common conditions associated with opioid prescribing among adolescents visiting emergency departments was dental disorders (59.7%), clavicle fractures (47%) and ankle fractures (38.1%) and among young adults visiting emergency departments was dental disorders (57.9%), low back pain (38%), and neck sprain (34.8%). Thus in both cases when someone ages 13 to 22 goes to an emergency department because of a dental disorder they are nearly 60% likely to leave with an opioid prescription. Studies suggest that adolescents and young adults are the most likely to misuse and abuse opioid medications. Thus the authors imply it is possible that many of these opioids being prescribed for dental disorders are being used for non medical use.
An accompanying commentatory of the article by Hudgins also provides additional insights into the article titled “Opioids and the Urgent Need to Focus on the Health Care of Young Adults” written by Callahan also appearing in Pediatrics in June 2019 (vol. 143, no. 6, e20190835). Callahan says that research looking at young adults is often not available as they often get grouped into adolescents in studies. Callahan states:
“Efforts to improve research and health care for young adults are further hindered by (1) the lack of a consensus definition of young adulthood, (2) the false perception that young adults are healthy, (3) fragmented health insurance coverage during young adulthood, and (4) little organized advocacy on behalf of young adults.”
Callahan thus calls for more research tailored to young adults. Young adults are of course a target demographic for wisdom teeth surgery.
The second study is titled “Comparison of Opioid Prescribing by Dentists in the United States and England” written by Suda et al. appearing in JAMA Network Open in 2019 (vol. 2, no. 5,e194303). The article explored opioid prescribing differences by dentists in the United States of America and England. The authors looked at data from IQVIA LRx in the U.S. and the NHS Digital Prescription Cost Analysis in England. The authors found in 2016 dentists prescribed more than 11,440,198 opioid prescriptions in the U.S. and 28,082 opioid prescriptions in England. Dental prescriptions for opioids were 37 times greater in the US than in England. In the U.S. various opioids were prescribed including hydrocodone-based opioids (62.3% of time), codeine (23.2% of the time), oxycodone (9.1% of the time), and tramadol (4.8% of the time) whereas in England only the codeine derivative dihydrocodeine was prescribed. The authors state:
“The significantly higher opioid prescribing occurs despite similar patterns of receiving dental care by children and adults, no difference in oral health quality indicators, including untreated dental caries and edentulousness, and no evidence of significant differences in patterns of dental disease or treatment between the 2 countries.”
The authors in the article by Suda point out that the patients included in the study from England were limited to receiving medications from the U.K.’s National Health Service. However they feel that their study shows that U.S. dentists prescribe too many opioids and this practice is contributing to the opioid epidemic in the U.S.
In both studies above it seems that the authors feel that patients in the U.S. are receiving too many opioids for dental related issues and that other medications that can provide pain relief should be given. When opioids are given they should be prescribed in the shortest duration necessary to deal with the expected amount of pain the patient is dealing with. However, a limitation of both studies is the authors were unable to assess the appropriateness of the opioid prescriptions given.
Recently new guidelines have been issued regarding the use of sedation for dental procedures performed on children. In the past on this site some scrutiny has been placed on sedation provided to children during dental procedures because of many deaths that have occurred, see for example What to Ask the Dentist Before Children Have Sedation and Pediatric Dental Death in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada Spurs Comments on Dental Anesthesia. In the June 2019 edition (vol. 143, no. 6) of Pediatrics in an article titled Guidelines for Monitoring and Management of Pediatric Patients Before, During, and After Sedation for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures written by Coté and Wilson updated guidelines for the use of sedation in dentistry is provided. These guidelines were updated for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for the first time in three years. These recommendations apply to all of those whom are providing deep sedation or general anesthesia in an office environment to children even if the state board does not mandate such a recommendation.
What has changed in these recommendations has been intensely contested when it comes to giving sedation to those undergoing wisdom teeth removal. The guidelines in the 2019 edition of Pediatrics call for two trained personnel to be present when deep sedation or general anesthesia is given to a child at a dental facility. The previous guidelines called for one trained person to be present when deep sedation or general anesthesia is given to a child at a dental facility. Specifically the June 2019 guidelines state:
“During deep sedation and/or general anesthesia of a pediatric patient in a dental facility, there must be at least 2 individuals present with the patient throughout the procedure. These 2 individuals must have appropriate training and up-to-date certification in patient rescue… including drug administration and PALS [ pediatric advanced life support] or Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APLS). One of these 2 must be an independent observer who is independent of performing or assisting with the dental procedure. This individual’s sole responsibility is to administer drugs and constantly observe the patient’s vital signs, depth of sedation, airway patency, and adequacy of ventilation.”
The guidelines call that the independent observer must one of: a certified registered nurse anesthetist, a physician anesthesiologist, an oral surgeon, or a dentist anesthesiologist. The independent observer must be trained in PALS or APLS and capable of managing any airway, ventilatory, or cardiovascular emergency resulting from deep sedation or general anesthesia given to the child. The person performing the dental procedure must be trained in PALS or APLS and be able to provide assistance to the independent observer if a child experiences any adverse events while sedated.
It is reported that the guidelines developed rely mostly on medical data because data for sedation in dental offices is not as readily available. Steps are being taken to incorporate more data regarding dental sedation into new guidelines. The reason for the updated guidelines is to increase safety for children having dental procedures in dental offices.
It is not clear how the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons may react to these June 2019 guidelines. They have long argued that their care model of having an oral and maxillofacial surgeon administer the sedation and perform the dental surgery is safe and cost effective (as seen in a recent May 2019 tweet below). Even so other physician organizations in the past have questioned their care model and it has long been suggested on this site that it may be safer to have oral surgery performed at a hospital if you are receiving sedation or anesthesia, see for example Anesthesia in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Office.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery anesthesia teams have the extensive training and experience needed to assist patients with pain and anxiety during procedures. https://t.co/sN9C5LCVHo #oralsurgery #myoms pic.twitter.com/fDhR3Jiz2d
— AAOMS (@aaoms)
Start 2019 with a dental re-boot. There’s nothing typical about the newly opened Dental House apart from its efficiency and professionalism. Located on the NE corner of 13th Street and Seventh Avenue in Greenwich Village, it’s an art-filled, airy, modern neighborhood dental practice – where things are carried out with more thought and pampering than your typical dental practice. For example, your lips are slathered with a softening, aromatic Rose Salve for your comfort, you’ll savor dark chocolate treats, sunglasses to cut any machine glare, and glasses of water to stay hydrated. Here you can enjoy all of the typical dental office treatments: x-rays, cleanings, whitening treatments, and more.
If you’ve ever hoped for a dental visit that would be soothing and reassuring while offering a full suite of typical services, then Dental House is indeed your dream dental office. Dr. Sonya Krasilnikov is well-experienced, charming, and able to thoroughly explain every aspect of your necessary treatments. You may have just found your favorite new dentist! Her partner, Dr. Irina Sinensky, is equally awesome.
Check out the Dental House website, and schedule and appointment to check off those health-oriented New Year’s resolutions:
You’ll leave Dental House with a Theo Dark Chocolate bar. Dark chocolate is a healthy snack option for dental care because cocoa beans contain beneficial ingredients that disrupt plaque formation and strengthen enamel. The less sugar in the chocolate, the better the chocolate is for you. Enjoy!
Using large amounts of data from many different dentists or surgeons is a way to improve the quality of healthcare. From such clinical data registries in healthcare
many things can be gleaned regarding information about individual surgeries or medical devices. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) has recently launched OMS Quality Outcomes Registry or OMSQOR for short which is discussed on pages 7-12 of the March/April 2019 issue of AAOMS Today. The groundwork for OMSQOR actually began in 2014 and OMSQOR officially launched in January 2019. The way OMSQOR works is that treatment data from all members who participate will be collected in a national registry that will be used to help improve the quality of care and patient outcomes. Such quality data will allow for tracking surgical outcomes, complications, and possible gaps in treatment. OMSQOR will even allow an individual surgeon to compare their patients to all patients in the database to identify areas in their practice they may be lacking and improvement is needed. AAOMS is encouraging all of their members to sign up and participate.
The data registry will be used to help AAOMS be able to better advocate on behalf of oral and maxillofacial surgeons along with conduct additional research to improve outcomes. Practice patterns across the entire specialty can be tracked. This can allow for better reimbursement for services that is fair where insurance companies may be challenging them. This can also allow for better data showing how often an anesthesia death occurs by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. This is important to them because many have challenged their delivery model of having the surgeon both perform surgery and deliver anesthesia which is not how surgeries are conducted in other specialties. The data registry can allow for the frequency of particular complications after particular surgeries to be identified. Of particular interest is identifying the frequency of nerve injuries after wisdom teeth surgery. The data registry can also be used to explore medical prescription prescribing habits which is of particular interest with recent studies demonstrating possible over prescribing of opioids which are then diverted to non medical use. According to the AAOMS Today article:
“Often, anesthesia advocacy stalls because AAOMS does not know how many anesthetics OMSs safely and routinely use. With OMSQOR, relevant aggregate data can be collected and safety statistics shared with federal and state agencies as well as insurance companies.”
Currently the safety of oral and maxillofacial surgeons delivery anesthesia is measured by several morbidity and mortality studies that have been conducted over time see for exaxmple http://www.teethremoval.com/mortality_rates_in_dentistry.html along with anecdotal reports and hearing about patient death or serious injury from media reports. Included with OMSQOR, is a Dental Anesthesia Incident Reporting System (DAIRS) which is an anonymous self-reporting system used to gather and analyze
information about dental anesthesia incidents. For example if an equipment fails or a cardiac event occurs in a patient a surgeon could report this anonymously using DAIRS. All dental dental anesthesia providers are being encouraged to report to DAIRS in order to help improve patient outcomes.
Even with the advantages of OMSQOR it is true that some members may be hesitant to want to use the system. This is because it can potentially be a significant time burden involved with the initial set-up to import all the data and surgeons may frankly just not like everyone else knowing intimate details about their practice. In addition their may be concerns with patient privacy. Both patient information and surgeon information will however be de-identified in the data registry so these concerns should not be subdued. Even so it may be possible to re-identify de-identified data. For example if there is a rare complication or death that occurs and is then picked up by the news media it may be possible to piece together who the patient and doctor is. Even with the limitations it seems that if many oral and maxillofacial surgeons and dental anesthesia providers use both OMSQOR and DAIRS then patient outcomes for dental procedures including wisdom teeth surgery may improve in the future.
Say Ahh, the world’s first documentary on oral health, takes a sobering look at the state of our national healthcare system. Despite being one of the wealthiest nations in the world, home to some of the most advanced medicine and technology, America is suffering from a drastic decline in the overall health of its citizens. …
When Gov. Mike Dunleavy and state health officials said elective health care procedures could restart in a phased approach, many of Alaska’s dentists were hoping to take non-emergency patients again.
But they said a state mandate largely prevents that from happening.
State officials said they want to work with the dentists, but point to federal guidelines that dentists are at very high risk of being exposed to the virus.
Find more stories about coronavirus and the economy in Alaska.
The mandate said patients must have a negative result of a test for the coronavirus within 48 hours of a procedure that generates aerosols — tiny, floating airborne particles that can carry the virus. Aerosols are produced by many dental tools, from drills to the ultrasonic scalers used to remove plaque.
Dr. David Nielson is the president of the Alaska Board of Dental Examiners, which licenses dentists. In a meeting with the state, he told state Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink that it’s a challenge for patients to get test results within 48 hours of an appointment.
“Basically, what that means is, in your view, dentistry is just shut down indefinitely,” Nielson told Zink.
“That’s not true. That’s not what I feel at all,” Zink said.
“Well, that’s what it says to most of us,” Nielson said.
Nielson said dentists can ensure that patients are safe without testing for the virus.
“We do believe that waiting for the availability of testing to ramp up to the levels that would be necessary will jeopardize the oral health of the public,” he said.
Nielson also said dentists are already taking steps to practice safely and could start taking more patients if they didn’t have to follow the testing mandate.
“Based on everything that we’re doing with all our, you know, really, really intense screening protocols and all the different PPE requirements and stuff like that, that we’re basically good to go, as long as we do all of the things that we’ve already recommended,” he said.
Zink said Alaska is among the first states to reopen non-urgent health care. She says the state’s testing capacity is increasing, and that other groups affected by the mandate are working to have patients tested.
“We are seeing numerous groups, including surgeons, stand up ways to be able to get testing available,” she said.
The state mandate is less restrictive than what’s currently recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said all non-urgent dental appointments should be postponed. The CDC is revising the recommendation, but it’s not clear when there will be new recommendations.
The dental board would like to replace the mandate with guidelines that require that every patient be screened, including answering questions about their travel, symptoms and contacts before an appointment, as well as to be checked for whether they have a fever before an appointment.
Zink noted a problem with relying on screening.
“It’s increasingly challenging to identify COVID patients,” she said. “This is an incredibly sneaky disease that appears to be most contagious in the presymptomatic or early symptomatic people with symptoms that can look almost like anything else.”
The draft framework proposed by the dental board also differs from CDC recommendations on personal protective equipment. The CDC recommends both an N95 respirator and either goggles or a full face shield. The framework said that if goggles or face shields aren’t available, dentists should understand there is a higher risk for infection and should use their professional judgment.
Dentists working to start seeing more patients say they already take precautions against infectious diseases.
Dr. Paul Anderson of Timbercrest Dental in Delta Junction said it would be challenging to have timely tests done for patients who live far from an urban center.
Anderson said dentists have been working to prevent the spread of infectious diseases since at least HIV/AIDS in the 1980s.
“We’ve been following these protocols, and it just seems odd to me that all of a sudden the government feels that it’s necessary to add all of these additional regulations,” he said.
Anderson said screening patients — including checking their temperatures — is a significant safety measure dentists can take.
Zink said the state is open to working with the dental board to revise the mandate, or to issue a new mandate specific to dentistry. It’s not clear if the issue can be resolved before Monday, when the state will begin allowing elective procedures under the mandate.
Myant Inc., a world leader in Textile Computing, has announced a partnership with Dr Natalie Archer DDS, a recognized Canadian dental expert, to collaboratively develop a new line of personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to address the extreme risks that dental professionals face as they reopen their practices to serve their communities.
The types of PPE under development include both washable textile masks intended for support staff in dental practices, and washable textile-based respirators that meet NIOSH N95 standards for dental professionals who work in critical proximity to patients.
Risks for dental professionals
Social distancing is one of the basic ways to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, with health officials advising people to maintain distancing of two metres with others. With governments progressively reopening their economies and allowing businesses to begin serving their communities again, the challenge of maintaining two metre distancing will become a potential source of danger for both front-line workers and for those that they serve.
“This is especially true for people working in the dental industry whose work environment is literally at the potential source of infection: the mouths and noses of their patients,” Myant said in an article on its website. “An analysis conducted by Visual Capitalist, leveraging data from the Occupational Information Network, suggests that dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dental administrative staff are among the professions and support staff at the highest risk of exposure to coronavirus. Their work requires close proximity / physical contact with others, and they are routinely exposed to potential sources of infectious diseases.”
“The public health risk is magnified when you consider the volume of patients coming in and out of a dental practice,” Myant adds. “Consider the contact tracing challenge if a single asymptomatic dental hygienist tests positive for COVID-19. That dental hygienist may work in a practice with two dentists, a billing coordinator, a receptionist, and perhaps three other dental hygienists who each see 100 patients a week (with each patient coming with a loved one in the waiting room). It is clear that dental professionals will need to be among the most vigilant in our communities when it comes to the adoption of effective PPE in order to protect themselves and society from a potential second-wave of the virus.”
Partnership to drive innovation in dental PPE
Recognizing this challenge Myant, the textile innovator that pivoted to innovation in PPE as a response to COVID-19, has partnered with one of Canada’s pre-eminent dental experts to design a line of PPE geared specifically to meet the challenges that dentists, other dental professionals and their staff will face, in the Post-COVID normal. Dr. Natalie Archer DDS was the youngest dentist ever elected to serve on the Board of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and served as the governing body’s Vice President between 2011 and 2012. As a recognized and trusted subject matter expert on dentistry-related topics, she is regularly asked to speak to the public in the Canadian media. Dr. Archer will be working closely with the Myant team, advising on the design and the certification process for a new line of PPE for dental professionals currently under development.
Reflecting on her motivations, Dr. Archer told Myant: “Dental professionals feel a tremendous responsibility to get back to serving their communities, but as both members and servants of the community, we must be safe and responsible for both patients and the people that treat them. Like other dental professionals, I am concerned about maintaining levels of PPE.”
“With disposable PPE I feel there will always be a concern of running out, the expense, uncertain quality, not to mention environmental concerns because of all of the waste. Also, there is a real problem with the discomfort that currently available PPE poses for dental professionals who typically work long shifts and whose work is physical. I am excited to be innovating with the team at Myant to address the real world clinical problems that we are facing now in dentistry by producing PPE that is protective, comfortable, and reusable, which will help all of us stay safe and allow us to do our jobs.”
The PPE for dental professionals will be designed and manufactured at Myant’s Toronto-based, 80,000 square foot facility which has the current capacity to produce 340,000 units of PPE a month. Plans are underway to expand that capacity to produce over one million units per month as communities across Canada and the United States start looking for ways to re-open in a safe and responsible manner.
“This new development highlights the agility with which Myant is able to operate, rapidly integrating the domain expertise of our partners to unlock the potential behind our core textile design and commercialization capabilities,” said Myant Executive Vice President Ilaria Varoli. “Textiles are everywhere in our daily lives and we look forward to working with partners like Dr. Archer to make life better, easier, and safer for all people.”
Ilaria Varoli, EVP, Myant Inc.(c) Myant.
To stay up to date on Myant’s dental PPE developments, join the Myant PPE Dental Mailing List.
For consumers interested in purchasing non-dental PPE, please visit www.myantppe.ca.
For B2B inquiries about Myant’s non-dental PPE, please contact us at .
The future of medicine as we know it is evolving, whether we like it or not. You may have even heard the term “telemedicine” in recent talks about healthcare.
With the introduction of internet and technology, a world of possibilities could open up; from access to top medical professionals all over the world, to medical assessments conducted from the comfort of your home.
The ability to diagnose (and in some cases, treat) remotely are made possible. For obvious reasons, this new technology could have some positive implications for rural communities like ours.
As healthcare as we know it evolves, the same rings true for oral health. The dental field is adopting Tele-dentistry which involves “the exchange of clinical information and images over remote distances for dental consultation and treatment planning.” .
What does this mean for patients?
For you, the patient, this could mean access to better oral healthcare, online consultations, and in some cases lower costs. For example, you can now get a professional opinion from your dentist without taking time off work or pulling your kid out of school.
Here locally, Rendezvous Dental is embracing the future of dentistry.
Forward-thinking dentists, like Dr. Colton Crane at Rendezvous Dental are already using this cutting-edge technology to improve the patient experience.
Let’s try it!
Tele-dentistry with Rendezvous Dental is easy. Visit their website and follow the instructions. Fill out the online form, describe your concern in detail, and attach two images from different angles. For just $25, you can have a response from Dr. Crane within 2-3 hours (during business hours)!
In most cases this is enough for Crane to decide if your problem is cause for immediate concern or something that can wait until your next cleaning. In a pinch, antibiotics could be prescribed too. Should an x-ray or further exam be in order, Rendezvous Dental will apply your $25 as a credit.
This new service is currently available online at rendezvousdental.com/tele-dentistry. For more information, call Rendezvous Dental at or stop by their office at 312 N 8th St. W. in Riverton.
Florian Hillen, the chief executive officer of a new startup called VideaHealth, first started researching the problems with dentistry about three years ago.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard educated researcher had been doing research in machine learning and image recognition for years and wanted to apply that research in a field that desperately needed the technology.
Dentistry, while an unlikely initial target, proved to be a market that the young entrepreneur could really sink his teeth into.
“Everyone goes to the dentist [and] in the dentist’s office, x-rays are the major diagnostic tool,” Hillen says. “But there is a lack of standard quality in dentistry. If you go to three different dentists you might get three different opinions.”
With VideaHealth (and competitors like Pearl) the machine learning technologies the company has developed can introduce a standard of care across dental practices, say Hillen. That’s especially attractive as dental businesses become rolled up into large service provider plays in much of the U.S.
Image courtesy of VideaHealth
Dental practitioners also present a more receptive audience to the benefits of automation than some other medical health professionals (ahem… radiologists). Because dentists have more than one role in the clinic they can see enabling technologies like image recognition as something that will help their practices operate more efficiently rather than potentially put people out of a job.
“AI in radiology competes with the radiologist,” says Hillen. “In dentistry we support the dentist to detect diseases more reliably, more accurately, and earlier.”
The ability to see more patients and catch problems earlier without the need for more time consuming and invasive procedures for a dentist actually presents a better outcome for both practitioners and patients, Hillen says.
It’s been a year since Hillen launched the company and he’s already attracted investors including Zetta Venture Partners, Pillar and MIT’s Delta V, who invested in the company’s most recent $5.4 million seed financing.
Already the company has collaborations with dental clinics across the U.S. through partnerships with organizations like Heartland Dental, which operates over 950 clinics in the Midwest. The company has seven employees currently and will use its cash to hire broadly and for further research and development.
Photo courtesy of VideaHealth
Minalie Jain had experienced pain before, but when she started to work in the simulation lab at USC, the shooting pain in her arm caught her attention.
The sim lab involves a lot of fine handwork, with students bent over molds of teeth. The intensity of the muscle contractions left Jain in stabbing and throbbing pain.
Fortunately for her, the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and the university’s physical therapy program have teamed up to use physical therapy skills that can help dental students deal with the physical stress caused by dentistry. Jain now does physical therapy to help her in day-to-day work.
Physical stress: Ergonomics and body mechanics offer relief
Dental students had always had one lecture on ergonomics from a physical therapy professor, but when Kenneth Kim, instructor of clinical physical therapy, took over that lecture, he thought the schools could do more together.
“I felt like a lecture once a year wasn’t enough — especially because we were seeing so many dental students at the clinic,” he said. “Sometimes the students were getting pretty emotional because of all the pain.”
Kim worked with Jin-Ho Phark, associate professor of clinical dentistry, to set up the ergonomics and body mechanics collaboration after the lecture. This is the first year that physical therapy students go to the dental students’ sim lab once a week, for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. “We can follow up on body position and patient position, and they have been really receptive,” Kim said.
The biggest issues that dental students face are forces on their hands, necks and arms as they work on models of patients.
They sometimes forget to adjust the patient to make their own bodies work more easily.
“They sometimes forget to adjust the patient to make their own bodies work more easily,” Kim said. “That means that students can stay hunched over, in that position for hours, which causes neck and back pain. We come in and make a small adjustment, which results in a huge outcome.”
Musculoskeletal disorders: a widespread problem
Dentists are particularly prone to musculoskeletal disorders: 70 percent of dentists suffer from them, compared to 12 percent of surgeons. That’s mainly because dentistry requires lots of repetitive motions, especially by the hand and wrist, as well as sustained postures, said Phark says, who explained that students in the sim lab work on mannequins, learning to use drills inside tooth models. The way they position their necks forward or slouch their backs can often result in lower back and shoulder pain.
“We see that throughout the years students in dental school don’t always take care of their posture while they perform procedures,” he said. That’s hard on a body, especially considering students are working in the same position for eight hours a day.
In addition to the lectures and hands-on help, students can often position themselves better by using their loupes, which allows them to maintain a certain distance from a patient.
“With lenses on the loupes, you can’t really adjust them so there is a working length in which they have to position themselves,” Phark said.
Sit for some patients and stand for others
Kenneth Gozali uses his loupes to remind himself to keep a good posture and position with patients. He focuses on sitting straight, having the right chair height and patient height — all of which make it easier to do his work.
“It was a little strange because I was not all that used to sitting all day, but now I like to switch it up: I’ll sit down for two or three patients and then stand up for the next ones,” he says, adding that in dentistry it’s all about keeping your hands and arms in good working order. “You can’t do much with a bad back or bad arm.”
Phark has used the collaboration as a refresher in his own work: He noticed there were days when he came home in pain.
“My back is hurting, my neck is hurting, I have to maintain a proper posture myself,” he said. “It’s not just preaching — we have to practice ourselves.”
Phark works on Wednesdays in the USC Dental Faculty Practice for 12 hours. “I basically cannot survive the day if I’m not sitting properly,” he said.
The dental students have been very receptive to the instruction and advice, since many of them experience a variety of issues that we can help them navigate and problem solve, whether it is pain, fatigue or difficulty visualizing target areas within the mouth, said Ashley Wallace, who has also learned things from the dental students
“I’ve learned the dentistry-specific language in regards to quadrants and tooth surfaces, and how the position of both the patient and dentist change depending on the target surface, procedure and tools required or whether direct or indirect vision is used.”
Wallace said it’s been valuable to adapt her training to a specific audience such as the dental students.
“My hope is that if they implement proper body mechanics now, they will have less need for physical therapy down the road.”
It takes three weeks to break a habit
Kim hopes to continue and expand the collaboration in the coming years. This year, physical therapy students are only working in the dental school for five weeks — and they are trying to figure out how to do more in the future.
“For the first year, five weeks is pretty good,” Kim said. “It takes three weeks to break a bad habit, like slouching or stooping. With our presence, we can get them to be more mindful about their posture going forward.”
Jain will continue to do physical therapy exercises, which she said are helping her pain. An X-ray showed calcified tendonitis in her rotator cuff, a genetic condition that was exacerbated by her dental school work. She’s grateful for the extra perspective and help she gained from the collaboration.
“Ergonomics is very crucial in dental school because forming a bad habit is really easy since it is very difficult seeing in the mouth,” she said. “It is important to keep the back straight and the arms in appropriate positioning so it doesn’t cause strain on it, even for people who do not have arm issues.”
MILWAUKEE — While dentists may be closed for preventive care, don’t put your toothbrushes down. Doctors say keeping your oral health is more important than ever for adults and children alike.
The spread of the coronavirus put an abrupt stop to our normal routine. Preventive visits to dentist offices were delayed, but unfortunately, that’s also when a lot of problems are detected.
Dr. Kevin Donly
“We’ve only been able to provide emergency care,” Dr. Kevin Donly, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, said. “Oral health is actually a medical necessity.”
Because oral health is critical to overall health, Donly maintaining your child’s oral care routine is essential to preventing dental emergencies during the pandemic. Those emergencies are categorized in three ways.
“Trauma, where a kid bumps their tooth, falls down and cracks their tooth,” Donly said. “Second, infection. We’ve seen kids with facial cellulitis, this can be detrimental to their overall health, we really need to see those kids right away.
“The other one is pain. Sometimes they have really deep cavities that cause a lot of pain and they need to see the pediatric dentist right away and get care.”
Donly says with some offices reopening soon, new protocols will be taken to ensure everyone’s safety.
“First of all you, will be contacted a day before your appointment for a prescreening call,” said Donly. “They will ask about a child’s health, are they feeling well? Are they running a fever?”
There will be spaces in waiting rooms due to social distancing, and dental assistants, hygienists and dentists will all be wearing gowns, masks and face shields, Donly said.
Prevention is key with regular cleanings delayed. When it comes to prevention, Donly recommends brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste a couple of times a day, try to keep sugary drinks and snacks away, and check your kids’ teeth on a daily basis.
HUDSON, Wis. — A former Hudson pediatric dentist was being investigated on accusations of unnecessarily pulling children’s teeth, billing fraud and overuse of laughing gas when he surrendered his license to practice last month.
Documents obtained through a public records request show Dr. Andy Mancini was being investigated in seven different cases by Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services.
The alleged violations included engaging in practices that constitute a substantial danger to patients, according to records.
Cases investigated by the state agency resulted in criminal charges and a civil suit brought by the state for falsified Medicaid claims.
An attorney for Mancini, who lives in Woodbury, Minn., previously said he would not comment on legal matters involving his client. Mancini denied all allegations in a Wisconsin Dentistry Examining Board document outlining the permanent surrender of his license in Wisconsin.
Dozens of allegations
A 2016 memo from the state alleged 37 separate complaints, including multiple reports of unnecessary tooth extractions, billing problems, children being held down, “aggressive procedures” and a threat to a child.
Among the allegations outlined:
- Patients were billed for treatments that weren’t performed.
- A child was held down while “kicking, pinching and clawing to get out of the seat during an extraction procedure,” during an unnecessary extraction procedure that a parent was not allowed to sit in on.
A dentist from the Department of Human Services Office of the Inspector General conducted an audit — generated by patient complaints — that revealed:
- Mancini used the sedative nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, at levels sometimes reaching a 70 percent concentration of nitrous oxide-to-oxygen, about double the recommended concentrations of 30-40 percent nitrous oxide for children.
- Patient files included “grossly mislabeled” X-ray files. The audit noted that Mancini would take the same six X-rays each time he’d see a patient. Medicaid, the report notes, reimburses for up to six X-rays on any date of service.
In a November 2016 interview with investigators, Mancini denied performing unnecessary work, but admitted to the possibility of billing errors “due to the incompetence of previous staff.”
Mancini told investigators he allowed parents in the room while he’s performing exams, but discourages family from being present during procedures “because it can be distracting” and can lead to anxiety for patients.
Kirsten Reader, assistant deputy secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services, said Mancini voluntarily surrendered his license April 10. She said that happened during the investigations — the outcomes of which could have led to revocation of his license.
The latest allegations didn’t surprise former La Petite client Rebecca Viebrock of Hudson
She said that after being initially impressed with La Petite’s kid-friendly atmosphere, she found herself having to return over and over.
“I practically lived at that place,” she said.
She grew skeptical, but she said her questions about X-rays and cavities were met with defensiveness from Mancini.
Viebrock said La Petite was one of the only dentists in the area that took state insurance. Without La Petite — where she also received dental care — Viebrock said she and her children are left without options in the area.
Stillwater resident Ashley Foley said she’s also in search of answers after learning about allegations of questionable care at La Petite. She said she took her children there for two years beginning in 2012 and never questioned the multiple tooth-pullings Mancini recommended.
Two of those involved her daughter’s front baby teeth, which have sat empty since the child was about 2. Foley said the girl is now 5 years old and must wait at least two more years before her adult teeth come in. Meanwhile, Foley said her daughter is in speech therapy and covers her mouth in shame when she smiles.
“What if this didn’t need to happen?” she said.
Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry is working hard to do all they can to help those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the company’s founding over 19 years ago, the dental group has always given back to the communities they serve. This week and in weeks to come, the Riccobene staff will be teaming up with local food banks to help carry out their mission in providing food and support for those in need. Each of the 30+ Riccobene locations across North Carolina will be participating in this community initiative, donating non-perishable food items, including canned fruits and vegetables, cereal, peanut butter, juice boxes and other needed food items.
The Riccobene team encourages allwho are able, to support their local food banks. With many schools and businesses shutting down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, thousands will be left without food. Smiles on Us, a community outreach program Riccobene Associates started to give back to local communities, is determined to take advantage of this opportunity to make a big impact.
“We’re proud to participate in the community’s efforts to help children and families across North Carolina who are in need. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s who we are as a company,” says Whitney Suiter, Director of Marketing at Riccobene Associates.
To encourage donations, Riccobene Associates has provided a list of food banks across North Carolina.
List of Local Food Banks
1924 Capital Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27604
– 149 E Holding Avenue, Wake Forest, NC 27587
111 N First Ave, Knightdale, NC 27545
– 187 High House Road, Cary, NC 27511
– 1600 Olive Chapel Road, Suite 408, Apex, NC 27502
– 209 S Robertson Street, Clayton, NC 27520
Samaritan Shelf Food Pantry– West Clayton Church of God // 143 Short Johnson Rd, Clayton, NC 27520
401 W Anderson St, Selma, NC 27576
Community Soup Kitchen– 112 West Oak St. Goldsboro 27530 (no website) 919-731-3939
– 3210 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, Nc, 27405
– 500-B Spratt Street, Charlotte, NC 28206
Hunger Can’t Wait– 406 Deep Creek Road, Fayetteville, NC 28312
– 2585 Old Glory Road, Suite 109, Clemmons, NC 27012
Deliverance Church- 103 E Main St, Benson, NC 27504
– 1725 Davis Street, Rocky Mount, NC 27803
– 12395 NC Hwy 50, Hampstead, NC 28443
ACIM (Area Congregations In Ministry) – 634 Roxboro Rd, Oxford, NC 27565
– 1314 Marstellar Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
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An intriguing long form piece appears in the May 2019 issue in Atlantic titled “The Truth About Dentistry: It’s much less scientific—and more prone to gratuitous procedures—than you may think,” written by Ferris Jabr, see https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/05/the-trouble-with-dentistry/586039/. This article has a lot of people talking including dentists, physicians, and patients who have experience with dentists throughout the Internet on forums and Twitter (see https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/forums/topic/the-truth-about-dentistry-critical-longform-piece-in-the-atlantic/). The main shortcoming with this article in the Atlantic is it relies on an anecdotal story which forms the basis of the entire article. There are several themes to the article that will be discussed below along with additional themes not mentioned that are involved to form the real truth about dentistry.
1. Dentistry is a Business and some Dentists, just like in other Professions, are Bad Apples.
The article describes a dentist Lund who overtreats patients by performing more expensive procedures that are not necessary in order for him to make more money and does this for many many years. Dentist Lund’s way of making extra money is by having patients with cavities receive root canals with incision and drainage when cavities are the proper treatment.
I had a brother inlaw that was a dentist. I mention how the dentist is always trying to sell me on something. He said to me “We are a business too”. That was all I needed to know…..
— Patrick Husting (@patrickhusting)
“Years ago, at a routine dental cleaning, the wife was diagnosed with 18 asymptomatic ‘small cavities’ that needed to be fixed. So we got a 2nd opinion, lo and behold, no cavities. Somebody apparently needed a new boat.” – portlandia via whitecoatinvestor.com
2. There is a Unique Power Dynamic in Dentistry that is Unlike Other Relationships
Many aspects of the dental experience have resemblances to torture experiences. When a dentist is standing over a patient inserting sharp instruments into their mouth they often feel powerless. Perhaps because of this the vast majority of patients who see a dentist do not get a second opinion from another dentist. This is unlike medical doctor visits where seeing a second doctor for another opinion is more commonplace. Furthermore the vast majority of patients are not reading medical and dental literature on their own and discussing it with their dentists if there were any disagreements.
3. Dentists Have very Little Checks and Balances on Their Practice
The article presents a story of a young dentist Zeidler who buys the practice of of retiring dentist Lund who had overtreated patients for years. After several months Zeidler suspects there is a problem because he was only making 10 to 25% of the prior dentist Lund’s reported income. Zeidler also encounters many of the patients of the practice and notices a large number of them have had more extensive treatment performed than needed. Zeidler spends nine month’s pooring over Lund’s patient records. The records demonstrate vast amounts of overtreatment. Thus the overtreatment by the dentist went unchecked for many many years and it was not until the dentist retired and the patients and records were seen by someone else that the overtreatment was detected. Most dentists have individual private practices which is unlike medical doctors who usually work for a hospital or organization with more oversight.
4. There is Little Scientific Evidence to Back Dental Treatments
The article discusses oral health studies performed by Cochrane which is a well respected evidence based medicine organization that conducts systematic reviews. Nearly all of the studies performed in the field of dentistry by Cochrane have shown either: 1) there is no evidence that the treatment works or 2) there is not enough evidence to say one way or the other that the treatment works. What to do in regards to dealing with healthy asymptotic wisdom teeth is one of these treatments in dentistry where there is a lack of scientific evidence to support either preventative removal or watchful waiting.
5. Dentists are Paid Based on Treatment and Not Prevention which is being made Worse Due to Large Student Loans
The reality is if everyone had healthy teeth and no need for dental treatment besides occasional cleanings, exams, and x-rays dentists would not make much money. The pay structure for dentists rewards procedures and treatments. Dentists today graduate from school with a large amount of debt and they also want to buy an individual practice to run. This can lead them in debt of well over $500,000 which can push them to recommend treatments and procedures that are not really needed to try to pay this debt off.
6. There is a Lack of Focus on Quality Improvement due to a Culture of Cover-Up
Everyone can agree that patients want high quality care at an affordable price. However dentists are hesitant to make real strides towards quality improvement due to fear of being sued and increased liability insurance premiums. Human error can never be completely eradicated and human nature is not perfect. Humans have varying anatomy that can’t always be anticipated. Thus protocols should be in place for dealing with things such as sexual assault in the dental office and to address what one should do when the wrong tooth is extracted. Similarly protocols should be in place to best identify what to look for on panoramic radiography to determine if a wisdom tooth is at high risk of damaging a nerve and if cone beam computed tomography or coronectomy should be performed. Similarly protocols should be in place when a sharp or needlestick injury occurs in the dental office. In addition protocols should be in place for when a dental instrument breaks and is left in a patient during a procedure. It seems that dentists could be sharing data with each other about what goes on in their practice and they could be addressing sensitive issues instead of pretending that they don’t and won’t again occur.
We asked Dr. Andrew Vo – a dentist, spin instructor and Captain in the United States Army – for his best self care tips, even when life and work throw a lot at you.
Where are you from? Huntington Beach, CA
What is your favorite part about your job?
I love to change negative experiences a patient may have had into positive ones, building a long and lasting relationship with each and every one of my patients and using my profession to truly change lives for the better.
Why did you choose cosmetic dentistry?
I originally chose cosmetic dentistry because I wanted to help people smile, to help build more confidence, and to help patients live the life that is worth living. In addition to cosmetic dentistry, I also love working on pediatric patients. I decided to go back to school this June to specialize in pediatric dentistry. When I first started my journey in dentistry, I first worked with children and I miss working with them so much. I want to learn more about treating children, become an advocate for pediatric health, and create future mission trips with a foundation of knowledge.
What does self care mean to you?
Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally in order to take care of your loved ones.
You’ve got a lot going on, how do you practice self care?
Being in the fitness community (GritCycle and Equinox) and teaching indoor cycling for these companies, I am so blessed to have met such incredible people. Everyone has challenging days, but these two communities are filled with love, positivity and joy, which helps me practice self care.
Have you always known how to practice self care? If not, how did you find your balance?
I love food, and sometimes the foods that I consume aren’t the best choices. At one time in my life, I was overweight, unmotivated and depressed. I found my balance and changed my life when I found fitness and the people that inspired me to live a better and healthier life.
Why is it important for healthcare professionals to take time for self care?
We all get busy with our jobs and often times we make up excuses not to exercise because we don’t have time or to eat healthy because it takes too long. It is never too late to change, just take one step at a time and you will eventually get there.
How long have you been cycling? What made you decide to become an instructor?
I have been cycling for the past 12 years and decided to become an instructor because I wanted to make a difference and share my story. I wasn’t always in shape and healthy. It was when I hit rock bottom and had to make a choice to either keep going down the dirt road or be proactive and commit to living my best life. It wasn’t easy, but I got there. I love teaching indoor cycling to help people realize that they are loved, that they are accepted, and that it is NEVER too late to change for the better.
Hear more from our Everyday Superheroes here and here.
Long Island native Dr. Nicole Bell, also known as “The Lip Doctor,” has risen to success as a result of fusing dentistry and advanced esthetics.
After graduating from Baldwin Senior High School, Bell attended Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, on a full academic scholarship. Her dental career began with studies at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she earned a doctor of dental surgery degree in 2001.
Currently, Bell shares two locations — in Long Island’s Freeport village and in downtown Brooklyn — where she is certified to treat with lasers and performs most procedures without the use of a drill or anesthetic.
Rolling out had the opportunity to speak with Bell about her passion for cosmetic dentistry, what differentiates her practices, and her advice for entrepreneurs in the medical field.
When did you realize that you wanted to be a doctor?
When I was 5 years old I won a science fair, and after the competition, I was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. I said, “I want to be a doctor.” Having my parents segue and guide me along the way made me feel like there was nothing to prevent me from becoming a doctor. The word doctor just stuck with me, and I continued to move forward. Medicine was intriguing but, more specifically, dentistry became appealing to me in college. I was heavily influenced by the dean of my dental school who is now the president of the dental school at Meharry Medical College.
Click continue to read more.
God, Fam, Biz, and Good Vibes. Writing about the things and people who matter that are making an impact in our community. Content Producer / Editor, entrepreneur and former Fortune 500 Sales and Marketing Executive.
“I fit the mold of having an interesting story about how I came to live—and practice—in the Northern Neck,” says Kilmarnock dentist David Newman.
“My grandmother grew up in Virginia. At one point, she was visiting with friends in Gloucester. They were having dinner with some people from the Northern Neck. One of the dinner guests from the Northern Neck mentioned that the local dentist was ill and was interested in selling his practice. My grandmother shared this bit of news with my parents, who, in turn, shared it with me. Well, I had just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania dental school and was working long days and some evenings for three different practices. I knew that wasn’t the professional life I wanted. So, I contacted the Northern Neck dentist, Dr. Brumback, and my wife Debbie and I made arrangements to meet him in Kilmarnock in front of a dress shop on Main Street.”
Anyone who has ever got off Interstate 95 and headed down Route 3 to Lancaster County knows it’s a long drive that seems to go on forever. “Debbie and I finally arrived in Kilmarnock. We easily found the dress shop on Main Street and I gave Dr. Brumback a call. He met us, and showed us his office and around the area. We hit it off. So, the next thing I knew, Dr. Brumback introduced me to Douglas Monroe, Jr., president and CEO of Chesapeake Bank. Doug and Chesapeake Bank worked with me to purchase the practice. It was the first of many business and personal banking experiences I’ve had with Chesapeake Bank. They’ve been my bank since day one,” says Newman.
Living in the Northern Neck
Moving from an urban or suburban region to a rural area can be an adjustment for some people, but for Newman, the bay, rivers and tributaries that surround the Northern Neck hold a special appeal. “I grew up on the Jersey shore and was always on the water. That’s what attracted me to the Northern Neck and Lancaster County.”
34 Years Later
“It’s been a great run for me. I enjoy knowing my patients and seeing them outside of my practice. I would like to bring in an associate to help me continue to offer high-quality dental care. I’m certain Chesapeake Bank will help them, too, so they can make their home here. It would be nice to get in a little more time on my boat with my rod and reel,” says Newman, grinning.
Share your story.
Do you have a story about how Chesapeake Bank helped you get there? Share it with us on Facebook or visit our site to let us know.
If you have a hope for the future, find out how Chesapeake Bank can help you get there, too. Visit or call 800-434-1181.
Times have certainly changed since 1898, when Emma Gaudreau Casgrain became the first woman licensed to be a dentist in Canada. Today women are a growing force in the dental industry within Canada and beyond. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the number of women dentists in Canada rose from 16 percent in 1991 to 28 percent in 2001. By 2011, the proportion had grown to 29.5.
International Women’s Day is the ideal time to take a closer look at the role of women in the field of dentistry.
More Women Are Graduating With Dentistry Degrees
The number of women practicing dentistry in Canada should continue growing with women graduating with dentistry degrees than men. For example, in 2016, 34 women graduated from the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) dentistry schools for every 24 males. Many dentists estimate roughly half of their graduating class members were women.
Dr. Alison Fransen, a general dentist at Wesbrook Village Dental Centre who graduated from UBC in 1997, said she had a “great experience in dental school,” which gave her “lots to learn.”
Dr. Wise Tang, a general dentist at Burnaby’s Mega Dental Group, added her experience of going through dentistry school and finding employment was “Challenging, but very rewarding.”
Dr. Julia McKay and Dr. Carlos Quiñonez, in their article “The Feminization of Dentistry: Implications for the Profession” published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, stated female dental students bring something different to the classroom than their male peers. Female students are more emotionally sensitive and expressive, qualities which help them socialize with other students and respond to the patients they see during internships and hands-on course components.
Women in Dentistry Have Prominent Female Figures to Inspire Them
In her 2006 Psychology of Women Quarterly article “Someone like me can be successful: Do college students need same-gender role models?,” Penelope Lockwood explained female students are significantly more influenced by a role model’s gender than male students.
Female students, she wrote, feel much more motivated when reading about a successful woman in their field than a successful man. When citing career role models, female students also tended to identify women they look up to, largely because they felt they may face similar industry challenges to the women that inspired them. It’s significant that as more women excel in dentistry, more women are inspired to follow in their footsteps.
Burnaby dentist Dr. Wise Tang says Dr. Karen Burgess, who she observed practice during her volunteer program, is one of her greatest inspirations. Dr. Burgess is a trailblazing oral pathologist who works closely with Dr. Jonathan Irish diagnosing and treating mouth cancers at Princess Margaret’s Dental Oncology, Ocular, and Maxillofacial Prosthetics Clinic. This clinic is the busiest of its kind in Canada, seeing 14,000 patients every year.
Vancouver dentist Dr. Alison Fransen still considers Dr. Marcia Boyd, the dean while Dr. Fransen studied at UBC Dentistry, one of her greatest career role models. An Order of Canada recipient, Dr. Boyd was the first Canadian woman to serve as the president of the American College of Dentists. She also led a task force on the future of organized dentistry in British Columbia for the province’s College of Dental Surgeons and was an organizer and speaker for the American Dental Education Association’s International Women’s Leadership Conference.
Female Dentists Are Providing a Different Experience for Patients
For centuries, a trip to the dentist has been perceived as something to fear. However, as more women enter the field, that perception is slowly changing, according to McKay and Quiñonez. While most female dentists don’t think their professional experiences are any different from those of their male counterparts, studies show female dentists bring different traits and practices to their clinics.
Female dentists are said to be more empathetic and better able to communicate with their patients. They seem to be less rushed and willing to discuss their patients’ ailments and concerns in a more caring, humane way than male dentists. Just 8 percent of female dentists expect their patients to experience pain in the chair compared to 46 percent of male dentists. This suggests female dentists will often take greater care to reduce the pain their patients experience than male dentists.
Female Dentists Tend to Work Differently
Once dental practices were male-dominated spaces, but today female representation is at an all time high. In fact, one-third of the dentists at 123 Dentists are women. Female dentists can also bring a different kind of decision-making to any practice, according to self-reported research cited by McKay and Quiñonez. Men replied in a survey that they usually base their decisions on objectivity, logic, and consistency, while the women reported being more motivated by how they feel. Their personal values, sympathies, and desire to maintain harmony and tact are important factors in patient care.
The personal qualities women typically possess see them spearheading unique dental programs like Ontario’s Project Restoring Smiles. The women behind this initiative provide free dental procedures to survivors of domestic violence who are self-conscious about what their abuse has done to their smiles. These dentists provides extensive procedures costing thousands, including orthodontics, bleaching, crowns and bridges, root canals, extractions, dental implants, and surgical facial reconstruction free of charge.
“Our vision is to restore confidence in women who have survived domestic violence by addressing the physical effects of abuse,” Dr. Tina Meisami explained in a statement cited by women’s blog SheKnows. “Restoring a woman’s smile has an incredibly powerful impact on her overall physical and mental health.”
Since launching in 2011, Project Restoring Smiles has treated more than 45 patients to more than $200,000 worth of complimentary dental services.
The different character traits female dentists exhibit, as seen in the team from Project Restoring Smiles, translate into the different approaches McKay and Quiñonez saw female and male dentists taking in clinical practice. They noted male dentists tend to use gloves, masks, and protective eyewear less frequently than female dentists, who reported being more concerned with infection control. Women also typically favour preventative measures, while male dentists are more likely to advocate significant restoration. The willingness that these women have to head off problems before they arise could have a significant impact on their patients and the entire dental industry, in fact.
Female dentists are also more likely to refer the patients to specialists rather than attempting to resolve patient problems themselves. McKay and Quiñonez stated 70.3 percent of female dentists have referred simple and complex surgical cases to specialists compared to just 49.5 percent of male dentists.
Female Dentists Come From Diverse Backgrounds
Various scientific studies acknowledge that diversity in any industry makes professionals more creative, more diligent, and more hard-working.
For that reason, the large number of female dental professionals that come from nations outside of North America is also notable.
Burnaby dentist Dr. Wise Tang hails from Hong Kong and offers her services in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese, and is the owner of two 123Dentist offices.
Dr. Roshanak Rahmanian received her Doctor of Dental Surgery in Iran before completing a two-year qualifying program at the University of Toronto to practice in Canada.
Today she works as a general dentist at the Lonsdale Dental Centre in North Vancouver.
Representation of Women in Dentistry Goes Beyond Dentists
When assessing the impact of women in dentistry, it makes sense to analyze the number of practicing dentists. However, this doesn’t tell the entire story. Approximately 98 percent of Canada’s dental hygienists are women, along with 95 percent of its dental assistants. Both these roles feature in the top five female-dominated professions in Canada.
Women are also taking a growing role in leading dental practices. For example, 28 percent of 123Dentist clinic owners are women. Anecdotal evidence also suggests more women are specializing in dentistry.
While general dentistry remains popular, many female dentists say they see more of their peers pursuing roles in specialties like oral surgery and endodontics. Women like these continue to make strides in dental specialties and assert themselves in exciting new dental fields.
Dentistry Is Growing to Reflect What Women Want
Women in dentistry typically demand different things than their male colleagues. They often want time off to raise children and usually retire earlier. In his article “The 5 Most Dangerous Trends Facing Dentists and Their Families Today,” Evan Carmichael noted that male dentists typically work for 35 years, while female dentists usually work for 20 years in the profession. This statistic is bound to change since the ratio of women to men in the industry is continually changing, and will be interesting to observe over the coming decades.
As more women take roles in dentistry, we are seeing dental practices create more flexible working environments that reflect the needs of women. The current crop of dentists encourages those of the future to continue striving for the working conditions and work-life balance they need to achieve success.
We surveyed a number of female dentists and below are some of their comments and advice for women considering becoming dentists.
“My advice for future women dentists would be to know yourself and how to manage the stress of being a perfectionist, which can be in the nature of those personalities that go into dentistry,” one respondent said. “It can be overwhelming to own a practice, and be a ‘perfect’ clinical dentist, ‘perfect’ employer, ‘perfect’ colleague, lifelong learner and ‘perfect’ mother and still juggle everything with the impossible standards we set for ourselves. We wear many hats.”
“Having a dental career while being a mom is tough,” another respondent said. “One should strive to balance her career and family life, but the drive is the influence one can give to each and every patient and it’s priceless.”
While juggling the demands of dentistry with home life can be challenging, our dentists are showing they can do it all with ease, all while bringing new elements and approaches to an established industry. Although this was once a male-dominated field, women and their successes have now become integral to dentistry in Canada and beyond.
So with all of that said, we’d like to wish you all a happy International Women’s Day!
MILWAUKEE — Dental tools in hand and teeth to work on is Chante Parker’s comfort zone. But being the first African-American class president for Marquette University’s School of Dentistry is still sinking in.
“I’m the one that’s imprinting on history and it’s like, I never thought that,” said Parker.
Park has been class president since July of 2019 and serves as an ambassador for her class to create new initiatives for the dental school. She had no idea she’d be the first African-American to step into those shoes in the school’s 125 years of existence.
“I realize the magnitude of this opportunity, but it’s just so shocking to believe that it’s me,” Parker said.
Parker grew up in Atlanta and completed her undergraduate degree at The University of Miami, so she said moving to Milwaukee was a culture shock.
“It’s very segregated in where people live and where people thrive, and how the city runs itself,” said Parker. “I’m not used to that.”
Being hands-on helps Parker learn how to create beautiful smiles while she hopes to bring smiles to the community by setting an example.
“To help shift that dynamic and change the perspective and show that black people can do well, you can do anything that you want to do,” Parker said.
As Parker preps a crown, some might say she wears one herself as a catalyst for an inclusive community.
Marquette University School of Dentistry
“It made me feel like I had purpose in being here,” said Parker.
Parker will graduate in 2022. She hopes to open her own practice and offer free services to underprivileged communities.
The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC is celebrating a milestone.
Nearly 50 years ago, seven Cuban refugees were among the first class of students who graduated from the school’s international dentistry program.
Originally called the USC Special Student Program and later the International Student Program, the Advanced Standing Program for International Dentists (ASPID) was created in 1967 in response to the Cuban refugee crisis of the late ’50s and early ’60s when members of the professional class fled the country after Fidel Castro came into power. The United States government put out a call to schools to take in doctors and dentists to train them to practice here.
USC’s ASPID was the first program of its kind in the nation.
USC international dentistry: Diversity among students
These days, dentists from all over the world attend USC to acquire the skills taught in the United States.
“It’s well known that the U.S. has a very advanced dental education system, and oral health providers are very well trained in all specialty areas,” said Yang Chai, associate dean of research and an ASPID graduate, who came to the U.S. from China. “It is quite useful to be trained through the American system by attending a program like ASPID at USC.”
ASPID is a two-year program that begins with an intensive summer introduction to American dentistry. Afterward, students — who must have already completed National Dental Board Examination Part I to be accepted into the program — join their third-year colleagues in the regular DDS program. Following eight months of fundamental, technical and academic procedures training, their focus turns toward clinical training, where they begin working with patients in USC’s oral health clinics and community service programs.
“We get trained with the DDS students,” said ASPID student Amrita Chakraborty, who is from India. “I think that is a huge advantage for us because we get to learn a lot about the culture.”
Chai said ASPID’s diversity is an added bonus.
We not only learned from the professors at USC, but we also learned from our classmates. That was a really fun part of the program.
“It’s a group of individuals who bring their unique backgrounds into the program,” he said. “We not only learned from the professors at USC, but we also learned from our classmates. That was a really fun part of the program.”
Melika Haghighi said her favorite procedure so far is learning about digital dentures, but one ASPID class in particular made a special impact.
“Cultural sensitivity was an amazing course,” she said. “There were lectures that made me cry, and they emphasized the importance of understanding different cultures. USC provides an environment that makes everyone comfortable.”
From Dubai to L.A.: USC international dentistry
Haghighi was born and raised in Iran, but she studied dentistry in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. After graduation, she practiced for a year but felt her environment was too limiting. So she started researching different countries to see how to take her skills to the next level. She moved to the United States and started volunteering at USC’s mobile clinic and the John Wesley Community Health dental clinic on Skid Row, which validated her decision to apply to ASPID.
“My experience working on Skid Row was amazing,” she said. “I witnessed the impact USC has on oral health and the community. I chose USC because, to me, it’s more satisfying to have that influential effect on the community rather than in private practice. I saw that USC would prepare me for that.”
USC international dentistry addresses cultural challenges
The challenges international dentists face in the United States are not only cultural. Since every country practices dentistry differently, dentists who want to earn a DDS need to learn all aspects of standard care.
“They need to learn the material,” said Eddie Sheh, an ASPID graduate and its current director. “They need to know the rules and the language. Everything. Just like if you are a doctor, and you want to practice in the U.S., you need to know how we do things.”
Sheh, who was a dentist in Taiwan, said his schooling was very different than the hands-on training USC provides to it students.
“USC is very strong in practicing how to do it in a simulation lab and then treating many, many patients until you graduate,” he said. “Not many other schools in other parts of the world are like that.”
In many countries, dental school starts right after high school and is a six-year program. In Taiwan, when Sheh was studying, fifth-year students were allowed to go to the hospital and observe faculty perform procedures.
“If you were lucky, you got to step in and do a few procedures. If not, you just watched,” Sheh said. “You might be doing a lot of pediatric dentistry because they’re busy, and they need your help. Or you’d just be watching someone do a crown preparation, and you didn’t get to touch it. In my case, I never actually completed a crown preparation or a denture. I just watched.”
What USC does is simply everything, according to Sheh. Students get clinical training in which they are actually treating multiple patients with differing procedures until they are perfected.
“You get to practice what you are trained in,” he said. “You know exactly what to do.”
Aiming for perfection
Chakraborty noted two chief differences between her schooling in India and with ASPID.
“No. 1, you are trained to become a perfectionist,” she said. “USC teaches you to not do work that is just passable. They teach you to strive to do really good work. Another would be professionalism — how to approach patients, how to explain treatments and basically how to treat a patient.”
Treatment planning is the major emphasis of the program, Chai said, and students spend a lot of time learning how to provide a comprehensive treatment plan for patients along with doing procedures.
ASPID accepts 34 students each year out of the more than 1,000 who apply. The ASPID Class of 2020 is 67 percent female; 63 percent of the class are international students requiring a student visa, 29 percent are U.S. citizens and 8 percent are permanent U.S. residents. One hundred percent of the class has earned a foreign bachelor of dental surgery, doctor of dental surgery or doctor of dental medicine degree.
Stay or go home?
Another obstacle international dentists face when they come here is the feeling of starting from square one. After completing years of schooling and practicing dentistry in their countries, often the only jobs they can secure in the United States at first is as dental assistants.
“You graduate from your own country, and you are called a doctor,” Haghighi said. “Then you come here and you have to repeat everything.”
As an ASPID alumnus, Sheh understands what the students go through.
“I understand what they have to endure. That’s the good thing — they know I graduated from the program, and I can tell them what to expect when they complete it.”
The majority of ASPID alumni stay stateside, Sheh said: “That is why they come here. Unless they have other reasons to go back, like for their parents, I would say 99 percent stay here. That was what the program was designed for.”
Whether students stay here or return to their countries, the training they receive with ASPID is unrivaled.
“USC has such a long history and very strong reputation in the community as one of the leading institutions for educating future dentists,” Chai said. “And, naturally, everyone who wants to learn how to practice the best dentistry possible will come to USC.”
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The University of Utah School of Dentistry and partners provided no-cost dental care for children as part of the American Dental Association’s “Give Kids a Smile”…
Magic City Dentistry is launching their first party of 2020 with Botox specials, giveaways, Rock and Roll photography from Ann Sydney Williamson and a live music performance from Taylor Hollingsworth. The fun kicks off on January 23 at 4:30PM–you don’t want to miss it!
Part Dentistry, Part Art Gallery
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–Magic City Dentistry has an atmosphere unlike any dentist office I’ve ever visited. For starters, every patient and employee is so friendly and outgoing. And there’s the fact that every examination room is outfitted with a TV–so you can catch up on your latest Netflix binge.
But my favorite part of visiting Magic City Dentistry is getting to see all of the art. In the past, Magic City Dentistry has displayed art from Lauren Strain, Sonia Summers, Eric Poland and many more.
Magic City Dentistry’s Newest Exhibit
The latest artist to grace the walls is Ann Sydney Williamson, a local photographer.
Ann Sydney has been a photographer for 7 years. It all started when she was touring with bands and decided to start taking photos with her phone. She noticed that she had a knack for capturing captivating moments, so she picked up a fancy camera and began to teach herself photography.
“I started only shooting bands, and then I starting taking photos of my travels. I really like odd cultural events, so I just starting taking photos of them.”
Ann Sydney Williamson
Since then, Ann Sydney expanded her photography to her travels, life and adventures. But for this art opening, she’s going back to her roots by showing off her best photos of the rock and roll shows she’s attended throughout the years.
- View her work: Website | Facebook | Instagram
The Fun Starts January 23
- When: January 23, 4:30PM to 7PM
- Where: Magic City Dentistry, 2117 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
- What: An art opening for Ann Sydney Williamson
Just like the opening of Sonia Summer’s exhibit in August, Magic City Dentistry is hosting a gala for the art opening. Here are the top 4 things I’m looking forward to!
1. Meet the Artist & Buy Her Work
Ann Sydney Williamson and her husband, Blake (the drummer for Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires) will be at the party to answer any questions you have about her art. Plus, during the gala (or any time you visit Magic City Dentistry), you can purchase any print or framed photo that you like.
- Prints: $75
- Framed photographs: $150
PS: If you see a print that you’d like framed, Ann Sydney can arrange to have it framed for you.
2. Eat, Drink and Socialize
This art gala is the perfect opportunity to make new friends in Birmingham. There will be food, wine and beer from Trimtab Brewing.
3. See a Free Show by Taylor Hollingsworth
While you enjoy Ann Sydney’s photographs, Birmingham native musician Taylor Hollingsworth will be putting on a free show! Taylor writes, plays, and records his own music, and has released nine solo albums. In addition to his solo work, Taylor has toured with Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Dead Fingers, Maria Taylor, Monsieur Jeffrey Evans and his Southern Ace’s and
“Taylor’s writing gets right to the heart. His music is a mix of psychedelic, punk and blues–but with an old country spin. I have personally seen people cry upon hearing some of his songs and I have too!”
Kristye Dixon, Practice Development Manager
4. Get Entered to Win Big
Each guest gets an entry for several exciting raffle items, such as a free Teeth Whitening from Magic City Dentistry and a free framed photograph from Ann Sydney Williamson.
Plus, Magic City Dentistry is offering their botox units at a discount for one night only. At the gala, you can purchase botox for $10 per unit–regularly $13 per unit!
The best part? This entire event is FREE and open to the public.
- Address: 2117 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
- Hours: 7AM-5PM Monday and Wednesday | 8AM-6PM Tuesday | 8AM-4PM Thursday | 8AM-1PM Friday
- Contact: 205.238.6800 | Website | Facebook | Instagram
This art gala for Ann Sydney Williamson is the perfect chance to find out what Magic City Dentistry is all about. From celebrating and supporting local artists, to providing a warm, comfortable environment for their guests, you can get the full experience on January 23.
So come out and enjoy art, music, and good company at Magic City Dentistry.
Tag us on social media @bhamnow with your favorite photograph at Magic City Dentistry!
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