Regardless how delighted a person may seem, there is always a little voice in the back of one’s thought that worries about all the devastating risks in life. Sooner or later, that voice can become deafening in regards to issues such as various types of carcinoma. Still, when it comes to a disease such as cancer, many individuals may not discover they have it until the symptoms have been widespread in the body. Fortunately, we can offer patients a chance to feel reassured or catch the signs early on for a more efficient treatment at our office.
Oral cancer is an important disease to understand, as it is one of the top diseases affecting the facial region. Cancer prevention is the steps taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. Do you know that by preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered? This will then decrease the number of deaths caused by cancer.
To prevent new cancers from beginning, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth or throat. In 2017 alone, an estimated 49,670 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer, and more than 9,700 will parish due to the disease. Oral cancer is twice as common in men as in women. All the aspects that increase your chance of developing cancer are called a cancer risk factor; the factors that decrease your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.
Individual risk factors for cancer can be avoided altogether, but many cannot. For example, smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but in this case, only smoking can be avoided. Among the advice given are regular exercise and a healthy diet. These are protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk, but it does not mean that you will not get cancer.
There are various ways to prevent cancer are being studied, including:
1. Changing lifestyle or eating habits.
2. Avoiding things known to cause cancer.
3. Taking drugs to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting.
Avoiding the use of tobacco and not drinking alcohol in excess can prevent most oral cancer. However, one in four people (25%!) diagnosed with oral cancer has no risk factors. It’s important to see your dentist regularly for screenings.
Oral cancer is a problem that can be drastically reduced altogether. This is because oral cancer is a highly preventable disease and also very treatable if caught early.
People should be aware of the precaution they can take to lower the risk of getting the carcinoma. It is too bad if somebody does not heed the advice of experts and end up with the disease that can be fatal. Certain groups of people still chew betel nut and areca, which is well known to be a carcinogenic food. If you chew those, stop! Think twice if you want to expose your oral mucosa to the risk.
For example, they should stay away from the use tobacco in any form. Besides that, limit alcohol so that it doesn’t exceed more than one drink each day if you’re a woman or two drinks each day for males. Another general but sound advice is to stay out of the sun, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when sunlight is strongest. Use the lip balm with SPF 30 or higher. Last but not least, eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
In conclusion, everyone is at risk for oral cancer because, like all cancers, there is a danger of developing this deadly disease no matter the age.
Ever heard of the word Galvanism or Galvinism? This name stems from the work of Luigi Galvani, the Italian scientist. A phenomenon that refers to the electrical current produced by the interaction of ions when various metals come in contact with each other.
This is an important concept in the field of dentistry. Dental galvanism may occasionally occur when dissimilar metals used in teeth fillings come in contact. This is especially true when individuals chew or clench their teeth.
In modern dentistry, there is a wide array of materials used. One of the most commonly known restorations is silver amalgam fillings. As silver is a major component of these dental fillings, many other metals are included in their composition to enhance strength, ease of handling and stability. Definitive crowns (which are also called caps) can be made of silver, gold, palladium, nickel or other alloys.
While Galvanism is usually not an issue between adjacent teeth on the same arch, this manifestation occurs when teeth with restorations composed of dissimilar metals on opposite arches come in contact. Though this is a rare occurrence, you will find it quite striking should it happen to you.
Over the years, patients often describe the sensation of Galvanism to chewing on tin foil or, in more extreme cases, like experiencing electric shock radiating within the oral cavity. The current produced in dental Galvanism is propagated through the restoration in question directly to the nerve of the tooth. While it is not a serious situation with long-term health consequences, therefore, patients should take heed about these things.
You may be wondering what can be done when you have a sensation as a result of Galvanism in your oral cavity. The dental practitioner can provide some options to correct this problem in your mouth. If a stainless steel provisional crown is the culprit, it can be remade with acrylic or other temporary materials to resolve this issue. Occasionally, you will need to have a replacement situated with another kind of material or the restoration type. If the situation occurs due to two crowned teeth touching in your bite as the offending circumstance, either one or the other will need to be replaced.
This, however, has been very rare in dental clinics, even when you ask around, most dentists have never personally had to replace a crown because of Galvanism. The reason being, there are excess of crowns than not that are made with metals have porcelain baked onto them for beauty purposes, and those that are fully metal for areas where your bite might predispose overlying porcelain to fracture are customarily made of gold and so are compatible with each other.
In conclusion, diagnosis is the first step to correcting signs and symptoms of galvanism within the oral cavity. Patients should be educated enough to identify the electrifying sensation in the mouth and seek professional consult.
Regenerative dentistry is becoming a buzzword in the industry. We are experiencing exponential growth in all areas of our lives. Healthcare is one aspect that is getting disrupted almost every month. When it comes to medical/dental niche, what’s interesting nowadays is the topic of tissue engineering.
Regenerative dentistry has been popularized due to advancements in biologic therapies that apply differentiation and various growth factors which are capable of inducing natural biologic regeneration. In 1920, it was described that the application of calcium hydroxide for vital pulp therapy in dental procedures. There was also an evaluation for a revascularization method for re‑establishing a pulp‑dentin complex in permanent teeth with pulpal necrosis.
Though the regeneration of a lost tissue is known to mankind for several years, it is just recently that research on regenerative medicine/dentistry has gained momentum and eluded the dramatic yet scientific advancements in the area of molecular biology. Our ever growing understanding of concepts and wisdom in the regeneration of oral/dental tissues coupled with experiments on stem cells has high probability to result in a paradigm shift in the therapeutic armamentarium of dental and oral diseases culminating in a largely intense search for “biological solutions to biological problems.”
Stem cells have been successfully isolated from a variety of human tissues including orofacial tissues. The first ever evidence from pioneering studies has documented the likely breakthrough that stems cells offer for multiple life-threatening diseases that have so far been far more successful than modern medical care. The evidence gathered so far has kickstarted many elegant studies exploring the role of stem cells and their manifold dental applications.
When you take a look at the advancements in regenerative dentistry, you’ll notice a sojourn of the origin of stem cells, their properties, characteristics, and their potential applications. It also focuses on the various challenges and barriers that we have to surmount before translating laboratory results into successful clinical applications heralding the dawn of regenerative dentistry.
What is it that can make regeneration of dental pulp possible? The three key ingredients for regeneration are progenitor/stem cells, morphogens, and the extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffold.
Another thing which scientists and researchers are working on is pulp revascularization. Pulp revascularization is defined as re introduction of vascularity in the root canal system. Though blood vessels are indispensable constituents of dental pulp, pulp regeneration is considered not yet complete without an odontoblastic layer that lines the dentin surface. Also needed is the nociceptive as well as parasympathetic and sympathetic nerve fibers, in addition to interstitial fibroblasts and not forgetting, the stem/progenitor cells that serve to replenish all pulp cells in the regenerated pulp when they undergo apoptosis and turnover.
For regenerative procedures to be successful, it depends a lot on the design of scaffold. Scaffolds made of ceramic can be modified to obtain desired permeability, controlled dissolution rate, and specific surface characteristics to enhance cellular activity. Change in pore size and volume affects the mechanical stiffness of the scaffold.
Through the use of computer‑aided design and 3D printing technologies, scaffolds like polymers can be fabricated into precise geometries with a broad range of bioactive surfaces. Such scaffolds have the potential to provide environments conducive to the growth of specific cell types such as pulpal cells. Future in regenerative endodontics is very promising owing to the discoveries and advancements in scaffold technology.
What then are the practical usage of regenerative dentistry? It has been used for almost 100 years now, the way dentists apply calcium hydroxide so that a dentine bridge can be formed near the pulp-dentine complex. That is one of the oldest applications. Other than that, we are using various materials that are able to regenerate some aspect of the pulp during endodontic procedures. Perhaps in some day, we can fully restore the tooth to vitality even when the pulp is totally necrosed. When the day comes, it will be a victory for technological advancements in regenerative dentistry.
Here’s some of the common ones:
1) Difficulty eating and speaking
2) Appearance of a collapsed face
3) Quality of life and personal self-esteem
4) Impression that makes a person is 20-25 years older
When someone has a tooth missing, there are some options to consider. Typically there are denture, bridge or implant for the patient.
Dentures used to be the treatment of choice many years ago due to their cost-effectiveness and technology that existed back in the day. Now we have a dental bridge that was modified from the dentures but is fixed onto the tooth and is smaller. Implants are devices that are screwed into the bone and capped with a crown.
Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as one’s natural teeth, today’s dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than before.
There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. Your dentist will help you choose the type of denture that’s best for you based on whether some or all of your teeth are going to be replaced and the cost involved.
Over a period of time, the dynamicness in the oral cavity will change the condition of your denture. They will need to be relined, remade, or rebased due to normal wear. Rebasing means making a new base while keeping the existing denture teeth. Also, as you age, your mouth naturally changes. These changes cause your dentures to loosen, making chewing difficult and irritating your gums. At a minimum, you should see your dentist annually for a checkup.
The disadvantages of dentures are also many:
Dentures are uncomfortable, to some patients, often painful and do not look natural enough to mask its appearance from natural dentition. Some denture adhesives contain zinc which research has shown that it can cause neurologic problems. Also, denture wearers have limited taste sensation and often times suffer from bad breath. Besides that, dentures cause bone loss after a period of time.
People with dentures have to be careful what they eat, and can rarely eat anything crunchy or chewy to prevent denture from fracturing. Maintenance have to be given emphasis, patients have to be advised not to drop dentures on the floor. Also, to soak it in water before bed, to prevent microorganisms from colonizing the surface of the denture. Many denture wearers complain about self-consciousness during intimate moments.
Dental bridges and implants are constructed rather differently. A bridge is made of a false tooth suspended between two crowns that the dentist cements onto prepared natural teeth on either side. An implant is a false tooth that’s attached to a titanium post. The false teeth and crowns in bridges and the false teeth in implants are matched to the color of the surrounding teeth. Unlike an implant, the false tooth of a bridge isn’t embedded in the gum.
It is sometimes difficult in deciding between a bridge or implant, time and cost may be important to you. Often, your dentist can provide a bridge over two visits within a few weeks, but if you wish to go for the implant, the waiting time is longer — it takes roughly 3-6 months for the jaw bone to grow around the titanium area of the implant. This is known as osseointegration. It also varies according to the material of choice (porcelain/metal etc.)
Implants itself don’t take longer in general, if we achieve an initial stability of 35cm, we can load it immediately.
What benefits does implant have over bridges and dentures?
1) Assist in restoring natural chewing capacity as it comes with increased stability in the oral cavity.
2) Maintains mouth function, including the palate so foods can be fully tasted and enjoyed when you can sense the differences between hot and cold.
3) for implants, no need to grind teeth as in some bridge cases
An oral examination evaluating hard and soft tissue relevant to implant placement is imperative. A dental clinician should examine periodontal health, interarch spaces, the existing teeth and prosthetics, vestibular depths, jaw relationships, and maximum incisal opening. Additionally, the clinician should also take the time to review for parafunctional habits, including clenching and grinding, observing for wear facets on the occlusal surfaces.
Who is a good candidate for implant treatment? If you’re in an excellent state of health with healthy gums and adequate bone to support an implant, then you might be a suitable candidate. You must be committed to thorough dental hygiene to keep your mouth healthy and to scheduling regular dental visits. Hygiene, is important to prevent peri-implantitis.
Still, understand that there are contraindications to implant treatment. Absolute contraindications to implant placement include acute illnesses in the oral cavity, magnitude of defect/anomaly, uncontrolled metabolic disease, bone and/or soft tissue pathology/infection. uncontrolled metabolic diseases like diabetes, certain medication, biphosphonate intake, drug abuse and heavy drinking. The long-term success of properly placed implants is highly dependent on restorative biomechanical factors. When loads exceed the load-bearing capacity, biological failure and mechanical failure can occur. Mechanical failure may present as a complete fracture through implant fixture or porcelain splinting from the restorative prosthesis.
Treatment needs vary from patient to patient when it comes to replacing a missing tooth. Your dentist can help you decide the best choice for you. In patients with craniomaxillofacial defects, implants can be used to replace ears, noses, eyes, and other maxillofacial defects. Moreover, congenital, traumatic, and developmental oral defects can be treated with implants.
In conclusion, implants have their time and place in the treatment involving the oral cavity and maxillofacial region. Have your dentist walk through with you if implants are more preferred over bridge and denture whenever you’re thinking of replacing your missing tooth.
Dental implants are the teeth replacement option of choice for most of the developed world today. This particular dental prosthetic offers a broad range of benefits and well accepted in the dental community, even for the patients. Dental implants provide a predictable, efficient, and reliable means for tooth replacements.
Additionally, dental implants offer completely and partially edentulous patients the function and aesthetics they had with natural dentition. It enables patients to regain normal masticatory function, aesthetics, speech, smile, and deglutition. Many patients have reported having their quality of life improved after placement of implants to replace the loss of natural teeth. Even in senior folks, they are able to masticate and speak better. Improved function and aesthetics have brought about a better lifestyle for those people.
Edentulous patients gain a feeling of higher self-esteem and well-being. In patients with craniomaxillofacial defects, implants can be used to replace ears, noses, eyes, and other maxillofacial defects. Moreover, congenital, traumatic, and developmental oral defects can be treated with implants.
However, there are cases where the implant fail in the oral cavity after placement is done. It all boils down to how well the implant piece fuses with the bone.
Osseointegration is a good indication of the clinical success of titanium implants referring to the direct anchorage of such implants to the surrounding host bone. In spite of the high success rate of endosseous dental implants, they do fail. A lack of initial stability, surgical trauma, and infection seem to be the most important causes of early implant failure. Failures associated with overload comprise of cases in which the functional load applied to the implants exceeds the capability of the bone to withstand it. Failures that occur between abutment connection and delivery of the prosthesis are most likely caused by unfavorable loads. Systemic problems such as an uncontrolled diabetes, the intake of biphosphonates can affect the osseointegration.
There are some ways the implant can fail. Biological failures, which can be further divided according to chronological criteria into “early failures.”
(a) inability to achieve osseointegration that might indicate an interference with the initial bone healing process and “late failures” (inability to preserve the achieved osseointegration);
(b) mechanical failures, which include fracture of implants and related superstructures;
(c) iatrogenic failures, where osseointegration is achieved
but due to the wrong alignment of the implant, it is excluded from being used as part of the Anchorage unit – removal of implants due to a violation of the adjacent anatomical structures such as the inferior the alveolar nerve.
This is why dentists are quite particular in their case selection for implant candidates. Adequate provision of implant primary stability is imperative to attain successful osseointegration. The local bone density has a significant influence on such stability, which is an important determinant of implant success.
Hence, it is necessary for a proper consult with your local dentist to how he or she will carry out the procedure. The dental practitioner will check whether the condition of your jaw and the alveolar process is suited for such a procedure. If not enough bone present, you might need to go through a bone grafting procedure to increase the height of available bone to support the dental prosthesis.
Many adults have had root canal treamtent before. But do you know children can also have similar treatments for their deciduous teeth?
One of the goals of endodontics is keeping the dentition in a physiologically functional state for the maintenance of oral and systemic health. Trauma to the developing dentition, when it results in pulp necrosis and incomplete root formation, can lead to a premature loss of permanent or deciduous teeth, which may compromise the dentition.
Root canal treatment is conducted in children for some reasons most commonly as a result of trauma or, less often, dental caries. The quality of root canal treatment has been linked to the success, and periapical health of endodontic ally treated teeth on several occasions.
Other times, when the cavity is extensive, the dentist might opt for root canal treatment procedures, such as pulpotomy. The aim of pulpotomy is to remove coronal pulp which has been irreversibly inflamed, leaving behind possibly healthy or reversibly inflamed radicular pulp.
There are a few indications where pulpotomy is deemed a good treatment option to save the deciduous tooth. When there is caries close to the pulp. Where there is no radicular pulp involvement, no history of spontaneous pain and hemorrhage easily controlled during the procedure. Only carry out pulpotomy when there is no abscess or fistula present.
For this treatment to have a high success rate, the tooth needs to have more than 1/2 root length remaining and without any iatrogenic pulp exposure.
Materials of choice for placement within the pulp include Formocresol, Ferric Sulphate (15.5%), Corticosteroids, Glutaraldehyde, MTA, BMP, Ledermix, and Paraformaldehyde. Those materials are used to devitalise the pulp tissues or to regenerate new tissues so that the tooth can remain functional within the oral cavity. It is crucial to have the tooth remain until the permanent dentition starts to erupt. As we know, deciduous tooth serves the function as a space retainer within the dental arch.
When the bleeding from the root canal is extensive and cannot be stopped within 4 minutes, Pulpectomy is done. This procedure removes irreversibly inflamed or necrotic radicular pulp tissue and gently clean root canal system.
The dental practitioner will obturate root canals with a filling that will resorb the same rate as tooth and eliminated rapidly if accidently extruded the apex. This procedure is not standard and only carried out when the tooth is diagnosed as irreversible pulpitis, or there is a profused hemorrhage following pulpotomy.
The materials used to obturate the canal after cleaning it include CaOH with Iodoform (Vitapex), Iodoform, Camphor, Menthol & Parachlorophenol (KriPaste). These materials have properties that can ensure elimination of bacteria from the canal system, creation of a scaffold for the ingrowth of new tissue and prevent reinfection by creating a bacteria-tight seal.
Depending on severity and experience of the dentist, some can take only a single visit to the dental office to have the procedure completed, while some cases may require 2 visits.
One of the main differences between endodontic treatments in children compared to adults is the prevalence of immature roots. Loss of vitality is a common sequela of dental trauma and can result in arrested root development if this occurs before maturation.
Regenerative endodontic procedures hold the promise of restoring the pulp/dentin complex in teeth with immature roots and necrotic pulps. Still, guardians of the child patient have to understand the situation and be notified about the procedure to avoid any misunderstanding. The rapidly evolving field of regenerative endodontics will undoubtedly reshape the way practitioners approach in root canal treatment in kids.
There is a rising public demand for aesthetic dentistry, including dental bleaching or teeth whitening has increased in recent years. I’m sure you’re familiar with dental whitening products such as whitening toothpaste, strips and even the gel form which comes with a tray.
In such context, clinicians, and dental professionals are acutely aware of the importance of dental bleaching in daily clinical practice.
Nowadays, there are two types of dentist-supervised techniques: at home or in-office bleaching. Although at-home bleaching has been the most frequent treatment for vital teeth, some patients do not want to use a bleaching tray on a daily basis for several weeks; so they request in-office bleaching, which produces more immediate results.
There’re several different methods for whitening teeth, each with their mechanism of action. The efficacy of these various methods is dependent upon the particular tooth discoloration that is being treated.
First, how do our teeth get stained?
Causes of tooth discoloration can be categorized into two main groups: Intrinsic and extrinsic staining.
Intrinsic staining, sometimes called internal staining, can be attributed to factors such as genetics, age (from enamel wear over time exposing yellower dentin), antibiotics, high levels of fluoride, and developmental disorders and can start before the tooth has erupted. After the eruption of the tooth, some dental restorations can cause tooth staining.
Extrinsic staining, sometimes called external staining, is due in large part to environmental factors including smoking, pigments in beverages and foods, antibiotics, and metals such as iron or copper. Colored compounds from these sources are absorbed into acquired dental pellicle or directly onto the surface of the tooth causing a stain to appear.
Tooth stains consist of compounds that have color or darker shades called chromogens that are accumulated in the tooth (intrinsic) or on the tooth (extrinsic). Chromogens fall into two categories: large organic compounds that have conjugated double bonds in their chemical structure; and metal containing compounds. Bleaching of the organic
compounds by hydrogen peroxide involves reacting with the double bonds to oxidize the double bond.
This causes the chromogen to become a lighter colored compound. Bleaching of the metallic compounds is much more challenging; better aesthetic options may be veneers, bonding, or crowns. There are some professional products that contain sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) which reacts with the double bonds of the chromogen in much the same way as peroxide.
Many people are unsure of which products serve them the best to get the results they desire. Whitening toothpaste typically can lighten tooth color by about one or two shades. These are available in the supermarkets and pharmacies.
On the other hand, there are whitening strips. Whitening strips were introduced into the market in the late 1980’s. They deliver a thin layer of peroxide gel on plastic strips shaped to fit onto the buccal surfaces of the teeth. There are a variety of white strip products on the market with varying instructions. A typical set of instructions is to apply the strips twice daily for 30 minutes for 14 days. Tooth lightening can be seen in several days, and this method can lighten the teeth by 1 or 2 shades. There are some newer whitening strip products that require only one 30-minute application per day that have the same whitening end point as the two-a-day products.
Another favorite method is mouth rinses. Whitening rinses contain oxygen sources such as hydrogen peroxide to react with the chromogens. Manufacturer’s instructions are for twice a day rinsing for 60 seconds each. It takes up to 3 months to see a 1 or 2 shade improvement in tooth color.
Last but not least, if you opt to do the treatment yourself in the comfort of your home is the Tray-based tooth whitening systems. These are available both professionally and OTC. This method involves use of a fitted tray containing carbamide peroxide bleaching gel worn for 2 to 4 hours a day or overnight. Usually, by following the manufacturer instructions tooth whitening is noticeable in a few days, lightening the teeth by 1 or 2 shades.
However, there are minimal risks associated with teeth whitening. There include tooth mineral degradation, increased susceptibility to demineralization. No doubt some may be put off by the risks, the benefits may outweight the potential side effects. Still, there are positive effect from fluoride which is contained by modern bleaching products, for example, products from Ultradent.
Throughout the years, we’ve found that the optimal regimen to obtain persistence of tooth whitening is to follow an in-office treatment with monthly home-based touch-up treatments using OTC products. This regime will work best to ensure you get the optimal result and be truly satisfied with the whitening treatment,
In conclusion, dental whitening is an excellent cosmetic procedure. Supervision of the tooth whitening strategy by an oral healthcare professional will reduce the potential risks and optimize benefits of tooth bleaching. Be a well informed consumer in the process of surveying for the best teeth whitening treatment for yourself.
There has been controversy over a type dental filling.
Some say this dental filling is toxic because it has mercury.
Now, you’re probably wondering…
Is this the element that pollutes the environment and the reason we don’t eat seafood that’s been contaminated by it?
Let me give you a bit of an idea of the dental filling we’re talking about.
This filling is called dental amalgam, where 50% of it is mercury.
Want to know if you have those in your mouth?
Go to the mirror now and open your mouth, if you see silver / gray fillings, particularly at the back teeth, that’s probably it.
If you think you have toxic stuff in your mouth right now, don’t panic.
Let’s take a step back and check out both sides of the argument. It’s important to see the ideas from both sides.
There are research supporting and rejecting the use of amalgam. We’ll take a look at various viewpoints of those supporters and critics, within the context of today’s culture.
Dental amalgam might have first been used by the Chinese as early as 659 AD. In Europe, these fillings were used back in the 16th century.
In modern dentistry, dentists have been using this material for more than 150 years. Throughout the years there has been “amalgam wars” and controversy over the mercury content, but the use of those fillings persist.
The reliable performance of dental amalgams in load bearing situations and low cost is unmatched by other dental restorative material. Especially when patching the back teeth, dental amalgam was a no-brainer.
Are dental amalgams safe?
We can note that there are mercury vapor released from silver fillings. But whether amalgam poses a real health risk is still not known for sure.
The questions we should ask is: Does enough mercury escape from amalgam restorations to cause adverse health effects?
The answer? The evidences were not sufficient to deem amalgam as dangerous to the human body and to refute the use of amalgam.
#1: Once the reaction is complete, less amount of mercury is released, that is far below the current health standard
#2: Mercury does not collect irreversibly in human tissues.
The average half-life of mercury is 55 days for transport through the body to the point of excretion. Thus mercury that came into the body years ago may no longer be present in the body
#3 Mercury acts as bacteriostatic agent. Since there are so many bacteria in the oral cavity, being able to resist bacteria is an important characteristic..
Once again, there’s nothing to worry about dental amalgam. But don’t take my word for it, this is not just my opinion.
Reputable organizations such as U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and Consumer Reports are backing those claims.
“ The scientific evidence supports the position that amalgam is a valuable, viable and safe choice for dental patients.”
“While elemental mercury has been associated with adverse health effects at high exposures, the levels released by dental amalgam fillings are not high enough to cause harm in patients.”
At the end of the day, all comes down to this: being practical. Practicality being that sweet spot between totally abandoning the material and relying on it entirely.
So…what does all this mean to you as a patient?
What to do if you currently have amalgam in your mouth
Some people in the “holistic dentistry” circle have in fact successfully convinced a number of individuals to have perfectly good amalgam fillings removed to be replaced with composites. No need to purposely remove it, removing it is even worse as the process of removing produces more mercury vapor into environment
The removal of amalgam fillings is not recommended for reasons other than a true hypersensitivity to Mercury. Mercury allergy is rare but sometimes hypersensitivity to it may lead to dermatitis most often affecting the skin as a rash. This affects a very tiny subset of the population.
What to do the next time you’re considering a dental filling
We live in an age of choices. Knowing the choices you have for fillings a good place to start with.
Though amalgam have no harm to the body, there are benefits of using other materials, Nowadays the focus is on aesthetic dentistry, and the use of tooth colored fillings is on the rise. If your dentist can offer an excellent quality tooth-colored filling to ensure long-term sustainability, I’d say go for it. If not, we can always fall back to good old-fashioned amalgam.
With much improvements in other dental materials such as composites, those can also be a viable option to be considered. Consider dental composites if the filling is visible when you smile or talk, they’re great for aesthetic purposes.
There will always be people with opposing beliefs. Those who are against dental amalgam are seemed to be also “naturalist” and “holistic”. It’s just speaking to a different audience. The scientific community as a whole still believes in the usage of the silver filling.
So let me summarize and review, though some people have the misconception that dental amalgam is unsafe, evidence has shown otherwise. In fact, they’re very safe and have practical use in the field of dentistry.
Imagine this scenario: A middle age lady spends about 20 minutes in total with her oral hygiene routine, using a toothbrush, interdental brush, floss and even mouth rinse. Still, when she goes for her annual dental checkup, the oral health is not satisfactory. Her dentist is unhappy with the results despite the effort she has put in.
What is going on?
These are the questions that might be going in your head when it comes to the daily products:
– What toothbrush size is most appropriate for me? Should I opt for the soft or hard bristles?
– Does everyone benefits from using mouth rinse and should I use one?
– I got floss recently but am unsure what is the best way to use it
– How do I clean my teeth effectively if I’m wearing braces?
– What is this new product ToothMoose that I keep hearing? What is the mechanism behind this new innovative product?
– Do I need to change from my manual toothbrush to an electric or sonic toothbrush?
As a consumer, some of the consumer dental products might be confusing. Also, you may have inquiries about those dental products, from toothbrush and floss to interdental brushes and mouth rinse. With the vast selection of consumer goods out there? How does one decide? Which products work and which ones are there because of the marketing hype?
In this article, you will learn the various oral hygiene tools out there and the basic usage of that equipment so that you can achieve maximum preventive care in your oral health.
We believe that education is the key. Education does two things:
1) enable you to decide for yourself which product suits you best
2) empower you to use the correct method to achieve maximum effectiveness with those tools
First, good oral hygiene habits start with proper toothbrushing. The goals of brushing are effective topical delivery of fluoride via the toothpaste and plaque removal. Most people do not practice their brushing technique, they’re either brushing the wrong way or are not spending sufficient time to do it. It is crucial that you brush for 2 minutes per session and in a rotational movement, not a horizontal fashion as that will cause abrasion of your teeth. One technique that is especially useful is the modified Stillman method, in which the bristles are directed apically. Dentists would recommend patients with hypersensitive gingiva or reduced interdental papilla to use it. Use the rolling stroke method while vibrating the bristles in a lateral motion.
Secondly, many people today skip their flossing, thinking that it is not necessary. What’s the big deal with flossing anyway? The fact is, people don’t realize food gets stuck in between the teeth and underneath the gums, in areas where the naked eye can’t see. You don;t see it doesn’t mean the plaque and food debris aren’t there. The mouth is the dirtiest part of the body and as the mouth is the gateway to the whole body, do take caution.
Thirdly, people that are compromised in their oral health ought to utilize some form of mouth rinse to provide maximum protection for their teeth. For example, those with episodes of recurrent ulcers of immunocompromised can benefit much from a mouth rinse, be it a commercial product such as Listerine or Colgate Plax, or just a mixture of salt water, aka saline. Gargle 2 or 3 times a day for best results. Do note that most mouthrinse brands should be used without any dilution. This is one of the common mistakes where people add water to the solution. Just use it straight from the bottle for the best effect.
In conclusion, the key to oral hygiene is education. As a reader of this blog, you have been taking steps to improve your oral health. Knowing is one thing, the next step is to ensure you turn that know-how into habits that will prevent the oral disease from happening in your mouth. A little step in preventive oral care can go a long way in ensuring you do not suffer from another toothache.
Over the past few years, South Asia has become an increasingly popular dental tourism destination for Europeans, Australians and US citizens in search of quality, low cost treatments. Continue reading