Benefits and Risks of Medical Interventions

An interesting article titled “Reaping the Benefits and Avoiding the Risks: UnrealisticOptimism in the Health Domain,” by Hanoch et al. in Risk Analysis, Oct. 4 2018, discusses how people may not be able to accurately perceive the risks and benefits associated with medical interventions. The article looked at 373 adults ages 19 to 76 from the U.S. The participants were asked five scenarios focused only on the benefits. Participants were asked to imagine their doctor had recommended some treatment, this included a drug, dental surgery, ear surgery, kidney operation, or to take a new medication. The participants were also asked to imagine that their doctor had recommended a treatment for a flu (a drug), a life threatening illness (a drug), a fall (knee surgery), depression (anti-depression medication), and a heart problem (heart bypass surgery). The article states the patients were … Read more

Practice Approaches of British Oral Surgeons for Wisdom Teeth Surgery

An interesting article titled “Current practice in mandibular third molar surgery. A national survey of British Association of Oral Surgeons membership,” written by Devine et al. appears in Oral Surgery in 2017 (vol. 10, pp. 11-19). The article discuss the current practices among member of the British Association of Oral Surgeons (BAOS) for wisdom teeth surgery. The authors conducted a survey of members of the British Association of Oral Surgeons from March to June 2015 where 250 of the 520 total members (48.1%) responded. The most common grade of the respondents was specialty dentist (25.2%), primary care oral surgeon (18.4%), associate specialist (18.0%) and oral surgery consultant (13.4%). About 17% of those who responded said that wisdom teeth removal comprises 75% of their workload and about 36% of those who responded said that wisdom teeth removal comprises between 50 and … Read more

Laser Therapy to Reduce Pain and Improve Healing After Tooth Removal

An interesting study titled “The effect of the low-level laser therapy on healing and pain after tooth extraction: a systematic review” written by Ribeiro et al. appears in Oral Surgery in 2017 (vol. 10, pp. 174-183). The article attempts to perform a systematic review to determine if lower level laser therapy improves healing and reduces pain after having a tooth extracted. In the past several similar studies that have been conducted have been discussed on this site see for example Using Laser Therapy after Tooth Extraction to Improve Wound Healing and Can you Use Low Level Laser Therapy After Wisdom Teeth Removal to Reduce Pain?. Low level laser therapy aids in the healing process by providing radiation that is absorbed through cytochromes in the mitochondria and then converted into energy by adenosine-50-triphosphate (ATP) which causes protein synthesis and acceleration of … Read more

Percutaneous Exposure Incidents in Dentistry

An interesting article titled “Percutaneous exposure incidents: a review of practice and awareness of current protocols at a Dental Faculty” written by Siddiqi et al. appears in Oral Surgery in 2017 (vol. 10, e80-e87). The article discusses accidental exposure to blood-borne pathogens at the dental office. In the past the possibility of this occurring has been discussed on this site see for example the posts More Dental Patients Warned of Potential HIV and Hepatitis Exposure in Pennsylvania and Infection Control Lapse in Hawaii at VA Dental Clinic. Sharps and needlestick injuries are sources of infections with blood-borne pathogens (such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV) in dentistry and are referred to broadly as a percutaneous exposure incident. The authors state: “The intimate nature of the patient-dentist environment, the presence of blood and saliva, the routine use of sharp instruments, … Read more

Pandemic Precautions: How Safe is a Visit to the Dentist for Removing Your Wisdom Tooth?

The pandemic has made regular life difficult, and even something as important as going to the local dentist for a regular checkup has not been exempted from that effect. This brings us to a very real and tricky question: is it really safe to go to a dentist when COVID-19 is running rampant everywhere? Even more importantly, how safe is it to get your wisdom teeth removed right now? The Answer is Highly Variable There isn’t a singular “yes” or “no” answer to this question, which could be taken as applicable across all dental clinics in the US. It depends on multiple factors and variables that we cannot control. Fortunately, there are also multiple other factors that we can control to keep ourselves relatively safe in any environment, including the dentist’s clinic. As to the question of whether removing a wisdom … Read more