Delivering Sedation in Dentistry

It has become increasing popular to deliver sedation to patients receiving dental work. Sedation is defined as the deliberate drug-induced depression of consciousness used to reduce anxiety and awareness associated with unpleasant medical procedures. Sedation is used to reduce anxiety.  In some cases dentists or oral surgeons deliver both the dental work and the sedation, while in others there is a separate anesthesiologist to do so. One should always verify proper training and license prior to undertaking any sedation from a healthcare professional. Sedation is generally considered very safe as long as it is performed by an appropriately trained practitioner in a monitored environment. Sedation dentistry uses different approaches depending on personal choice and comfort. In the order of increasing anesthesia these are local anesthesia, minimal sedation, nitrous oxide/oxygen, moderate (conscious) sedation, deep sedation, and general anesthesia. A more thorough discussion … Read more

Informed Consent in Dentistry: Can Change Impact Personal Injury Cases?

An excellent article appears in the Spring 2017 edition of the The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (vol. 45, pp. 77-94) written by Kevin I. Reid titled “Informed Consent in Dentistry.” The article discusses how informed consent is respecting the ethical right of an individual to make decisions about one’s body and only have actions undertaken on their body with authorization without undue influence. In order for informed consent to be considered valid in dentistry the following must occur: (1) the patient is competent and has the ability and capacity to understand and decide, (2) the dentist discloses material information, (3) the patient understands, (4) the patient is voluntarily entering the arrangement, and (5) the patient provides authorization to go ahead. Every patient however comes to a different degree of understanding to authorize treatment based on their prior dental experiences, education, motivation, attention, … Read more

Resolvin E1 may help treat gum disease and atherosclerosis

Researchers have shown that Resolvin E1 which is a molecule naturally produced in the body from an omega 3 fish oil, prevents and treats gum disease and decreases the likelihood for advanced arterial atherosclerotic plaques to rupture and form a thrombus or blood clot. Inflammation occurs with atherosclerosis and may play a role in the development of heart attacks and stroke. There is evidence from research groups that chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, colitis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney and pulmonary diseases, and cancer can benefit from the use of the pro-resolving lipid mediators such as resolvins and lipoxins. Researchers from Boston University and The Forsyth Institute used two groups of an experimental model that possessed highly inflamed advanced atherosclerosis. The first group was treated with a solution applied on gum tissues that contained an inflammation-lowering lipid … Read more

Chronic fatigue syndrome and Gulf War illness are distinct syndromes

Researchers at Georgetown University have found two distinct molecular signatures in the brain disorders chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI). In the past many doctors have told patients suffering from these syndromes that the disorders are psychological in origin so this news may come as useful to patients. The work also showed two variants of GWI. The two brain disorders share have many of the commonalities, such as fatigue, pain, exhaustion after exercise, and cognitive dysfunction. According to the National Academy of Medicine, chronic fatigue syndrome affects between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans. The disorder was believed to be psychological in origin until a 2015 review of 9,000 articles pointed to unspecified biological causes.  Gulf War Illness has developed in more than one-fourth of the 697,000 veterans in the U.S. who were in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War. Gulf War … Read more

Gut Microbes can Worsen Neurodegenerative Conditions

Research has shown that microbial organisms in the gut can influence health and disease in many ways. More recent research has shown that gut microbes may cause or worsen neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Now researchers at the University of Louisville and University of Michigan have proposed a new term to describe an interaction between gut microbiota and the brain. The term “mapranosis” has been coined for the process by which amyloid proteins produced by microbes (bacteria, fungi and others) alter the structure of proteins (proteopathy) and enhance inflammation in the nervous system, thereby initiating or augmenting brain disease. The researchers hope that by giving the process a name a greater sense of awareness of the process will occur and help with additional research needed for therapeutic opportunities. The researchers feel it is important to define the ways … Read more