Archive | July, 2010

Legal Standpoint of Oral Surgery Complications

As I have written on my website, I disagree with wisdom teeth removal from a legal standpoint (in addition to scientific). Essentially what I argue is that if you have your wisdom teeth extracted and suffer a complication that is not one of the better known you may not recover any money and be left with the pain, suffering, and loss of earnings for the rest of your life. A recent oral surgeon lawsuit after wisdom teeth removal helps reaffirm my previous remarks.  The article states that Cynthia Thompson sued Dr Princell because he did not disclose all the risks of surgery and she suffered a neurological syndrome (specifically a damaged inferior alveolar nerve) as a result of the wisdom teeth removal. “During the trial, 3 oral surgeons told the court that they knew little about the causes of the neuropathic pain syndrome and its association with extraction of wisdom teeth, according to court documents.” This case occurred in the state of Georgia. Hence due to the complication of nerve damage occurring to Cynthia and the fact that the only risks that need to be disclosed before oral surgery are the most common ones (of which I have previously discussed […]

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Dental Needle Could be Replaced

I find this study to be quite interesting as I have had anesthesia delivered directly in my nose before in an attempt to prevent my constant 24/7 headache. New evidence has emerged that a common local anesthetic, when administered to the nose as nose drops or a nasal spray, travels through the main nerve in the face and collects in high concentrations in the jaw, teeth, and structures of the mouth. William H. Frey II and colleagues found that drugs administered to the nose travel along nerves and go directly to the brain, although I really don’t think this finding is novel. One of those nerves is the trigeminal nerve, which brings feelings to the face, nose and mouth. Until now scientists never paid much attention to intranasal drugs passing the nerve in the nose and how it might reach the teeth, gums and other areas of the face and mouth to reduce pain sensations in the face and mouth. Researchers in this study found that lidocaine or Xylocaine, sprayed into the noses of laboratory rats, quickly traveled down the trigeminal nerve and collected in their teeth, jaws, and mouths at levels 20 times higher than in the blood or […]

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Metlife Dental and Dentist Cleaning

So recently I have stated in a previous post on this blog, I have finished up graduate school and now moved to a new area with a new job. My employer offers dental insurance. The dental plan turned out to be Metlife. On their website they allow you to select your type of plan either PPO or HMO (I have PPO) and you also enter in your zip code. Now I found a dentist listed as one of their preferred providers and one of my friends in the area recently went to him so I decided to give it a shot. Unfortunately I didn’t find out the specifics of how much the new dentist would charge for a cleaning and exam which turned out to be $286.00. Metlife sent me a statement in the mail saying they would cover $97 of the $286 which leaves me responsible for $189. This is somewhat unreasonable as they are only picking up 34% of the visit. You would think that having dental insurance would offer a little more benefit and incentive to go twice a year for a cleaning/exam. I had no x-rays during my visit for clarification. Now obviously I feel I […]

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Brush Teeth Twice a Day to Help Prevent Heart Disease

A new study lead by Professor Richard Watt from University College London has analyzed the Scottish Healthy Survey results of 11,000 adults. The study set out to  investigate whether the number of times individuals brush their teeth has any consequences on the risk of developing heart disease. In the survey individuals were asked how often they visited the dentist (at least once every six months, every one to two years, or rarely/never) and how often they brushed their teeth (twice a day, once a day or less than once a day). On a separate the respondents had  nurses collected information on medical history and family history of heart disease, blood pressure. In addition blood samples from those who consented were collected. The samples enabled the researchers to determine levels of inflammation that were present in the body. The results demonstrate that oral health behaviours were generally good with 62% of those saying they visit the dentist every 6 months and 71% saying that they brush their teeth twice a day. The data was then adjusted for established cardio risk factors such as obesity, smoking,  social class, and family history of heart disease. This allowed the researchers to determine that participants […]

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Wisdom Teeth Survey

I wanted to remind everyone that the Wisdom Teeth Removal Survey is still ongoing. If you are new to this site or a long time visitor and have not yet taken the survey I encourage you to do so. Below is a response from someone who completed the survey. Remember the survey is anonymous and is not linked to you in any way. I am 23 and currently suffering from the decision for prophylactic removal of my 3rd molars, a.k.a. wisdom teeth. Prior to the operation, I was perfectly healthy. During surgery, the doctor almost ripped a nerve running through my jaw, as my wisdom teeth were particularly complicated to remove, and one of them had the roots wrapped around a nerve. I instructed him to stop pulling after I felt immense pain under 2 shots of anesthesia to that area. I was lucky that he was also educated on the matter and elected not to chance it. In fact, he himself was the one who informed me that it may be possible that the root tips might be wrapped around a nerve. Why that wasn’t investigated prior to extraction is beyond me, and I hope it’s not common in […]

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