The Well Informed Patient

In a recent editorial in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery (vol. 69. page 1263, 2011),  titled “Shouldn’t All Clinical Research Be Scientific?”, Dr. Thomas B. Dodson,  talks to his fellow oral surgeon colleagues and says “Not only do we face rapid advances in science and technology, but we have new accountability from economic, legal, and regulatory challenges, as well as a new brand of well-informed patient.” I personally would hope that the well-informed patient are patients who are being informed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons and dentists. However, I do not believe that is really the case here. One question to ask is why patients in the past were not well informed? The other and more pressing question to ask is why are these patients still not being properly informed today? (This also applies to other doctors and … Read more

How does Flouride really Protect Teeth from Cavities?

A recent study that appeared in the journal Langmuir looked into the role of fluoride and their protection on teeth. The researchers who published the journal article found the protective shield fluoride forms on teeth is up to 100 times thinner than what was previously thought. It is well known that fluoride is found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and public drinking water in many areas in the world. The use of fluoride of course is to help prevent tooth decay which causes cavities to form. Researchers found the fluorapatite layer created by fluoride on the hard white substance covering teeth’s surface called enamel is only 6 nanometers thick. This layer is very small and over 10 times thinner than what was indicated in any prior studies. Hence the researchers raise questions about how a layer so thin can protect teeth from … Read more

17 Year Old Female Dies After Wisdom Teeth Removal

I was very saddened to recently hear about the death of a young 17 year old girl who was a junior in high school. The woman went into cardiac arrest while having her wisdom teeth removed. She was left in a coma and died 10 days later on April 6, 2011. She was involved in multiple choral programs and was hoping to be a professional singer. What really is upsetting to me about this is at the recent memorial service for her on April 17, 2011, her mother described the doctors calling this very unfortunate and premature death “freak.” One high school senior at the same school discussed how she was still planning to have her wisdom teeth extracted later in the week. The appropriate response should call into question the validity of extracting healthy wisdom teeth from young teenagers … Read more

Allergic To Your Partner

Recently, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology which is headquartered in Arlington Heights, IL, had their annual scientific meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, in November 11, 2010 to November 16, 2010. They discussed some unfortunate allergies that some people experience. These allergies include kissing someone even hours after they have eaten a food or taken a medicine to which you are allergic to. According to Sami Bahna, M.D. “If you have food allergies, having an allergic reaction immediately after kissing someone who has eaten the food or taken oral medication that you are allergic to isn’t highly unusual. But some patients react after their partner has brushed his or her teeth or several hours after eating. It turns out that their partners’ saliva is excreting the allergen hours after the food or medicine has been absorbed by their body.” … Read more

Noise Cancelling Dental Drill

For those who have dental problems that require treatment a dental drill may need to be used. However, some people have fear of a dental drill and going to the dentist. This may cause some people to not visit the dentist due to fear even though they clearly require treatment. In an effort to help curb those who may suffer from dental fear, technology has recently been developed that will cancel out the noise of a dental drill. One would plug a device into their MP3 player and then plug their headphones into this MP3 player. The technology uses adaptive filtering where electronic filters lock onto sound waves and removes those particular sound waves causing their sound to not be heard. The dentist and dental team can still talk to the person having treatment. The technology was initially conceived of … Read more