Is the health news you are reading accurate?

An interesting article titled “Keeping up with the news: Separating fact from fiction,” appears in the Oct. 2015 issue of JADA and written by the American Dental Association (vol. 146, no. 10, pp. 792). The article encourages dental patients to make sure that they know the source they are receiving their news from is trustworthy. The article discusses a few things to look for to make sure this occurs. The article tends to focus on receiving information from websites. If you are looking at a website, the first thing to look for is an about us section. This is because you want to know who is responsible for the article. It is good to know who pays for or sponsors the website. Also if you are looking at a website the domain name can give a hint. If it ends in .gov it is a government website, if it ends it .edu it is an educational institute website, or if it ends in .org it is usually a non-profit organization. These types of sites are generally more trustworthy. The article states “…[some websites] may have a particular position on a topic that causes them to slant the story in their favor. […]

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How safe is deep sedation or anesthesia in dentistry?

An interesting article titled “How safe is deep sedation or general anesthesia while providing dental care?” appears in the Sept. 2015 issue of JADA (volume 146, issue 9, Pages 705–708) and written by Jeffrey D. Bennett and et al. The article discusses how deep sedation and general anesthesia are given daily in dental offices or practices and this is usually done by oral and maxillofacial surgeons and dentist anesthesiologists. Sedation and anesthesia is given to patients to be able to more easily perform procedures and keep the patient safe and comfortable. Unfortunately in rare cases problems can happen and hence the authors were interested in exploring this. The authors state “Using the available data and informational reports, the authors estimate that the incidence of death and brain injury associated with deep sedation or general anesthesia administered by all dentists most likely exceeds 1 per month.” The authors feel that a patient safety database for anesthetic management in dentistry would provide a more complete assessment of the mortality and morbidity involved. This would be beneficial to developer safer anesthetic care. The authors further state “Optimization of patient care requires appropriate patient selection, selection of appropriate anesthetic agents, utilization of appropriate monitoring, and a highly trained […]

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Should a Dentist Work While They are Sick?

An interesting article titled “Ethical concerns of working while ill,” appears in the Sept. 2015, issue of JADA (vol. 146, no. 9, pp. 711-712). The article talks about a dentist who over a period of a few days got progressively sicker. The article questions whether or not he should work or take time off until he gets over the illness. The article discusses a NSF International survey of workers that says 26% of all workers go into work when sick. The article says that 42% of Americans  work while sick. The article states that dentists have an obligation to do no harm to their patients. If they report to work while sick and are treating older patients who have increased risk of getting pulmonary illness this can be a problem. The article states that dentists also need to provide a certain standard of care of treatment. If they are sick the quality of their work may be worse and thus they won’t provide care to the proper standard. If a dentist reports to work while sick they may also get their staff members sick. This can cause a cascade affect in their dental practice. The article states “As a practical matter, […]

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How to treat your wisdom teeth during pregnancy

It is completely safe to have regular dental cleanings while you are pregnant. Many women experience pregnancy-related gingivitis and other dental issues during pregnancy, and regular cleaning may help minimize the chances of developing a serious problem. However, we can’t always predict what will happen, and sometimes serious problems arise that need to be addressed. The topic of dental treatments during pregnancy is one that gets a lot of attention, and the information can be confusing. One issue that is particularly controversial is the issue of treating wisdom teeth. What can you do if you experience pain and swelling related to your wisdom teeth during pregnancy? Is it safe to treat them, or do you have to endure the pain until after you have your baby? The bottom line is that you should schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately if you experience wisdom tooth pain while pregnant. Problems Caused by Wisdom Teeth To understand why it is important to see your dentist for wisdom tooth pain, let’s talk about some of the things that can happen if you ignore it: Swelling and pain in the gums can be fairly common during pregnancy. When wisdom teeth cause pain, even routine […]

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Painkiller Overdose in Michigan: Are Wisdom Teeth Extractions Contributing?

Before on this blog I have talked about how oral surgeons prescribe powerful painkillers for use after wisdom teeth removal. It is possible some of these painkillers are instead used for non-medical use. See the posts http://blog.teethremoval.com/comparing-narcotic-prescribing-habits-for-oral-surgeons-in-the-u-s-and-canada/ and http://blog.teethremoval.com/do-oral-surgeons-prescribe-too-many-narcotics-for-use-after-wisdom-teeth-removal/. An interesting article titled “Synder officials take on painkiller overdose ‘epidemic’” located at  http://www.detroitnews.com/story/life/wellness/2015/10/12/prescriptions/73798342/ and written by Gary Heinlein and Joel Kurth, discusses a surge in overdose deaths in Michigan linked to the abuse of pain and anxiety medications (Oct. 12, 2015). One of the cases describe how a man’s addiction to painkillers was aided by a 30-day prescription for Vicodin after his wisdom teeth extraction. The article states “The state’s health department has said overdose deaths linked to opioids were increasing at a faster rate than for illegal drugs such as heroin — also on the rise — and cocaine. A state report also noted that another class of medications called benzodiazepines — prescribed for anxiety — accounted for about 9 percent of deaths.” The governor of Michigan Rick Snyder has created a task force to explore the issue of painkiller overdose deaths. The drugs included those such as fentanyl, codeine and hydrocodone, or brand names such as OxyContin, Demerol and Vicodin. The article later says “According […]

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