How Jaws Shrink With Age and Does This Affect Wisdom Teeth Crowding?

A recent article titled “A 40 years follow-up of dental arch dimensions and incisor irregularity in adults.” by Nokolasos, Tsiopas, Maria Nilner, Lars Bondemark, and Krister Bjerklin, appearing the The European Journal of Orthodontics Advance Access published October 19, 2011, explores how the jaw is affected over a 40 year time period. The study started in 1949 with 22 males and 13 females (35 total) and after 40 years in 1989, 18 of these participants were still able to participate. Three dental stone study casts were made for the 18 participants who completed the 40 years of the study. The authors state: “The present study showed that the occlusion, overbite, and overjet was stable, but dentoalveolar changes occur in the adult dentition. In the anterior part of the dentition, decreases in arch length and width lead to anterior crowding. There was also an increase in dental arch width at the first permanent molar.” The authors conclude the article by saying “The dentoalveolar processes continue to undergo physiological changes throughout adult life. Of particular clinical relevance is the finding that decreases in arch length and depth result in a decrease in intercanine width and increased crowding of the anterior teeth. These findings have important […]

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Urge Congress To Make Health Care a Service, Not a Business!

For everyone living in the United States I encourage you to: URGE CONGRESS TO MAKE HEALTH CARE A SERVICE AND NOT A BUSINESS. Here is the link to to write to Congress to The last I heard Congress had a dismal 9% approval rating. Here is also the  link to find your Senator So why should you write to Congress? Well here is what other dental professionals are saying about my website. “I know this is a bit wordy, but our professional reputation may have become tainted because of a few who have reached national notoriety in a negative light. I don’t know how prevalent such unethical practices are, but we should all remember that patients don’t get mad at one doctor or one office, they paint the whole profession. It’s up to all of us to keep that reputation high.” Donna Domina. Is dentistry facing an ethical dilemma? October 25, 2011.  Glen “Why should we do the ethical and get nothing while the others trample on us.” glenp via  glenp  “Some others, he noted, have proclaimed ‘what they think is their rightful place’ within the nation’s health care system. “Not on my watch!” Dr. Calnon said emphatically, stirring applause from the delegates.” […]

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Wisdom of Having that Tooth Removed: AAOMS Response

Recently I indicated in a post over here that a New York Times article was run on September 5, 2011, by Roni Caryn Rabin which was titled “Wisdom of Having That Tooth Removed.” This article is located here Recently a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times was written by the President of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Arthur C. Jee, discussing this article located at In the article he states The AAOMS does not advocate for the “prophylactic extraction of wisdom teeth” If this is in fact the case then I think the AAOMS should make this clear on their website. The website on wisdom teeth continues to say “As you can see, it isn’t wise to wait until your wisdom teeth start to hurt you before you have them removed. “ Even so the wisdom teeth page on AAOMS has been updated a bit since the last time I looked.  It does mention at the bottom that you may keep your wisdom teeth after previously discussing many of the problems that wisdom teeth can cause if you keep them. Further in the letter Dr Jee says  “an absence of […]

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Behavioral Treatment for Migraine Headaches

A recently study titled Direct Costs of Preventive Headache Treatments: Comparison of Behavioral and Pharmacologic Approaches appearing in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 51 (6): 985 -991, June 2011, and written by Allison M. Shafer et al., finds that treating chronic migraines using inexpensive prophylactic medicines such as beta-blockers or tricyclic antidepressants and behavioral approaches such as relaxation training, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, and stress management are a low cost and effective treatment option particularly after 1 year of treatment. The authors used a cost minimization analysis and found that after 1 year, the cost of minimal-contact behavioral treatment was cheaper than the least expensive headache treatment medications. Minimal-contact or home based intervention is when a patient sees a therapist for around 3 or 4 visits and  largely practices the behavioral techniques at home through the use of printed materials and audio recordings. For those who would prefer more visits with a therapist the researchers also found that clinic-based behavioral treatment where a therapist is seen in 8 to 12 weekly sessions becomes cost competitive with medications within 6 months and cheaper than most of the medications available for headache prevention within 1 year. The study concludes “While […]

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In Light of the Allegations of Child Sex Abuse at Penn State…

By now I am sure everyone has at least heard that Joe Paterno has been fired as the head coach of the Penn State college football team due to child sex abuse allegations made against one of his former assistant coaches. As discussed a few times on this blog and as indicated as a potential unfortunate risk of having wisdom teeth extracted there is the possibility of being sexually assaulted while under anesthesia to have wisdom teeth removed. As expanded on and discussed at many of the drugs that dentists and oral surgeons give during the surgery can cause in rare instances sexual hallucinations. This means that it is possible for no repercussions and/or loss of license and/or jail time to occur and it can be difficult to distinguish between dreams and actual molestation in the court of law. In one recent case discussed on this blog in 2009, at,  17 women accused an oral surgeon of sexual assault while he was performing surgery on them. The judge ruled that the women “thought” they were sexually assaulted due to the drugs that there were on and that no real sexual abuse occured. In other cases of sexual assault occurring […]

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