Dental Amalgam Mercury Poisoning: Why Is It Still an Issue?

This is a guest post written by Harmon Pearson who is currently pursing a post graduate degree in dental science. He  spends time blogging about his pursuits and writing on dental care. When he is not studying, he enjoys restoring antique pendulum timepieces. How is it that in the 21st century we continue to put a known toxic element—mercury—into our mouths?  The question may seem straightforward, but the answer, curiously, is not.  Mercury remains a primary ingredient in dental amalgam, also known as silver fillings.  Other ingredients include copper, silver, tin, and zinc.  These elements when bound with mercury form what’s typically referred to as a stable compound.  It’s hard and resilient to degradation in the mouth environment making it a seemingly ideal compound for replacing small amounts of decayed or removed tooth material.  Because of this, it’s remained a … Read more

Dental Patients Warned of Possible HIV and Hepatitis Exposure Due to Oral Surgeon’s Practices

Previously in this post Oral Surgeon Investigated for Reusing Needles and Syringes it was discussed how last summer in 2012 an oral surgeon in Colorado was investigated for re-using syringes and needles while performing various oral and facial surgery procedures. Around 8,000 patients were told to be tested for potential HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Recently, in Oklahoma around 7,000 patients were told to be tested for potential HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C who were treated by an oral surgeon due to his potentially rusty instruments and lax sterilization procedures. A complaint by the Oklahoma  Board of  Dentistry was filed against the oral surgeon on March 26, 2013. It is located over at http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/ktul/documents/Harrington_Complaint_OBD.pdf. The complaint says that an unidentified patient who was treated by the oral surgeon tested positive for HIV and hepatitis C shortly after being … Read more

How to Prepare for a Visit to the Dentist

If you have had a bad experience at the dentist in previous years, being afraid that your next visit will cause discomfort or bring up bad memories is quite common. Perhaps you have never been afraid of the dentist but if a new treatment is the plan this can also cause mild anxiety. There are hundreds of reasons that patients fear visits to the dentist but there are also many ways to counteract the feeling of dread. Many people fear visits to the dentist but if visits of this nature cause you anxiety, here are four tips to help you overcome your fear. Talk to your Dentist If you are scared of booking a dental appointment, speak to your dentist about it. If your dentist is aware of the problem, they will walk you through the treatment and put you … Read more

Find Free Dental Care

I wanted to let anyone who might be interested in free dental care that recently 1dental.com put together a tool that allows one to enter their zip code to search for free dental care providers in their area. This tool is available at http://www.1dental.com/provider/. It allows different specialties to be searched for as well such as general dentists, oral surgeons, pediatric dentists, orthodontists,  periodontists, and endodontists. This tool will provide a phone number and a convenient Google map. Of course it should be mentioned that 1dental sells dental plans so they try to get you to sign up with the Careington Dental plan. I personally have not used this tool to find a dentist and have no experience with Careington Dental plan. Therefore use at your own discretion. It may help some looking for and in need of dental work. … Read more

Health Care Costs in America

I came across a very interesting graphic illustrating many of the myths and facts about healthcare in the United States. The graphic illustrates some reasons for the high costs of healthcare including the myths and the truths. The myths include 1) americans smoke and drink too much, 2) america has a larger elderly population, 3) obseity in america skyrockets costs, 4) malpractice is out of control. I actually slightly disagree with #3 and #4. I think being obese in the U.S. is a real problem, see this graph from the OECD. Further one has to account for defensive medicine (as in doctors being scared of getting sued  and ordering more tests than really needed) in malpractice lawsuits. Graph below illustrates the % obese in each country shown. Source: OECD Factbook 2010: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics. I believe the truths … Read more