Difference Between Oral Surgeons and Dentists

If a patient is in need of dental treatment there are different specialists to consider. Depending on the type of dental treatment being received a patient may be better off seeing a dentist or may be better off seeing an oral surgeon. Thus it is important to better understand the types of treatments a dentist and oral surgeon performs to be able to determine who to seek out. Treatments Performed by Dentists General dentists provide preventative care and maintenance. Preventive care includes performing dental cleanings, taking and interpreting x-rays, performing oral examinations, and monitoring the growth and development of teeth and jaws. Maintenance includes performing fillings of cavities, root canals for teeth that can not be restored, placing crowns, and other surgical procedures of the teeth, bone and soft tissues of the oral cavity. By seeing a dentist patients are … Read more

Updated Sedation Guidelines in Dentistry for Children

Recently new guidelines have been issued regarding the use of sedation for dental procedures performed on children. In the past on this site some scrutiny has been placed on sedation provided to children during dental procedures because of many deaths that have occurred, see for example What to Ask the Dentist Before Children Have Sedation and Pediatric Dental Death in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada Spurs Comments on Dental Anesthesia. In the June 2019 edition (vol. 143, no. 6) of Pediatrics in an article titled Guidelines for Monitoring and Management of Pediatric Patients Before, During, and After Sedation for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures written by Coté and Wilson updated guidelines for the use of sedation in dentistry is provided. These guidelines were updated for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for the first time in … Read more

Improving the Mental Health of Oral Surgeons

Before on this site mental health of dentists has been discussed and particularly addressing mental health issues early on such as during dental education see for example the posts A Counseling Model for Dental Students, Designing a Predoctoral Dental Curriculum To Help With Therapy Issues such as Stress Management and Suicide Prevention, and Medical Students Are At Risk For Suicide. However, many oral surgeons are still afraid to own up to any mental health issues they may have. This is discussed in the editorial titled “Time to change the narrative” appearing in Oral Surgery in 2018 (vol. 11, pp. 97–97). The editorial discusses how oral surgery is increasing a stressful profession. This is because of increasing threats of litigation along with patients increasing having higher expectations of surgical outcomes. The traits that define a good surgeon are those who put … Read more

Changes in Dental Anxiety over Time

An interesting article titled “Changes in dental anxiety among 15‐ to 21‐year‐olds. A 2‐year longitudinal analysis based on the Tromsø study: Fit futures” written by Nermo et al. appears in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (vol. 47, 2019, pp. 127-133). The article sought to explore the continuation of high dental anxiety over 2 years. In the article the authors explored data from The Tromsø Study conducted in Norway. The authors explored data from participants who were under the age of 18 at baseline data collection and also had data collected two years later. This lead to 685 participants with 377 females and 308 males. Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale was used to measure dental anxiety on a score from 4 to 20 with higher scores indicating more anxiety. Those scores that were 13 and higher were determined to be in dentally … Read more

The Real Truth About Dentistry

An intriguing long form piece appears in the May 2019 issue in Atlantic titled “The Truth About Dentistry: It’s much less scientific—and more prone to gratuitous procedures—than you may think,” written by Ferris Jabr, see https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/05/the-trouble-with-dentistry/586039/. This article has a lot of people talking including dentists, physicians, and patients who have experience with dentists throughout the Internet on forums and Twitter (see https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/forums/topic/the-truth-about-dentistry-critical-longform-piece-in-the-atlantic/). The main shortcoming with this article in the Atlantic is it relies on an anecdotal story which forms the basis of the entire article. There are several themes to the article that will be discussed below along with additional themes not mentioned that are involved to form the real truth about dentistry. 1. Dentistry is a Business and some Dentists, just like in other Professions, are Bad Apples. The article describes a dentist Lund who overtreats patients … Read more