Can Science Solve Our Problems?

An interesting article titled “Science and Conscience” appears in the 2015 Journal of Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery written by Thomas Dodson (vol. 73, pp. 2255-2256). The article opens by discussing a study by the NIH seeking to explore the differences in people with a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg versus that of 120 mm Hg. The study was aborted with a year left in its duration. The study concluded achieving a target systolic blood pressure of 120 mm Hg reduced cardiovascular events by almost 33% and death by almost 25% compared with a group with a target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg. The authors question why such a study was ever needed to be done because it seems so intuitive but later explains that our society today relies on science to achieve it’s high standards. The author then goes on to discuss how there … Read more

Take Me Out! A Brief Guide to Tooth Extraction – Infographic

Extraction is usually the agreed upon option for teeth which have become damaged or decayed where they are no longer reparable. Extraction is also worth considering if your mouth is overcrowded or to reduce the risk of infection if your immune system has been compromised from receiving chemotherapy or an organ transplant. Tooth extraction or tooth removal is generally considered safe and any respectable dentist will be able to put the patient at ease prior to surgery. Patients who are especially apprehensive will be given a sedative to ease their nerves before the dentist administers anesthetic to the area surrounding the tooth that will be extracted. The entire procedure is carried out with great care and intricacy by a dental professional who considers the patient’s health a priority, so you can rest assured that the entire operation will be seamless. Prior to … Read more

Shared decision making in cases of conflicted evidence

An interesting article titled “When clinical evidence is conflicted, who decides how to proceed? An opportunity for shared decision making,” appears in the October 2015 issue of JADA (vol. 146 issue 10, pp. 713-714) and written by Arthur H. Friedlander and et al. The article discusses the concept of shared decision making “…particularly necessary in dentistry at this juncture, given recommendations but inconclusive data available to support abandoning the provision of prophylactic antibiotics to patients with total joint prostheses.” I have previously talked about shared medical decision making in the blog post The Well Informed Patient The article talks about how historically patients were expected to consent to the recommendations of their doctors without much discussion. However, since this is not enough to be legally and ethically correct shared decision making can be used which is a “…collaborative process encouraging patients … Read more

Should Patients Be Told Of Trainee Role in Their Surgery?

An interesting article titled “Should Patients Be Told of Resident Role in Their Surgery?” appears in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery written by James R. Hupp (2015, vol., 73, pp. 2071-2073). The article discusses how early July is the beginning of a new academic year in most hospital-based medical and dental residency programs. During this time many new doctors obtain clinical education. Hospital based dental residency programs often involved a lot of surgical procedures. The article questions if patients should be told of the residents potential role (and lack of experience) in their own surgery. The saying goes that one should try to avoid going to the emergency room or have surgery the first week of July or even all of July. The common thought is that the large amount of new trainees increases the chances of patient problems. In actuality, most first-year residents are given limited or … Read more

Complications Associated with Coronectomy

An interesting article titled “What Are the Types and Frequencies of Complications Associated With Mandibular Third Molar Coronectomy? A Follow-Up Study,” appears in the 2015 Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (vol. 73, pp. 1246-1253) and written by Giuseppe Monaco. The article explores the likelyhood of complications occuring with coronectomy procedures. Coronectomy is an alternative surgical procedure to extract wisdom teeth with roots that are close to the mandibular canal. The article describes a research study  to determine whether coronectomy decreased neurologic damage in cases of mandibular third molars in close proximity to the inferior alveolar nerve. The study looked at 94 healthy patients with a mean age of ~30 who had 116 mandibular third molars (wisdom teeth) treated with coronectomy. A total of 28 patients dropped out of the study during the 3 year follow up period. Of the … Read more