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Patients Turn to DIY Dentistry During the Pandemic Lockdown

The pandemic has had a significant impact on oral health in England, where the lockdown has prompted 24% of people to go online to find at-home solutions to common dental problems, according to a survey by the Oral Health Foundation (OHF) and Colgate. “DIY home dentistry is a terrible idea and should be avoided at all costs,” said Dr. Nigel Carter, OBE, chief executive of the OHF. “Home treatments in untrained hands often comprise of shortcuts that come with added dangers and can lead to permanent damage to your health,” Carter said. Generally, oral hygiene habits have suffered. According to the survey, 55% of British adults feel they have neglected their teeth during lockdown, with 15% not brushing as much as they did before the pandemic, and 19% not brushing their teeth twice a day. The lockdown also has fueled unhealth eating and drinking habits, with 20% now eating unhealthier foods and 11% drinking more alcohol. “Since coronavirus, it has been easy to get into the mindset that your health is not completely within your control. There are, however, elements of your health that you do have full authority over. One of these is the health of the mouth,” said Carter. “Good oral health is completely in your own hands. All it takes is the correct care. By adopting a few simple habits, you can prevent oral diseases like tooth decay that sadly remain far too common,” Carter said. “Knowing that less people are brushing twice a day is disastrous for oral health, as along with consuming less sugar, it is one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay. Brushing last thing at night and at one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste takes four minutes out of the day, an important and proactive step for self-care and something to prioritize,” he said. Also, 18% of the survey respondents have not seen a dentist for more than two years, and not just because of the lockdown. Meanwhile, 36% said they have had a toothache during the pandemic, with 9% experiencing pain for longer than two weeks, prompting many to try self-dentistry. “If you are experiencing any problems with your mouth, like toothache, the best thing you can do is book an appointment with your dentist. Your dental team can spot diseases like tooth decay in the early stages and treat it before it gets worse, when you might need a filling or have the tooth taken out,” Carter said. “Having been closed at the beginning of the pandemic and dealing with a backlog of patients in the months that followed, most dental practices are now back to relative normality. You should be able to get an appointment. If you think you have been neglecting your oral health lately, or haven’t been to the dentist in a while, my advice is to go and book yourself in for a checkup,” Carter said. New data shows that more than 30 million adults in the United Kingdom have one or more fillings, indicating the prevalence of tooth decay there. Analysis of the data suggest that as much as 84% of the population could be at increased risk of tooth decay. Poor oral hygiene, high carbohydrate diets, and infrequent dental visits all increase a person’s risk of tooth decay. Risk also increases with age, diabetes, dry mouth, or while having orthodontic treatment. The OHF fears that an increase in untreated tooth decay could lead to a sharp rise in the number of people having costly extractions. With Colgate’s support, OHF has launched “The Truth About Tooth Decay,” an online hub designed to educate people about how they can identify their risk of tooth decay and spot early warning signs. It also provides advice for preventing or managing tooth decay. “As a leader in oral care, Colgate has a fundamental role to play in improving people’s oral health. Colgate exerts this role by means of technological innovations and by partnering with the dental profession in ways that help them to meet the needs of their patients,” said Emanuele Cotroneo, scientific affairs project manager at Colgate. “The collaboration with the Oral Health Foundation is an example of Colgate’s commitment to its role in improving oral health. It is clear from this survey that these challenging times have affected the oral health habits of the UK population,” said Cotroneo. “Colgate reinforces the message from the Oral Health Foundation that oral health should not be neglected as it is a crucial part of your well-being and tightly linked with overall health,” Cotroneo said. Courtesy: Dentistry Today

21st January, 2021

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Face Shields Protect Dental Heroes As They Protect Our Smiles

While it may be harder to see each other’s smiles all the time these days, dental care is still viewed as necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic. As noted by ADA past president Chad P. Gehani, DDS, “Oral health is integral to overall health—staying well depends on having access to health care, which includes dental treatment.” Because many dental procedures can produce aerosol droplets that may spread viruses like COVID-19, dental procedures cannot happen without personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly during a pandemic. Recent events have shown that PPE is very much in demand and upgraded PPE design and features are necessary, with this gear likely to be needed for the foreseeable future. For dental healthcare personnel, traditional masks alone are not enough, according to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends additional protection to “ensure the eyes, nose, and mouth are all protected from exposure to respiratory secretions during patient care encounters, including those where splashes and sprays are not anticipated.” The ADA is in alignment with the CDC and has also provided guidance on the use of face shields or goggles along with masks. But not all PPE, including non-surgical face shields, is created equal. Dental healthcare personnel who depend on PPE daily should evaluate what products provide the best design and comfort. Additional factors such as manufacturing availability and quality are also very important, though they are often overlooked. Design Fit for a Dental Professional Researchers from the University of Iowa and the Iowa City VA Healthcare System published a report in JAMA noting that face shields could offer benefits not just in high risk areas, but also as a component of the strategy to stop community spread. But for face shields to offer optimal protection, the authors stated that “the shield should extend below the chin anteriorly, to the ears laterally, and there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece.” With this design, the researchers said, a face shield can also prevent wearers from touching their face. Most standard, ubiquitous face shields have a headband with a thin piece of plastic that hangs down in front of the face, and they were not designed to meet the criteria described above. While face shields can be made inexpensively, the typical design is flawed because it can allow droplets to escape and enter through gaps between the face and the shield. However, some recently released face shields such as those offered by Jamestown Plastics were designed in conjunction with medical professionals to ensure that the gaps were covered with a design that has a flanged perimeter that extends from ear to ear, under the chin and over the forehead. Comfort and Customization for All-Day Wear Considering that face shields need to be worn for extended periods of time throughout the day, there is a premium on comfort. Newer, innovative face shields such as TrueHero Extreme Coverage are made of medical-grade PETG so they are extremely durable as well as lightweight and appropriate for all-day wear. Hook-and-loop straps provide a secure fit and infinite adjustability, while closed-cell foam padding lines the forehead for additional protection and comfort. Additionally, these shields can be worn with other glasses comfortably without causing fogging in the line of sight. Investing in a high-quality face shield can provide both all-day comfort and long-term use. Unlike disposable face shields that are replaced daily or even with each patient, reusable face shields can provide convenience and long-term cost savings. With proper care and cleaning, a quality face shield can be used for many weeks, resulting in a low per-day cost of use. In addition, a reusable shield is also more environmentally friendly than disposable shields. Many Made Here in the USA In the beginning of the pandemic in the United States, there were reports each day about the shortage of PPE, including face shields. Many healthcare providers and dental professionals could not practice routinely without PPE. In emergency situations, they had to improvise. Part of the issue was that the products, most of which were made overseas, could not get here as travel and businesses shut down and everyone raced to find supply. Noble efforts by companies to help were important and got many over the initial hurdle, but it would be a good opportunity now to consider the best way to prepare for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic (however long it may be) and for future needs. One way is to use suppliers that fully manufacture in the United States while also having the capacity to supply the volume needed without significant delays in manufacturing or shipping. These companies should have a history of manufacturing materials for a range of industries and trusted organizations. This will help to ensure quality and consistency of crucial PPE products, timeliness, and fair pricing. Protecting Practitioners and Patients with PPE The dental industry never stops innovating and is full of advanced technology that can improve patient well-being and comfort. However, it is also important to value practitioner comfort, safety, and well-being, particularly when it comes to something as critical as PPE. Courtesy:Dentistry Today

21st January, 2021

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Consumers Say PPE Use Should Continue Once the Pandemic Is Over

An overwhelming majority of Americans, 80%, believe that healthcare professionals should continue to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) even after the pandemic is over, with 51% willing to pay more for office visits to ensure their doctor has access to gear, according to a survey of a thousand adult consumers in the US by the ActionPPE collective buying initiative. When asked who should have the best access to PPE, 53% of respondents said dentists and orthodontists, placing them third. Surgeons led the category at 65%, followed by nurses and physicians assistants at 58%. The survey results indicate that PPE use is here to stay, particularly masks, to protect doctors and patients during the pandemic and beyond, ActionPPE said. At a high level, Americans understand the importance of PPE in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 despite what often is portrayed by news outlets and social media, ActionPPE said. However, Americans do have concerns that PPE shortages will continue, at least in the near term. “It’s clear that PPE, particularly masks, are the preferred way to keep doctors and patients safe during the pandemic and after as well,” said Dr. Marcelo Hochman, facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, founder of ActionPPE and president of the Charleston County Medical Society. “At ActionPPE, we are most proud of doctors helping doctors during the PPE crisis, as they take matters into their own hands to protect themselves, their patients, and their communities by purchasing PPE directly from suppliers,” Hochman said. Americans want their healthcare providers to wear masks during office visits, ActionPPE said. A clear majority, 58%, view masks as the most important PPE for healthcare providers to protect themselves while at work, followed by face shields (22%), gloves (12%), and gowns (4%). While 57% believe it is more important for the healthcare worker to wear a mask than the patient, by a large margin Americans understand they play a role in the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep their providers safe, with 75% confirming masks are important for patients to wear during office visits. Face shields (13%), gloves (5%), and gowns (3%) are not viewed as nearly as important. While the news media may paint a different picture of attitudes about mask-wearing, ActionPPE said, only 5% of Americans don’t think it’s important to wear protective gear, including masks. Also, 55% are willing to pay more for their office visit to ensure their healthcare providers have access to PPE: 51% are willing to pay an additional $5. 30% are willing to pay an additional $5 to $10. 13% are willing to pay an additional $10 to $15. 6% are willing to pay more than $15. Americans additionally believe that PPE shortages will continue and support healthcare professionals taking action to ensure they have a sufficient supply of protective gear: 83% agree that it is appropriate for doctors to take action to source their own supply of PPE when faced with a shortage. 54% believe it is smart for doctors to purchase PPE directly from manufacturers in an emergency to protect themselves. 39% say it’s smart for doctors to purchase PPE directly at any time. Nearly 60% expect PPE shortages to continue for the foreseeable future. Courtesy:Dentistry Today

21st January, 2021

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Dental Students Take Their Handpieces Home for Online Practice

The 22 students in the club recently used Bien-Air Optima motors and handpieces at home, so they could drill outside of the learning spaces at SDM. They sat in front of their computers with their handpieces and operative instruments, a typodont tooth, and a grading rubric. Club CAD student governing board members provided step-by-step presentations via Zoom, guiding participants through an onlay preparation of tooth No. 30, which included which burs to use to create a preparation of ideal measurements. Once the students went to work executing their preparations, they were placed into Zoom Breakout Rooms for more personal assistance from faculty members. Students were able to show their progress on camera in real time and gained immediate, helpful feedback. The use of self-evaluation through the provided grading rubrics helped spur thoughtful conversation with faculty regarding potential future improvement areas, the school said. “It’s been wonderful to see the students and faculty come together to ensure that learning continues and evolves, despite the challenges put forth by the pandemic,” said Club CAD president Noelle Fischer. “This year has heightened the importance of providing opportunities for collaboration and socialization while growing our skill set. This virtual event was a great way of doing just that,” Fischer said. With COVID-19 cases rising throughout the country, this remote educational opportunity may likely be just the beginning of planning for future Club CAD experiences, the school said. “Naturally, many aspects of digital dentistry lend themselves to the virtual landscape,” said Dr. Ann Nasti, associate dean for clinical education. “As we go forward, we are excited to assess how other aspects of this supplemental curriculum can be adapted.” Courtesy: Dentistry Today

20th January, 2021

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It’s Time for Dentists to Stop Pushing Themselves to Their Limits

I do not shy away from my own self-appointed mission to fight imperfection, and I hold myself accountable to that mission by admitting it to anyone who stands within earshot. My battle in this is longstanding and constant. But very often, I feel like I have made very little headway in the decades of my existence. While browsing through Audible, I found The Gifts of Imperfection by Brenee Brown. I immediately clicked on the Buy button, hoping that it could be life-changing. Having struggled with depression my entire life and having been in therapy for almost as long, I had somehow failed to remember that there is no magic button when it comes to changing our very flawed thought patterns. This book was not going to cure me of my perfectionism. Changing how we view ourselves and how we love ourselves is a lifelong commitment. But a new idea from this very book did initiate a pattern of change in me. The Dig-Deep Button In one of the book’s most profound lessons, Brown describes what she calls the dig-deep button, or DDB. This idea really hit home as I read: “It’s the button that you rely on when you’re too bone-tired to get up one more time in the middle of the night or to do one more load of throw-up-diarrhea laundry or to catch one more plane or to return one more call or to please/perform/perfect the way you normally do even when you just want to flip someone off and hide under the covers,” Brown wrote. “The dig-deep button is a secret level of pushing through when we’re exhausted and overwhelmed.” This incredible observation, put into words, suddenly led me to visualize a previously unknown mystical button that, upon examination, I also hit too often. In facing the continual pressures of being all things to all people, we are choosing to compare ourselves to our peers, our pals, and some very talented outliers in our lives. Long ago, we joined a rat race to get a bigger house, drive a nicer car, make more money, be skinnier, look younger, and raise smarter kids. I get exhausted keeping track of all of the expectations I have forced upon myself. But with Brown’s description of the DDB, it now begins to make sense. Each one the races we are aimlessly running includes a button. We have the parent button, the spouse button, the provider button, the practice owner button, the friend button, the son or daughter button, the coach button, and the list goes on and on. In pressing these buttons enough times, I’ve discovered, and maybe you have too, that we are moving further and further away from pause and peace. The most important DDB is the family button. It isn’t hard to imagine how many times, as parents, we have a long and tiresome day only to return home to family drama, such as our kids not getting along, arguing with spouses, or uncomfortable relations with our siblings. The DDB gets pressed when we hope to bring back some sort of balance to our internal world as well as theirs. It is a button that is probably the easiest to press. After all, no matter the day, stretching ourselves past the comfort of our steady lives to better the lives of those we love is our duty, our purpose, and our gift to them. Day or night, far away or near, sacrificing for our family is what we do, what we do well, and what we must do. The Dental Provider’s DDB The less important DDB is the dental provider button. This button has everything to do with being kind and compassionate. It is truly living up to our purpose as healers. Late in the evening, I received a call from the parent of an existing patient, a 12-year-old boy, who had “knocked out” an upper anterior tooth. I was already in my pajamas and ready to turn in after an exhausting day. As I held the phone, I ran through every possible scenario that would not involve me going back into the office. I began describing to the parent how to push the tooth back into its socket, sans anesthetic. The parent’s voice began to shake. “Wait, you want me to put the tooth back, as my son is crying in pain?” the parent asked. It was unfair of me to have suggested that. For a moment, I considered referring the young man to an emergency room, which would most likely involve a several hour wait and make the replantation less successful. I began to realize that I had the ability to save this kid’s smile despite my exhaustion. Plain and simple, I was either going to go in, or the kid would not have the tooth for his lifetime. Slightly annoyed at life and completely drained of energy, I pressed the DDB and drove to work. I replanted the tooth, attached the wire, and saw him again in the morning. It was truly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life, even though it was at the expense of my peace and pause. Unhappy Endings Not every example of pressing the DDB is a fairytale. As providers, we press the button when we’re dealing with patients who are disrespectful and disruptive, when all we want to do is tell them to get out of our offices. We press it when well-intended treatment fails, when we deal with our own shortcomings as clinicians, and when we must find the courage to come clean in those instances with our patients. And there are endless examples of when we feel like we need to press that button. All too often, we find ourselves pushing the DDB as if we were playing the keys on a piano. We push it multiple times each day, and the process becomes exhausting and draining. We have forced ourselves to believe that our self-worth and purpose comes from pushing these buttons, but we fail to realize the toll it takes on our psyche. In today’s world of high-speed everything, we put more and more on our plate, forget about the failsafe of saying no, and allow stress and commitment to grow past what one person ought to handle. I dare to say that I won’t be able to convince you to stop pressing the DDB. Just like you, I would feel disappointed in myself if I didn’t take an opportunity to live up to what I perceive to be my highest potential. Thus, I also can’t commit to getting rid of my DDB. But there comes a time when our DDBs become keys in unwillingly played melody that can bring about an emotional bankruptcy. In understating that, we should make a commitment in unison to avoid pushing those buttons. The fallacy that “what doesn’t break us will make us stronger” invokes an unnecessary chase. The truth is that what doesn’t break us will make us terribly exhausted instead. That exhaustion makes it difficult and even impossible to feel joy and gratitude. So prior to pressing your DDB, if doing so is unavoidable, pause to find peace first and then proceed.

20th January, 2021

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Combat Dental Problems by Treating Sleep Apnea Patients

Sleep is an essential function for the human body. It revives our overall being, keeps us healthy, and allows us to think clearly. A good night’s rest also can strengthen the immune system, aid in proper digestion and detoxification, maintain hormonal balances, and support cognitive health. When there is an inadequate amount of sleep, the brain can’t function properly. Over time, this can lead to significant health risks. That’s why sleep apnea is so detrimental to our health. Sleep apnea is a medical condition causing difficulty breathing in the middle of sleep, leading to restless nights and sleep deprivation. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea. According to the ADA, OSA is the most prevalent form of sleep apnea. It accounts for more than 80% of sleep-disorder breathing cases in the United States. OSA happens when there is a persistent narrowing or collapse of the upper airway during sleep. It is characterized by at least five or more events per night, yet how it presents is unique to each patient. Pauses in breathing can last for a few seconds to minutes. Further, the pauses can occur 30 or more times per hour. Sleep apnea is becoming increasingly common. In fact, 22 million adult Americans live with sleep apnea. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and include snoring loudly, waking up gasping for air, daytime sleepiness, and feeling distressed from a lack of sleep. In addition to mental and physical fatigue, sleep apnea has a direct correlation to dental health. Sleep apnea can lead to dry mouth, tooth decay, grinding, gingivitis, and more. High-quality sleep, on the other hand, can result in better health, reduced bad breath, and a lessened chance of gum disease. That’s why it’s important to have dentists work with patients experiencing sleep apnea. To read from the source, click on the link: https://www.dentistrytoday.com/news/todays-dental-news/item/7593-combat-dental-problems-by-treating-sleep-apnea-patients

18th January, 2021

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Prosthetic Complications: Challenges Created by Poor Implant Positioning

In implant dentistry, the goal of the implant prosthesis is to not only survive but also be able to be stable biologically and functionally. For long-term success, the implant crown or prosthesis should approximate the morphology of a natural tooth. If the implant prosthesis deviates from the normal, natural tooth contours, the prosthesis may be predisposed to compromised aesthetics, prosthetic mechanical complications, a loss of ideal soft-tissue architecture, peri-implant disease, and hygiene difficulty. IDEAL IMPLANT POSITIONING One of the most critical skills in the practice of implant dentistry is the understanding and the ability to place an implant in the ideal and correct position. Prior to implant placement, a detailed and comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s existing condition should be completed with respect to the intended final prosthesis. The positioning of implants must be carefully treatment planned three-dimensionally (via CBCT) with the goal of the final prosthesis being in harmony biologically, functionally, and aesthetically. Ideally, prior to implant placement, the existing alveolar ridge should be evaluated and treated appropriately for any osseous or soft-tissue deficiencies so that the implant may be inserted in the same position as the natural tooth. Properly placed dental implants will allow the clinician to insert a prosthesis with ideal contours, thus allowing for an emergence profile that will maintain ideal embrasure spaces and proximal contact areas. According to The Glossary of Prosthodontic Terms, the emergence profile is defined as “the contour of the restoration as it relates to the emergence from circumscribed soft tissues.” A proper emergence profile is crucial in preventing peri-implant disease as it maintains gingival health, prevents plaque (biofilm) retention, maintains the adequate thickness of soft tissue, and allows for oral hygiene maintenance. To minimize the risks of these postoperative complications, biological, mechanical, and occlusal principles must be strictly followed. However, in some clinical situations, this is difficult to accomplish because of poor implant placement positioning. To read from the source, please click on the link: https://www.dentistrytoday.com/articles/10716

15th January, 2021

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