Careers In Dentistry

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under , , ,

Okay now, who likes science? Who also likes working with their hands? To be politically correct, I will also ask, who likes helping people? If you answered yes to all of these and you are a student of any age, you might want to consider a career in the dental field. The following article will highlight 4 positions in the field that anyone can aspire to attain.

The first one is the dentist. To become a dentist, you need a bachelor's degree with a strong science foundation, biology, chemistry, physics and math being crucial. To be admitted to dental school, which lasts 4 years, requires high grades in college and a competitive score on the Dental Aptitude Test (kind of like a dental SAT). After graduating from dental school you must take a licensure exam required by the state that you want to practice in. If you want to become a dental specialist than 2 or more extra years of schooling are needed. Specialized dental fields include:

  1. Orthodontists who straighten crooked teeth and malaligned jaws with braces and other appliances.
  2. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons extract teeth as well as care for problems associated with jaws and facial structures.
  3. Periodontists care for a patient's gums and bone that supports the teeth.
  4. Pediatric dentists care for the needs of children.
  5. Oral pathologists help diagnose tumors and other lesions of the mouth.
  6. Endodontists treat the nerves inside of teeth when they become infected.
  7. Prosthodontists specialize in the replacement of teeth.

The next dental professional is the dental hygienist. They help people prevent tooth decay and maintain healthy gums by cleaning teeth to remove tartar, stains and plaque. They review a patient's health history and chart the condition of the person's teeth and gums. They also teach proper brushing and flossing techniques. Hygienists must complete a two year certification program or a four year college program. Good grades in high school are needed to apply for admission.

The dental assistant is the next dental team member. They keep the practice running smoothly. They greet and dismiss patients as well as assist the dentist during all phases of treatments, including the taking of the necessary x-rays. The assistant many times help prepare the patients so they will be comfortable during treatment Community colleges and vocational schools offer dental assisting programs.

One final member of the dental team is the dental laboratory technician. The technician follows a dentists prescription to make and repair dental appliances, including dentures, inlays, crowns, and bridges. They make these appliances using wax, plaster plastic and ceramics and metals from impressions taken of a person's mouth or teeth. Many technicians learn their craft on the job, while others take a certified training program. The work is extremely delicate and time consuming but good dental technicians are and will be always in demand.

For anyone out there reading this who might be interested in a very rewarding profession that will always be in demand, please consider the dental field. You won't be sorry.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under , , , ,

Over the past several years, I have seen a handful of patients who report that their mouths burn. These people have what is called Burning Mouth Syndrome, which is a common problem that causes a person to have a burning sensation on their lips and tongue. Occasionally the pain can be felt anywhere in the mouth including down the throat. Usually there is not any sign of irritation in the persons' mouth. Its cause can be from a multitude of things. Menopause is one cause as are certain vitamin deficiencies such as iron, zinc, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine and cobalamin. Although it can happen to anyone, the condition usually happens to older females, over 65 years of age.

The main symptoms as stated before are a burning or scalding sensation anywhere in the oral cavity. Other symptoms can be dry mouth, and bitter or metallic tastes.

Patients report that the sensation happens spontaneously, and it usually intensifies throughout the day. It is not unusual for sufferers to have more than one cause attributed to the problem. Xerostomia (dry mouth), irritating dentures, oral thrush, allergies and acid reflux have all been implicated the ailment. Any medications that can cause dry mouth can be suspect, and there are many drugs that fall into this category. Cancer therapy treatments involving chemotherapy and radiation can also be a part of the cause. Research also points to psychological causes, such as depression and anxiety.

Your dentist can look for signs of dry mouth as well as thrush. He or she can review your medical history to see if you are now on any new medications which could be the culprit. If the cause seems to be dry mouth, the obvious treatment is to drink plenty of fluids. Also, a prescription for medicines that promote more salivary flow might be needed. If thrush is present than medications to treat this will be prescribed. Poorly fitting dentures should be adjusted or new dentures made to help prevent oral irritations. Occasionally your dentist might refer you to your family physician to decide if other tests, such as blood, allergy, liver or thyroid, to see if there are any abnormalities that can be detected.

If you or anyone you know is having this problem it would be wise to visit your dentist for an examination.

Bleach Your Teeth in One Hour - absolutely amazing

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There are several ways to bleach one's teeth. At home bleaching can be done with bleaching trays that are molded to your mouth. Into these trays you apply a viscous gel and wear the tray for several hours during the day, or overnight. This method takes about 2-3 weeks before your teeth are bleached as much as they are going to. Then there are the whitening strips that you apply to your teeth. These also take a few weeks to work. Both of these methods take time to whiten your teeth as much as they can, which can vary depending upon the concentration of the bleaching material, the amount of contact the material has against the teeth, and quite honestly, whether you actually do the homework needed and actually put these materials onto your teeth properly. I say this because some people have the best of intentions but stop using the products too soon, for many reasons.

I have the solution... one hour in-office bleaching. It takes the guesswork out of the procedure because the dental personnel perform it on you, plus it only takes about an hour. This means it's a one stop visit to dazzling teeth. I can honestly say that the results are amazing because I recently had the procedure done to my own teeth and I am very impressed with the results I got. My teeth were on the dark side so I was skeptical, but when the treatment was finished, my teeth looked great.

The active ingredient is a hydrogen peroxide gel that is placed on the teeth. This gel is activated by a strong metal halide light that is positioned in front of your mouth. The machine controlling the light looks like the robot in the "Jetson's," so it has been named "Rosie." Every 20 minutes new gel is placed on your teeth, and this cycle is repeated 3 times. Since I was watching cable TV at the time the whole procedure seemed to go pretty quick. You could bring a movie to watch also if you wanted to.

As a dentist, I have seen many new products come and go. This product really works. Saying that it takes too much time to whiten your teeth is no longer a good reason not to do this. As long as you are at least 14 years old you can get the procedure done. Call your dental office for more details about this phenomenal service, you'll be glad you did. You might even smile more.

Antibiotic Premedication – A Necessity For Some

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A bacteremia is a medical term used to denote the buildup of certain types of bacteria in the bloodstream.

Bacteria get into the blood in a variety of ways. Cuts, abrasions, open sores and the like are obvious ways. Others are the simple acts of chewing, brushing your teeth and flossing. We've all been told about the myriad of germs always present in our mouths. These bacteria help produce decay, gum infections, and bad breath.

Dental treatment is another way to let bacteria into your bloodstream. The cleaning of teeth, restoration of cavities and the placement of crowns and bridges all cause the bacteria normally present in your mouth to get into your blood through you gums. There is no way to avoid traumatizing your gums during dental treatment.

Why is having bacteria in your bloodstream bad? In certain individuals, a condition called bacterial endocarditis can develop. It can be life threatening, but it is not common.

Even so, primary prevention of endocarditis whenever possible is important. Endocarditis usually develops in individuals with underlying cardiac defects. Blood borne bacteria may lodge on damaged or abnormal heart valves or near anatomic defects. It is not always possible to predict which patients will develop this infection or which procedure will be responsible.

Certain conditions are associated with endocarditis more than others. Individuals at highest risk are those who have prosthetic heart valves, a previous history of endocarditis, complex congenital heart disease or surgically constructed systemic pulmonary shunts or conduits. These high-risk patients are much more prone to develop an infection that can be fatal.

Individuals with the following conditions are considered to have moderate risk: patent ductus arteriosus, ventricular septal defect, primum atrial septal defect, coarctation of the aorta, and bicuspid aortic valve. Acquired valvar dysfunction due to rheumatic heart disease is also associated with a moderate risk.

Another condition, which might require antibiotics is mitral valve prolapse or MVP. The need for premedication before dental treatment for this condition is controversial, however. Some experts feel that only patients with valves that regurgitate, produce a turbulent blood flow, which would increase the likelihood of bacteria growing on the valve. If your doctor says you have mitral valve prolapse, it is important to find out if it is the kind that requires antibiotic premedication prior to dental treatment. Not all MVP needs premedication.

So what do we do to premedicate a susceptible person?

The incidence and magnitude of bacteremias of oral origin is directly proportional to the degree of oral inflammation and infection. Therefore, individuals who are at risk should maintain the best possible oral health to reduce the potential sources of bacterial infection.

Optimal oral health is maintained through regular professional care as well as immaculate home care.

AED’S - They’re popping up everywhere

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AED’S---They’re popping up everywhere

You see them at your favorite mall. You saw one last week when you were at the airport going to see grandma. When you went to your son’s school to watch him in the play, you saw it in the hallway. AED’s or automated external defibrillators are now becoming commonplace. If there is a venue where many people gather, you will probably find one, or maybe several. These devices are used to help start a person’s heart beating again if it has stopped or gone into some type of erratic rhythm.

They are designed to help the lay person help a person in trouble. What I mean by this is that many times there are easy to read and understand pictures and diagrams on the machine, that tell what to do with the device when you suspect a person is in trouble. Some of the more sophisticated models actually talk to you and walk you through the things you need to do. It will show or tell you where to put the pads on the patient. It will tell you if the person needs to be “shocked” or not. If the person needs to be shocked, you will be told, like you see on “E.R.” to STAND CLEAR!

Then to unit will administer an electric shock to hopefully help correct the heart problem the person is having. Some units will also direct you to administer CPR in the appropriate fashion.

The reason I am writing this is because many dental offices have purchased these machines for the good of their patients. These offices have shown that they want to be in the forefront of medical care. The next time you are in your dental office, take a look around and you will probably see the AED on the wall in a conspicuous place. If you don’t you might want to ask the staff if the office will be getting one.

Denture Adhesive

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under ,

Denture Adhesive - Can we make it a thing of the past

Take a trip down the personal hygiene aisle of any supermarket and stop when you get to the area designated for denture adhesives. These products are sold to the tune of $1 billion annually and a look on the shelves gives an indication of that. There are pastes, powders, gels and of course the newest type on the block, the liner pads. They kind of remind me of a cross between pimple pads and flypaper. All of these products are made for one purpose, and that is to basically glue a persons' denture in place.

The reason people need to use this stuff is because they have little to no bone left for the denture to seat on and therefore the denture becomes unstable. A person will lose bone over time after his or her teeth are removed, some people quicker than others. As the bone decreases, so does the amount of retention the denture has until the person resorts to using denture adhesive to hold things in place. Even someone with a new denture or one that was recently relined will have problems if there is not a good foundation for the denture to rest on.

Ask anyone who uses adhesive if they really like using it. I doubt that you will find many who do. It tastes lousy and is hard to clean off your gums. It needs to be reapplied every so often because it seems to disappear over time. Guess what, it's not disappearing, you are swallowing it. The whole situation is just not good.

What a person with dentures to do? In the past I have spoke of getting dental implants to help hold your denture solidly in your mouth. Dental implants are titanium cylinders that are placed in your jawbone to replace the teeth you lost. They are used to help anchor a persons' denture by having the denture attach itself to the secure implants. Since the implants are very solidly imbedded in the bone, the denture is given this secure base to fit on.

Today I am going to write about a new type of denture held in by implants. It is called the NOVUM denture and I have to say that it is pretty slick. The procedure for conventional implants is such that once the implants are placed in the patients' bone, a waiting period of from 3-6 months is needed for the bone to mature around the implants. This time period is needed for the bone to adhere to the implants and stabilize them. The new denture which will be made to attach to these implants can not be started until the 3-6 months has past and the implants have "healed" in the bone. Then it usually takes another month or so for the dentist to take impressions and have several fittings to make sure the denture will attach to the implants properly.

Enter the Novum type denture. This is a denture which can only be used on a persons lower jaw. This is so because the bone on the lower jaw is usually denser and of better quality than the upper jawbone. In this procedure, it is possible to place 3 special implants in the lower jaw in the front part of the mouth, and have the corresponding denture made at the same time. This will allow the person to get new, secure teeth in a day. We're talking about teeth that look good and feel very secure. Forget about the typical 3-6 month waiting period. The procedure is also good for the person who is wearing a lower partial denture held in place by several questionable teeth. The bad teeth are removed at the same time the implants are placed and the new denture is placed in time for dinner.

If you or someone you know are tired of having your dentures move and being full of denture adhesive "glop," please have them contact their dentist and inquire about the different alternative that might be possible. Bon appetit.