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  • Add bite to your retirement dental plan

    If you plan to retire soon, add this item to your to-do list: a visit to the dentist before your dental insurance disappears.

    Retirees transitioning to Medicare are often surprised to learn that the program does not cover routine dental care or more complex procedures.

    Overall, 40 percent of the 65-plus population has some form of dental benefit, according to the National Association of Dental Plans. For seniors who use Medicare Advantage managed care plans, about half offer very limited coverage for cleanings and exams. A small percentage of seniors have dental insurance from a former employer, and Medicaid covers dental care for low-income residents in some states, although benefits vary. Some buy individual commercial plans or have coverage through an association such as AARP.

    But most seniors just pay for dental care out of pocket – the mean expense for Americans age 65 and older was $870 in 2012, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a research arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    The costs can be far higher for more complex procedures. The average cost of a crown in New York City is $2,500; a periodontal procedure in Los Angeles costs $1,700, according to Fairhealthconsumer.org , a service that tracks prices of healthcare and health insurance.

    Those numbers help explain why 34 percent of seniors had not seen a dentist in two years in 2010, and 22 percent had gone without care for the past five years, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

    “Dental care is conspicuously absent from the health care coverage for older adults,” says Dora Fisher, director of older adult programs at Oral Care America, a nonprofit group that advocates for better oral health.

    Medicare celebrates its 50th anniversary later this month, and adding basic dental coverage is on the wish list of many health policy experts reflecting on the program’s future.

    Research shows clear links between poor oral health, diabetes and heart disease. One out of four Medicare beneficiaries has edentulism – that is, they no longer have any of their natural teeth, according to KFF; that can cause other health issues, such as nutritional deficiencies and problems with speech.

    PRICING OPTIONS

    Premiums for private plans, are reasonable – PPO plans cost around $15 per month, Ireland says. But individual coverage is not as robust as group dental plans. “Most have waiting periods before coverage for major procedures begins, and the dollar caps on coverage may be lower,” she says.

    Ireland adds that dental insurers have been negotiating with the federal government to offer individual standalone dental plans (independent of health insurance) through the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges, and she hopes expanded offerings will start showing up in 2016 or 2017.

    Dental plans are available on many exchanges now, but they can only be purchased along with general health insurance. That effectively cuts out seniors, who are covered by Medicare.

    Consumer advocates are pushing for Medicare to pay for dental care made necessary by other procedures that the program does cover. The Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA), a non-profit legal organization, has filed lawsuits on behalf of cancer patients who have been denied coverage for dental procedures made necessary due to aggressive radiation of the head and neck.

    “Medicare covers what happens to the patient’s eyes even though it doesn’t provide routine eye care – but there’s no coverage for this type of extreme dental care, and people are ending up in the hospital with infections,” says Margaret Murphy, an associate director and attorney with CMA. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did not respond to requests for comment.

    The litigation has not been successful so far, but CMA has not given up. “We’re trying to figure out where to go with it next,” Murphy says.

  • Dental Problems Can Be Deadly!

    What started as a toothache from a lost filling became a raging infection that landed Christopher Smith in the emergency room, then in intensive care on a ventilator and feeding tube.

    “It came on so quickly and violently. I was terrified,” says Smith, 41, of Jeffersonville, Ind., who lacked dental insurance and hadn’t been to a dentist for years before the problem arose last month. “I had no idea it could get this serious this quickly.”

    Smith is one of a growing number of patients seeking help in the ER for long-delayed dental care. An analysis of the most recent federal data by the American Dental Association shows dental ER visits doubled from 1.1 million in 2000 to 2.2 million in 2012, or one visit every 15 seconds. ADA officials, as well as many dentists across the nation, say the problem persists today despite health reform.

    “This is something I deal with daily,” says George Kushner, director of the oral and maxillofacial surgery program at the University of Louisville . “And there is not a week that goes by that we don’t have someone hospitalized…People still die from their teeth in the U.S.”

    Often, what drives people to the ER is pain, “like a cavity that hurts them so much they can’t take it anymore,” says Jeffrey Hackman, ER clinical operations director at Truman Medical Center-Hospital Hill in Kansas City, who’s noticed a significant rise in the number of dental visits over the last five years.

    Limited insurance coverage is a major culprit; all but 15% of dental ER visits are by the uninsured or people with government insurance. The Affordable Care Act requires health plans to cover dental services for children but not adults; federal officials say “essential” benefits were based on services included in employer-sponsored medical plans. Medicaid plans for adults vary by state and often cover only a short list of basic dental services. Medicare generally doesn’t cover dental care at all.

    By law, ERs have to see patients even if they can’t pay. But although they often provide little more than painkillers and antibiotics to dental patients, they cost more than three times as much as a routine dental visit, averaging $749 a visit if the patient isn’t hospitalized — and costing the U.S. health care system $1.6 billion a year.

    “If we were going to the dentist more often, we could avoid a lot of this,” says Ruchi Sahota, a California dentist and consumer adviser for the ADA. “Prevention is priceless.”

    Access a challenge

    But federal figures show four in 10 adults had no dental visit in the past year, and one big reason is cost. Just over a third of working-age adults, and 64% of seniors, lacked dental coverage of any kind in 2012, meaning they had to pay for everything out-of-pocket.

    Meanwhile, the 10% of adults with Medicaid dental plans struggle to find dentists to take them; studies have shown that less than 20% of dentists accept Medicaid in some states, largely because reimbursements dip as low as 14% of private insurance reimbursement last year. Add to that a shortage of more than 7,000 dentists in the United States.

    Americans who go without care pay a price. More than a quarter of working-age adults, and one in five seniors, have untreated cavities, and 19% of seniors have lost all their teeth. When poor people do get care, dentists say they usually get only basic services.

    “I take out teeth every week that could have been saved with restorative work,” Kushner says.

    Besides lacking coverage, dentists say people tend to ignore dental problems until things get really bad, which can happen outside of business hours and send them to ERs.

    When money’s tight, “dental care is something people put off to the very end,” failing to realize it’s crucial to overall health, says Michael McCunniff, chairman of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Public Health and Behavioral Science.

    Smith learned the hard way just how crucial oral health is.

    The reggae vocalist and part-time security system installer says he’d been without dental insurance for a couple of years, and hadn’t been to a dentist for longer than that, when a filling fell out of a bottom left molar on June 6. He tried to fix it with a do-it-yourself kit, but the temporary filling came out during a concert that night. He tried to numb it with Anbesol the next day, but the pain got worse as his jaw swelled, and he drove to the emergency room at 4 a.m. the following morning.

    Doctors there referred him to a nearby dentist, who saw the worsening infection and sent him back to the ER, where his tooth was removed. At home, the infection drained into his neck, making it difficult to breathe — prompting a third trip to the ER. As he sat in the waiting room, the swelling doubled. “I could feel my windpipe close,” he recalls.

    Doctors admitted him, cut into his neck to insert a drain for the infection and gave him strong antibiotics — and kept him in the hospital for a week.

    A day after returning home, all he felt up to doing was resting with his dachshund, Sinatra. The scar in his neck was visible, and his still-swollen jaw made it impossible to open his mouth all the way.

    Toward solutions

    Dentists say patients can be much better served by getting regular care in the community, where many issues that bring people to ERs can be handled and serious problems prevented. Community health centers with dental clinics offer one longstanding alternative for low-cost care, and another newly-touted option involves university dental school clinics.

    The University of Maryland School of Dentistry, for example, has a pre-doctoral clinic, where students provide a range care under the close supervision of faculty, and a walk-in clinic for people with urgent needs.

    An ADA report last year found that dental ER visits had fallen between 2012 and 2014 in Maryland amid state reforms such as increased Medicaid reimbursement for dentists and a larger provider network — inspired in part by the 2007 death of a 12-year-old boy from a brain infection that began as a toothache.

    The ADA also points to ER referral programs across the nation to get patients into dental-school treatment. Officials say there currently are 125 such programs, up from eight a year ago. In Kansas City, patients at Truman have only to walk across the street when they’re referred to the University of Missouri clinic.

    “An emergency physician can provide some temporary care — things like pain medication and antibiotics — but rarely are we able to definitively treat the underlying cause of dental problems,” says Truman’s Hackman. “We know that through the ER referral program, a good proportion of them are getting definitive care. We’ve certainly seen far fewer repeat visits.”

    Ultimately, some dentists say they’d like to see dental care among the services insurers are required to cover. The ADA pushed this idea as the health reform law was being written and is now advocating for increased coverage for adult dental care under Medicaid. Some dentists say they’re encouraged that some states expanding Medicaid have started seeing more recipients going to dentists.

    Smith says ER staff helped him sign up for Indiana Medicaid, and now that he’s been referred to a dentist who has agreed to take him, he plans to get regular checkups and take meticulous care of his teeth at home.

    McCunniff says that’s a much better plan — for all Americans — than forgoing care and frantically seeking help in the ER. “All that does is put a Band-Aid on the problem,” he says. “It doesn’t cure it.”

     

     

    Source: USAtoday

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/07/09/dental-problems-driving-increasing-numbers-of-americans-to-ers/28983933/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=usatoday-newstopstories

  • A new dental implant that signals dental problems early on

    Patients can spot trouble with new dental implants

     

    Patients with new dental implants may be able to detect signs of trouble early enough to help prevent complications that can damage gums and bone, a British study suggests.

    When researchers asked 75 people who received dental implants in the past year if they had complications such as bleeding, pus or loose replacement-tooth “roots,” they expected clinicians to routinely catch problems that the patients missed.

    But that didn’t happen.

    Because the mouth is a very sensitive part of the body, it’s not surprising that patients and clinicians had a similar opinion about post-implant oral health, said Bruno Chrcanovic, a researcher in odontology at Malmo University in Sweden who wasn’t involved in the study.

    That doesn’t mean patients are forever in the clear, however, or that all problems can be easily detected without regular dental checkups, he said.

    “Some patients have the feeling that they understand the problem and can properly deal with it by themselves,” Chrcanovic said by email. “It is not always true.”

    About 3 million people in the U.S. have dental implants, and another 500,000 implants are placed each year, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

    Implants are artificial tooth roots – typically titanium posts – inserted into the bone of the jaw to replace missing teeth. An implant with an attached crown, functions like a normal tooth and can help preserve the jaw structure and prevent bone loss, unlike bridgework or dentures.

    While generally safe, dental implant procedures, like any surgery, are not risk-free. Patients can develop damage to blood vessels, nerves, sinuses or other teeth. They can also get a serious condition known as peri-implantitis, a bacterial infection that can lead to inflammation around the post and bone loss.

    The study, co-authored by Dr. Simon Wright of the Implant Centers of Excellence in the U.K., tested a hypothesis that patients can’t perceive the difference between successful and unsuccessful implants. Wright didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.

    Patients who received implants from one of two dentists at the practice within the previous one to 11 months were asked to complete questionnaires and have an exam to see if their responses lined up with what clinicians saw in their mouth.

    The patients ranged in age from 23 to 92 years old, and none of them was treated as part of the National Health Service, the U.K.’s publicly funded health system.

    Researchers focused on five areas of post-implant health: aesthetics, loose restorations, bleeding or pus, fractured implants and what’s known as occlusion, when the upper and lower teeth collide when the mouth is closed.

    On all five of these variables, there wasn’t a significant difference of opinion between the patients and the dentists, according to the results published in the British Dental Journal.

    Patients perceived fractures in 5.3 percent of restorations, whereas dentists detected fractures in 1.4 percent.

    For loose restorations, patients thought this of 14.7 percent of implants, while dentists found 13.3 percent of restorations to be loose.

    With occlusion, patients reported this 1.3 percent of the time, but dentists found it during 5.3 percent of exams.

    Patients may have been fairly accurate in assessing their own oral health because they were educated on the potential risks before implant surgery and then taught proper implant care after the procedure, the researchers note. The study is also too small to draw conclusions about a broader patient population.

    Patients who aren’t well educated may struggle to spot complications and also be less likely to continue with routine checkups, said Dr. Frank Strietzel, an oral health researcher at Charity Medical University Berlin.

    “If the patient will not follow the advice of the dentist, there is a risk of undetected inflammation around the implants,” Strietzel, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “A dental implant is a foreign body like a prosthesis, which requires regular observation.”

     

    Source: Fox News

    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/07/10/patients-can-spot-trouble-with-new-dental-implants/

  • 5 ways you’re destroying your teeth!

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Taking care of your teeth is about preventative maintenance, but you may be doing things every day that are ruining your pearly whites.

    Here are five surprising ways you’re destroying your teeth from Women’s Health Magazine:

    1) Not visiting the dentist

    Think of your mouth as a machine. You’ve got to keep it running smoothly, so every once in a while you need a professional to take a look at it. Remember to schedule an appointment at least once a year.

    2) For-going brushing and flossing

    When certain bacteria sit on your teeth for long enough, they start colonizing and produce acid that can break down your teeth. Brushing helps remove the plaque before the colonies can start to cause damage, and flossing helps ensure you get what the brush can’t reach.

    3) Picking a non-fluoride toothpaste

    Fluoride is important because it helps replace the minerals worn away by bacteria-produced acid. It can help repair the teeth even after bacteria has damaged them.

    4) Chewing ice

    Subjecting your teeth to big ranges of hot and cold, which tends to make things expand and contract, eventually puts little micro-cracks in your enamel. Those little cracks in your teeth can build up, and one day, a piece might just break off.

    5) Sipping a sugary drink all day

    If you have a several cokes a day, you’re putting your teeth at risk. But, if you can’t kick the habit, at least rinse your mouth out with water to remove some of the sugar from your teeth.

     

    http://www.thv11.com/

  • Oregon kids starting school will be required to have dental screenings

    Oregon children who are starting public school and are 7 years old or younger will be required to have dental screenings, or show proof they’ve had one, under legislation signed by Gov. Kate Brown.

    Starting with the 2016-17 school year, new students will have to submit certification that they have received a screening within the previous 12 months from a licensed dentist or dental hygienist, or from a school employee qualified to spot dental problems. The certification must be submitted within 120 days of the student’s first day for him or her to remain enrolled, said Ely Sanders, school health specialist for the Oregon Department of Education.

    State Rep. Cedric Hayden , R-Roseburg, a dentist who was the chief sponsor of House Bill 2972 , said it will have little impact on children who already receive regular dental care. “This is designed to capture children that don’t have that opportunity,” he said.

    Hayden and Sanders said the bill has two goals: identifying children who have cavities, abscesses or other dental problems that may cause them to miss school, and raising parents’ awareness of the importance of oral health. Parents of children who are screened at school will be notified of the results and informed about followup and preventive care.

    The school screenings won’t be full dental exams. Instead, they’ll consist of “a quick look in the mouth with a mirror and a bright light,” said Dr. Bruce Austin, the state’s new dental director, who will implement the law.

    Under discussion now is who will do the school screenings. “Doing a screening inside somebody’s mouth requires a certain amount of dental knowledge,” Austin said.

    School nurses had criticized the bill, saying they didn’t feel they had sufficient training to detect dental problems. They also raised concerns that dental screenings would reduce the time they could spend on other health issues.

    Hayden said the new law will not require school nurses to do the screenings. Sanders said other school staff could be trained, or schools could work with local nonprofits.

    HB 2972 will also require school districts to report to the state annually on the percentage of their students who did not submit dental certification. The bill has an estimated fiscal impact of about $16,500 for that recordkeeping, Hayden said.

    Hayden said that as with other school-based screenings, parents will have the opportunity to opt out based on philosophical beliefs.

    The Oregon Dental Association has said the screening program will help prevent “needless pain and suffering” for many Oregon children and will help dentists target programs and services to the parts of the state where children have the most dental problems.

    “If we improve Oregonians’ oral health it’s going to improve our overall health,” Austin said.

     

    BY AMY WANG, www.oregonlive.com

  • 3D Printing is Revolutionizing Dentistry as Well!

    PITTSBURGH – Most people dread going to the dentist to get a crown on one of their teeth.

    The procedure can be long, tedious and often uncomfortable. Once in the chair, patients must bite down on a putty-like material – which can trigger the gag reflex – to create an impression of their teeth. Patients must wear temporary crowns for a few weeks until their permanent crowns have been made from the impressions, sometimes returning to the office for corrections if one falls out or is uncomfortable.

    Traditionally, crown fittings take three weeks and multiple visits to the dentist to complete. These permanent tooth-shaped “caps” – made of durable material such as steel, porcelain or ceramic – are put on to protect a weak tooth, restore a broken tooth, cover and support a tooth with a large filling or serve other uses.

    Fortunately, this slow process may soon be history in most dental offices. New 3-D video imaging technology is speeding up the time it takes for dentists to create lab-quality dental restorations – from weeks to a couple of hours.

    Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing – known as CAD/CAM technology – consists of a scanning wand no bigger than a large toothbrush and an on-site milling machine.

    The new system allows dentists to create and insert crowns, inlays, onlays and veneers in a single appointment. The scanning wand takes a 3-D image or video of a dental region in as little as 15 seconds.

    A block of a durable material such as lithium disilicate is then milled into shape and baked before it is inserted into the patient’s mouth.

    “There’s always the sense of amazement when patients experience (CAD/CAM technology) for the first time,” said Jeffery Verner, a dentist in Bethel Park. “I’ve even had some patients put the block in the machine themselves, and others call back afterward saying it was a cool experience.”

    Christine Trice, office manager for dentist Rick Rivardo in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, said the shorter time makes it easier for working people to better care for their teeth. Finding time in patients’ schedules for several appointments is the main reason treatment is delayed or even avoided, she said.

    Trice said because the new technology eliminates the need for putting in temporary crowns, there is also a reduced risk of irritation and increased tooth sensitivity.

    Despite these advantages, use of the new technology is not the standard in most dental practices, said Charles Sfeir, director of the Center for Craniofacial Regeneration at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. While the cost to patients does not change compared with the traditional approach, dental practices must pay about $100,000 for the equipment.

    Additional training is needed to operate the new devices, which may dissuade some older practitioners from adopting it, Trice said.

    Harve Dailey, 63, a retired chemist who has a rare nickel allergy, said the technology has spared him the severe gum irritation and bleeding he had with his old crowns. “This new procedure is much better from a patient point of view,” he said.

    Still, a growing number of dental practices in Allegheny County are making the investment.

    Meredith Fennell, a dentist in Chicora, Pennsylvania, has had the equipment for nearly two years, and Rivardo, the Monroeville dentist, introduced it recently. Pitt dental students have been getting training on the new equipment over the past few years, Sfeir said.

    “I don’t think a lot of people know about this,” he said. “We really are moving into the digital era and increasing convenience for patients.”

     

     

    Source:

    http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/life/d-imaging-changing-dentistry/article_ebd2afa1-ff99-5f7d-b859-0f3cd3869176.html

     

  • Find out more about a new form of “Relaxation Dentistry”

    SUMMARY: A relatively new practice has emerged to cater to individuals who experience anxiety when scheduling a dental appointment: relaxation dentistry.

    Posted: June 12, 2015

    The idea of going to the dentist may not exactly excite people, but for some, the thought of sitting in that chair can cause more than a normal amount of anxiety. In fact, dental phobia exists and, according to Harvard Health, 13 to 24 percent of people in the world have it. For these individuals, going to the dentist is terrifying. However, they, like everyone else, need regular oral care . A relatively new practice has emerged to cater to those who experience anxiety when scheduling a dental appointment: relaxation dentistry.

    What is relaxation dentistry?
    Relaxation dentistry (also called sedation dentistry) uses sedative methods to provide a calm atmosphere at the dentist. Patients may be given sedatives through an IV, but for those who don’t like the idea of being hooked up like that, needle-free methods are also available. In fact, oral sedation, in which patients receive medication through the mouth, is the most common practice.

    According to the Chicago Tribune, relaxation dentistry utilizes only the lowest dose of sedatives that a doctor can provide, while sedative dentistry may encompass more potent medication.

    “Sedation is a continuum,” Dr. Peter Tomaselli, dentist at Chicago Smile Design, told the source. “We stay very, very far to the conscious end of things and far away from the unconscious end of things.”

    The benefits of sedation
    Sedation dentistry appeals to people because it’s a seemingly quick experience. Patients note that they feel they’ve slept through the appointment or that the time spent at the dentist was much shorter than it actually was. The reality is that patients actually maintain consciousness, but the medication makes them feel sleepy or that time is passing quickly.

    This provides a variety of benefits. For starters, people who are afraid of going to the dentist are able to relax and speed through the process. Additionally, dentists can get more done. Usually, some procedures are broken up into several appointments. For instance, a patient who has multiple cavities may have to come in for each individual filling because they can’t sit through all the work at once. However, sedation dentistry enables doctors to perform all the necessary work in fewer appointments, as their patients are able to lay happily in the chair for longer periods of time.

    Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of sedation dentistry is that it helps patients get the routine oral care doctors recommend with relative ease. Those who put off appointments until something hurts can feel comfortable visiting their dentist every six months, preventing issues before they occur.

    Sedation regulations
    The Chicago Tribune also noted that sedation dentistry is heavily regulated to ensure the procedure is safe. Illinois dentists, for example, have to undergo 75 hours of supervised training before they can earn a permit to practice sedation dentistry.

    How to know if it’s right for you
    Only you can say whether sedation dentistry is a good fit. However, if you avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety, it may be worth the effort. Remember, routine oral care helps prevent major issues, so going to your dentist often can reduce the amount of big procedures you may have to have done.

    Source:

    http://www.therabreath.com/articles/news/oral-care-industry-news/what-is-relaxation-dentistry-36324.asp

  • Check out the DailyMails’s Secret to our strong teeth revealed: Nanostructures within dentine make pearly whites crack-resistant

    Human teeth have to serve a lifetime despite being subjected to acid, grinding and huge forces.

    But why teeth are so hardy hasn’t been understood until now.

    German scientists studying the structure of dentine – the layer beneath a tooth’s enamel – have found tiny nanostructures in it that stop teeth from cracking.

    A team of scientists led by Charite Julius-Wolff-Institute Berlin found mineral particles in dentine are pre-compressed so that internal stresses stop teeth cracking.

    It appears that nature uses internal stresses in a similar way to engineers, designing strengthened materials.

    Unlike bones, which are made partly of living cells, human teeth are not able to repair damage.

    Their bulk is made of dentine, a bonelike material consisting of mineral nanoparticles.

    Scientists found mineral particles in dentine (shown above) are pre-compressed so that internal stresses stop teeth cracking

    Scientists found mineral particles in dentine (shown above) are pre-compressed so that internal stresses stop teeth cracking

    These mineral nanoparticles are embedded in collagen protein fibres.

    These fibres are found in every tooth and lie in layers to make teeth tough and damage resistant.

    To understand more, experts conducted stress experiments on teeth and analysed the orientation of the mineral nanoparticles using cutting edge imaging technology.

    They found that when the tiny collagen fibres shrink, attached mineral particles become increasingly compressed.

    ‘Our group was able to use changes in humidity to demonstrate how stress appears in the mineral in the collagen fibres,’ Dr Paul Zaslansky explained.

    ‘The compressed state helps to prevents cracks from developing and we found that compression takes place in such a way that cracks cannot easily reach the tooth inner parts, which could damage the sensitive pulp.

    ‘In this manner, compression stress helps to prevent cracks from rushing through the tooth.’

    They also discovered that dentine can be weakened if it’s heated and mineral-protein links are destroyed.

    This causes them to think that the balance of stresses between the particles and the protein is important for the extended survival of teeth in the mouth.

    The results of the study may explain why artificial teeth don’t usually work as well as natural teeth do.

    Jean-Baptiste Forien said artificial teeth are too passive because they lack the mechanisms found in the natural tooth structures, so they can’t withstand forces as well as natural teeth.

    Dr Zaslansky hopes the study will lead to tougher ceramic structures that could be used in artificial teeth.

     

     

    Source:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3119944/The-secret-strong-teeth-revealed-Nanostructures-dentine-make-pearly-whites-crack-resistant.html

     

  • Study finds dental implants result in better quality of life for osteoporotic women

    With age, postmenopausal women with osteoporosis are at greater risk of losing their teeth. But what treatment for tooth loss provides women with the highest degree of satisfaction in their work and social lives?

    A new study by Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researchers suggests dental implants may be the best route to take, according to Leena Palomo, associate professor of periodontics and corresponding author of “Dental Implant Supported Restorations Improve the Quality of Life in Osteoporotic Women.”

    Their findings were reported in the Journal of International Dentistry . The research is part of a series of studies analyzing dental outcomes for with osteoporosis.

    In one of the first studies to examine quality of life after treatment to replace missing in osteoporotic women, the researchers surveyed 237 women about their with replacement teeth and how it improved their lives at work and in social situations. The 23-question survey rated satisfaction with their work, health, emotional and sexual aspects of their lives.

    Participants were from the Case/Cleveland Clinic Postmenopausal Wellness Collaboration, which is part of a database of health information about 900 women with osteoporosis.

    Osteoporotic women with one or more adjacent teeth missing (excluding or third molars) were chosen for the study. The women had restoration work done that included implants (64 women), fixed partial denture, which is a false tooth cemented to crowns of two teeth (60), a removal denture, better known as false teeth (47), or had no restoration work done (66).

    Women with dental implants reported a higher overall satisfaction with their lives, said Christine DeBaz, a third-year Case Western Reserve dental student. She was lead researcher on the project and personally interviewed each participant.

    Fixed dentures scored next highest in satisfaction, followed by false teeth and, finally, women with no .

    Women with also reported the highest satisfaction in emotional and sexual areas, while those without restorations scored the lowest in those two areas.

    As health professions move to a patient-centered form of delivering dental service, understanding the patient’s outcomes for satisfaction of the treatment’s esthetics is as important as chewing function, DeBaz said.

    “We need hard data to drive our decision-making about which is best for the patient,” Palomo said.With age, postmenopausal women with osteoporosis are at greater risk of losing their teeth. But what treatment for tooth loss provides women with the highest degree of satisfaction in their work and social lives?

    A new study by Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researchers suggests dental implants may be the best route to take, according to Leena Palomo, associate professor of periodontics and corresponding author of “Dental Implant Supported Restorations Improve the Quality of Life in Osteoporotic Women.”

    Their findings were reported in the Journal of International Dentistry . The research is part of a series of studies analyzing dental outcomes for with osteoporosis.

    In one of the first studies to examine quality of life after treatment to replace missing in osteoporotic women, the researchers surveyed 237 women about their with replacement teeth and how it improved their lives at work and in social situations. The 23-question survey rated satisfaction with their work, health, emotional and sexual aspects of their lives.

    Participants were from the Case/Cleveland Clinic Postmenopausal Wellness Collaboration, which is part of a database of health information about 900 women with osteoporosis.

    Osteoporotic women with one or more adjacent teeth missing (excluding or third molars) were chosen for the study. The women had restoration work done that included implants (64 women), fixed partial denture, which is a false tooth cemented to crowns of two teeth (60), a removal denture, better known as false teeth (47), or had no restoration work done (66).

    Women with dental implants reported a higher overall satisfaction with their lives, said Christine DeBaz, a third-year Case Western Reserve dental student. She was lead researcher on the project and personally interviewed each participant.

    Fixed dentures scored next highest in satisfaction, followed by false teeth and, finally, women with no .

    Women with also reported the highest satisfaction in emotional and sexual areas, while those without restorations scored the lowest in those two areas.

    As health professions move to a patient-centered form of delivering dental service, understanding the patient’s outcomes for satisfaction of the treatment’s esthetics is as important as chewing function, DeBaz said.

    “We need hard data to drive our decision-making about which is best for the patient,” Palomo said.

  • Have Kids? Check out What’s New in the World of Pediatric Dentistry!

    One of Houstonia ’s Top Dentists tells us about some of the latest and greatest advances for young patients.

    (Source: http://www.houstoniamag.com, By Yasmine Saqer )

    Girl with picture of teeth over her mouth

    WHEN IT COMES TO KIDS, oral health is a persistent problem. But advances in tools and procedures for the fight against dental disease, of which tooth decay is the most common manifestation, are being made all the time. We asked one of Houstonia’s top dentists, Dr. Pamela Clark of Pearland Pediatrics, to tell us about some of the latest and greatest advances for young patients.

    Zirconium crowns

    It turns out that patients aren’t the only ones who hate those bulky silver crowns. Dentists prefer natural and less obvious-looking ones too. “Zirconium crowns are full white crowns that are more aesthetic than silver crowns and they allow us to offer choices to patients’ parents.” They can also be used on deeply decayed or deformed baby teeth.

    Fluoride varnish

    A top-flight preventive measure in the fight against cavities and tooth decay, this is typically applied following teeth cleaning, and for those with compromised or sensitive teeth. Clark finds fluoride varnish to be more beneficial and effective than foam or gel fluoride, the ease of application making it a more suitable choice for children. “Due to its characteristics, patients are able to eat and drink immediately following the application.”

    Isolite

    For children (and adults) who struggle to keep their mouths open during dental procedures, this tool can be a big help. Designed with a comfortable block to keep the patient’s mouth open, an isolating component to keep the tongue safely away from the treatment area and with light and suction capabilities, Isolite is a boon to both patient and dentist. “The Isolite aids in our office providing high-quality dentistry in a comfortable, compassionate, kid-friendly environment.”

    Intra-oral cameras

    To give her young patients and their parents a better understanding of dental care, Clark uses an intra-oral camera that produces real-time images of patients’ mouths. “Pictures are taken every day of poor oral hygiene, decay and pathology for educational purposes.”

    Soft-tissue laser

    A valuable tool for minor surgical procedures, particularly in newborns. “This device has enabled our office to provide a helpful service to many nursing mothers by offering a way to perform frenectomies on babies [removal of excess tissue in the mouth] that are having difficulty with nursing. Once a baby’s short frenum is relieved, they are able to nurse more productively, which is normally more comfortable for the mother.”