Removing Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth (also called third molars) are most often recommended for removal because they become impacted, meaning the teeth are not able to erupt.

Removing Wisdom Teeth

Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Teeth consist of two main parts, the crown and the root. The root is formed in a way that it can exist beneath the gum tissue, long term. The crown, however, is covered by enamel and formed in a manner that should protrude through the gum for predictable health in the mouth. Having the enamel crown trapped below the gum can result in problems like infection, cyst formation, and gum disease.

Wisdom teeth (also called third molars) are most often recommended for removal because they become impacted, meaning the teeth are not able to erupt fully through the gums and become healthy, functioning teeth. Teeth normally develop deep in the jaw and during the formation of the crown and root, the tooth pushes its way through the gum into the mouth. Since wisdom teeth naturally develop as the last teeth, the available space for them to emerge through the gum is often already taken up by the teeth that have already erupted. Instead of erupting fully, these teeth run into the roots of teeth already in place. In this way, the teeth become stuck, or impacted, and cannot completely erupt into proper position in the mouth.

Having a tooth submerged below the gum, pressing on the roots of the other teeth presents a problem. Damage may occur to the roots of the important, erupted permanent teeth. Development of this damage may occur without any symptoms of pain and can severely compromise the adjacent tooth before anyone discovers what has happened.

NOTE: In the above video it mentions that if you are going to have a general anesthetic that you will need to be put in the hospital for the procedure. Most oral surgeons due this procedure in their offices, thus there will not be a need for a hospital stay.

Timing of wisdom tooth removal is important. The best time to remove a wisdom tooth is when it is not causing problems. This is because by the time the tooth becomes painful, significant damage may already have occurred to the teeth nearby. In addition, the ability of the body to respond well to oral surgery decreases with age. Young, healthy patients, with no prior infections at the site provide the best opportunity for uncomplicated tooth removal.

Not all wisdom teeth are the same. This is why the decision to remove wisdom teeth needs to be discussed with the doctor. The potential benefits as compared with the risks must be part of an informed decision by the patient. I hope this gives you some insight into why wisdom teeth are removed. Your general dentist will most often refer you to an oral surgeon to have the teeth removed as well as get his opinion. I’m sure everything will go well.

If you enjoyed this article, there is a good chance you will like this: “What Are Dental Implants?“ and “New Inventions Take The Pain Out of Dentistry“.  Thanks for reading !!

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14 Drinks, Snacks And Activities That Can Ruin Your Smile

So you brush your teeth after every meal, choose herbal tea over carbonated drinks, and snack on fruit not sweets. It might sound like the ideal formula for perfect teeth, but, actually, it’s not. In fact, any one of those habits could increase your risk of dental erosion or decay. Here, I will reveal some of the other surprising things that could ruin your smile:

14 Drinks, Snacks And Activities That Can Ruin Your Smile

Beautiful Smile

So you brush your teeth after every meal, choose herbal tea over carbonated drinks, and snack on fruit not sweets. It might sound like the ideal formula for perfect teeth, but, actually, it’s not. In fact, any one of those habits could increase your risk of dental erosion or decay.  Here, I will reveal some of the other surprising things that could ruin your smile:

1)  HERBAL TEA

Fruit-flavored tea can be three times more damaging than orange juice, a study ­carried out by the University of Bristol Dental School found. Many fruit teas are acidic and eat away at tooth enamel, with lemon and blackcurrant among the most damaging.

REDUCE THE RISK: Stick to black or green tea. Compounds in black tea can attack the bacteria that form plaque and prevent the plaque from sticking to teeth, U.S. researchers found.

More recently, a study at the University of Tohoku in Japan found that drinking one or more cups of green tea a day reduces the risk of cavities. It is thought antioxidants, called catechins, in the tea stop bacteria in the mouth from producing acid.

2)  HEALTHY SNACKS

Even if you’re snacking on healthy fruit, seeds and nuts, it’s eating little and often that can do your teeth harm.

‘A tooth can withstand five acid attacks a day,’ says Karen Coates. ‘Saliva takes about an hour to ­neutralize the acid created by a food or drink. So if you have a can of fizzy drink and sip it all day long, then the acid in your mouth will be under ­constant attack.’

REDUCE THE RISK: Stick to three meals a day and avoid snacking. If you must snack, eat it all at once, rather than picking at it, so that the saliva can quickly neutralize the acid generated in the mouth. After food, rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugar-free gum to encourage saliva, which neutralizes the acid.

3)  EYE DROPS

It sounds unlikely, but anti-inflammatory eye drops can contribute to tooth decay. They are one of a number of drugs — including antidepressants, ibuprofen, antihistamines and blood pressure medications — that cause dry mouth, which means they reduce the production of saliva.

Saliva acts as a barrier, protecting the teeth by neutralizing acidic foods such as oranges, and the acid produced by bacteria as they break down foods.

Karen Coates, dental adviser to the British Dental Health Foundation, says: ‘If you are ­having the odd painkiller here and there, then you will probably be fine. But if you take a daily medication, such as antihistamines throughout the summer, your production of saliva will be reduced and your teeth will be more vulnerable.’

Surprising threat to teeth: Eye drops can give you a dry mouth.

REDUCE THE RISK: ‘There are gums, lozenges and gels available over the counter specifically for dry mouth that help encourage the production of saliva,’ says Karen. ‘You could also suck sugar-free sweets for the same effect.’

4)  PREGNANCY

Many dismiss it as just an old wives’ tale, but motherhood really can ruin your teeth. About 50 per cent of ­pregnant women will develop gingivitis — inflamed gums that bleed ­during brushing.

Gingivitis is usually caused by food that gets trapped between the teeth and gums, producing bacteria that lead to inflammation.

The raised levels of estrogen and progesterone circulating in a pregnant woman’s body causes increased blood flow to all parts of the body, including the gums, which can become puffy and inflamed so they bleed easily when brushed.

Gingivitis can, in time, lead to ­periodontal disease, when a severe infection gets into the gums and bones. This can lead to tooth loss and premature birth, as the bacteria in the mouth release prostaglandins, chemicals that can induce labor.

REDUCE THE RISK: ‘If you’re pregnant, brush twice a day for two minutes each time, floss after meals and do not reduce your brushing just because you see blood,’ says Louise Childlow, of the British Dental Health Foundation.

5)  SWIMMING

A study of 500 swimmers found 66 per cent of them had damaged teeth as a result of chlorine.

‘Chlorine affects the pH of the water and makes it acidic, so swallowing it can lead to tooth ­erosion,’ says Louise Chidlow.

‘This can result in yellowing teeth – because the acid strips the enamel and starts to reveal darker-colored dentin underneath. It is not a ­common problem, but may be an issue for regular swimmers who spend a long time in the pool each day.’

REDUCE THE RISK: Try to keep your mouth closed while swimming. Don’t brush your teeth straight after your dip because at this time the surface of the teeth could be softened by the acidic chlorine and could be more easily brushed away.

6)  TOOTH WHITENING

Investigations have found that some DIY home whitening kits don’t just lighten the tooth, but erode it.

The kits involve putting a bleach — hydrogen peroxide — into a tray that fits around the teeth like a gum shield. A study by the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry warned that in some home kits the mold did not fit correctly, so the bleaching agent could leak out and damage gums.

Others have been found to contain levels of hydrogen peroxide that exceed legal limits and also have acids that could dissolve the teeth.

REDUCE THE RISK: ‘If you want to whiten your teeth, get a dentist to do it, as they will use a made-to-measure tray around the teeth that will reduce the risk of leakage,’ says Dr Keith Cohen, a dentist specializing in restorative work.

‘If you want to use a home kit, then get one from a chemist — not from unknown sites on the internet.’

7)  VIDEO GAMES

People who play a lot of computer or video games have twice as much tooth decay as those with more ­athletic interests, according to a study from the University of Iowa.

The researchers said that when you are absorbed in a game or TV ­program, you’re more likely to binge on sugary snacks and lose focus of how much you are popping into your mouth.

REDUCE THE RISK: Fill your kitchen cupboards with savory rather then sweet snacks, such as raw vegetables with hummus.

8)  UNCSREWING A PLASTIC BOTTLE WITH YOUR TEETH

Can’t open that packet of crackers or unscrew a plastic bottle lid? Don’t use your teeth, as many people do, as this can lead to bits of tooth chipping or breaking.

‘The edges of the teeth are, unfortunately, the thinnest bit, and when you use them as tools it is this part that takes the strain,’ says ­Louise Chidlow.

REDUCE THE RISK: ‘I don’t use my teeth for anything other than eating,’ says Louise. Save your pearly whites and use bottle openers and scissors instead.

9)  WHITE WINE

You probably thought red wine was worse for teeth, because it stains. Yet studies have shown that it’s white wine that’s more likely to cause your teeth to rot, because it is more acidic.

Other research has found that white wine can make other drinks stain the teeth more. One study found that immersing a tooth in white wine and then tea led to ‘significantly more’ staining than immersing a tooth in water, then tea.

‘White wine is definitely more ­erosive than red,’ says Dr Paul Ashley, of the Eastman Dental Institute, University College Hospitals.

REDUCE THE RISK: Drink during a meal rather than sipping wine or ­alcohol all through the evening, which effectively gives the teeth a constant bath of acid. Alternatively, you could eat a piece of cheese straight after drinking wine to help neutralize the acid, or swill with water.

10)  BRUSHING AFTER EATING SWEETS

If you chomp on chocolate or sweets, don’t be tempted to undo the damage by brushing straight away.

After eating sugary foods, the environment in your mouth becomes acidic, which makes the tooth enamel soften slightly. If you then brush your teeth straight away, you will brush away some of the enamel, leading to tooth erosion and sensitivity.

REDUCE THE RISK: Wait at least half an hour after eating before you brush your teeth. Teeth should be cleaned twice a day — ideally before breakfast (though you can eat straight after brushing) to get rid of the bacteria that have grown overnight and which will flourish once you eat.

Don’t rinse your mouth after the evening clean, as the fluoride in the toothpaste will help protect teeth through the night, when saliva production drops, making them more liable to decay.

11)  DIABETES

Unmanaged diabetes can lead to higher than normal levels of glucose in the fluids in the mouth, which can lead directly to decay. The condition can also affect the blood vessels and blood flow to the gums, which can weaken and leave them prone to infections, resulting in gum disease — and, ultimately, the loss of a tooth.

‘Many people with diabetes don’t realize the risks to their teeth,’ says Dr Keith Cohen. ‘If they did, it might prompt them to take better care generally, as no one wants to lose teeth.’

REDUCE THE RISK: Keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels.

12)  EXCESSIVE BRUSHING

‘Some people think that giving their teeth a really good scrub four times a day will keep them really clean, but, in fact, they could be doing more harm than good because this can cause ­erosion,’ says Dr Cohen.

Scrubbing back and forth can also wear away the tooth surface at the gum.

REDUCE THE RISK: Stick to using a soft or medium brush. Keep it at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, and use a gentle, circular motion. Scrub gently: Excessive brushing is not good for your teeth

13)  SALAD DRESSING

‘Vinegar is so acidic that a ­generous amount of highly vinegary dressing eaten once or twice a day every day could be capable of causing a lot of erosion,’ says Dr Keith Cohen.

REDUCE THE RISK: Avoid having vinaigrette-style dressing every day. Instead, have a less acidic version, such as mayonnaise or even just plain olive oil.

To minimize the effects of acidic dressings, you could use ­fluoride mouthwash after eating to help strengthen the teeth against the acid attack.

14)  SPORTS DRINKS

Designed to replace energy and salts lost through exercise, sport drinks are often packed with sugar and acids.  One study at the University of Birmingham found that sports drinks are 30 times more corrosive than water.  To compound the problem, most people will drink sports drinks when their mouths are dry and do not contain much saliva to neutralize acids.

REDUCE THE RISK: Drink water or swill with water straight after a sports drink and chew sugar-free gum to buffer the effects of acid with saliva.

If you enjoyed this article, there is a good chance you will like this: “6 Things Your Teeth Say About Your Health” and “Top 10 Food and Drinks To Protect Your Teeth And Gums“.  Thanks for reading !!

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Practice Fusion Demonstration

By Bianca Grogan

Ryan Howard, CEO, Practice Fusion, gave a demonstration at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference in San Francisco, October 7-8, 2010. Practice Fusion is a company that addresses the complexities and critical needs of today’s health care environment by providing a free, web-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) application to physicians. On the main stage Ryan demonstrated what Practice Fusion has been doing with their open API’s and integrations.


San Francisco: Dueling Keynotes

By Bianca Grogan

This session is the keynote addresses from both Tim O’Reilly and Jeff Goldsmith at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference in San Francisco, October 7-8, 2010. During the presentations both men spoke about the health care system being in crisis. At the end of this session the two men sat down and had a discussion about the health care system and commented on what they heard from the other. This was a treat for the audience and both Tim and Jeff because they dove into the topic of innovation and change for the health care system.


San Francisco 2010: Keynote Address from Jeff Goldsmith

By Bianca Grogan

Jeff Goldsmith, President, Health Futures, Inc., gave a keynote address at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference in San Francisco, CA on October 7-8, 2010. Since the 1970s he’s worked in academia, in government, advised virtually every major health care delivery, insurance and supplier organization, been a national advisor to Ernst & Young, and is on the Board of Health Affairs. On the main stage Jeff spoke about transforming our health care system and the problems and challenges that we face.


Kanye West’s Dreadful Diamond Teeth

Kanye West has the ultimate accessory to his rock star life – diamond teeth. The rapper showed off the sparkling diamond and gold teeth to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres recently.

Kanye West’s Dreadful Diamond Teeth

Kanye West’s Diamond Teeth

He travels by private jet, holidays on a luxury yacht and dates beautiful models.  And now Kanye West has the ultimate accessory to his rock star life – diamond teeth.  The rapper showed off the sparkling diamond and gold teeth to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres recently.

After his teeth were knocked out in a 2002 car crash, Kanye West must have thought to himself, “What is the most ridiculous thing I could replace my teeth with?” The most ridiculous thing would be tiny machine guns he could use to shoot critics who gave his music bad reviews. But since that’s probably illegal, Kanye settled on the next most ridiculous thing: Diamond Teeth.

These are not grills, he told Ellen: “It’s really my real teeth… it replaced my bottom row of teeth.”

‘I just thought that diamonds were cooler,’ he told her, saying he asked the dentist to remove his bottom row of  teeth and replace them.  A fascinated Ellen asked: ‘It’s not a grill?’  Kanye replied: ‘It’s really my real teeth. I replaced my bottom row of teeth.  I guess there’s just certain things that rock stars are supposed to do.’

First of all Kanye, if you in fact did have your teeth knocked out, then your diamond studded teeth are NOT your real teeth. Unless you are a shark and can regenerate new sets of teeth, you have a fixed dental prosthesis adorned with gaudy diamonds. The diamonds may be real, but the teeth this dental bridge replaces are false.

His earlier claims to have replaced his teeth were met with scepticism, with Kanye’s fans doubting that even he would do such a thing.  But it seems they may have underestimated him.  The show was Kanye’s first TV interview since he famously interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV VMAs.

My professional opinion would be that as Kanye stated, his front four lower teeth were avulsed (knocked out) in the 2002 car wreck. A common replacement option is a dental bridge.  This procedure involves a dentist preparing (cutting down) the two teeth adjacent to the missing teeth.  In Kanye’s case, the dentist would have prepared his canine teeth (eye teeth), took a dental impression (mold) of these preparations, and then had a dental laboratory fabricate this diamond embedded dental bridge. The dentist would have then cemented this gaudy dental bridge.  Typical materials used for dental bridges include: all porcelain, porcelain fused to a metal substructure, or gold; not diamonds.  See the below video for this procedure (take into account that Kanye would have four missing teeth, not one):

It appears that Kanye simply had a dental bridge with diamonds set in gold. From a dental point of view, there are a few reasons why this was not a good idea:

  • Diamonds are much harder than natural teeth. Thus, over time Kanye’s upper teeth will wear quicker due to the friction caused from the diamonds as they meet his upper front teeth.
  • Cleansiblilty: Dental plaque (bacteria) will adhere to the diamonds easier, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss.
  • With a dental bridge, the structure is fused together, thus not allowing dental floss to be threaded between the false teeth. This puts you at a higher risk for cavities, bone loss, bad breath, etc….

If I were Kanye, I would want the best that money can buy. The best that dentistry offers for the replacement of missing teeth are dental implants. And yes Kanye, you can still have ridiculous diamond crowns placed on dental implants if you so choose.  Dental implants not only prevent bone loss in the area of the missing teeth, but with dental implants you would not have to worry about dental cavities because dental implants do not decay.  Also, if you ever tired of the diamond studded teeth, you could simply have the crowns removed and have another crown placed on the dental implant. Kanye, if you are curious about dental implants, visit my post at: “What Are Dental Implants?”

It appears that although Kanye does in fact have a diamond embedded dental bridge, he did not get the best that dentistry can offer. Kanye, I will be happy to do an implant consultation for you and thoroughly explain your restorative options at the consult. Surely with your money, you can afford the best money can buy. Unfortunately, from what I can see of the pictures, the bridge was poorly done and looks awful. Do yourself and dentistry a favor and rethink this ridiculous looking dental appliance.

If you enjoyed this article, there is a good chance you will like this: “Jessica Alba: Female Smile of the Year“ and “New Inventions Take The Pain Out of Dentistry“.  Thanks for reading !!

2 Responses to “Kanye West’s Dreadful Diamond Teeth”

  1. steve peay cdt says:

    Kanye West needs to close that mouth and listen for the first time in his pampered measly life. I’ve always wondered why Implants weren’t placed at the time of the accident, did he lose the anterior mandible preventing proper placement? A six unit bridge on two abutments is not even the standard of care today, then encrust it with a nonfunctional plaque attracting unhygienic surface is unprofessional, i dont care if his money is green, it’s foul like his breath

    • Dr. Todd Welch says:

      More than likely his lower anterior ridge had atrophied due to the avulsed teeth. However, with today’s bone grafting techniques, I could have grafted the sites and placed dental implants.

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Top 7 Reasons Your Gums Swell

Throughout your life, you may notice that your gums may sometimes get bigger from time to time. There are many different reasons that your gums may be enlarged.

Top 7 Reasons Your Gums Swell

Gum Enlargement

Throughout your life, you may notice that your gums may sometimes get bigger from time to time.  There are many different reasons that your gums may be enlarged.  While it is widely known that if you don’t brush your teeth and floss regularly, you can develop gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums.  However, there are also many other reasons your gums may be getting bigger.  I mention seven of the more common reasons below, and then in the final paragraph I mention a few more less common causes of gingival (gum) enlargement.

Seven Reasons Your Gums May be Getting Bigger:

1 – You Have Gingivitis – Gingivitis is when the gums are overwhelmed by the amount of plaque on the teeth that they become red and puffy to try to fight the bacteria.  Without proper brushing, gingivitis won’t go away.  If you have red and puffy gums, you might want to see your dentist.  Your dentist will be able to prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash that can help reduce the swelling and get your gums back to their healthy coral pink color.

2 – Drugs are Causing Your Gums to Get Bigger – There are several drugs that can cause your gums to get bigger.  This condition is known as drug-induced gingival hyperplasia and can cause your gums to look like they are squeezing out of the spaces between your teeth and growing over your teeth.  There are a few categories of drugs that can cause this:

  • Anticonvulsants.  For example primidone, phenytoin, phenobarbital, topiramate, ethosuximide, valproate, lamotrigine, and vigabatrin.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers.  For example nifedipine and verapamil.
  • Immunosuppresants such as cyclosporine

3 – You Breathe Through Your Mouth A Lot – If find yourself breathing through your mouth very often, you can be irritating your gums.  If you have a stuffed up nose and can only breathe through your mouth, you may notice your gums getting slightly bigger.  It is presumed that since the air you breathe in is drying your gums, they compensate by enlarging the blood supply and getting puffier to ensure that they don’t dry out.

4 – Hormones can make your gums bigger.  Adolescents that are going through puberty are extremely susceptible to gingivitis.  Also, pregnant women are very susceptible to gingivitis due to the high levels of progesterone in their bodies.  Progesterone increases the permeability of the blood vessels in the gums.  Women taking birth control may also notice enlarged gums.

5 – Stress If you are stressed out a lot, try to reduce it somehow.  If you need some help, here’s a resource to help you reduce stress.

6 – Vitamin C Deficiency – If you aren’t getting enough vitamin C in your diet, your gums can get really puffy and red.  I have seen this, and it’s not very pretty.  You can get vitamin C from most fruits, especially citrus fruits or from a multi-vitamin.

7 – Diseases can cause enlarged gums.  Certain diseases such as diabetes mellitus, leukemia, cancer, sarcoidosis, Wegener’s granulomatosis, and autoimmune diseases can all cause your gums to get bigger.

Conclusion

There are of course other reasons that can cause your gums to get bigger, but they aren’t too common.  For example, if a dentist puts a crown on a tooth and the crown has to go below the gum line, that can cause your gums to get irritated and big.  Heavy metal poisoning, immune disorders, substance abuse, and Down Syndrome are some other causes of bigger gums.

If you enjoyed this article, there is a good chance you will like this:

Thanks for reading !!!

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Top 5 Fun Toothbrushes For Kids

Making your child follow regular dental care routine can be tricky and require imagination and patience from the parents. Here are my recommendations for the five best toothbrushes for kids.

Top 5 Fun Toothbrushes For Kids

Child Brushing Teeth

Making your child follow regular dental care routine can be tricky and require imagination and patience from the parents. Every parent knows how important is to choose a good toothbrush to keep your child interested in toothbrushing and enjoying the process. Here are my recommendations for the five best toothbrushes for kids:

Tooth Tunes

While it can be difficult to make your child brush teeth twice a day, it can be even more challenging to make your child brush teeth for about two minutes just like specialists recommend.

Tooth Tunes give your child a possibility to keep brushing with fun, listening to the kids favorite song. The smart toothbrush encourages thorough brushing with music that a child can hear only if he or she is brushing. Each of the Tooth Tunes toothbrush plays children favorite songs, like We Will Rock You by Queen or Hannah Montana We Got the Party and others.

Kid’s Crest SpinBrush

The toothbrush for kids should not only be functional, but also very appealing.

Kid’s Crest Kids SpinBrush features children’s favorite characters, such as Spider man, Astronaut, Mermaid, Hulk, Iron Man and others, making tooth brushing fun.

Spinbrush is a powered toothbrush with smaller head for child’s mouth and comfortable grip. It is also great for massaging kid’s gums and reducing plague, keeping your child’s teeth healthy.

Dr. Fresh Fire-Fly Toothbrush

Dr. Fresh Toothbrush Fire-Fly Flashing is a perfect choice for children, who are not so interested in tooth-brushing and need some motivation.

The Fire-Fly features lightup timer that flashes for one minute and turns off when the child is done brushing. The trick is to go on brushing until the light goes out. This will help your child develop proper dental care habits and prevent cavities.

Oral-B Kids Stages Battery Toothbrush

Oral-B Kids Stages Battery Toothbrushes are designed specially for kids depending on the four stages of child’s teeth development.

Most of the Oral-B toothbrushes feature Disney characters, such as Princess Blue, WALL-e, Tiger and others to become child’s best friend in tooth-brushing.

Ergonomic handle with smooth edges and hand stabilizer makes it easier for the child to handle the toothbrush, while the rotating powerhead brushes in 6 different ways to clean your child’s teeth thoroughly, reaching the most hidden zones in the mouth.

GUM Seasame Street Powered Toothbrush

If you are looking for the first toothbrush for your toddler, GUM Seasame Street Powered Toothbrush is an ideal option for small mouths.

The very soft bristles of the toothbrush smoothly clean your kids teeth, while the oscillating action of the toothbrush massages gentle gums. The Gum Seasame Street Toothbrush features ergonomic handle make it comfortable for a child or the parent to hold it during tooth-brushing.

The toothbrush is available in various characters like Big Bird, Cookie Monster and others.

If you have any kid’s toothbrushes that you or your children like please feel free to leave a comment in the section below.  If you enjoyed this article, there is a good chance you will like this: “Top 5 Fun Toothbrushes for Kids“ and “Holiday Candy: Frequency, Not Amount, Raises Cavity Risk“.  Thanks for reading !!

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Creepy Dental Training Robot “Feels” Pain

The humanoid practice robot, dubbed Simroid for simulator humanoid, alerts dental students if a given procedure is uncomfortable.

Creepy Dental Training Robot “Feels” Pain

Simroid Head/Mouth

A trip to the dentist could be a lot less painful in future thanks to a newly developed dental training robot.  The humanoid practice robot, dubbed Simroid for “simulator humanoid”, alerts dental students if a given procedure is uncomfortable.From a distance the Simroid looks like a petite Japanese woman, dressed in a pink sweater and loud red PVC heels.  On closer inspection, you realise the ‘woman’ is a robot – a new creation by Japanese engineers, in a bid to help dental students treat the patients in the gentlest way possible.

The Simroid’s full set of white teeth are fitted with sensors and the robot will yelp when the dentist’s equipment touches the virtual nerves.  The robot was on show at Japan’s largest robotics convention in Tokyo this week.

Simroid’s body and control system was developed by Kokoro Company Ltd., creators of the Actroid receptionist robot. Like her Actroid sister, Simroid is equipped with a system of air-powered muscles and soft silicone skin. However, she has something the Actroid does not — sensitive teeth. Thanks to a mouth loaded with sensors, she knows when her dentist-in-training makes a mistake. And to express her pain, she grimaces, moves her hands and eyes, and says, “That hurts.”

Kokoro says that for an extra touch of realism, Simroid exhibits a gag reflex when instruments are inserted too far into her mouth.

As part of the demonstration at the Tokyo exhibit, a dental student poked her tools into the mouth of the Simroid and prompted an “Ow, that hurts” from the robot.

Designed primarily as a training tool for dental students, the fembot patient can follow spoken instructions, closely monitor a dentist’s performance during mock treatments, and react in a human-like way to mouth pain. Because Simroid’s realistic appearance and behavior motivate people to treat her like a human being, as opposed to an object, she helps dental trainees learn how to better communicate with patients.

Dr. Naotake Shibui of the Nippon Dental University in Tokyo, who developed the robot with technicians at Kokoro Co., said: “Our aim is to train dentists to worry about whether patients are comfortable, and not just focus on technical expertise.”

Shibui said scientists are further developing the robot to allow students to inject the Simroid’s gums with anaesthetic.

For more information contact 

with West Tennessee Periodontics and Dental Implants atwww.wtnperio.com or you can leave a comment in the section below.  If you liked this article, chances are you will like these: “New Inventions To Take The Pain Out Of Dentistry“ and “Space Technology Leads To Better Dental X-Rays“.  Thanks for reading !!

One Response to “Creepy Dental Training Robot “Feels” Pain”

  1. Super info it is definitely. I’ve been seeking for this info. I also like the design was this a free theme or a pay one?

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6 Things Your Teeth Say About Your Health

Turns out that your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues also have plenty to say — about your overall health.

6 Things Your Teeth Say About Your Health

Oral Systemic Link

Some messages coming out of your mouth bypass the vocal chords. Turns out that your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues also have plenty to say — about your overall health.

“Your mouth is connected to the rest of your body,” says Anthony Iacopino, dean of the University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry and a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “What we see in the mouth can have a significant effect on other organ systems and processes in the body. And the reverse is also true: Things that are going on systemically in the body can manifest in the mouth.”

So stay attuned to the following warning messages, and have worrisome symptoms checked out by a dentist or doctor.

Dental warning #1: Flat, worn teeth plus headache

Sign of: Big-time stress

Many people are surprised to learn they’re tooth-grinders. After all, they do this in their sleep, when they’re not aware of it. And they underestimate the physical toll that stress can place on the body. “Crunching and grinding  teeth at night during sleep is a common sign of emotional or psychological stress,” says Iacopino.

You can sometimes see the flatness on your own teeth, or feel it with the tongue. Or the jaw may ache from the clenching.

What else to look for: Headaches, which are caused by spasms in the muscles doing the grinding. Sometimes the pain can radiate from the mouth and head down to the neck and upper back, Iacopino says. Mouth guards used at night can relieve the symptoms and protect teeth.

Dental warning #2: Cracking, crumbling teeth

Sign of: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Older adults, especially, are vulnerable to teeth that appear to be cracking or crumbling away. The enamel becomes thin and almost translucent. But this erosion isn’t a normal consequence of aging. In fact, it can happen at any age.

Disintegrating teeth are usually caused by acid that’s coming up from the stomach and dissolving them, Iacopino says. The cause: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, also called acid reflux disease). GERD causes stomach acid to back up into the esophagus — and from there, it’s a short distance to the mouth for some of the damaging acid. GERD is a chronic disorder caused by damage or other changes to the natural barrier between the stomach and the esophagus.

What else to look for: Dry mouth and heartburn are related GERD symptoms. (But in an older adult in someone else’s care — in a nursing home, for example — these complaints may go unreported.) Cracking or chipping teeth in a younger person is also a telltale sign of bulimia, the eating disorder in which the sufferer causes herself (or himself) to vomit before digesting. Same net result: Stomach acid washes up into the mouth, over time disintegrating the tooth enamel.

Dental warning #3: Sores that won’t go away

Sign of: Oral cancer

Many people bite the insides of their mouth as a nervous habit. Others sometimes bite the gum accidentally, creating a sore. But when an open sore in the mouth doesn’t go away within a week or two, it always warrants showing to a dentist or doctor. “We all injure our oral tissues, but if an area persists in being white or red rather than the normal healthy pink, this needs to be evaluated to rule out oral cancer,” says Susan Hyde, an associate professor of clinical dentistry at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry.

More than 21,000 men and 9,000 women a year are diagnosed with oral cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Most are over age 60. Oral cancer has a survival rate of only 35 percent, Iacopino says, but this is mainly because cases are often detected too late. Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer, but one in four oral cancers develop in non-smokers.

What else to look for: Suspicious oral ulcers tend to be raised sores and often have red or white (or red and white) borders. They may lurk underneath the tongue, where they’re hard to see. Bleeding and numbness are other signs, but sometimes the only sign is a sore that doesn’t seem to go away. A biopsy usually follows a visual check.

Dental warning #4: Gums growing over teeth

Sign of: Medication problems

If you notice your gum literally growing over your tooth, and you’re taking a medication for heart disease or seizures or you take drugs to suppress your immune system (such as before a transplant), it’s well worth mentioning this curious development to your prescribing doctor.

“A swelling of the gums to where it grows over the teeth is a sign the dosage or the medication need to be adjusted,” the ADA’s Anthony Iacopino says. Certain drugs can stimulate the growth of gum tissue. This can make it hard to brush and floss, inviting tooth decay and periodontal disease.

What else to look for: The overgrowth can cause an uncomfortable sensation. In extreme cases, the entire tooth can be covered.

Dental warning #5: Dry mouth

Sign of: Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes

Many things can cause dry mouth, from dehydration and allergies to smoking and new medications. (In fact, hundreds of drugs list dry mouth as a side effect, including those to treat depression and incontinence, muscle relaxants, antianxiety agents, and antihistamines.) But a lack of saliva is also an early warning of two autoimmune diseases unrelated to medicine use: Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes.

In Sjogren’s, the white blood cells of the body attack their moisture-producing glands, for unknown reasons. Four million Americans have Sjogren’s, 90 percent of them women. Twenty-four million people in the U.S. have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, a metabolic disease caused by high blood sugar.

What else to look for: Other signs of diabetes include excessive thirst, tingling in the hands and feet, frequent urination, blurred vision, and weight loss. In Sjogren’s, the eyes are dry as well as the mouth, but the entire body is affected by the disorder. Because its symptoms mimic other diseases (such as diabetes), people are often misdiagnosed and go several years before being properly diagnosed.

Dental warning #6: White webbing inside cheeks

Sign of: Lichen planus

The last thing you might expect to discover while brushing your teeth is a skin disease. But it happens. Lichen planus, whose cause is unknown, is a mild disorder that tends to strike both men and women ages 30 to 70. The mucus membranes in the mouth are often a first target.

Oral lichen planus looks like a whitish, lacy pattern on the insides of the cheeks. (The name comes from the same roots as tree lichen, a lichen that has a similar webbed, bumpy appearance.) Seventy percent of lesions appear in the mouth before they strike other parts of the body, says professor Anthony Iacopino.

What else to look for: Another common area where a lichen planus rash may appear is the vagina. Lichen planus often goes away on its own, but sometimes treatment is necessary.

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Thanks for reading !!

3 Responses to “6 Things Your Teeth Say About Your Health”

  1. Todd,

    This is great stuff! Thanks for posting a link to it in the Dentist Network group on LinkedIn. I will leave a comment there as well… to raise visibility and hopefully spark a conversation.

    Joe

  2. Strong post and solid patient information. Here’s a link to another source that echo’s your sentiment in regard to a, “healthy mouth, healthy body.” It also has a number of links to other articles.

    http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/News/FeedsAP/2010/11/98-of-american-dentists-and-91-of-american-docto/

    Thanks again!

  3. Yes, very good.
    Michelle

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