Dentistry Lacks Sufficient Research to Substantiate Many Procedures

The Trouble With Dentistry

by Dr. Joseph Mercola
Mercola.com

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of adults aged 20 to 64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth. Interestingly, Caucasian adults and those living in families with higher incomes have had more decay, or at least have been treated for more cavities. Adults in the same age range have an average of 3.28 decayed or missing permanent teeth.

While many believe water fluoridation is an effective way of preventing tooth decay, supporting facts are just not there. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) data reported by the Fluoride Action Network, the U.S., which provides fluoridated water to 74.6% of community water systems, has higher rates of tooth decay than many countries that do not fluoridate their water, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden.

If fluoridation were effective, you would expect to see higher numbers of cavities in communities without fluoridated water and the number of cavities to decline when fluoride is introduced. Instead, demographic studies have demonstrated fluoridated water has little to do with cavity prevention.,,

Instead, caries often follow demineralization of the tooth triggered by acids formed during bacterial fermentation of dietary sugars. Just as depression is not triggered by a lack of Prozac, dental caries are not caused by a lack of fluoride — a neurotoxic compound that has no biological benefits. Excess dietary sugar is the most significant factor driving dental decay.

Dentistry Lacks Sufficient Research to Substantiate Many Procedures

The American Dental Association (ADA) claims the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT) as their intellectual property. In 2000, the code was named as a HIPAA standard code set, and any electronic dental claim must use these procedural codes. According to the ADA, there are times when a code is not available and dentists are encouraged to request additions and revisions.

This process is different from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) based on data developed by WHO, which copyrights the information and publishes the classification. An adaptation of the classification for use in the U.S. is completed by National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and must conform to WHO conventions.

Oftentimes when expensive surgery or a regimen of pills is recommended, most seek a second opinion. However, the same is not true when you’re sitting in the dentist chair. A Cochrane review of dental studies finds many of the standard dental and cosmetic treatments are not substantiated by research.

For instance, they could not find enough evidence to support or oppose the surgical removal of asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth, to prove if antibiotic prophylaxis is effective or ineffective in those at risk for bacterial endocarditis before a dental procedure, and only three trials were found analyzing the efficacy of filling cavities in primary teeth, none of which were conclusive.

In other words, much of the research in the field of dentistry is sadly lacking. While the recommendations may be appropriate, they may also not be, and many simply do not have adequate evidenced-based science to warrant their use.

As noted in recent article in The Atlantic, “[W]hat limited data we have don’t clearly indicate whether it’s better to repair a root-canaled tooth with a crown or a filling.” Derek Richards, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry at the University of Dundee, commented on the gaping hole of evidence in the field of dentistry:

“The body of evidence for dentistry is disappointing. Dentists tend to want to treat or intervene. They are more akin to surgeons than they are to physicians. We suffer a little from that. Everybody keeps fiddling with stuff, trying out the newest thing, but they don’t test them properly in a good-quality trial.”

Anatomy of a Tooth

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, at least 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from sensitive teeth. They describe the sensitivity as being caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes located in the dentin, or the layer of tissue found beneath the hard enamel. When the fluid reaches the nerve, it causes irritation and pain.

These tiny tubules are exposed when your enamel is worn down or the gums have receded. This increases your risk of experiencing pain while eating or drinking hot or cold foods. The Cleveland Clinic lists some factors that may lead to sensitivity, including brushing too hard, gum disease, cracked teeth, teeth grinding and acidic foods.

The tubules branch throughout the tooth and are different between peripheral and the inner aspects. The branching pattern reveals an intricate and profuse system crisscrossing the intertubular dentin.

Studies demonstrate anaerobic bacteria and gram positive rods, as well as a large number of bacterial species, may be found within this tubule system in those suffering periodontal disease. The researchers concluded:

“It seems clear that, in more than half of the infected roots, bacteria are present in the deep dentin close to the cementum and that anaerobic culturing of dentin is more sensitive than histology to detect these bacteria.”

Further research finds a necrotic dental pulp may develop unnoticed for years and the course of the disease is modulated by the variance of the microbiota in the root canal space and the capacity of the individual’s immune system.

Another study found the environment of the deep layers of the endodontic dental area is anaerobic, favoring the growth of anaerobes, including Lactobacillus, Streptococcus and Propionibacterium.

Avoid Root Canals Whenever Possible

Root canals are not your only option. Teeth are similar to other systems in your body as they require blood supply, venous drainage and nerve innervations. Teeth that have undergone a root canal are dead and typically become a source of chronic bacterial toxicity in your body. In one study published in 2010, the authors wrote:

“Root canal therapy has been practiced ever since 1928 and the success rate has tremendously increased over the years owing to various advancements in the field. One main reason is the complete understanding of the microbiology involved in the endodontic pathology.”

If any other organ in your body lost blood supply and lymphatic drainage it would die. Your physician would recommend it being removed so necrosis and bacteria would not kill you. But dead teeth are commonly left in your mouth. Anaerobic bacteria thrive in your dentin tubes and the blood supply surrounding the dead teeth drains the toxicity, allowing it to spread throughout your body.

This toxicity may lead to a number of diseases, including autoimmune diseases, cancer, irritable bowel disease and depression. Dr. George Meinig has a unique perspective on the underlying dangers of root canal therapy as he was one of the founding members of the American Association of Endodontists, root canal specialists.

When he wasn’t filling canals, he was teaching the technique to dentist across the country. After spending decades practicing endodontics, he retired and began pouring over the detailed research of Dr. Weston Price. He was shocked to find valid documentation of systemic illnesses resulting from the latent infections lingering in the filled canals.

The result was his book “Root Canal Cover Up.” In an interview with me, Meinig describes the result of Price’s research findings and credible reasons why you should avoid a root canal. Price’s work demonstrated that many who suffered chronic degenerative diseases could trace the origins to root canals.

The most frequently reported conditions were heart and circulatory diseases. The next most common diseases were of the joints and those of the brain and nervous system. Meinig assumes all root filled teeth harbor bacteria and other infective agents, but not everyone is made ill since those with strong immune systems may be able to prevent bacterial colonies from taking hold.

Oral Health Inextricably Linked to Your Overall Health

However, Meinig cautions that over time, most who have undergone a root canal seem to develop some type of systemic symptoms. If you choose to have a dead tooth removed, just pulling the tooth is not enough. Price found bacteria in tissue and bone adjacent to the tooth’s root. Consequently, Meinig developed a protocol he describes in his book to ensure no bacterial growth is left.

Historically, dentistry and medicine were separated. It’s unfortunate how many fail to fully appreciate the influence oral health has on overall health. The delicate balance of bacteria in your mouth is as important to your health as your gut microbiome.

Periodontal disease, which affects the soft tissue and bone, is triggered by an increase in Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacteria that impairs your immune response. Dental caries have been causally linked to Streptococcus mutans. In turn, your oral health impacts the rest of your body and they have a significant impact on your risk of disease.

For example, Type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease are strongly connected, as are cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease. Research has demonstrated failing to brush on a daily basis may increase your risk of dementia by 22 to 65%, compared to brushing three times a day, and good oral hygiene may lower your risk of pneumonia by 40%.

When the bacteria causing tooth decay and gum disease enter your circulatory system, your body increases the release of C-reactive protein known to lead to many chronic diseases. Therefore it’s only common sense to pay attention to your oral health, and develop good habits that support your oral microbiome.

Seek Out a Biological Dentist for Care

One step toward achieving good oral health is to seek out a biological dentist, also known as a holistic or environmental dentist. These doctors operate according to the belief system that your teeth are an integral part of your body and, hence, your overall health. They recognize oral and dental health have a major influence on disease and any medical treatment takes this into account.

While I recommend using a biological dentist for all your dental needs, if you’re considering the removal of dental amalgams, it’s absolutely essential. Most conventional dentists are unaware of the dangers involved and lack the experience to remove amalgam fillings without placing your health at risk in the process. Another strategy biological dentist use is to check the compatibility of dental materials with your body.

What’s in Your Silver Fillings?

The silver fillings in your mouth are dental amalgam. As noted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dental amalgam has been used to fill cavities for more than 150 years in hundreds of millions of patients around the world.

Amalgam is a mixture of metals consisting of elemental mercury and a powdered alloy of silver, tin and copper, 50% of which is elemental mercury by weight. The FDA also admits amalgam fillings release low levels of mercury in vapor form that may be inhaled and absorbed in your lungs.

Mercury is a neurotoxin. How your health is affected will depend on the form of mercury, the amount in the exposure and the age at which you’re exposed. Additionally, how long the exposure lasts and your underlying health will determine symptoms you may experience.

Symptoms of prolonged exposure to elemental mercury may include emotional changes, insomnia, headaches and poor performance on mental function tests. In 2009, the FDA issued a final rule on dental amalgams reclassifying mercury from a class I (least risk) device to class II (more risk) and designated a special controls guidance document for dental amalgam.

The WHO found mercury exposure, even in small amounts, may trigger serious health concerns and can have toxic effects on lungs and kidneys, as well as the nervous, digestive and immune systems. It is considered one of the top 10 chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern.

Daily Care May Protect Oral Health

As Meinig discussed in our interview, the only scientifically-proven way to prevent tooth decay is through nutrition. He related how in Price’s travels he found 14 cultural pockets of natives who had no access to “civilization” and ate no refined foods.

While their diets varied, they all ate whole, unrefined foods. Without access to tooth brushes, floss, fluoridated water or toothpaste, each group were almost all 100% free of caries.

For a discussion of how you may integrate holistic and preventive strategies, such as making your own toothpaste, flossing guidelines, and information on oil pulling and nutritional supplements to support your oral health, see my previous article, “Dental Dedication: Improve Your Oral Health.”

What’s Lurking in Your Silver Fillings?

It’s estimated that 75 percent of Americans are ignorant about that fact that amalgam fillings are actually 50 percent mercury, and this is no accident. The American Dental Association (ADA) popularized the deceptive term “silver fillings” so consumers would think amalgam is made mainly of silver when actually it has twice as much mercury as silver.

Mercury is an incredibly potent neurotoxin; it doesn’t take much to cause serious damage because it’s an absolute poison. If you were to take the amount of mercury in a typical thermometer and put it in a small lake, that lake would be closed down due to environmental hazards.

Yet, amounts much higher than that are readily put into your mouth if you receive a “silver” amalgam dental filling, as the majority of material in the filling is actually mercury. Download your free copy of “Measurably Misleading” and learn how the FDA and dental industry are misleading consumers and why that’s bad for American families and our planet.

Help Support Mercury-Free Dentistry

We believe in inspiring progress — and nowhere is the progress more evident than the work of Consumers for Dental Choice and its Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry. So consider donating your funds where you know it will get results.

Consumers for Dental Choice takes the Holistic Approach to Advocacy. You wouldn’t go to a traditional dentist who uses mercury amalgam fillings. So why would you go to a traditional activist to fight for mercury-free dentistry? That’s why so many people, including myself, support Consumers for Dental Choice’s holistic approach to advocacy.

Resources to Help You Find a Biological Dentist

The following organizations can help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist:

Let’s Help Consumers for Dental Choice Get the Funding They Deserve

Consumers for Dental Choice and its leader Charlie Brown continue their full-court-press campaign to bring mercury-free dentistry to the U.S. and worldwide. If you wish to stay informed, I encourage you to follow them on Facebook; if you wish to stay informed by receiving their announcements, you can sign up by .

You can help stop dental mercury today! Please consider donating to Consumers for Dental Choice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating mercury-free dentistry.

Read the full article at Mercola.com.

See Also:

Did Pennsylvania Mom Who Stood Up to Dental Bullying Uncover Massive Pediatric Dental Fraud Nationwide?

References

 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Dental Caries in Adults 20 to 64

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Community Water Fluoridation

 Fluoride Action Network, Tooth Decay in F versus NF Countries

 European Journal of Oral Science, 1996; 104(4):452

 Caries Research, 1993; 27: 201

 Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 2002; doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0528.2000.028005382.x

 World Health Organization, Fluoride in Drinking Water

 American Dental Association, Frequent Questions Regarding Dental Provision Codes

 American Dental Association, Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature

 World Health Organization, Classifications

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ICD-10-CM

 Cochrane, Priority Reviews

 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, June 13, 2012

 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, October 9, 2013

 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, April 15, 2009

  The Atlantic, May 2019

 Academy of General Dentistry, Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

 Cleveland Clinic Tooth Sensitivity: Possible Causes

 Archives of Dental Biology, 1996;41(5)

 Journal of Endodontics, 2001;27(2)

 Virulence, 2015;6(3)

 International Endodontic Journal, 1990;23(1)

 Journal of Conservative Dentistry, 2010;13(4)

 American Association of Endodontists, AAE History

 Frontiers in Microbiology, 2016;7:53

 Microbiology Reviews, 1986;50(4):353

 Diabetologia, 2012;55(1):21

 Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, 2010;14(3):148

 Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2012; doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04064.x

 Annals of Periodontology, 2003;8(1):54

 Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Disease, 1993;25(2):207

 Dr. Weil, Holistic and Biological Dentistry

 U.S. Food and Drug Administration, About Dental Amalgam Fillings

 Environmental Protection Agency, Healthy Effects of Exposure to Mercury

This content was originally published here.

Quick Bytes: Space Grease, Horse Dentistry, and Lab-Grown Brains

Grease Me Up, Scotty

The Milky Way is one of the most magnificent sights in the universe. In addition to housing our very own solar system, the Milky Way is extremely large, as it has been discovered that an entire trip across the galaxy would take, at light speed, a total of 200,000 years. Well, that’s not the only recent discovery about the Milky Way as, much like a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, it is large, beautiful, and covered in grease.

But how much of this “space grease” is out there gunking up the beauty of the universe? According to a recently published paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, it’s at the very least known that there’s enough grease that your spaceship would need a trip to the carwash.

Thankfully, due to the solar wind, experts don’t expect the grease to have any major effects on our own solar system. This is great news, as this solar system already has plenty enough grease in our restaurants, meals, and arteries.

Curing Colt Cavities

While we may always dread that occasional trip to the dentist, the practice of oral care has definitely improved over its long history. Dentistry itself dates back to 2600 BC, where the first-ever reference to dental work was made. However, we know what you’re thinking, “But when did horse dentistry get started?” Admit it, that’s exactly what you were thinking.

According to researchers, horse dentistry may have dated back to 3,200 years ago, when Mongolian pastoralists attempted to remove teeth from the animals in order to utilize metal bits. The researchers, who published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also made a connection between this discovery and the dawn of mounted battles and longer travel in certain Asian civilizations soon after.

You have to admit, it’s not often that you get the opportunity to read a story that teaches you the early history of equestrian dental hygiene. Well, now you have something to talk about at your next dinner party.

If I Could Only Grow a Brain…

To study the brains of Neanderthals, researchers have mainly focused on analyzing fossilized skulls to infer what they might have contained. However, a team at the University of California, San Diego is employing a new tactic: growing Neanderthal minibrains in a lab. At the UCSD “Imagination and Human Evolution” conference, geneticist Alysson Muotri, Ph.D., revealed that his team had used stem cells containing Neanderthal DNA and the genome editor CRISPR to create pea-sized lumps that could mimic the brain’s cortex.

For the experiment, the team focused on the protein-coding gene NOVA1, which likely helped produce more than 100 proteins in Neanderthal brains. It takes months to grow a minibrain from Neanderthal stem cells and the results have not yet been officially published. However, Muotri and his team think that the study could shed light on the links between the human and Neanderthal brain. Plus, many academics hope that this new brain-growing tactic could help Scarecrow achieve his dream of having a brain.

This content was originally published here.

3000-year-old sawn-off tooth may be the earliest evidence of horse dentistry

Horses like these continue to be the center of Mongolia’s economy.

William Taylor

3000-year-old sawn-off tooth may be the earliest evidence of horse dentistry

Three thousand years ago, a horse in Mongolia had a toothache that was probably making it—and its owner—miserable. So the owner tried to help, by attempting to saw the painful top off the offending incisor. The procedure is among the earliest evidence of veterinary dentistry in the world, according to a new study, and the practices that flowed from it may have helped horses transform human civilization.

“It’s a great study,” says Robin Bendrey, an archaeologist and ancient horse expert at the University of Edinburgh who was not involved in the work. As horses became more important, he says, nomadic herders “are investing greater effort in understanding how to care for them.”

William Taylor, an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, first came across the strange sawn tooth in the collections of the National Museum of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar. “I could not for the life of me muster an explanation,” he says.

He turned to his Mongolian colleagues, archaeologists Jamsranjav Bayarsaikhan and Tumurbaatar Tuvshinjargal, who grew up in the Mongolian countryside and have firsthand knowledge of traditional horse husbandry. The group concluded that the sawn tooth was an early, if inefficient, form of dentistry. The tooth had grown in crooked and was likely painful, but rather than pulling the incisor out completely, the notch shows that the ancient herder tried to cut its top off to restore a flat chewing surface, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (The procedure may not have worked, as the herder only made it halfway through the tooth. Shortly after, the horse was sacrificed and ritually buried.)

Together with another cut tooth from around the same time, the discovery shows that about 2000 years after horses were first domesticated, people were still figuring out the best way to take care of their teeth using basic stone tools.

The notch in this horse incisor, which had grown in crooked, shows that a herder tried to saw part of it off.

W. Taylor et al.; Origins of Equine Dentistry, PNAS, (2018)

Over time, horse dental care in Mongolia became much more systematic, Taylor and colleagues found. In the 3000-year-old horse skulls the team studied, many horses still had their “wolf teeth”—small, pointy teeth that grow in the space between the teeth in the front of a horse’s mouth and those in their cheeks. Wolf teeth are an evolutionary relic, and horses no longer use them for chewing; many horses don’t even develop them.

In today’s horses, when wolf teeth do grow in, they occupy some of the space where the bit sits. The contact between the tooth and the metal riding equipment can cause pain and tooth damage, so both Western veterinarians and Mongolian herders routinely remove these teeth.

But back when ancient herders were making their first forays into horse dentistry, bits were still made of leather. With softer equipment, early domesticated horses could keep their wolf teeth.

Beginning around 750 B.C.E., however, nearly all of the horses Taylor’s group examined were missing their wolf teeth. In many of the skulls, they could see a healed hole where a wolf tooth had been pulled out. That shift coincides with the adoption of bronze and iron bits in Mongolia, which gave riders much greater control over their horses—but meant that wolf teeth had to go.

“They’re adapting to new ways of riding and new ways of using the horse,” says Alan Outram, an archaeologist at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom who studies horse domestication and wasn’t involved in the new research. “People innovated fairly quickly.”

 Without such innovations, world history might look a lot different. Metal bits enabled herders to use horses in war and for long distance travel, shaping Mongolia and its nomadic cultures in ways that ultimately led to the rise of Genghis Khan’s mounted army and the Mongol Empire that controlled most of Eurasia in the 13th century. “Horses absolutely transformed Mongolia into a cultural and economic center of the world,” Taylor says.

This content was originally published here.

HENRY the Dentist is bringing quality dentistry to the workplace – MedCity News

It turns out that reluctance in visiting the dentist isn’t just limited to children. According to a report from the American Dental Association, more than half of adults with private dental insurance haven’t visited the dentist in over a year.

Regular dental care helps avoid more serious and costly dental procedures down the road and can highlight potential conditions like cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

New Providence, New Jersey-based HENRY the Dentist was designed to overcome the general hesitance of going to the dentist by providing services using its fleet of RV-sized mobile practices to allow employees to get dental care at their worksite.

Since its launch in 2017, the startup has signed up more than 70 customers including major enterprises like Merck, ADP and Vonage.

The startup’s mobile practices have three chairs and can see 24 patients a day. HENRY works with its client to determine the length of stay and how many times the company returns throughout the year.

The 40-person company has been boosted with a $10 million in funding led by Forerunner Ventures to expand its service offerings across New Jersey and Pennsylvania and in metro areas like New York City and Atlanta. San Francisco-based Forerunner has backed a number of successful consumer brands including Warby Parker, Jet and Hotel Tonight. 

HENRY CEO and co-founder Justin Joffe said the company was formed to update the staid image associated with dentistry and create a new Uber-like experience for patients. Joffe started the company with his wife Alex after seeing how the largely fragmented industry has failed to update its customer experience in line with other segments.

Mobile dental models have been around for a while, but Joffe pointed to his company’s differentiator as offering a full medical team as part of its mobile practice. Every HENRY mobile clinic includes a dentist, a dental assistant, two dental hygienists and one office manager.

Besides performing dental checkups, teeth cleanings and teeth whitenings, the mobile practice has the ability to fill crowns, custom fit night guards and even perform quick turnaround impressions and orthodontics work through its physical clinic.

The founding team’s experience building consumer brands has also helped them develop an updated and more comfortable experience for patients.

Instead of flipping through outdated magazines in the waiting room, patients make their appointments online and are greeted to a visit where they are outfitted with Bose headphones, have their choice of entertainment options and enjoy a massage-featured exam chair.

The company’s expansion is based around a hub-and-spoke model, with mobile clinics built around a physical brick-and-mortar location that provides enhanced specialty services and lab work. Currently the company has one physical practice in New Jersey, but is working on opening its second location in Pennsylvania.

HENRY dentists are salaried, which Joffe says incentivises clinicians to provide better and more preventive care. The company also works to ensure the same dental team is matched up with the same companies for greater continuity of care.

HENRY’s services are offered at no additional charge to its employer clients. By working with insurers like Aetna, Cigna Delta Dental – who are looking to boost utilization – the company ensures that its providers are in-network with major plans.

Ashley Thomas, a wellness coordinator at real estate company Realogy, helped institute HENRY’s services at a former employer and plans to do the same at her current company. 

“My primary dentist’s office felt like it was stuck in the 1970s,” Thomas said. “HENRY felt shiny, clean, high-tech, convenient and 21st century. I mean, I don’t know many dentists offices that let you watch TV while getting your teeth cleaned.”

Thomas added that HENRY helped her team with the outreach necessary to get employees engaged with the mobile dentistry service.

Joffe said the company is hoping to build on its strong momentum into 2020, with a planned Series B funding round to fuel expansion into five more states. Joffe’s growth plan calls for a presence in 15 to 20 states in three years as the company looks to develop national relationships with its existing employer clients.

As it expands, Joffe said the company is experimenting with new delivery methods for its services, including HENRY in the Boardroom, which would bring clinicians directly into the office for scheduled practice hours.

“We works with these great brands and companies and they often have phenomenal dental plans,” Joffe said. “Everyone needs preventive care and we’re proud to build a company that increases access to care and improves the experience for both patients and providers.”

Picture: HENRY the Dentist

This content was originally published here.

For Sale: Jane Austen’s Wince-Inducing Descriptions of 19th-Century Dentistry

After dinner one evening in September 1813, Jane Austen sat down to write a letter to her sister Cassandra. Austen, who had published Pride and Prejudice earlier that year, had much to report from the home front. She had accompanied three nieces and her brother Edward to a Wedgewood china shop, she wrote, where they’d perused the wares. Other news was less pleasant: Earlier that day, they’d been to the dentist for an hour of “sharp hasty screams.”

“The poor Girls & their Teeth!” Austen wrote. “Lizzy’s were filed & lamented over again & poor Marianne had two taken out after all.” The dentist—a Mr. Spence, who could have been one of several Spences working as dentists at the time—had even gone after her niece Fanny’s teeth, though they had seemed in decent shape. “Pretty as they are,” Austen recounted, the dentist had “found something to do them, putting in gold & talking gravely.” That didn’t sit right with Austen, who wrote that the tool-happy man “must be a Lover of Teeth & Money & Mischief.” Austen remarked that she “would not have had him look at mine for a shilling a tooth & double it.” Her note, which is going under the hammer at Bonhams on October 23, is an intriguing (if squirm-inducing) dispatch from an era of grisly dental work.

At the time Austen penned the letter, dentistry was still painfully unstandardized. Treatments varied widely, and troublesome teeth were often yanked out by people from all sorts of professions. “In London and large towns, surgeons were available to pull out teeth, but elsewhere, apothecaries, quack tooth-drawers, and even blacksmiths might oblige,” write historians Roy Adkins and Lesley Adkins in Jane Austen’s England: Daily Life in the Georgian and Regency Periods.

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Austen’s reference to filings in the letter “shows the diversity of practice because of the lack of scientific understanding of the causes of decay,” explains Rachel Bairsto, head of museum services at the British Dental Association Museum, in an email. There was a lot of disagreement about whether various interventions would offer the patient relief, or just plunge them deeper into pain. Though filing had historically been used to smooth out uneven teeth, Bairsto adds, some practitioners recommended it as a way to prevent cavities. Others disagreed, arguing that it “made more space to trap food.” In any event, Bairsto writes, “overzealous filing could make the teeth more sensitive.”

Even where tooth-pullers and oral hygiene tools were available—and it was mostly the wealthy who could access them—they weren’t necessarily a good idea. “Early toothbrushes with their horsehair bristles often caused more problems than they prevented,” writes medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris in The Guardian. “Toothpastes or powders made from pulverised charcoal, chalk, brick or salt were more harmful than helpful.” Eighteenth- and 19-century animal-hair bristles were breeding grounds for bacteria, which could make any existing mouth trouble even gnarlier.

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Though holes in teeth were sometimes patched, fillings “were not commonly practiced, as they were expensive and often didn’t last long,” Bairsto writes. Extraction was the more common, and decidedly miserable, route. An extraction was often accomplished with the help of a dental key (also called a tooth key), which Bairsto describes as “rather a fearsome-looking instrument.” It’s a nightmarish claw-and-rod contraption, and it would have been wielded without anesthetic. Bleeding and infection often followed.

Once the infected incisors or meddlesome molars were out, they would sometimes be replaced with dentures, which could be made from walrus or hippo ivory, porcelain, or teeth removed from other unfortunate people, living or dead. (When the Battle of Waterloo felled thousands of soldiers, “clients back in England were happy to wear dentures made from the teeth of fit young men killed in battle, which became known as ‘Waterloo teeth,’ or, more coyly, ‘Waterloo ivory,’” Adkins and Adkins note.) Dentures weren’t without their drawbacks, Bairsto writes: They had a tendency to stink and rot in the mouth, “and the use of a fan was required to waft the stench.”

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By the middle of the 19th century, the world’s first dental school had opened in Baltimore, Maryland, reported, and across the pond, Queen Victoria had helped make it fashionable to own a personal set of dental tools. Her scalers—tools used to scrape off gunk—were outfitted with mother-of-pearl handles and gold detailing. That was of no help to Austen.

Because oral hygiene was expensive, Bairsto writes, “it is unclear” whether the Austens routinely used toothbrushes. For the most part, writes historian and Austen biographer Lucy Worsley in Jane Austen at Home, “Jane and her family simply had to put up with the small aches and ailments of life.” Even so, references to dentistry—and the anxiety that a visit to a dentist might incite—appear in some of the writer’s fiction. In Emma, Harriet has “a tooth amiss,” and is reported to appear a bit “out of spirits.” That’s “perfectly natural,” readers are told, “as there was a dentist to be consulted.” In Austen’s realm, even fictional characters knew that a visit to a dentist could sour an afternoon.

Janeites are a devoted bunch—the sight of her writing table, at the Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, England, often prompts rapt reverence, or even tears—and the letter is likely to be catnip for her most enthusiastic reader-disciples. (Bonhams expects the letter to sell for somewhere between $80,000 and $120,000.) For everyone else, it’s a macabre memento from a time when the sharp end of a dentist’s tool was a place you really, truly did not want to be.

This content was originally published here.

The John Fornetti Dental Center Presents Dentistry For Our Vets 2018

Iron Mountain, MI – The John Fornetti Dental Center will present Dentistry For Our Vets on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Dentistry For Our Vets provides free dental care to our veterans in need.

Dr. John and Dr. Dan Fornetti, along with their team of employees, volunteers and sponsors will be hosting their 5th annual Dentistry For Our Vets on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Those over age 18 in need of dental care will be able to choose between one free extraction, filling or hygiene cleaning. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis until 3:00 p.m.

The media is invited to join the many volunteers and patients to spread free smiles across Iron Mountain through Dentistry For Our Vets at The John Fornetti Dental Center. We are turning our parking lot into an outdoor waiting room, with a heated waiting area and burn barrels, but please remember to bundle up and stay warm.

91% of U.S. veterans are ineligible for dental benefits. Dr. John Fornetti of Iron Mountain, MI, thinks as Americans, we can do better. In response, Dr. John started Dentistry For Our Vets. The John Fornetti Dental Center’s 2017 event was able to serve 58 veterans, providing over 162 procedures, and over $20,000 in services donated.

Dentistry For Our Vets will be held at The John Fornetti Dental Center, located at 100 S. Stephenson Avenue, Iron Mountain, MI. from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Anyone interested in volunteering their services for the event can find more information by calling (906) 774-0100 or visiting us on the web here and on Facebook.

This content was originally published here.

Spirit of the Entrepreneur: Valdosta Family Dentistry | Local News | valdostadailytimes.com

VALDOSTA — Being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy and everyone does it a little differently.

Some open online stores, while others open brick-and-mortar storefronts.

Some go all in and invest their lives into a new venture, while others start a new business as something to do on the side. Regardless of the type, entrepreneurs help drive the local economy.

Larry Black, owner and dentist at Valdosta Family Dentistry, didn’t begin his career in dentistry until he was in his mid-30s.

At 17, he left Valdosta and joined the Navy for six years.

He worked as an electronic technician doing satellite communications and cryptography.

After leaving the military as an employee, he worked as a civilian contractor for the Navy for six years doing similar work.

The work required Black to travel regularly, and he eventually decided he wanted to settle down.

“We traveled about 11 months out of the year,” he said. “We traveled anywhere the Navy was having trouble with communications equipment. I decided that I was ready to quit traveling and started back to school.”

Being from Valdosta, Black returned to attend Valdosta State University to earn a biology degree.

After three years of undergraduate work and a degree in hand, Black had been introduced to the world of dentistry through Dr. Greg Morris, he said.

So, Black attended the Medical College of Georgia for four years to to become a dentist.

By the time he attended MCG, he was the third oldest student in his cohort. Black said being a non-traditional student was beneficial to him.

“I was one of those people who could not have done and focused on school at 18,” he said. “Part of the reason I went into the Navy was I knew that about myself.

“When I came back from the Navy and started school, it was much easier for me having already had life experience and improved time-management skills. Knowing where I wanted to be and how to get there helped me jump through the hoops or check off the boxes to get there.

“I knew what I wanted and was wiling to work harder for it and put in the time.”

After graduation, Black came back to Valdosta in 2004 and opened his first office, Quitman Family Dentistry in Quitman.

“When I got out and looked at a place to set up my office, there was still plenty of room for more dentists in Valdosta, and having grown up here, I felt that it would be easier to start up a business in my hometown,” he said.

In 2009, Black opened an office in Valdosta.

“When I was working in Quitman Family Dentistry, myself and Dr. Eric Castor felt there would be a need for an emergency dental clinic in Valdosta,” he said. “We spent a year with this office as an emergency-only clinic.”

Based on customer requests, Black expanded to a full-service dentist office in 2010.

After being in practice for almost 15 years, he said the hardest part has been operating the business side.

“Running the business is probably the toughest part of what I do,” he said. “The toughest part for most dentists is we tend to be very technical. We enjoy working with our hands and working with people. And dental school prepares you for all the knowledge you need to do dentistry.

“The tough thing is they don’t prepare you to run a small business. When you come out of school and you have to learn about tax structure and accounting.”

Black said he leaned on his late wife, Dana Black, when he first opened his business.

“I got into it thinking you get out, put your sign on the door and you go to work,” he said.

While he worked with the clients, Dana learned how to run the business for him.

“She was a big part of why we were able to do what we did,” he said.

Dana passed in 2017.

As for advice for new or potential business owners, Black suggests taking a few years to learn about the selected industry. He also recommends utilizing the small business resources available.

“If you are going to open up your own business, understand that business,” he said. “Most people have an idea of what a business is but they haven’t worked in it before. They don’t have an idea of how it works. Take a few years and start from the bottom and work in a few positions.

“Then go and take some accounting classes and business classes either through (Wiregrass Georgia Technical College) or the (University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Valdosta State University) that’s here in Valdosta because both of those guys helped me out after I got started.”

Valdosta Family Dentistry, 2935 N. Ashley St., Suite 130, is open open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Quitman Family Dentistry is open Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, call (229) 333-8484.

Jason Smith is a reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be contacted at 229-244-3400 ext.1257.

This content was originally published here.

The Importance of Geriatric Dentistry

As you grow older, it’s important to keep up with your teeth. Perhaps you or your companions don’t see the need to go to the dentist, but the impact of good dentistry on your teeth and overall health is undeniable.

Here, we’ll explore all you should know about geriatric dentistry.

Why Do Older Adults Not Go to the Dentist?

With retirement, spending time with family, and other life events in full swing, it can be difficult to prioritize your oral health.

Here are some specific reasons why seniors don’t visit the dentist:

  • Cost: Seniors don’t have workplace insurance coverage. Programs like Medicaid offer limited coverage for dental procedures. Some seniors don’t view paying out-of-pocket as a realistic option.
  • Misinformation: Some seniors believe that they don’t need to go to the dentist because they don’t have teeth. This is simply not true. At a visit, you can be fitted for dentures and get exams to screen for signs of oral cancer.

How Your Oral Health Affects You

Your oral health is important in so many ways. Some of the top reasons include:

Contributing to Your Bodily Health

Your oral health doesn’t just benefit your teeth and gums. Poor oral health can lead to:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Pneumonia

Neglecting to visit a dentist can lead to specific oral issues like:

  • An uneven jawbone
  • Root decay
  • Darkened or otherwise discolored teeth
  • Gum disease

Giving You Confidence

There is an aesthetic appeal to good oral health.

A white, aligned smile is self-assuring. It can help you feel confident and allow you to more fully enjoy social interactions.

Ceramic crowns, veneers, and other types of cosmetic dentistry from Calgary, for example, all help seniors smile with confidence. More standard services, like teeth whitening and cleaning, help preserve your smile for life.

How to Go on a Budget

If the cost of going to the dentist is daunting, use these tips for going to the dentist on a budget.

Limit Unnecessary Visits

At home, be sure to care for your teeth. Take these preventative measures:

  • Brush twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • If you have extra-sensitive teeth, use a gentle toothpaste.
  • Avoid foods that may cause tooth damage, like hard candy or acidic fruits

Even though skipping out on visits may save you money temporarily, it isn’t a financially-savvy habit. Attending regular visits prevents the need for costly treatments down the road.

Review Your Options

Look up different dental offices around you. They will vary in price based on the services they offer and the areas where they operate. Consider driving to a nearby area with a lower cost of living. The extra minutes it takes to drive to a different location can save you money, especially on costly procedures.

Look for Coupons

Some offices offer special coupons or deals for new customers. Look actively on saving sites like Groupon or browse your local newspaper.

Go to a Dental Hygienist

In many areas, you can see a dental hygienist without a dentist present. These types of visits are significantly less expensive than regular office visits. Be sure to research the regulations in your area. Some areas restrict what a hygienist can treat.

Ask for a Discount

If you’ve been going to the same office for years, consider asking for a discount. Most dental offices are willing to negotiate a price, especially on a costly procedure. Do so before you receive treatment. You can also request treatment to be performed in different stages. This way, you have time in-between visits to save money to pay for your treatment.

Visit Your Dentist!

Managing your oral health as a senior can be intimidating. As with other adults, seniors should have their teeth cleaned twice a year. You should also get X-rays at least once a year to ensure there are no underlying problems with your teeth or gums.

Take command of your oral health as a senior!

The post The Importance of Geriatric Dentistry appeared first on LivingBetter50.

This content was originally published here.

BYU students promote women in dentistry

From left to right: Lauren Olsen, Eliza Butcher, Nadia Valentin, Kendra Law, Tessa Hadley, Cyerra Davis and Haram Kim smile at the opening social of the BYU Women in Dentistry committee last week. (Ty Mullen)

Recent BYU graduate Lauren Olsen wanted to be a dentist since she was 4 years old, but while at BYU, her advisor influenced her to pursue a different career path. She ended up graduating in 2018 with a degree in public health.

“He looked at me and was like ‘You know, if you’re a dentist, you’ll have a really hard time being a mom,’” Olsen said, describing the conversation that led her to change majors. “I left and just cried a lot.”

Lauren Olsen dressed as a dentist with her father. Olsen said she knew she wanted to be a dentist at a very young age. (Lauren Olsen)

Olsen said a public health internship in Cambodia helped her realize she needed to return to her roots and study dentistry. While there, she met a young girl with an infected tooth and a swollen face who couldn’t speak. There were no dentists available in the area to assist her.

“I was flying home the next day and thought ‘I didn’t do anything for her,’ and it’s one of my biggest regrets,” Olsen said. “When I got home, I started having a lot of little experiences that reminded me that I wanted to be a dentist all along.”

Olsen said once she got home, she asked family members if they knew any women in dentistry. She eventually learned about Jennifer Klonkle, who is a mother and works one day out of the week as a dentist in Arizona.

Dentists like Klonkle inspired Olsen to find a way to share their stories with other aspiring female dentists.

“If only other girls at BYU could see this,” Olsen said. “I know these nice, normal, smart girls are dentists and moms and whatever they want to be.”

Despite the small number of female dentists in Utah, Olsen established the Women in Dentistry committee at BYU to inform others that there are women who have successfully forged a career in dentistry.

Only four percent of dentists in Utah are women, while 28.9 percent of dentists are female nationwide, according to a 2017 study by the Utah Medical Education Council.

Women in Dentistry president Kendra Law said the group has grown from six to about 30 members. Law said she believes the numbers have increased because of the committee’s support for students who would otherwise be discouraged from a career in dentistry.

“It just helps to have this support group of women who are all trying to reach the same goal,” Law said. “Even when some people are saying, ‘No, you can’t do it,’ we can turn to each other, and we have a good network of people supporting and pushing us to all reach the same dream.”

The first six members of the Women in Dentistry club (from left): Alejandra Garcia, Lauren Olsen, Tess Hadley, Emily Coenen, Kendra Law and Emma Kohl. Club president Kendra Law said the number of members has grown since then. (Lauren Olsen)

The Women in Dentistry committee volunteers for organizations like Community Health Connect to help youth from low-income Utah County families receive the dental care they need. Members of the committee participate in a fluoride varnish program where they check children’s teeth and refer severe cases to dentists who offer dental care free of charge.

“They get a chance to see and understand that there are kids that really don’t have a toothbrush or can’t take care of themselves,” said Julie Francis, Dental Assistant Program Coordinator of Mountainland Technical College. “They get that feeling to help people and become more involved in the community.”

Olsen said she is expanding the Women in Dentistry committee to reach female dental assistants who are juniors and seniors in high school.

“Ninety percent of the high school students we talked to signed up to learn more,” Olsen said.  “It taught me when you teach young girls about their potential, they want to do big things.”

Olsen is now completing prerequisites at UVU so she can apply for dental school next summer. She is also creating a website where young women can observe the examples of female dentists who have successfully balanced their career and other interests.

“So that there will never be a girl again who comes to BYU and gets told ‘No, you can’t be a mom and a dentist. You can’t be a Young Women’s president and a dentist,’” Olsen said. “We’ll have a database of interviews showing that you can and that women all over the country are doing it.”

For updates about BYU Women in Dentistry club meetings, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

This content was originally published here.