Is It Safe To Go To Dentist Now During Covid?

Contrary to expectations, dental offices were found to be very safe, and compared to other healthcare services, dentists have shown maximum prevention of covid 19. The efficiency of dental offices to contain the spread of the virus could be attributed to the care and strict maintenance of standards set by health authorities of the state.

Dentists have taken extraordinary measures to keep the virus spread in check, and make sure patient safety is of paramount importance than anything else.

Hence, it is absolutely safe to visit a dentist and get treatments too, during the pandemic. The facts are self-evident, and research proves beyond doubt that dentists are considered safest and to be at the top in combating the viral spread, despite the risks, despite the apprehensions, despite doubts, despite the vulnerable working environment, despite dealing with aerosols from open mouths.

How do dentists make their offices safe for their patients?

The following describes steps taken by dental offices, simply by adhering to rules laid down by authorities and also continuing to provide perfect sterilization protocols that have been in use for decades, even before covid started.

The latest survey by American Dental Association stares that less than 1% of all the dentists tested positive for the virus and this is attributable to the safety policies and disinfection practices at all the dental offices.

Even during a pandemic, it’s still safe to go to the dentist. That’s what the American Dental Association is telling the public.

Be assured that we have taken all the measures for your safety and do visit us for your dental needs.

In this pandemic, while we have planned to open our clinics and provide expert dental treatments, one major thing to consider is to provide a safe environment to our patients and staff.

Before you visit us, please have a look on the safety measures taken by us for you which are according to the norms provided by the Dental Council of India (DCI).

COVID Precautions at the Reception Area

  1. Disposable shoe covers for patients before entering the clinic.
  2. Screening of body temperature and oxygen saturation levels of all patients and staff.
  3. Providing hand sanitizer containing Isopropyl alcohol.
  4. A detailed patient consent and declaration regarding COVID 19 and general diseases with recent travel history
  5. Maintaining physical distancing in the waiting area with well planned staggered appointments.
  6. Increased sanitization with regular disinfecting of floors, door knobs and handles with 1% Sodium Hypochlorite.

COVID Precautions at the Treatment Area

  1. Treatment rooms divided into 3 parts according to the type of treatment done.
    Only checkups, Non-aerosol producing, and aerosol producing procedures to prevent cross-contamination.
  2. Maintaining air circulation with natural air through the frequent opening of windows.
  3. Regular disinfection of treatment rooms including dental chairs after each treatment.
  4. Dentists to use PPE including mouthmasks, head caps, face shields, gloves, and full-body gowns while doing treatments. PPE is changed or sterilized after treating each patient to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.
  5. Use of sanitized and autoclaved instruments packaged in sterile disposable covers.
  6. Patients provided with headcaps and protective eyewear during aerosol producing treatments.
  7. Use of mouth rinse containing 0.5% povidone-iodine solution for 30 sec before the start of treatments.

Your safety is ensured, guaranteed, and responsibly taken care of. Visit your dentist, without doubt, and maintain oral hygiene by following your dentist’s suggestions. However, we need to strictly adhere to the rules and guidelines laid down by authorities and dental offices

VISIT YOUR DENTIST TODAY…ITS ABSOLUTELY SAFE, AND NECESSARY

Prosthodontics – The Art and Science of Designing Smiles

The ADA defines it as “ the dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes”.

As a rapidly expanding science and art, prosthodontics serves to bring back the smiles and functional efficiency of teeth, and is still evolving.

As a mark of honour to all the industrious prosthodontists of the world, January 22nd is celebrated as “Prosthodontists’ Day” every year across the world.

Pierre Fauchard, an 18th century French surgeon has been considered the “Father of Prosthodontics” for his pioneering work.

There are four branches in Prosthodontics.

Fixed Prosthodontics

Removable Prosthodontics

Implant Prosthodontics

Implant Prosthodontics is the most advanced technology in dentistry and is serving millions of patients with edentulousness, and this is the best form of treatment for missing teeth, much better than the conventional removable and fixed partial dentures.  There has been extensive research in this field and implants and crowns can be placed in just two working days,  provided conditions are favorable. The latest TTPHIL technique involves no bleeding, no sinus lifts, no grafting, and a very fast healing time. This is indeed a boon to those waiting to have lengthy painful procedures. Even cardiac patients, diabetics, and other medical conditions found implants to be as successful as 98%.

Gone are the days when conventional implant placement was done and patients had to wait for even an year for teeth. It’s speed, accuracy and digitalization now. Techniques such as digital impressions, stereolithographic models and prints, surgical guides for precision placement of implants, complete modernization of laboratories with international standards help prosthodontists and implantologists to deliver implants in just 2 working days! However, certain limiting factors like infections, bone density might delay the permanent crowns a little, but the screw-retained two-piece systems are being considered the best in Implantology.

Maxillofacial prosthodontics

Maxillofacial prosthodontics involves the replacement of anatomical structures of the face like eyes, ears nose etc.

Implant and maxillofacial Prosthodontics is a superspecialization in dentistry that can be performed only by a skilled, trained, experienced prosthodontist.

This article is dedicated to all prosthodontists and implantologists, working relentlessly to bring smiles to edentulous patients!

Why choose a Prosthodontist?

If you need artificial teeth, choose a prosthodontist because of their advanced education and training, efficiency,  and expertise with advanced technology. Prosthodontists are extensively trained in state of the art techniques and procedures for treating complex DENTAL conditions and restoring optimum function and aesthetics.

For centuries, there has been substantial research for selecting the ideal restorative material for missing teeth,  and ivory was one of them.

DR Rafiuddin Ahmed is considered the Father of Indian dentistry.

From the simplest of tools to the latest digital technology,  prosthodontics traveled ages in history to become one of the most important and respected specialties in dentistry.

Treatments include

  1. Crown
  2. Centric relation
  3. Bridge
  4. Veneers
  5. Surgery (preprosthetic)
  6. Complete and partial removable dentures
  7. Inlays and onlays
  8. Maxillofacial prosthetics
  9. Implants
  10. Full mouth rehabilitation
  11. Most recently, lumineers, emax crowns etc

This article is supposed to bring to light how prosthodontics improved over the decades and how patients are getting more and more conscious of their DENTAL health and most importantly we need to address the issues according to the problem, further necessitating the services of prosthodontists in rehabilitating the oral health.

Prosthodontists and implantologists from a very important team in considering treatments for edentulousness, or protecting root canal treated teeth, or treating conditions affecting bite and also help us in rehabilitating missing facial structures.

We always need to remember that when we need to “replace”, it’s always the prosthodontists and implantologists who we need to approach, though there are nine specialties and not all SPECIALISTS are well equipped with prosthetics and implants.

Why Dentists Are Reporting Low Rate of Covid-19?

The apprehension of visiting a dentist during Covid-19 pandemic is widespread and quite understandable.

There is a requirement for immediate reassurance from the dental fraternity, to educate the general public about the facts and care taken during this crisis.

Primarily we need to understand the importance of maintaining oral hygiene and dental health.

Why is dental health important?

  1. Infections in teeth and gums can be carried to other parts of the body like the heart or other organs.
  2. Long-standing deposits or calculus destroys the gums.
  3. Loss of teeth associated with pain and swelling
  4. Food lodgement
  5. Halitosis
  6. Difficulties in chewing

…and many more associated disorders.

This would lead to a compromised situation that becomes complex to treat, taking a lot of effort, time, and expenditure.

Prevention is always better than cure. Visiting a dentist is a must.

How could we visit dentists during a pandemic?

This is to enlighten everyone about the care taken by dentists and staff, not only during Covid-19, but since many decades ago.

We need to understand that viral infections like HIV, Hepatitis B, etc have been some of the greatest challenges dentists ever faced. As more and more strains of viruses unleashed, it became paramount to safeguard the health of dental staff and their patients. Hepatitis B and HIV are more dangerous than Covid-19, and any dentist could be mist unfortunate to get infected,  because, infection, would mean a sure collapse of body’s immune response.

It was since then that almost all dental offices stringently started following strict sterilization protocols. Safety for patients and safety for the staff was the primary requirement.

Sterilization with chemical disinfectants like povidone-iodine, surgical spirit, phenols, and many latest products available in the market ensures primary safety. Viruses die in these media.

Autoclaving, radiation with UV light, ethylene oxide, and fumigation assures 100% safety against any microorganism.

Mouth masks, mouthwashes, Betadine rinses, headgear, face shields, gloves, respirators, PPE kits, suction kits, and everything else have been brought into full use by dentists. And these safety precautions greatly reduced the chance of any infections.

This fact has been proven beyond doubt even before Covid-19 started.

Following the same sterilization protocols with Covid-19, and some additional measures like

  1. Telephonic consultations
  2. Avoiding crowding by offering spaced appointments, with half an hour gaps
  3. Repeat sterilization after every patient is checked
  4. Effective disposal management with great care
  5. Maximum utilization of disposables
  6. Taking proper history according to government rules
  7. Strictly adhering to health department directives
  8. Regular Covid checks
  9. Minimalistic aerosol producing procedures
  10. Proper follow-up to ensure the patient is safe and uninfected.

– resulted in less than 1% of dentists reporting Covid-19.

This is indeed a spectacular control and management of Covid-19 virus in the dental setups. Research proved there has been substantially low Covid cases with dentists compared to other health departments.

Dentists also advocated certain lifestyle changes like diet modifications, regular exercise, maintenance of oral hygiene, use of Betadine rinses, and other adjuncts that could help their patients stay protected from the virus.

This is absolutely great news for all those who fear going to the dentist in these times.

Dentists reassure you.

Fear not, for well-established facts speak for themselves the safety at a dental office. Select an office that follows rules to the word and comply with the instructions,  and we are sure we would be safe.

Dental treatments can unquestionably and undoubtedly performed, even for senior citizens, under a controlled environment.

Dentists suggest not to delay any treatments, as it might complicate things.

Visit your dentist today, but follow their instructions and advice, we bet Covid-19 will not reach you.

Tooth Abscess – Can be Life Threatening If Neglected

tooth abscess treatment
Did you know that the oral health effects the health of your whole body? The same bacteria that infect the mouth can travel into your blood system. The spread of this infection into the rest of the body has been directly linked to heart attack, stroke, diabetes and numerous other serious conditions.

What is a Tooth Abscess?

A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that’s caused by a bacterial infection. The abscess can occur in different regions of the tooth for different reasons.

A periapical abscess occurs at the tip of the root, whereas a periodontal abscess occurs in the gums at the side of a tooth root. A periapical dental abscess usually occurs as a result of an untreated dental cavity, an injury or prior dental work.

Symptoms of Dental Abscess

Signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess include:

  • Severe, persistent, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, neck or ear
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Sensitivity to the pressure of chewing or biting
  • Fever
  • Swelling in your face or cheek
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or in your neck
  • Sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting, salty fluid in your mouth and pain relief, if the abscess ruptures
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

When to see a doctor

See your dentist promptly if you have any signs or symptoms of a tooth abscess.

If you have a fever and swelling in your face and you can’t reach your dentist, go to an emergency room. Also, go to the emergency room if you have trouble breathing or swallowing. These symptoms may indicate that the infection has spread deeper into your jaw and surrounding tissue or even to other areas of your body.

Causes of Tooth Abscess

A periapical tooth abscess occurs when bacteria invade the dental pulp — the innermost part of the tooth that contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue.

Bacteria enter through either a dental cavity or a chip or crack in the tooth and spread all the way down to the root. The bacterial infection can cause swelling and inflammation at the tip of the root.

Risk Factors Involving Dental Abscess

These factors may increase your risk of a tooth abscess:

Poor dental hygiene: Not taking proper care of your teeth and gums — such as not brushing your teeth twice a day and not flossing — can increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, tooth abscess, and other dental and mouth complications.
A diet high in sugar: Frequently eating and drinking foods rich in sugar, such as sweets and sodas, can contribute to dental cavities and turn into a tooth abscess.
Dry mouth: Having a dry mouth can increase your risk of tooth decay. Dry mouth is often due to the side effect of certain medications or ageing issues.

Treatment of Tooth Abscess

Dentists will treat a tooth abscess by

  • draining it and getting rid of the infection.
  • root canal treatment,
  • If it’s not restorable, the tooth may need to be pulled.

Antibiotics: If the infection is limited to the abscessed area, you may not need antibiotics. But if the infection has spread to nearby teeth, your jaw or other areas, your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics to stop it from spreading further. He or she may also recommend antibiotics if you have a weakened immune system.

Leaving a tooth abscess untreated can lead to serious, even life-threatening, complications.

Complications from Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess won’t go away without treatment. If the abscess ruptures, the pain may decrease significantly — but you still need dental treatment. If the abscess doesn’t drain, the infection may spread to your jaw and to other areas of your head and neck. You might even develop sepsis — a life-threatening infection that spreads throughout your body.

If you have a weakened immune system and you leave a dental abscess untreated, your risk of a spreading infection increases even more.

Do’s and Don’ts at Home

If you have to wait before your dentist sees you, these home remedies can give you some relief from your pain. But remember, these remedies are not a replacement for your treatment with the dentist.

    • Warm saltwater mouth rinse thrice a day can ease your pain and swelling.
    • Clove oil. The active ingredient in clove oil, eugenol, has helpful anaesthetic and antibacterial properties. Applying a small amount of a clove essential oil to the site of a dental abscess inside your mouth (not over your cheeks or outside your lips)can temporarily numb the area, easing your pain.
    • Do not apply any balms like Zandu balm, Moov or Volini spray over your face or cheeks on the abscess area as you may get severe and rapid swelling.

Prevention of Tooth Abscess

Avoiding tooth decay is essential to preventing a tooth abscess. Take good care of your teeth to avoid tooth decay:

      • Use fluoridated drinking water.
      • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
      • Use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to clean between your teeth on a daily basis.
      • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or whenever the bristles are frayed.
      • Eat healthy food, limiting sugary items and between-meal snacks.
      • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings.
      • Consider using an antiseptic or a fluoride mouth rinse to add an extra layer of protection against tooth decay.

8 Ways to Prevent and Relieve Tooth Sensitivity

tooth sensitivity treatment

If you pass on hot or cold drinks because you know they’ll make your teeth hurt, it may be time to talk to your dentist about the possibility that you have sensitive teeth. Sometimes other things can aggravate them, too, like sweet and sour foods or even cold air.

Why does tooth sensitivity occur?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the layer of a tooth underneath the enamel (called the dentin) or the layer covering the root (called cementum) is exposed along the gum line causing receding gums.

The dentin contains microscopic channels called tubules, which are pathways to the nerve. When dentinal tubules are exposed, due to receding gum tissue or enamel loss, nerves are more easily triggered by heat, cold, sweet or sour foods and cause sharp shooting pain in your teeth.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth can be caused by the following dental issues:

  • Worn tooth enamel from using a hard toothbrush and using a hard grip while brushing aggressively.
  • Tooth erosion due to highly acidic foods and beverages.
  • Tooth decay, worn leaky fillings and broken teeth that expose the dentin of your tooth.
  • Gum recession that leaves your root surface exposed.
  • Grinding your teeth at night.
  • Post dental treatment sensitivity – common, but temporary, especially with procedures such as crowns, fillings and tooth bleaching.

Treatment for Tooth Sensitivity

We at The Dental Specialists will evaluate your teeth thoroughly and assess your-grade of sensitivity.
Treatment may be as simple as fixing a cavity or replacing a worn filling. However, if your discomfort comes from gum loss exposing root surfaces, our periodontist may suggest a gum graft to protect the root surface and support of the tooth.

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
  • Laser treatments to fuse (close) the tunnels.
  • Fluoride gel:An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
  • A crown, inlay or bonding: These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
  • Surgical gum graft: If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canal: If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.

8 ways to relieve and prevent tooth sensitivity

  • Use a soft-bristled brush and brush with gentle strokes
  • Consider using desensitising paste
  • Cut down on acidic foods and soft drinks
  • Do not rush to brush after having citrus juices
  • Avoid grinding your teeth ( ask your dentist about mouth guard)
  • Take a break from teeth whitening a.k.a bleaching
  • Warm saline mouth rinses could relieve your sensitivity
  • See your dentist and talk about your sensitivity

How to Prevent Mouth Ulcers – Dr. Ruheena Explains

Mouth ulcers are a common and painful problem that most of us face. Dr.Ruheena, in this video, explains how to prevent mouth ulcers. The video is in Telugu.