Thursday, September 16, 2021

Botox And Dental?

What are your thoughts on Botox? Would you get Botox treatment if it meant it could help with specific dental problems?

Check out this article by Perfect Teeth:

"When you think about Botox chances are good you think about a Gen-Xer having it done to maintain their youthful appearance. You wouldn’t be wrong – Botox is by far the most popular cosmetic procedure out there with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reporting over 7.4 million injections given in 2018.

And now dentists are getting in on the action. Have you heard about this trend of Botox in dentistry? It just might be the next big thing!

What is Botox?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. While it’s the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism, its use as an injectable paralytic has been FDA approved for cosmetic procedures and more. In fact, it’s now commonly used in small doses to treat a variety of health problems including excessive sweating, excessive blinking, overactive bladder and even migraines.

Botox works by blocking nerve signals that control muscle movement, which makes them unable to contract, temporarily softening the skin around the area that was injected. It typically takes a few hours for results to be seen and they usually last about three months.

Botox in Dentistry

For most people who hear the word “Botox”, they think of wrinkle reducing injections used in cosmetic procedures. While it is true Botox was approved by the FDA for such, it is now expanding in its application due to the nerve blocking benefits it offers. In fact, a trip to your dental office could include your dentist offering Botox.

While some dentists do use Botox for cosmetic procedures, there are many other uses for Botox in dentistry.

  • Treatment of Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)  
  • Treatment of bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Reducing a “gummy smile” without surgical intervention
  • Adjustment of lips before or after denture placement or oral surgeries.

Should a Dentist Do Botox?

Botox as a purely cosmetic procedure will likely never be part of a dentist’s repertoire – as their first and primary goal is oral health care. But, because dentists have extensive training on oral and facial anatomy, health and function, some say there is no one better qualified to administer Botox than a dentist.

In fact, some proponents of the use of Botox in dentistry claim dentists are the most qualified, and offer a better experience because they administer oral and facial injections on a regular basis. This makes the injections quick and less painful, because they are done with a skilled hand.

While the use of Botox in dentistry is controversial to some, it seems there may be a place for Botox in dentistry, to help both medically and cosmetically. According to the American Academy of Facial Aesthetics about 10% of dentists are currently trained to administer Botox with more seeking training every day. The American Dental Association even offers Botox training for its members!

Is Botox in dentistry the next big thing? We don’t have a crystal ball, but it’s a trend we envision increasing especially as demand grows and more and more state dental boards support the practice."

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Unaffordable Dental Expenses for the Elderly - An Editorial

With our volatile economy, things are bad enough, but it is so much worse for those on limited and fixed incomes, and the real travesty is that there is very little help available for those in need of serious dental care. Medical care can be much easier to obtain.
Dental treatment is fast becoming one of the most costly of all areas in the medical industry. Basic restorative treatment is becoming a thing of the past, with dentists and dental specialists opting for the higher end products and procedures. Root canals, crowns and implants are exorbitantly high priced, as are dentures and prosthetic devices. Having worked in the dental industry as long as I have, I'm well aware of the cost of materials vs. the mark-up.  It's ridiculous, and there is no regulatory agency that can help to even out the cost to make it more affordable. In fact, dental specialists are among the highest priced professionals in the country.  The elderly are probably the most affected by this. They are literally forced to spend money they don't have and are finding that there are limited resources to help with the funding of  treatments and procedures, as government based organizations generally will not cover anything other than extractions for adults.
A good Dental Plan can go a long way toward reducing costs for the elderly, but the fact is, sometimes it just isn't enough. Consequently, many elderly dental patients will go outside of the country to places such as Mexico, or will simply go without the care they need, thereby affecting their overall health. 
No doubt we all know of an elderly family member or friend that has had this problem.

So, the question? How long can this continue?  When insurance is of little or no help and money is limited, there must be an alternative somewhere.  Any ideas anyone? 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Could Antibiotics Worsen Oral Infections?

 Usually, when you have an infected tooth, your dentist gives you antibiotics before any procedure, right?

Well, new research from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has found that antibiotics kill the "good" bacteria which helps keep the infection and inflammation at bay and can do more harm than good.

Pushpa Panduyan stated "Of course, antibiotics are still needed for life-threatening infections. No question about that. Our bodies have many natural defenses that we shouldn't meddle with," she said. However, needless overuse of antibiotics is not helpful."

"Also, we know there is a definite link between oral health and overall health," she added.

 For the research and results click here!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Dental Plans Are Still A Good Option-Even If You Have Insurance!

 I saw an article recently that makes a good argument for Dental Plans! Not directly, of course, but if one considers that dentistry is among the most expensive in terms of healthcare and that there is no regulatory agency that holds dental prices in check, a Dental Plan can be extremely beneficial. Dental insurance companies pay little to nothing and put a cap on your benefits.

Now, when I say Dental Plan, I don't mean the ever growing "in-house" type of plan that some dentists are trying to promote; those will save you very little money overall and if a problem arises...well, where are you going to go? The plan would not be accepted by another facility! No, I'm suggesting a bonafide, BBB accredited discount plan.
Dental plans go far beyond what insurance companies do in terms of savings.  More procedures are covered, there is no limit to benefits, coverage is immediate and there is no waiting 12 months for a large procedure...
Additionally,  any good dental plan can be used as a supplement to an insurance plan.  Once your insurance benefits are exhausted, you can switch over to the dental plan and still receive a benefit. 

Seriously, why would one NOT consider a dental plan? Do your homework, but at least check it out. You'll find that the savings and a small investment for a membership are well worth the effort, especially now, in an uncertain market.  Everyone needs dental work at some point.  Be prepared with a good dental plan.

Don't wait for a toothache!!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Gum Disease (The Hidden Dangers)

Do you suffer from gum disease? If so, has your dentist explained the hidden dangers if you don't seek treatment?

Take a look at this article "The Hidden Dangers of Gum Disease" from one of our providers Artisan Family Dentistry in Glendale, AZ.

"Gum disease poses a much bigger oral health threat than many people assume. What may start out as inflammation or tenderness can quickly contribute to bone loss and tooth decay.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay and periodontal disease (gum disease) pose the biggest threat to oral health today. In fact, gum disease impacts nearly half of adults above the age of 30 and more than 70 percent of people over the age of 65.

Knowing the symptoms and prevention methods along with regular visits to your dentist will help you avoid or treat periodontitis before it gets out of control.

Knowing the Warning Signs

Gum disease develops over time and becomes more severe the longer symptoms go unaddressed. Let’s take a look at how this issue develops.

Gingivitis: This is the earliest stage of gum disease typically caused by inflammation of the gums as a result of plaque. Symptoms include:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath

Periodontitis: When gingivitis goes untreated, it will eventually develop into periodontitis. This happens when a pocket begins to form under the gums below the gum line. The result is plaque being trapped that can irritate the gums and even cause bone loss and tooth decay. At this stage, it’s important to seek the treatment of a dentist.

Advanced Periodontitis: This is an advanced stage of gum disease that can cause serious damage and pain to teeth, tissue, and bone. At this phase, teeth can shift and become loose, even fall out. A few other symptoms include:

  • Gums receding severely
  • Deep periodontal pockets
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums swell and bleed
  • Advanced tooth decay

Who is Most at Risk for Gum Disease

Age is one factor to consider if you think you may be at risk of developing gum disease. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 47 percent of adults aged 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease.

Adults over the age of 65 experience more advanced stages of gum disease, and at a higher rate. The CDC reports 70 percent of adults aged 65 and over suffer from periodontal disease.

Men are also more likely to experience gum disease than women at a rate of 56 percent to 38 percent.

What Are the Risk Factors?

Smoking: Tobacco use greatly increases the likelihood of periodontal disease. It is estimated that more than 64 percent of adult smokers have some degree of periodontal disease.

Hygiene: Poor oral hygiene is a leading cause of periodontal disease. Good habits and regular visits to the dentist will help prevent the onset of gum disease.

Bad Diet: Poor nutritional habits are a leading contributor to gum disease. Foods that are high in sugar, carbohydrates, and caffeine should be minimized.

Medications: Certain medications can contribute to periodontitis. Talk to your doctor and dentist about any medications you are taking. If your prescriptions cause dry mouth, you could be at risk for gum disease.

Prevention and Treatment

Prevention: Good oral hygiene is the best defense against gum disease. Maintain a healthy diet and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and regular cleaning.

Treatment: Speak with your dentist about treatment options for periodontal disease. Laser therapy is becoming a popular option because of the reduced irritation and faster healing times.


If you are showing any of the symptoms of gum disease, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Treatment will be shorter and less painful if addressed early and can help you avoid further complications such a bone and tooth loss.

Check out our infographic below and learn more about gum disease."

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Coenzyme Q-10 for Fighting Periodontal Disease

 I am always looking for natural, effective ways to heal the body without the use of drugs.  I found this while searching for a supplement to help heal gum disease.

Coenzyme Q-10 is essential to the body to help build new cells.  It is a component that can reduce inflammation and assist in healing infection. Gingivitis and Periodontitis are bacterial diseases of the gums.  There are lots of ways to prevent and treat gum disease, such as regular cleanings, scaling, root planning and topical rinses. However, for those who prefer a more holistic approach, consider Coenzyme
Here is a link to an article explaining the health benefits of taking a Coenzyme Q-10 supplement.

Always check with your doctor and/or your dentist before taking any supplement, and, as always,
Keep smiling!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Can Hypnosis Work As An Anesthetic?

 Have you ever been hypnotized? If so, what was your reasoning? Was it to help reduce stress and anxiety? Gain control of past traumas? Or was it for fun during a renaissance festival act?  Whichever your reasoning was, I hope you were able to benefit from it!

But would you ever think that hypnosis would work as a dental anesthetic? If your answer is no, then you need to read the article "You're not dreaming: Hypnosis works as an anesthetic" By Melissa Busch, Dr. Bicuspids' associate editor.

"Hypnosis is a safe, effective, and inexpensive technique that could be used in place of anesthesia during dental procedures, according to a clinical report published on July 28 in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

In the small study, three women successfully underwent dental procedures under hypnosis rather than traditional sedation. The authors believe the report to be the only case series published that evaluates hypnosis as the sole anesthetic for patients in dental settings.

"Hypnosis can be used for sedation in most patients and as a stand-alone technique in those with appropriate hypnotic susceptibility, improving the well-being and safety of patients," wrote the group, led by Dr. Enrico Facco from the department of neurosciences at the University of Padua in Italy.

The technique

To determine whether oral surgery could be performed on patients under hypnosis without sedation, the researchers enrolled three women between the ages of 34 and 49. Two of the women had previous difficulties with medical anesthesia, including an anaphylactic reaction to local anesthetic and a paradoxical reaction to pharmacological sedation.

Prior to their surgeries, the patients underwent two sessions to assess their perioperative risk, level of anxiety, hypnotic susceptibility, and capacity to develop complete hypnotic analgesia.

On the days of their surgeries, the women closed their eyes, concentrated on their bodies and breath, and imagined lying on a tropical island's beach. The authors then induced hypnotic-focused analgesia using the following steps:

  1. They suggested they were administering local anesthetic, while repeatedly touching and rubbing the cheek.
  2. They said local anesthesia caused the sensation on the cheek.
  3. They said the sensation was a sign that the cheek, teeth, and gums were going numb.
  4. They suggested the women not pay attention to the operative setting, including the teeth, gum, and skin.

Within nine minutes, all three patients obtained hypnotic analgesia. The team then successfully performed several procedures on the women:

  • The 34-year-old woman underwent a 15-minute third molar surgery and a 120-minute mucogingival surgery.
  • The 47-year-old woman underwent a 15-minute third molar surgery.
  • The 49-year-old woman underwent a 45-minute procedure to remove a first molar and place an implant, as well as a 120-minute procedure for maxillary bone augmentation plus two implants.

The authors told the patients they could take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain, if needed, after the procedures. When they called the patients that evening and the next day, the women said they felt well and did not need to take any medications.

History of hypnosis in medicine

Using hypnosis in the dental office is not a new idea. Before the advent of modern sedatives and analgesics, the medical community successfully used hypnosis in hundreds of surgical procedures, the authors noted. In fact, it was a Scottish surgeon who coined the term hypnotism, which he believed placed a person in a state of sleep or trance.

Despite its reported effectiveness, hypnosis never became very popular in the medical community. Most medical professionals in the 17th and 18th centuries shunned hypnosis for political and cultural reasons. Instead, the medical community focused on finding anesthetics and sedatives for the safe practice of dentistry.

But in recent years, medical professionals, including the authors of this report, have begun revisiting hypnosis as an analgesic due to its lack of side effects. If the findings of this small study are any indication, hypnosis could be used cost-effectively in dental practice and also help physicians better understand and meet the subjective needs of patients, the authors wrote.

"Alone or combined with local anesthetics, sedatives, or both, hypnosis can contribute to achieving the best outcome in terms of a patient's tranquility and full analgesia with the lowest dose of drugs or none at all," Facco and colleagues concluded. "

Would you try hypnosis over general anesthesia?