Dental Drill Appreciation Day

I know that a dental drill is not something that you want to celebrate. But today is dental drill sm- paid - shutterstock 685746085DentalDrillAppreciationDay. When you think about the use of a dental drill, you might find that it is something to celebrate.

Dental drills are tools that are used to protect teeth by performing a number of procedures and functions.

They are used to prepare teeth for fillings, by removing existing decay, making sure the filling is successful and lasts a long time. Dental drills are also used with teeth that require crowns or other restorations. These teeth need to be precisely shaped so the cap (crown) fits well and doesn’t pop off or allow bacteria to enter the tooth.  The drill may also be used to remove old crowns and fillings that need replacing.

Dental drills are strong, made from materials like tungsten carbide and diamonds.

Dental drills have come a long way from their earliest forms. Some evidence suggests that the earliest drills were “bow drills.” The first mechanical drills operated at about 15 rpm. In about1864, a British dentist invented a “clockwork” drill. This was faster than previous versions, but it was very noisy. In 1868, George F Green invented a pneumatic drill powered by a pedal-operated bellows.  In 1871, James Morrison introduced a pedal-powered bur drill. In 1875, Green created the first battery-powered drill.

It was not until about 1914 that drills could operate at about 3,000 rpm. The air turbine drill was developed during the 1950s and 1960s. Modern drills operate at up to 800,000 rpm, and are able to operate at several slower speeds. As drill speeds increased, they produced heat. Drills were then designed to cool with air or water to protect the tooth. Some modern drills also offer an internal light source to allow dentists a better view of the work area.

Dental lasers and air abrasion are newer technologies that may eventually replace the dental drill for many tasks. Today they are used only for specific procedures.

Although the noise of the drill still bothers many people, a look back at the history of the dental drill should make us appreciate the modern drill and understand its value to modern dentistry.

Early Childhood Caries and Child’s Age at Initial Dental Exam

When taken for their first dental exam, more than 20% of children need treatment to restore teeth damaged by early childhood caries (cavities). Iflittle girl wi ice cream cone  pain - paid - shutterstock 1888874980 EarlyChildhoodCaries is not treated, it can cause pain and damage to the teeth that affects eating, drinking, and sleeping. The progression of the condition causes more caries and increased need for treatment with each year the child’s first dental visit is delayed.

Dental professionals recommend that all children have their first dental visit after the emergence of their first tooth. Yet most children have reached the age of 3.6 years before their first dental visit. The study included children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. Of the children aged 2 – 5, 21.4% had caries and 8.8% of them had untreated caries.

Findings: Compared to children first seen at age 1 year, children seen for the first time at age 3 were more than twice as likely to need treatment for caries. At age 4, the likelihood of needing treatment is 4x that of children seen at age 1.

Recommendations: The dental community, primary care physicians, and pediatricians can be more alert for the emergence of the first tooth. The parents should be informed and educated on recommendations for dental hygiene and dental care. If needed, assistance may be provided to those who need to find a dentist.  


Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

Your Dental First Aid Kit

Where is your dental first aid kit? Does everyone in your family know where to find it? Do you even have a dental first aid kit?  Because anyone can sustain a dental injury or emergency at any time, your kit needs to be accessible to everyone in your family. The kit should contain the items you need to deal with a minor dental issue or to manage a serious injury or problem until you see your dentist.  dental first aid kit - paid - Depositphotos 159122586 s-2019

Storing Your Dental First Aid Kit

A dental first aid kit might be stored beside a regular first aid kit. Another kit might be needed in a vehicle or with sports equipment. Having a dental first aid kit and knowing what to do in an emergency could save a tooth.

Contents of a Dental First Aid Kit

The basic items you need in a kit can be supplemented with items needed for special issues (like braces). Here is a list of the basics:

  •   Medical gloves (to prevent spreading bacteria)
  •   Sugar-free gum (to stimulate saliva production or manage dry mouth)
  •  Gauze pads
  •  ChapStick or other lip moisturizer
  •  Ice Pack (to reduce swelling of the face)
  •  Dental mirror (to see the back of the mouth)
  •   Acetaminophen or other over-the-counter pain reliever
  •   Dental floss (to remove something lodged between teeth)
  •   Dental wax (to prevent irritation by braces or a broken tooth)
  •   Denture adhesive (to hold a tooth or crown in place until you see a dentist)
  •   Salt (to make a salt-water rinse)
  •   A small cup (to mix saltwater)
  •   A small container for a knocked-out tooth or a broken denture
  •   Emergency contact information for your dentist
  •   A simple overview of what to do for dental emergencies

Hopefully, you will never need a dental first aid kit. A kit with the items listed should help you to deal with an emergency in your family until you see your dentist. 

TikTok has more bad advice

A health hot topic now on #TikTok is the use of #garlic to treat #sinuscongestion. The instructions are to put a clove of garlic up each nostril and wait a bit. When you remove the garlic, the congestion will drain out of your nose.  garlic -SM -  paid - storyblocks - SBI-300616412-JPG

The drainage you see when you remove the garlic is a small amount of mucus that has collected above the garlic in your nose. It collects above the garlic because the blockage has left it nowhere else to go. When you remove the obstruction, the mucus can drain. This is not a cure.

Does sticking garlic up your nose do anything for your sinuses? No – at least nothing observed by a doctor. So, even if it doesn’t help, it probably won’t do any harm? This is also wrong.

 Any time that you put something in a part of the body not intended to accept it, there is a danger of the object becoming stuck. This blockage can damage nasal tissues and possibly sinus tissues. If the clove of garlic becomes lodged in your throat, there is a choking risk. Finally, if you inhale the garlic, it can cause respiratory distress or a dangerous infection in your lungs.

Another bit of popular medical advice espoused on TikTok is not helpful and may in fact be harmful. TikTok is not the only social network that is propagating inaccurate medical information. It is always important to check the veracity of advice shared online. Check with your doctor or dentist, or check the guidance against a reliable website like NIH, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic. etc.



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