Antibiotics in the Dental Practice

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Dec 17, 2019 11:45:00 AM

Antibiotic resistance is a global health challenge.Antibiotics are medications that inhibit growth and destroy bacteria. These medications have saved countless lives, but are now under scrutiny. Prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed, leads to bacterial resistance and bacterial resistance creates a host of problems. The American Dental Association reported that dentists are the third-highest prescriber of antibiotics in an outpatient setting.

Antibiotic resistance is a global health challenge.

Antibiotic resistance is a global health challenge because it can lead to severe infections, medical complications, longer recovery time, increased hospitalizations, more costly treatment and even death. When a strain of bacteria is no longer affected by an antibiotic, it is considered antibiotic-resistant.

Antibiotics are associated with C. difficile (a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon).

Superbugs are bacteria that have high levels of resistance to a wide range of antibiotics. Superbugs are on the rise.

The Mayo Clinic states that approximately 2 million infections result in 23,000 deaths from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States each year.

In a report published in April, The World Health Organization stated that drug-resistant diseases could become the leading cause of death globally by 2050.

Dental pain and swelling are a common complaint for patients who visit the dentist. Dentists have often prescribed antibiotics to relieve dental pain and swelling. The American Dental Association recently published a report providing clinical recommendations advising dentists against prescribing antibiotics for dental pain and swelling. The ADA stated that from 2017 to 2019 between 30% and 85% of dental antibiotic prescriptions may have been unwarranted. An expert panel outlined the benefits and harms associated with antibiotic use. Evidence shows that antibiotics can be harmful when used unnecessarily. The panel advised using antibiotics only when systemic involvement is present.

Some of the reasons antibiotics are overused:

  • Patients pressure their doctor to receive prescriptions for antibiotics
  • Patients self-diagnosing and purchasing antibiotics online
  • Patients taking antibiotics left over from a previous illness

Doctors, dentists and patients must all help to ensure that medications are used properly. It is our goal at Pi Dental Center to prescribe wisely. When possible, the doctors at Pi Dental Center recommend over-the-counter pain relievers. Antibiotics are used only when necessary.

Tips for controlling antibiotic use:

  • Let mild illnesses run their course.
  • Refrain from pressuring your dentist for an antibiotic prescription.
  • Take all antibiotics as prescribed.
  • Do not take antibiotics longer than prescribed.
  • Never use left-over antibiotics.
  • Do not take antibiotics that have been prescribed for someone else.
  • Practice good oral hygiene to avoid serious dental problems.

Talk to your dentist about any concerns that you have about your care and what medication is needed. Give us a call if you need additional information or would like to schedule an appointment.

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Responsible Antibiotic Usage Sources:

Evidence-based clinical practice guideline on antibiotic use for the urgent management of pulpal- and periapical-related dental pain and intraoral swelling, A report from the American Dental Association, ADA News – November 2019

Antimicrobial resistance: risk associated with antibiotic overuse and initiatives to reduce the problem.  Sage Journals: Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety

Antibiotics not needed to manage most pulpal-related dental pain, ADA guideline advises. November 06, 2019 Oral Health California Dental Association.

Overuse and overprescribing of antibiotics. University of Minnesota – CIDRAP. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/asp/overuse-overprescribing-of-antibiotics

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC: 1 in 3 antibiotic prescriptions unnecessary. May 3, 2016.

Antibiotics: misuse puts you and others at risk. Mayo Clinic. Dec 12, 2014.

Related Subject: Premedication

Tags: Medical and Dental Health, preventative dentistry, antibiotics in dentistry, Antibiotic resistance

Patient Turns 102: Advanced Dental Treatment For Elderly People

Posted by Chris Raines on Nov 6, 2018 10:33:01 AM

Pi Dental Center's 102 year old patient has been coming here for treatment for 30 years.

Howard is 102 years and he has been coming to Pi Dental Center since 1988!

Last week Howard visited our office for his scheduled oral hygiene appointment. With the exception of one dental implant, he still has all of his natural teeth. By following a rigorous oral health care regimen with routine dental office visits, Howard has maintained excellent oral health.

With diligent oral hygiene and regular office visits, people can sustain their dental health for a lifetime. A healthy mouth helps to ensure overall health and quality of life. Howard is proof of this statement.

A healthy appetizing diet is essential to physical health. People who have good chewing function are able to eat a nutrient-rich and varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. This is particularly true for the elderly. When people who are elderly are able to enjoy a meal in public, they are more sociable, satisfied, able to maintain their body weight and stamina, and are generally happier.

Many patients in their seventies, eighties and nineties believe that they are too old to have advanced dental treatment like dental implants. People reason that, because they might not live many more years, it wouldn’t be cost effective to restore their mouth. Howard had his dental implant placed 25 years ago, at the ripe age of 77, and it has served him well since then.

Age is not a contraindication for dental implants. In addition, with modern medicine, people are living longer than ever before. People who replace their dentures with implant-supported teeth improve their quality of life.

If you would like to learn about dental treatment options for yourself or a family member, give us a call. Pi Dental Center is a prosthodontic care facility that is qualified to provide advanced dental treatment for elderly people. We can be reached at 215-646-6334. Or, if you prefer to contact us via the Internet, click the box below.

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Tags: oral hygiene, dental health and quality of life, healthy functional teeth, Medical and Dental Health, dental treatment for elderly people

Dental Care and Living Life on Purpose

Posted by Chris Raines on Oct 3, 2017 4:08:52 PM

Picture of a clock. How much time do you invest in tasks that do not fit into any of your priorities?

Would you describe yourself as a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of person, or do you live your life very deliberately? Or are you somewhere in-between? People tend to fall somewhere along a spectrum between unplanned improvisation and a goal driven existence and tend to have strong opinions about these approaches to living.

In today’s busy world, it is easy to lose track of time on diversions. In an effort to keep abreast of current events, we can spend many hours on the Internet.  Diversions can include watching television, playing video games, and shopping just to name a few.

A friend described their life as, “Stuff is just going on. It is not planned. I roll with the punches.” Another friend writes goals and objectives for life, makes plans, and follows a strict schedule. The first extreme can lead to surprises and adventure, but a chaotic existence, and the second can be organized and safe but seem boring and regimented.

Perhaps the best way to determine if your lifestyle matches your unique perspective is to clarify your values.  Clarification of values is a way to learn what is most important to you so that you can determine whether you are living life in a way that is congruent with your beliefs. The first step is to list your top priorities in their order of importance.

Find Balance

Below is a list of several priorities. Write a number next to twelve that are most important to you. If something is missing, add it to the list and assign a number to it.

List Your Top 12 Priorities

____ Adventure

____ Community

____ Faith, Religion, Church

____ Family

____ Friendship

____ Fun

____ Your health

____ Helping Others

____ Home

____ Intellect and Knowledge

____ Job and Income

____ Love

____ Nation

____ Personal care/appearance

____ Popularity

____ Power

____ Relaxation

____ Security

____ Success

____ Wealth

Think about how you spend your day. How much time do you invest in tasks that do not fit into any of your priorities? Do you have control over your time and activities? If not, how can you align your daily activities to include your priorities? If necessities are not fitting into your schedule, how can you add them? Introspection can help you to live "life on purpose."

Did you list your health as one of your top priorities?  If not, look at the priorities that you chose and consider how your health would impact your chosen priorities. For example, it would be very difficult to seek adventure if you were not healthy. Taking care of your family would be quite challenging. For every item on the list, good health is a prerogative.

List Your Personal Health Priorities from One to Four

____ Medical

____ Dental

____ Nutrition

____ Psychological

____ Exercise

Medical and dental health

Did you list one personal health priority as more important than another? Where did “Dental” fall on your list? While some of these priorities are more time consuming, all are equally important.

Take control of dental health

There seems to be a disconnect between the teeth and the rest of a person’s life. Dental health impacts overall health.  Strong healthy teeth help to safeguard overall health. Problems in the mouth can affect the rest of the body.

Mayo Clinic Reports, “Many studies have shown a connection between gum disease (periodontitis) and other serious conditions, including heart disease. Research suggests that periodontitis is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease and that people with chronic gum disease have increased thickness of their neck blood vessels. There is also a strong correlation between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and evidence that people with diabetes benefit from professional teeth cleanings.”

Pat Martin, Office Manager at Pi Dental Center suggests, “Establish good dental habits early in life. If not, your teeth will suffer for it. This consists of home care as well as regular dental check-ups.”

What are your dental priorities?

Prioritizing can lead to a more satisfying life and help you to achieve a delicate balance in your life. Contact Pi Dental Center if you would like to discuss your dental care, schedule a diagnostic evaluation or oral hygiene cleaning.

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Chris Raines
Web Site Administrator
Information Systems Manager
Marketing and Information Technologies Departments

Tags: Medical and Dental Health, dental care, productivity

Is The Internet Good For Your Medical and Dental Health?

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Sep 5, 2017 1:52:10 PM

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger and dental assistant treat a patient at Pi Dental Center while intern observes

Technology has empowered people in managing their own medical and dental care. Ready access to healthcare information makes it possible for people of all ages to bolster fitness, prevent illness, identify symptoms and remedy minor issues. The Internet can locate healthcare professionals, pinpoint specialties, verify credentials and showcase expertise through sophisticated web sites. Significant positive information and valid education pour freely from computer screens “twenty-four-seven.”

The extraordinary value of online medical guidance can quickly change for the worse when self-proclaimed experts dilute evidence based science with their unscientific opinions. It is difficult for the healthcare consumer to sift through medical information and discern truth. Amateurs can easily taint actual research results and skew findings.

Sample of a Google Search Page

The banter of destructive commentary that is so prevalent on-line can be highly influential and totally without merit, and ironically, might keep a patient from choosing the doctor or dentist best suited to meet their needs.

Good physicians and dental specialists are proud to be held to a high standard. They have invested “time, talent and treasure” in learning to become fluent in the language of human healing. They have taken the Hippocratic Oath and have embraced ethics at a very high level. In spite of shadows sometimes cast on Internet, most doctors are solidly focused on making their patients healthy and happy.

The best advice is to be objective when evaluating Internet advice. Look to the source of the information and determine whether the message is scientifically based and springing from experience or merely the articulation of biased opinion. A little time and wisdom help this analysis. When weighing two opposing perspectives on the proper way to treat an issue, education and credentials are key to making the right choice. The Internet is a valuable resource for providing information but it is not the Bible of any medical/dental discipline.

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Tags: choosing a dentist, Dental Treatment and the Internet, Medical and Dental Health, dental technology, social media