Pi Dental Reopens Per PA Governor Directive

Posted by Glenn J. Wolfinger, DMD, FACP on May 14, 2020 10:56:44 AM

Dr. Robert Slauch, Dental Assistant, Amy and Dr. Glenn Wolfinger Wear Face Shields, Masks and Scrubs

Dear Pi Patients,

I hope this letter finds you well.  I am happy to report that we reopened the office on Monday, May 11.  My staff and I are looking forward to seeing you in the office! 

We have diligently followed directives of the Governor which has kept us safe and healthy.  To ensure all patients and staff remain safe in our office, I have utilized this time off researching dentistry in the world of Covid 19.  I’ve attended webinars and consulted with experts in various specialties including infection control, virology and air quality. 

While we will continue to follow the same stringent disinfection and sterilization procedures that have kept us safe for decades, I have implemented additional safety precautions.  When you come to the office, in addition to the usual Personal Protective Equipment, disinfection and sterilization procedures that we have always utilized, you can also have confidence in the following newly initiated protocols:

  • Requirement of all staff, patients and visitors to utilize masks while in the office as mandated by the Governor.
  • For increased protection, we’ve added glass partitions to the reception area.
  • To improve air quality, all HVAC units have been updated and individual HEPA air purification systems will be utilized in all exam rooms and the reception area.
  • We have increased the level of protection of our surgical masks by upgrading to level 3 N95 respirator masks.
  • We have invested in new equipment including industrial strength face shields, which can be used as a supplement during certain procedures, chair side high evacuation(suction) systems to reduce aerosols when necessary and ultraviolet sterilization wands to treat surfaces after routine disinfection.
  • Frequently touched surfaces in the elevator, reception area and bathroom will be disinfected regularly. After disinfection, the UV sterilization wand will also be utilized.
  • To assess the risk level for virus transmission, all patients and staff will be screened. This screening will include various health related questions and temperature taking.
  • As much as possible in the dental setting, social distancing will be followed.
  • We will continue to have hand sanitizer available to utilize and encourage everyone to wash their hands often.

My patients and staff are of utmost importance to me.  As a result, I have taken a very detailed examination of office protocols, making improvements above and beyond those suggested by the Centers for Disease Control, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the American Dental Association.  While these processes may seem excessive, I feel they are worth the time and financial investment to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.  With your cooperation in strictly following all protocols as directed in the office, I am confident that we can safely address your dental needs.

Sincerely,

Glenn J. Wolfinger, DMD FACP

 

Other links: Is it safe to fly again? Your coronavirus questions answered

Tags: dental health, Medical and Dental Health, pi dental care center

A Proactive Approach to Coronavirus in the Dental Setting

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Mar 9, 2020 10:19:30 AM

A Proactive Approach to Coronavirus in the Dental SettingThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to be a serious public health threat. The team at Pi Dental Center is taking a proactive approach regarding the Coronavirus. Please be assured that it is safe to visit the dental office.

 

The Coronavirus as it relates to the dental center

 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals and people, causing illnesses ranging from the common cold to severe illnesses, such as SARS and MERS. The 2019 novel coronavirus is one of seven members of this family known to infect humans, and the third in the past three decades to jump from animals to humans. COVID-19 has a two- to 14-day incubation period.

 

Pi Dental Center maintains a rigorous sterilization routine throughout the office. Pi Dental Center’s sterilization protocol has been a main objective of paramount importance since we opened our doors over 33 years ago. Dentists adhere to strict rules on barriers and personal protection. Wearing gloves, masks, and eye protection not only protects the dentist, but the patient as well. Each treatment room is thoroughly disinfected between patients. Gloves and masks are worn during all patient treatment. The office is cleaned and sterilized frequently. As our patient, your health and safety is our highest concern. Our protocols are regularly reviewed and re-evaluated to ensure superior effectiveness. All sterilization products used in our office are professional grade OSHA compliant for medical use. All instruments are autoclaved according to professionally specified recommendations.

 

The CDC and other medical associations provide practical guidelines on how to avoid the virus. Please review the steps outlined below.

 

1 - Understanding your personal risk

Early data seems to indicate that the vast majority of coronavirus infections have mild symptoms. Patients who experience more difficult situations tend to be the same populations who are susceptible to bad reactions from the flu, i.e. older adults and people who have chronic health conditions.

2 - Hand washing

The number one task that everyone can do to diminish the spread of the virus is thorough and frequent hand-washing. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

3 – Refrain from touching your face or putting your fingers into your mouth or eyes

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Research has shown that common ways for the virus to enter the body include coughing, sneezing, and droplet inhalation and contact with oral, nasal, and eye mucous membranes.

Please wash your hands before touching your dentures or night guards.

4 – Maintain your overall health and lifestyle

Maintain both your medical and dental health. Taking care of your dental health is a critical element in maintaining good overall health, and strengthening your immune system. If your body is working overtime fighting dental infections, it will have a much harder time combatting an illness like the coronavirus.

Seek medical treatment if you get sick, particularly if you have a pre-existing health condition or a weakened immune system.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

5 – Your surroundings

Disinfect surfaces and frequently-touched furniture objects, and equipment using a household cleaning spray or wipe. Sanitize your cell phone and electronic devices.

6 – Let us know if you are feeling sick before visiting our office or if you or any family members have recently travelled to at-risk areas or foreign countries

 

Cold and flu season is still in full bloom, and the symptoms for these conditions can mimic those of the Coronavirus. If you have symptoms of suspected COVID-19 such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please reschedule your appointment.

Please let us know if you or any family member travelled to any at-risk areas or outside of the country within the last two weeks.

Please use sneeze and cough etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose whenever you cough or sneeze. Use a disposable tissue to cover your mouth or nose. If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve. Wash or sanitize your hands after sneezing or coughing. Carry your own hand-sanitizer with you.

Recommendations for COVID-19 could change as more information becomes available. New information is coming out all the time. Pi Dental Center will inform patients, should policy changes occur.

 

Kind Regards,

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger

Dr. Robert Slauch

And the Staff at Pi Dental Center

 

Links – More information about COVID-19:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

The Centers for Disease Control provides updates on the virus and safety information for the public and healthcare professionals.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health provides information on the virus and safety precautions.
The State Department provides a list of travel advisories for those who are planning to fly outside of the United States.

https://www.wired.com/story/what-is-a-coronavirus/

Visit the CDC's COVID-19 Webpage

Transmission routes: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41368-020-0075-9#ref-CR43

Should We Worry About the Coronavirus Emerging from China?

Academy of Osseointegration Cancels 2020 Annual Meeting - https://osseo.org/meeting-cancellation/

https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2020-archive/march/ada-adds-frequently-asked-questions-from-dentists-to-coronavirus-resources

If you have questions, please contact Pi Dental Center at 215-646-6334 or click below:

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Tags: Medical and Dental Health

Literature Review: Vaping and Your Health

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Jan 29, 2020 3:14:47 PM

Vaping and Your HealthVaping is gaining popularity, particularly among youth. Some people believe that vaping is a safe alternative to smoking. But is it truly safe? Read on to learn what research, medical and dental literature has reported about the safety of vaping.

What is vaping?

An e-cigarette is a battery-operated device or ‘cigarette’ that delivers flavored nicotine using vapors instead of smoke. The device uses a power source (e.g. lithium ion battery) to heat a metal element. The element aerosolizes the flavored e-liquids, and the user inhales the resulting aerosol.

Most e-liquids contain four base chemicals: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings. In the U.S., over 400 companies distribute thousands of e-liquids through local ‘vape shops’ and online stores.1

The exact ingredients in e-cigarettes aren’t all known, because the Food and Drug Administration does not require vape manufacturers to provide a full list.

In 2014, there were over 7,700 different e-liquid formulations available on the market and it is estimated that more than 200 new flavors are being introduced monthly.1

What is in e-cigarette aerosol?

The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain potentially harmful substances, including:

  • Nicotine
  • Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
  • Flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Cancer-causing chemicals
  • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead1

It is difficult for consumers to know what e-cigarette products contain. For example, some e-cigarettes marketed as containing zero percent nicotine have been found to contain nicotine.2

Is vaping harmful?

“Studies suggest e-cigarette fluids contain cancer causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde. Others show vaping pens can release heavy metals, chemicals and glass particles found in the welding material and tubing for the device,” states Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, who is chief of facial plastic surgery at Boston Medical Center.

Medical effects of vaping

“Based on our findings, e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes as it relates to timely wound healing and this should be considered before and after surgery,” said Spiegel. Based on experiments on rats, he said, “Smoking and vaping appear to be equally detrimental to wound healing and associated with a statistically significant increase in tissue death.”

One Boston University study says patients should be banned from vaping for two months before surgery to avoid complications. Nicotine, the addictive ingredient, is known to restrict blood flow and raise the risk of complications for cigarette smokers.

 “Vaping just once – even when it doesn’t contain nicotine or THC – can damage a person’s blood vessels,” according to a study published in the Journal of Radiology. Researchers observed reduced blood flow and oxygen in the participants’ legs after each one ‘took 16 puffs of an e-cigarette that contained tobacco flavorings and sweeteners like propylene glycol and glycerol, but no nicotine’. The participants had never used an e-cigarette before. This studied has shown an immediate effect on the body’s vascular function.

Over time, however, “This kind of damage to the body can become cumulative,” said Dr. S. Christy Sadreameli, a pediatric pulmonologist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and volunteer spokesperson for the American Lung Association. That cumulative damage is what could increase the risk of heart problems.

“It may not mean that you are going to have a heart attack soon,” Sadreameli said. “But while we all get some damage to our blood vessels with aging, this means it could start happening younger and in a more accelerated fashion.” Author Felix Wehrli, a professor of radiologic science and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania told NBC News that the effect is similar to what’s known about conventional tobacco smoking.

Vaping and Nicotine

“Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and, in excess amounts, can be lethal. A single Juul pod can have as much nicotine as twenty cigarettes. Nicotine can adversely affect adolescent brain development, which continues until young adults are in their mid-twenties,” reports Sucharita Kher, assistant professor at the School of Medicine and director of the Tufts Medical Center Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic.2

  • Nicotine, has known health effects.
  • Nicotine is highly addictive.
  • Nicotine is toxic to developing fetuses.
  • Nicotine can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.
  • Nicotine is a health danger for pregnant women and their developing babies. 1

Vaping and the lungs

“Vaping continues to be at the forefront of the public health dialogue—multiple people have been hospitalized as a result of severe lung damage from vaping, and e-cigarette use has also been linked to seizures among those who vape. Now, vaping is also being linked to a severe type of pneumonia,” Maggie O’Neil writes in August 2019 in Explore Health.4

Vaping is linked to lipoid pneumonia, which is caused when lipids, essentially, fatty acids, enter the lungs, causing the lungs to become inflamed.

Lipoid pneumonia seems to be one more reason that vaping isn't necessarily safer than smoking cigarettes.

Is vaping addictive?

An e-cigarette, which heats up nicotine, is addictive. “The nicotine goes into your bloodstream and releases substances in your brain that can initially give you a pleasure sensation,” Humberto Choi, MD, a pulmonary medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic, tells Health.

That pleasure sensation comes from nicotine stimulating the release of dopamine, feel-good chemicals, in your brain, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Those feel-good chemicals keep you coming back for more and even change your brain's sensitivity to dopamine, leading to your body needing more and more nicotine to satisfy it.

 “Vaping addiction can also lead to withdrawal once you stop. Over time, your brain starts to crave it,” says Dr. Choi, “and once you stop, your body goes through withdrawal symptoms like typical nicotine withdrawal, including weight gain, irritability, and restlessness.”

But, while experts know vaping is addictive, they’re not sure how addictive — or if it’s any more addictive than smoking regular cigarettes. According to Dr. Choi, “The scientific data isn't there yet,” but, he explains, “when you vape you could be inhaling a higher concentration of nicotine than you would from a regular cigarette, since levels of nicotine can vary between vape juices—and more nicotine could mean a quicker, stronger addiction.”

Therefore vaping can be just as addictive, if not more than, regular cigarettes. “Previous research has shown that it takes the average smoker 30 or more attempts to quit smoking,” says Brian Barnett, MD, who works at Cleveland Clinic's Center for Behavioral Health, tells Health. “We shouldn't expect vaping to be any different from that.”

Vaping and Youth

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an estimated two million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past thirty days. The percentage of high school students who reported using e-cigarettes in the previous month has increased from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 11.7 percent in 2017. The U.S. Surgeon General issued a report saying that e-cigarette use among the young is a “public health concern.”

Sophisticated packaging for candy-flavored e-liquids, which targets youth, can be indistinguishable from real candies is, in part, responsible for accidental ingestion. The American Association of Poison Control Centers receives on average 10 calls a day from people regarding children who were accidently exposed to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine.5

Nicotine liquids, also referred to as e-juices, come in thousands of flavors often with playful names such as fried cream cakes, booger sugar, candy cane and sundae drizzle.

Teenagers, specifically — who are often the target demographic for e-cigarettes — are more at risk for succumbing to this nicotine addiction since their brains aren’t fully developed, says Dr. Choi. “Teenagers especially — their brains are still developing. They’re more susceptible to this kind of stimulation.”

It may also take less time to become addicted to vaping—especially in teenagers. “It may not take a lot of exposure to begin the cycle of vaping addiction,” says Dr. Choi. In fact, teenagers specifically may cycle through the addiction process at a faster rate, becoming hooked on e-cigarettes, going through withdrawal, and then turning to e-cigarettes again “within only a matter of weeks after vaping for the first time,” Dr. Barnett tells Health.

Currently we do not have long-term data to understand the physiological, psychological, and developmental effects of e-cigarette on youth. Some researchers consider e-cigarettes as ‘gateway devices,’ in that kids are introduced to tobacco products via vaping and once addicted to nicotine, ‘graduate’ to traditional products such as cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and hookah. 6,7

E-cigarette products are easier for children to obtain compared to regular tobacco products.8 Studies show e-cigarettes have surpassed combustible cigarettes as the most commonly used tobacco product among middle school and high school students.9-11 Marketing, internet availability and sweet flavorings may have contributed to this shift. In a 2016 report, the U.S. Surgeon General states that e-cigarette usage among youth and young adults has become a public health concern.6.

Nicotine negatively affects adolescence brain developmental processes and may lead to psychiatric disorders and cognitive impairment in later life.12-13

“Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and in excess amounts can be lethal. Nicotine can adversely affect adolescent brain development, which continues until young adults are in their mid-twenties,” explains Sucharita Kher, assistant professor at the School of Medicine and director of the Tufts Medical Center Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic. “Nicotine exposure in adolescents is associated with problems with mood, attention, and learning. It can make it harder to control impulses. It also has adverse effects on development of heart disease, aortic aneurysms, and is associated with peptic ulcer.”

What happens to the mouth and teeth in people who vape?

Vaping is bad for your dental health. American Dental Association spokesperson, Dr. Matthew Messina, in an article discussing how vaping may affect oral health, says that, “Heat in the mouth changes the bacterial presence in the mouth. It dries the mouth out.” Dr. Messina adds, “The rate of tooth decay can increase dramatically, if we dry the mouth out. In addition, vaping can lead to tooth discoloration because of the presence of nicotine, inflamed gum tissue, and bone loss. It’s important to stress the fact that while vaping is new and is being actively studied, we have to consider vaping and cigarette smoking relatively the same, as far as the effects on the teeth and gum tissues,” he says.

Dr. Messina explains that the warmer mouth temperature that is caused by vaping creates an environment favorable to harmful bacteria. Vaping can lead to dental decay, bone loss, and inflamed gum tissue. Deepak Saxena, PhD and associate professor at NYU College of Dentistry, adds that vaping can make your mouth more susceptible to infection.

Research findings reported in Dentistry IQ suggest that vaping negatively affects gum tissue, even more than smoking. Vaping has been shown to contribute to several pathophysiological effects including oxidative and carbonyl stress, inflammatory dysfunction, presence of apoptotic necrotic epithelial cells, and impaired fibroblastic activity. Evidence-based research has shown the use of electronic nicotine devices leads to changes in cellular activity, which manifests as a strong risk factor for periodontal disease and fibrosis of the oral submucosa.

Is vaping safer than cigarette smoking?

Tobacco use is associated with higher rates of tooth decay, receding gums, periodontal disease, mucosal lesions, bone damage, tooth loss, jaw bone loss and more.

Well, are e-cigs better for you teeth than normal cigarettes?

“While vaping is new and is being actively studied, we have to consider vaping and cigarette smoking relatively the same, as far as the effects on the teeth and gum tissues,” says Dr. Messina. That's because there's still a heat element. “The rate of tooth decay increases, sometimes dramatically, if we dry the mouth out.”

Vaping will also “cause a darkening of the teeth,” says Dr. Messina. That's because, while e-cigarettes don't contain tar, they do still contain nicotine—and nicotine adds to tooth discoloration. “Nicotine will stain teeth. It also sticks to the enamel and makes it rougher, so that plaque and other colored things will stick more readily and build up.”

“Smoking and vaping take a toll on oral health, including increasing the risk of oral cancer.” Tufts Now talked with Natalie Hagel, assistant professor of comprehensive care at Tufts School of Dental Medicine who teaches dental students about interventions and tobacco-cessation techniques for their patients. She is a faculty advisor to the Tufts student chapter of the American Association for Public Health Dentistry and is active in the oral-health section of the American Public Health Association.

With any tobacco, including regular cigarettes and vapes, the chance of oral cancer increases. So do the chances of getting periodontal disease, and dry mouth. With the higher rate of vaping, we are seeing a higher rate of dental decay, because the aerosols that are bombarding the mouth are filled with sweeteners. Research shows an increase in dry mouth. And with dry mouth comes an increase in the risk for dental decay. Many medications have dry mouth as a side effect, so if you’re taking any of those, smoking can amplify that.

Vaping marijuana

Juul, a vape pen for tobacco use, also manufactures a popular marijuana pen-and-pod device called the Pax Era. Tech-savvy teens are learning how to refill their Juul pods with different blends, including marijuana oils.

Experts and educators say young people are one step ahead of the adults, experimenting with this new way to consume weed.

“It’s only a matter of time before adolescents are vaping nicotine and pot in equal measure, ” said Mila Vascones-Gatski, a substance abuse counselor at Arlington Public Schools in Virginia. “Anything in liquid form can go into a vape, and that’s scary.”

Among California high school students who have used an electronic smoking device, 27 percent said they used it with some form of cannabis, according to a report by the state Department of Public Health, based on 2016 data.

The California Department of Public Health says researchers do not fully understand how using cannabis oils and waxes with vapes affect health. What they do know is that vaporized cannabis can contain a lot more THC, the cannabis ingredient responsible for psychoactive effects such as anxiety and paranoia.

“When you make it into an oil or wax, the THC concentration can be very high,” Vascones-Gatski said. “This is when psychotic symptoms are intensified.”

Recreational marijuana use is illegal among children in all states. In California, such use was legalized for adults beginning this year. Critics argue the change could make marijuana more accessible to young people.

Some popular cannabis oil flavors include mint, jasmine, banana smoothie, pumpkin spice and gummy fish. Even if the cannabis industry says its target is not youth, there is no denying that fruity smells attract kids, said Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at University of California-San Francisco.

Lambert said, “They’re learning how to refill their Juul pods, the cartridges that contain e-juice, with different blends, including marijuana oils, with the help of video tutorials on YouTube. These oils are becoming mainstream and easy to access.”

What has the ADA stated?

The ADA is especially concerned about efforts to characterize some nicotine-containing products as less harmful than cigarettes, particularly electronic nicotine delivery systems such as vapes, vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, e-cigarettes and e-pipes.

While the oral health effects of vaping are not fully studied, there is some evidence that vaping increases the likelihood that tobacco users will not be able to quit. There have also been reports of orofacial damage when these devices have suddenly overheated, sometimes to the point of exploding.

Aside from the intended use of approved nicotine cessation products, the ADA discourages the use of all nicotine products made or derived from tobacco.14

The ADA continues to educate and inform its membership and the public about the many health hazards attributed to the use of traditional and non-traditional tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, e-cigarette cartridges, dissolvable tobacco, tobacco gels, and other products made or derived from tobacco. The Association does not consider the marketing of some tobacco products as safer or less harmful to an individual’s health than others to be a viable public health strategy to reduce the death and disease associated with tobacco use.

Effective August 8, 2016, FDA regulates e-cigarettes under the “Deeming Tobacco Products Amendment” (Docket No. FDA2014-N-0189). The rule extends the FDA’s regulatory authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, and dissolvables. The FDA states the rule will help prevent young people from starting to use these products help consumers better understand the risks of using these products, prohibit false and misleading product claims, and prevent new tobacco products from being marketed unless a manufacturer demonstrates that the products meet the relevant public health standard. The new rule is well-received and welcomed by most U.S. health care professionals and organizations.15

The CDC says that e-cigarettes are dangerous for people who don’t smoke. “If you’ve never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, don’t start,” the CDC warns.

The evidence is clear that vaping impairs wound healing and is bad for your dental health. Vaping contributes to caries, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. Nicotine in many vaping products has been proven to be addictive and unhealthy. Aggressive marketing has enticed many young people to experiment with vaping. The long term effects of vaping are not fully understood, so don’t make yourself a test subject for vaping products. While research continues, there is ample proof that vaping is harmful.

Ask A Dental Question Or Schedule An Appointment

Footnotes:

  1. Zhu SH, Sun JY, Bonnevie E, et al. Four hundred and sixty brands of e-cigarettes and counting: implications for product regulation. Tob Control. 2014;23 Suppl 3:iii3-9.
  2. US Department of Health and Human Services. E-cigarette use among youth and young adults: a report of the Surgeon General pdf icon[PDF–8.47 MB]. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  3. Goniewicz ML, Gupta R, Lee YH, et al. Nicotine levels in electronic cigarette refill solutions: a comparative analysis of products from the U.S., Korea, and Poland. Int J Drug Policy. 2015;26(6):583–588.
  4. https://www.health.com/smoking/lipoid-pneumonia-vaping
  5. http://www.aapcc.org/alerts/e-cigarettes/
  6. Barrington-Trimis JL, Berhane K, Unger JB, et al. The E-cigarette Social Environment, E-cigarette Use, and Susceptibility to Cigarette Smoking. J Adolesc Health. 2016;59(1):75-80.
  7. Barrington-Trimis JL, Urman R, Berhane K, et al. E-Cigarettes and Future Cigarette Use. Pediatrics. 2016;138(1).
  8. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6349a1.htm
  9. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6514a1.htm
  10. https://www.drugabuse.gov/trends-statistics/monitoring-future/monitoring-futurestudy-trends-in-prevalence-various-drugs
  11. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm655051a2.htm
  12. https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/2016ecigarettes/index.html
  13. https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/full-report.pdf
  14. https://www.ada.org/en/advocacy/advocacy-issues/tobacco-use?utm_medium=VanityUrl
  15. http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/RulesRegulationsGuidance/ucm32094909.htm)

Other Links:

Tags: Medical and Dental Health, vaping and dental health

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.

Ask A Dental Question Or Schedule An Appointment

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.

Ask A Dental Question Or Schedule An Appointment

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

Tags: Medical and Dental Health, dental care, productivity