Articles

Bruxism and Proper Root Cause Diagnosis – TMD or Sleep Apnea?

Interested in Sleep Apnea? Join the DC Clinical Free 4-Part Series with Erin Elliott, DDS Reposted From Surgicalrestorative.com Are you screening for sleep apnea when treatment planning occlusal guards? October 7, 2014 By Iman Sadri, DDS  There has been much buzz recently about the dentist’s role in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Most of the attention has centered around oral appliance therapy as a treatment modality to replace the CPAP in the absence of severe OSA. Despite the increase in literature and a growing population affected by sleep apnea, too many dental professionals still drop the ball when making the right diagnosis for their patients. In many instances, when teeth grinding is charted during the clinical exam, dentists can be quick to diagnose an occlusal guard for their patients with bruxism. The focus immediately becomes on alleviating the symptoms as opposed to evaluating the cause. If teeth are worn down from potential grinding, an occlusal guard becomes the first and only treatment of choice, in many instances. ADDITIONAL READING | Sleep apnea considerations for the restorative patient When treatment planning for bruxism, many clinicians have been trained only to observe the 3 T’s: teeth, trauma, and TMJ. In some instances, treatment planning an occlusal guard when noting clenching or grinding may be a misdiagnosis. Bruxism, in some cases, can be a result of sleep apnea, as opposed to a symptom of TMD. In patients with OSA, teeth grinding can occur as a reactionary mechanism to wake the body during sleep when there is a lack of proper oxygen intake. A percentage of patients, including children, actually grind their teeth to...

Depression, SSRIs and Dental Implant Failure

New studies suggest SSRI drugs like Prozac and Zoloft may significantly inhibit osseointegration in dental implant patients. Scroll down in article for the dental feature  Link to Journal of Dental Research Study here Is this a phenomenon you’ve experienced with your dental implant patients? Let us know by commenting below.  ...

YOU are on the Front Lines of Sleep Apnea: How to Take Up Arms

Take The Time To Check For Sleep Apnea. Dentist Finds Investment In Time And Practice Well Worth It by Erin E. Elliott, DDS It’s another gorgeous day in North Idaho, and my schedule is packed with restorative dentistry and hygiene checks. On today’s schedule is one of my favorite patients, Shawn. I usually see him only every six months, and I’m always prepared to exchange jokes with him. I have a good one for this visit, but thankfully I’m not seeing his daughters today. I usually have to do a really bad cartwheel for them in the waiting room. All three are amazing gymnasts, and after I told them that I got kicked out of gymnastics because I couldn’t figure out how to do a cartwheel, they made me prove it by showing them my cartwheel. In addition to his three teenage daughters, Shawn has a wonderful wife and a great job. He travels often, but he’s wondering why he feels more and more rundown. When I checked Shawn during his routine six-month visit, I asked about his girls, wife, job, how he was feeling, and finally how his teeth were. Of course he said they were fine; they’re always fine. Shawn is a healthy, middle-aged Caucasian male with a clean health history. Certainly he has no problem. Does this sound familiar? Ever since I finished my training to treat sleep apnea, I’ve been looking at teeth, tongues, and throats completely differently. What I noticed about Shawn that I hadn’t before was that his teeth had erosion, he had a large scalloped tongue, and he had a constricted mandible....

Dentists who invent candy: Inherent conflict of interest?

Dr. James Morrison had a clever idea for the ultimate business model for his dental practice. Just invent a brand new confectionery craze. How a Dentist Popularized Cotton Candy. Cotton candy, in all of its colorful, puffy glory, is one of those timeless treats capable of evoking childhood with one disintegrating bite. In fluffy pink bushels, it pervades fairgrounds and festivals. Held high above cheering crowds, it bobbles its way between rows at sporting events. In the presence of snarling circus lions, its airy, delicate fibers are stuffed, soothingly, into the mouths of terrified toddlers. Even in New York’s Four Seasons Restaurant, where dishes soar above $80, the confection isserved to patrons post-meal, at no charge. “This restaurant is a cathedral of food,” says the eatery’s maître d. “People come here and they’re not too comfortable. Giving them cotton candy gives them their childhood back.” Cotton candy is also particularly odd: it’s made up mostly of air and sugar, and contains only trace amounts of flavoring and food coloring. The standard serving, which is larger than the typical child’s head, weighs less than one ounce. Odder yet, the modern invention of cotton candy and its machines stems from a lineage of dentists. *** Cotton candy’s earliest origins date back to 15th century Italy. Here, in specialty bakeries off cobblestoned streets, sugar syrup would be boiled in a pan and “flicked out” with forks to create decorative, wispy strands. Due to the laborious process and the high price of its only ingredient, this “spun sugar” was only produced in small quantities, exclusively for the uber-wealthy. For 300 years, the confection stayed in fashion —...