NYU School of Dentistry going “amalgam free” direction

Research from different universities and even the World Health Organization (WHO) have made it very clear that mercury-based amalgam fillings are far more toxic, to people and to the environment, than alternatives like resin composites or porcelain restorations.
Most of the dental schools though still stay on very conservative side and teach amalgams as restoration of choice.   However, one forward-thinking school – New York University College of Dentistry – has set the ball rolling by making some much-needed changes to their amalgam policy.  Here what is faculty revealed in their letter to students:
- While amalgam will still be available, students must receive justification by faculty for placement.
-While students will still receive training in the use of amalgam, they will be taught to pay special attention to the indications and contraindications.
-Strict mercury hygiene when using amalgam will be maintained in both the clinic and preclinical settings.
They have changed the default restoration material to composite – NOT amalgam – a very large step in the right direction.
Modern materials like resin composites and glass ionomers have rendered amalgam completely unnecessary for any clinical situation. In fact, the mercury-free alternatives are so advanced that entire nations, such as the Scandinavian countries, have begun to favor them in lieu of amalgam altogether. It’s high time that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the dental schools in charge of educating young dentists start acknowledging these facts and get on the bandwagon to at least protect those most vulnerable to damage from mercury fillings — children and pregnant women.

 

About the Author:

Inna Shimanovsky, DMD and Aadvanced Dental is a 100% mercury-free general dental practice specializing in advanced cosmetic/reconstructive dentistry and extensive dental care services using the latest science and technology in a caring and pain free environment.

Eco-Friendly Dentistry

The environmental health effects of amalgam are well known, and have recently been reiterated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency: brain damage and neurological problems, especially for children and the unborn babies of pregnant women.  Due to the high costs of cleaning up this environmental hazard, amalgam is now recognized as “more expensive than most, possibly all, other fillings when including environmental costs.”

It is also known  that one of the leading sources of mercury in water is the dental sector, meaning dental practices around the country.  US Environmental Protection Agency agrees that some mercury from dental amalgams entering water will ultimately be absorbed into aquatic fauna and eventually enter human body through consumption of fish and other seafood products.

At AAdvanced Dental we employ specific amalgam removal protocol when replacing silver amalgam fillings.  This ensures that all of the removed material is vacuumed up, and mimizes the chance of contaminataion.  We also use amalgam traps that separate removed amalgam material from waste water before it is flushed down the drain. This generally has a removal efficiency of 95%.  Once these traps fill up a biohazard removal company safely disposes them in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

In our practice we recognize that ending dental mercury use and transitioning to non-mercury alternatives is the only way to eliminate this significant source of mercury that threatens our environment and ultimately our health.

About the Author:

Inna Shimanovsky, DMD and Aadvanced Dental is a 100% mercury-free general dental practice specializing in advanced cosmetic/reconstructive dentistry and extensive dental care services using the latest science and technology in a caring and pain free environment.

How Do I Deal with an Abscessed Tooth?

A toothache is one of the most uncomfortable experiences one can have – and the problem is magnified even more if the affected tooth is abscessed. An abscessed tooth can wreak havoc in one’s daily normal activities, as the infection associated with dental abscess can cause a lot of pain to radiate from the mouth area to the whole head; at times the pain may even be enough to keep a person totally immobilized for hours.

Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

  • Pain and tenderness in the area of the affected tooth
  • Extreme sensitivity in the immediate area of the abscessed tooth
  • Gums that are swollen and red
  • Pus is present in between the affected tooth and the gum line

The infection that causes an abscess can be avoided with proper oral hygiene. Regular and proper tooth brushing techniques, as well as the use of dental floss, can prevent infection (which causes the abscess to develop) from setting in. Regular dental checkups are very beneficial in making sure that good oral hygiene is maintained – and that early signs of an impending infection are diagnosed and treated accordingly.

When an abscessed tooth problem has already developed, it is important to seek immediate attention from a dentist; this is to ensure that the infection from the affected tooth does not have a chance to spread even further, causing more dental problems to develop and complicate the dental abscess concern. Regular dental visits will also be the most effective way to get permanent relief from the extreme pain that usually accompanies the abscessed tooth – if pus is present, the dentist will be able to successfully drain fluid from the area, providing much-needed pain relief. Any medications such as antibiotics can also be prescribed by the dentist to take care of the infection completely, so that the abscessed tooth problem can be bid goodbye permanently!

About the Author:

Inna Shimanovsky, DMD and Aadvanced Dental is a 100% mercury-free general dental practice specializing in advanced cosmetic/reconstructive dentistry and extensive dental care services using the latest science and technology in a caring and pain free environment.

 

Topic: How is Holistic or Eco-Dentistry Different Than Traditional Dentistry

Before we look at the differences between holistic and traditional dentistry, it’s important to look at what the word “holistic” means. The word itself comes from “wholistic” meaning “the whole.” Truly holistic dentists will educate patients on the importance of overall health and how dentistry can play a key role in a person’s overall well being.

The true differences between holistic dentistry and traditional dentistry are philosophical: traditional dentistry is the practice of treating the symptoms in the teeth and gums and attempting to prevent such problems from reoccurring. Holistic dentistry, which I practice at AAdvanced Dental, is the practice of treating the underlying problems that cause symptoms in the mouth, attempting to eliminate those problems (and, hence, preventing the symptoms from reoccurring) while ensuring the work done in the mouth does not have an adverse affect on your overall health.

Mercury Fillings:

One of the major differences between traditional and holistic dentistry is the use of mercury amalgam fillings.  Traditional dentistry espouses the longevity of mercury amalgam fillings and will also point to the ADA (American Dental Association) and FDA’s (Food and Drug Administration) statements that the mercury in the fillings is stabilized and safe, leaking only tiny amounts of mercury if any.

Holistic dentists understand that mercury is a toxin and even small amounts are too great a risk to the body and a person’s overall health. While amalgam fillings last longer than composites, they put pressure on the tooth and often cause weakening of the tooth structure by creating fractures.  Truly holistic dentists do not place mercury and use amalgam removal protocol in their practice, as we do at AAdvanced Dental.

Fluoride:

Another difference surrounds the use of fluoride. Traditional dentists are in favor of using fluoride in both a topical and ingested form. They argue in favor of fluoridating water supplies and recommend fluoride drops for infants. They point to research showing a decrease in cavity rates in areas where the water is fluoridated.

Holistic dentists typically argue against any form of ingested fluoride, arguing that it is a toxic element. They also argue that too much fluoride can cause fluorosis and that fluoridating public water supplies is forced medication of the general public. Some holistic dentists are for topical fluoride and some are against it.

We now know that recent medical research has determined that poor dental health is linked to other medical issues, including major heart disease, gastro-intestinal problems, headaches and more. Taking good care of your teeth and gums will result in better overall health.

 

About the Author:

Inna Shimanovsky, DMD and Aadvanced Dental is a 100% mercury-free general dental practice specializing in advanced cosmetic/reconstructive dentistry and extensive dental care services using the latest science and technology in a caring and pain free environment.

Toothbrushes – Recommendations and How to Choose a Toothbrush

A toothbrush is a simple but powerful device we use (hopefully) multiple times a day for all of our lives.  Few objects have such permanence!  Or are so crucial to dental health.  Owning a good toothbrush and using it is essential to maintaining a healthy smile and dental condition. 

So, the question I hear often is “what’s the best toothbrush?” – there are widely varying opinions on the topic, and maybe the most important point is that any toothbrush will do the job so long as it is utilized properly.  Please find below some additional considerations as well as tips on picking a toothbrush.

From EverydayHealth: “The electric toothbrush has become very popular in recent years — some even say it provides superior dental care. But how does it actually compare to manual brushing?

“The idea of a toothbrush is to remove plaque and to stimulate the gums,” explains John Ictech-Cassis, DDS, DMD, clinical associate professor at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. “Most toothbrushes will keep the teeth clean if you know how to use them.”

Manual Toothbrushes: A Classic Route to Good Dental Care

“There are many advantages to the manual toothbrush,” says Dr. Ictech-Cassis. “We’ve been using this toothbrush for many years. It has a good track record.” Advantages include:

  • Cost and availability. “It’s inexpensive and accessible,” says Ictech-Cassis. “This is the toothbrush that the majority of dentists give away.” Electric toothbrushes may simply be too expensive for many people, so it’s nice to know that you can do a great job brushing with a manual toothbrush.
  • Easy to travel with. “It’s easy to take a manual toothbrush with you when you travel. It’s not bulky like an electric toothbrush,” says Ictech-Cassis. You’ll be less likely to let your good dental care habits lapse on vacation with a toothbrush that you can easily bring along, he adds.
  • Puts less pressure on teeth and gums. “You can feel [how much pressure you're using] as you grasp the toothbrush,” Ictech-Cassis notes. “This helps you to avoid putting too much pressure on your teeth. With an electrical model you can’t feel that as well.” Placing too much pressure on your teeth can wear away at the tooth enamel, causing pain, sensitivity, and an increased risk of tooth decay.
  • Good for kids. Even young children can use manual brushes safely and effectively once they’ve learned how, Ictech-Cassis points out.

Electric Toothbrushes: Recommended in Some Cases

Nevertheless, Ictech-Cassis admits that there are some situations where an electric toothbrush has clear advantages. “We recommend it for people who can’t do a good job with a manual toothbrush,” he says. For older people or people who have less manual dexterity, like those who have arthritis, the electric toothbrush may clean more effectively, he says. According to the American Dental Association (AMA), people with limited ability to move their shoulders, arms, and hands can benefit from the larger handle and powered brush of an electric model.

How to Choose an Electric Toothbrush

Today, electric toothbrushes are outfitted with a variety of features. Though they make nice additions, pressure sensors that tell you if you’re brushing too hard or timers that indicate when you’ve brushed long enough don’t directly affect how well the toothbrush actually cleans your teeth.

Electric toothbrushes “try to stimulate the gums and teeth with different configurations of the bristles,” Ictech-Cassis says. “Even the most inexpensive electric models will keep your teeth clean, but you may have to move them a little more to reach the difficult areas.”

Although almost any toothbrush can do an effective job, research suggests there is one electronic toothbrush bristle configuration that seems to be better at removing plaque and preventing gum disease. Electric toothbrushes with bristles that rotate together in one direction, and then switch and rotate in the opposite direction — a process known as rotating-oscillating — appear to be more effective than manual brushes and other electric brushes that spin in only one direction. If you do opt for an electronic toothbrush, a model with rotating-oscillating bristles is probably your best bet.

What kind of Tooth Brush should I use?

From Dental Health Site:

  • A soft bristled tooth brush should be chosen as hard bristles tend to cause gingival recession. Soft bristles are more flexible, clean beneath the gingival margin and do not damage your gums.
  • The head should be small allowing it to effectively clean hard-to-reach areas of the teeth.
  • The handle should allow comfortable gripping by the user.
  • The shape of the neck or handle does not play any significant role (as claimed by manufacturers) in improving the effectiveness of a tooth brush and should be chosen on your preference.

How Often Should You Get a New Toothbrush?

Brushes need to be replaced every three months or when the bristles are no longer straight and firm. In that condition, they will not clean the teeth as well as they should.

About the Author:

Inna Shimanovsky, DMD and Aadvanced Dental is a 100% mercury-free general dental practice specializing in advanced cosmetic/reconstructive dentistry and extensive dental care services using the latest science and technology in a caring and pain free environment.