Study on HIV and Dental Tools

Regarding your recent article on AIDS and "contaminated" dental instruments, if indeed the virus were spread in the manner suggested, the disease would be already pandemic, making the "Black Death" appear pearl gray.We have been told since AIDS has become common knowledge that the virus is very weak, destroyed by air or drying; both of these concepts cannot be true. If what this group reports is true, we now have to fear toilet seats, restaurant cups and glasses, cutlery and used chewing gum.We have a few known cases of AIDS attributable to dental treatment by one dentist dying of AIDS, with blood transfer probable. I much prefer Occam's razor and a somewhat less threatening world.DONALD HUNT Advertisement Studio City

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How to Treat Irritated Gums
How to Treat Irritated Gums
Persistent gum irritation clearly indicates that the gums are not in a healthy condition and require immediate treatment. This article will help you to understand how to treat irritated gums and get relief from it.Gums are made of soft tissues and it surrounds the base of a tooth to give support to it so that it can maintain its position. These tissues are highly sensitive in nature and get irritated quite easily. This makes chewing of food difficult as it hurts a lot. The outer surface of the gums may get irritated when it suffers injury by sharp food particles or hard bristles of a toothbrush and it will continue till the injury heals. However, any irritation within the gum line is mostly triggered by excessive growth of bacteria in the region. In majority of the cases, the cause of irritation is the plaque build up inside the mouth. Plaque is a colorless, sticky film that forms when the starchy residues of food particles, stuck in various corners of the mouth, interact with the bacteria present there. Plaque formation is absolutely a normal occurrence and you can get rid of it with proper brushing and flossing of the teeth. When oral hygiene is not maintained properly, then the plaque get accumulated there. If the plaque deposits get the scope to remain on the surface of the teeth for more than 24 hours, then it hardens up to form tartar, which allow the bacteria in the mouth to multiply in numbers in an undisturbed condition. The growing number of bacteria then release toxic substances that irritate the gum along the base of the teeth.When you feel severe irritation in the gums for 3-4 days, you must visit your dentist for treatment. Dentists are equipped with special dental instruments that can remove the hard deposits of tartar, which cannot be removed with a regular toothbrush. They use the instruments to clean up the tartar from the interdental spaces thoroughly. If there is a large-scale deposit of tartar, then it may require a number of cleaning sessions before all the traces of the tartar can be eliminated completely.This should be followed by good oral care regime to prevent new plaque build up. For this, your dentist will teach you about the right brushing technique that can remove maximum possible plaque from the gum margins. As fluoride components provide protection to the surface of the teeth, they mostly recommend fluoride toothpaste in this condition. They also prescribe antiseptic mouth rinse, which has amine fluoride as a component to keep the mouth free from food debris. You should always use a toothbrush with soft bristles on irritated gums to avoid any further aggravation of the problem. You will be advised to brush your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day to keep your gums and teeth in healthy state. A dental check after a gap of six months is a must so that any problem can be detected at an early stage. A minor gum irritation problem, which is not bothering you much, can be relieved with home remedies only. You may try out the natural ways to treat gum irritation along with the dental procedures as well. Here are a few effective home remedies: Gum irritation tends to get aggravated after eating. You can control it by gargling with warm saline water after every meal. Preparing the saline water is quite simple. All you have to do is put a pinch of salt into lukewarm water and dissolve it. Put the solution in your mouth and swish it around for a minute or two and then spit it out. You can feel that the irritation has come down. You can stop gum irritation by rinsing your mouth with sage tea. Put 2 teaspoons of dried sage leaves in a cup of boiling water and soak it for 10 minutes. When you use this tea for gargling, it has a soothing effect on the irritated mucous membranes of the gums. Gentle massaging has a calming effect on irritated gums. Rub the tips of your finger over the irritated area of the gum. At any point of time, if you feel that it is causing pain or discomfort, stop massaging immediately. Put a drop of tea tree oil on the toothbrush and then put your regular toothpaste on it. Now, brush your teeth with this as usual. The tea tree oil will destroy the bacterial growth and can reduce gum irritation.As you can see, the treatment options are quite simple. Therefore, you should not delay the treatment unnecessarily. A mild irritation in the gums, if neglected, can lead to a serious infection with more painful symptoms like swollen or tender gums that may bleed. Any dental procedure on this kind of sensitive gums is going to be very painful. Hence, its wise to consult your dentist if you sense gum irritation.
1,800 Vets May Have Been Exposed to HIV, Hepatitis: What Went Wrong?
1,800 Vets May Have Been Exposed to HIV, Hepatitis: What Went Wrong?
John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis (U.S Department of Veteran Affairs) U.S Department of Veteran Affairs (CBS) A Veterans Affairs hospital in Missouri may have exposed more than 1,800 veterans to HIV and other life-threatening diseases due to improperly cleaned dental instruments. The John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis recently began sending letters notifying 1,812 veterans from Missouri and Illinois who received dental work at the hospital between February, 2009 and March, 2010.The letters say the risk of infection is low. But the hospital is offering veterans free screening for hepatitis B and C as well as HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Trending News More teens hospitalized for lung damage after vaping Oregon death from lung illness may be linked to vaping Why Flamin' Hot Cheetos are sending kids to ER The MIND diet: 10 foods that fight Alzheimer's What you need to know about vertigo "We deeply regret that this situation occurred and we assure you that we are taking all the necessary steps to make certain that testing is offered quickly and results communicated timely," the letters said, according to the Post-Dispatch.Some dental technicians hand-washed instruments before putting them in cleaning machines, Dr. Dr. Gina Michael, chief of staff at the hospital, told CNN. She said the instruments should have been put into the machines without pre-washing.Katie Roberts, press secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, told CBS News via email that "VA leadership recognizes the seriousness of this situation and has implementedsafeguards to prevent a similar situation from occurring again."But the VA drew harsh criticism from Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Missouri) who called for a congressional investigation into the matter."This is absolutely unacceptable," he said in a prepared statement. "No veteran who has served and risked their life for this great nation should have to worry about their personal safety when receiving much needed healthcare services from a Veterans Administration hospital."One recipient of a notification letter was Veronica Lynn Williams, 57, of Swansea, Ill., who had a tooth reconstructed at the hospital, according to the Post-Dispatch. But she told the paper she wasn't angry. "Things happen," she said. "I don't fault the VA. I have been treated here for several years, and my life has been saved on several occasions." But Rep. Carnahan wasn't quite as forgiving.Of the veterans who received the letter, he said, "They have every right to be angry. So am I."Veterans who may have been affected can call the hospital at 888-374-3046.
Dental Hygienists Brush Up on Skills
Dental Hygienists Brush Up on Skills
When Maria Sorrentino tells people she's a dental hygienist, she gets one of two reactions: "people either stop smiling, or they cover their mouth with their hands." It probably doesn't help that Sorrentino, who is a dental hygienist in the office of Dr. John J. Caravolas, has a set of perfectly straight white teeth, that yes, she brushes three times a day.In her four years as a dental hygienist, Sorrentino has peered into countless mouths. She is one of five dental hygienists assisting three doctors at the Waltham-based adult and pediatric practice. She's seen all types of patients, from a 95-year-old with a full set of teeth, to a child with such bad tooth decay that the front teeth and molars are rotting. Her job as a licensed oral health professional is not just to clean teeth, take and read X-rays, and assist the dentist, but also to educate patients. "It's great when you give someone advice about their teeth, and they come back in six months and did everything you told them, whether it's not letting a baby drink apple juice from a bottle, or flossing their teeth."Sorrentino, a graduate of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, says that the dental hygiene curriculum is grueling. "They drill things into your head," she says - no pun intended, since a dental hygienist needs to be able to remember and use all sorts of dental instruments - angles, chisels, hatchets, excavators - to water syringes, sterilization systems and dental dams. Ouch. "Let's face it, no one wants to be at the dentist. Someone is inside your mouth and scaling (or cleaning) your teeth. It feels invasive. The noise of the tarter coming off has been compared to the sound of nails against the chalkboard," says Sorrentino.Registered dental hygienists like Sorrentino have to successfully pass a national written exam and a state clinical exam. Dental hygienists are among the fastest growing occupations, and are expected to grow 30 percent through 2016, as the crucial role of preventative dentistry grows in importance. The career offers flexible scheduling, with more than half dental hygienists working part-time.Q: All those metal hand tools on the tray - isn't it difficult to remember which ones to use?A: Once you get the hang of it, you can feel how each instrument - we call them scalers - have different angles, and fit into the tooth in a different way. You wouldn't be able to go at the back side of the tooth with a front angle, for example, or clean teeth with an explorer - it's a pointy tool that probes for cavities.Q: How long before you work on a real patient?A: In school, we practice on a fake mouth that is screwed to a chair as if it were a real patient. The clinical instructor watches everything that you do, and there is a test after every instrumentation. Then you practice on the teacher. When you finally do a real patient, it's nerve wracking. You have to factor in the cheeks and tongue, and the fact that, unlike a fake mouth, a patient has feelings.Q: What sort of skills do you need to be a good dental hygienist?A: You need to have fine motor hand skills, the discipline to finish and complete school, and of course, great people skills. Ninety-nine percent of the population doesn't want to be at the dentist, and it's our job to make the feel comfortable.Q: How many cavities do you have?A: I didn't get any as an adult, but as a child, I was a so-called 'frequent flyer.' I had a lot of decay because I was a big apple juice drinker. Back then, my mom didn't know any better.Q: And you really do brush your teeth three times a day?A: Yes, I do. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a dental hygienist.
Cleanability of Dental Instruments  Implications of Residual Protein and Risks From Creutzfeldt-jako
Cleanability of Dental Instruments Implications of Residual Protein and Risks From Creutzfeldt-jako
Cleaning of dental instruments is the first line of control in reducing the adherent bioburden. The threat of vCJD and the difficulty in removing prion protein has provided a new challenge for cleaning surgical and dental instruments. Prion proteins are also more resistant to many disinfection and sterilisation techniques. A number of different methods are currently available in primary care for cleaning instruments including manual washing, ultrasonic cleaners and washer disinfectors. Manual cleaning of dental instruments is time-consuming, introduces operator error and the risk of puncture wounds, is not reproducible and does not completely remove debris from instruments. Ultrasonic baths are significantly more effective than hand cleaning alone and are currently used by the majority of dental surgeries (often as an adjunct to manual cleaning). Automated washer-disinfectors appear to provide a validated, reliable and reproducible procedure for disinfection and sterilisation of dental instruments to ensure both the safety of patients and dental staff. Dental instruments that are difficult to clean are frequently contaminated with tissue debris after routine reprocessing and cannot be excluded as a potential transmission risk for infectious agents, including prions. The transmission of vCJD via dentistry is considered to be low risk, however, the Department of Health (DoH) has recently advised dentists to ensure that endodontic reamers and files are treated as single-use as a precautionary basis in order to further reduce any risk of vCJD transmission.
Abrasive Stones, Burs and Accessories - Dental Instruments
Abrasive Stones, Burs and Accessories - Dental Instruments
Dental instruments have an important role in the dentist's practice as they enable the performance of various dental procedures accurately and with precision, with the maximum benefit to the patient.Dental hand pieces, burs and accessories are among the most frequently used instruments by dentists. Hand pieces were initially simple cutters that have now evolved into sophisticated instruments. They can be electric or air driven with a control mechanism that allows the dentist to adjust the settings for the procedure it is used for.Abrasive stonesAbrasive stones are used both in the dental laboratory and in the mouth cavity. Some of them are directly mounted on the mandrel while others are separate and need a mandrel. The stones are available in different colours and shapes and the colour indicates the type of abrasive material it consists of. The abrasive is usually silicon carbide and suitable to work on ceramics, the structure of the tooth and plastics. Stones made of garnet or aluminium oxide are used for polishing metals in the lab. Heatless stones are made of silicon carbide and rubber. The grit or the particle size on the abrasive stone controls the cutting action and this wears off as the stone works on the tooth structure.What about diamond dental instruments?A diamond stone's cutting area is made of minute crystals of diamonds which are electroplated or bonded to a stainless steel shank. Diamond stones are the preferred choice in dental burs and accessories for their efficiency and are available in various grits ranging from the very fine to coarse. The size and number of crystals decides the grit with smaller crystals having finer grits. The particle size is identified by a manufacturer's mark that may be a colour code or notch on the shank of the stone. Compared to carbide burs that have six to eight cutting surfaces, diamond stones have thousands.While the large sized head is used to reduce the tooth structure, others are used to cut and shape to prepare the tooth. The superfine grit is used to finish and polish restoration materials.Burs and accessoriesThese are generally made of tungsten carbine or diamond particles, although ceramic is not uncommon. The designs come in various structures and sizes and the dentist's choice depends on the efficacy of the bur. Not surprisingly, choosing the right hand piece and bur is critical to the safe removal of dental tissues and caries while ensuring that the patient is as comfortable as possible. This also means that these dental instruments must be heat sterilized using appropriate procedures to prevent contamination and cross infection between patients and the dentist. Oral surgeons are especially careful and stay well-equipped at all times.While high speed hand pieces are used in restorative procedures and endodontics, the low speed variety is used in restorations, oral and periodontal surgery, orthodontic and lab procedures. Developments in technology have produced user friendly hand pieces that work quickly and efficiently, minimizing the trauma to the tooth and patient while allowing the dentist to work ergonomically.
Is It Safe to Use DIY Dental Instruments?
Is It Safe to Use DIY Dental Instruments?
Would you superglue a chipped tooth? According to a survey conducted by the Chicago Dental Society, 70 percent of dentists reported that they've seen patients who try to fix their dental problems on their own before going to their dentists. People most often try to superglue broken dental work such as crowns and dentures, the dentists said. They also see people use emery boards to file chipped teeth and overuse pain-killing gels. Some people even go so far as to use power tools to give themselves root canals in order to save money [source: Koretzky].Obviously, taking a power tool to a tender tooth is not a great idea, but is it ever safe to use do-it-yourself dental instruments?DIY dental kits usually come with single or double-sided probes, those pick-like instruments your dentist uses to scrape your teeth to remove plaque build-up. They also feature a mirror so that you can inspect your teeth and spot hard to see spaces in your mouth. Some kits even include items to repair fillings, chipped teeth and dentures. While you can use these kits to temporarily repair a tooth or check on the general health of your teeth, you should still follow up with a dentist visit.While you might think that doing it yourself will save you money, you may cause costly damage to your teeth. You can't reach all of the areas of your mouth that a dentist can access, and you might be setting yourself up for a cavity or worse if you attempt to give yourself a professional cleaning instead of seeing a professional dental hygienist.But what should you do if you have a dental emergency and can't make it to the dentist? There are some quick, easy and safe temporary alternatives if you're in a pinch. First off, you should always have the following items on hand in case you can't get to the dentist right away:If you're experiencing pain due to a dental mishap, take over-the-counter pain relievers. If dentin, the underlying layer of your teeth, is exposed and causing pain, cover it with sugar free gum or wax. This will only work for 48 hours, so see a dentist as soon as possible. Do the same thing if you break or chip a tooth.If a filling falls out, try to keep it to show your dentist. Keep the tooth clean by brushing it gently with toothpaste and warm water, and avoid eating with that area of the mouth. You can buy temporary over-the-counter zinc oxide repair materials such as Temparin and Dentemp OS to use until you see your dentist [source: Mann].If you lose a crown, clean it out well, buy paste in a drugstore or mix your own using Vaseline and cornstarch; put paste on crown, put the crown on the tooth, and bite down until it's sealed [source: Mann].Over-the-counter pain relieving gels such as Anbesol and Orajel can provide temporary relief for gum pain. Always go to a dentist if gum pain or bleeding persists because you might have a bacterial infection.
Chocolate Dirt: Is It Art Or Is It Dinner?
Chocolate Dirt: Is It Art Or Is It Dinner?
A few years back, an unknown chef, at restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, created a strange series of tableaux on his dining room tables, using tree bark, pine needles, lichens and other things normally grazed by reindeer. And so it was that in 2010 the Nordic forager René Redzepi (sounding much like an acid rock band) displaced the Spanish chemistry wizard Ferran Adria (for whom he once worked) as the world's numero uno chef.Since last year, molecular gastronomy hasn't exactly evaporated, but now you might get trampled by dozens of upscale chefs who are rushing to harvest dinner from the underbrush and under rocks - or assembling dishes that looked like they might be untamed gardens. Although many chefs preceded Redzepi, dozens of acolytes are now making pilgrimages to Copenhagen for a chance to stage at his stoves.In the US, "wildcrafting" is largely, but not entirely, a West Coast trend. Forerunner to Redzepi, Jeremy Fox created a global stir with beautifully composed plates at Ubuntu, in Napa, years ago, and Daniel Patterson at Coi in Los Angeles and David Kinch at Manresa in Los Gatos are masters of the style. You'll find similar efforts at the restaurant McCrady's in Charleston where chef Sean Brock lists farmers and foragers on his menu; at Toqué in Montreal, where chef Normand Laprise's website lists his kitchen staff as "artists" and its suppliers as "artisans"; and at Castagna in Portland, Ore., where chef Matt Lightner, who's been rooting around woodlands for years, produces still-lifes-with-leaves and calls them dinner.Perhaps the most "florid" exemplar is Dominique Crenn at Atelier Crenn in San Francisco (her restaurant is subtitled "Poetic Culinaria"), whose vegetable presentations look like bonsai gardens and who claims she is reliving her childhood food memories and fantasies.These chefs' horticultural foodscapes appear to have been assembled with tweezers and dental instruments. Their foraged dishes might contain upwards of 20 plants and herbs, and they're sent to your table on slabs of slate, miniature rock slides, primordial wood shapes and thrown glass instead of plates. They come with lyrical names such as Ocean Creatures and Weeds, A Walk in the Garden, Into the Vegetable Garden, Summer Bids Adieu, or Le Jardin d'Hiver.In truth, if you substituted gems for the food, these presentations would look perfectly at home Tiffany's display windows. Caravaggio might have painted them.You'll be eating roots, stems and petals of plants that used to be discarded or that you might step over on the sidewalk. One chef famously quipped, "Not the sidewalk. We'd never use stuff from there!" Which makes one wonder whether this chef has any idea what bears do in the woods.As this trend of "food as naturalistic art" takes hold in upscale restaurants around the country, you'll find lots of new ingredients slipping onto upscale menus: White acorns; tips of fir needles; "dirt" made of dried and crumbled mushrooms, pumpernickel breadcrumbs, black olives, bulgur wheat, or sprouting grains; aloe vera, eucalyptus leaves, chickweed, wild ginger, wood sorrel, yarrow, pineapple weed, and sumac. Dirt is so hot that Crenn cooks her potatoes in the stuff before washing them clean. You'll find a similar plating style at just-opened modernist Korean eatery Jung Sik Dang in New York, where you'll need to bring lots of money. Next up: Dessert assemblages growing out of chocolate "humus" (as in dirt, not as in chick peas).All of this comes at a price, of course, which is why you'll only find these goings-on at fancy restaurants. Some restaurants actually have foragers on their payrolls, and others need to hire artistically talented cooks to plate dishes so that each leaf, each carrot stalk, each nasturtium flower, each pod of immature sweet peas, is placed just so - a serious challenge when tonight's wild harvest contains a surprise crop of newcomers. You won't be stumbling across such food at your local Olive Garden.But is it food? Is it art? Or is it merely extravagantly imitative horticulture? Some critics have complained that taste is taking a back seat to artifice, but they said the same thing about earlier shenanigans of molecular gastronomy without recognizing how new laboratory trickery might be transformative in the kitchen.In this case, I think we're witnessing a reaction to cooking-with-chemistry with a romantic return to naturalism, or, to coin a word, "gastro-naturism." It is a way for high-flying chefs to differentiate themselves from the rest of the herd and it is guaranteed to get a thousand bloggers and their cameras into these restaurants.Photo Credit: Atelier Crenn--Rozanne Gold, award-winning chef and author of "Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs"; "Healthy 1-2-3," and "Radically Simple."Rozanne can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RozanneGold.
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