Sunday, June 23, 2013

The History of Floss


In the early 1800s, a pioneering dentist, Levi Spear Parmly, urged patients to clean between their teeth with silk thread — a revolutionary technique that could protect the gum line and prevent tooth decay. But “people just didn’t get it,” says Dr. Scott Swank, curator of the National Museum of Dentistry. In an era during which rotting molars were the norm, he says, “people expected their teeth to fall out.”

The Victorians also loved their toothpicks. After dinner, a gentleman would produce a leather box, reach into its velvet-lined interior, withdraw his gold pick and begin grooming. Charles Dickens owned a toothpick inlaid with ivory and engraved with his initials; it retracted into its own handle like a tiny spyglass. Flossing might have been more effective, but how could it compete with the flash of the toothpick? Back then, silk thread came in unwieldy spools and had to be cut into lengths with a knife. Worse, using it required you to put your fingers into your mouth.
In the 1870s, Asahel Shurtleff helped to civilize floss when he patented the first dispenser: a bobbin of thread with a U-shaped prong sticking out of its side. The prong worked like a tiny metal hand, guiding floss between the teeth. His invention anticipated the portable floss holders you can now buy in drugstores.
Designers have since given us bubble-gum-flavored floss, Gore-Tex strands and tooth-shaped dispensers — all in an attempt to make flossing seem fun or at least not too difficult. Recent studies, meanwhile, have revealed that flossing might be one of the simplest ways to ward off tooth decay. Yet, Swank says: “People still don’t care. Or they don’t want to put their hands in their mouths.” Two centuries on, flossing remains the quintessential thing that we forget — and hate — to do.


Dental Implants : Today's Standard For Tooth Replacement

Dental Implants

For people who have lost a permanent tooth, there are more options than ever before for a long-term replacement. In the past, removable dentures made noise or sometimes even fell out while eating, drinking or talking. But now, permanent dental implants mean there’s no need to worry about those inconveniences.

Dental implants are screws that anchor fabricated teeth to the jawbone. The anchor is made of titanium, which is similar to the material used to repair fractured bones.

Hangover actor Ed Helms really has a missing tooth, and he usually wears an implant, but his dentist took it out for the movie.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

Improved appearance : Dental implants look & feel like your own teeth.  And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
Improved speech : With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within he mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words.  Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth may slip.
Improved comfort: Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
Easier eating:  Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult . Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence & without pain.
Improve self-esteem : Dental Implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
Improved oral health : Dental implants do not require reducing other teeth ,as a tooth-supported bridge does.  Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
Durability : Implants are very durable and will last many years.  With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
Convenience : Removable dentures are just that ;removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on the location in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%.  With proper care, implants can last a lifetime.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

History of Dentistry

Dentistry, like many other medical fields, may seem stolid and methodical, but comes from a tradition of scientific reaction to the human need of proper tooth care that stretches back 5,000 years. At times, the medical processes carried out...
by dentists across the years seem interesting when seen through the lens of our modern-day medical knowledge. Other interesting facts include the perception of the dentist by modern clients, the size of the dental industry and various invention for which we have dentists to thank.

 > Evidence of stone tools and fossilized human remains provides evidence of dental work that dates as far back as 3000 B.C. Remains from the Aztec culture show that cavities were filled with a mixture of iron filings, water and lint. Dentists in ancient Rome were installing gold crowns and bridgework into their patients' mouths. In early America, blacksmiths often performed many of the duties of dentists. The first female dentist licensed in America was Lucy Hobbs in 1866.
o    Dentistry is often associated with other medical fields that are very profitable, but the dentistry industry doesn't do as much business as many other industries, many of which are non-medical. Annually, dentistry accounts for about $50 billion worth of economic activity, which makes it about the same size as the pet food industry and half as large as the hair care industry.
o    Annually, at the time of publication, Americans spend about $775 million on toothbrushes and $1.8 billion on toothpaste.
o    Many polls and surveys indicate that Americans have a great deal of respect for professional dentists working in the United States. Gallup polls dating back to 1997 indicate that Americans continue to view dentists as trustworthy, good to communicate with and effective at their jobs. A 2004 survey by the Academy of General Dentistry rated dentists better than average for ethics and honesty compared to other medical professions.
Electric Chair
o    Dentists have created various inventions related to tooth and mouth care over the years, including the toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, but a dentist is also responsible for the invention of the electric chair. Alfred P. Southwick, a dentist and dental educator, witnessed an accident in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1881 wherein a drunk man died almost instantly after touching an electrical generator. He joined with Buffalo doctor George Fell to experiment on electricity as a more humane means of putting humans to death; their experiments and political interests caused the electric chair to become a legal form of the death penalty by 1889.