TREATING DENTAL TRAUMA IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

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TREATING DENTAL TRAUMA IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

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Recently, hospital emergency departmentment visits have increased as patients of low socioeconomic status flock to these facilities as health care providers of last resort. These patients also use emergency departments to treat dental trauma, even though most emergency departments are not equipped to provide optimal treatment for such injuries. Mitchell et al from the Seattle Children’s Hospital, Washington, examined the types of dental trauma presenting to a hospital emergency department and evaluated the outcomes of these visits. The authors reviewed the records of 265 pediatric patients who received emergency dental treatment at a tertiary-care pediatric teaching hospital over a 3-year period. The hospital included a dental clinic; the par-ticipants presented outside of clinic hours. All patients arriving at the emergency department go through a tri-age procedure, during which their status is assessed by a pediatric nurse on a scale of 1 (most acute) to 5 (least acute). Pain is measured by a standardized scale and cat-egorized as low (0–3), moderate (4–6) or severe (7–10). Average time between dental injury and check-in at the emergency department was >2 hours. Of the 215 patients for whom triage and pain scores were available, 59% reported low pain scores, 82% were triage grade 3 or 4; no dental patients were assessed at triage grade 1. Treatment ranged from examination to tooth reimplan-tation, splinting and intraoral sutures. Mean wait time to see a physician was 50.9 ± 39.1 minutes; overall length of stay was nearly 3 hours. One-third of the time these patients spent in the emer-gency department was spent actually receiving dental care. Managing pediatric dental trauma in a hospital emergency department is more expensive, less effective and less efficient than managing it in a dental office. Mitchell JM, Sheller B, Velan E, et al. Managing pediatric den-tal trauma in a hospital emergency department. Pediatr Dent 2014;36:201-210.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF SEALING OUT TOOTH DECAY

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The chewing surfaces on the back teeth—the premolars and molars—include numerous depressions and grooves. These indentations, called fissures and pits, help us grind our food into particles small enough to swallow.

Unfortunately, toothbrush bristles cannot get into the smaller fissures and pits to remove tiny bits of food and plaque bacteria that accumulate on the back teeth. This means that even regular brushing and flossing may not be enough to keep those fissures and pits clean.

The result? These bacteria turn the sugars and starches we eat and drink into acids that attack tooth enamel. And that attack can result in tooth decay.

One solution to the problem of cleaning the fissures and pits is the use of dental sealants. Made from a plastic material, sealants are placed over the chewing surfaces of premolars and molars. They protect the tooth surfaces that are the hardest to keep clean and thus are the most susceptible to decay from food and bacteria.

Applying dental sealants is quick and easy. After we perform a thorough cleaning of the tooth, the sealant is placed over the chewing surface of the tooth, where it bonds to the enamel. The sealant typically lasts for several years, protecting the tooth surface from decay. If the sealant shows any signs of deterioration, we simply reapply it.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported overwhelming evidence that dental sealants reduce tooth decay in children and adolescents. Ronald L. Tankersley, former president of the American Dental Association, noted, “The two most prevalent dental diseases, dental caries and periodontal disease, are both preventable. The proper use of dental sealants at an early age is an effective tool for preventing dental caries in the most susceptible patients.”

Sealants alone, though, can’t replace good dental care. Twice-daily brushing and flossing, along with regular visits to the dentist, are still the mainstays of everyone’s effort to keep teeth healthy. But sealants add another weapon in the fight against tooth decay.

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Teeth, Nutrition and the Roll of the Pediatric Dentist

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Teeth, Nutrition and the Roll of the Pediatric Dentist

We are only as healthy as the food we consume. This is why the type of nutrition we get is extremely crucial for our health today as well as in the long run. Children are provided all their nutrition in pureed form, making it easier for them to chew and digest, ensuring they get all the essential nutrition required for healthy growth from their meals.

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Finding a Pediatric Dentist in Beaches Toronto

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Finding a Pediatric Dentist in Beaches Toronto

YOUR BEACHES PEDIATRIC DENTIST BLOG

For parents, when it comes to their child’s dental health, there can be no bigger concern than finding a dentist who is qualified and competent enough to take care of their child’s dental health to ensure they grow up with a set of healthy and strong teeth. When it comes to finding a good pediatric dentist in the Beaches, Toronto, there are several factors you need to look at.

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Can Saliva Actually Protect Against Cavities?

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Can Saliva Actually Protect Against Cavities?

YOUR BEACHES PEDIATRIC DENTIST BLOG

According to a new study Sunrise Kids Dental your Beaches Pediatric Dentist had access to, the mucus which is about 0.5% of saliva which is not water, has salivary mucins which combat the action of Streptococcus mutans which cause cavities in the mouth region, affecting the overall oral hygiene.

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