What Are Some of the Best Dental Schools in America?

If you’re considering dentistry as a profession, you may be wondering what the best schools in the country are for you to attend. Opinions may vary, though other sites will argue that they know what the best schools are. Instead of telling you where the BEST programs are, let’s try a different approach. Listed here are three exceptional dental programs, located here in the United States of America. Based on various criteria, you may decide that one is better suited for you that another, but regardless they are all fantastic institutions.

First, the Harvard School of Dental Medicine located in Boston, Mass. A prestigious school system already, the Dental Medicine program is regularly among the highest rated dental programs in America…no matter what criteria you use to judge it. It is the smallest school within the Harvard system, with a student body of under 300. Originally named “The Harvard School of Dental Medicine”, it was the first school to award the Doctor of Dental Medicine degree (DMD), followed later by other schools in 1989. The program has a rich history of well established dental professionals across the world, highlighting a wide range of programs from Orthodontics to Advanced Education in General Dentistry.

Next is the University Of Maryland Dental School, formerly known as the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. It is considered the first dental college in the world, a claim that the University broadcasts regularly. Today, this school boasts one of the most advanced dental education facilities in the world. Their brand new building located in downtown Baltimore, MD cost nearly $150 million to build. Like any quality dental program, this school also provides general, specialty and emergency dental care programs.

Last, is the Dental School at the University Of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. A relatively new addition to the list of dental schools in this country, the school graduated its first members in 1974. Since then this program has soared to amazing heights, listed as #1 in many polls and reports. The school has 10 different fields of study including Restorative Dentistry, General Dentistry, and Endodontics.

Regardless of where you plan on going to school, the road to becoming a dentist will not be easy. You may love what you do, and enjoy learning about dentistry – but the fact of the matter is, you will be tested on your competence and abilities before attaining your final degree. Good luck to those beginning this journey; we will see what greatness your future holds.

The Procedure of Dental Implant Placement

Dental implants have always been one of the most controversial treatment procedures practiced in cosmetic dental medicine. It is a long procedure that would take around a year’s waiting even for placing a single implant.

The general procedure of getting a dental implant

1. The primary step involves detailed medical examination. Your dentist would require for a clean chit from your general physician stating that you are physically fit enough to tolerate the treatment and surgeries involved in the procedure. Certain contraindications are abnormal levels of blood sugar, hypertension, hypotension, low immunity, heart troubles, blood conditions, low bone density etc.

2. Once you get the clearance from your general physician, your dentist would take up further screening and investigation to ensure whether your gums and jawbones are fit enough to hold an implant. If you are susceptible to gum infections, then your dentist might disapprove your treatment. In the event of any temporary issue he would prescribe appropriate medication and treatment.

3. After you are dentally cleared for getting an implant, your dentist would fix a date for your dental implant surgery. The surgery is done with local anesthesia. The procedure begins with extensive cleaning using requisite antibacterial and antibody solutions. Then a hole will be drilled through your bare gum into the jaw bone. The measurement of the hole is carefully matched with the size of the titanium implant. After this the implant is fixed inside, and it is screwed into that position. The open incision in the gum is ligated with sutures and the surgery is concluded.

4. The above procedure is followed by an interval of 3 to 4 months during which your gums are left alone to heal around the implant. You would be given oral medication to supplement the healing procedure and also to avoid infections. There would be limitations regarding eating and biting and this would be explained in detail by your surgeon.

5. Once your gums and jaw bones are completely healed, the second part of the treatment begins. This is known as restoration of the implant. In this process, your dentist would restore implant by creating a hole in your gum. This would leave the implant exposed. Then an abutment is fixed to this exposed top portion of the implant. After that your dentist would fix a temporary crown model on to this abutment. Meanwhile, measurement of your teeth structure is taken in order to construct the permanent prosthetic tooth that matches the color, shape and size of your teeth.

6. After the placement of the abutment and temporary tooth, you will be on further medication for proper growth of gum tissues surrounding the entire set of implant and tooth. Once your oral condition is deemed fit for the placement of the final tooth, your dentist removes the temporary tooth and replaces it with the permanent one.

This concludes the basic procedure of your dental implant placement. This is followed by proper care and eating regulations so as to prevent rejection of the implant.

Sugar and Dental Decline

I graduated from dental school having been told that due to advances in preventive care most of my career would be spent replacing failed fillings, doing routine maintenance and cosmetic work as the need to treat dental decay or perform root canal treatments and extractions would be greatly reduced. However, 20 years later I find that I am performing more extractions than ever before, doing more and more root canal procedures and dealing with rampant dental decay and gum disease in all ages. Anecdotally I feel that dental disease is actually on the increase and appears to be more widespread, severe and aggressive. Dental decay rates in children has increased progressively since the 1990’s according to a study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. It is well documented that poor socio-economic status and poor oral health are linked, and the statistics do speak for themselves. However it is not just the financially disadvantaged who are presenting with increased prevalence of dental problems, it is happening across all levels of income and background.

Why is this? We all know that sugar consumption is linked to dental decay. But what isn’t so obvious is how much our sugar consumption has increased in the last 50 years; over this period sugar consumption has tripled worldwide, mainly as a result of it being added to soft drink and cheap processed foods. However, the issue is not merely about “hidden” sugar but people living in a way that means they are eating carbohydrate rich meals, sugar laden snacks, biscuits, sweets and chocolates, drinking soft drink full of sugar and caffeine or having excess fruit and fruit juices and smoothies which are nothing more than concentrated sugar under the guise of a healthy choice. Our waistlines are expanding while at the same time, the incidence of heart disease, diabetes and dental decay continues to soar.

While excess sugar is thought to be a key cause of the obesity epidemic, obesity itself is not the root cause of disease, but it’s presence is a marker for metabolic damage and changes that lead to heart disease and diabetes. Metabolic damage, oxidative stress and systemic chronic illness also impact on oral health. Sugar is so harmful to health that there are calls for it to be controlled and taxed in the same way as tobacco and alcohol. Research indicates that sugar indirectly contributes to 35 million deaths a year worldwide as there appears to be links to the massive rise in diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes since we began eating more sugar. The health effects of excess sugar consumption are similar to those of alcohol.

For the first time in human history, non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, pose a greater health burden worldwide than infectious disease. While alcohol, tobacco and diet are all targeted as risk factors for these diseases by policymakers, Doctors are apparently calling for attention to be turned towards the dangers of excess sugar consumption. Sugar provides “empty calories”, and a growing body of evidence suggests that fructose (one component of table sugar) can trigger processes that lead to liver toxicity and a host of other chronic diseases.

While sugar was only available as fruit and honey at certain times of the year to our ancestors, it is now present in nearly all processed foods. In some parts of the world people are consuming more than 500 calories worth of sugar per day. There is growing evidence that excess sugar has an effect on human health beyond simply adding calories and can cause many of the same problems as alcohol, including high blood pressure, high blood fats, insulin resistance and diabetes. The economic and human costs of these diseases place excess consumption of sugar in the same category as smoking and drinking, and like tobacco and alcohol, sugar acts on the brain to encourage dependence. Specifically, it interferes with the workings of a hormone called ghrelin (which signals hunger to the brain) and it also affects the action of other important compounds.

Oral health is determined by various factors including diet, stress and the use of alcohol or tobacco. In ‘The World Oral Health Report’ published by WHO, it is stated “The rapidly changing (oral) disease patterns throughout the world are closely linked to changing lifestyles which include diets rich in sugars, widespread use of tobacco and increased consumption of alcohol”.

If we are to tackle not only the decline in oral health but the overall health of the population then it makes sense that we address our level of sugar consumption, but at the same time we must surely stop and observe the way in which we are living. Something has gone drastically wrong when despite our remarkable medical advances and vast knowledge of the body, nutrition and illness and disease the statistics show that we are fighting a losing battle as the prevalence of heart disease, diabetes and cancer continue to rise.

Is it possible that it is too confronting to stop and ask ourselves why are we eating so much sugar? Would it reveal things about us and the way we are that could be challenging and mean that we have to take responsibility for our daily choices? Like the fact that we eat sugar because we are exhausted, stressed or seeking comfort. Or we are seeking a moment of pleasure, a quick buzz, and a high via a sugar rush that gets our nervous system revved up and out of balance. Or we are desperate to numb the way we feel inside and avoid dealing with life. Or we do not feel alive enough just as we are without altering our brain and body chemistry with foods.

What if there was a way to live that meant we could live from what is naturally inside by simply connecting to the “real you”, a real you that once experienced you would never want to dull, compromise or alter in any way? The workshops, talks and books of Serge Benhayon of Universal Medicine and the esoteric wisdom present that we are all equally love and by connecting to and living that love the natural inner balance and harmony of the body and the real you can be restored. Is it possible then if we were to live life in this way that our need to consume vast amounts of sugar would simply drop away, and our health and oral health would improve as a consequence?

To this I would simply have to answer, yes of course, for I have witnessed it first hand for my part in not only the way I live but also in those associated with Universal Medicine and practitioners of esoteric modalities and in my own dental patients that have then gone on to implement more self-caring lifestyle choices and practices into their everyday living.

Dental Implant Surgery and the Latest Speedy Healing Methods

Dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed in multiple stages. This is a much more advanced alternative to partial or full dentures. These implants are different from traditional dentures in that they are fixed to the jaw bone. Unlike traditional removable dentures, they are permanently fixed and cannot be removed. No regular adjustment or realignment is required.

The Preferred Dental Procedure

Today, tooth implant surgery is very common and many dentists and prosthodontists are qualified to perform it. Irrevocably damaged or decayed teeth can be replaced with permanent alternatives and they look very much like natural teeth. Here is the procedure that is followed in tooth implants:

• The damaged tooth or teeth are first extracted
• The jawbone is then prepared for surgery. Depending on the condition of the underlying bond, bone-grafting may be necessitated. In this case, the procedure will take longer than usual.
• A titanium screw or post in placed in the hole that has been drilled into the jaw bone. This is then allowed to heal completely for a couple of months.
• The dentist will check if the wound had healed and will then affix the crown on the screw.

This entire procedure takes around two to three months. The healing itself takes a couple of months and the bone and tissue has to re-grow around this newly added structure. The condition of the jaw bone has to be good for the implant to be possible and successful. A weak bone base will not be able to withstand the pressure that the chewing motion of the mouth exerts.

The Latest in Dental Medicine

The one reason why many people hesitate to opt for this procedure is the time that is required for the implant to be accepted and the wound to heal. In rare cases this new addition may be rejected. But modern medicine has found a solution for that too. Platelet Rich Plasma or Plasma Rich Plasma is extracted from the patient’s own blood. This is then used to hasten the healing process.

The bone grows faster and the wound heals quicker. There are very little chances of rejection as the plasma is acquired from the patient’s own body. This procedure is used in sports medicine and orthopedics very successfully. It uses the natural healing properties of the body to heal the wound that is created by the dental implant and is definitely a significant advancement in the field of dentistry.