Monday, October 28, 2013

7 tips for cavity prevention during Halloween

Halloween is coming closer! Trick or treaters are getting ready for fun and candies!
And parents are worried about the kids oral health. 

So here are some tips to prevent cavities during this season.

Many researchers suggest that cavities are caused by bacteria which produce acid in the presence of fermented carbohydrates or, sugars. Prevent this from happening by:

1. Letting kids eat candy for limited times of the day. Don't let them eat candies throughout the day.

2. Try to avoid hard and sticky candies (lollipops,gummy bears etc) because they stick on the chewing surface of the teeth, or may chip them. 

3. Stick to more easily meltable sweets.

4. Let them eat crunchy fruits like apples and crunchy veggies like celery after eating candy in order to remove the sugar from the teeth.

5. Make sure kids do proper brushing and flossing.

6. Check for new white spots on the tooth. If any, make sure to get examined by dentist before it gets bigger.

7. And if it's possible, try to get sugar free candy.

Have a happy and safe Halloween with a healthy smile!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How to mount full mouth X-rays in dental office

If I am working in a new dental office and asked to take a Full Mouth series of X-rays, my first question will be, how many films are your FMX series.
The number of X-rays in a FMX series depends on the dentists' preference. So, it can be 14 or 16 ....
Some offices really want the mandibular canines exposed 
In some offices, FMX is 16 while others it is just 10. I am not sure about why it is like that and how they charge for it. All I know is, in the chart, they will write a code for that. 

Anyways, we just get the required X-rays the dentist ask for. When I was a beginner Dental assistant, it was a big hard task to mount the FMX. It is not that difficult now. 

 There is a dot on the film, right? We are going to mount the films labially and these dots are going to face us.

I usually separate the bitewing X-rays first. Then mount them. If you have a FMX mount, then it is easy. 
Many offices have only the Universal X-ray mounts
I usually mount the patients right side molar first and mount all the maxillary radiographs on the top pockets. The mandibular X-rays on the lower pockets. 
Now, if you forget how to know the left and right, remember the curve of spree and  patients right is your left.  

One dentist insisted on a special method of film placement and mounting technique. The dots, or the pimples should be towards the midline when we place them in the mouth. Then when you mount them, it is just a breeze. Only problem is some of the dots are on the gingival side instead of being on the incisal edge. But, hey, it is the choice of the boss.

I like this video But, it cannot be embedded.I found this one with 20 films.

If you are preparing for Dental Assisting radiology exam or for NDAEB certification, this page on bisecting technique will be helpful for studying. 

Other helpful pages for exam prep are

3. I haven't explored it fully. guess, you can create flashcards there.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Premolar bitewing positioning Digital X-ray

Radiographs are very important diagnostic tools in dentistry. 

I was looking for some tips to take the bitewing X-rays with digital sensors.
The molar bitewings are easier to me. I have difficulty with bicuspids usually. 

I didn't get much help with the above video though. The out of the circle placement of the PID is not shown clearly. Did any one understand it correctly? The comments being disabled, there is no way to ask for clarification.

The main difficulty is to get the half of the canine on the X-ray. The sensor being bulky, patients complain it is hard to close the mouth. 

Right now, with digital X-rays, I am trying to say "close gently" instead of "bite".  With just change of words, I am getting less complaints. 
To keep the sensor safe, I try to wrap the wire on the arm of the holder too. Wish, some one comes up with more practical tips...

Monday, October 21, 2013

IRM/ZOE Dental Fillings and Tips for Dental Assistants

We all know intermediate restorative materials like ZOE comes with measuring spoon and dropper for the liquid.

The smell of eugenol is pleasing to me. Yet, it was not a pleasant experience to mix when the measuring spoon is permanently absent in one of my part-time places

That tiny thing is very useful to measure the powder. Without it, eyeballing the powder and mixing it to the consistency is really hard

The assistant working there full time seems to love it that way and she gets everything right too. 
If you need some kind of help, first you look online, right?

Sure enough, there are videos. There are helpful articles. 
I found an article on columbia university website.
While, it says to roll the mixed cement in to a long roll, my boss wanted to get it rolled in to a ball. 
The following video shows how to mix it properly.

I kind of eyeballed the powder and placed it exactly like they did.
Then, mixing very carefully, incorporating increments of powder to make the desired consistency.
Now, I can mix the ZOE for temporary fillings without much difficulty. This video is a great reference. 

The dentist (my boss) liked to shape and clean the filling with a wet cotton tipped applicator. 

To do a further more research about this intermediate restorative dental material is not going to hurt me. So, I decided to have a look on the contents. 
It has the smell of clove oil. The Eugenol is extracted from the clove oil. 
So, when they use ZOE as a temporary filling material?
The tooth must have a deep decay, which is almost touching the nerve. If they do drill for cavity preparation, the pulp will be infected. The tooth will be a sure candidate for RCT. The temporary placement of ZOE will help the tooth to heel and a final filling can be done.

Tip for Assistants:
Just remember that dentists usually don't use matrix bands, even if the cavity is interproximal and huge, for the IRM/ZOE fillings.
What is the reason?
The material is putty like. So, when removing the matrix band, the filling will come out with the bank. 
So just remember, when your DDs is doing an IRM filling, never offer a matrix band.

If there is any eye or skin  contact with the material, just wash it off with water. 

ZOE has anaesthetic and antibacterial properties too. 

 Did you know that it was introduced in the 1890s? 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Marketing :Dental Style

The dental office receptionist asked the man why he didn't return her calls to make appointment for the denture impressions.

He said he happened to be in prison for hitting and knocking another man's tooth.

The receptionist gave a bunches of business cards to the man and said, "Give out these cards next time you knock off some ones tooth. We really appreciate more patients".

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fun with flossing

I just found these ones on the net. Fun to me.

Scotia Bank slogan with a dental twist.

Mrs. White came to the office for a cleaning and check up. Our hygienist finished her cleaning and X-rays. 

Mrs. White is very a happy funny lady, and does flossing every day. After the cleaning it was time for regular examination by the dentist. By the way, the dentist in charge was a new associate to the practice. 

Being very chatty, Mrs. white told the dentist, she has a gold crown on the upper right side molar. Without losing a beat, the dentist commented, "You are richer than I think".
A simple twist to the Scotia slogan.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Since you like it, you can have it

My friend Cathy is a dental assistant. 

Her boss insists on patient service. The assistants are supposed to do chit chat with the patient and be very friendly.

I am telling you the story, when Cathy started her job in this office.
To make herself valuable, she wanted to be pleasant with the patients. 
The good looking lady in her forties sat on the chair and flashed beautiful smile. Cathy didn't want to miss the opportunity to complement on the pearly whites. 
" Your teeth are nice. You must be taking good care to keep them so pretty".
The patient was asked Cathy, whether she liked the patient's teem. Cathy was like, " I would be happy to have tooth like yours".

Then the patient took out her upper denture and offered to her
"If you like them so much, here, you can have them".

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The New Dental Assistant duties at the office

My friend was looking for a part-time dental job, during the week. 

She found one through Kijiji. (The new place to look for assistant jobs)

Let us call her Pat. Pat is a dental assistant for over a decade. But, some how, she got tired of the dental offices and quit from her full time job. She promised herself not to work full time again in a dental office. 

Things are changing, and now she decided to find one more part time job along with her current weekend gig.  This one will be for a day at a new office.

The first work interview was fine. The dentist liked her. She liked the office. It is new and everything is nice. The dentist will pay only $15. She want to give it a go. Now, when she started her first day, they want her to mop the floor and clean the washroom too. 

Pat told me, it is not great to do the floor too for the same wage. 
She is doing all of their sterilizing, chair side assisting, dental X-ray, pouring the models etc. A janitor service will cost the office more money and dentists are making the assistants to do several non-assistant duties for the cheap wages.

Pat is frustrated. But, she needs the money for the time being. Can you blame Pat for started looking for another gig already?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Do you want coffee?

The dentist I was working with was a lady and her husband was the acting office manager.
 Let us call the husband Mr. Man and the Dentist Dr.Lady.

Dr.Lady is pretty and has a special tone when talks about money. Mr.Man can be very loud sometimes. Both were known for their penny pinching ways. I mean all staff knew it.

When they opened a second office, they wanted the assistants to go and set up the place. When we were there, it was not just setting up, but rather cleaning up the dust and all the things left out by the installation crew. 

After 3 hours of gruelling cleaning, we both were tired and didn't even had drinking water. Then Mr. Man stepped in. He was happy to see we cleaned the place and it is fine. 
ThenMr.Man asked the unexpected question. "Do you want coffee?"

We thought he was happy and is offering coffee in a friendly way. "Would love to" was our answer.
Then he said "Tim Hortons is around the corner"....

I don't want to be your patient

When it is end of August, many teenage patients are ready to move out from their home.

The kids will be excited about their new life, yet a bit worried too. The parents are proud, happy and sad at the same time. 

If the office is not busy, assistant can talk about the university the kids are going to go. 

One such kid, let us call her Missi. Missi's mommy was talking about the expenses. Then we were curious what Missi wanted become. She said she wanted to be a doctor.

Our mostly very quiet receptionist said, "Missi, I want to be your first patient".

Missi replied with a smile, "I am thinking about becoming a psychiatrist"

The Extracted Tooth

"The tooth is aching". The patient complained. 

The dentist was charmingly explaining about options... But, the middle aged patient insisted on extraction. "Just take it out, please"

It is just the time for another extraction.

I like the extractions. I confess, the boss don't like to do many. 

"This one is looking not that complicated, I will do it for you". The dentist said.  So, there, I am a little excited to assist a little different procedure than the regular stuff.

The tooth has a big hole on it. But, still, it can come out as one. 
After the anesthetics (They say, freezing)  are given, the elevators and the forceps are at work.

The tooth, which didn't get much care in its lifetime was stuck with a lot of plaque and the gums were ready to bleed even with the soft touch. 

I just have to hand out clean gauze to soak the blood and give suction to keep the area visible. 
In between, the dentist, being so caught up in the work, left the things on the counter top, which were supposed to be in the tray.
Finally, when the tooth was out, it looked so dull and bloody. It was just laying on the counter on a white tray paper, sadly.
With a hole on it and the bloody root it still had left a little life on it, I thought.

It is supposed to be disgusted... I didn't felt that way at the moment. When it was time discard it, I can't resist to give it a final washing. There you go Tooth, Rest In Peace now!!