The Tea(th) – 7th Ed: A Hypnotic Trip to the Dentist

What is ‘The Tea(th)’ you ask? It’s our way of bringing some dental news, current events, and clinical pearls to the palm of your hand. With a little added humor and satirical stanzas, of course! We know your life is busy and no one has time to read a newspaper nowadays, so we aim to make this brief yet informative, and above all piping HOT!

In this week's edition: You're feeling VERY Sleepy...and You Love Your Dentist, Increase in Stress-Related Dental Issues During the Pandemic, Bob does some DIY Implant Placement, Tips to not cement your crowns backwards, and more!
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Recent News

You’re feeling VERY Sleepy...and You Love Your Dentist

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Although pain management has seen significant advancements, people nowadays still avoid seeing the dentist out of fear or anxiety. “No offense, but I hate the dentist.” Gee thanks, I hate myself too and wish I had a nickle for every time someone told me that. Don’t worry, while patients disdain us there is still hope. Hypnosis…yes you heard that right. Dental applications of hypnosis include: relaxation, relief from fears and anxieties, reduction in both perception and severity of pain, bleeding and salivation control (both to increase/decrease flow, as needed), bruxism control, finger-sucking, and other habits, to promote behavioral modifications associated with optimization of oral health. As relaxation increases, it can even raise the pain threshold, and decrease the requirement for local anesthesia.

Increase in Stress-Related Dental Issues During the Pandemic

The American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute (HPI) indicates there has been a rise in stress-related dental conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In a survey sent to U.S. dentists, they report seeing cases of tooth grinding and clenching rise by 59.4%, with instances of both cracked and chipped teeth rising by 53.4% each. There has also been a rise in caries, periodontal disease, and symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Thanks a lot COVID for continuing to mess up our lives.

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Real patients, real stories, fake names.

Bob came in needing a maxillary complete denture but had to go through treatment planning first. During the treatment planning appt he didn’t understand why I couldn’t just make a denture on top of his broken down upper teeth. He even got offended that we were “trying to rip him off” when I informed him of the price for implants. We barely finished his comprehensive exam and couldn’t get a full treatment plan together. I scheduled his tx planning appt for the next week and he reluctantly agreed to come.
One week passed and he rolled into the next appt with a huge grin on his face. He gets in the chair and says, “Wait till you see my teeth, I ought to become a dentist myself, I did half your job for you!” *I was horrified but curious at the same time.* I asked him to open his mouth to see what he had done. To my horror I looked in and found that he had drilled hardware screws into the canals of all his anterior root tips. He looked at me saying, “My buddy and I took a bottle of Jack to my workshop and made my own implants. Now I can have one of those expensive ‘overdentures’ you were talking about last week! Just make a normal denture and I’ll screw it in.”
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"Real Queens Fix Each Others Crowns Without Telling the World it was Crooked”

This took on a whole new meaning this appointment. While seating a crown on #5, I realized the crown could seat equally when placed forward/backward (with the buccal facing lingually). However, when placed backwards the mesial margin was slightly open. Confident that I knew which side was correct, my assistant filled the crown with cement and handed it to me. I quickly placed it on the prep, cured it, and then did my usual cleaning/polishing. Next, I checked the occlusion…only to realize the lingual cusp was facing me. *GULP.* I…cemented the crown BACKWARDS — cue the internal scream… ”OMG no, How did I do this?!” I promptly fessed up to the patient, who was none the wiser and started laughing. Needless to say, she will be returning next week for a remake.
Word to the wise, when cementing a crown, double, triple, quadruple…just check a million times that your crown is seated properly before fully cementing!
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meme of the week

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Have any interesting or crazy patient stories? Want to share helpful clinical, business, or study-related pearls? Or just have some updates on how you’re surviving dental school, residency, or life in the real world (yikes)? Well, we want to hear all about it! Submit your Tea(th) anonymously below or tell us your name so we can credit you. We promise to NEVER mention your name unless you tell us otherwise and give us explicit permission.

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