Category Archives: Nonprofits & Activism

Fun Facts About Braces and Orthdontics

Braces Trivia

An orthodontist needs four years of college, four years of dental school, and two years of postgraduate study in orthodontics before they can practice orthodontics.

All orthodontists are also board certified dentists

Dr Charles Tweed was the first certified orthodontist in the US.
The first “braces” were constructed by Pierre Fauchard in 1728. Fauchard’s “braces” consisted of a flat strip of metal, which was connected to teeth by pieces of thread. Continue reading Fun Facts About Braces and Orthdontics


Studying oral health in the United States vs. foreign countries

The aim of this study was to compare the oral health status of underserved individuals in the United States with underserved individuals in two other countries, Colombia and Kenya. Each year, dental students from the Ostrow School of Dentistry of University of Southern California (USC), Dental Humanitarian Outreach Program (DHOP) travel overseas to countries where residents with untreated dental problems have no access to dental care. Continue reading Studying oral health in the United States vs. foreign countries


Study finds a 34% rise in dentists performing orthodontic treatments


One may not equate an online advertising and marketing business with producing dental statistics. However, OutRank by Rogers proved to be an exception. This “one-stop shop for marketing and advertising your small business” recently gathered some interesting statistics about the changing face of today’s dentistry, in particular regarding invisible braces and adults choosing corrective cosmetic procedures.

“The data is based on thousands of clients (and hundreds of dentists) across Canada, excluding Quebec,” said Carrie Shaw, Director of Marketing at OutRank by Rogers. “We set up search-optimized websites for our customers and have access to all of the searches that lead to views to our clients’ websites. That is how we acquired five million searches. The data shows how the industry is changing. To date we’ve seen about 34% of our dentistry partners optimizing their advertising for search words such as Invisalign, invisible braces, aligners, and smile correction.”

“Why did we decide to dive into this research? It was an insight offered by one of our customer service associates that made us realize there was a story here,” Shaw said. “This person works on a lot of dental accounts and noticed the increasing prevalence of dentists offering corrective treatments. We pulled the data and found that indeed, many people are searching for terms such as Invisalign, and more dentists are showing up at the top of the results, not just orthodontists!”
A large part of this change is being driven by the ease of integrating these kinds of procedures into a dental practice, according to Rogers’ research. For a system such as Invisalign, a dentist can assess alignment issues and create molds of patients’ teeth, techniques that are already common in dental practices. These molds are then sent to a laboratory, where 10 to 20 sets of retainers are created. Requiring no new tools or additional staff, systems like this represent a great way for dentists to generate new business.
Dr. Sundeep Patel, a dentist who handles numerous requests for smile correction, sees a growing acceptance of cosmetic dentistry from both patients and doctors. “When I started my practice 15 years ago, only about 1 in 10 adults came into my office requesting cosmetic dentistry. Now we live in a cosmetic age where esthetic treatments make up about 6 in 10 new patient requests. A fair portion of these includes some form of orthodontic treatment.”
From his practice in Winnipeg, Dr. Patel continues to refer patients to orthodontists, but explains that “choosing to refer a patient is entirely up to the dentist. Each day I see more and more dentists doing general orthodontic work and I honestly think you’ll see this trend continue, especially among young dentists in saturated markets.”
But what’s great for dentists may be a cause for alarm for orthodontists.
Dr. Bruce McFarlane, an orthodontist and mentor at ICANDO, explains, “For every orthodontist there are 10 dentists. Naturally oral health care professionals are expanding their services to adapt to the increased competition, but this doesn’t signal the end of orthodontics as we know it.”
There are many cases where traditional orthodontics are necessary for such issues as skeletal issues, overbites, and narrow bite profiles, which cannot be resolved with Invisalign. Adult corrections represent about 30% of Dr. McFarlane’s total practice, and of these cases only about one third are right for braces alternatives. “The worry for me is less about the competition, and more that patients are listening to their doctor’s advice and not fixating on a single treatment option,” he said.
“As far as the link between doctor, patient, and Internet, I think the salient point is that search engines show us what’s trending and we see businesses respond to that,” Shaw said. “I think dentists and orthodontists can learn a lot from what Google tells us, and I think that is a really interesting way to understand what prospective patients want. I would imagine the trends are similar in the U.S.”


Latest Japanese Fad of Yaeba is made Possible Through Cosmetic Dentistry

It’s no secret that Americans spend all sorts of money each year on cosmetic dentistry to achieve the perfect smile.  However, the Japanese have adopted another point of view when it comes to straight

According to an article in The New York Times, there is a new trend sweeping across Japan where girls with nice straight teeth are seeking out cosmetic dentistry to actually make their teeth look crooked and crowed.  In America, we call this the “snaggletooth” look, but in Japan the trend has been dubbed as Yaeba, which translates to “double teeth.” Continue reading Latest Japanese Fad of Yaeba is made Possible Through Cosmetic Dentistry


Fake Braces and Dental Fads

In Asia braces are so popular that there is now a black market for fake braces.

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The fake brackets are kept in place by wrapping the wire around the back teeth. Some teens are even using household glue to secure the brackets to their teeth. There have been two deaths connected to the wearing of fake braces. In addition some of the black market wires and brackets have been found to have lead in them. This has led to a crackdown by police and outlawing the sale of fake braces.Many teens who cannot afford to pay for actual orthodontics are buying these wires and brackets from street vendors. The braces give the illusion of wealth and social status.

Are dental fads bad? There have been a couple very popular dental fads out there and fake braces are just the latest and greatest. Other popular fads are: Grillz, Tooth Art, Fangs, etc.

As long as the material is safe, the process is 100% reversible, it does not interfere with cleaning of the teeth nor does it affect the normal function of the bite then fads are fine. As a matter of fact, I love that people are paying attention to their teeth!

When these dental fads are done without the supervision of a licensed dentist it is unknown what damage could be happening. Grillz, for example, that are worn over decayed and dirty teeth will result in rampant decay and tooth loss. Many times the teeth are ground down to make the grillz fit and are jammed over the teeth without cement. The removable grillz can also cause changes in the bite if worn too often or for long periods of time.

My worry with fake braces is that the brackets could be swallowed, inhaled or could break the natural teeth by biting on them accidently. In addition, even in actual orthodontic work the teeth are more difficult to clean and the brackets catch food and can contribute to decay, these may be even worse.

It is interesting to note that while American teens can’t wait to get their braces off, Asian teens are going to black market to get the “tinsel teeth” look.


History of Dental Instruments

As far back as 5,000 B.C., according to an ancient Sumerian text that claimed tooth decay was the result of “tooth worms,”tooth wormsdentists have been wielding their implements of torture among the populace

The first dental drill was a foot driven instrument invented by John Greenwood in 1790. Far from the high tech dental drills of today, the first dental drill John Greenwood made was really just a modified version of his mother’s foot treadle spinning wheel. While, a bit unwieldy, it did the trick. In 1957, a dentist named John Borden invented the high speed contra angle hand piece with 30,000 rotations per minute, a monumental step forward in dental drilling and polishing.

In 1790, a prominent American dentist named Josiah Flagg invented the first dentist chair, complete with headrest and tray for keeping track of implements. In 1832, inventor James Snell improved on Greenwood’s invention by making the chair recline, making it easier for a dentist to see in his victim’s (or patient’s) mouth. In 1877, the chair once again made dental headlines when the Wilkerson chair replaced the Snell chair as the predominant chair type used by dentists.

In 1864, Sanford C. Barnum invented the rubber dental dam. It’s purpose is to isolate an individual tooth so the dentist can work with a limited amount of saliva present to slow his work. Cutting off the area of concern from the rest of the mouth makes it easier to work.

In 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physicist, invented the x-ray machine most often used by dentists. A year later, in 1896 a well known New Orleans dentist, C. Edmond Kells, took the first dental x-ray of a living person in the U.S. The ability to see what was happening under the surface improved the precision that dentists could use when isolating dental problems.

There were a number of types of toothbrushes before the nylon brush came along, but since it did in 1938, the nylon toothbrush has been the standard toothbrush used by dentists and people alike. In 1960, the first electric model toothbrush was introduced to the buying public.




Bisphosphonates could be responsible for delayed dental healing


Bisphosphonates taken orally are usually prescribed to patients suffering from osteoporosis. They can also be used intravenously as part of secondary bone cancer treatment.  Continue reading Bisphosphonates could be responsible for delayed dental healing