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Oral Health And Overall Health: Why A Healthy Mouth Is Good For Your Body
Tips for Becoming a Better Dental Assistant
Dental Assistants are Important
Fears about Dental Radiation
Fluoride in Young Children- New Guidelines


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Link Between Alzheimers Disease and Poor Dental Health

          In a recent study conducted by the University of Central Lanchasire in the UK, researchers found that people who had poor hygiene or gum disease were at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer s disease, in comparison to those who had healthy teeth. This was evident in the presence of bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is commonly connected with periodontal disease, that appeared in brains of those with dementia.
         Generally the Porphyromonas gingivalis is found in oral cavities, but it can spread throughout the body through various daily activities, such as brushing your teeth or chewing, and is even more likely to enter the body through aggressive dental treatment. These various things can lead to the bacteria entering the brain. When that happens, researchers found that it can trigger an immune system response, which subsequently can cause a release of too many chemicals that can kill neurons in the brain.
        This study added to previous studies that linked Alzheimer's disease and poor general health. Studies done by places such as New York University and University of New Mexico previously found that gum disease and other viruses and diseases, such as HSV-1 can increase cognitive dysfunction risk, and thus Alzheimer's disease. To read the full article click here.
        The moral of the story? Have your teeth professionally cleaned and checked every 6 months and keep up good home care, flossing every day and brushing your teeth at least twice a day. By having a healthy mouth you will have lower risk of other health issues as well.

Benefits of Implants

A new report put out by the International Journal or Oral and Maxillofacial Implants reveals that dental implants can save costs compared to other traditional alternatives and that they improve the quality of life. The study looked at long-term costs, primarily comparing implants to bridges. It concluded that for single tooth replacement implants tended to be more cost-effective than traditional bridges. When compared with full dentures, implant based treatment yielded higher initital costs, but that in the long term implants can be cost-effective as well. Furthermore when looking at dentures versus implants, those who had implants tended more often to have improved oral health and decreased health care costs. This article appeared in Medical News Today, click here to read the full article.
Not sure what implants are or want to learn more about their benefits? Click here for more detailed information. Below are some quick facts we have put together to introduce dental implants to those who may be unfamiliar with them.
What is an implant?
An implant is a small post that is placed in the bone socket where a tooth was extracted or where a tooth is a missing. After an initial healing period to ensure that the implant integrates into the jaw a connector is added to the implant, called an abutment, where then a crown can be attached. (See photo below for a comparison of a natural tooth and an implant).
What are some of the benefits of an implant?
  • Implants look and feel like your real teeth
  • Implants help improve your overall oral health
  • Implants last much longer than other traditional alternatives, such as bridges
  • Implants have a success rate of up to 98%
Dental Implant
Dental Implant
Dental Implant compared to a natural tooth

Strategies for Finding a Job and Interviewing

Once you have successfully finished a dental assisting program how do you search for the right job and have a successful, stress free interview? The American Dental Assistant Association (ADAA) in a recent article gives some tips that can aid in this search. They reccommend a good place to start looking is online, such as places like Careerbuilder.com or Monster.com, because they are based on geographic locations. Some programs give assistance in searching for jobs, such as our program at Practical Dental Assisting of Oregon. Another great tool is if you are a member of the ADAA you can search for positions according to state. We would additionally recommend starting a profile on a professional site such as linkedin so other dental professionals can find you as well.
The ADAA additionally gives a few factors to consider when you are looking for a position that works well for you. The first is to consider if you are wanting a full time position, part time position, and if you want to work at one or more offices. Also if you are considering a full time position it might be important to figure out if the office provides benefits, as most part time jobs will not.
Dressing for an interview might not seem pertinent, but it definitely is in the dental field because it is conservative and appearances create a lasting first impression (whether it be good or bad). The ADAA recommends wearing business pants or a business skirt that is at or below the knee, darker colors, a simple professional blouse that's light in color and will match the pants or skirt, as well as having an appropriate neckline and sleeves. Shoes should match the dark pants or skirt and heels should be a low or mid heel, as well as keeping any jewlery that is worn simple. This will show that you're professional, put together, and serious about your career.
Now during the interview make sure to smile and make eye contact, ensuring the interviewee that you are paying attention and are interested in what is being discussed. Although you might be nervous, try not to fidget, and sit with uncrossed arms and legs to signal that you are open and focused. Be prepared for common interview questions and have an answer ready, as well as providing concrete examples of how you would add to the staff. It is also important to ask questions of the employer as well. While a formal, verbal interview is important you should also request a working interview. The most important thing in regards to an interview is to be prepared!
For additional tips and information about this subject or to read the full article, click here.

Helpful Facts for Dental Assistants to Know

For those of you who are currently dental assistants or looking to become dental assistants we have put together some interesting facts, things to know, etc. for you!
  • The 2010 median pay of a dental assistant was $33,470, with a median hourly wage of $16.09
  • In 2010 dental assisting jobs accounted for nearly 300,000 jobs
  • The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the job outlook for dental assistants from 2010-2020 is 31%, which is much faster than average
Some people also don't know the difference between a dental assistant and a dental hygienist. Dental assistants assist the dentist in primarily restorative procedures through help with things such as passing instruments, providing suction and water, sterilizing instruments, and taking x-rays. Comparitively a dental hygienist works with individual patients on their own to perform cleaning, scaling, and polishing of teeth, probing teeth and gums, and checking for any signs of disease. Also dental hygienists require more education. While the duties of dental hygienists are fairly straight forward the duties of dental assistants can vary depending on where you live, who you work for, and what type of dentist you work for. A great resource for some additional information about this is the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Here you can look up information for the state you live/work in. To go there click here.
With the many tasks that dental assistants have it is rare that the job is boring, in fact they are required to have what are called CE credits. These are "continuing education credits" which means you must take a certain amount of classes where you further your knowledge. This makes the job even more exciting and important. For a more detailed look at some things dental assistants should know including common requirements for dental assistants, click here.

Kids and Halloween

In a recent study by the American Dental Association, it was found that kids recognize that they eat too much candy on Halloween. The research showed that 94% of kids participate in Halloween, and 65% of those think Halloween is the best holidy of the year. It also reported that 2/3 of kids questioned agreed that they eat too much candy on and around Halloween. In order from most favorite to least favorite, kids said their top Halloween acitivites are trick or treating, dressing up in a costume, and getting lots of candy. This study also found that kids would still like Halloween if it was less about candy and more about other types of fun. To read more about this, click here.
Do you think that it would be possible to make Halloween more nutritous for kids? Also these studies indicate that kids are possibly being better educated about their teeth and health in relation to sugar, what do you think? We would love to hear your feedback, so feel free to share!