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Safety concerns in dentistry?

Partners In Prevention 1Two reports crossed my desk recently, which raised some possible serious concerns about how we go about delivering dental care.

First, a report suggests that anaesthetics are linked to permanent tooth failure in younger patients.  The study authors concluded that it is possible for local anesthetics to inhibit pulp cell growth for still-developing permanent teeth. As a result, the drugs may lead to the occasional failure of these teeth.  It is noted this research is based on in vitro data and more research needs to be conducted.

Second, a new Indian study reported the following about fluoride’s potential link to intellectual development:

In bivariate analysis, significant relationships were found between water fluoride levels and Intelligence Quotient of school children (P < 0.05). In the high fluoride village, the proportion of children with IQ below 90, i.e. below average IQ was larger compared to normal and low fluoride village. Age, gender, parent education level and family income had no significant association with IQ.

Both studies have significant limitations. But in the age of social media and the informed dental patient, they provide a “heads-up” to what might be asked by the patient down the road.

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1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. In order to make sure patients get the best dental care possible, it’s important to take any research that is released with a grain of salt. Once a piece of information is established as fact, it’s a good idea to adapt and make any changes needed to give people the best care possible. Even though the basics, such as getting regular dental cleanings, will always apply, ways to improve the techniques are always being developed.

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