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Woman has lived with a dentist’s drill lodged in her jaw for two years


A woman from Leamington Spa has had to live with a broken dentist’s drill in her jaw for the past two years after the instrument snapped off during a root canal treatment. Alison Southwood, 44, was left with the broken drill bit in her tooth for the extended period of time as a string of experts refused to remove it due to risks involved. Dental surgeons feared that trying to remove the drill would leave her with numbness in her face.

Alison told Mailonline ‘I can’t believe how much stress and misery has been caused by what should have been a simple operation.’ Although her mouth was numbed for the treatment, she said that it was obvious something had gone wrong and she explained that ‘a hush descended on the room and the dentist and dental nurse exchanged worried glances. They legged it out of the room for a private discussion. I was just left to lie there and wonder how there were going to break the news to me.’

The treated tooth has since started to decay and Alison faces having the molar extracted so that surgeons can reach and remove the drill. She added ‘It’s a race against time to get it out. If left for too long, the metal could cause a toxic reaction. It’s an absolutely terrifying thought.’

Alison received £5,500 in an out of court settlement from Genix Healthcare in Cirencester, following a sixteen month legal battle after the incident occurred in March 2013. A spokesperson for the company said ‘we are totally committed to ensuring the safety of our patients and the high quality of dental treatment and care provided.’

Glasgow dental students don’t have enough patients


Students at Glasgow Dental School and hospital are falling behind in their studies due to the lack of patients taking advantage of the free treatment on offer; the school – which provides teaching for Glasgow university students – offers free fillings or root canals to help students build up enough points to pass their course. Without patients to practice on, the students may not have the points to graduate at the end of the year.

One student, who did not wish to be named, spoke to the Glasgow Evening Times, saying ‘there is nothing you can do about this if you don’t have the patients, and people at times don’t have enough to work on. I think people in Glasgow should be made more aware of the free dental care we provide at the school. It benefits them and us.’

The school said that they advertise for patients around once a year, but students are worrying that this is not enough. Another student, also anonymous, added ‘I found myself in this situation when I had to carry out root canal treatment on a patient and unfortunately there weren’t any available patients needing it performed.’

A spokesman for Glasgow University added that ‘People are able to go on to the University of Glasgow website where they can find more information about signing up for free treatment with our dental students’.

Polar bear undergoes root canal treatment


It’s not just humans that can suffer with dental problems, in fact broken or infected teeth are a major cause of carnivore death in the wild; luckily for 75 stone polar bear Arktos, there were some dentists on hand to help him out after he started to get toothache.

Vets from the Royal Zoological Society darted the huge bear with tranquilisers and performed a three hour dental operation yesterday. When Arktos was unconscious, the dentists discovered that one of his teeth was damaged at the tip and had rotted through; they prescribed a root canal filling – a routine procedure with humans that involves drilling into the tooth and scraping out the inner pulp to remove infection.

Douglas Richardson, Animal Collection Manager at the Highland Wildlife Park explained that they had trained Arktos and the other polar bears to open their mouths for trainers to inspect their teeth, adding that ‘Arktos really is a lucky bear and we were delighted to be able to save his tooth; in the wild the infection would have tracked through his system, causing him a great deal of pain and discomfort and, over the longer term, it could eventually kill him.’

After the three-hour root canal, Arktos took twenty minutes to come round, then Douglas says that ‘he quickly had a drink and we expect him to start eating again this morning, when we will try him on some of his favourite soft foods as his mouth will still be a bit sore.’

Women ‘are less likely to need an emergency dentist’


Women 'are less likely to need an emergency dentist'Women are more likely to see a dentist regularly in order to reduce the risk of needing root canal treatment, a study has suggested.

Findings published in the Journal of Peridontology have revealed that women care more than men about the welfare of their teeth and gums, reports.

Researchers found that fewer females suffer from symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding gums or dental plaque, as a result of taking more precautions.

The findings also revealed that 75 per cent of women would be embarrassed about the loss of a tooth caused by unhealthy gums.

In order to prevent this, women are also more likely to floss regularly in a bid to strengthen gums and remove bacteria.

Previous studies have discovered a link between poor oral hygiene and wider medical issues, such as strokes, diabetes and heart disease.

New research in the American Journal of Peridontology has revealed that regular consumption of calcium could reduce the risk of developing gum disease.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800558410-ADNFCR

Patients ‘should not worry about root canal treatment’


Patients 'should not worry about root canal treatment'People worrying about needing root canal treatment may be reassured by comments from a dental health expert.

Cosmetic dentist Thomas P Connelly urged prospective patients to remain calm before the procedure, as it is not as painful as most people think.

In an article for the Huffington Post, Dr Connelly stated that the treatment is the most effective method to stop pain from a damaged tooth.

The procedure usually involves drilling into the tooth in order to rid the mouth of infected pulp, with the dentist then drilling the nerves out of the root canal.

Dr Connelly warned patients that dental professionals often need to fit a crown to the tooth following the treatment in order to make it last as long as possible.

Bupa Healthcare states that the pulp in the teeth can be damaged by a number of factors which may lead to a person needing root canal treatment – including injury, gum disease and tooth decay.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800547250-ADNFCR

Teeth grinding ‘could lead to emergency dentistry’


Teeth grinding 'could lead to emergency dentistry'People who grind their teeth during the night could be more likely to need emergency dentistry such as root canal treatment.

Although many may be unaware they are committing the act while they sleep, people who grind their teeth could face a number of oral health problems.

Experts have advised the public to be aware of telltale signs of teeth grinding in a bid to monitor the effects it could have on dental condition.

For instance, Dental Health Magazine says chipped front teeth, sore gums and the appearance of flattened teeth are all found to be symptoms of the problem.

People who grind their teeth are often found to suffer from a sore jaw in the morning due to clenching during the night.

Teeth Grinding Cure recommends that those who grind their teeth should seek help from a dental professional.

The website suggests people wear a personalised mouth guard during the night in a bid to combat the problem and prevent future health problems. ADNFCR-2621-ID-800531431-ADNFCR

Balanced diet ‘could prevent root canal treatment’


Balanced diet 'could prevent root canal treatment'People who eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables could limit their chances of needing emergency dentistry and root canal treatment, an expert has suggested.

Preventing a build-up of plaque caused by eating unhealthy foods reduces the risk of gum disease and bad breath, Sign On San Diego reports.

Registered dietician Halle Elbling told the news provider that people should eat a nutritious diet from an early age to avoid developing poor oral health.

Ms Elbling recommended that young people consume more dairy products that are rich in calcium to promote the growth of healthy and strong teeth.

Cheddar, Swiss and American cheese have been shown to maintain low acid levels in the mouth, which can prevent cavities from forming over time.

Advice website About Dental Care urges people to drink plenty of water as an alternative to sweet and fizzy drinks in order to maintain oral health.

People should also limit the amount of snacks they consume between meals in a bid to protect teeth and gums. ADNFCR-2621-ID-800526843-ADNFCR

Communication ‘helps emergency dentistry patients’


Communication 'helps emergency dentistry patients'People afraid of having emergency dentistry such as root canal treatment should talk to their dentist for reassurance.

Those who are scared of undergoing dental procedures could find it helpful to communicate their thoughts to the medical professionals beforehand, while people who focus their attention on unrelated thoughts to distract them from daunting emergency dentistry procedures could also feel more at ease.

Discussing pain relief options with dental professionals could also take the focus away from treatments for frightened patients, as well as provide reassurance.

Acknowledging technological developments in the oral health industry, Asia One columnist Su Aziz advises hesitant emergency dentistry patients to discuss any past traumatic experiences with oral health professionals.

Meanwhile, BBC News has suggested there are two types of dental apprehension, with most people displaying dental anxiety, which is a mild fear.

Dental phobia affects around ten per cent of people and is a more serious sense of dread. ADNFCR-2621-ID-800504954-ADNFCR

Emergency dentistry news: Teeth can be saved by root canal therapy


Emergency dentistry news: Teeth can be saved by root canal therapyA new campaign has been launched to inform people their teeth can be saved using emergency dentistry.

The recent Adult Dental Survey revealed that two million teeth were removed as part of medical treatment last year, but experts have argued patients may not have been aware that emergency dentistry could have saved their smile.

Harley Street Centre for Endodontics has launched the Saving Teeth campaign which aims to inform people of dental procedures that could protect teeth and help them avoid having them removed.

Root canal treatment is said to be one of the most effective methods used by dentists to remove a tooth. However, research has shown people tend to avoid this treatment due to the pain it causes.

Psychology Professor Tim Newton claims feeling nervous may deter people from having necessary treatment which will work out more effectively in the long term.

He said: "When they do attend often make decisions which they might not make if they were less anxious – for example to have teeth extracted rather than to attend more appointments to repair their teeth."ADNFCR-2621-ID-800484905-ADNFCR

Root canal treatment ‘will help to maintain a smile’


Root canal treatment should not be painful, according to one specialist.  People should not be afraid of having root canal treatments, because they can help to save teeth that would otherwise have to be taken out.

This is the advice of Dr Clara Spatafore from the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), who said patients avoid them because they fear potential pain, even though having root canal treatment will help them to sustain the ability to bite and chew.

"Many patients do not realise that, just like any other medical specialty, significant advances in technology have enabled endodontists to perform root canals safely and comfortably," she commented.

Dr Spatafore also cited AAE research which showed that patients who have had root canal treatment are likely to describe it as painless.

This follows similar advice from endodontics specialist Julian Webber, who told Medical News Today earlier this month that teeth fixed using this form of treatment can last for many years afterwards, sometimes even for a lifetime.

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