Study Finds Dental Care Not a COVID Risk
Even as vaccination rates continue to rise in the U.S., many patients may still feel uneasy about returning to see a family dentist in Edmond, Oklahoma for routine cleanings and exams. Nationally, the American Dental Association reports that only 80 percent of patients have returned to the dental chair following last year’s shutdown of most dental offices. According to surveys, a concern over contracting COVID has kept many patients from receiving the vital dental care they need to protect the health of their teeth and gums.
While getting vaccinated against the coronavirus dramatically lowers an individual’s risk of contracting the virus, notable breakthrough cases – when a vaccinated patient still contracts a virus – in sports and entertainment have continued to stoke concerns over engaging in activities that increase the risk of contracting COVID. To many patients, visiting a family dentist in Edmond, Oklahoma remains too risky.
The results of a new study may hopefully help to alleviate patient concern. According to researchers from Ohio State University, dental treatment won’t put a patient at risk of contracting COVID.
“Getting your teeth cleaned does not increase your risk for COVID-19 infection any more than drinking a glass of water from your dentist’s office does,” wrote the research team in their findings.
Public health professionals hope the result of this study will help patients overcome any concerns they may have about visiting the dentist now that the pandemic is nearly at an end.
Dental Care Doesn’t Present a COVID Risk
Since COVID-19 primarily spreads through the inhalation of airborne droplets, concerns have persisted throughout the pandemic that saliva released during a dental procedure could help to spread the virus.
To assess the validity of that concern, researchers analyzed the genetic makeup of organisms found in air samples collected during a variety of dental procedures.
Researchers discovered that the water solution from dental tools – not saliva – was the primary source of any bacteria or viruses in the splatter or spurts from the mouths of patients. Even when low levels of the virus were discovered in the saliva samples, the aerosols created during dental work showed no signs of the coronavirus, reported the research team.
This study shows conclusively that COVID simply doesn’t spread during dental care. The aerosolized droplets produced during routine dental work don’t carry the virus and are incapable of infecting a patient or dental care worker.
When coupled with the increased safety precautions taken at our office, it becomes clear that patients have no reason to avoid visiting a family dentist in Edmond, Oklahoma.
In fact, research shows that avoiding dental care is actually the biggest threat to a patient’s health.
Avoiding Dental Care a Serious Risk
As we’ve covered before on our Santa Fe Dental blog, the state of a patient’s oral health greatly influences their overall health. Decades worth of research have found that patients with tooth decay, gum disease, or who are missing teeth have a significantly higher risk for developing a range of chronic health conditions that include heart disease, diabetes, dementia, stroke, and even cancer.
Additionally, more recent research has found that the last year has placed a great deal of strain on many patient’s oral health. The added stress generated by the pandemic has caused dentists across the country to see far more patients dealing with cracked or broken teeth – conditions commonly caused by teeth grinding and clenching.
Even if your teeth haven’t suffered from pandemic related stress, skipping out on dental care can seriously impact the health of your teeth and gums. Studies have shown that many people are simply not giving their teeth the attention they need over the last year. Working from home, combined with pandemic-related depression, has led many people to stop brushing and flossing like before.
A dip in your daily oral hygiene routine allows plaque to build up on the surface of your teeth and along the gum line. During dental cleanings, our hygienists work to remove plaque before it can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. Skipping out on your yearly cleanings means allowing plaque to remain and your oral health to suffer as a result.
Hopefully the results of this latest study will provide nervous patients peace of mind when it comes to returning to the dentist. We hope you know that your health and safety will always remain our top priority, and we look forward to seeing all of your faces real soon at Santa Fe Dental.
Dispelling Common Sleep Apnea Myths
At Santa Fe Dental, we know that patients often need help finding sleep apnea treatment in Edmond, OK. A lot of misinformation surrounds sleep apnea that makes it hard for patients dealing with the sleep disorder to know how to separate fact from fiction.
So that you have the knowledge needed to find the sleep apnea treatment in Edmond that’s right for you, let’s take a moment to dispel some of the myths that surround sleep apnea.
Myth: Snoring is the Only Condition Sleep Apnea Causes
While the most common symptom in patients with sleep apnea, snoring isn’t the only thing the sleep disorder does to your body at night. Patients with sleep apnea actually stop breathing up to 400 times throughout the night. These pauses in breathing can last anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds, and they’re usually followed by a loud snort or chortle that marks when breathing starts again. Not only does not breathing cause the brain to receive too little oxygen, it also places a significant strain on the rest of the body, and can prevent you from receiving the sleep needed to feel rested the next day.
Myth: Sleep Apnea Posses No Health Risk
Repeatedly falling asleep only to have the brain shock you awake multiple times an hour places a great deal of strain on the body. As a result, patients with severe sleep apnea have a significantly higher risk for developing a range of serious health problems that include high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
Myth: Sleep Apnea Only Affects Older Adults
It’s estimated that over 18 million Americans suffer from nightly sleep apnea. While the disorder is more commonly reported in adults 40 and older, it can impact the sleep of patients of all ages. If you’re a man, overweight, Latino, or African-American, you have a higher risk for developing sleep apnea. The disorder also appears to run in families, so if you could hear grandpa snoring loudly at night, you may want to have yourself checked.
Myth: Kids Don’t Develop Sleep Apnea
The rates for kids with sleep apnea are far lower when compared to the number of adults, but the disorder can still impact the rest of up to 10 percent of all children. Most kids with sleep apnea develop only minor symptoms, and many will eventually outgrow the problem. However, some kids do begin to exhibit developmental problems as a result of receiving too little adequate sleep.
Myth: Weight Loss Doesn’t Impact Sleep Apnea
You can help to lessen the symptoms of sleep apnea when you lose even a small amount of weight. If you carry around excess weight, talk with your doctor about starting a weight loss program.
Myth: Sleep Apnea Treatments Make It Hard to Sleep
For a lot of people, treating sleep apnea makes them think of clunky and uncomfortable CPCP machines that require wearing facemasks and hoses when asleep. While CPAP technology has come a long way in recent years to cause much fewer disruptions with a patient’s sleep, alternative technologies do exist that can help to treat the disorder.
At Santa Fe Dental, we use the revolutionary VIVOS system to treat patients with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea, snoring, and sleep-disordered breathing. Unlike CPAP, VIVOS works to naturally correct troubled sleep that’s the result of any anatomical issues that narrow the airway to cause disruptions in how you breathe at night.
Don’t let misinformation about sleep apnea keep you from getting the treatment you need to enjoy a better night’s rest. Contact our team at Santa Fe Dental today to learn more about what VIVOS can do for you.
Don’t Let Sleep Apnea Rob You of Another Night’s Rest
When it comes to sleep apnea treatment in Edmond, OK, you may not initially think that a dentist can help you achieve the better night’s sleep you desire. However, no branch of medicine better understands the mouth and how the formation of the jaw and teeth can impact breathing than dentists.
With the Vivos System, our team at Santa Fe Dental can offer patients the advanced sleep apnea treatment in Edmond, OK they’ve been looking for. After all, failure to treat sleep apnea can have a significant impact on your health and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Let’s take a look at sleep apnea, how it can impact your health, and why you should consider receiving sleep apnea treatment in Edmond, OK.
What is Sleep Apnea?
A sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep.
In patients with OSA sleep, the muscles and soft tissue located in the back of the throat intermittently relax, causing a blockage of the airway to occur. Sensing a lack of oxygen, the brain shocks the body out of sleep, which results in the muscles tightening and the airway reopening.
Unfortunately, once a patient falls back to sleep, the muscles relax and the airway becomes block again. The brain senses the lack of oxygen, shocks the body awake, and the process continues throughout the night.
A patient with severe OSA can experience this cycle of falling asleep and being shocked awake dozens of time an hour.
What Does Sleep Apnea do to the Body?
In order to feel rested the next day, the body needs to receive an ample amount of REM sleep. REM is the type of deep sleep where dreams occur and where the body fully rests and regenerates. If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t feel as rested after a short nap as you do after a few hours of sleep, it’s because napping or dozing doesn’t give the body time to sink into a deep REM sleep.
By having the brain shock the body out of deep sleep every few minutes, patients with OSA don’t receive the type of sleep they need to feel rested and ready to go in the morning.
As result, many apnea patients find themselves tired when waking up in the morning, no matter how many hours of sleep they received the night before.
Not getting enough REM sleep has side effects that include:
- Daytime drowsiness
- An inability to focus
- Morning headaches
- Mood swings and irritability
Patients with untreated sleep apnea tend to perform worse at school, struggle at work, and develop more serious long-term health problems.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, apnea patients also have a higher risk for developing high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease.
What are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?
The most obvious and telling sign of OSA is loud nightly snoring. If a bed partner has ever complained about how loudly you snore at night, you should consider undergoing a sleep apnea consultation with your doctor.
In addition to snoring, patients with apnea will stop breathing while asleep, wake suddenly while choking or gasping, and will frequently wakeup with a sore throat or dry mouth.
If you or a bed partner have noticed any of these signs, you need to schedule a sleep test to determine whether you have OSA or another type of sleep apnea.
Additionally, if you experience any of the symptoms, like daytime drowsiness, listed above, you also need to schedule a sleep test.
During a sleep test, your sleep patterns will be monitored and the number of times you stop breathing at night will be counted. The information collected will then be used to determine whether or not you have apnea.
While nightly snoring may seem funny at best and an inconvenience to your bed partner at worse, it can actually be a sign of a much more serious condition. Don’t let sleep apnea ruin another nights rest. Get tested and find out how our team at Santa Fe Dental can help treat your sleep disorder.
Hearts 2 Honduras Outreach Mission
At Santa Fe Dental, our Edmond, OK dentists not only care about our patients, our doctors also care about the people everywhere who don’t have access to the dental care they desperately need. That is why Santa Fe Dental’s own Dr. Michael Hansen volunteers his time and medical expertise to help those in need.
This year Dr. Dr. Hansen traveled to Honduras with an organization called Hearts 2 Honduras, bringing doctors together to treat those without access to consistent, quality healthcare. This great Medical Mission organization set up a clinic in the poorest neighborhood in Utila, an island in Honduras, to provide needed medical care to individuals in the community.
The Hearts 2 Honduras Story
The founders of Hearts 2 Honduras share their story of how the organization was founded after a fateful trip back in 2010.
“Rhonda Wicks, and my son, Shelton Wicks, traveled to El Progreso, Honduras to visit Copprome Children’s Home. Though we had been serving in Mexico and in different cities in the US for over 10 years, Honduras proved to be a place that God began to speak loudly and clearly to us. We fell madly in love with the children at Copprome Orphanage and committed to helping give them a brighter future by providing food and paying for their education expenses!”
So Many Patients, So Little Time
Dr. Hansen was fortunate enough to again travel to Honduras this year with Hearts 2 Honduras to open a clinic for the three days in April, from the 26th through the 28th, where he saw and treated over three-hundred-fifty patients.
Around fifty of those Dr. Hansen saw were dental patients. Led by Dr. Hansen, the H2H team extracted approximately two-hundred teeth from patients that were the source of an infection or the cause of poor health.
A New Tool in the Fight Against Tooth Decay
This year, Dr. Hansen was excited to bring along silver diamine fluoride, a topically applied medicinal tool used to treat and prevent cavities and relieve dental hypersensitivity. Hansen worked with nurses to apply the fluoride to help improve the long-term oral health of the patients that were treated. Together as a team, they treated nearly five hundred mild-to-moderately decayed teeth with the fluoride.
Silver diamine fluoride is commonly used to treat dental carries in pediatric patients (children) and special needs patients, as the ADA highly recommends this type of preventative treatment.
The Lasting Impact for Years to Come
Dr. Hansen’s hope is that they will be able to continue to apply the fluoride as time goes on in Utila, with the idea being to completely stop the progression of cavities that have already been treated. By preserving more teeth in the overall community, Dr. Hansen hopes that future trips to Utila will result in the removal of fewer teeth.
Overall, Dr. Hansen considered this year’s trip to Honduras an enormous success. “This was an extremely rewarding experience. We had a great team this year,” reported Dr. Hansen about his trip to Utila. At Santa Fe Dental, we could not be more proud of Dr. Hansen’s work. Check out more photos of Dr. Hansen’s trip to Honduras on our Facebook page.