The Sacramento Dentistry Group Discusses Mouth Pain

Pains or aches in the mouth can unfortunately be caused by many different problems, each with its own solution. It takes an experienced dentist to diagnose the cause of mouth pain. Any type of mouth pain warrants a trip to the dentist to determine its source.

Sacramento, CA, August 23, 2017 ( – There are many reasons why a patient may have a sore mouth. Nearly every day, people visit the office of the Sacramento Dentistry Group with some type of pain or tooth ache. Such soreness is almost always an indication of a dysfunction or disease that should be treated as soon as possible. Ignoring soreness in the hopes that it will heal on its own, or simply taking painkillers to treat it, is a dangerous course of action, especially if the pain has lasted more than two weeks. In some cases, such as toothaches, the soreness should be diagnosed immediately.

Common Causes of Mouth Soreness

Oral Lesions — Soreness can literally be caused by sores, more appropriately called lesions. For some patients, this is a recurring problem. Laser treatment can prevent these lesions if dealt with before they erupt, or shorten their duration. Therefore, immediate treatment is recommended.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders — The mouth opens and closes due to the temporomandibular joints. If these are injured, damaged or suffering from arthritis, pain is the result. Various levels of treatment are available, depending on the severity of the dysfunction.

Gum Disease and Tooth Decay — Bacterial infection of the gums leads to tissue irritation and that can cause pain during chewing. If gum disease leads to gum recession and exposed roots, pain is common when the roots are exposed to hot, cold, spicy or acidic foods and drinks. Infected teeth are almost always painful and should be dealt with immediately. Ignoring a toothache can lead to fatal blood infections.

Oral Cysts and Cancers — Both cysts and tumors dislodge the tissues surrounding them. While it is possible for both to occur without pain, any sign of soreness in the jaw without a known cause could come from either of these “foreign” objects. The sooner these disorders are dealt with, the less damage they cause.

Impacted Teeth — The wisdom teeth, a patient’s third molars, often fail to erupt properly and then become impacted. With regular dental exams, it is possible to catch this problem before it occurs. X-rays reveal wisdom teeth that do not have enough space to grow properly. In that case, early removal prevents damage to neighboring teeth or crowded teeth along the arch.

For assistance with any and all of these causes of mouth pain, the Sacramento Dentistry Group has experienced dentists readily available. For more information or an appointment, they can be contacted online or at 916-538-6900.

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Danbury dentist accredited in dental sleep medicine

Dental Wellness & Health, the office of Leila Chahine, recently received accreditation from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, or AADSM, in recognition of the office’s excellence in treating patients with sleep apnea, snoring and other breathing-related sleep disorders.

The office is one of only three in Connecticut and 71 in the nation to receive the accreditation.

“If a patient’s sleep ability is not healthy, the rest of his or her body cannot attain the most favorable health, either,” Chahine said. “I see my job as evaluating the whole patient and trying to create the best dental situation possible to foster optimal health. Our team is proud to be recognized for the highest level of care we provide to our patients.”

Dental Wellness & Health, at 16 Hospital Ave., offers general dentistry services as well as the sleep disorder treatments. To combat sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, and to offer an alternative to CPAP machines, Chahine custom fits patients with a mouth piece — or oral sleep appliance — that repositions the lower jaw to allow for stable air flow during sleep.

“Sleep is my passion,” Chahine said.

To become accredited, facilities must meet quality measures outlined in the AADSM’s Standards for Accreditation of Dental Sleep Medicine Facilities, which detail expectations for the proficiency of a facility’s dental director and staff. The standards also detail expectations in: documentation and billing of patients; professionalism of consumer care; follow-up service; and safety.

The accreditation lasts for three years. “The program was developed to define excellence in dental sleep medicine,” said Harold Smith, president of the AADSM. “Patients and referring physicians can have peace-of-mind when working with an accredited facility, knowing that the facility has proven, recognized excellence in every aspect of care.”

Smith said dentists and physicians can work together to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.

Chahine, who is from Lebanon, hopes the accreditation will increase understanding and acceptance of dental sleep medicine as it pertains to overall health and quality of life. “Before, there was no way to tell the difference between a dentist with experience in dental sleep medicine and a novice,” she said. “Sleep apnea is a serious condition. I’ve been specializing in this for 20 years. The accreditation is way for patients to ensure they are getting the best care.”

Chahine, a past president of the Greater Danbury Dental Society, formerly served as the education chairman of the AADSM.

The AADSM is a non-profit national professional society dedicated to the practice of dental sleep medicine. It has more than 3,000 member dentists.

To reach Dental Wellness & Health, call 203-744-1814.

The writer may be reached at; 203-731-3338

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Need a building permit in Denver? Auditor says you can expect to wait — too long

Provided by the Denver Auditor’s Office

Long wait times to submit building-permit applications and a disorganized filing system are delaying development across Denver, an audit has found.

People start lining up hours before the Department of Community Planning and Development opens to hand in plans for review, according to Denver Auditor Timothy O’Brien. O’Brien said the agency should take steps to improve its intake practices to dramatically improve efficiency.

“Imbalances in staff training and long wait times are holding up the business of growing and developing the City of Denver,” O’Brien said in a written statement Thursday.

The department says that improvements are already either completed or underway in response to the auditor’s report, like better use of digital-submission systems, which have begun to reduce waits for those trying to file plans. It disagreed, however, with the notion that Denver’s development boom is any way being hampered by the hold ups.

“I think the people that may be waiting at our counter are being held up for the duration of their time the at counter,” planning department spokeswoman Andrea Burns said. “Development in Denver is happening. The actual reviews of the plans are not being held up. The delays — we’re talking about minutes or hours. We are not talking about days or weeks.”

Chief among the Denver Auditor’s Office findings were inefficiencies in the permit intake process that caused an average wait time of more than an hour and a half for submissions of building permits. When compared to reported wait times in Colorado Springs, San Diego and Aurora, the division exceeds the average of 30 to 45 minutes, the office said.

Additionally, the department lacks sufficient storage capacity for the significant number of construction plans submitted as part of the permit process, the audit found. That issue has resulted in no defined organizational system and time wasted by staff searching for documents, according to the auditor, which released photos of plans and paperwork stacked up at the department.

“Auditors also found that although customer feedback is provided and tracked, there is little or no management process for addressing the issues from customers,” O’Brien’s office said in a news release. “Best practices, standardized by federal executive orders, have not been implemented.”

Burns said wait times have already been reduced since the building department began allowing online submission of permit applications for small projects — like appliance installation and roof work — earlier this summer.

“We have a new queuing system going live within the month that will allow for people to make appointments to log in their plans for permits,” she said.

Before the end of 2018, the department hopes to allow all building permits — for any size project — to be submitted electronically.

O’Brien says the planning department, which has seen historic levels of permit demand in the past several years, has also agreed to address the long lines by better training its staff by the end of 2018.

Burns emphasized that while there may be wait times for people trying to submit their plans for permitting, the actual review of those plans is going smoothly.

For new homes or additions of 400 square feet or larger and major commercial projects, it takes a month for the reviews to be completed. Intermediate residential projects take two weeks for review.

“If you submit your plans for review, you will get them back within the time that we have promised you,” she said. “That is something we’ve achieved for the first time in a couple of years.”

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Zahl leads Peoples during transition

Brendan Zahl is the president and CEO of Peoples Bank, a former college football player and the chair-elect of the Colorado Bankers Association. He has been on the CBA board for three years and began serving July 1 as the chair-elect. He’ll begin a year as CBA chairman next summer.

Colorado-based National Bank Holding Company of Greenwood Village is buying Peoples Bank, a deal that Zahl said should become official in about three months.

The 42-year-old husband and father of three boys was a walk-on defensive end for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He attended college on an academic scholarship after growing up in Stratton, Neb., a small town about four hours northeast of Colorado Springs.

Zahl spoke with the Business Journal about changes at Peoples, the CBA and what he learned from his father, also a bank president.

“We’re helping businesses achieve their dreams, which creates employment.”

Why do you like running Peoples Bank?

It’s the net impact you get to make with customers and community. We’re helping businesses achieve their dreams, which creates employment. We’re part of the recipe and able to provide money to help do that, and it’s always been a pretty rewarding component.

How did the merger happen, and what changes are in store for Peoples Bank?

We wanted to grow our bank, and they wanted to grow their mortgage platform. This was a good way to do it for both. We’re the seventh- or eighth-largest bank in the Colorado Springs marketplace, depending how you look at it, with everybody above us a national bank and everybody below us a community bank.

We’ll be called Community Banks of Colorado. We have five branches, including one in Woodland Park. I’ll be an executive vice president. I will be the director of their national mortgage division and I will also be the regional president for the Colorado Springs area. I’ll be on the board of NBH.

What can you tell us about the Colorado Bankers Association?

It’s a great opportunity to be involved in supporting business and consumer views as it pertains to banking. The CBA lobbies for consumers and for banks. CBA President Don Childears has been in the industry for over 40 years and is probably one of the most active and well-respected directors in the United States. They’ve got kind of a federal foothold, too, so it’s not just state level. Banks in Colorado are really well represented.

Do you plan to address anything specifically?

One of the things I look forward to is the opportunity to work with other associations in Colorado. I’ll give you an example. The CBA has been a proponent of changing construction defect litigation laws here in Colorado. Right now they’re very prohibitive for developers and builders and what that’s done is suppress affordable housing. … I listened to a guy the other day and over the last five years the amount of claims against building defect laws have exceeded the amount of value built of that product type. That’s a problem. So, Colorado Bankers Association works with the Association of General Contractors, works with the Home Builders Association, works with other Realtors associations and when you can get all those lined up and rowing in the same direction it can make a difference.

Why is the CBA important to businesses or individuals?

It’s about trying to make sure there are affordable housing solutions, making sure that small businesses have good outlets to operate in. It’s making sure that banks can provide those services and support.

What’s your best memory of playing football for Nebraska?

There are a lot of great memories. Running out of that tunnel [on game day] still makes my hair stand up just talking about it. Probably when we won our national championship in ’95; we had a split title in ’97 with Michigan. In ’95, we were in Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl, playing Florida and we beat them very badly. I’ve never seen a group of people come together and work so hard and pull for a cause. That team is still talked about as the best team of all time. They put their heads down and worked harder than everybody else, understood their responsibilities better than everyone else, and they supported each other. To me, that’s part of life, that’s part of business, that’s what you do. When you’re involved in something like that, it makes everything else — even if it’s hard work — enjoyable.

What did your father do, and what did he teach you?

My dad was president of a very small bank in Stratton. That bank was consolidated with a bigger bank about 10 years ago. My dad taught me about people — customers and employees. He said how you treat them and support the community and tie things together is important.

How do you stay active?

We’re always busy. Our boys — Devan (14), Darian (11) and Dawson (10) — are into baseball, football, basketball, skiing. I ski, hunt and fish. We go back to Nebraska to hunt pheasant. We hunt elk here, mostly with archery. The boys love it and so does my wife, Trina.

Small banks facing uphill battle

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Getz Family Dentistry opens in Nutter Fort

Getz Family Dentistry is located at 200 Route 98, Medwood Plaza, Suite 302 in Nutter Fort.

NUTTER FORT — The Harrison County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony during an open house for the new Getz Family Dentistry in Nutter Fort on Friday.

Dustin Getz, DDS, said they purchased the practice off John Davis, who practiced dentistry there for several years. Getz said he studied under Davis while he was in school to become a dentist.

“I knew Dr. Davis for a long time, and I did an internship here,” he said. “We talked about it for a while, and it just worked out because he was planning to retire.”

The location is great and the practice is busy, Getz said. They offer everything under the umbrella of comprehensive general dentistry, such as cleanings, fillings, root canals, crowns, dentures and more.

“We’re glad to be here and excited to meet all the new people who come along,” he said. “We’re committed to comprehensive dentistry in a comfortable environment.”

The practice is open from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The office is located at Suite 302 Medwood Plaza in Nutter Fort. For more information call (304) 622-5711 or visit the Getz Family Dentistry Facebook page.

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Denver Is A Nice Place To Move To

Moving to Denver is a lot easier if you have some advice on how to proceed. Here, you’re going to get some tips that will let you in on what it takes to move there and to enjoy where you live from then on.

A home in Denver is going to need to have the right amount of space for your family. If you are going to live by yourself, then you at least need enough space for your things and for furniture. One way to find out if you have enough space in the house is to look for a floor plan for it. When you are looking at a floor plan make sure that you understand that it might look different in person so you may want to go see it in person as well before making your choice on buying it.

You want to find out what the neighborhood is like that you were moving too. If it is a neighborhood that has a lot of problems, then you need to know that. One way to find out what a neighborhood is like is to find a local social media group that you can talk to. For instance, you may be able to find a Denver trade and sell type of page that you can join and then you can make a post about moving into the area and what you should know about the city. Helpful people will probably let you know whether or not you should live in certain parts of the city.

Once you move to Denver and find a home there that you love, you’ll enjoy your time there quite a bit. Just know what to look for in the different places that are available, and it should take you no time at all to figure out what fits you the best.

“Frozen” heats up Denver: Inside Disney’s multimillion-dollar quest to conquer Broadway

Patti Murin will portray Anna in Disney’s pre-Broadway musical "Frozen," coming to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts on August 17. (Provided by the DCPA.)

Broadway singer and actress Patti Murin shares nearly everything about her work with her actor husband, Colin Donnell.

But not her latest project.

“I’ve been involved in this for a year and my husband doesn’t know a single thing about it,” Murin, 36, said of “Frozen: The Musical,” the stage adaptation of Disney’s 2013 hit animated movie. “It’s been such a closed process. And I mean closed. Nobody we love has been able to see it.”

Dozens of people working on the top-secret production have been camped inside the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex since May. Even before that, Disney executives had been considering “Frozen” for a stage musical, given the established pipeline for animated Disney features such as “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” to become Broadway (and later, nationally touring) productions.

When “Frozen: The Musical” debuts for the public at the Buell on Aug. 17, it could mark the launch of another theatrical production worth millions, or perhaps a billion, dollars for Disney, which plans to move the show to Broadway’s St. James Theatre in February.

But first, the “Frozen” team must work out countless kinks during the seven-week “pre-Broadway engagement” in Denver, a city in which Disney has learned to rely on the quantity and quality of theater-going audiences, plus skilled crews and facilities that mirror the production’s eventual home in New York City.

“We have about 150 people in Denver working on the show,” said Jack Eldon, vice president of domestic touring for Disney Theatrical Group. “That includes performers, technical crew, the creative team and all our designers. But we also need to make sure audiences there can sustain the number of performances that we need to revise some set pieces, and tweak things like the costumes and music.”

Landing “Frozen: The Musical” is a coup for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA), which hosts the region’s biggest touring theater productions. But it’s not unprecedented. In 2007, DCPA also hosted the six-week, pre-Broadway run of the stage adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, selling a record 95,000 tickets. It has also served as the launchpad for the national-touring production of “The Lion King,” which has been seen by tens of millions since that road version opened in Denver 15 years ago.

“Frozen: The Musical” is just the latest example of the DCPA’s national influence and evolution into touring-show powerhouse, DCPA president Janice Siden told The Denver Post.

“Everywhere I go, our Broadway group is the envy of theater groups around the country,” added Martin Semple, DCPA chairman, who credited DCPA Broadway executive director John Ekeberg with keeping the Disney relationship strong. “Going to the Tonys with John and meeting all these people just confirmed the respect people have for us.”

The DCPA has driven ticket sales for its 2017-18 season by dangling “Frozen” in front of its more than 28,000 subscribers. It has every reason to expect that the broad, crossover appeal of a “Frozen” tryout will help this season surpass last year’s numbers.

As the largest nonprofit theater company in the country, the DCPA sold 685,375 tickets to its touring-Broadway and in-house theater company shows in fiscal 2016, generating $150 million in economic impact and attracting roughly 1.2 million visitors to downtown Denver, according to a DCPA report.

Despite employing the original, Oscar-winning creative team from the film version of “Frozen,” and big-name Broadway veterans — including Tony winners such as director Michael Grandage (“Red”), choreographer Rob Ashford (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”) and music supervisor Stephen Oremus (“Wicked,” “The Book of Mormon”) — Disney is leaving nothing to chance.

Past musical adaptations of the animated Disney films “The Little Mermaid” and “Tarzan” were high-profile flops, and “Frozen: The Musical” has already burned through a couple of directors, three choreographers, two set designers and a pair of Elsas, according to The New York Times.

But flesh-and-blood audiences will have the last word on this reportedly $25 million-$30 million production — not the first.

“The creators get so close to it (that) I promise you they will be shocked at least once in that first performance — for good or bad,” said Dennis Crowley, senior publicist at Disney Theatrical. “If it’s like every other musical ever written, the creators will find something they absolutely did not expect, either something they thought would be a knock-’em-dead moment that won’t, or a laugh they never saw coming.”

Crowley cited the example of “Aladdin: The Musical,” the pre-Broadway engagement of which involved major retooling in the show’s first 40 minutes after theater goers in Toronto failed to respond to voice-over narration, which diverged significantly from the film.

“Audiences said, ‘We don’t know these people. We don’t care about these people. Where’s the pretty girl in the midriff and the hot boy and the genie?’ So they cut all the narration, brought in the genie at the top of the show and,” Crowley said, snapping his fingers, “from the first New York performance it was a different show. And that’s not atypical.”

Disney Theatrical has built in at least three months of downtime between the end of the 46-show Denver run on Oct. 1 and its New York roll-out early next year, just in case it needs a new song, new sets or more. Already, a creative team that includes the married songwriters from the film, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, has expanded “Frozen” from a 102-minute movie to a roughly two-hour musical, with triple the number of songs and a cast of more than 40.

Like most film shooting schedules, the pre-Broadway engagement is a grueling sprint that squeezes the most out of everyone’s time and energy — even if it started in earnest more than a year ago with the film’s original co-director, Jennifer Lee, writing the script and rehearsing the show at Manhattan’s New 42nd Street Studios.

“Right now in (technical rehearsals) in Denver it’s pretty intense,” said Caissie Levy, a Broadway veteran who plays Princess Elsa in the musical. “We’re there for nine or 10 hours a day, popping in for wig fittings and slotting things in like that. The first month of previews we’ll rehearse all day, and there will be a lot of maintenance for Patti and me. A lot of justified massages, sleep and steam rooms.”

There’s plenty of pressure on Levy the role of Princess Elsa, which includes belting out the instantly familiar and Oscar-winning song “Let It Go.” But there’s also opportunity in evolving an animated princess into a three-dimensional character.

It’s a tricky balance: “Frozen: The Musical” must mirror major aspects of the movie, because that’s what is selling tickets for the DCPA right now. Loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale “The Snow Queen,” “Frozen” has resonated with global audiences thanks to its empowering female characters, humor and melody-drenched songs.

But the musical version must also find its own voice. Merely mimicking the film risks alienating fans with a hokey copy of the original — no matter how eye-popping the sets, costumes and special effects are.

And the potential audience is huge: “Frozen” is the highest grossing animated film in history, with more than $1 billion in worldwide revenue. DCPA and Denver tourism officials are anticipating plenty of out-of-state visitors to attend this pre-Broadway run, since 8 percent of DCPA patrons came from out-of-state last year — versus about 4 percent 20 years ago. The percentage of out-of-state visitors increases into the double digits for touring Broadway shows like “Wicked” and “The Lion King,” the DCPA said, which gives officials a good idea of “Frozen’s” potential draw.

This story features a bucket-list experience — check out our complete Colorado Summer Bucket List!

The stakes and tension are high for all involved, even without considering the instantaneous reactions will be posted to social media for all — including curious New York audiences and critics — to see. For that and other reasons, the show will run for about a month in Denver before critics are allowed to officially review it on Sept. 14.

“We must be adrenaline junkies and masochists and overall crazy people to do this, because it’s so thrilling and so terrifying at the same time,” said Levy, 36, who has appeared in “Rent,” “Hairspray,” “Wicked,” “Hair” and other pillars of Broadway success.

“But we need to make sure everyone who’s seeing the show for the first and only time, who bought tickets when they went on sale months ago and are bringing all their kids in their ‘Frozen’ gear, or who got a babysitter and went out to dinner, are getting the show that they’re meant to get,” added Levy, whose 18-month-old son and (as often as he can make it) husband are joining her from New York.

The Denver Post got the first peek at the production, provided this reporter swore to secrecy about any sets, special effects or details that he witnessed.

Inside the Buell Theatre looked like more of a buzzing hive than an empty shell, with dozens of designers and technical staff camped out among the audience seats at tables filled with lamps, computer workstations, hardwired phones and rivers of overlapping wires — more like NASA’s Mission Control than a stereotypical row of producers critiquing from the front row.

Many of them were designers and their associates, including Tony winner Christopher Oram (sets and costumes), six-time Tony winner Natasha Katz (lighting) and Tony winner Finn Ross (projections).

But the final collaborator in the musical, as the cast and crew likes to say, will be Denver audiences. The creative team is hoping to make something that will run for years to come, if not decades — less a time capsule of ideas, more a vehicle for their continual delivery.

Still, no amount of preparation can predict what happens on opening night.

“That is the day that I always say to myself, ‘Why did I do this?’ Because you’re always terrified,” Murin said. “You could be as ready as you could possibly be and still be like, ‘Why did I choose this career?!’ ”

Levy, who already feels a sisterly bond with both Murin’s “hot-mess” Princess Anna character and the actress as a person, said Denver is an ideal place to get acclimated to the show and its audiences. But she won’t refuse off-stage help if she needs it.

“Self-care is super important,” she said. “I’m sure we’re going to get very chummy with that oxygen tank in the wings.”

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US Lags Far Behind in Banning Dental Health Hazard

Environment, Featured, Global, Global Governance, Headlines, Health, Inequity, IPS UN: Inside the Glasshouse, Population, Regional Categories, Sustainability, TerraViva United Nations

Example of mercury use in the healthcare sector. From left to right: Mercury Sphygmomanometer, Dental Amalgam and a Fever Thermometer. Credit: UNDP

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 31 2017 (IPS) – The United States is lagging far behind its Western allies – and perhaps most of the key developing countries – in refusing to act decisively to end a longstanding health and environmental hazard: the use of mercury in dentistry.

The 28-member European Union (EU), with an estimated population of over 510 million people, recently announced its decision to ban amalgam use in children under age 15, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers. The ban comes into effect July 2018.

“In sharp contrast, the U.S. government has done nothing to protect these vulnerable populations from exposure to amalgam’s mercury,” says a petition filed by Consumers for Dental Choice (CDC), which has been vigorously campaigning for mercury-free dentistry, since its founding back in 1996.

In Norway and Sweden, dental amalgam is no longer in use, while it is being phased out in Japan, Finland and the Netherlands. In Mauritius and EU nations, it is banned from use on children. Denmark uses dental amalgam for only 5% of restorations and Germany for 10% of restorations.

In Bangladesh, it is to be phased out in 2018, and in India, there is a dental school requirement of eliminating amalgam in favour of alternatives.

In Nigeria, the government has printed and distributed consumer-information brochures while the government of Canada has recommended that all dentists stop its use in children and pregnant women — and those with kidney disorders.

Dental amalgam has been described as a dental filling material used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. And it is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper.

In its petition, addressed to the FDA Commissioner, CDC says the United States – one of the only developed nation with no warnings or restrictions on the use of dental amalgam in children – is the outlier.

“Why are other countries protecting their children while the FDA lets American children be exposed to dental mercury? In order to catch up with other developed nations, the Commissioner must amend FDA’s mercury amalgam rule,” says the lengthy petition replete with facts and figures—and worthy of a research project.

The petition presents its case citing several sources, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly-Identified Health Risks and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

According to the Wall Street Journal last week, FDA Commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb, in a sweeping regulatory overhaul of Big Tobacco, has cracked down on tobacco companies, demanding that all cigarettes should have such low levels of nicotine so they no longer are considered addictive.

But dental mercury apparently continues to get a free pass.

Charlie Brown, executive director of Consumers for Dental Choice, told IPS that with all the modern mercury-free dental fillings available today, it is inexcusable that FDA remains the world’s chief defender of implanting neurotoxic mercury in children’s mouths – mere centimeters from their developing brains.”

It’s time for FDA to catch up to the European Union and ban amalgam use in children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers,” he added.

Michael Bender, Director, Mercury Policy Project in Vermont, USA, told IPS: “During negotiations, the U.S. stated position was ‘to achieve the phase down, with the goal, the eventual phase out’ of dental amalgam. FDA should stop acting like a rogue agency and follow the US position.”

In its petition, CDC urges the Commissioner to take three key measures to stop amalgam use in children under age 15, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers:

Firstly, issue a safety communication warning dentists, parents, and dental consumers against amalgam use in children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers.

Secondly, require manufacturers to distribute patient-labeling that includes warnings against amalgam use in children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers.

Thirdly, develop and implement a public information campaign (including FDA’s website, social media, press releases, and a press conference) to warn dentists, dental associations, parents, and dental consumers against amalgam use in children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers.

The petition also says the 2013 Minamata Convention on Mercury requires nations to “phase down the use of dental amalgam.”

The U.S. government signed and accepted the Minamata Convention on 6 November 2013. FDA’s official support for “change towards use of dental amalgam” and its rejection of “any change away from use of dental amalgam” in its 2009 dental amalgam rule is contrary to the Minamata Convention’s requirement that parties “phase down the use of dental amalgam.”

FDA’s push for phasing up amalgam use has raised major concerns in the international community, says the petition.

The Convention enters into force – and becomes legally binding– on 16 August. On 18 May the 50thnation ratified, and with that threshold reached, the Convention enters into force in 90 days– namely, 16 August. Jamaica was the 71stnation to ratify the convention last week.

Asked for an FDA response, Stephanie Caccomo, Press Officer, Office of Media Affairs & Office of External Affairs, told IPS the FDA has neither promoted the use of dental amalgams nor supported an increase in their use.

FDA serves as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lead representative to the Minamata Convention on Mercury and takes very seriously the Convention’s objective of protecting human health from the possible adverse health effects of mercury exposure, she added.

“The U.S. actively supported the Convention throughout its development and the FDA continues to work closely with the U.S. Department of State on how the United States will implement the treaty obligations.”

She pointed out that the U.S. government is committed to complying with the Convention by taking at least two of the nine specific measures set forth in Part II of Annex A of the Convention with respect to dental amalgam.

Elaborating further, she said in an email message, that dental amalgam contains elemental mercury. It releases low levels of mercury in the form of a vapor that can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. High levels of mercury vapor exposure are associated with adverse effects in the brain and the kidneys.

“FDA has reviewed the best available scientific evidence to determine whether the low levels of mercury vapor associated with dental amalgam fillings are a cause for concern. Based on this evidence, FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages 6 and above.”

The weight of credible scientific evidence reviewed by FDA does not establish an association between dental amalgam use and adverse health effects in the general population. Clinical studies in adults and children ages 6 and above have found no link between dental amalgam fillings and health problems, she noted.

“The developing neurological systems in fetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor. Very limited to no clinical data is available regarding long-term health outcomes in pregnant women and their developing fetuses, and children under the age of six, including infants who are breastfed. Pregnant women and parents with children under six who are concerned about the absence of clinical data as to long-term health outcomes should talk to their dentist.”

However, the estimated amount of mercury in breast milk attributable to dental amalgam is low and falls well below general levels for oral intake that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe, she added.

“Despite the limited clinical information, FDA concludes that the existing risk information supports a finding that infants are not at risk for adverse health effects from the mercury in breast milk of women exposed to mercury vapor from dental amalgam.”

Some individuals have an allergy or sensitivity to mercury or the other components of dental amalgam (such as silver, copper, or tin). Dental amalgam might cause these individuals to develop oral lesions or other contact reactions.

“If you are allergic to any of the metals in dental amalgam, you should not get amalgam fillings. You can discuss other treatment options with your dentist,” she advised.

To the extent there are any potential risks to health generally associated with the use of dental amalgam, FDA issued a final rule and related guidance document establishing special regulatory controls to mitigate any such risks.

“Moreover, while FDA does not believe additional action is warranted at this time, FDA continues to evaluate the literature on dental amalgam and any other new information it receives in light of the 2010 advisory panel recommendations and will take further action on dental amalgam as warranted,” Caccomo added.

Asked for a response to the FDA statement, Charlie Brown said: “Consumers for Dental Choice’s petition demands that FDA carry out its duty to provide American children the same protection from amalgam’s mercury that the European Union does over there.”

He pointed out that FDA admits repeatedly that no evidence exist that amalgam’s mercury is safe for young children, yet FDA will not stop being the world’s most stubborn defender of implanting mercury into children’s mouths (and bodies).

“FDA must now fish or cut bait. With our petition in its lap, FDA must choose between, on the one hand, doing its duty as a federal agency, and, on the other hand, keeping in place its four-decade-long program of putting profits for pro-mercury dentists ahead of lives of American children,” he declared.

Meanwhile, Consumers for Dental Choice says its campaign goal for Mercury-Free Dentistry is to phase out the use of amalgam, a 50% mercury product — worldwide. The recently concluded draft mercury treaty requires each signing nation to phase down its use of amalgam, and it provides a road map how.

“We aim to: educate consumers about the use of mercury in dentistry so they can make informed decisions; stop dental mercury pollution; protect consumers – especially vulnerable populations such as children and the unborn – from exposure to dental mercury; empower dental workers – dental assistants and hygienists – to protect themselves from mercury in the workplace; and promote access to mercury-free alternatives to amalgam.


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UK College of Dentistry Selected to Develop and Pilot Digital Dentistry Curriculum

Female dental student sits working at a piece of medical equipment

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 27, 2017) — Advanced digital technology is challenging the limits of what is possible in oral health, function and beauty. Beginning this fall, the UK College of Dentistry will join a select group of pilot institutions in launching the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) Digital Dentistry Curriculum.

According to the ACP, incorporating digital solutions into regular practice has lead to a steady increase in efficiency and ease of collaboration with laboratories for prosthodontists and restorative dentists nationwide. Despite this being the case, studies show that computer-aided design (CAD) and (CAM) manufacturing are being used in only 15 percent of dental practices in the United States, which is attributed to a lack of education and training on the applications and benefits of these technologies.

In response to these findings, the Digital Dentistry Curriculum Development Team was assembled in 2015. This task force, which included UK College of Dentistry Division Chief of Prosthodontics Dr. Richard Windhorn, was charged with developing a comprehensive plan for pre- and post-doctoral curriculum that incorporates CAD/CAM technology. The initiative quickly gained support from industry leaders including 3Shape, Glidewell, Planmeca and BioHorizons. Global medical supply distributor Henry Schein also committed $1.25 million towards advancing the curriculum. After one year of continuous effort, Windhorn and his team completed and published the ACP Digital Curriculum Development Framework-Content, which incorporates foundational knowledge, self-assessment, applied science and step-by-step protocol for CAD/CAM and implant planning.

"Training our DMD students in the new digital technology will prepare them for how dentistry will be practiced in the near future. It is paramount that they are equipped with knowledge of the latest practices, techniques and materials when they graduate. The bottom line is that they will be trained to deliver the best possible dental care for their patients in the most efficient manner,” Windhorn said.

UKCD joins four other dental programs as the top institutions selected to pilot the curriculum this fall. After gathering feedback from these schools, the curriculum development team plans to further enhance guides for faculty training and resource development before making the finalized curriculum open available to all institutions in 2018.

Founded in 1970, the American College of Prosthodontists is a not-for-profit organization created to represent the needs and interests of prosthodontists within organized dentistry, and to the public, by providing opportunities for dialogue, education, advancement, and improvement of all aspects of prosthodontics through meetings and educational courses, communications, publications, and other programs and activities. For more information visit

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue

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Dentist faces charges after 4-year-old suffers brain damage

Navaeh Hall suffered severe brain damage during a routine trip to the dentist. (Fundraiser by Courissa Clark – GoFundMe)

A Texas dentist was indicted Monday over a 2016 incident that left a 4-year-old pediatric patient with permanent brain damage. Dr. Bethanial Jefferson is accused of intentionally and knowingly by omission causing serious bodily injury to a child by failing to seek and provide adequate medical attention, the Houston Press reported.

Courissa Clark brought her daughter, Nevaeh Hall, to Jefferson’s office at Diamond Dental in Houston, in January 2016 to have a tooth pulled. Clark said that Nevaeh was given too many sedatives and other drugs that caused a seizure and her oxygen levels to drop, Click 2 Houston reported.


Jefferson allegedly placed Hall in a recovery room for hours before calling 911. The incident left Hall with severe brain damage that robbed her of her ability to walk, talk or see.

“To have a normal kid one day and then that’s taken away all of a sudden, it’s hard,” Clark told Click 2 Houston. “Her life was definitely taken away from her.”

Jefferson was suspended from practice by the Texas Board of Dental Examiners and on Tuesday, a judge issued a warrant for her arrest. The family’s attorney said an indictment should send a strong message to physicians across the country.

“It’s going to tell them, ‘You are going to be held accountable if you kill or maim our children,’” Jim Moriarty, who represented the family in a civil lawsuit, told Click 2 Houston.

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