Dental Implants 101 – Learn More About Them

Dental implants, commonly thought of as false teeth though this is not exactly true, have revolutionized dentistry. Here are the basics about the devices.

Dental implants are actually artificial roots that hold individual teeth or groupings of them into place. They resemble actual roots as opposed to older models that were more blade like or actual screws. Unlike old-fashioned dental bridges, which set on top of the region and were attached by cement, these modern day implants are anchored permanently into the jawbone.

Artificial teeth have been around for eons. In fact, archeologists have discovered ancient skeletons from 1,500 years ago that used shells in place of missing teeth. The current devices on today’s market are based on a discovery by a Swedish surgeon who discovered that titanium, which is used as the anchoring agent in today’s models, would permanently bond to human bone.

Dental implants are formed from nearly pure titanium with trace amounts of other materials such as aluminum, carbon and iron. They resemble a root or screw minus the screwing ridges. Instead the surface is rough to allow for proper adherence.

General dentists are the practitioners who place these tooth root substitutes in patients’ mouths, but they must have completed additional training in order to be certified to do so. This certification is required by the governing body overseeing dentists which is called the General Dental Council.

Prior to surgery, the patient will undergo various tests and scans in order for the practitioner to set up the proper diagram for insertion. The layout of the current teeth, the bite and the nerve pathways are all noted in these planning stages. During the surgery, the recipient will be sedated with anesthetic in order to be comfortable during the procedure. The process is done in stages. The first stage will place the titanium root and then there will be a healing process. The healing process can take approximately 3-6 months and is necessary in order for the results to settle in enough to begin the next stage. After the healing, the restoration will be placed. If there isn’t enough healthy bone to attach these devices to, a bone graft may be necessary in order to have a successful outcome. Time frames will vary depending on the individual needs of each patient.

Although the majority of implanting procedures are successful, there are still risks involved. The success rate has been up to 95% for most patients and will depend on their oral health, the jaw bone strength and the dentist’s expertise. Some of the complications that may occur include infection and poor placement. Increased risks of problems are a result of smoking, poor hygiene and diabetes. Some people that have a problem with grinding their teeth may run into problems with this implanting technique, as well.

Dentistry has come a long way over the years. It wasn’t that long ago that patients simply pulled out each tooth that gave them grief. Many people alive today still have memories of older relatives who routinely kept their dentures in jar by their bedside each night. With the technology of dental implants, many have the opportunity to keep on smiling throughout their lives.

5 Common Misconceptions About European Dental Tourism

The boom in dental tourism in Europe shows no sign of slowing down. Tens of thousands of people travel to Central and Eastern Europe each year to get dental word done at a third of the cost of their home countries. Many people still hesitate to get on the plane, often due to fear of the unknown or misconceptions which their home-country dentists are happy to perpetuate!

This article looks at 5 common misconceptions about dental travel, explaining why none of them should stop you from saving big money by getting your dental work done abroad.

Misconception 1 – Disaster Stories

The press love a horror story, and the hapless Western traveler as a victim of scammers or bad practitioners is a front-page favorite. While big headlines spread fear and uncertainly, you will never hear of the thousands of happy customers who receive a fantastic level of care each month – this is not news! My advice is to look beyond the headlines and examine testimonials from the ordinary people who have successfully saved money this way.

Misconception 2 – Will You Be Able To Communicate?

Worrying about whether you will be able to understand your dentist, or more importantly whether he will be able to understand you, are commonplace. Prospective patients should know that this is an area they do not need to be concerned about at all. Since the dental travel industry is mature, the clinics catering for this market have fluent speakers in all the major languages including English, French and German.

Misconception 3 – Are The Dentists Properly Trained?

The hubs of dental treatment for travelers are in Central Europe, in places such as the Czech Republic and Hungary. There are two key facts to point out here. Firstly these countries have a very strong education tradition going back 100’s of years, with intelligent and well educated populations. Second, the dentistry certification is of the highest standards. This is backed up by the UK General Dental Council, who allow dentists from these countries to practice in the UK after only an aptitude test and proof of experience.

Misconception 4 – Fear Of Strange Cities

The unknown is a powerful factor preventing people from making huge savings on work such as implants or crowns. Safety and comfort in new cities should be high on the priority list of any prospective patients. Fortunately the hub cities such as Budapest and Prague cater for hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Not only are these cities safe, they have easy transport options and a great choice of hotels, restaurants and attractions too.

Misconception 5 – Clean Clinics And Up To Date Equipment

My final misconception comes from fear of dirty or dingy dentists or old equipment. This is a complete myth and needs to be corrected fast! Clinics dealing with foreigners have modern (often German-made) equipment and the latest computer technology. Their clinics are clean and comfortable, often putting your local dentist waiting room completely to shame.

Career Opportunities – Start a Career With Built-In Updward Mobility

Let me guess: you needed to start working yesterday, but you don’t want to take a dead-end job leading nowhere just to get a few bucks in your pocket. You want to find a career that you can start quickly, but that will offer you chances to grow, advance and increase that weekly paycheck.

You came to the right place, my friend. I’ve got just the thing for you: 3 rewarding career paths that you can start quickly and grow in while you work.

Dental Career path

Start here: Dental Assistant
With strong growth predicted for the entire dental industry, becoming a dental assistant is a great way to get your foot in the door. Get started by completing a dental assistant program, which is usually offered by community and junior colleges, trade schools, and technical institutes. While these programs typically take one year, you can also elect to enroll in a two-year associate’s degree program offered by community and junior colleges. Either way, you’ll be prepping patients and assisting dentists in no time.

End up here: Dental Hygienist
While you’re working as a dental assistant and getting valuable experience under your belt, you can study to become a dental hygienist. Hygienists are those professionals who spend their afternoons polishing our teeth and making our smiles beautiful. To become a dental hygienist, you need an associate degree or certificate in dental hygiene from an accredited dental hygienist program. Once you’ve got that diploma in hand, you’ll also need to take a licensing exam for the state in which you plan to work.

Estimated Earning Potential: In May 2008, the median annual wage for dental assistants was $32,280, while the median annual wage for their dental hygienist colleagues in the same month was $66,570, or more than double. Makes that dental hygienist certification sound like a good investment, doesn’t it?

Added Bonus: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one third of all dental assistants work part-time, which leaves you plenty of time to go to school, care for your family, or pursue another job. In addition, both dental assistants and dental hygienists experience a high degree of flexibility in their careers, with the option to work nights and weekends if that fits into your schedule better.

Accountant Career Path

Start here: Bookkeeper
If you’ve got a high school diploma and a passion for numbers, you can start a career as a bookkeeper. Bookkeepers update and maintain financial records for virtually every industry out there. In addition, they may also handle payroll, make purchases, prepare invoices, and keep track of overdue accounts. One thing to note: an Associate’s degree in accounting or business is slowly becoming more desirable for these positions, which can typically be earned in two years.

End up here: Accountant
Bookkeepers who work towards a Bachelor’s in accounting can become accountants when they graduate. Accountants work with companies and organizations to make sure that their taxes are paid on time, their records are kept accurately, and their finances are in order.

Estimated Earning Potential: In May 2008, Bookkeepers made a median annual salary of $32,150. In the same month, accountants took home a median wage of $59,430 for the year.

Added Bonus: More and more schools are offering accounting programs online, making it easy to earn your accounting degree while you work.

Nursing Career Path

Start here: Licensed Practical Nurse
You can get started as a licensed practical nurse (also known as licensed vocational nurse) by enrolling in a state-approved nursing program. These programs are typically offered by community and junior colleges and should take about a year to complete. Once you complete the program, you’ll need to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to get your license. When you’re done, you’ll be ready to help registered nurses and doctors care for patients on a daily basis in a wide variety of settings.

End up here: Registered Nurse
While you’re working as a LPN, you can study to become a registered nurse. There are three educational paths to choose from: earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN), an Associate’s degree in nursing, or a diploma from an accredited nursing program (usually offered by hospitals). Any of these programs will allow you to practice as a registered nurse after you graduate (and pass the NCLEX-RN examination). In addition, many schools offer an LPN to RN program to specifically aid this transition.

Estimated Earning Potential: In May 2008, licensed practical nurses took home a median annual wage of $39,030. Meanwhile, registered nurses were compensated an annual wage of $62,450 in the same month.

Added Bonus: The advancement opportunities for nurses are endless. For registered nurses who don’t have a BSN, there are plenty of programs that make earning your bachelor’s in nursing easy. Once you have your BSN, you can choose to pursue a Master’s in nursing, which will allow you to enter specialized fields and become an advanced practice nurse (APN). (APNs typically become nurse practitioners, certified nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, or certified nurse midwives.) If you want to go into teaching or research or a leadership, you can further your career by pursuing a doctorate in nursing. Plus, once you have your BSN, many graduate nursing programs are offered online, making it easy to continue your education. At the end of the day, a nursing career can go as far financially and professionally as you want to take it.

Career in MDS Oral Pathology and Microbiology

Oral Pathology and Microbiology is a science related to dentistry which deals with the causes, characteristics, effects as well as diagnosis of diseases hampering the maxillofacial and oral areas. It studies the immune system with treatments suggested for the same. This course aims to offer information related to the nature of oral ailments including causes and effects. Career in this field means going beyond the undergraduate level for better prospects.

Course Curriculum

A postgraduate programme in this stream spans over three years after which a dentist gains confidence in carrying out routine histopathological evaluations to examine specimens and go on with the general diagnostic procedures. The methodology includes taking up microbiological, cytological and other research projects as well as investigations. The curriculum has been designed in such a way that it not only enhances your academic but clinical proficiency as well. This allows the rational, intellectual and social abilities to develop in an aspirant while giving rise to such oral pathologists who excel in treating patients.

However, for a better future, it is very important to go for a degree in MDS Oral Pathology and Microbiology from an institute recognised by the Dental Council of India. Future professionals can also narrow down their area and choose to study the sub divisions like Oral Histology, Dental Anatomy, Oral Physiology and Oral Embryology. Though, it is necessary for the students to have a BDS degree prior to deciding upon the MDS Oral Pathology and Microbiology course. After pursuing it, you can become a dentist or a practitioner working in a private or government dental hospital.

Job Options and Opportunities

You can also apply to work as a lecturer for oral pathology and microbiology at different educational institutions. You can opt for various medical colleges, research institutes to work as a researcher. You may get employed at the defence ministry and be absorbed in the medical services of the navy, army or air force. Becoming an independent practitioner, going for a government job or private dental institutions are few other preferable options to look for. You can also explore the opportunities at polyclinics, hospitals, defence services and multi-specialty clinics or be a part of the healthcare department at companies.

The admission to this discipline takes place through entrance tests conducted at an all-India level or at the respective universities along with a personal level interview. On completion, you can settle down for jobs where you can work as a quality control officer, additional professor, technician, manager or lab technician in the microbiology department. Also, you may find employment as an oral pathologist, dental hygienist, professor, dental assistant, private practitioner and public health specialist.

Qualities of an Oral Pathologist

Apart from these, an aspirant needs to have certain qualities to work as a dentist or dental surgeon in this field. They must have the analytical skills to interpret and present information in the form of statistical data using the quantitative and qualitative techniques. They should be flexible, have problem-solving skills and must be able to convey messages to patients in an audience appropriate manner. They should be critical in nature and must be able to manage time and work accordingly. this is what it takes to have bright career prospects in this stream.

10 Questions to Ask Before You Travel Abroad For Medical Or Dental Treatment

Being well informed is the cornerstone of being able to make a good decision. Before you travel abroad to visit a dentist, doctor or cosmetic surgeon you should satisfy yourself that you are 100% happy to be treated by this person at their facility. Here are ten questions that will help you become an informed patient.

  1. What are your qualifications and specialisations? You should take the time to check that your dentist, doctor or surgeon is fully qualified and currently registered to practice in their local country. To do this, contact the local medical or dental council. If you are receiving specialist treatments, look for a further qualification in that area of specialisation. For further peace of mind, check if the person in question has been licensed to practice in your own local country.
  2. With my medical history, am I suitable for this procedure? To minimise the risk of unnecessary complications, you should disclose any possible medical reasons that might make you unsuitable for treatment. That could be something as simple as being a smoker, which might disqualify you from receiving dental implants. Your prospective practitioner should be asking these questions anyway, but if they don’t you should volunteer the information and ask about the implications.
  3. What are the normal treatment and recovery times recommended? One commonly voiced concern amongst local dentists and doctors when talking about patients seeking treatment abroad is that they compress too much treatment into too short a space of time. If you are getting complicated treatment done abroad, ask your overseas clinic what their recommended time between treatments is, what their recommended recovery times are, and if they differ significantly from what is suggested at home, ask them why that is.
  4. What happens if something goes wrong? The biggest fear that people have when looking for treatment abroad is that something will go wrong, either while they are still abroad or, worse still, once they return home. You need to know before you travel what procedures the clinic has in place for dealing with everything from pulled stitches to post operative infections. In the worst case scenario, what will they do if the procedure fails completely? Do they offer guarantees, refunds, or free remedial treatment? If you have returned home before the problem arises, will they pay for you to return? Be satisfied that you can live with the answers they give.
  5. What other options do I have? Often times you will have heard of a procedure from a magazine or a television programme that seems like it might be something you’d be interested in having done. Even if you are suitable for the procedure, ask about alternatives. There may be a newer procedure, or a less risky procedure or a cheaper procedure that you would be even more interested in, but if you don’t ask you may never be offered them.
  6. How much is it going to cost? If you are travelling abroad without having received a pre-consultation at home, any prices you have been quoted are likely list prices for a given procedure. You need to ask if there are any extra costs that are likely to arise: x-rays, anaesthetic, prescriptions, etc. The last thing you want to have happen is to get to your clinic and find out that the treatment you thought was going to cost EUR3,000 is actually going to cost EUR5,000 when everything is included. It is not unreasonable if you do have a local pre-consultation to ask for a fixed price guarantee. You might also want to enquire about possible payment methods.
  7. Where is the treatment going to take place? You will want to know in advance what type of facility you are going to be treated in. Is it a small clinic located in an office building, is it a larger purpose built clinic, or is it a hospital? There are implications involved in each case, but you will need to be satisfied that you are happy to be treated in whichever facility your prospective doctor, dentist or surgeon is located in.
  8. What is your success rate?Some procedures, such as dental implants, have a failure rate that is measurable. You should ask how many times your practitioner has performed the specific treatment you are interested in, and what the long term success rate of his or her use of this treatment is.
  9. Can I speak to some previous patients? One of the best ways you can get honest answers about treatment in a specific clinic is to talk to someone who has done it already. Ask the clinic to put you in touch with someone in your country who has had the same procedure performed. If they can’t or won’t, try and find someone yourself by searching online. People who are very happy or very unhappy often blog about the treatment they received.
  10. What brand of implant do you use? In order to accurately compare the price at home to the price abroad you really need to compare like with like, and that means asking what brand name of implant, crown, or veneer that the dentist is going to use is. The same applies for any cosmetic implants or fillers, and similarly there are a wide range of laser eye treatments available under the umbrella terms LASEK or LASIK. Know exactly what it is that you are buying or you might end up unhappy with the results.