Week in Review: Man with fused 3rd molar | Settlement over sedation | New periodontitis research

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

An otherwise healthy 26-year-old man with good oral hygiene experienced two days of severe spontaneous pain on the right side of his lower jaw. Our top story of the week covers his journey from diagnosis to treatment, including the discovery that his third molar had fused with a supernumerary tooth.

Settlement over sedation dentistry

Attorney and dentist Dr. Marc Leffler is back writing for DrBicuspid.com with a fascinating case that explores whether fulfilling the basic requirements of sedation standards is enough to safeguard patients and protect against legal repercussions.

In the case, a general dentist with more than 30 years of experience attended a weekend course on dental sedation management. Soon after, a long-time patient requested sedation before his procedure. After taking a 10 mg tablet of diazepam and a hydrocodone-acetaminophen tablet, the patient became unresponsive and later died in the practice. A demand for monetary settlement soon followed.

New periodontitis research

Yet another study has linked periodontal disease and Alzheimer's disease. In a review of the science behind the connection between the two diseases, researchers reaffirmed the link and suggested that Gram-negative bacteria may play a role in the development of Alzheimer's.

With science linking periodontal disease to numerous diseases, including Alzheimer's and cognitive decline, dental professionals are eager to best treat and prevent severe gum disease. Combining traditional periodontal disease management with antibiotics and an antiviral drug may result in better patient outcomes, according to a commentary in Periodontology 2000.

Putting their money where their mouths are

Last but not least, patients in need of restorations are willing to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to convenience, according to recent research published in the Journal of Dental Research. Patients in the U.K. were willing to pay between 39 pounds ($48) and 116 pounds ($142) for a variety of attributes, including a shorter wait time, faster treatment times, better aesthetics, and less postoperative pain.

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