7506 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50324
Meder, Lindsey J D.D.S.
1450 28th St
West Des Moines, IA, 50266-1481
SHARPE FAMILY DENTISTRY PC
4150 WESTOWN PKWY STE 301
WEST DES MOINES, IA, 50266
Cobb, Stuart S D.D.S.
2814 Northgate Dr # 1
Iowa City, IA, 52245-9513
Fuhs, Mike D.D.S.
988 W 3rd St # 107
Dubuque, IA, 52001-6666
Every science has its beginnings in myth and folklore. Early dental practices, in particular, are deeply tied to the mysticism surrounding the teeth and tongue. Because the mouth is the center of speech and nourishment, diverse cultures treat dental events in their lives with respect.
There is a universal human belief that teeth confer power. These remedies and practices were intended to cultivate that power-by keeping teeth for a lifetime. The same spirit-much refined-motivates modern dentistry.
For relief, boil earthworms in oil and pour into the ear on the side where there is pain (Pliny, 77 AD).
Pour juice of onions by drops into the mouth, bite a piece of wood struck by lightning (ibid.).
Put tobacco in the armpit; hold a heated root of a birch on the cheek; or hold a small frog against the cheek or lick a toad's abdomen (Norwegian folklore).
Lay roasted parings of turnips, as hot as they may be, behind the ear; keep the feet in warm water, and rub them well with bran, just before bedtime (John Wesley, 1747).
"Round the tooth to be drawn, he fastened a strong piece of catgut; to its other end he affixed a bullet. Then he charged a pistol with this bullet and a full measure of powder. The firing performed a speedy and effectual removal of the offending tooth" (Dr. Monsey, 1788).
In the US and Europe, the blacksmith did extractions, presumably because they had the "proper tools."
"If one had a tooth extracted, it must be burned, because, if a dog got it and swallowed it, one would have a dog's tooth come in its place" (Dr. Holmes, 1862).
To clean the teeth, rub them with the ashes of burnt bread (Poor Will's Almanack, 1780).
To stable and steadfast the teeth, and to keep the gummes in good case, it shall be very good every day in the morning to wash well the mouth with red wine (London, 1598).
In parts of England, the superstition persists: one prevents a toothache by "clothing one's right leg prior to the left" (G.P. Foley, 1972).
To make the teeth of children grow hastily, take the brain of a hen and rub the gums therewith. It shall make them grow without any sorrow or diseases or aching (London, 1934).
Roast the brains of a rabbit and rub a small amount on the gums (US, 1942).
Q. What is endodontics?
A. Endodontics is the area of dentistry that specifically deals with what is called the pulp within a tooth.
Q. What is dental pulp?
A. The dental pulp is a soft tissue comprised of tiny arteries, veins, nerves and lymph vessels for the tooth.
Q. Where does the term root canal come from?
A. The tooth is comprised of three basic components. The first component is the crown/enamel, which is seen by the naked eye.
The next level of the tooth is dentin, which is under the enamel and the "housing” for the dental pulp. The final component is the dental pulp and is the core of the tooth. This bulk of the dental pulp is in the center of the tooth or the pulp chamber, and is connected to the Mandibular Canal through the root canals. The root canals are like veins for the dental pulp.
Q. What does the procedure root canal mean?
A. Root canal has become a term for a procedure involving the dental pulp. When the dental pulp has been exposed and damaged, it must be treated professionally and this process is usually referred to as getting a root canal.
Q. What does a root canal procedure entail?
A. Once the dental pulp has been infected, it must be removed from both the pulp chamber and the root canals. Once it has been removed, the pulp chamber and root canals are thoroughly cleaned and enlarged. Based on the level of infection, the dentists may choose to clean the area more than once. After the area is free of infection, the dentist will fill the root canals and pulp chamber with a filling that will prevent any bacteria from entering the area. Finally, the dentist will place a crown over the tooth to restore it to its original shape.
Q. What causes dental pulp to become damaged or infected?
A. Normally, when a deep cavity occurs, it exposes the dental pulp to the bacteria inside the mouth. When exposed to this bacteria, the dental pulp can become infected and thus cause the inside of the tooth to be infected.
Q. What can happen if infected dental pulp is not treated?
A. Overtime, the infected pulp will die. At the same time, pus from the infection will develop at the base of the tooth and cause an abscess to form. If this occurs, it is not uncommon for the abscess to cause the bone holding the tooth to deteriorate. If this deterioration becomes too severe, the tooth will fall out.
Q. What role does the computer play in the dental care industry?
A. In the future, patient records may be kept on computer disks, including visual images captured on intraoral cameras. A computerized workstation beside the patient’s chair will give the dentist the ability to view the patient’s history from disk.
Also, the dentist might use a voice-recognition system to ask the computer to assist in finding that data, or create a “before and after” image so the patient can preview the result of dental work before it is done.