Forensic Dentists: The Unsung Heroes of Dentistry

forensic dentistry RenoLet’s start with a disclaimer: at The Reno Dentist we are fully committed to delivering the highest quality of general and cosmetic dentistry services to living patients. In today’s post, however we will veer a bit off the beaten path, so to speak, and share some insight into an important dental specialty; forensic dentistry. The official term for the use of dentistry in criminal cases and post mortem identification is forensic odontology. These professionals are rarely recognized but play a fundamental role in crime and disaster investigations.

Dental X-rays, dentures, and bite marks are all used to provide clues about the victim’s identity and/or the manner of death. A person’s teeth are as singular as fingerprints and can often sustain forces such as fire, explosions, submersion in water, and natural decay without being destroyed.

Identifying One Victim

Identifying a victim through dental records is aided immensely when authorities have narrowed down a group of suspected victims to just a few people (or, ideally, just one) and can consult the dentists who had treated them. When the identity is totally unknown, a forensic dentist investigates other databases such as those kept by the armed forces and prisons. “Dental identifications are so much quicker and so much less expensive than DNA,” says Dr. Mark Bernstein, dentist and forensic dental consultant.

Identifying Hundreds of Victims

While identifying one victim of a homicide or accident can be relatively straightforward, natural disasters, plane crashes, and other large-scale tragedies are exponentially more involved.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Burkes, chief forensic dental consultant for the 9/11 attacks, over 140 dentists toiled to identify the fragments of remains that were recovered from the scene of the terrorist attacks. The identification effort was an extremely painstaking and complicated process. First, the dentists were assigned to one of four teams. The Go Team gathered evidence from the scene, the Antemortem Team analyzed existing dental records of suspected victims, the Postmortem Team X-rayed the retrieved dental evidence, and the Comparison Team compared the X-rays of the remains of unknown individuals to the records of missing people deemed to have been at the scene. “Dentistry fulfills one of its most important social, moral, and professional obligations by applying its unique knowledge and expertise to the task of identifying countless persons who are tragic victims of fires, catastrophes, disasters, and homicides,” says Burkes.

If you are looking for quality dental care in the Spanish Springs, Virginia City, or Carson City areas, we hope you’ll give The Reno Dentist a call at 775-322-5016 to schedule a consultation.  We offer a wide variety of dental services such as root canals, wisdom teeth extractions, dentures, cleanings and prepless veneers. Call us today!

Contact The Reno Dentist:

775-322-5016

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

855 W Seventh St Ste 200
Reno, Nevada
89503

 


Floss Pick Facts For Dental Health in Sparks

Dental Health in Sparks

Health-conscious individuals want to keep their teeth as clean as possible. However, they are also looking for convenience. That’s why many of them turn to floss picks instead of standard dental floss. These little tools are quite handy. They usually have a handle that is pointed and can double as a toothpick, and a length of floss strung in a U-shaped groove. They are cost-effective and can be used more discretely than floss.

Floss Picks vs. Traditional Floss

While this may seem like a dream come true for those hoping to make flossing a more regular part of their oral health routine, floss picks are still a step below actual floss when it comes to effectiveness. The American Dental Association has only approved dental floss for cleaning in between teeth. One issue is that floss picks can’t curve and form the angles needed for superior cleaning.

So, what is a responsible dental patient to do? The first thing is to talk to your dentist about dental health in Sparks. If you love floss picks, continue to use them when convenient. But try to use regular dental floss daily.

Schedule an Appointment to Improve Dental Health in Sparks

If you are in the process of looking for a new dentist, we hope that you consider The Reno Dentist. We have been serving the Sparks area since 2011 from our Reno office. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff would love to answer any questions or concerns you have regarding flossing and other dental health in Sparks. We also welcome questions about cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whiteningdental implants, and porcelain veneers. Call 775-322-5016 today to schedule an exam or consultation with our staff. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Contact The Reno Dentist:

775-322-5016

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

855 W Seventh St Ste 200
Reno, Nevada
89503


Suspect You Might Have Sleep Apnea in Reno?

oral appliance for sleep apnea in Reno

Suspect you might have obstructive sleep apnea in Reno? It’s crucial to your health to see a doctor soon. If left untreated, it can become life-threatening.

Does your bed partner tell you that you frequently stop breathing during the night? What if you sleep alone? Here are some signs that you may have sleep apnea in Reno:

  • Loud snoring
  • Awakening suddenly
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Frequently being tired during the day
  • Waking with a dry mouth
  • Headaches, especially in the morning
  • Difficulty concentrating

Recurring interruptions in breathing during sleep starves the brain of oxygen. When the brain is not getting enough oxygen, the heart slows down. When the person resumes breathing, the heart goes into panic mode to push the oxygen to the brain. Then the cycle repeats itself many times an hour each and every night. This stop-and-start action is dangerous for every organ in the body.

CPAP (Positive Airway Pressure) may be the most well-known treatment for sleep apnea. Many people don’t know that there are other ways to treat it. Oral appliance therapy (OAT) conducted by a dentist can be an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved OAT in the following circumstances:

  • As a first-line treatment for people with mild to moderate OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea)
  • As a first-line treatment for patients with severe OSA who are unable to use CPAP devices
  • As a combination therapy (using CPAP and an oral appliance together)

A custom-fit oral appliance allows patients to breathe normally during sleep. A diagnosis of OSA must be made by a physician. If the physician recommends oral appliance therapy, he or she will refer the patient to a dentist who is trained in treating sleep disorders.

The advantages of an oral appliance over a CPAP machine include:

  • More convenient
  • More comfortable
  • Portable
  • Quiet
  • Doesn’t need electricity
  • Easy to clean
  • May allow wearer to talk and eat during use

If you have been suffering from untreated obstructive sleep apnea in Reno, OAT can restore your health. The team at The Reno Dentist encourages you to see an MD soon before your health is compromised. If you have already received a diagnosis of OSA and would like information about OAT, call 775-322-5016 to set up a consultation with The Reno Dentist. We also offer other services such as Laser and Cosmetic Dentistry.

Contact The Reno Dentist:

775-322-5016

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

855 W Seventh St Ste 200
Reno, Nevada
89503

 


Laser Dentistry in Reno

Affordable Sparks Tooth WhiteningDid you love those amazing laser weapons in Star Wars? So did we! But laser technology has real-world applications, too, including in dentistry. At The Reno Dentist, we take full advantage of it.

The word “LASER” is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A laser device emits a powerful, highly-concentrated beam of light. Lasers are used in hundreds of applications in many other industries, including communications, researching, manufacturing, and medicine.

Lasers allow dentists a degree of precision that was previously impossible. How do they benefit patients?

  • Fewer stitches (some surgical procedures require no sutures)
  • Shorter healing time
  • Decreased chance of infection
  • Less damage to surrounding tissue/bone
  • Increased patient comfort – anesthesia is often unnecessary

Sometimes you’ll hear the phrase, “drill-less” or “no drill” dentistry. That means lasers. We’re able to use lasers for fillings, and the removal of tissue, and in many other applications.

The Reno Dentist practices safe and comfortable laser dentistry. We also provide general and family dentistry, and a host of cosmetic dentistry procedures.

Contact The Reno Dentist:

775-322-5016

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

855 W Seventh St Ste 200
Reno, Nevada
89503