US News and World Report came out with their annual (2016) listing of the Best Jobs in America. Notwithstanding the fact that any ranking is subjective, and easily manipulated by the criteria one uses to rank a job, but we must admit that it was rewarding to see Orthodontists and Dentists finish #1 and #2. Pediatric Dentists weren’t listed separately but I suspect we were lumped in under the ‘dentist’ category.
Either ways, dentistry is a fantastic profession (and deservedly one of the best jobs around) – we get to see our patients grow, develop relationships with them, eliminate discomfort and pain, educate, make patients feel great about their smile (and their overall well being), partner with fellow team members (assistants, hygienists, business associates) towards a common goal, while exercising a certain level of independence and freedom that has largely disappeared from other professions. What’s not to like? We think it’s a wonderful profession.
Here’s a listing of the top 10 jobs of 2016:
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Physician Assistant
- Nurse Practitioner
- (tie) Obstetrician and Gynecologist/Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
Oy! So your teenager wants to get a piercing. And not just a cute little earring, but a cool one that expresses her individuality, and wait a minute, she wants it in her tongue. What’s a parent to do?
It’s a well known fact that teenagers don’t think like adults – they are impulsive, narcissistic and aren’t capable of thinking about the effects of their behavior on other people (or themselves for that matter). Their frontal lobes aren’t quite developed, so since their insight is impaired, it makes perfect sense to them that getting a tongue piercing is completely normal and safe.
One should know that oral piercings (tongue, lip, and cheek), are associated with a number of adverse oral and systemic conditions. Parents should inform their teenagers of the risks of piercings which are significant. In fact, the American Dental Association opposes the practice of intraoral/perioral piercing.
Piercing related risks include:
- Infectious Disease transmission: Oral piercing has been identified as a possible factor in the transmission of hepatitis B, C, D and G.
- Infection: The mouth is filled with millions of bacteria and oral piercing creates an opportunity for these bacteria to infect the piercing site. These infections can be quite serious, leading to swelling, inflammation, cellulitis and even endocarditis.
- Nerve and blood vessel damage: The tongue has lots of blood vessels and nerves. One can puncture a nerve leading to temporary and even permanent numbing of the tongue. This damage can affect your sense of taste and ability to move your tongue.
- Injury to gums: The metal bars and caps in oral jewelry can cause gum recession and damage leading to long term sensitivity and potential bone loss.
- Tooth damage: Metal jewelry can lead to tooth fracture, abrasion, increased sensitivity, cracking of fillings and tooth wear.
- Airway obstruction: Oral piercings have many parts that can come loose, leading to inadvertent swallowing or aspiration (when foreign objects go into the lung)
- Allergic reaction: A hypersensitivity reaction — called allergic contact dermatitis to the metal (nickel) in the jewelry can occur in susceptible people.
- Compromised Dental Care: Oral piercings can prevent dentists from taking clear x-rays and not allow proper treatment to be recommended.
And while your teenager typically does not think adults know what they are talking about, it is important to inform them of the dangers associated with oral piercing. Sometimes they do hear what you are saying.