X-ray technology works by utilizing a phenomenon known as “beam hardening.” When an x-ray passes through an object, two things occur: photons that have lower energy are absorbed, while photons with higher energy are left behind. This allows an image to be created of structures within the object that are of higher energy. Skin, for example, has a lower energy level than bone. Bone, however, has a lower energy level than metal. This results in varying shades of gray that can be seen on an x-ray — metal is typically opaque white, while bones are semi-translucent. Folds of skin may be seen, however, most often, soft structures of the body like skin and muscle are completely transparent. Beam hardening technology allows dental professionals to isolate and assess internal oral structures like dental implant screws, tooth roots, and underlying bone to determine the overall best approach for completing dental restorations.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common cause of dizziness, or vertigo. It causes the sensation that your body is moving even when it’s not, or that your head is spinning. BPPV results in short but sometimes very intense episodes of vertigo. Usually, these episodes of dizziness are triggered by certain changes in head positioning, such as moving the head vigorously from side to side, leaning down for extended periods, or other sudden movement. The movement is said to cause calcium deposits in the inner ear to dislodge, which move across internal structures of the ear. This causes the ear to send signals to the brain that the body is in motion. Usually, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is very bothersome for the patient but of little cause for concern other than protecting patients from falls due to loss of balance. One cause of BPPV is TMJ/TMD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Betamethasone is a type of glucocorticoid, or corticosteroid, with a long half-life. It can be taken orally, applied topically, or inhaled to achieve the required effect. Betamethasone is often used to treat skin conditions to reduce swelling, itching, redness, and irritation. This drug has also been found to have applications in the dental field by promoting healing and reducing swelling. Following more extensive dental procedures, patients often experience inflammation which leads to pain and a delay in the healing process. The use of betamethasone has been shown to lessen these complications. It is generally administered as a mouthwash with one soluble betamethasone tablet being dissolved in water. Patients usually experience a reduction in inflammation, swelling, and pain due to the effects of the drug. For oral lesions, betamethasone can also be administered via inhaler with the inhaler positioned in the mouth so that it is close to the site of the lesion.
A beveled flap is a small section of gingiva that has been surgically separated from its underlying tissues by incising at an acute angle. This allows for visibility to the root surface and bone structure of the patient.
A beveled flap can be classified based on how the bone is exposed after reflection of the flap — e.g. a mucoperiosteal (full thickness flap) or a mucosal (partial thickness) flap. The flap can also be classified based on how it is placed after surgery — e.g. a non-displaced or displaced flap, as well as classified on the management of papilla — e.g. a papilla preservation flap or a conventional flap.
A full thickness flap allows all soft tissue to be completely reflected to gain full visibility to bone structures, while a partial thickness flap only includes incision of the epithelium and some but not all of the underlying tissues. The periosteum remains in place over the bone, allowing for more limited visibility.
A bevel incision, or internal bevel incision, is a type of periodontal flap surgery that allows a periodontist to access to the bone and root surfaces of the teeth. A small incision is made in the gingiva to expose the root surfaces and in some cases, the gingiva can be relocated in patients who have mucogingival involvement. This is done to clean the roots of the teeth, remove the periodontal pocket lining, and treat alveolar bone irregularities. Then, the periodontal flap is laid back down and the bevel incision is closed. The procedure helps reduce the risk of infection and inflammation, and can significantly reduce the size of pockets. A bevel incision is typically made using a #15 or #15C surgical blade, and is made to the alveolar crest beginning about 1 mm or less away from the gingival margin. Sutures are placed after the flap is repositioned to allow for minimal, if any, scarring.