Specialist Dental Group has launched an on-going series of blog posts by our individual dental specialists. All views provided are the dentist’s own opinions and are posted on this blog as part of our on-going efforts to educate the public about dental issues and other matters of interest relating to dentistry and healthcare.
Many people were celebrating the other day when 33 Chilean miners resurfaced from their work place: a problematic mine from 700m below ground after being trapped there for 70 days.
People were in awe of the effort and intelligent approach of the rescue engineers, the determination of the Chilean government, the stamina of the miners, the support from the miners’ families and the overall favorable outcome of a potentially disastrous situation.
A few of the miners played important role in the overall well-being of the team. News reports indicated that several of the miners were offered movie deals and book deals for their story of their role in the rescue.
After being trapped underground for so many days with limited food and water supply, it is not surprising that some of trapped miners required medical attention after they came back to the surface. Some needed treatment for diabetes, some needed treatment for physical and mental trauma. A few of them actually required dental surgery as well!
This dental treatment was probably the result of a general decline of health during the period that they were underground coupled with pre-existing dental problems and a lack of proper daily oral hygiene maintenance.
Back in the 1960s, one of my teachers, Dr. Else Theilade, has already shown in his classical scientific research that gum disease (Experimental Gingivitis in Man) and dental caries (Experimental Caries in Man) can set in as early as 7 days in healthy young individuals. There is really no surprise that the group of miners, who ages ranged from 19 to 65, developed some forms of dental disease when they were in their underground entrapment.
I am sure none of us fancy being trapped underground like that but it is never too early to get yourself healthy because we never know what may happen next.
Dr. Ansgar C. Cheng is a Dental Specialist in Prosthodontics (Teeth Replacement) with Specialist Dental Group™. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor with the National University of Singapore. He has a special interest in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and treatment of medically compromised patients, including cancer patients. For more information about Dr. Cheng, click here
Dr Helena Lee is a Periodontist with Specialist Dental Group. She holds an appointment as an Adjunct Clinical Tutor in the Department of Preventive Dentistry, National University of Singapore. She has co-authored several papers in peer-reviewed journals and has lectured at professional local and international conferences. Dr Lee has a special interest in the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease, gingival plastic surgery, soft and hard tissue grafting and dental implants. For more information on Dr Lee, click here