Monday, January 13, 2014

Bells Palsy in Dental Assisting career

Toothache is considered as one of the most annoying and severe pains. In my career as dental assistant, I have seen many people and saw how the dentists deal with the situations. 

It can be from an infection on the root, or may be food stuck in a cavity or a TMJ problem.  There are many types of diagnostic tests to identify the cause of the pain. The cold test, X-rays, palpating around the jaw...It is amazing to see how my boss is ruling out some ot the cause, and asking questions to figure out the exact cause and carefully looking on the X-ray and explaining the findings.  

This particular patient came with pain on the left corner of his mouth. I love to talk to patients, like you talk to someone to know the person. That way, I can remember the name and some of the details of treatments done on that day. That way, I can avoid the mistakes like that in the last post.

Dr. X ordered couple of X-rays, and done  a thorough examination. In the end I heard Dr.X saying there is nothing wrong with the joints or the last molars. There was no wisdom tooth present in the X-ray. The patient was given prescription for pain medication and specific instructions what to do. he was asked to come back in a couple of days to see how is it going. 

The patient came back and told us he had to go to the hospital because he felt numbness on one side of the face the very next day. The doctor diagnosed the condition as Bells Palsy or Facial Palsy. He was given medications to deal with the symptoms. 

Bells Palsy  is paralysis or weakness of the muscles, usually on one side of the mouth. It can affect the taste buds and the production of saliva and tears. It is caused by virus and it is not transferred from person to person.  Most of the time it is completely curable. 

I was just imagining the scariness of all this to the patient, when facial paralysis happened all of a sudden... 

 I think, Dr.X's diagnosis  helped the physician to make the correct diagnosis faster. 

Have you had any such experiences to share?

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