Found under a series of names, such as NICO (Neuralgia-Inducing Cavitational Osternecrosis)and Alveolar Cavitational Osteopathy, a cavitation is a hole within the upper or lower jaw bone. This hole is roughly the size and shape of the root that once occupied that space in bone, because that was its origin. It is an area of incomplete healing.
When a woman delivers a baby, she must also deliver the afterbirth. When a tooth is delivered, there is an equivalent of the afterbirth. It is called the periodontal ligament. This is a group of fibers, half of which originate within the tooth, and the other half from the bone surrounding the tooth. They blend together and form a hammock-like structure that unites tooth and bone. There is normally no bony attachment between the two.
When a tooth has a root canal, or is in a dying state, bacteria within the tooth produce very strong chemicals that are highly neurotoxic and kill many critical enzymes within the body. When the tooth is removed, and the ligament left in place (normal procedure) these chemicals remain within the ligament and can slowly seep into the body, potentially creating disease states.
If a tooth is removed and the ligament is left in place, a cap of two to three millimeters of bone heals over the top of the socket, leaving a cesspool of these chemicals lining the hole, and sealed within the bone. X-ray has a hard time identifying these areas, for one is taking a picture of a piece of air within bone.
After the tooth is removed, or years later when the cavitation is being cleaned, the walls of the socket must be cut out with a dental burr. Just scraping it out (curetting is the term) pushes the toxins into the lymphatic drainage system, and patients frequently become ill for several days without knowing why.
The procedure of cleaning out a cavitation is simple, just like landing a 747. It is simple when someone knows how to do it. Care must be taken to prevent the toxic materials from getting out of the opened cavitation into the mouth. High suction and saline flushes help to accomplish this. Since this is a problem of chemical toxins and not a bacterial infection generating pus, antibiotics are of little value in the treatment. Sometimes Intravenous Vitamin C is utilized.
According to certain toxicologists, toxic responses can take place just as fast as electrical responses within the body. This may explain why it is not unusual to see a body part that has been responding to the presence of these toxins demonstrate a positive improvement within seconds of the cleaning of a cavitation. Responses within a day or two are common.
There are two types of bridges, "fixed" and "removable". Most of the time the term bridge refers to an appliance that is cemented to teeth, and cannot be removed. For a description of removable bridges, see the section called "removable partial dentures".
The purpose of a bridge is to replace one or more missing teeth where there is a tooth (called an abutment) on each side of the missing teeth. The enamel is removed from the abutment teeth and a crown is made replacing the amount of enamel that was removed with metal. The missing teeth are also made of metal, or combinations of metal and tooth colored porcelain or plastic. After all the pieces are constructed, the segments are soldered together, and the whole bridge is usually cemented onto the abutment teeth in one unit. Bridges feel very much like your original teeth, and require only slightly more care in cleaning than your original teeth. They can normally be expected to last for 10 to 20 years if they do not replace more than 2 teeth. Longer bridges do not last as long. The disadvantage is that if the abutment teeth are whole teeth, good teeth have been cut down in order to make the abutment crowns.
Bridges can be constructed from a variety of materials. These materials are covered in the pages describing gold crowns and non-precious metal crowns.
Amalgam is the generic term applied to a variety of very similar products used in dentistry to fill teeth. Amalgam is also known as the "silver filling" (due to its shiny appearance) or the silver-mercury filling. Amalgam literally means mixed with mercury, and in the dental sense that is true. Powdered metals and metal compounds consisting of silver, copper, tin, and zinc are mixed with about an equal weight of liquid mercury. Three different types of chemical reactions take place within this mixture, and the resultant amalgam will set at room temperature, and, most importantly, within a few minutes.
Amalgam has been used as a filling material for 160 years and has enjoyed the reputation of being an inexpensive, long lasting filling. The materials alone only cost about one dollar. Although the average life span of an amalgam filling is only around five years according to Dr. Leon Silverstone at the University of Colorado, some amalgam fillings have been known to last for up to 20 years.
Three times now, amalgam has been accused of initiating diseases. The first was in the 1830's, again in the 1920's, and the third time a movement started in 1973 in which more substantial information has been available to determine the toxicity of the substance. Up until recently, it was felt that the mercury stayed within the filling. Now