What you didn’t know about Tooth Decay or Gum Disease!!

IMG_4047This is an example of a choropleth map. From the map we can see the percent of teeth that have been extracted due to tooth decay or gum disease for 2006, 2008 and 2010.  A large percent of teeth extractions occurred in southern states indicated by the counties in red compared to Western states indicated by the counties in yellow.

Interestingly, the South is known for having poorer health outcomes and higher rates of chronic disease. Maps like this allow for this information to be displayed in a picture.

Mapping Dentistry in Nashville, TN.

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This map shows the geographic location of dentists currently practicing in Davidson-County as well as areas that are likely experiencing disparities in oral health care.

To bring awareness to the current health conditions in low-income areas such as North-Nashville, the Oral Health Needs Index (OHNI) made an easy-to-access, oral health focused, Geographic Information System (GIS) based tool that allows people to find services based on their environment and resources.

Identifying dental providers who accept Medicaid and other public dental insurance in areas of low socioeconomic status can be difficult. With OHNI, users get a clear visualization of communities with lack of services. Lack of transportation and finding participating providers is a major barrier for low-income and rural populations. Identifying these barriers and how they contribute to health disparities experienced by under-served communities is important. It allows for a better understanding of ways to combat disparities in disadvantaged communities.

What’s Up With Wisdom Teeth?


About 5 million wisdom tooth extractions take place in the United States annually. There a plethora of reasons for removing these teeth. They can cause pain, tumors, and tooth decay if not removed. This is true of wisdom teeth that cause problems, because not all of them need to be removed. About 38% of  people’s wisdom teeth do not form and therefore have no need to be removed. The other 62% have their wisdom teeth come in with or without problems.

Wisdom teeth used to be essential to humans everyday life before modern ages. Before the invention of cooking humans ate raw meats and other hard foods. This made it crucial to have another pair of molars to make chewing and sub sequentially digestion easier on the primitive man. The smaller the food gets after chewing makes it easier for the food to be digested.

As time went by and man became more advanced the need for this extra set of molars decreased. The food being eaten was not as tough and could be chewed a lot easier. Through evolution these teeth became obsolete, but were still developing in the body. At this point most people do not have enough room in their mouths for these extra teeth and they are causing problems. These problems arise from the teeth growing in different directions and putting pressure on existing teeth as well as creating crowding and spaces between other teeth. If this happens then it i recommended that the teeth be removed to alleviate these problems.



Mapping Emergency Room Dental Visits

Screenshot 2018-10-23 at 5.04.45 PMThis map shows the geographic location of all practicing dentists in the state of Florida by county and the dental ER visits per 1000 in primary care professional shortage areas.

For better oral health outcomes to be possible in Florida, a data-driven, evidence-based  program is essential. The Oral Health Needs Index(OHNI) made strides to fix this problem by creating an easy too access, oral health focused, outline Geographic Information System (GIS) based tool that allows users to turn complex data sets into maps and other easy-to-use visualizations.

According to the CDC, most oral diseases are avoidable, with the timely administration of preventive care. Failure to address oral health with timely preventive care may result in costly visits to hospital emergency rooms, especially for children in low-income households.[2] Identifying dental providers who accept Medicaid and other public dental insurance can be difficult. Transportation and finding participating providers are significant barriers for low-income and rural populations. With the use of these maps, we get clear visualization of health disparities experienced by under-served communities and it allows for a better understanding of ways to combat these disparities.




Will the Future of Healthcare Shift Towards Value-based Care?


Is the future of healthcare shifting towards employing clinical analysis technology to administer value-based care? Analytic technology allows healthcare providers to understand their patient population better using social determinants of health. The analytic technology uses electronic health records to measure health trends amongst the targeted population.

Value-based care is collecting relevant data sources specific to socio-economic and social determinants of health unique to a specific population to plan appropriate interventions. These strategies have the potential to improve health outcomes specifically targeted areas at lower costs. Cost can be lower through a thorough analytical investigation of community needs trends and provider behaviors that increase cost. Carilion Clinic in Virginia is currently utilizing value-based care and analytical technology to serve its community better.

For more information check out this article:




Say No to DIY Braces


Home kits for braces have been all the rage as of late. But these braces can cause major problems with those that purchase them. These diy braces use clear aligners to move teeth into a more desired setting. But since there are no orthodontists to monitor the shifting of the teeth there is no way to tell if they are being properly aligned.

The kits include an impression tray for you to manually take an impression of your mouth with then aligners after that that should correlate with the shifting of your teeth on a monthly basis. The customers just send the company selfies of their teeth as a progress tracker of the alignments.

Without the constant supervision of orthodontists braces can do more harm than help. Teeth shifting is a serious ordeal and should be taken as such. If teeth are shifted too quickly or into the wrong alignment there could be irreparable damage. That is why an orthodontist should be present to make sure that your teeth are moving correctly. Regular consumers are not qualified to do that and should not be in charge of something so important.





GIS Mapping could help voters on Election Day

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With November election slowly approaching, one of the newest features currently being used to ease the process across the world is, GIS community mapping. Community mapping is using mapping technology to identify, understand, analyze and resolve community issues. Residents can use GIS mapping to type in their polling place and even give them directions to it.

Interactive community mapping systems can replace paper-based data to help store vital information more efficiently. GIS can provide details about specific parish/county population, transportation and highway systems, voting precincts, zoning and land use, parks and more. Locations of utilities, pipelines, flood zones and elevation can also be mapped.