On a hot, humid day in June, Dentista Cerca stepped into her office in Tuscaloosville, Alabama, and was given an injection of cortisone, an antibiotic that has been a popular treatment for her severely damaged jaw and cheekbone.
Cercan, 63, had been suffering from the severe swelling and pain since December.
She says the treatment caused her to lose her voice and her vision in her left eye, and she has had to wear an eye mask.
She is not alone.
Thousands of people across the country are having their teeth and jaw reconstructed, and thousands more are experiencing dental issues.
But for the dentists who specialize in treating them, the results can be far from ideal.
“I’m really sorry to say it, but I have had a very, very difficult life,” Cercam said in an interview with ABC News.
Cervical reconstruction is a relatively new medical procedure, with more than 15,000 procedures performed in the U.S. each year.
But experts say the risks are significant and it can cause irreversible damage to teeth and ligaments.
And because of the surgeries, dentists are not required to provide comprehensive medical records to patients.
“It’s really difficult for a dental surgeon to tell someone that they need to get a bone graft,” said Dr. Mark Witherspoon, a medical professor at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
“The risks are great, and the benefits are really quite minimal.”
WitherSPOON: The most common types of bone grafts used for dentistry in the United States are bone grafting and metallurgical bone graft surgery.
In both cases, the patient is placed in a brace and braces are put on.
These bracelets can be placed on any part of the body, and they can be removed in order to repair the damage done by the surgery.
But in some cases, these bracelets are left attached to the patient’s jaw or cheekbone and need to be replaced in order for the patient to be able to breathe normally again.
“We can’t take the risks,” WitherSpoont said.
“But the benefits, when you look at it in a very basic sense, are really very modest.”
The Joints Dentists Association of America estimates that more than 20 million people in the US have some type of dental problems.
But many of these patients are at high risk for complications.
They have chronic, severe or chronic pain, and their braces may need to replace them every three months, WitherSWOont said, or every two years.
WitherSloont says some of these problems can be prevented if dentists provide patients with comprehensive medical and dental records.
“If you have a brace, then you’re not going to have a lot more complications,” Withorout said.
The cost of this procedure varies widely, depending on the severity of the problem, how much time it takes, and whether the patient has a long history of dental health problems.
And while the procedure can be expensive, dentistry can provide significant benefits.
Dentists can prevent teeth from rotting by using a specialized technique called metalloplasty, which is the most expensive dental procedure in the world.
It can be done by surgeons who have specialized in dentistry for years, or can be performed by a team of dentists working in a clinical setting.
Dentist Mark Withering speaks to ABC News about metalloplasties in Birmingham.
Withering has been working in Birmingham for 20 years.
“In the last 10 years, the number of patients that have come through my practice has quadrupled,” he said.
Witting, an expert in metallopy, said metallopia is a type of surgery where teeth are placed in pieces of bone and then joined together to form a new tooth.
It’s a more traditional type of dentistry procedure than bone graft, because it requires the patient and their jaw to be completely immobilized.
“They don’t have to bend their elbows or move their hips,” Withering said.
This technique can cause significant health risks, including bone damage, infection, and scarring.
Dentistry also can lead to other complications.
Withorn said in some instances, the procedure may cause serious side effects such as tooth pain and loss of vision in people with certain genetic abnormalities.
“A lot of the time, there is a lot that we do not want to know, so that the patient can be satisfied with the results,” Withsloont said with a laugh.
But he said it’s important to remember that the procedure is not always necessary.
“You can get a better outcome from a lot less invasive dental procedures,” Witheout said, noting that dental implants can be used instead.
But Witherson said most