Vinisha Ranna is curious to learn more about SCUBA diving related teeth problems that divers may experience.
Ms Ranna - a PADI and SSI certified Stress and Rescue Diver - is currently studying 'Advanced Education in General Dentistry' at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, North America.
“After speaking with the other divers, I was surprised to find that many of them had teeth problems in the course of their dives. As a diver I was relieved; as a dentist I was intrigued. I looked through dental research literature to find some information on this topic, but there were no studies that answered my questions.” Vinisha Ranna
At present published information does not provide much data on oral problems experienced by divers. One study conducted on naval divers and submariners indicated that divers who spent time at shallower depths showed the greatest deterioration of teeth in a ten year follow up, in spite of having better teeth at baseline.
Vinisha Ranna has therefore developed a 15 minute survey to learn more about how the teeth are affected. This survey will capture information on the occurrence of dental pain during a dive, the teeth commonly affected and information on oral symptoms frequently reported by the SCUBA diving population. It is hoped that the data will eventually help and hopefully prevent negative oral health in divers.
“We want to assess whether there is an association between these variables and the divers’ experience level, diving frequency and diving conditions,” explained Vinisha, who is working closely with Dr. Hans Malmstrom, chair of General Dentistry and AEGD program director. “We’re looking forward to sharing the survey results with divers and dentists. It’s important for the diver and his or her dentist to be aware of these changes and their effects in order to provide the best treatment."