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Dentistry News From Medical News Today

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

3D Printer Used To Engineer New Bone Like Material

So far printers have been used as a fax machine, printer, scanner and a xerox machine, but these are all 2D printers. Have you heard of 3D printers? These days everything happens in 3D from the latest blockbuster movies to the TV shows in your living room, so this shouldn't come as a surprise. According to various news sources, researchers from the Washington State University used a 3D inkjet printer to create a new bone-like material. And what's exciting is that this material actually does look like bone, acts like bone and feels like bone too. 

This new breakthrough in engineering technology promises a wide scope for treatment procedures in the field of orthopedics, dentistry, and even in the field of medicine where it can be used to deliver medicine for treating osteoporosis. When used in conjunction with surgical procedures, this bone-like material can act as a scaffold for new bone to grow on and it ultimately dissolves, with apparently no side effects whatsoever.

 3-D inkjet printer creates a bone-like material (Credit: Image courtesy of Washington State University)
According the Science Daily News report, the new material has already been tested in vitro successfully and the report was published in the Journal of Dental Materials where they reported seeing promising results with in vivo tests on rats and rabbits. The results of the test were very promising as after just a week in a medium with immature human bone cells, the scaffold was supporting a network of new bone cells.

Earlier in 2007, a similar study was being carried out by a researcher from McGill University who also tried using a modified inkjet printer to produce three-dimensional bioceramic "bones".

It took four years of dedicated hard work from a team of interdisciplinary effort that involved chemistry, material science, biology and manufacturing and a grant of $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health, to finally succeed in producing this new bone-like material from the 3D inkjet printer, which is nothing short of a medical marvel. According to the paper, it was the addition of zinc and silicon to the main ingredient calcium phosphate that more than doubled it's strength. 

The research team included mechanical and materials engineering Professor Amit Bandyopadhyay, doctoral student Gary Fielding and research assistant Solaiman Tarafder.

So how does this 3D printer work? The printer works by spraying a plastic binder over a bed of powder in layers of 20 microns, which is about half the width of a human hair. Thereafter, it follows the directions of a computer and creates a channeled cylinder that is the size of a pencil eraser.

"It's possible that doctors will be able to custom order replacement bone tissue in a few years, said Susmita Bose, co-author and professor in WSU's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering."  

"If a doctor has a CT scan of a defect, we can convert it to a CAD file and make the scaffold according to the defect," Bose said.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tattooth - Tooth Tattoos, The Latest Trend

Body art and tattoos have been a fad globally for many years now, but have you heard of the latest buzz in the fashion scene… called the “Tattooth” or tooth art? Yes, you can now get tattoos on the teeth and make your smile look cute, or get that naughty glint as you flash a smile like a pirate. These tooth tattoos seem to be a kind of quirky, yet funky trend all over the world and is now evolving into a rage in Japan. The trend is also now getting popular in the US where people can be seen sporting temporary tattoos on their teeth.

Steven Heward is a fine artist who used his unique talent on teeth to become a pioneer of this tooth art form called the “Tattooth”. He began designing on false teeth in a mini lab and has inked about 500 teeth since then. The images range from animals, celebrities, logos, letters and any other art form that you so desire. The Heward Dental Lab that is known world wide for its quality crown and bridge work now also trains tooth artists to apply custom hand painted tattoos on a porcelain crown for your tooth.

Image Source:

The process of getting a tattooth is quite simple really. You can choose whether you want a permanent type or a temporary stick-on kind. The permanent type is done by etching the design on the false tooth, which is then sealed with the help of a glaze. Later, the dentist simply incorporates it on a set of teeth. The temporary kind, which is very much in vogue now, is similar to nail art that can be just stuck on the tooth and removed at will.

The permanent tattoo can also be removed easily, whenever you like, by simply grinding it off the crown. There are absolutely no risks involved in getting a tooth tattoo, especially if you already have crowns on any of your teeth. For those who don’t, it involves grinding a tooth for preparation of a crown, almost like getting a tooth filling. And it requires no aftercare either, other than regular brushing and flossing.

“A drop of chemical (mild phosphoric acid) is put on the tooth and then the tattoo is stuck on it. The other one is a set of tattoos (a design placed on the set of teeth). A minor procedure is done to set the teeth so that the tattoo can be placed. Usually, if a patient has a decayed tooth or has the tendency for tooth decay, I recommend they don't opt for tooth art. There is no risk involved if one gets teeth tattoos. I have done around five teeth tattoos. The clients who come are generally teens who are majorly influenced by rap culture. There's no specific precautions one needs to take, apart from cleaning tattooed teeth and brushing regularly,” says Dr Sagar Rao who is an orthodontist.

Image Source:

The tattooth fad is the latest craze in Japan and they are known for their quirky ways. The Japanese girls are matching their nail art and teeth art in both colors and design. The tattoos are offered as personal designs and outfit combinations so as to express a more personal style statement. "There various combinations that reflect the seasons as any good fashion item has including red ladybug characters or marine look anchor tooth art giving the necessary summer charm, or a golden heart or shining star design tooth look for a night on the town." Making Teeth Tattoos Cute

Watch Video - Tooth Tattoos, Dental Art

****Dr. Priya Kanwar is a featured writer for health on Xomba as well as on technorati..

Original article was posted as Featured Article on Xomba

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Stem Cell Potential Found in Oral Mucosa That Stays Young

Since the time that stem cells were discovered about fifty years ago, by Leroy Stevens, it has been a hot topic for research among the medical fraternity as it opened out a whole new scope and potential for treatment and effective cure in various diseases and conditions. In the beginning, the focus was more on embryonic stem cells (cells derived from embryos) as they were pluripotent, which in simple terms means that they are capable of regenerating into any type of cell in the body, for e.g. muscle, bone, cartilage, skin etc. Later, research on adult stem cells generated a great deal of excitement as the scientists found adult stem cells in many more tissues than they once thought possible.

Open mouth, oral mucosa, oral cavity
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

It was not long before highly potent embryonic stem cell research became controversial for reasons of ethical and safety concerns and the adult-derived stem cells were deemed less pliant and less able to transform into the stem cells that science is looking for to find a breakthrough in the treatments for disease.

A recent research study has found the exception in the stem cells of oral mucosa, the membrane that lines the inside of our mouths. They found that the cells did not seem to age along with the rest of our bodies, which could prove to be the breakthrough that science was hoping for. The study was conducted in a lab in Tel Aviv University’s Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine where Prof. Sandu Pitaru and his graduate students Keren Marinka-Kalmany, Sandra Treves, Miri Yafee and Yossi Gafni managed to successfully collect cells from oral mucosa and manipulate them into stem cells.

Prof. Pitaru discovered that the oral stem cells were as easy to manipulate as the embryonic stem cells, even though they were taken from the adult tissues. His research has opened new doors and possibilities to the stem cell research and potential therapies for various neurodegenerative, heart and autoimmune diseases, as well as diabetes.

According to Prof. Pitaru, dentists have been aware of some of the unique properties of the oral mucosa for a long time. "Wounds in the oral mucosa heal by regeneration, which means that the tissue reverts completely back to its original state," he says. “A wound that might take weeks to heal and leave a life-long scar on the skin will be healed in a matter of days inside the mouth, regardless of the patient's age. Except for the mouth, this type of healing usually occurs only in very young organisms and lower amphibians, such as the lizards that can regenerate their tails.”

In the study, Prof. Pitaru tried to determine if the oral mucosa could be a source for young, fetal-like stem cells with this unique healing ability. He says, “Even when obtained from an older patient these stem cells still have properties of young or primitive stem cells, which have a high capacity to be transformed into different tissues.”  Prof. Pitaru and his team of researchers have already succeeded in coaxing the oral mucosa stem cells into becoming other significant cells, including bone, cartilage, muscle and even neurons.

According to Prof. Pitaru, “All this is derived from a miniscule biopsy of tissue, measuring 1 by 2 by 3 millimeters. We are able to grow trillions of stem cells from this small piece of tissue. The site of the biopsy is readily accessible, and patients experience minimal discomfort and require almost no healing time. This makes the mouth a convenient site for harvesting stem cells.”

This research study has provided a safe and effective alternative to implanting stem cells into various tissues in a person, as the threat of rejection of the implanted cells is removed, as compared to patients who are being treated with implanted embryonic stem cells in which case they are required to take immunosuppresant therapy and moreover the embryonic stem cells also have the potential to form tumors. However, this study is still in the pre-clinical trial stage where the stem cells are being implanted within small rodents and they are researching the impact of the innovative cells as a treatment for chronic heart failure, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease, and diabetes.

As the above mentioned diseases are most likely to affect the elderly, the oral mucosa stem cells would offer a more safe and effective alternative to both embryonic and adult-derived stem cells. Prof. Pitaru says. "Stem cells taken from the tissue of elderly patients have growth limitations and reduced functional capacities."

“Stem cells derived from the oral mucosa, however, avoid the pitfalls of their predecessors. Because they stay young, they behave as fetal cells, but there is no danger of rejection because they are taken directly from the patient. And they show no signs of developing the aggressive tumors that surround implantation of embryonic stem cells. With limited risk and high therapeutic potential, these cells could step in to fill a major medical need, Prof. Pitaru concludes.”

Original Feature Article Posted on Xomba

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Millions of Children Not Receiving Essential Dental Care in USA

Article first published as Millions of Children Not Receiving Essential Dental Care in USA on Technorati.

A new report by the Institute of Medicine (IoM) and National Research Council recently revealed shocking statistics of 4.6 million children in America not receiving essential dental care in 2008. According to the report, these children did not even get to see a dentist for the simple reason that their parents did not have enough money to pay for a dental visit. The report also states that only 38% of seniors had dental coverage in 2006.

The report brought to light the fact that children are just one of the many vulnerable and undeserved populations that face a persistent and systemic barriers to accessing oral health. A point to be noted is that oral health care continues to elude people from racial and ethnic minorities, people with special health care needs, older adults, pregnant women, populations of the lower socio-economic status, and rural populations among others.

The report was prepared as recommended by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the California Healthcare Foundation in the year 2009. They were asked to convene a committee of experts to address access to oral health care in America for the vulnerable and undeserved populations and to assess the current oral health care system, also to develop a vision to improve oral health care for the vulnerable and undeserved populations and to recommend strategies to achieve the vision.

Image source:

According to the author of the report, it is the “persistent and systemic obstacles that undermine people's access to oral health care.

The author has suggested the following measures to remove these obstacles:

1. By changing the funding and reimbursement for dental care.
2. Providing and expanding adequate training to all the doctors, nurses and other non-dental professionals so that signs of oral diseases may be better identified.
3. All the administrative, educational and regulatory practices need a complete revamp.

Frederick Rivara, the Chair of the committee that wrote the report says,

The consequences of insufficient access to oral health care and resultant poor oral health - at both the individual and population levels - are far-reaching. As the nation struggles to address the larger systemic issues of access to health care, we need to ensure that oral health is recognized as a basic component of overall health."

According to the report, the problem is attributed to the combination of cultural, geographic, structural and economic factors, as they found that 33.3 million Americans live in areas that are not covered by enough dentists.

It is seen that improper oral heath care can lead to respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases and even diabetes. Therefore, it makes sense to focus more on the prevention of oral diseases and combine this with promoting good oral health care and awareness among the general population to improve the overall public health.

“Although children have to receive comprehensive dental benefits if they are enrolled in CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) or Medicaid from state funds, this is not the case for adults. As underserved populations rely on publicly funded programs as their primary source of health cover, authorities should include dental cover for all Medicaid beneficiaries as well, the authors state.”

"Toward that end, the committee recommended that the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services fund and evaluate state-based demonstration projects that cover essential oral health benefits for adult Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition, Medicaid and CHIP reimbursement rates for providers should be increased and administrative practices need to be streamlined to increase use by both dental providers and patients."

The report concluded with a vision for oral health care in America where everyone has access to quality oral health care throughout the life cycle. Of course, in order to realise this vision numerous coordinated and sustained actions are called for along with flexibility and ingenuity among the leaders at the federal, state, local and community levels to act in concert with oral health and other health care professionals. The committee’s recommendation has provided a roadmap for the important and necessary steps to improve the access to oral health care and to try and reduce the oral health disparities that exist.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Titanium Used For Dental implants and Toothbrushes

Dental implants are artificial prosthesis that are permanent fixtures of titanium posts anchored to the jawbone and topped with an individual replacement tooth or a bridge that is either screwed or cemented on to the posts. A dental implant is considered to be very durable and can last many years. They require the same kind of maintenance that your normal teeth do, that is, regular brushing, flossing and check ups. Dental implants help in restoring your natural smile and looks.

Titanium in Medicine: Material Science, Surface Science, Engineering, Biological Responses and Medical Applications (Engineering Materials)The removable partial and complete dentures have the disadvantage that they are generally not very accurate in their fit and may become loose soon with the wear and tear of the material. Especially the lower denture, which may get dislodged every time you attempt to chew on to something, which can be very disconcerting. For this reason a dental implant can be a better choice.

Nearly each and every person who can have a routine dental care can use dental implants successfully. However, all prospective patients are screened carefully by the specialists for suitability to implant treatment.

Before a treatment the proper analysis of x-rays, photographs, and plaster moulds of the teeth are done to see if implantation can be implemented or not.

Only after all the factors have been considered thoroughly a treatment procedure is initiated. The first step would involve a surgical procedure wherein the titanium posts are placed into the bone cavity prepared for it. This post is then left inside and the bone is allowed to remodel around it forming a natural bond same as it is with a natural tooth and bone. This may take approximately six months.

Like New: Dental ImplantsThe second step is undertaken once the titanium post is fully anchored to the bone. Another surgical procedure is done using connecting material to attach the replacement tooth to the titanium implant.

The final step would be cementing the custom made individual tooth or bridge onto the connecting material.

The cost of the titanium implant could be $1000 to $25000 depending on the brand and where you get your treatment done. Dental insurance may cover some of the cost.

Titanium Toothbrushes Revolutionize Oral Hygiene

Ionic ToothbrushSoladey company has come up with a new revolutionary toothbrush that is a "no toothpaste" brush. It is made of a core of Titanium dioxide that generates a plaque removing electrochemical reaction.

This Toothbrush is unique in that it does not require any use of the toothpaste and the titanium dioxide rod distinguishes this ionic toothbrush that is marketed by Soladey company from an ordinary one. The titanium dioxide gets activated when exposed to light and water which then releases electrons that help in disintegrating the plaque formed on the tooth surface.

You can get more information about how to use the brush effectively and about the company Soladey and their products at this website :

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Cup of Green Tea a Day Will Keep The Dentist Away

You have probably heard of the popular saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", but how many of you have heard that drinking "a cup of green tea a day may keep the dentist away". Well, that's what the findings of a new research in preventive medicine proves. According to their research, drinking at least one cup of green tea a day increases the odds of keeping your teeth as you age.

The researchers suspect the green tea to have certain antibacterial properties that helps to preserve the teeth. The antimicrobial molecules are called catechins that are present in the green tea, which may account for the green tea's benefits. These may be found in lesser amounts in oolong tea. But, in order to have the health benefit of the green tea, it should be had without sugar as adding sugar would negate the effect, as found by the team of researchers.

Image Wikimedia Commons: A Cup of Green Tea

According to the findings of the research study, people aged 40-64 who drank one cup of green tea a day were less likely to lose teeth.

"Green tea may have bactericidal effects, which would affect teeth, but only if you drink it without sugar," said Alfredo Morabia, of Columbia University in New York and editor of Preventive Medicine, who wrote an editorial accompanying the new research."

"They also reported that drinking sweet coffee was actually deleterious," he added. "Coffee alone had no problem, but sweet coffee would actually make you lose your teeth."

The study was conducted by Yasushi Koyama and collegues of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine who looked at more than 25,000 Japanese men and women between age 40 and 64. According to their findings the men who drank at least one cup of tea a day were 19 percent less likely to have fewer than 20 teeth (a full set including wisdom teeth is 32) than those who did not drink green tea, whereas the women who drank tea were found to have only 13 percent lower odds.

Catechins have been shown to kill mouth bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease, so the researchers suspect this is what gives green tea its dental benefits.

"Previous research has indicated that regular consumption of green tea may lead to a lower instance of periodontal disease, a leading cause of tooth loss in adults," said Samuel Low of the University of Florida College of Dentistry and President of the American Academy of Periodontology in a statement to Discovery News.

For a long time now, drinking green tea has been known to have certain health benefits associated with it, and now it's also been connected to dental health. So grab a cup of hot green tea, if you want to keep your dentist away.

Difference between Green Tea and Herbal Tea

There is a general confusion between green tea and herbal tea, often interchanging the terms for one another. For those of you who want to know the difference between the two kinds of tea, let me explain further.

The leaves of this tea comes from the same tea plant as the regular tea, namely Camellia sinensis. The difference here from the regular tea is in the way it is processed in the factory before it is brewed. The regular tea leaves are mostly dried and fermented, whereas the green tea leaves are steamed, which causes lesser oxidation than the fermentation process, therefore giving its unique green tint and higher levels of antioxidants than other teas. Green tea also contains some amount of caffeine like the regular teas, thereby having addictive properties.

Green tea is popular in the Middle East and parts of Asia, including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, India and Thailand.

Herbal Tea:

Herbal tea, as the name suggests, is made of leaves, flowers, fruits, roots or bark of any one of hundreds
Lipton Herbal Tea, Honey Lemon, Tea Bags, 20-Count Boxes (Pack of 6) of different plants or may be a mixture of several plants. It does not contain any caffeine and therefore does not have any addictive properties at all. Drinking herbal tea also has several health benefits according to the ingredients present in the tea.

A cup of green tea will strengthen your teeth and gums.

**The image above (A cup of Green Tea) has been sourced from, which has been attributed to Wikimedia Commons.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Showa Hanko 2, The Robotic Doll To Train Dentists

I remember when I was a dental student, way back in 1988-89, we used a mannequin to practice doing fillings on patients. Later we were shifted to a special lab, where we had a more sophisticated mannequin with a head attached along with a dentist's chair to simulate the exact positions as of a dental clinic. Now, more than a decade later, Japan has come out with a robotic doll called Showa Hanko2, which is very life-like and will be used to train the dentists in the future.

What is unique about this doll is that it will respond in a manner that is very similar to humans during a dental procedure. This feature will make a world of a difference to the practical training that is being offered to the dentists. The Showa Hanko2 robot is being created by researchers in Japan at the Showa University. 

According to the news reports, the robot will also be provided with a voice recognition feature. What's more, after the dental procedure has been completed it will have the ability to store the performance of the dental student that can be accessed online later as well.

Showa Hanko2 Robotic Doll To Train Dentists in Japan

The Showa Hanko2 robot is likely to be marketed sometime later this year, in Japan.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Innovative Dental Device iDENTifi "Invisible" Tooth Decay and Plaque

According to this latest news, a team of scientists from University of Liverpool won an award for developing an ingenious and innovative dental device that can identify early tooth decay and plaque much before it is visible to the human eye. This device is cleverly named "iDENTifi".

The device has a clinical digital camera which incorporates Qualitative Light Induced Fluorescence (QLF) technology to take images of the mouth using blue light and special filters which can show up cavities and plaque. These images are transferred using the wireless technology to a computer, laptop, iPad or any other such electronic device that supports the wireless technology, which allows immediate assessment and evaluation by a dental care professional. 

Image Source: ( Stained Dental Plaque on Teeth Using Disclosing tablets.

iDENTifi manages to show up early stages of plaque, secondary cavities and even freshly beginning tiny cavities that can occur on any of the tooth surfaces. Secondary cavities form beneath fillings and are difficult to detect in a radiograph, specially in the early stages. More importantly, the device helps in identifying more mature and potentially damaging plaque without resorting to the current methods using unsightly dyes or disclosing agent. Therefore, the use of this device has the immense potential in preventive dentistry, wherein the dentist can change the patient's dental care and dietary behavior well in time to prevent the formation of cavities or onset of gum disease. "iDENTifi will be of particular benefit to orthodontic patients to highlight plaque left behind after cleaning as this is more difficult with orthodontic appliances in the mouth"

Professor Sue Higham from the Department of Health Services Research and School of Dentistry said: "Winning a prestigious Medical Futures Award is a great honour and proves that iDENTifi is not only highly innovative but, importantly, has real commercial and market potential. Winning this award will give us access to business expertise and networks which will help iDENTifi secure the recognition and investment needed to become a viable dental healthcare product.

According to the statistics given in this news report, "Tooth decay is one of the most widespread health problems in the UK. More than half (55%) of adults in the UK have one or more decayed teeth and it is particularly common in children and young adults, fueled by an increased frequency of consuming sugars in the diet and poor dental hygiene. It is estimated that between 52% and 77% of children aged eight to 15 have some obvious tooth decay in their permanent teeth and in young people alone £45 million is currently being spent every year on the problem." 

Plaque is a microfilm comprised of bacteria and food particles that gets accumulated on the surfaces of the teeth and is the common cause for both tooth decay as well as periodontal problems. Therefore, it is understandable that one should be able to identify this plaque before it can cause serious damage and thereby prevent the formation of cavities or inflammation of the gums that causes bleeding gums. This device promises to be a boon to preventive dentistry and will help to improve the oral health of the community.

"iDENTifi has been developed by a team from the University in collaboration with dental healthcare developers Inspektor Research Systems BV. The original concept for the device began over a decade ago when the Liverpool team wished to incorporate QLF technology into clinical SLR cameras."

The device is still undergoing clinical trials and a launch is anticipated in summer 2012.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

MOUTh - Unique Technique Improves Dental Hygiene in Dementia Patients

Article first published as MOUTh - Unique Technique Improves Dental Hygiene in Dementia Patients on Technorati.

Dementia is a condition that causes a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. A person suffering from dementia is affected in many ways from memory loss, thinking abilities, language, judgement and also in behavior. These patients tend to resist care when they feel threatened. They are also unable to care for themselves and need help. 

Nursing a person suffering from dementia can be a very challenging task, especially for the nursing staff that has to take care of their oral and dental hygiene. These patients usually have very poor dental hygiene and they generally resist any kind of treatment by resorting to fight and bite as they feel threatened. To find a solution to this problem, Rita Jablonski, assistant professor of nursing at Penn State University, along with her team of nurses conducted a pilot study to come up with a unique approach to improve the dental hygiene in the patients suffering from dementia, called Managing Oral Hygiene Using Threat Reduction (MOUTh). 

"We have come up with 15 strategies, techniques to help reduce threat perception," said Jablonski. "To my knowledge, we are the only nurses in the country who are looking at ways to improve the mouth care of persons with dementia, especially those who fight and bite during mouth care. Our approach is unique because we frame resistive behaviour as a reaction to a perceived threat."The techniques or strategies used by the team of nurses included actions and behavior that basically reduced the perceived threat by the patient, and this was accomplished by approaching the patients at eye level when they were seated, smiling, pantomiming and guiding the patients to perform their own care.

“The pilot study was conducted with seven people who had either moderate or severe cases of dementia. The researchers used the MOUTh technique on the subjects for two weeks, recording the state of the patients' mouths and how the patients reacted throughout the study.” 

“At the beginning of the study all seven subjects had poor oral health, as determined by the Oral Health Assessment Tool. Eight categories concerning oral health are scored between zero and two. The lower the score the healthier the mouth. The average score for the subjects at the start of the study was 7.29. By the end of the study the average score was 1.00.” 

The MOUTh technique may prove to be the answer to improving the dental hygiene of patients suffering from dementia, if adopted and practiced successfully by the nursing staff all over the world.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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Brits Put Dental Health On Hold Due To Rising Costs

Article first published as Brits Put Dental Health On Hold Due To Rising Costs on Technorati.

It is alarming to note that 40% of people in the UK regularly skip routine visits to the dentist as a consequence of rising costs. A research was conducted in this regard by the private medical insurance provider, Simplyhealth. Apparently, about one in four Brits consider the dental care a “luxury” rather than a necessity. The study also revealed that people not only avoid the dentist due to the fact that it is expensive, but that they are also ignorant about what exactly a dentist can do for them and therefore do not take their children for dental check-ups often enough.

dental careThe research study came up with some shocking and disturbing statistics that definitely calls for some immediate attention and review of the dental health reforms by the British health services department.
The study was carried out among 10,000 adults and the findings of the survey were as follows: -
  • One in four have dodged the dentist’s chair for 18 months
  • One in nine hasn’t been to a dentist for more than nine years
  • The rise in treatment costs led to four out of ten people claiming that they simply cannot afford regular dental check-ups.
  • One in two parents admitted to taking their children too late to the dentist, with more than one in ten children requiring a dental filling before the age of five.
  • About one-third of the children have had to make an emergency visit to the dentist in the past five years.
  • The poll also found that men were least likely to visit their dentist with over a third giving the excuse that dental treatment was “not essential”.
  • Surprisingly, 19% of those surveyed said that they were capable of managing their own dental health without any intervention from their dentist.
James Glover from Simplyhealth said: “It’s surprising that so many people see visiting the dentist as a luxury. “We’re not talking about a holiday, or a new car, but protecting your dental health, which is an everyday health need.” 

Simplyhealth’s dental advisor, Michael Thomas, said: “It’s really important that individuals take the time to brush their teeth twice a day and regularly visit their dentist. This isn’t just important for the health of their teeth, but also for other health issues. For example, research suggests that poor oral health is associated with a greater risk of a stroke and heart disease.” 

Going for private dental treatment can be a very expensive affair and therefore the cheapest option is to go to the NHS, if you are able to get it. The NHS offers free dental treatment to pregnant women, new mothers, children up to 18 and some living on benefits. But, unfortunately the NHS increased the dental charges from the 1st of April 2011, and there is a general feeling among the people who visit the NHS for dental treatment, that they do not receive the same level of treatment as they once did.

Simplyhealth's Dental Advisor Michael Thomas said: "The perceived drop in the quality of treatment that patients receive is really unfortunate as the NHS is doing such a good job of increasing the number of people its dentists see. However, we are advised that the issue is not being ignored and is included within the Government's on-going reform plans.” 

Image Courtsey: Wikimedia Commons

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