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Dentistry News From Medical News Today

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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