Monday, April 13, 2009

Flap's Dentistry Blog Links - April 13, 2009

Recession-fatigued American consumers are acquiescing to the reality that good hygiene can stretch paychecks by postponing expensive visits to the dentist. This cost-conscious approach to oral care has intensified demand for mainstream toothpaste, mouthwash, and manual brushes capable of substituting for a professional caliber cleaning within the comfort of consumers' homes and the confines of their budgets. Multifunctional oral care products featuring whitening power properties are particularly popular, and helped U.S. retail sales of oral care products intended for consumer use amount to more than $9 billion in 2008, according to "U.S. Market for Oral Care Products, 7th Edition," a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts. The level represented an increase of more than 3% over the almost $8.8 billion the oral care market achieved in 2007.
ClearCorrect, Inc., a manufacturer of FDA-cleared transparent orthodontic aligners, today filed a notice of voluntary dismissal regarding its declaratory judgment against Invisalign® manufacturer Align Technology after Align stated to the court that it has no intention of suing ClearCorrect for patent infringement. ClearCorrect filed its declaratory judgment on February 17th in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. Specifically, ClearCorrect's original complaint alleged that certain patents owned by Align Technology (Invisalign) are invalid and that ClearCorrect's clear braces products and processes do not infringe upon those patents.
Dental amalgam has been proven safe and effective for years, yet unfounded controversy still surrounds it, a Medical College of Georgia researcher says. Dentists have used amalgam, an alloy of mercury with at least one other metal, in fillings for over 200 years. Amalgam fillings don’t contain enough mercury to cause potential health problems associated with larger doses, says Dr. Rod Mackert, professor of dental materials in the MCG School of Dentistry Department of Oral Rehabilitation. "The dose makes the poison,” he says, quoting 16th century Swiss physician Paracelsus. A person would need between 265 and 310 amalgam fillings before even slight symptoms of mercury toxicity could be felt. A person with seven fillings, which is average, absorbs only about one microgram of mercury daily. About six micrograms are absorbed daily from food, water and air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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