Sunday, April 19, 2009

Flap's Dentistry Blog Links - April 19, 2009


BRITISH scientists have developed the world’s first stem cell therapy to cure the most common cause of blindness. Surgeons predict it will become a routine, one-hour procedure that will be generally available in six or seven years’ time. The treatment involves replacing a layer of degenerated cells with new ones created from embryonic stem cells. It was pioneered by scientists and surgeons from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London and Moorfields eye hospital. This week Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical research company, will announce its financial backing to bring the therapy to patients. The treatment will tackle age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness. It affects more than 500,000 Britons and the number is forecast to increase significantly as people live longer. The disease involves the loss of eye cells.

After years of biting and chewing, how are human teeth able to remain intact and functional? A team of researchers from The George Washington University and other international scholars have discovered several features in enamel—the outermost tooth tissue—that contribute to the resiliency of human teeth.

Within the next month or so, all adults receiving Medi-Cal will get a note from the state that as of July 1, dental, chiropractic, vision and podiatry services will not be reimbursed by the state of California. This translates to the virtual elimination of these services by Mendocino County community heath clinics.

It only took an hour and 45 minutes for all 1,000 slots available at Friday's Mission of Mercy dental clinic in New Haven to fill up. The line outside the New Haven Field House wrapped around the building with those hoping to get free dental care. Officials said people started lining up at 3 a.m. The dentists and volunteers at the event were offering free exams, cleanings, procedures and x-rays. The event was geared toward helping people without dental insurance, but volunteers said those with insurance weren't necessarily turned away.

More than 60 percent of private dental colleges and schools across the country fell short of enrollment quotas for this academic year, a Yomiuri Shimbun survey has shown. The shortfalls have prompted concern that dental institutions may face shortfalls of dentists in the future. According to the survey, 11 of 17 dental colleges and dentistry schools failed to meet the enrollment quotas for this academic year. Three of these saw enrollment fall by between 35 and 43 students--a more than 40 percent fall. Meanwhile, the total number of students who took entrance examinations for such schools or faculties decreased from the previous year by about 2,800 to 4,973. The Japanese Association of Private Dental Schools plans to investigate possible countermeasures out of fears the shortage could lead to the collapse of the nation's dental care system.

A circus performer has had prehistoric ivory from a mammoth tusk implanted as teeth because he could not bear to part from it during his divorce. Hannibal Helmurto, of the Circus of Horrors, did not want to split a 40,000-year-old mammoth tusk he purchased in 1993 with his wife when they recently got divorced. The sword wielding circus performer, who is appearing at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon this weekend, decided to have the tooth fitted into his own mouth instead.

The presence of a reservoir in the custom tray resulted in an increase of inflammation only immediately after the bleaching procedure. After 30 and 45 days, the difference between inflammation on the sides with and without a reservoir was not statistically significant. Significant differences were found in the degree of inflammation, classified as predominantly mild on the nonreservoir side and moderate on the reservoir side (P < .01). Conclusions: A 16% carbamide peroxide bleaching gel caused gingival inflammation immediately after the procedure and persisted until 45 days after the bleaching treatment. The use of a reservoir in the custom tray for home bleaching resulted in higher rates and higher intensity of gingival inflammation. (Quintessence Int 2009;40:195–202)

I have been in private practice for 17 years and have witnessed only a handful of patients who do not have problems with their wisdom teeth when they erupt. The other thousands of patients have oral health compromise due directly to their third molars. From a prevention standpoint, I am a strong advocate of removal of third molars when they have communicated through the gingiva into the oral cavity. I am not an oral surgeon so I cannot speak to the statistics of cysts forming around impacted third molars, but I can speak to the decay and periodontal disease I see due to third molars. Some of the most common problems I have encountered are deep occlusal decay with difficult access for restoring the tooth, and the need for endodontic therapy on second molars due to distal decay from food impaction. And periodontal pockets readings are conservatively 4-6 mm, which always compromises the integrity of the second molars as rarely do third molars erupt in a cleansable position.

No comments:

Post a Comment