Wednesday, July 16, 2014

REPOST: Teeth problems are top reason for young children’s hospital admissions

In Britain, dental records have shown that 25,812 children ages 5 to 9 have been admitted to the hospital for multiple tooth extractions within the span of one year. This article reports on how the figures might be pointing to a correlation between diet and tooth decay in the demographic in question.

One paediatric dentistry consultant said it beggared belief that
children's diets could 'produce such a drastic effect'.

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The number one reason for primary-school-aged children being admitted to hospital is to have multiple teeth taken out, newly released figures show. 
The number of children aged from five to nine needing hospital treatment for dental problems rose by more than 3,000, according to figures analysed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. 
The research, published in the Sunday Times, has been described as shocking by a dentistry professor and a consultant in paediatric dentistry said it "beggars belief".
Provisional figures for the period 2013-14 show that 25,812 children from that age group have been admitted to hospital to have multiple tooth extractions, up from 22,574 three years previously. 
Kathryn Harley, former dean of the faculty of dental surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, told the paper: "We have children who require all 20 of their baby teeth to be extracted. It beggars belief that their diets could produce such a drastic effect." 
Harley said many of the children presenting with problems could need four or even eight teeth out, with "quite a few" having as many as 14 extracted. 
Some dentists observe how decay progresses in baby teeth because there is uncertainty about the effectiveness of fillings, said Prof Jimmy Steele of Newcastle University. 
"A lot of dentists are unhappy about taking out teeth generally," he told the paper. "They certainly don't like to take kids' teeth out." 
The number of children aged from newborn to four admitted to hospital to have teeth out has also increased, from 8,060 in 2010-11 to a provisional figure of 8,758 in 2013-2014. 
Other key findings show that one in 20 (5%) girls aged from 15 to 19 being treated by a consultant was in hospital as a result of intentional self-harm, while boys were more likely than girls to have been injured in an assault (2%). 
Similar differences were also apparent for 10- to 14-year-olds, but they were more pronounced for the older age group. There were more similarities in children up to the age of nine. 
There were a total of 2.5m finished consultant episodes (FCEs) in the 12-month period from July 2012 to June last year for children aged up to 19, a very small increase of 0.1% on the previous 12 months.
Domenick Coletti, DDS, M.D., performs both corrective surgical and maintenance procedures to ensure the oral and dental health of his patients within and around the Maryland area. For dental health updates and tips, subscribe to this Facebook page.

Monday, April 21, 2014

REPOST: Dental laser from Convergent Dental gets funding, raves

Convergent Dental of Natick has recently raised $21.5 million in funding for its Solea laser, a pain-free, drill-free, needle-free device that allows dentists to perform surgery better. This article on The Boston Globe discusses details as the company now prepares for the laser’s broader commercial release.
Dr. Mark Mizner of Commonwealth Dental Group in Boston performed the first
cavity filling using the Solea laser last year on Convergent chief executive Mike Cataldo.
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For decades Dr. Ronald Plotka had to coax patients into getting over their fear of the most basic tool of his trade: the drill.

But lately people needing oral care have eagerly sought out the Swampscott dentist because he is among the early adopters of a new tool: the Solea laser, made by Convergent Dental of Natick.

In many cases, the laser means a needle-free, pain-free, drill-free trip to the dentist, as Plotka and others use it in place of a drill to perform routine procedures such as filling cavities and shaving teeth to be fitted for crowns.

“Patients love it,” Plotka said. “It eliminates the fear factor, which helps us do better preventive dentistry because people aren’t going to have that fear of the drill or the needle that they used to have.”

This week, four months after bringing the Solea laser to market, Convergent raised $8 million in venture capital, led by Long River Ventures of Boston, bringing total investments in the three-year-old company to $21.5 million.

The Solea, which retails for $85,000, is the first dental laser to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration for use on both hard tissue, such as teeth, and soft tissue, or gums.

The laser’s rapid pulses of green light — as many as 10,000 per second — not only make cuts but also have a numbing effect, enabling dentists to skip anesthesia in 96 percent of cases, according to Convergent surveys of clients. Patients often feel a slight cold sensation but typically report no pain.

Lasers are not new to dentistry. They are often used to whiten teeth, perform biopsies, and harden fillings.

Convergent also has competition in the quest to replace drills, most notably from Biolase of Irvine, Calif., which makes a laser device called the Waterlase. The Waterlase makes cuts by vaporizing water particles in a targeted area of a tooth and then chipping away at the weakened enamel.

Convergent’s Solea, on the other hand, beams light at a precise wavelength that vaporizes a mineral called hydroxyapatite — a major advantage, according to the company, because tooth enamel is roughly 90 percent hydroxyapatite and only about 5 percent water.

Plotka has used both the Solea and the Biolase at his practice, North Shore Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, and said he prefers Convergent’s device because it enables him to work faster and with greater precision.

The Solea is a finalist in the dental instrument category of the 2014 Medical Design Excellence Awards, a global competition for medical technology. The Waterlase won a bronze medal in the same category in 2012.
Convergent designed the Solea to mimic the look and feel of a drill. Its handheld arm resembles that of a drill, and it even operates the same way — with a foot pedal to control cutting speed.

Convergent chief executive Mike Cataldo said he was so confident dentists could easily transition from the drill to the Solea that he volunteered to be the first test patient last year. Dr. Mark Mizner at Commonwealth Dental Group in Boston used the laser in place of a drill to fill a cavity in one of Cataldo’s teeth and has made the device a staple of his practice since then.

“Here’s the typical reaction of patients: They get up out of the chair, and they go, ‘Oh my God. That was amazing,’ ” Mizner said. “They can’t believe that I just drilled their tooth with no shot and it didn’t hurt.”

The Solea is not a total replacement for the drill — at least not yet. It cannot be used to perform root canals or implants, and in one in 10 cases dentists say they finish laser procedures with a drill, often to smooth rough edges. Even then, however, anesthesia is usually unnecessary because the laser’s numbing effect lingers, much like Novocain itself.

Few dental practices have the new laser, but Cataldo said the new venture funds should help Convergent market the Solea and gain wider adoption. To all the dentalphobics out there, he added that a directory of offices using the laser will be posted on the Convergent website soon.

“What we’re trying to do,” he said, “is take the dread out of dentistry.”
Dr. Domenick Coletti is keen on adopting new dental technologies and techniques that can further enhance his practice at Central Maryland Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. To learn more about the clinic’s dental procedures and services, visit this website.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

REPOST: Examining embryonic teeth prevents problems in later life

A new study being discussed in The Digital Journal shows how a groundbreaking imaging technique could help prevent future teeth and jaw problems using embryo samples.
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A new 3D imaging technique shows how to prevent teeth and jaw problems through early intervention. This is by identifying incoming wisdom teeth, crowded teeth, and malocclusion in the embryo. 
Working with scientists on the Biomedical Imaging and Therapy (BMIT) beamline at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, a research group from the University of Saskatchewan observed, in microscopic detail, the 3D organization of young teeth within the jaw. The findings lay the groundwork and could have future impact on oral health-related quality of life. 
To test out the method scientists used a synchrotron-based micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) imaging technique, according to the Oral Health Group. With the method, silver-stained mouse embryo samples showed even the very earliest stages of tooth development. This type of 3D imaging technique for teeth is rare because of the technical specifications required to maximize the scanner so that it can capture such tiny, translucent and jelly-like tissues. The success on animal models will lead to trials on humans next.
The research was recently published in The Anatomical Record. The paper is titled "Technique: imaging earliest tooth development in 3D using a silver-based tissue contrast agent."

The study was undertaken at the Canadian Light Source. This is Canada’s national centre for synchrotron research and a global centre of excellence in synchrotron science and its applications. Located on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, the CLS has hosted 1,700 researchers from academic institutions, government, and industry from 10 provinces and territories; delivered over 26,000 experimental shifts; received over 6,600 user visits; and provided a scientific service critical in over 1,000 scientific publications, since beginning operations in 2005.

 Support for this research was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - THRUST program.
Dr. Domenick Coletti is an expert oral and maxillofacial surgeon practicing in Maryland. Learn more about the latest procedures and treatments of oral health problems by following this Twitter account.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

REPOST: Dry Mouth Relief

Alan Carr, D.M.D., of the Mayo Clinic describes how to effectively treat dry mouth in the article below.

The best way to treat dry mouth — known medically as xerostomia (zeer-o-STOE-me-uh) — depends on what's causing it. You can do some things to relieve dry mouth temporarily. But for the best long-term dry mouth remedy, you need to address its cause.

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To relieve your dry mouth:

  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies to stimulate the flow of saliva. For some people, xylitol, which is often found in sugar-free gum or sugar-free candies, may cause diarrhea or cramps if consumed in large amounts.
  • Limit your caffeine intake because caffeine can make your mouth drier.
  • Don't use mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can be drying.
  • Stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Sip water regularly.
  • Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes — look for products containing xylitol, such as Mouth Kote or Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray, or ones containing carboxymethylcellulose (kahr-bok-see-meth-ul-SEL-u-lohs) or hydroxyethyl cellulose (hi-drok-see-ETH-ul SEL-u-lohs), such as Biotene Oral Balance.
  • Try a mouthwash designed for dry mouth — especially one that contains xylitol, such as Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Rinse, which also offer protection against tooth decay.
  • Avoid using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants because they can make your symptoms worse.
  • Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
  • Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier.
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Saliva is important to maintain the health of your teeth and mouth. If you frequently have a dry mouth, taking these steps to protect your oral health may also help your condition:
  • Avoid sugary or acidic foods and candies because they increase the risk of tooth decay.
  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste. Ask your dentist if you might benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use a fluoride rinse or brush-on fluoride gel before bedtime.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice yearly to detect and treat tooth decay or other dental problems.
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If these steps don't improve your dry mouth, talk to your doctor or dentist. The cause could be a medication or another condition. Medications are one of the most common causes of dry mouth. Long-term relief from your dry mouth may mean stopping or changing your medication or its dosage, or addressing underlying health issues.

Dr. Domenick Coletti is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon based in Maryland. Visit this website for more on him and his practice.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

REPOST: Charity welcomes Action on Sugar group

Obesity and its related diseases---chronic heart diseases and diabetes---may be the main issues of excessive sugar consumption in Britain.  The country's dental experts, however, are welcoming the crackdown on sugar for oral health reasons.  Medical News Today reveals the formation of Action on Sugar, a group that educates the global public on unnecessary sugar intake, and how it is receiving support from the British Dental Health Foundation:

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A new group formed to tackle and reverse the growing obesity epidemic has been welcomed by the British Dental Health Foundation.

Action on Sugar, formed of a number of leading worldwide experts, hopes to educate the public on the dangers of hidden sugars and raise awareness of the 'un-necessary' amounts of sugar added to our foods and drinks, a large reason behind the growing obesity crisis.

England has some of the highest obesity rates in the developed world, with 60 per cent of adults and one third of 10 and 11 year olds being overweight or obese. Diet-related illnesses cost the NHS billions each year, and conditions such as type II diabetes and heart disease have also increased.

Latest figures show more than three in every 10 children starting primary school do so with tooth decay, while a third of children aged 12 have visible dental decay.

Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, welcomed the formation of the group, given the adverse effect large amounts of sugar has on oral health.

Dr Carter said: "Health professionals have long held the opinion that sugar is addictive, and it is pleasing to see so many leading health experts come together to tackle the problem.

"Consuming too many sugary foods and drinks can potentially increase the risk of dental erosion and tooth decay. The increase in consumption of sugary drinks is one of the key reasons for tooth decay.

"The idea that too much sugar is bad for health is not a new concept, yet it is surprising how many people seem to ignore the message. The additional cost of dental treatment from untreated tooth decay is also a growing problem. Cutting back on regular visits may seem like a good idea on the wallet, but the potential cost of emergency treatment is even higher.

"Visiting the dentist regularly and cutting down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks are two of the Foundation's key messages. Following them - and brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste - may help to reduce rising levels of decay in children and adults in the UK."

Emeritus Professor Aubrey Sheiham from the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College London, a global expert advisor of Action on Sugar said: "Free sugars are the main cause of the most common disease in the world; dental caries. If any dietary product were to cause decay of any other part of the body, it would have been severely controlled. Yet sugars decay the hardest human tissue - teeth - and very little is done about controlling sugars. Therefore, policies should be formulated to develop products, such as baby foods and other food products and drinks that have no added sugars."

Dr. Domenick Coletti is a partner at Central Maryland Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, P.A.  He is an expert in dental surgical procedures.  Visit this blog for updates and findings about oral health.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Repost: CDC includes periodontal disease in annual health report

This article from the Dental Tribune International notes that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has included for the first time in its annual report statistics on the prevalence of periodontitis among U.S. adults.
According to the report, more than 47 percent of adults aged 30 and over (approximately 65 million adults) had periodontitis during 2009–2010. While an estimated 8.7 percent had mild periodontitis, the prevalence of moderate periodontitis was 30 percent. Severe periodontitis was estimated to occur in 8.5 percent.

A new report has shown that periodontal disease is a
significant public health concern. (Photo: botazsolti/Shutterstock)
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Among other aspects, the survey found that periodontitis was directly associated with lower levels of education and higher levels of poverty, both of which influence the use of dental services by adults. Rates of periodontitis were highest among adults with less than a high school education (66.9 percent). More than 16 percent of adults in poor families had severe periodontitis.

The prevalence of periodontitis was significantly higher in non-Hispanic blacks (58.6 percent) and Mexican-Americans (59.7 percent) compared with non-Hispanic whites (42.6 percent). Among all ethnic groups, the prevalence of periodontitis increased with age (24.4–70.1 percent). The prevalence of periodontitis was significantly higher among men (56.4 percent) than among women (38.4 percent).

The purpose of the report was to discuss and raise awareness of the differences in the characteristics of people with periodontal disease and to prompt action to reduce these disparities, the CDC stated.

Data for the report was obtained from the 2009–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the U.S. The survey examines a nationally representative sample of about 5,000 people each year.

The report, titled "CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report — United States, 2013," was published as a supplement to the November issue of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and can be accessed on the organization's website.
Oral health practitioners like Dr. Domenick Coletti would agree with CDC that periodontal disease is an important public health issue. Subscribe to this Twitter account to receive regular updates on oral health.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

REPOST: Olympic Athletes Bomb on Oral Hygiene

Olympians undergo a constant series of stringent physical exams to ensure their readiness for competition. An article on TIME suggests that the focus on their bodies may actually be leaving their teeth neglected.
Japan's Fumiyuki Beppu leads the breakaway during the Men's Road Race Road Cycling on day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London, England. | Image source: TIME
Olympic athletes are at the top of their game when it comes to their physique, but not so much for oral hygiene. New research from the British Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that elite athletes tend to have more cavities, tooth erosion and gum disease than others of a similar age.
Surveying athletes who attended the dental clinic at the 2012 Olympic Games in London for free check-ups and mouth guards, researchers at the University College London (UCL) found a fifth of visitors said that oral health affected training and performance and more than 40 percent were “bothered” by their oral health. Of the 302 athletes surveyed (with data available for 278) from Africa, the Americas and Europe, more than half of respondents had cavities, including 45 percent with dental erosion and 76 percent showed signs of gingivitis.
Though the data is confined to only those visiting the Olympic Village clinic, the researchers assert that the findings are consistent with previous studies. Olympic athlete’s high intensity performance includes consuming large amounts of carbohydrates as well as sugary drinks. Ian Needleman, a professor at UCL who spearheaded the study, said that extreme training places stress on the immune system leaving athletes at high risk of oral disease, the BBC reports. The study also notes that half of the athletes examined had not had a dental examination the year before.
Previous research found that inflammation elsewhere in the body can affect the likelihood of injury as well as recovery time. Researchers have even linked a higher risk of heart attacks among people who do not brush their teeth twice a day (which results in inflamed gums).
As an experienced dental surgeon, Dr. Domenick Coletti would recognize the signs of gum and tooth decay early on and educate patients on better oral hygiene. Click 'Like' on this Facebook page for more updates about dental care.