Dr Mark O'Donnell B.D.S
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News - June 2016
Five things to know about dental implants
Dental implants have grown in popularity in the past few years because they are cost effective and durable. Here are five things to consider if you’re thinking about getting an implant.
1) There are more requirements than a missing tooth
Replacing a lost tooth requires good gum health and jawbone density. An implant is a small titanium post directly inserted in your jaw, so the jaw has to be strong enough to support it and the replacement tooth that will be attached to it.
2) Your health makes a difference
Your general health is a major factor in whether your body will accept the implant. Certain conditions can make it hard for a dental implant to fuse into the jawbone and gain stability.
3) Implants take time
Though single-day procedures have gained public attention, the process of getting a dental implant is usually more time consuming. Preliminary checkups and diagnosis alone will take a couple of sittings, and preparation can take months.
4) Dental implants help maintain your facial shape
When a tooth is lost, the supporting bone structure beneath it loses substance and density, and gradually melts away. If done in a timely manner, a dental implant can stem bone loss and stimulate bone re-growth.
5) Implants are easy to maintain
Dental implants do not require any specialised care routine. You need to care for them in the same way you would care for your natural teeth.
Exposure to chemicals in plastic and fungicides may irreversibly weaken children’s teeth
Chemicals commonly found in plastics and fungicides may be weakening children's teeth by disrupting hormones that stimulate the growth of dental enamel, according to a new study presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with mammalian hormones. Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most prevalent, and is found in everyday items including refillable plastic bottles and food storage containers. Vinclozolin is another endocrine disruptor that was commonly used as a fungicide.
Molar incisor hypermineralisation (MIH) affects up to 18% of children aged six to nine. In MIH, the permanent first molars and incisors have sensitive spots that become painful and are prone to cavities. These spots are found on dental enamel, the tough outer covering of teeth that protects them from physical and chemical damage. Unlike bone, enamel does not regrow so any damage is irreversible. Previous rat studies have shown that MIH may result from exposure to BPA after finding similar damage to the enamel of rats that received a daily dose of BPA equivalent to normal human BPA exposure, though the exact mechanism of action remains unclear.
"Tooth enamel starts at the third trimester of pregnancy and ends at the age of five, so minimising exposure to endocrine disruptors at this stage in life as a precautionary measure would be one way of reducing the risk of enamel weakening," said Dr Katia Jedeon, lead author of the study.
New toothpaste ingredient hardens your teeth while you sleep
A new toothpaste ingredient which puts back the lost minerals from tooth enamel, helps prevent decay and treats sensitivity is available online and from specialist dental distributors now. It is expected to be available in shops by the end of the year.
The new BioMinF toothpaste ingredient provides a new tooth repair technology which could bring some relief to people around the world who are prone to tooth decay and sensitivity.
Dental decay is the most prevalent disease worldwide and the majority of adults will also experience tooth sensitivity at some stage during their lives. Decay is the single biggest reason for children being admitted into hospital with between 60 and 90% of school children affected.
Toothpastes containing BioMinF are able to slowly release calcium, phosphate and fluoride ions over an eight to 12-hour timeframe to form fluorapatite, a mineral that rebuilds, strengthens and protects tooth structure. The slow release of fluoride has been identified to be particularly beneficial in prevention of tooth decay.
The researchers said that using re-mineralising toothpaste makes teeth far more resistant to attack from acidic soft drinks such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks. They also claimed that it is also much more effective than conventional toothpastes where the active ingredients, such as soluble fluoride, are washed away and become ineffective less than two hours after brushing.
Dentists increasingly utilising digital technologies
Do you have a digital record of your teeth? If you don’t, one day you likely will.
The use of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is making advances into oral care, particularly in restorative dentistry.
Dentists in America recently started taking digital scans of their patients’ teeth to keep on file, whether or not they needed dental prostheses like crowns or bridges.
Most dental offices don’t have digital scanners. A restorative procedure like a crown requires getting an impression of the mouth using polyvinyl siloxane and several visits by the patient for the impression and fitting.
“We have patients who know they need certain treatments but they defer it because they can’t stand the impressions,” said Dr Jonathan Ferencz, a member of the International Academy for Digital Dental Medicine, who has two 3D intraoral scanners in his office.
A 3D scanner, however, can get a model of the mouth in just a few minutes, and is more precise than traditional impressions. Beyond crowns, this technology can be used for temporary bridges, implants, dentures, orthodontics and more.
“The applications are expanding all the time,” said Ferencz.
Having a digital scan on file can also help doctors keep track of patients’ oral health to see if their gums are receding, teeth are shifting and, with a colour scanner, if they’re changing colour.
“We want to have a record of what your teeth look like on a given day,” Ferencz said. “This technology leads to a better quality practice.”