Dr Mark O'Donnell B.D.S
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News - April 2017
New study identifies successful method to reduce dental implant failure
The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) estimates that the value of the American and European market for dental implants will rise to $4.2bn by 2022.
Dental implants are a successful form of treatment for patients, yet according to a study published in 2005, 5-10% fail. When failure occurs, the implant must be removed.
The reasons for failure are several: mechanical problems; poor connection to the bones in which they are implanted; infection; or, rejection. The main reason for dental implant failure is peri-implantitis. This is the destructive inflammatory process affecting the soft and hard tissues surrounding dental implants. This occurs when pathogenic microbes in the mouth and oral cavity develop into biofilms, which protects them and encourages growth. Peri-implantitis is caused when the biofilms develop on dental implants.
A research team from the University of Plymouth developed and evaluated the effectiveness of a new nano-coating for dental implants to reduce the risk of peri-implantitis. The results of their work are published in the journal Nanotoxicology.
In the study, the research team created a new approach using a combination of silver, titanium oxide and hydroxyapatite nano-coatings. The application of the combination to the surface of titanium alloy implants successfully inhibited bacterial growth and reduced the formation of bacterial biofilm on the surface of the implants by 97.5%.
Not only did the combination result in the effective eradication of infection, it created a surface with anti-biofilm properties which supported successful integration into surrounding bone and accelerated bone healing.
Oral health key to understanding humanity's past, study says
A research team from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and the University of Arkansas in the US has released a study that challenges conventional wisdom about human health and the evolution of nutrition in the Stone Age.
The findings, published in PLoS One, looked at the oral health of the Hadza tribe in Tanzania – some of the last known hunter-gatherers – as their lifestyle changes from foraging for wild food to an agricultural-based diet.
Anthropologists have long held that Neolithic humans transitioning thousands of years ago from hunting and gathering to farm-based diets often suffered from tooth decay and gum disease. This contributed to suggestions that humans are better off with a wild-food based diet.
However, research by professors Alyssa Crittenden and Peter Ungar, and dentist John Sorrentino suggests that may not be the case. Crittenden said: "Our results show that a person's sex and where they live really influences how healthy their teeth are”.
By studying the Hadza tribe, the research team showed oral health was greatly influenced by gender, residence, and behaviour. Men living in the bush suffered greatly from tooth decay and other oral health issues, likely because they use their teeth as tools to make hunting instruments and smoke more tobacco. However, Hadza men living in the village who have transitioned to an agricultural diet have healthier teeth and gums. Women living on wild-food diets in the bush had the best oral health and women living on agricultural diets in villages had the worst teeth.
Root canal treatments overhauled through new device to detect untreated bacteria
A new method of detecting bacteria during root canal treatments could reduce the need for follow up appointments and prevent treatments from failing, according to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research. A team of researchers from King’s College London, who developed a device called SafeRoot state that it enables rapid bacterial detection inside the root canal, ensures the procedure has been successful and reduces the need for tooth extraction or surgery.
Root canal treatments remove bacterial infections from the root canal space, while retaining as much of the natural tooth as possible. Most procedures require one or two visits to the dentist.
The first appointment is used to remove infected material in the tooth, and to administer an antibacterial treatment. During the second appointment, dentists visually assess the canal to check if the infection has been removed, but this process cannot guarantee that treatment has been successful. Each visit involves drilling and the removal of part of the tooth.
The team say their device was created to detect any existing bacteria once the root canal treatment has been completed. Using conventional sterile endodontic paper points which are routinely used in root canal treatments, the process is performed during the treatment, preventing any impact on clinical treatment time and minimising additional clinical steps.
"The resilient nature of bacteria, combined with often complex root canal structures, make disinfection challenging, leading to a considerable number of persistent infections", explained Professor Francesco Mannocci, Professor of Endodontics from the Dental Institute at King's College London.