Numerous studies have shown that problems with oral health are strong co-indicators of other serious diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Now, a research team will explore innovative treatment options for periodontal diseases, specifically exploring ways to use combinatory antimicrobial approaches to disrupt biofilm such as plaque to increase the effectiveness of treating harmful oral bacteria.

Titled “Novel Strategies for Treatment of Periodontal Disease and Remediation of Oral Dysbosis,” the project comprises researchers from Wilfrid Laurier University, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto, as well as Mirexus Biotechnologies, funded by a GlycoNet Collaborative Team Grant. Also known as the Canadian Glycomics Network, GlycoNet is a pan-Canadian, multidisciplinary research network funded by the Canadian government aimed at delivering solutions to important health issues via the study of glycomes.

Mirexus Biotechnologies produces PhytoSpherix, an edible, water soluble, and biodegradable nanomaterial that’s chemically identical to glycogen and extracted from non-genetically modified corn. The human body stores glycogen, which is a natural polysaccharide, as a source of energy. Mirexus is currently investigating how PhytoSpherix can be leveraged across a variety of personal care applications.  

The researchers aim to characterize biofilms formed during the establishment of a normal microflora compared to co-cultures of periodontal pathogenic organisms. Also, they will evaluate the changes to perio-pathogenic biofilms versus normal oral biofilms when challenged with combinations of various therapeutic and biofilm-disruptive additives to suggest novel treatment options that can be evaluated.  

According to GlycoNet, Canadians spent approximately $12.8 billion on dental care and treatment costs in 2009, which was second in the nation only to cardiovascular disorders. Considering this financial burden as well as the increased risk of mortality associated with periodontal diseases and their connection with other systemic illnesses, the researchers believe that identifying innovative periodontal treatment options is a major health priority.

“GlycoNet’s support has brought together a unique team to tackle an important problem, and we will be excited to focus on this new opportunity in the commercialization of our unique, natural nanomaterial,” said Phil Whiting, president and CEO of Mirexus.

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The 2017 KOL Access Webinar Series from OraVital Inc. will kick off with a pair of free sessions from pioneers in the oral-systemic health movement, Bradley Bale, MD, and Amy Doneen, DNP, ARNP, who are the authors of the bestselling book Beat the Heart Attack Gene. They also are coauthors of “High-Risk Periodontal Pathogens Contribute to the Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis,” published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the Postgraduate Medical Journal (PGMJ)

“This is a groundbreaking report that further validates the oral-systemic health link in general and, more specifically, the perio-cardio link,” said Dr. Jim Hyland, CEO of OraVital. “The PGMJ/BMJ manuscript clearly states, ‘periodontal disease due to high-risk pathogens is a cause of arterial disease.’ Now more than ever, dental clinicians can and should strengthen their commitment identifying and managing this form of periodontal disease.”

Bale will present the first webinar, “High-Risk Periodontal Pathogens Contribute to the Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis,” on Thursday, February 9, at 8:30 pm est. He will discuss why periodontal disease due to high-risk pathogens must be considered a contributory cause of arterial disease and how the dental community has a significant opportunity to favorably impact the nation’s number one cause of death and disability—heart disease—by managing this type of periodontal disease.

Doneen then will present “Integrating the Science of Oral/Systemic Health into Clinical Practice” on Thursday, March 9 at 8:30 pm est. She will describe why it is necessary to respect the clinical context for which the information in the BMJ/PGMJ study can be applied to the clinical dental arena as well as why lines of communication must be created between medicine and dentistry that can clearly articulate the importance of understanding the oral pathogen burden as it relates to the vascular health of the individual patient.

Bale is an adjunct professor at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, medical director of the Heart Health Program at Grace Clinic in Lubbock, Tex, and co-founder of the Bale/Doneen Method, which has been shown to halt, stabilize, and regress arterial disease. Doneen, also a co-founder of the Bale/Doneen Method, is medical director of the Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center and an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences.

For more information about the 2017 KOL Access Webinar Series and to register, visit oravital.com/kol2017. To participate as a presenter in the series, submit an abstract to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Vista Dental Products’  Dripless Syringe—the world’s only dripless syringe, according to the company—features antidrip technology that greatly reduces the risk of bleach stains and damage to skin, eyes, and oral mucosa. Also, it costs no more than a standard irrigating syringe. It features a unique, color-coded plunger to quickly identify sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and a color-coded ring for improved visibility in magnified fields. It is available in untipped and pretipped 6-cc and 12-cc syringes.

For more information, call Vista Dental Products at (877) 418-4782 or visit vista-dental.com.

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The global dental consumables market will grow from its 2016 total of $25.45 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 6.8% to reach $35.35 billion by 2021, according to ResearchandMarkets. The company included dental restoration, orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, infection control products, finishing and polishing products, and whitening products among other items in defining the market for evaluation.

The analyst firm attributes this growth to the rapid rise in the world’s geriatric population, growing dental tourism in emerging markets, rising rates of dental caries and other periodontal diseases, growing disposable incomes, greater demand for cosmetic dentistry, and increased dental care expenditures. But the company also expects high costs and limited reimbursements for dental care and a shortage of dental professionals will restrain some of the market’s growth.

The dental restoration segment accounted for the largest share of the global dental consumables market in 2015 due to its wide utilization by dental professionals in teeth regeneration and restoration procedures. Based on the type of end-users, ResearchandMarkets segmented the market into dental hospitals and clinics, dental academic and research institutes, and forensic laboratories.

In 2015, Europe commanded a major share of the dental consumables market due to its aging population, government expenditures, and high reimbursement rates. Also, implant dentistry got its start in Europe, so the penetration rate of dental implants there is very high. However, ResearchandMarkets expects the Asia-Pacific region to see the fastest growth through 2021 because of its growing geriatric population, increases in dental diseases, larger dental expenditures, and an increasing number of dental hospitals and clinics.

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The bacterial and fungal pathogens that form biofilm on traditional dental implants pose a significant risk for infections, since biofilm resists antimicrobial drugs like antibiotics. Now, researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium have developed a titanium-silica dental implant that reduces these infection risks by fending off pathogens before biofilm forms.

“Our implant has a built-in reservoir underneath the crown of the tooth,” said Kaat De Cremer, PhD, lead author of the study. “A cover screw makes it easy to fill this reservoir with antimicrobial drugs. The implant is made of a porous composite material, so that the drugs gradually diffuse from the reservoir to the outside of the implant, which is in direct contact with the bone cells. As a result, the bacteria can no longer form a biofilm.”

The researchers subjected the implant to various tests for use with chlorhexidine mouthwash. According to the results, Streptococcus mutans can’t form biofilms on the outside of the implant when the reservoir is filled with chlorhexidine. Biofilms that were grown beforehand on the implant were eliminated in the same way, meaning the implant is effective in both preventing and curing infections.

The study, “Controlled Release of Chlorohexidine from a Mesoporous Silica-Containing Macroporous Titanium Dental Implant Prevents Microbial Biofilm Formation,” was published by European Cells and Materials.

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Aurelia, manufacturer of Amazing Gloves, introduces Aurelia Sonic Nitrile Gloves, its newest innovation in personal protection. Featuring Aurelia’s latest ultrathin construction to contour seamlessly to your hands, the gloves are thinner and more flexible than standard nitrile gloves and offered in striking indigo in sizes XS to XL. They also are powder-free, conforming with the US Food and Drug Administration’s Final Rule banning powdered gloves, which now is in effect. The gloves are packed in a 300-gloves-per-box standard dispenser.

For more information, call Aurelia at (877)-287-3542 or visit aureliagloves.com.

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With PreVu Cosmetic Simulation Software, patients can visualize their treatment outcome—provided via chairside monitor or in the form of a take-home personalized visual aid—that positively supports their decision-making process toward accepting recommended treatment. 

The software is designed to be simple, intuitive, and used by any member of the dental team. It also will work on any computer in the practice and even at home. With practice branding on the printouts of the simulations, dentists may see increased word-of-mouth referrals, according to the PreVu Dental.  

In addition to the free demo package, PreVu Dental offers a whitening package, a perio package, and a premium package. All packages include 3 doctor licenses and a team license. Additional licenses can be purchased for a nominal fee.

For more information, call PreVu Dental toll-free at (855) 773-8848 or visit prevudental.com.

It’s a new year and time for a new format at The Wednesday Watch. Click now to see our newly designed broadcast, now featuring more stories in quicker sound bites. This week, hear how dentistry stacked up in the US News & World Report’s list of the Best Jobs for 2017. Find out how you can browse the history of the toothbrush from the privacy of your own home or office, and discover what some scientists are saying about regenerative endodontics.

Did You Miss the Last DNN Broadcast? Watch it Now...

Barriers Facing New Dentists

Graduating dentists are facing many financial barriers, according to new numbers from the Federal Reserve—find out what’s happening and how these young practitioners can manage these issues. Our Trending segment features a story that music-loving dentists won’t want to miss. Also, this week, we take a somber moment to reflect on the loss of renowned implantologist Dr. Carl Misch.

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Smoking can make implant and bone integration difficult in the upper jaw, though few studies have examined how smoking affects the lower jaw. Now, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, China, is studying how well bones heal and how well implanted tissue is accepted by heavy smokers who are missing teeth in the back of their lower jaw.

The researchers inserted dental implants for smokers and nonsmokers alike and restored the dental implants 3 months later. Next, they followed both groups for a year to find out if heavy smoking had any ill effects on the implants, with an eye on discovering if the implants would integrate with the bone and stay integrated once the implant was functioning.

In both groups, implant stability decreased during the first 2 weeks after the implant surgery. In nonsmokers, stability began to improve and the implants began to form better connections to the bone after the second week. But for heavy smokers, the implants saw little change in the second week and only began to integrate into the lower jaw bone and become more stable after the third week following surgery.

Three months after surgery, the heavy smokers’ implants had caught up, and all patients had secure connections between bone and implant. Although all implants were considered successful, several months later the heavy smokers experienced more problems, including greater bone loss around the implants and larger soft-tissue pockets. However, smoking seemed to have little effect on plaque buildup and bleeding near the implants.

The researchers concluded that heavy smoking did not affect the overall success of the implant surgery, but that it did cause the bone around the implants to heal more slowly. Surgeons may need to change their standard implant schedule for patients who smoke heavily, and smokers may need to be aware that their habit could lead to other complications even after the implants are securely in place.

The study, “Effect of Heavy Smoking on Dental Implants Placed in Male Patients Posterior Mandibles: A Prospective Clinical Study,” was published by the Journal of Oral Implantology.

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The Heartland Institute and the Texas Public Policy Foundation have released a policy brief supporting the licensing of dental therapists in North Dakota to improve access to basic and preventive oral care. According to the brief: 

  • Approximately 66,663 residents, or nearly 10% of the population, live in 35 areas recognized for dental health professional shortages;
  • A third of all residents age 65 years and older with teeth needed “early or urgent dental care” in 2016;
  • 72% of children on Medicaid in the state in 2015 did not use preventive dental care, even though they were eligible, marking the third worst rate of usage in the nation despite the fact that North Dakota’s dentists have some of the highest reimbursement rates in the country.

The organizations note that dental therapists can help alleviate these problems by reducing the patient pressure on dentists for basic preventative and restorative treatment as well as extractions of primary teeth.

Maine, Minnesota, and Vermont all allow dental therapists, while Washington and Oregon have authorized access to midlevel dental providers for native tribes while considering their use statewide. Alaska native tribes also have authorized dental therapy.

For example, Minnesota dental therapists are authorized to perform more than 70 services and procedures including oral evaluations, cementation and removal of space maintainers, crown implantation, anesthesization, missing and broken tooth replacement, and suture removal.

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, North Dakota is exploring the authorization of licensed dental therapists along with Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Texas.

Dental therapists typically need to undergo professional training similar to what’s required of nurses in other medical fields before they would be licensed, according to the authors of the policy brief. Also, dental therapists need to be supervised by professional dentists.

The ADA opposes the authorization of non-dentists to perform surgical procedures. While it acknowledges challenges in providing dental care to everyone, it notes the growing numbers of practicing dentists and believes efforts should focus on better connecting patients with them.

“The most important takeaway for North Dakota lawmakers is that continuing the de facto ban on dental therapists quenches opportunities for dentists to innovate and for underserved patients to gain oral care access,” said Michael Hamilton, a Heartland research fellow and coauthor of the brief.

“Authorizing dental therapy would give entrepreneurial dentists more options for building their dental dream teams. Dentists would remain free to resist dental therapy by simply refusing to hire dental therapists, who must practice under a dentist’s supervision,” said Hamilton.

“Permitting dentists to hire dental therapists gives our state more options for meeting the oral care shortage experienced by North Dakotans of various ages, income levels, locations, and backgrounds,” said Bette Grande, a Heartland research fellow and coauthor of the brief.

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