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A new partnership has been announced that will streamline the 3-D printing process for dentistry. Watch now to find out the details. Also, we bring an update from the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, or America’s Toothfairy, about their annual Smile Drive. This week marks the beginning of the Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta – find out what’s in store for the 105th annual gathering of dental professionals.

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What Really Happens When Teeth Meet Sugary Drinks?

Is the urban legend true—will a tooth dissolve when left in a cup of cola? One dentist used his own extracted teeth to see what actually happens when they were exposed to different kinds of sugary beverages. Find out which drinks did the most harm. Also this week, learn about new research from Japan that links tooth loss to dementia. Our final story is about an electric toothbrush that helps fight plaque for people with sensitive gums. Watch now to get these full stories!

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Dentsply Sirona has announced a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Recherche Techniques Dentaires (RTD), a privately owned French company that produces endodontic posts, including fiber-reinforced composite posts. 

“RTD’s unique and innovative offering perfectly complements our new R2C, the Root to Crown Solution. R2C provides state-of-the-art products and procedural guidance from diagnosis and treatment planning to the final coronal restoration,” said Jeffrey T. Slovin, Dentsply Sirona CEO.

“R2C and the RTD acquisition will enable us to provide dental professionals with a more complete end-to-end solution for better, safer, and faster root canals and tooth restoration,” said Slovin.

Dentsply Sirona will continue to support and grow the RTD’s brand and private label businesses. The companies have a long history together, as RTD has been supplying Dentsply Sirona with root canal posts for many years.

According to the companies, RTD pioneered fiber-reinforced composite post technology and is the only firm to integrate the manufacturing of composites, cements, and drills to offer complete solutions to its clients.

RTD’s portfolio comprises several styles and shapes of translucent and tooth-colored posts as well as cements and other accessory products for post-core restoration. The company reports that millions of its posts have been successfully used.

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New dentists joining Aspen Dental practices now can take part in the company’s Best Grad Gift Ever. Through this program, all graduating dental students who accept a job at an Aspen Dental practice by April 30, 2017, can participate in the New Grad Edition of the company’s VIBE Sessions exclusive professional development event. They also can enter into a sweepstakes for a 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R.

“In partnership with Aspen Dental practice owners who serve as mentors to new dentists, we’re committed to making it easier for dentists to achieve their dreams,” said Arwinder Judge, DDS, chief clinical officer at Aspen Dental Management. “We invest millions of dollars annually to support doctor development and mentorship, and this program is just one more way for us to demonstrate our commitment to supporting dentists at every stage of their career journey.”

To be eligible, fourth-year dental students or dental residents must accept a job at an Aspen Dental practice by the end of April 2017. All who qualify will be invited to participate in the Aspen Dental VIBE Session: New Grad Edition on September 16 and September 17 in Chicago, where one winner will be awarded a 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R.

During the past 3 years, the Aspen Dental VIBE Sessions have brought together hundreds of managing clinical directors, associates, and dental students for professional development, team building, and panel discussions with practice owners and partners. The New Grad Edition will be geared specifically to new dentists with a focus on long-term career building and networking with their peers and established practice owners.

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Dental implants are now standard solutions for replacing teeth that are lost due to caries, gum disease, or injuries. But we’re another step closer to growing new teeth in their absence, as researchers at Okayama University have demonstrated successful functional tooth restoration via regeneration in a postnatal large-animal model.

First, the researchers dissected embryonic tooth germ cells and tissues from a beagle 55 days before birth and reconstructed bioengineered tooth germ by means of the organ germ method, which regenerates ectodermal organs by replicating their developmental process starting from a bioengineered organ germ.

Next, these germs were transplanted into mice. In many cases, the germs resulted in tooth-crown formation, featuring both the hard and soft tissues present in natural teeth after several weeks. The researchers also were able to identify the necessary conditions for achieving this success.

Autologous transplantation experiments, which use an organism’s own stem cells instead of relying on a donor to avoid immunological rejection, were then conducted as researchers extracted deciduous teeth from the jawbone of a beagle that was 30 days old. Tooth germ engineered from the dog’s permanent tooth cell and tissue was transplanted after 2 days of cell culture into the dog’s mandible, resulting in tooth eruption 180 days later.

The developmental process of the bioengineered tooth’s formation was practically identical to a natural tooth’s, according to micro-CT analysis. Also, scanning electron microscopy and energy-disruptive x-ray spectroscopy revealed that the bioengineered tooth had the same structure and chemical composition of a natural tooth. Plus, the regenerated tooth’s response to mechanical force was consistent with the proper physiological functioning of the periodontal ligament.

As for human beings, the researchers noted that immature wisdom tooth germ would be a possible source of stem-cell germs, as it is available in the human postnatal jawbone, though this would only pertain to younger people as wisdom teeth mineralize after the age of 7 years. Elderly patients would need other stem-cell sources. Still, the researchers believe this work highlights the feasibility of fully functional restoration by autologous transplantation of bioengineered tooth germ.

The study, “Practical Whole-Tooth Restoration Utilizing Autologous Bioengineered Tooth Germ Transplantation in a Postnatal Canine Model,” was published by Scientific Reports.

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Poor oral hygiene isn’t always the result of laziness. Sometimes, your patients are mistaken about what they need to do to take care of their teeth—and they think they’re doing a good job anyway. To celebrate March 20 as World Oral Health Day, Federation Dentaire International (FDI) World Dental Federation is busting popular myths about proper oral hygiene with the help of a survey of consumers conducted across 12 countries.

For example, in 8 of these countries, 50% or more of those surveyed think it’s important to brush their teeth immediately after every main meal. Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, and Poland were the worst offenders of this incorrect oral health practice, at 84%, 81%, 62%, and 60%, respectively. FDI World Dental Federation recommends waiting at least 30 minutes to brush after eating to avoid weakening the tooth enamel.

“These survey results highlight an alarming discrepancy between knowledge and actual good oral health practices,” said Dr. Patrick Hescot, FDI president. “We want everyone to take control of their oral health this World Oral Health Day and understand that by adopting good oral hygiene habits, avoiding risk factors, and having a regular dental checkup, they can help protect their mouths.”

Also, most countries surveyed believe that rinsing the mouth out with water after brushing is important, with Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, India, and Canada practicing this myth the most (77%, 75%, 73%, 67%, and 67%, respectively). FDI World Dental Federation believes that not rinsing with water immediately after brushing will allow maximum exposure to fluoride, optimizing its preventive effects.

Nearly half of the population surveyed in India, South Africa, Brazil, and Poland (52%, 49%, 48%, and 42%, respectively) believed that drinking fruit juice instead of fizzy drinks was important for good oral health. However, fruit juice also can be high in sugar and cause tooth decay. FDI World Dental Federation believes that sugary drink consumption should be minimized as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Plus, 67% of people recognize the need to visit a dentist after seeing signs of bad oral health, but only 42% tend to seek a dentist’s advice. FDI World Dental Federation found that Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Poland were the best at going to the dentist, while Egypt, Japan, and New Zealand were the worst.

The survey also found the following:

  • 77% of those surveyed agreed that visiting a dentist once per year is a good oral health practice, but only 52% actually tend to do it.
  • Only 28% of respondents identified drinking alcohol in moderation as important for good oral health.
  • 66% of respondents knew to avoid tobacco use to maintain good oral health.
  • 69% of respondents recognized that eating excessive sugar is bad for oral health.

“Understanding good oral health practices and adopting them early in life will help to maintain optimal oral health into old age and ensure you live a long life free from physical pain and often emotional suffering caused by oral disease,” said Dr. Edoardo Caville, World Oral Health Day Task Team chair.

The study, comprising 12,849 adults aged 18 years and older, was conducted online by YouGov Plc between January 20 and January 31, 2017. Surveyed countries included Great Britain (2,090 subjects), the United States (1,145), Australia (1,018), New Zealand (1,055), Egypt (1,012), India (1,011), Japan (1,006), Mexico (1,006), Poland (1,004), Canada (1,002), Brazil (1,000), and South Africa (500).

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Offered in 4 simple shades that easily equate to the VITA Shade Guide, SDI’s Aura eASY universal nanohybrid composite is designed to eliminate the guesswork in finding the right match to produce brilliant restorations. It features SDI’s unique, proprietary filler technology that delivers an optimal blend of handling and performance, resulting in a nonsticky, easy-to-sculpt, nonslumping universal composite that can meet virtually all day-to-day dental needs.

Aura eASY combines a low-shrinking resin system with the unique morphology of ultrahigh-density glass filler that provides an extremely high strength interface that can withstand high compressive forces while still offering amazing handling and polishing properties, according to the company. With exceptional aesthetics in mind, Aura eASY is designed to consistently achieve a natural look and produce a beautiful chameleon effect to blend in with natural tooth structure.

For more information, call SDI (North America) at (800) 228-5166 or visit sdi.com.au.

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Backed by a 2-year warranty and offered in Standard or Mini Head models for KaVo and NSK couplers, the WOlf Black Label high-speed handpiece from Dental Savings Club features exceptional quality and optimal ergonomics, according to the company. It offers 21W of cutting power combined with a quiet working environment of 61 dB. 

The handpiece’s angular contact ceramic bearings offer extreme bur concentricity, which means better work precision. Also, the chuck offers 44 Newton force for less bur slippage, which is far more than the ISO minimum requirement of 22 Newton force.

For more information or to order, call Dental Savings Club at (888) 768-1230 or visit dentalsavingsclub.com.

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The European Parliament has adopted legislation that will restrict the use of mercury, further closing the gap between existing European Union legislation and the 2012 United Nations Minamata Convention against mercury pollution. The legislation will phase out the use of mercury in dental amalgam by 2030.

“Mercury is acutely toxic and is one of the 10 most damaging naturally occurring substances on the planet. Fetuses, newborns, and children are the most vulnerable group, since in the growth phase the brain and the nervous system react very sensitively to mercury,” said Member of Parliament Stefan Eck of Germany.

In addition to phasing out the usage of mercury, the Minamata Convention recommended a series of measures to be pursued in tandem including the prevention of dental disease and research into new dental materials to help mitigate the loss of amalgam as a tool in dental restorations.

The British Dental Association (BDA) notes that dental amalgam makes a small contribution to environmental mercury pollution but has been used as a stable and cost-effective restorative dental material for more than 150 years. The organization has lobbied against an outright ban of dental amalgam.

“A knee-jerk ban would have caused chaos,” said Mick Armstrong, chair of the BDA. “The United Kingdom dental profession has shown its commitment to a phase-down, and with a sensible policy we now have the freedom to deliver on it, based on our clinical judgment and while acting in our patients’ best interests.” 

The ADA also considers dental amalgam to be a safe, affordable, and durable material, noting that it has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. In December of 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule requiring dental facilities to use amalgam separators to keep mercury waste out of public waterways, but that rule was suspended along with others by the White House on January 20, 2017.

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Dental patients with substance use disorders have more tooth decay and periodontal disease than the general population but are less likely to receive dental care, according to a review of 28 studies from around the world by a team of Australian researchers.

Dentists should expect to encounter these issues, the researchers note, as one in 20 people globally between the ages of 15 and 64 years used substances in 2013, and approximately 10% of them have a substance use disorder.

The effects of drug use vary based on the type of drug. For example, cannabis use is associated with significant xerostomia, increased caries, and possibly increased oral cancers. Amphetamine users show accelerated tooth wear due to bruxism, advanced caries, severe xerostomia, and poor dental status based on age.

Opioid users also show evidence of increased decay and periodontal disease. Cocaine causes periodontal disease as well in addition to attrition from bruxism, and, when it’s applied to the teeth and gums, chemical erosion.

Plus, many patients with substance use disorders use more than one substance at a time, compounding their effects. Alcohol and tobacco consumption, which have their own negative consequences on oral health, typically accompany substance use as well.

The lifestyle that often accompanies problematic drug use also affects oral health through high sugar diets, malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, and lack of regular professional dental care. Plus, dental care can be further compromised by tolerance to painkillers and anesthetics.

In turn, poor oral health has significant consequences on quality of life and general health. In addition to the functional and self-esteem issues that accompany bad teeth, the chronic inflammation and bacteraemia that accompany poor oral health increase the incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory disease.

The researchers encourage dentists to screen their patients for substance abuse, note any advanced dental or periodontal disease inconsistent with patient age, and consider referral to medical doctors for management.

Also, when a substance use disorder is suspected, dentists should be aware of issues concerning treatment and consent when the patient is intoxicated and be alert to the possibility of resistance to painkillers.

Furthermore, the researchers say that doctors and clinicians who care for people with substance use disorders should screen for oral diseases and arrange for dental care as needed, consider using sugar-free preparations when prescribing methadone, and warn patients of the oral health risks associated with dry mouth and cravings for sweet foods.

These findings mirror those of increased dental decay and periodontal disease in people with severe mental illness, eating disorders, and people with alcohol use disorders, compared to the general population.

The review, “A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Association Between Poor Oral Health and Substance Abuse,” involved data on 4,086 patients with substance use disorder and 28,031 controls. It was published by Addiction.

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Infused with zirconia, DMG America’s LuxaCore Z-Dual composite core build-up material is designed to offer better flowability, strength, and aesthetics. With the most dentin-like cuttability in its category, according to the company, clinicians get precise margin preparations with less ditching in addition to excellent fit, a long-lasting restoration, and the best possible care for the patient. It is available in natural, blue, and light opaque shades.

For more information, call DMG America at (800) 662-6383 or visit dmg-america.com.

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