While dental implants are a key tool in replacing missing teeth, bone loss remains a risk. Researchers from the University of Dammam in Saudi Arabia and the University of Kentucky in Lexington, then, decided to investigate if implants with a microthreaded-neck design would preserve more of the crestal bone than traditional machine- or rough-surface implants.

Based on their review of 23 articles published between 1995 and 2016, the researchers concluded that the addition of deeper threads on the implant allowed for more stabilization between the implant and the bone, especially with weaker bones. Also, the threads created more bone-to-implant contact and allowed for more of the bone to be preserved.

According to the researchers, their work is one of the earliest projects to provide high evidence from literature about the design of the most current generation of dental implants, including a continuous microrough or nanorough surface extending up to the implant neck, along with microthreads in the cervical region. Their systematic review was designed to evaluate and analyze the effect of a microthreaded-neck implant on crestal bone loss as determined by various clinical trials.

The study, the researchers said, shows that thread geometry affects the amount of stress and strain on the implant and that crestal bone loss can be minimized. Practitioners can use this finding to make a more informed decision in choosing an implant type for their patients. The researchers also believe that additional randomized controlled trials are necessary to evaluate how the microthreaded implant will affect different types of bone loss under different implantation techniques. 

The study, “Microthreaded Implants and Crestal Bone Loss: A Systematic Review,” was published by the Journal of Oral Implantology.

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Only 4 out of 10 Americans floss at least once day, while 20% never floss at all, reports the ADA. Many of these people blame the dexterity and the time that effective flossing requires. Yet a startup known as Flossy Brush has developed an eponymous tool that combines a toothbrush on one end with dental floss on the other, improving hygiene and eliminating excuses for those who don’t floss like they should.

The Flossy Brush’s integrated floss holder is designed for simple and quick placement and replacement of any kind of floss on the market. There are no removable parts or replacement cartridges to purchase. Also, the curved and flexible design is crafted so users can easily reach the hardest places around their teeth. Plus, its compact and flexible head is available in 2 bristle types: ultrasoft bristles with a tapered 0.01 tip to reach below the gum, or Tynex-soft rounded bristles for a more conventional feel.

“Flossy Brush is not just another toothbrush. It is far more effective at removing plaque and simple and convenient to use,” said Zoltan Rusznak, DDS, CEO of Flossy Brush. “Our aim is to sell this widely in the US market, and, as we grow, expand into the European and Japanese markets. Right now, we are looking for investors who have an interest in helping launch the product into the next phase.”

So far, the company has secured manufacturing, warehousing, and transportation, along with an inventory of 35,000 retail-ready Flossy Brushes. It also has established a Fundable page where potential investors can learn more about the product and company.

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Antibiotic resistance presents a growing threat to global health, causing 23,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the scientific community searches for alternatives to antibiotics, researchers are exploring how they can replicate the ability of mucus to naturally control pathogenic bacteria, with the help of some familiar oral pathogens and potentially preventing dental caries too.  

“My lab and others around the world have begun to engineer mucin-inspired polymers and [synthetic] mucus,” said Katharina Ribbeck, PhD, professor of tissue engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “We want to use these engineered polymers to control problematic pathogens inside and outside of the body and to stop the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant microbes.”

The human body produces about a gallon of mucus each day to sustain a protective coating on more than 2,000 square feet of internal surface area, including the digestive tract, mouth, eyes, lungs, female reproductive tract, and nose. Most of the trillions of microbes inhabiting the body live inside the mucus that lines the digestive tract. Ribbeck has been researching how mucus maintains a healthy balance between beneficial and potentially harmful microbes. 

“Over millions of years, the mucus has evolved the ability to keep a number of these problematic pathogenic microbes in check, preventing them from causing damage,” said Ribbeck. “But the mucus does not kill the microbes. Instead, it tames them.”

Ribbeck’s team has investigated how mucins, the sugar-coated molecules that form the mucus gel, influence the makeup of the body’s internal microbial communities by constraining the formation of multicellular assemblies (also known as biofilms) by the microbes. As a case study, the researchers looked at the mucins found in saliva, called MUC5B.

Next, they grew 2 types of bacteria known to compete in the mouth: Streptococcus mutans, which forms cavities, and Streptococcus sanguinis, a bacterium associated with healthy oral conditions. They found that S mutans quickly outgrew S sanguinis when grown together outside of saliva or mucin-containing media. But grown in the presence of MUC5B (both in real saliva and in MUC5B-containing synthetic mucus), the 2 species tended to establish a more even balance, suggesting that mucin could be instrumental in supporting greater bacterial diversity.

“We conclude from these findings that MUC5B may help prevent diseases such as dental caries by reducing the potential that a single harmful species will dominate,” said Ribbeck, who plans to continue to investigate the potential role of mucins in maintaining microbial diversity in other mucosal surfaces throughout the body.

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WOW, a specially formulated polishing paste from Indenco Dental Products compounded exclusively for zirconia, produces a high-luster polish in 10 to 15 seconds with only 2 steps. It will not remove prefired stains or affect surface characterizations, and it is applied with a supplied bristle brush.

For more information, call Indenco Dental Products at (877) 500-0081 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Researchers at Augusta University have obtained a patent for a predictive, diagnostic, and prognostic kit that will help address issues surrounding Sjögren’s syndrome. The autoimmune disease leads to dry eyes, dry mouth, and tooth decay as well as arthritis and, in rare cases, lymphoma. It also affects more than 4 million Americans, or about 1% of the population, and 90% of those who suffer from it are women.  

“We noticed that there are a few biomarkers that increase in the patient’s tissue and salivary glands when a person has Sjögren’s syndrome,” said Babak Baban, PhD, associate professor at the Dental College of Georgia at the university. “We worked on these biomarkers and looked at blood circulation and noticed that there is an increase in circulation systemically when the biomarkers increase.”

The researchers have developed a method that could diagnose Sjögren’s syndrome with a simple finger prick. The protocol also can determine if people are susceptible to the disease, if they have it, and how treatment will affect them. Next, the researchers will focus on further advances to develop a kit with the ultimate goal of partnering with a pharmaceutical company to produce it.

“It’s a great feeling to see that your efforts have been recognized not only by the university but by the federal authority,” said Baban. “This patent means they see the importance of the discovery and are recognizing it. They see the value in our research, feel that it is novel, and there is a demand and a need for a diagnostic kit. The recognition is like someone saying, ‘You have something here that is worth being addressed.’”

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To achieve better results for both the practitioner and patient, VOCO’s IonoStar Molar glass ionomer restorative features improved characteristics that include nonstick handling, adjustable material consistency, and immediate packability.

The material can be condensed, modeled, and shaped immediately after insertion. It also cures within 4 minutes. Plus, its adjustable consistency gives practitioners the flexibility to customize the feel (softer or firmer) they require while maintaining its initial wettability for maximum marginal adaptability. And according to the company, it offers a high level of fluoride release.

IonoStar Molar is available in a direct activation application capsule that fits virtually all branded glass ionomer applicators. For more information, call VOCO America at (888) 658-2584 or visit vocoamerica.com.

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It’s Every Kid Healthy Week, and oral health is key to overall health. Yet some states do a better job of supporting pediatric oral health than others, according to WalletHub’s 2017 Best & Worst States for Children’s Health Care, which compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 metrics on a 100-point scale each.

Iowa topped the overall list in terms of oral health, followed by West Virginia, Illinois, Rhode Island, Vermont, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and New Hampshire. Nevada was at the bottom of the list, preceded by California, Hawaii, Florida, New Jersey, Louisiana, Arkansas, Wyoming, Alabama, and New Mexico.

By the individual metrics, the report notes that Vermont has the highest percentage of children between the ages of one and 17 years with excellent or very good teeth, followed by New Hampshire, Maine and North Dakota (tie), and Massachusetts and South Dakota (tie). Nevada had the lowest share, preceded by New Mexico, California, Arizona, and Texas.

Vermont also has the highest share of children who have had both medical and dental preventive-care visits in the past 12 months at 81.4%, followed by Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia. Nevada had the lowest share of children who have had both medical and dental preventive-care visits in the previous year, at 56.0%.

And, Michigan has the highest share of dentists participating in Medicaid for child dental services at 91.7%. That’s 4.5 times more than Ohio, which had the lowest share of dentists participating in Medicaid for child dental services at 20.4%.

Other metrics related to oral health included the share of children aged zero to 17 years lacking access to fluoridated water; the presence of a state oral health plan; the presence of school-based dental sealant programs; dental treatment costs; the presence of a state mandate for dental-health screening; and dentists per capita.

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Severe periodontitis as defined by standard periodontology criteria strongly predicts higher all-cause mortality among patients with irreversible scarring of the liver, or cirrhosis, according to an international team of researchers. Presented at the International Liver Congress 2017 in Amsterdam, the study enrolled 184 consecutive patients with cirrhosis who received oral health assessments and were followed for an average of a year. 

“Periodontitis may act as a persistent source of oral bacterial translocation, causing inflammation and increasing cirrhosis complications,” said Lea Ladegaard Grønkjaer, PhD, RN, of the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and lead author of the study. “As it can be treated successfully, however, we hope that our findings motivate more trials on this subject.”

When the study began, 44% of the patients had severe periodontitis. Nearly half of the included patients died during the follow-up. The association of periodontitis with mortality was adjusted for age, gender, cirrhosis etiology, Child-Pugh score, Model of End-Stage Liver Disease score, smoker status, present alcohol use, co-morbidity, and nutritional risk score. Mortality was mostly attributable to complications of cirrhosis.

In Europe, the researchers noted, cirrhosis is responsible for 1% to 2% of all deaths and is the leading cause of liver transplantation. Meanwhile, more than 35% of the European adult population has periodontitis, with 10% to 15% having severe forms of the disease. Previous studies have suggested that periodontitis is involved in the progression of liver diseases and that it has a negative impact on the clinical course after liver transplantation.

“This study demonstrates the association between gum disease and risk of death in patients with liver disease,” said Philip Newsome, PhD, of the Centre for Liver Research at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and governing board member of the European Association for the Study of the Liver. “Further studies are now required to determine if improving gum care can improve outcomes in patients with liver cirrhosis.”

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Drummer Rikki Rockett has a different outlook on life as he heads out on tour with his band Poison this spring. A year ago, he didn’t even know if he would survive while he was battling tongue cancer. But after participating in an immunotherapy clinical trial at the Moores Cancer Center, he was declared cancer-free in July 2016. And now he wants to give back.

“Without the doctors and staff at Moores Cancer Center, I can honestly say I don’t think I’d be here today, to say nothing about playing drums and going on tour again,” said Rockett. “I am incredibly grateful that I’ve got my life back and I’ll get to see my 2 children grow up.”

At American stops on Poison’s tour through June, fans will hear his story and watch a video about the Moores Cancer Center. Also, fans anywhere will be able to donate $10 to the center by texting “RIKKI” to 50555. Donations will directly support cancer immunotherapy, including research, clinical trials, and patient care.

Rather than directly targeting tumors as in traditional cancer therapies, immunotherapy boosts the body’s immune system to better enable it to attack cancer cells itself. Compared to traditional therapy, it has fewer side effects, it can specifically eradicate cancer cells anywhere in the body, and it’s effective against tumors that are resistant to chemotherapy and radiation.

“We are delighted that Rikki responded so well to immunotherapy. He had already been through a lot with chemotherapy and radiation treatment before he came to us, but his cancer recurred,” said Ezra Cohen, MD, co-head of the Solid Tumor Therapeutics Research Program, associate director of Translational Sciences, and one of Rockett’s oncologists at the center. 

“While this approach is still in the early stages and isn’t right for everyone, with Rikki’s support we hope to make immunotherapy available to more patients before they have to go through everything he did,” said Cohen.

Rockett’s clinical trial is testing a combination of 2 immunotherapy drugs that remove the defenses cancers use to hide from the immune system. The first is Keytruda, a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for some cancers but only recently approved for Rockett’s type of oral cancer. The second experimental drug is called epacadostat.

“My hope is that by talking to other cancer patients, I might be able to lessen their pain and suffering,” said Rockett. “I know from experience that chemotherapy and radiation are not fun. If I can help anyone else, it would help give reason to what I went through.”

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Newly examined ancient teeth have revealed some interesting insights into how prehistoric dentistry was done – find out what researchers believe was used to fill two ancient teeth found in Tuscany. Also, as you attend the Calfornia Dental Association meeting next week, find out how you can help reduce the number of American adults who suffer from periodontitis. Another meeting, brought to you by The American Association of Endodontists, is just kicking off in New Orleans today. Hear what attendees can expect, and how you can get involved, even if you can’t make the trip.

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Does Brushing Teeth Curb or Stimulate Appetite?

Following some Twitter buzz, one news outlet examined whether brushing teeth makes people hungry or lose their desire to eat – find out what was revealed about tooth brushing and hunger. Also, learn about a recent ProHEALTH-sponsored health fair, and what the organizers had to say to the public about oral health. And finally, this week, the AACD 2017 Meeting is in full swing in Vegas. Hear about what the organization has planned for attendees.

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