Today's Dental News

Research Report: Insights to Improved Practice Success

Advances in technology and communications mean that patients are reachable almost anywhere. Patient communication tools are giving practices the means to engage and activate patients in entirely new ways. Combined, they help increase patient loyalty, encourage patients to follow treatment paths, attend appointments on time, pay their bills promptly and even encourage them to refer their friends. These tools solve many of the challenges practices are experiencing and offer patient engagement and business growth opportunities.

A holy grail of practice management is found in successfully maintaining the highest quality of patient care while keeping a strong hand on operational and financial performance, another hand on bringing in new patients and another hand on making timely and relevant new products and services available.

If only we had three sets of hands.

Read more: Research Report: Insights to Improved Practice Success


New Treatment Offers Help for Gum Disease Sufferers

A new treatment claims to end gum disease for sufferers in just five hours using a gentle gum stretching technique.

BOST—Bone one session treatment—lasts four to five hours and involves pushing back the gums to reach the root of the tooth.

Gum disease, the primary cause of tooth loss, affects up to 50 percent of the population with often irreversible consequences.

Early signs of infection are swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath and sensitivity. Known as gingivitis, if caught early the condition is easily treated with professional cleaning.

Read more: New Treatment Offers Help for Gum Disease Sufferers


FDA Tells Companies to Stop False Claims

The Food and Drug Administration is telling three companies that sell mouthwash products to stop saying things about their products that aren’t supported by facts.

The FDA sent letters to Johnson & Johnson, CVS Corp. and Walgreen Co., all of which claim their products are effective in preventing gum disease—a statement that isn’t true.

These warnings from the FDA are latest from President Barack Obama’s administration in an initiative to cut down on companies making false claims about their products.

The US laws state that a company cannot claim that its product is successful in treating a disease unless the claim is backed up by the FDA.

Read more: FDA Tells Companies to Stop False Claims


Technique to Reattach Teeth Using Stem Cells Developed

A new approach to anchor teeth back in the jaw using stem cells has been developed and successfully tested in the laboratory for the first time by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The new strategy represents a potential major advance in the battle against gum disease, a serious infection that eventually leads to tooth loss. About 80 percent of US adults suffer from gum disease, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Researchers in UIC’s Brodie Laboratory for Craniofacial Genetics used stem cells obtained from the periodontal ligament of molars extracted from mice, expanded them in an incubator, and then seeded them on barren rat molars. The stem cell-treated molars were reinserted into the tooth sockets of rats.

Read more: Technique to Reattach Teeth Using Stem Cells Developed


Dentists Must Swallow New Federal Mercury Discharge Rule

WASHINGTON—The US EPA is preparing to regulate dental offices to prevent discharge of mercury from old fillings into the environment.

The agency announced on Sept. 27 that it will propose a rule to reduce mercury waste from dental offices in 2011. The rule, expected to be finalized in 2012, will require dentists to use mercury-separating technology by 2014.

The rulemaking is a reversal of Bush-era EPA policy, which allowed dentists to take a voluntary approach to installing devices that separate out the mercury from old fillings, recycle and reuse it.

Dental fillings containing mercury account for 3.7 tons of mercury discharged each year from dental offices across the United States, the EPA said today.

Read more: Dentists Must Swallow New Federal Mercury Discharge Rule


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