Today's Dental News

Reptile Could Explain More About Implants

A reptile called the tuatara could explain plenty about dental implants.

That’s because unlike mammals and crocodiles, the New Zealand animal has teeth that are fused to the jaw bone, which mean there are no ligaments—much like dental implants. The tuatara’s ancestors were widespread at the time of the dinosaurs. People and mammals, however, have their teeth held together in sockets by a flexible ligament.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council used a moving 3-D computer model to study these teeth. The goal was to find out how damage to dental implants and jaw joints could be stopped.

Humans generally don’t have problems when biting into food because the ligaments send a signal to the brain that biting too hard will be painful.

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Dental Reality Show on the Way

If you ever worried about going to the dentist, you’re not alone.

Nearly 25 percent of Americans are afraid of going to the dentist, and about three quarters of Americans face some anxiety about dental visits. This fear can cause a person to lose sleep or it can ruin a person’s meal, a person’s day, or even life.

That’s why television producers, who have seen countless reality shows succeed, want to cultivate that fear and turn into a show. “Smile and Style” is what the show will be called and it will be about trying to improve the dental health of the average person.

The show will seek to boost the self-esteem of the individuals on the show, who will be selected based on their dental fears. This problem could have affected their everyday life and prevented them from getting the dental care they need to have the smile and confidence necessary for success. Some of the people on the show may not have the means to afford the dental work they need.

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New e-learning Platform Available for Students

The new e-learning platform ILKUM (an acronym for “Interaktiver Lernzielkatalog der Universitätsmedizin Mainz” or interactive catalogue of learning objectives of Mainz University Medical Center) is a sign of things to come: students of dentistry in 2010 now only need internet access to be able to download case studies with film and image material showing disease patterns and surgical procedures directly to their laptop, iPad, or iPhone.

As Germany’s only e-learning platform, ILKUM is oriented toward the “Profile and Competences for the European Dentist” guidelines issued by the ADEE, the Association for Dental Education in Europe, as the basis for its targeted learning program. The advantage: the tool provides students with a guide structure that ensures they are aware of what is most important in the study of dentistry. Not only that, but ILKUM facilitates extremely rapid access to course-relevant topics and information.

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Eight CU Patients Given Potentially Lethal Dosages of Drugs

University of Colorado dentists unknowingly injected as many as eight patients with a powerful sedative that was five times its usual potency after the drug was mistakenly added to the dental school’s stock in 2008—a mix-up that wasn’t discovered for 13 days, a Denver Post investigation found.

After the error came to light, dental-school administrators decided not to notify any of the patients who received the potentially dangerous levels of midazolam, a generic version of the drug Versed that is commonly used with a painkiller to sedate people undergoing everything from colonoscopies to oral surgeries. The drug depresses a patient’s central nervous system and is the subject of numerous warnings that it can slow or even halt breathing.

Dr. Denise Kassebaum, dean of the CU School of Dental Medicine, said procedures were changed after the incident but also that she did not learn about the mix-up until The Post began asking questions earlier this month.

Read more: Eight CU dental patients given potentially lethal dosages of drug - The Denver Post

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Poor Dental Health In Deprived Children Needs To Be Tackled

Oral health strategies to combat very high levels of tooth decay in children from deprived areas need to start from birth. That’s the conclusion of a large-scale study of the dental health of three-year olds published in the latest edition of the British Dental Journal.

Dental inspections of more than 4,000 children in Greater Glasgow carried out for the study found tooth decay (caries) in at least a quarter of the children examined. Amongst children from deprived areas, the incidence of decay was even higher, with a third of those surveyed exhibiting evidence of caries.

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