Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Problem In Dentrix G2 Clinical Note Template Fixed

I was having a problem with saving a clinical note template in Dentrix G2. I called tech support and got a few answers but they did not fix the problem. I called back and we walked through a few things but could not pin down the problem. I asked to email the text to Dentrix. They don't do email! This is ridiculous for a software company. They did take a fax of a screen shot of my clinical note text.

About 30 minutes later I got a phone call that they could duplicate the problem. This is the first step to finding the solution. So what was the solutions? An "&" I had placed in the body of the text would not allow Dentrix to save the clinical note template. So a simple change from "&" to "and" and all is well in my clinical note template.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dentrix G2 Update

No, this is not Dentrix G3. I have decided after my initial enthusiasm not to install G3 yet. I have reverted to my wait and see approach. I did check for updates today and found the newest Dentrix G2 update dated March 28,2008. I promptly installed it but did not see if it cured my template bug.

So for those of you behind on G2 updates, go download the Dentrix G2 CU5. This update includes all the previous updates except the CDT 2007.

Monday, April 28, 2008

LANAP- Perio Surgery

Here is a nice video on the LANAP procedure used with a Nd:Yag Laser.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Healthier Teeth And Gums Signalled By Presence Of Certain Antibodies

Antibodies present in people with good oral health could become the first tool for dental professionals to assess a patient's probable response to periodontal disease treatments, say researchers at the University of Michigan.

The antibody is to a protein called HtpG, the bug that makes it is Porphyromonas gingivalis, an important pathogen in periodontal disease. The antibody also has potential as a vaccine candidate, according to Charles Shelburne, assistant research scientist at the U-M School of Dentistry.

Researchers discovered that the HtpG antibodies were present in much lower amounts in people with periodontal disease, and in much higher concentrations in those with healthier teeth and gums. Typically, antibodies are elevated in people with disease, because they help fight the disease.

"What has been seen in periodontal disease over the last 30-40 years is that patients with periodontal disease have higher levels of antibodies to the bacteria associated with periodontal disease, but what we know is that those antibodies aren't usually protective," said Dennis Lopatin, principal investigator and senior associate dean of the School of Dentistry. "It's like being vaccinated against the wrong strain of the flu. The healthy patient makes high levels of the antibodies but to the right part of the bug."

Not only were the HtpG antibodies present in higher amounts in people with healthier gums, those patients with the antibodies responded better to periodontal treatment, the researchers say.

"We're in a position now where we have a potential tool that gives insight as to how the patient will respond to treatment," Lopatin said. "In the United States we spend $8 billion to $12 billion a year caring for people with serious periodontal disease. From a public health standpoint, it's very important to identify those people who not only need therapy but will actually respond to a specific type of therapy."

In the long run, this could lead to early interventional therapy to prevent periodontal disease from advancing, or even starting, he says.

The other part of the question is why people with periodontal disease don't make a good immune response to HtpG, and this could connect back to current thinking that oral health influences general health.

"We want to understand how unique this mechanism is in other types of chronic infections," Lopatin said. "We'd like to think it's not a mechanism unique to just this pathogen, if it is a more common mechanism, it makes it even more interesting."

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, a division of the National Institutes of Health, funded the project.

The paper, "Serum Antibodies to Porphyromonas Gingivalis Chaperone HtpG Predict Health in Periodontitis Susceptible Patients," appears online at the Public Library of Science and is available at: http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0001984.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

U.S., Foreign Dental Labs Put To Test

For the past two months, 10 Investigates has collected and analyzed dental work from three countries and found the problem of dangerous levels of lead in dental work is bigger than we ever thought.

It appears that the problem of lead in the dental porcelain maybe in the supply chain. So materials that are approved contain lead.

Read the very interesting article on the News 10 web site.

Testing Dental Labs

Friday, April 25, 2008

Conversational Spanish In Pediatric Dentistry

The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice has just released a very nice tutorial on conversational Spanish in the pediatric office. There are many phrases that can be used in a general dental practice also. Its an entire online multimedia course. You click on the phrase and it says the phrase in English and then Spanish.

Go give Spanish dental terms a try by clicking here.

A quick chairside guide in English, Spanish and Chinese with phonetic pronunciation can be fund on DentalCare.com

Thursday, April 24, 2008

[prehospital care] a state-wide survey of medical emergency management in dental practices: incidence of emergencies and training experience

Background: Only a few data exist about the occurrence of emergencies in dental practice and the training experience of dental practice teams in life support. This study evaluates the incidence of emergencies in dental practices, the attitude of dentists towards emergency management and their training experience. Methods: Anonymous questionnaires were sent to all 2998 dentists listed in the Saxony State Dental Council Register in January 2005. Results: 620 questionnaires were returned. 77% of the responders expressed an interest in emergency management and 84% stated that they owned an emergency bag. In the 12-month study period, 57% of the dentists reported up to 3 emergencies and 36% of the dentists reported up to 10 emergencies. Vasovagal syncope was the most frequent emergency (1238 cases). As two cardiac arrests occurred, it is estimated that one sudden cardiac arrest occurs per 638 960 patients in dental practice. 42 severe life-threatening events were reported in all 1 277 920 treated patients. 567 dentists (92%) took part in emergency training following graduation (23% participated once and 68% more than once). Conclusion: Medical emergencies are not rare in dental practice, although most of them are not life-threatening. Improvement of competence in emergency management should include repeated participation in life support courses, standardisation of courses and offering courses designed to meet the needs of dentists. (Source: Emergency Medicine Journal)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Laser Removal of Veneers

Here is a video showing the atraumatic removal of a porcelain veneer with an Erbium Yag Laser.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dental Data of the Athens 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Int J Sports Med :
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1038489

Abstract

The Athens University, School of Dentistry, accepted the challenge to organize the Dental Health Services in the Athens 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games in order to provide the best quality of oral health services to the athletes, coaches, escort members and Olympic Village personnel. Data from the whole activity protocol of the Athens 2004 Games Dental Health Services - the reception, admission and treatment protocols, the facilities and the infrastructure, the number of cases treated per specialty and the experience gained - were recorded. During the Olympic Games, there were more than 1400 dental cases in more than 650 patients, elite athletes, escort members, coaches and staff of the Olympic Village. Among them 313 fillings, 100 root canal therapies, 57 mouthguards and 9 dental trauma cases were treated. During the Paralympic Games, there were more than 240 dental cases in more than 220 patients. Among them 73 fillings, 12 root canal therapies, 21 extractions and 3 dental trauma cases were treated. In such events, highly trained dentists are needed and if possible, specialized in operative dentistry or endodontics. The role of team dentist seems to be of great importance.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The influence of war on the oral health of professional soldiers

Author(s): M Suman | S Spalj | D Plancak | W Dukic | H Juric
doi: 10.1680/indj.2008.58.2.71



Aim: Professional soldiers, although trained to deal with specific conditions, are not immune to war stress induced behavioural changes, and since oral diseases are behaviour-related some changes in the oral cavity could be expected.

Participants and methods: The study was conducted on 640 professional soldiers in the Croatian Army, aged 19–49 years. The study group consisted of 336 soldiers in active service during the war in Croatia (1991–1997), while control group included 304 soldiers in peacetime service. Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth Index (DMFT) and Community Periodontal Index (CPI) as well as questionnaires concerning dental behaviour and diet were employed.

Results: War group soldiers had significantly poorer oral health with DMFT being 14.4 in the war group and 13.1 in the controls, respectively (p<0.001). The war group also showed a significantly higher number of periodontal pockets and excluded sextants, but lower numbers of healthy sextants (1.3 war group and 2.1 control; p<0.001). Significant differences between the war and peacetime groups according to the number of dental visits, daily brushing frequency and diet were found. There was a tendency towards the deterioration of oral health with increase in time spent in battle fields.

Conclusion: War conditions have a significant influence on the increased prevalence and severity of oral diseases for professional soldiers.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dental students say school deceived them

Dental students say school deceived them
By Myung Oak Kim, Rocky Mountain News (Contact)
Originally published 01:07 p.m., April 10, 2008
Updated 01:07 p.m., April 10, 2008

Students training to become dental assistants at an Aurora college found out the hard way that their school wasn't what it said it was.

Last week, students at T.H. Pickens Technical College attempted to take an exam to obtain national certification as dental assistants. They were denied entrance into the exam because their school wasn't accredited by the American Dental Association, said student Hyde Easterwood of Aurora.

The students were shocked because the Pickens Web site and brochure said the dental assistant program was accredited, she said. After confronting school officials last Thursday, students learned that information was wrong.

"A lot of people were really upset," said Easterwood, 27. "I wasted four months already.

"I was just getting out and trying to get onto a new and better path of life. When you're getting screwed or lied to in that way, that crushes people's spirits."

Pickens lost its accreditation in September 2006, the ADA said Thursday.

The program had been accredited since 1976 and lost its standing after failing to update facilities, said Pickens spokeswoman Georgia Duran. The loss of accreditation did not relate to instruction, she said.

About 50 students who enrolled since January 2007 are affected, Duran said.

The good news is that Pickens students who want to work as dental assistants in Colorado are not hurt by this, Duran said.

Colorado does not require national or any other certification to work as dental assistants, according to the state's Department of Regulatory Agencies.

Duran also said the loss of ADA accreditation wasn't an issue until now because only two students had taken the test for national certification in the last few years.

She said the Web site listed the national accreditation until a complaint was made last Thursday. Then the information was removed. She said it was an oversight that the wrong information had remained on the Web site this long.

"The bottom line is, we made a mistake," Duran said. "We're learning now more about that mistake and we are going to find a solution to help our students out.

"I don't know what that is at this point. I'm hoping that we can determine our next steps soon ... before the week is up."

Pickens is part of the Aurora Public School system and enrolls about 1,400 high school students and adults. The school is working on regaining its national accreditation for the dental assistant program.

Five schools in Colorado have national accreditation by the ADA, according to the Dental Assisting National Board Inc. in Chicago. They are Emily Griffith Opportunity School, Front Range Community College -Larimer, IntelliTec Medical Institute in Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College and Pueblo Community College.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dental Museum- University of Michigan


I was in Michigan and came across this attraction. I did not get a chance to go but hope to in the future.

The Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry, housed within the School of Dentistry, is one of only a handful of museums throughout the world devoted to preserving the history of the dental profession.

The museum develops and preserves a historical museum collection containing over 10,000 objects focused on the history of dentistry with particular interest on dental practice and technology in the United States and Michigan dating from the 18th century to today. We are dedicated to educating our audiences about the history of dentistry through museum exhibition, related programs, research, and preservation of its collections.

Go view the past at a nice dental history web site

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Prevalence of periodontitis and DMFT index in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

Fernanda Brito, Fabiana Cervo de Barros, Cyrla Zaltman, Ana Teresa Pugas Carvalho, Antonio Jose de Vasconcellos Carneiro, Ricardo GuimarĂ£es Fischer, Anders Gustafsson, Carlos Marcelo de Silva Figueredo (2008)
Prevalence of periodontitis and DMFT index in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
doi:10.1111/j.1600-051X.2008.01231.x

Aim: To compare the prevalence of periodontal disease and the decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) index in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) with those without these diseases.

Material and Methods: Ninety-nine CD (39.0 SD±12.9 years), 80 UC (43.3 SD±13.2) and 74 healthy controls (40.3 SD±12.9) were compared for DMFT index and presence of periodontitis. Probing pocket depth (PPD), clinical attachment loss (CAL), bleeding on probing (BOP), plaque and DMFT index were measured on all subjects. The presence of periodontitis was defined as having CAL 3 mm in at least four sites in different teeth.

Results: Significantly more patients with UC (90.0%; p<0.001) and CD (81.8%; p=0.03) had periodontitis than controls (67.6%). Among smokers, UC patients had significantly more periodontitis. CD had a greater mean DMFT score (18.7 versus 13.9; p=0.031) compared with controls and UC had greater median PPD (2.2 versus 1.7 mm; p<0.0001) than controls. Among non-smokers, CD (2.4 mm; p<0.0001) and UC showed deeper pockets (2.3 mm; p<0.0001) compared with controls (1.5 mm). UC had a greater mean DMFT score (15.3 versus 12.1; p=0.037) compared with controls.

Conclusions: CD and UC patients had higher DMFT and prevalence of periodontitis than controls, but smoking was an effect modifier.

Monday, April 14, 2008

AccuPal -For Palatal Injections

AccuPal is for giving palatal injections. It costs $479 and is supposed to precondition the palatal tissue to receive the injection. According to the web site it incorporates 4 pain reducing into one simple device. Costs are $2 per patient. I have no idea how well it works. Go to the website and check out the videos.

www.accupal.com

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cavities in Children Reduced Over 60 Percent by New Experimental Chewable Mints

Results Published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry Demonstrate Significant Cavity-Fighting Efficacy of New Fluoride-Free BasicMints(TM)

ROSLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y. and STONY BROOK, N.Y., April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Ortek Therapeutics, Inc. and Stony Brook University announced today that new data published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Dentistry demonstrates the effects of a new chewable mint in preventing cavities in children. This investigational product, called BasicMints(TM), contains CaviStat(R), an innovative, fluoride-free, cavity fighting complex. CaviStat is designed to mimic the profound cavity fighting benefits of saliva, by neutralizing harmful plaque acids and simultaneously promoting the remineralization of the tooth structure. The results show the children who were administered BasicMints had 62 percent fewer cavities in their molars after one year compared to children in the placebo group.

CaviStat was developed, clinically tested and patented by researchers in the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and exclusively licensed to Ortek. Ortek is planning to submit an Investigational New Drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this year. BasicMints are not currently approved for use in the U.S. All of the components of CaviStat are naturally present in the human body.

Cavities are the most prevalent disease in children, with almost half of all children having a cavity by second grade and 80 percent having a cavity by the time they graduate from high school. Approximately 90 percent of cavities in the teeth of children occur in the biting surfaces of the back teeth. By chewing BasicMints and packing CaviStat into these vulnerable surfaces, protection is focused where most cavities form.

"Cavities affect the quality of life for millions of children every year by causing them pain, to miss school days and cost billions of dollars to repair annually," said Dr. Israel Kleinberg, the lead researcher and inventor of the CaviStat technology and Distinguished Professor and Founding Chairman of the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. "This study shows for the first time that this new fluoride-free, cavity-fighting tool has the potential to significantly improve the oral health of children."

The study published in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Dentistry showed that after six months, children (N=96) who took BasicMints with CaviStat twice a day had 68.3 percent fewer cavities than the placebo group. After 12 months those children had 61.7 percent fewer cavities as compared to the placebo group (N=99) (P<0.001) in all of the molars studied (first permanent molars, some erupting premolars, second molars and deciduous molars). In the first permanent molars, some early erupting premolars and second molars, the children who were in the BasicMints study group had 75.6 percent less cavities after six months (P<0.001) and 50.7 percent less cavities after 12 months (P<0.001), as compared to the placebo group. Additionally, the children in the BasicMints study group had 76.2 percent less cavities in the deciduous molars after six months and 74.8 percent less cavities after 12 months, as compared to the placebo controls.

"We are truly excited about the results demonstrated by BasicMints in this new study and are looking forward to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to bring this new cavity-prevention technology to market," said Mitchell Goldberg, President, Ortek Therapeutics, Inc., the makers of BasicMints.

About the Study

The study published in the March issue of Journal of Clinical Dentistry was a one-year, double-blind, placebo controlled study that demonstrates that sugarless mints containing the fluoride-free CaviStat technology were able to inhibit both the onset and progression of cavities in 10 and 11 year-old children in Venezuela. The study participants took four mints daily, two in the morning after brushing their teeth and before eating breakfast and two in the evening after brushing their teeth, before going to bed. There were 200 children enrolled in the study and 195 who finished the one-year study with complete data. Ninety-six children were in the study group and received the BasicMints with CaviStat and 99 children were in the placebo group and received the sugarless mints without CaviStat.

The BasicMints study was funded by Ortek Therapeutics, Inc.

About BasicMints and CaviStat

BasicMints is a new experimental drug in pre-clinical testing designed to prevent the formation of tooth decay. This soft, chewable, sugarless, mint flavored tablet contains CaviStat, Ortek's innovative, fluoride-free, cavity fighting complex. BasicMints are designed to be dissolved and chewed into the biting and approximating surfaces of the back teeth. These vulnerable surfaces account for approximately 90 percent of cavities in children.

CaviStat is a new innovative, fluoride-free, cavity fighting complex that is designed to mimic and integrate the powerful alkali producing, acid neutralizing and remineralizing benefits of saliva. CaviStat was designed to counter the formation of dental cavities by simultaneously inhibiting the two fundamental processes known for more than a hundred years to be responsible for cavity development, namely, acid generation by bacterial fermentation of appropriate carbohydrate substrates and solubilization of tooth mineral by the acid generated. CaviStat contains the amino acid arginine, which when metabolized by certain plaque bacteria, results in elevation of dental plaque pH by alkali generation. It also contains bicarbonate, an important buffer in saliva; and calcium carbonate, a poorly soluble calcium salt. The latter provides a source of calcium to prevent tooth solubilization, and under appropriate conditions, favors pH elevation and enhanced tooth mineralization.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Simple regimen eliminates chronic bad breath

From Reuters
By Megan Rauscher

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Brushing twice a day with antibacterial toothpaste and using a toothbrush with a built-in tongue scraper can eliminate chronic bad breath, according to research presented today at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Association for Dental Research in Dallas, Texas.

Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, is often caused by the breakdown of bacteria in the mouth, producing foul-smelling sulfur compounds. It's estimated that 25 percent of adults suffer the embarrassment of chronic bad breath and the percentage may be as high as 50 percent in older adults.

In a 28-day study of 14 adults with chronic bad breath, Peter Moses, a student at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, and colleagues found that brushing twice daily with a toothpaste containing triclosan and scraping the tongue surface eliminated the problem.

Triclosan is an antibacterial agent used in acne medications, hand soaps, detergents and deodorants. "Most toothpastes do not contain triclosan," Dr. Joseph J. Zambon, who was involved in the research, told Reuters Health. Triclosan is found in Colgate Total toothpaste, made by Colgate-Palmolive Co., which sponsored the study.

At the beginning and end of the study, researchers measured mouth air levels of odor-causing bacteria and analyzed tongue scrapings for 20 species of bacteria known to cause bad breath.

According to the researchers, brushing twice daily with triclosan-containing toothpaste and using a tongue scraper reduced levels of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth from an average slightly more than 400 parts-per-billion at the start of the study to an average of 100 parts-per-billion at the end of the 28-day study period.

"All participants eliminated their halitosis after using this triclosan-containing toothpaste and a tongue cleaner," Moses said in a university statement.

"The fear of halitosis, known as halitophobia, sometimes is so great that up to 25 percent of people claiming to have halitosis actually don't," he added. "Halitophobia is associated with obsessive compulsive disorders and even has resulted in suicide, so there is a need for effective treatments for this condition."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Teledentistry Provides Orthodontic Services

Socially disadvantaged children have limited access to orthodontic services. A team of scientists studied a novel approach using teleconferencing to determine the possibility of increasing access to limited orthodontic treatment for these children. The team reported its findings during the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.

An orthodontic specialist at a remote site used teleconferencing to supervise a general dentist who provided limited orthodontic services to Medicaid-eligible children in a public health clinic in Toppenish, Washington.

Treatment results of the general dentist were compared with those obtained by orthodontic graduate students who had direct orthodontist supervision on site at a public health clinic in Seattle, Washington. The two groups of children and the treatments provided were similar.

The study demonstrated that both groups of children had significant orthodontic improvement. No differences were detected between the general dentist who was supervised by an orthodontist using teleconferencing from a remote site and the orthodontic residents who were trained by an orthodontist on site.

The results of this study suggest that early orthodontic treatment provided by a sufficiently trained general dentist and supervised remotely by an orthodontic specialist via teleconference is a viable approach to reducing the severity of malocclusion in populations of disadvantaged children where referral to an orthodontist is not feasible.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New Backup System For Your Dental Office



Datto devices will backup all of your valuable information quickly, affordably and easily. Unlike other products and services, all of Datto's solutions are hardware based and work on ANY platform (Windows, Mac, Linux or Unix). Using state of the art, multi-layered security, you can be confident your data is safe in transit and when stored off-site.

Datto is the only service that stores your information on-site and off-site automatically. With Datto, you can retrieve your information from anywhere in the world. It is very easy to install and use. Each account receives a free personal data recovery specialist to assist you with information retrieval. Your specialist is available to you 24/7. In the event of a physical catastrophe (fire,flood,theft), Datto will have your data secure. Because your information is backed up automatically on-site and off-site, there is always a copy available. Datto servers are secured on the East and West coasts of the United States.

The Datto is available in 100GB and 500GB models and the cost is $99/year

Check out the interface which is simple on the Datto Web Site.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ovrweight Kids Have Fewer Cavities

ScienceDaily (Apr. 3, 2008) — Contrary to conventional wisdom, overweight children have fewer cavities and healthier teeth compared to their normal weight peers, according to a study published in this month's issue of Community Dentistry & Oral Epidemiology.

Surprised researchers at the Eastman Dental Center, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, conducted a secondary analysis of nearly 18,000 children who participated in two separate National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES III and NHANES 99-02).

The study found no differences in rates of caries (tooth decay) among children ages 2-5 in all weight ranges, while children ages 6-18 who were considered overweight and at risk for becoming overweight showed a decreased risk of caries compared to their normal weight peers.

"We expected to find more oral disease in overweight children of all ages, given the similar causal factors that are generally associated with obesity and caries," said Eastman Dental Center's Dorota Kopycka-Kedzierawski, DDS, MPH, the lead author. "Our findings raise more questions than answers. For example, are overweight children eating foods higher in fat rather than cavity-causing sugars? Are their diets similar to normal weight peers but lead more sedentary lifestyles? Research to analyze both diet and lifestyle is needed to better understand the results."

The study defined overweight children as being at the 95th or higher percentile for their age and sex; children at the 85th or higher percentile and less than 95th percentile for their age and sex were defined as at risk for becoming overweight.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Computerised toothbrush makes oral hygiene a game



17:45 04 April 2008
NewScientist.com news service
Colin Barras

Here's a novel way to encourage young children to brush up on their oral hygiene – turn a toothbrush into a simple version of a Nintendo Wii remote and turn a chore into a fun computer game.

Parents or professionals trying to teach young children to brush their teeth are faced with two problems. Many youngsters are unwilling to brush their teeth in the first place. Then, even if they can be persuaded, they often lack the skill to brush them effectively – for example, the average five-year old brushes only a quarter of their teeth.

Hao-hua Chu and his team at the National Taiwan University have come up with a novel solution using a "learning through play" approach.

To the end of a normal toothbrush they added a simple box-shaped extension with a unique pattern of three LEDs on each face. These LEDs that can be tracked using computer vision technology.
Webcam tracking

A webcam mounted on the wall above the bathroom sink can then track brush movements in three dimensions and feed this information into a computer. The computer distinguishes the orientation of the brush, and can also track its x-axis "roll" and z-axis "yaw".

This information can used to determine the position of the toothbrush head and to work out precisely which teeth the bristles are in contact with at any given moment.

"We initially tried using motion sensors – 3D accelerometers – similar to the ones in the Wii remote," says Chu. "But we were only able to accurately detect four rough teeth areas: upper-lower, and left-right."

The LEDs and a wall-mounted camera may seem low-tech, but Chu's team found the approach could accurately distinguish 24 different areas in the mouth. Similarly, they found there was little to gain by adding a second webcam to more precisely track the movement of the toothbrush. "A dual camera system is more difficult to set up," adds Chu.

The next step was to design a simple computer game using input from the new "Playful Toothbrush" – turning a tedious task into a fun one. The game uses sound and vision to encourage children to scrub colourful dirt from a set of virtual teeth shown on a computer screen. As the child cleans their own teeth, they see an instant impact on the virtual teeth.
Twice as effective

Chu's team tested the Playful Toothbrush on a class of 13 kindergarten children. The researchers used plaque-disclosing dye to assess the effectiveness of the children's brushing technique before and after five days using the Playful Toothbrush. They found that the children were twice as effective at cleaning their teeth following the trial.

"I was confident it would work, based on 25 years' clinical experience with children," says Jin-Ling Lo, an occupational therapist on Chu's team. "But the results are beyond my expectations."

BJ Fogg, a pioneer of "persuasive technologies" at Stanford University, California, is not surprised by the results. "In general, this approach is effective," he says. Similar games have helped motivate subjects to exercise more, and to engage in boring tasks such as labelling digital photographs.

"The hard part is the detail of the game," he says. "Just because people make a game out of a task doesn't mean it will work."

Chu's team are already considering how modified versions of the game could appeal to older children. "For older children or adults, the design considerations may be slightly different," he says. "Users could download their preferred games according to their age and gender."

The results were presented at the 26th Computer and Human Interaction conference in Florence, Italy, in April.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

DIY dentist grandmother pulls out own teeth

Read the story and view the pictures. The woman had advanced periodontal disease and it looks like she had not had her teeth cleaned in years. The problem was not finding a dentist, it was finding a dentist who would accept an NHS patient. The article did not say she could not afford treatment. She just did not want to pay for treatment. Nothing new here.

Go read the Telegraph article and view the picture.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Tooth Regeneration May Replace Drill-and-Fill

From Wired Magazine

The next time your children get cavities, they might get tooth regeneration instead of fillings.

That's because materials scientists are beginning to find just the right solutions of chemicals to rebuild decayed teeth, rather than merely patching their holes. Enamel and dentin, the materials that make teeth the strongest pieces of the body, would replace the gold or ceramic fillings that currently return teeth to working order.

"What we're hoping to have happen is to catch [decaying teeth] early and remineralize them," said Sally Marshall, a professor at the University of California at San Francisco. Marshall gave a talk last week at the spring meeting of the Materials Research Society on rebuilding the inner portions of teeth.

While regrowing your uncle's toothless grin from scratch is still a decade away, the ability to use some of the body's own building materials for oral repair would be a boon to dentists, who have been fixing cavities with metal fillings since the 1840s. Enamel and dentin are remarkably strong and long-lasting, and they can repair themselves. But as scientists are continuing to find out, dentin in particular is a remarkably complex structure.

Read the rest on the Wired website

Friday, April 04, 2008

Interactive Response System

I am sitting in a Lumineer lecture given by my friend Barry Freydberg.. Everyone was handed a small remote control with numbers on the keyboard. During the lecture when questions were asked of the audience, instead of raising your hand to respond , you press a key on the remote. It then gives a percentage that each response was given by audience members on a PowerPoint slide. Very cool!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Impacted Third Molar- Being Careful


My lecture partner Paul Feuerstein forwarded me this link. There are many benefits of using Cone Beam technology in dentistry.

Complaint:
Patient was complaining from pain in the left mandible.

Description:
The patient was sent for a panoramic radiography, the panoramic image was not very useful and more advanced imaging capable of showing the third dimension and the exact topographic relationship between different anatomical structures was needed. A cone beam CT was performed and the data was processed; the two and three dimensional reconstructions showed that the third molar is partially erupted with a possible communication between the oral cavity and the pericoronal sac and this is most probably the cause of the pain.
The reconstruction also shows that the mandibular canal is completely enveloped by the roots of the third molar and this will drastically change the surgical strategy and will remarkably increase the possibility and diversity of post surgical consequences.

More images on the conebeam web site

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

NHS dentists play as patients wait

From The Sunday Times

March 30, 2008


Sarah-Kate Templeton, Health Editor

Health service dentists have been forced to go on holiday or spend time on the golf course this month despite millions of patients being denied dental care.

Many have fulfilled their annual work quotas allotted by the National Health Service and have been turning patients away because they are not paid to do extra work.

This is despite the fact that more than 7m people in Britain are unable to find an NHS dentist.

Patients have been told they must either pay privately or return in April when the new work year begins.

People suffering from toothache have been advised to go to hospital.

Areas affected include Merseyside, Derbyshire, Birmingham and East Sussex.

Eddie Crouch, secretary of the Birmingham local dental committee, estimates that up to a third of dentists in the West Midlands have run out of work or have had to reduce the number of NHS patients they treat.

"Patients in pain have had to shop around to find a dentist that has not used up their quota," he said.

The British Dental Association fears that other dentists have been unable to meet their quotas and will be forced to pay back thousands of pounds to the NHS. The health department says dentists should have managed their workload throughout the year.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tiny Bluetooth Microphone Goes in a Hole Drilled in Your Teeth



Here is a new practice builder with no insurance coverage. How about a bluetooth mic that is bonded into a tooth. The color needs to be changed to white so it does not look like you have something stuck in your teeth. The bluetooth mic comes with a 12 month warranty but it doesn't cover installation.
Read more here on the bluetooth tooth mic.