Aging Causes Fracture Toughness Reduction in Dentin

Researchers led by Dr. Dwayne D. Arola of the University of Maryland, have recently examined the role of aging and its affect on the reduction in fracture toughness of human dentin. The article appears on the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials (October 2009 issue, pages 550-559). Dr. Arola and colleagues found that the average fracture toughness of  old dentin was approximately 30% lower than young dentin. The researchers observed that the fracture toughness seemed to depend on the number of lumens, which is important in determining the mineral-to-collagen ratio and the variation in the degree of age-related sclerosis, or embrittlement, throughout dentin. They were able to do this by examining the crack growth resistance of human coronal dentin using tissue obtained from patients 18 to 83 years of age and for crack extension oriented perpendicular to the … Read more

The Role of Dentists in Diabetes Screening

A study, led by Dr. Shiela Strauss, Associate Professor of Nursing and Co-Director of the Statistics and Data Management Core for New York University’s Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, examined data from nearly 3,000 adults in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who had not been diagnosed with diabetes. The results appear in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry in the article titled “The dental office visit as a potential opportunity for diabetes screening: an analysis using NHANES 2003-2004 data.” The results indicate that the majority of people who have periodontal (gum) disease are also at high risk for diabetes. In addition, half of those at risk had seen a dentist in the previous year. This one can draw the conclusion that dentists should consider offering diabetes screenings in their offices. Dr. Strauss and colleagues determined that 93% … Read more

Third Molar Patient Information DVD

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS)  is really trying to increase their marketing campaign to attract young adults for choosing wisdom teeth removal. They have recently made available a Third Molar Patient Information DVD available at The DVD is sold in lots of 25. The price varies depending on whether or not you are a member, part of an institution, or a non-member. The non-member cost is $135 for 25 DVDs. A brief one minute trailer is available. The DVD features 3D illustrations along with a comprehensive discussion of third molar (wisdom teeth) surgery. I haven’t seen this DVD so I don’t know the quality of it. However it is clearly being promoted as a marketing tool to attract patients to want to proceed with wisdom teeth removal. Of course I disagree with AAOMS and their … Read more

Wisdom Teeth Removal Survey

I recently made this survey on your wisdom teeth removal experience. Please take a moment to complete it. This will help others who may elect to have wisdom teeth removed in the future. Thanks for your help!

White Paper on Ethics & Professionalism in Dental Education

The American Student Dental Association (ASDA) has recently published a White Paper on Ethics & Professionalism in Dental Education which can be found at The paper is designed to help address issues of cheating which have occurred at dental schools. The ASDA Student Code of Ethics states that, “ASDA recognizes the importance of high ethical standards in the dental school setting. Therefore, the Association believes students should conduct themselves in a manner reflecting integrity and fairness in both the didactic and clinical learning environments. Ethical and professional behavior by dental students is characterized by honesty, fairness, and integrity in all circumstances; respect for the rights, differences, and property of others; concern for the welfare of patients, competence in the delivery of care, and preservation of confidentiality in all situations where this is warranted.” The paper addresses some of the … Read more