Archive | September, 2015

Comparing Narcotic Prescribing Habits For Oral Surgeons in the U.S. and Canada

In a previous blog post titled “Do Oral Surgeons Prescribe Too Many Narcotics for use after Wisdom Teeth Removal?” the issue explored was that of whether or not oral surgeons prescribe more than an adequate amount of narcotic pain killers to young adults after wisdom teeth extraction. The article that found around 25% or so of the study respondents prescribe what the authors of the article declared as too many narcotics to control pain which opened the possibility of non-medical use. A new article titled “Comparison of Narcotic Prescribing Habits and Other Methods of Pain Control by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in the United States and Canada,” sought to explore whether Canadian oral surgeons have similar narcotic prescribing habits. This article was written by Bruce R. Pynn and Daniel M. Laskin and appeared in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery (vol. 72, issue 12). In this article an 8-question survey similar to the one used in the previous 2013 study was sent to the 336 members of the Canadian Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. A total of 158 surveys were returned (47% response rate) with 136 of these fully completed. Some of the […]

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Exploring the Risk Factors for Injury To Nerves During Wisdom Teeth Removal

An interesting article titled “Risk Factors for Permanent Injury of Inferior Alveolar and Lingual Nerves During Third Molar Surgery,” appears in The Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, vol. 72, issue 12, and written by¬†Edward Nguyen and et al. The article assesses the incidence of and risk factors for permanent neurologic injuries to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) or lingual nerve (LN) after wisdom teeth removal. The article states “It has been well documented in the literature that the risk factors for IAN and LN injuries include increasing age, unerupted teeth, deep impaction, distoangular impaction, irregular root morphology, lack of clinician experience, lingual flap and retraction, and radiographic signs of proximity of the third molar to the IAN canal. The main forms of altered sensation that can occur include paraesthesia, anesthesia, or dysesthesia, which may be temporary or permanent. The literature reports an incidence of temporary IAN and LN injury ranging from 0.26 to 8.4% and from 0.1 to 22%, respectively, whereas permanent damage ranges from 0.3 to 0.9% for these 2 nerves.” The researchers accessed a database at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne from January 2006 through December 2009, which was part of a Clinical Incident Review process. […]

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Can Graphene Be Used to Treat Gum Disease and Fight Cavities?

When bacteria invade the mouth dental disease can form. This can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Traditionally, antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria if it is found. However, antibiotic resistance has been an issue in recent years where the antibiotics no longer work as effectively to kill the bacteria. Thus new methods to eliminate bacteria are need. Scientists have discovered a material called graphene oxide is effective at eliminating this type of bacteria even if it has developed antibiotic resistance.¬† Previous studies have shown that graphene oxide which are carbon nanosheets studded with oxygen groups, is a promising material in biomedical applications. Graphene oxide can inhibit the growth of some bacterial strains with minimal harm to mammalian cells. Researchers were interested to see if graphene oxide is effective at elminating bacteria responsible for dental disease. They tested the material against three different species of bacteria that are linked to tooth decay and gum disease. Graphene oxide destroyed the bacterial cell walls and membranes and slowed the growth of the pathogens. Hence the researchers feel that Graphene could be used in dental care and treatment. Source: Jianliang He and et. al. Killing Dental Pathogens Using Antibacterial Graphene Oxide. […]

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Wisdom Teeth Stem Cells Could be Used For The Eye

A new interesting study has shown that wisdom teeth stem cells could be turned into cells of the eye’s cornea. The stem cells could one day be used to repair cornea scaring due to infection or injury. Thus wisdom teeth stem cells could play a role in helping to treat corneal blindness which affects millions of people in the world. It is typically treated with transplants of donor corneas. Of course, with any transplants, shortages can occur and rejection of donor tissue can occur. This can result in permanent vision loss. Using one patient’s own stem cells from their wisdom teeth would avoid these issues. The research was conducted in association with the University of Pittsburgh. Their Department of Opthalmology showed that stem cells of dental pulp obtained from a wisdom tooth extraction could be turned into corneal stromal cells called keratocytes, which have the same embryonic origin. The researchers injected the keratocytes into the corneas of healthy mice, where they integrated without any signs of rejection. In addition the researchers also used the cells to develop constructs of corneal stroma similar to natural tissue. The researchers feel dental pulp stem cells have great potential for regenerative therapies. In the […]

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