Effect of Eruption Status of the Mandibular Wisdom Teeth on Distal Caries in the Adjacent Second Molar

An article titled “Effect of Eruption Status of the Mandibular Third Molar on Distal Caries in the Adjacent Second Molar,” written by Feiwu Kang and et. al. appears in  the 2016 issue of J Oral Maxillofac Surg. The article explores the eruption of mandibular wisdom teeth and their effect on adjacent second molars. A total of 500 cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images of mandibular third molar (MTMs) from 469 patients were evaluated. The authors assessed the presence of distal caries in mandibular second molars (MSMs), impaction depths and angulations of MTMs, cementoenamel junction (CEJ) distances between distal MSMs and mesial MTMs, presence of pericoronitis in MTMs, and patient characteristics (age and gender). The authors state that previous studies show the prevalence of distal caries in MSMs has ranged from 13.4 to 30.1%. The authors found that the overall prevalence of distal caries in the mandibular second molars was 52.0%. According to the classification of Pell and Gregory, position A was the impaction depth at which most distal caries in MSMs were present (P= .036). For angulation of the mandibular third molars, when mesial angulations were 43 to 73%, MSMs developed more distal caries (P < .0001). Previous studies have reported that […]

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Prevalence of Visible Third Molars in the United States Population

An interesting article titled “Prevalence of Visible Third Molars in the United States Population: How Many Individuals Have Third Molars?” appears in the 2016 Journal of Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery 74, pp. 13-17, 2016, by Caitlin B. L. Magraw et al. In the article, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is examined to look at the prevalence of wisdom teeth (third molars) in the U.S. population. Cross-sectional analyses of third molar data were conducted by the authors from the NHANES databases of 2001 through 2002, 2009 through 2010, and 2011 through 2012 to compare data for similarity of outcomes on wisdom teeth prevalence in the US population. The authors found the number of visible third molars in the NHANES databases of 2011 through 2012 decreased progressively from a mean of 1.48 in the 20 to 29 year old cohort to 0.81 in the 60 to 69 year old cohort. The authors found that in each NHANES from 2001 through 2012, the number of third molars decreased with each successive age cohort. Even though participants in each successive age cohort differed, there were no reasons for the decrease in numbers of third molars in older cohorts. It is likely […]

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Shared decision making in cases of conflicted evidence

An interesting article titled “When clinical evidence is conflicted, who decides how to proceed? An opportunity for shared decision making,” appears in the October 2015 issue of JADA (vol. 146 issue 10, pp. 713-714) and written by Arthur H. Friedlander and et al. The article discusses the concept of shared decision making “…particularly necessary in dentistry at this juncture, given recommendations but inconclusive data available to support abandoning the provision of prophylactic antibiotics to patients with total joint prostheses.” I have previously talked about shared medical decision making in the blog post The Well Informed Patient http://blog.teethremoval.com/the-well-informed-patient/. The article talks about how historically patients were expected to consent to the recommendations of their doctors without much discussion. However, since this is not enough to be legally and ethically correct shared decision making can be used which is a “…collaborative process encouraging patients and their providers to make health care decisions together, taking into account the best scientific evidence available as well as the patient’s values and preferences.” The authors go on to state “This bioethical, patient-centered, informed consent process demonstrates respect for the patient’s autonomy and supports their empowerment at a time when illness renders them dependent and vulnerable. Furthermore, it enhances […]

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Chewing sugar free gum could help prevent tooth decay and save money

An interesting article titled “Oral health promotion: the economic benefits to the NHS of increased use of sugarfree gum in the UK” explores the effects of children chewing sugar free gum after eating or drinking in the U.K. Specifically the article finds out that in the National Health Service in England savings of £8.2 million a year could occur if all 12-year-olds across the U.K. chewed sugar free gum after eating or drinking, which is due to the role it plays in helping to prevent tooth decay. This savings would be equivalent to roughly 364,000 dental check-ups. Sugar free gum can be an easy and effective addition to oral health routines. The British Dental Health Foundation recommends brushing for two minutes, twice a day and for children over the age of seven, chewing sugar-free gum during the day. This can be effective in breaking down lingering food, neutralising harmful plaque acids, and reducing the risk of decay. Chewing sugar free gum after eating and drinking leads to increases in the production of saliva, which can help wash away food particles and neutralise harmful plaque acids. In addition, it promotes the remineralisation of tooth enamel. The benefits of sugar-free gum on […]

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It may be impossible to remove all bacteria from dental equipment

A few stories have appeared in articles in recent years where someone has gotten an infection at an oral surgeon or dentists office due to unsafe practices. See for example http://blog.teethremoval.com/unsafe-injection-practices-plaque-u-s-outpatient-facilities/. This has occurred when a lapse in following proper infection control practices has occurred. However, even when proper protocols are being followed at dental offices it may still be possible to come down with an infection (although rare). This is supported by a new study in the Journal Water Research titled “Efficacy of dental unit waterlines disinfectants on a polymicrobial biofilm.” The study reveals that disinfectants recommended by companies that manufacture dental unit water lines don’t actually shift all the bacteria in the lines, which means the water lines are never completely clean. The dental water lines are used by dentists to keep their dental equipment, which is always coming in contact with people’s mouths, clean. In the study by researchers from the Université de Poitiers in France they analyzed three disinfectants used by some European dentists to control biofilms in dental water lines: Calbenium®, Oxygenal 6® and Sterispray®. The researchers tested how well the disinfectants removed biofilms from dental water lines. If the disinfectants are not completely effective […]

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