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Physicians for A National Health Program

Posted on 08. Apr, 2010 by .

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While I have linked to the Physicians for a National Health Program before I don’t think I have discussed their website and ideals in any significant way.

For those not familiar Physicians for a National Health Program abbreviated PNHP says they are at the “forefront of research and action for a single-payer national health program.” This is for the United States.

The website features articles of interest that are updated daily. For example a recent article posted is titled “Forum probes health care.” In the article there is a quote by Nick Egnatz, an activitist, “There’s something wrong with a system that doesn’t take care of everyone.”

PNHP also features a blog that is also updated quite frequently with posts of interest. Much of the site that is updated daily is managed by PNHP’s Senior Health Policy Fellow Don McCanne, M.D. who does a great job.

For those who are not sure what to think about the new health reform bill signed by President Obama recently I recommend they take a look at a press release issued by PNHP a few weeks ago.  The press release discusses how 23 million will still remain uninsured nine years out. The press release also discusses how $447 billion in taxpayer money will be given to insurance firms to help the purchase of shoddy products. The press release of course concludes that “Only a single-payer plan can assure truly universal, comprehensive and affordable care to all.”

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Brain Scan and Wisdom Teeth Pain

Posted on 02. Apr, 2010 by .


For those that are not familiar, Function MRI commonly called fMRI can help show an area in the brain that is under pain.

Tara Renton of King’s College London has recently done a study using fMRI scans and arterial spin labeling in order to measure how much oxygenated blood flows through certain areas in the brain. She applied this study to determine how oxygenated blood correlated with the intensity of pain in 16 young men shorty after having their wisdom teeth removed.

In the future this could be used to better understand how much pain one feels as a result of wisdom teeth removal and how it may differ amongst individuals.

PopSci has stated that “some critics believe that the study’s emphasis on short-term, localized agony oversimplifies the concept of pain to the point of uselessness. Since pain involves the complex interplay of emotions and memory – for instance, the phantom limb pain of amputees – fMRI scans for pain may not provide any more guidance to doctors than the smiley face chart already in use.”

To find out more about this study and brain scans to measure pain visit and

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Medical Gas Regulations in Kansas – Result of Wisdom Teeth Removal

Posted on 26. Mar, 2010 by .


I previously reported on Austin Stone who was left blind, hard of hearing, and now has problems with his speech as a result of complications from medical gas when he had his wisdom teeth removed.

The articles of interested are and

Now it is reported that Kansas has approved a bill where regulations must be followed for installation of medical gas systems. Specifically now a licensed individual must be responsible for any repairs, maintenance and inspection of medical gas piping systems. Surprising this bill was rejected by 32 in the Kansas House. Before this becomes law it must now go to the Kansas Senate.

The source of this information is

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Children Visit the Dentist More If Parents Do So

Posted on 22. Mar, 2010 by .


A new report in the journal Pediatrics shows that children’s level of regular dental care is strongly associated with their own parents’ dental care history. This really comes as a no brainer to me.

It is noted that tooth decay and cavities is particularly common among   low-income and minority children. The researchers looked at data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey and its Child Health Supplement. This consisted of   a cross sectional study of basic health and demographic information and answers to questions on health topics of current interest.

There were around 6000 matched pairs of data regarding dental visits for both a child and parent in the same household. Among parents who reported seeing a dentist during the preceding year, 86% of children had also seen a dentist. On the other hand 64% of the children of parents with no recent dental visit had seen a dentist during the previous 12 months. In addition, among parents who put off their own dental care because of financial considerations, 27 % of their children also had dental care deferred. In contrast, only 3 % of children whose parents had not put off their own care care had their dental care deferred.

I think it is interesting to explore these relationships amongst parents and children and their dental treatment, but again it really does not come as much of a surprise to me. It seems to illustrate that children are receiving more care than the parents and the more the parents see a dentist the more likely a child will also see a dentist.

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Root Canal Treatments: New Composite

Posted on 17. Mar, 2010 by .


New root canal components are being developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg working in collaboration with VOCO GmbH.

“The basis of this material is provided by ORMOCER®s,” explains Dr. Herbert Wolter. “We have combined these ORMOCER®s with various nano- and microparticles to achieve the highly diverse properties needed.”

Materials used in filling the root canal should not shrink as they harder, be visible in x-rays, and should form an airtight bond with the dental material. However, the material used to rebuild the tooth, should have the same properties as the tooth itself.

“Hybrid materials are well suited to these requirements. For instance, they only shrink by about 1.3 percent as they harden, while standard materials generally shrink by 2 to 4 percent. ORMOCER®s can also be adapted to adhere to the different parts of the tooth,” says Wolter.

VOCO GmbH is producing dental preparations. Product launch is coming along and could be within the next 2 years.

This could potentially help lessen the number of crowns that needed to be replaced due to breaking.

Adapted from materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

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