The ethics of a fair and honest treatment plan

An interesting article titled “The ethics of presenting a fair and honest treatment plan,” is written by Marvin Elwood Rice, appearing in JADA, April 2017, vol. 148, issue 4. The article discusses a dentist who has had numerous occasions in which a relative, past patient, or a new patient has called for a second opinion because of what another dentist has shown them on the oral camera screen. These are patients who take care of their teeth and are familiar with their conditions. In each instance, the patient was in a panic because the dentist enlarged his or her teeth on the overhead screen and pointed to a dark developmental groove or a stained pit and tried to convince the patient that they had a cracked tooth and needed a crown or that the stained areas were active carious lesions and they … Read more

Synthetic Tooth Enamel May lead to Resilent Structures

Unavoidable vibrations, such as those on airplanes, cause rigid structures to age and crack, but researchers have found that if you design them more like tooth enamel, it could lead to more resilient structures such as flight computers. Most materials that absorb vibration are soft and don’t make good structural components such as beams, chassis or motherboards. Artificial enamel is better than solid commercial and experimental materials that are aimed at the same vibration damping, as it’s lighter, more effective and less expensive. Researchers from the University of Michigan examined many structures in animals that had to withstand shocks and vibrations: bones, shells, carapaces and teeth. These living structures changed from species to species and over the eons. Tooth enamel told a different story. Under an electron microscope, it shared a similar structure whether it came from a Tyrannosaurus, a … Read more

Tooth repair could occur using Alzheimer’s drug

The renewal of living stem cells in tooth pulp could occur using an Alzheimer’s drug has been discovered by a team of researchers at King’s College London. Following trauma or an infection, the inner, soft pulp of a tooth can become exposed and infected. In order to protect the tooth from infection, a thin band of dentine is naturally produced and seals the tooth pulp, but is insufficient to effectively repair large cavities. Currently dentists use human-made cements or fillings, such as calcium and silicon-based products, to treat these larger cavities and fill holes in teeth. This cement remains in the tooth and fails to disintegrate, meaning the normal mineral level of the tooth is never completely restored. In a paper published in Scientific Reports, scientists from King’s College London have proven a way to stimulate stem cells contained in the … Read more

Method to Reduce Dental Implant Failure

Fifteen million Americans have crown or bridge replacements and three million have dental implants. Dental implants can be successful for many patients; however, five to 10 per cent of all dental implants fail. The reasons for this failure are mechanical problems, poor connection to the implanted bones, infection or rejection. When failure occurs the dental implant needs to be removed. The main reason for dental implant failure is periimplantitis. This destructive inflammatory process affects the soft and hard tissues surrounding dental implants. When pathogenic microbes in the mouth and oral cavity develop into biofilms, periimplantitis develop on dental implants. A research team from the School of Biological Sciences, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Engineering at the University of Plymouth, have joined forces to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a new nanocoating for dental implants … Read more

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 … Read more