The conventional means of identifying symptoms of gum disease entails painful probing with sharp implements. The approach is undoubtedly time-consuming and may in some incidences result in injury. But most importantly, it has left patients dreading the experience, while dental hygienists and specialists fear they may fail to unravel salient signs as they take precaution on the undertaking.
Dr. Arezou Goshtasbi, a dentist, overseeing an oral hygiene course at Concorde Career College, points out that dental probing is a key component in dental exams and requisite to identify gum disease which can plague oral tissue and eventually lead to tooth loss. He, however, castigates the common method of ascertaining periodontal disease which involves the use of hook-shaped tools to measure pocket depth – the spaces in between the teeth and the gum which deepen with an oral ailment.
Now, a study expedition published in the Journal of Dental Research has addressed the concern by coming up with a non-invasive methodology of partaking in the activity. It involves the gargling of squid ink: a melanin nanoparticle-filled liquid that soaks up a lot of light. The residue squid ink expands upon subjection to laser light to in turn yield pressure variations in the gum pockets which are easily recognizable via photo-acoustic ultrasound. Assessments of the sound waves then enable the creation of a detailed 3D representation of the subject area in a significantly lesser time when compared with the
Anyone bound to undergo a major dental undertaking or reconstructive surgery will attest that it’s quite difficult to visualize what they’ll look like afterward beforehand. Conventional methodologies employed in catering to this concern include casts and wax molds, but these now appear to be outdated, and furthermore, their applicability is somewhat limited to a few dental expeditions.
A Swiss startup has however addressed the concern by employing augmented reality to provide patients with a virtual view of the smile they could have. Kapanu, a subsidiary of ETH Zurich technical university, initially developed an augmented reality model to cater generally to the medical domain, but they opted to channel their efforts on dentistry with the first prototype.
It functions by relaying image sets of good teeth on a user’s 3D scan of the mouth cavity. An array of options tweaking the appearance are available, an example being changes on the shape and configuration of the teeth. A patient will then alter the settings to choose the preview that suits him/her best, after which the representation will be sent to the manufacturer for production of replacement teeth or to a specialist involved in an oral undertaking.
The feat was pitched at the International Dental Show in Cologne last winter, wherein it raised eyebrows amongst acclaimed firms in this corner of the health world.
Smile, you’re in augmented reality dentistry
Undoubtedly, falling sick while on holiday is a scenario no one would want to deal with. To avoid this some of us might equip themselves with painkillers, plasters, creams, etc., but what can we do to guarantee our teeth are safeguarded?
Persons traveling by air, and flight crews alike, are now being urged to ensure their teeth are in perfect condition before they board the plane, specifically via a dental check-up from a qualified professional. Dr. Richard Coates particularly points out to cavities and poorly executed fillings as aspects that might leave one in severe pain when high in the sky. Tooth ache while flying, also dubbed as barodontalgia, is a pain in the teeth that stems from alterations in pressure during flights. It’s normally aggravated in the presence of cracked, poorly restored, or cavitary teeth which often bear small, air-filled pockets. The occurrence was initially brought to light by pilots in Second World War.
Dr. Coates notes that pressure changes when flying can result in an expansion of the air pockets, causing enormous pain to a subject. This is particularly common at heights of 9000 feet above sea level, and considering commercial aircraft fly at 30000 feet, this is a concern that could plague even those with minute manifestations of the tooth above issues.
A team of dental specialists and scholars have unveiled a study detailing the reason why Inuit found participants in the unsuccessful 19th Century Franklin Expedition with hard, dry, and black mouths. After assessing information stemming from explorers who interviewed Inuit, co-author Russell Taichman mentions some queer dental symptoms were brought to light; and it became apparent that previous theories on the collective signs, including scurvy and consumption of spoilt teen food, were undoubtedly insufficient in unraveling the situation.
Taichman says the research undertaking began when he teamed up with Michigan University Librarian Mark MacEachern to comb through medical literature relative to the subject issue. The approach ultimately pointed to tuberculosis, an ailment that was prevalent at the time amongst British sailors residing in tight-spaced lodgings.
Taichman, who has been channeling efforts towards deciphering cancer metastasis in the bone marrow, notes that he first presented the aforementioned revelation to oncologist Frank Cackowski, who then explained that tuberculosis could cause the Addison’s ailing. This insight was particularly key to the study since Addison’s was found to be capable of yielding the symptoms unearthed from Inuit’s observations. Taichman was, however, quick to assert that in modern times, the disease would seldom progress to that dire level.
We currently live in a world wherein one in every four persons employs the internet to diagnose him/herself and curb the symptoms of the identified ailment. Undoubtedly, the need for reliable info cannot be exaggerated or overlooked. Medical specialists from all regions across the globe are now striving to amass an online presence and communicate with patients on the same platform. Dentists to be specific have adhered to this taking to promote their practices, decrease the anxiety entailed in the domain, amongst other reasons. Presented below are some of how oral professionals are utilizing the web based approach.
Blogging offers one of the most efficient and effective ways to disseminate valuable knowledge on various oral health concerns. In a simple post, one could describe the triggers, signs, and treatment options for distinct oral diseases. And besides that, it can also be employed as a digital marketing tool wherein signature/flagship products and services could be advertised to in turn increase sales.
Collaborating with other specialists in the online community
A general dentist could be lacking the prowess needed to partake in dental surgeries, and that’s where a referral comes into play. Nevertheless, the professional doesn’t need to wait for an oncoming patient to begin the process. Partnerships in the form of associations can serve as hubs where patients are catered to by a variety of highly skilled specialists, all in one place.
The RDH Under One Roof, an annual convention providing quality dental hygiene education, is currently underway in its 2017 edition. Some novel implements have been presented at the event, all aiming to improve oral hygiene. Detailed below are a few that are worth checking out.
Monsterz Toothbrushes and Gum flossers
These are signature products from the GUM-Sunstar franchise, a company with a comprehensive line of products to curb the bacteria behind the periodontal disease. Their new flossers have taken it up a notch, featuring textured handles to guarantee ease of operation. They are also designed to access places that are hard to reach, while also being quite durable to ensure shredding or tearing down does not occur with continued use.
The monsterz toothbrushes, on the other hand, are tailored to direct children and adults as well on how to use toothpaste efficiently. The brush has its center bristles colored in white to serve as a visual indication of the portion that should be covered by the toothpaste. The bottom of it has a flat suction base that keeps it upright so that the bristles can dry up quickly while also preventing their contamination from surrounding surfaces.
MI Paste One
The product is toothpaste that can serve as an alternative to Recaldent, gum often consumed after
routine brushing and flossing to restore enamel after acid attacks.
Ultrasonic hand scalers
Mary Berg, founder of Beyond the Crown Veterinary Education, advocates for a new wave of ultrasonic hand scalers which come equipped with fiber optic lights. These implements particularly come in handy for the visualization aspect, in that a specialist can decipher the oral cavity by easily locating tartar and recognizing tissue colors.
Berg asserts all veterinary specialists conducting dental procedures on cat or dog teeth should do so with at least one of the tool above. She says she currently utilizes one pair (all bearing head lamps) from manufacturer Miltex. She further details that the gadget commands the right ergonomics to yield the most optimal focal distance and angle.
Easy-to-read dental probes
A dental probe in perfect condition should display millimeter markings. To be more precise, each millimeter should be demarcated with a dark colored indentation, so that it’s fairly easy to read. A good one will also entail a distinct color code. Berg notes of a key insight on the use of this tool: it shouldn’t be shared amongst multiple specimens.
All in all, devices employed in veterinary dental procedures should be easily identifiable and most importantly comfortable to the user during operation. Comfort can manifest in soft easy-to-grip handles.