Oral sedation has played a particularly key role in the treatment of patients with adverse emotions towards dentistry practices. The approach often entails putting patients in a near-sleep-like state, so that they remain almost unconscious in treatment, and later wake up with no negative memories of the undertaking.
Types of the above mentioned methodology include the minimal sedation, wherein a patient inhales a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen to in turn bring in a relaxation feeling. The compound tends to wear off quickly. It serves as the only form of sedation wherein a patient can drive home after a dental procedure. For moderate sedation, the Halcion pill is utilized, being a member of the same drug family as Valium, and is consumed an hour before the operation. Deep sedation involves direct injection of an anesthesia into the veins, making an oral patient remain in a trance till the drug wears off or is reversed with medication.
In live (non-sedated) oral operations, a numbing agent is always applied to the site where the dentist is working on to in turn negate discomfort/pain.
Therapeutic compounds aiming to negate dental plaque and tooth decay are often removed by saliva and swallowed even before they can make an impact. Nonetheless, researchers from the Rochester University have uncovered a new way to deliver antibacterial agents within the plaque, despite saliva presence.
To bind the agent, also referred to as farnesol, to targeted sites, the project team constructed spherical mass models, taking the form of a nanoparticle carriers. Their outer layer was made out of positively charge segments of polymers, while their inside harbored the drug constituting hydrophobic and pH-responsive polymers.
The positively charge outer layer was able to firmly attach to the teeth’s surface because of the enamel’s HA (hydroxyapatite) aggregates which are negatively charged. In the same methodology which sees opposite charged magnets attracting each other, so is the case for nanoparticles and HA. Not only did the particles stay in place, but they were also able to fasten around the polymeric matrix and dental plaque.
Many people suffer from jaw discomfort that arise from the gradual wearing down of cartilage- but current solutions only alleviate some of the systems, and do not directly repair the cartilage itself. Now, a recent study in Columbia University Medical Center in New York has revealed a promising solution for joint repair by using stem cell manipulation.
The researchers experimented on mice with TMJ (temporomandibular) degeneration, a breakdown of cartilage/bone in the lower jaw. Transplanting a single stem cell eventually led to the growth of new cartilage and bone, as even began to form a bone marrow niche. This, of course, is a well-known characteristic of stem cells- the ability to transform its typing and specialize into a myriad of body cell types.
The new alternative is not perfect. Common issues with stem cells include its potential rejection from the recipient’s immune system, as well as possibly introducing pathogens or inducing tumors. However, as more research is fueled into developments into the world of dental technology, more innovations are sure to come.