A dental expert has come up with an idea to extend the life of a tooth filling.
The researcher at the US Medical College of Georgia is hoping that a new nanotechnology technique will extend the fillings’ longevity.
Dr Franklin Tay, associate professor of endodontics in the MCG School of Dentistry, explains: ‘Dentin adhesives bond well initially, but then the hybrid layer between the adhesive and the dentin begins to break down in as little as one year. When that happens, the restoration will eventually fail and come off the tooth.’
Half of all tooth-coloured composite resin restorations fail within 10 years, and about 60% of all operative dentistry involves replacing them, according to research in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Dr Tay aims to prevent the ageing and degradation of resin-dentin bonding by feeding minerals back into the collagen network.
With a two-year, $252,497 grant from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research, he will investigate guided tissue remineralisation, a new nanotechnology process of growing extremely small, mineral-rich crystals and guiding them into the demineralised gaps between collagen fibres.
His idea came from examining how crystals form in nature.
He says: ‘Eggshells and abalone [sea snail] shells are very strong and intriguing. We’re trying to mimic nature, and we’re learning a lot from observing how small animals make their shells.’
The crystals, called hydroxyapatite, bond when proteins and minerals interact. Dr Tay will use calcium phosphate, the primary component of dentin, enamel and bone, and two protein analogs also found in dentin so he can mimic nature while controlling the size of each crystal.
Dr Tay says: ‘When crystals are formed, they don’t have a definite shape, so they are easily guided into the nooks and crannies of the collagen matrix.’
In theory, the crystals should lock the minerals into the hybrid layer and prevent it from degrading. If Dr Tay’s concept of guided tissue remineralisation works, he will create a delivery system to apply the crystals to the hybrid layer after the acid-etching process.
‘Instead of dentists replacing the teeth with failed bonds, we’re hoping that using these crystals during the bond-making process will provide the strength to save the bonds,’ Dr. Tay says.
Our end goal is that this material will repair a cavity on its own so that dentists don’t have to fill the tooth.’
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Dental practices to fine patients for missed appointments^
Patients who skip dental appointments face a £1-a-minute fine slapped on them by an NHS practice.
Dental body corporate, Integrated Dental Holdings, runs four clinics across Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland and has been given the go-ahead to fine people £1-a-minute for the length of their appointment for every one they miss.
Health officials agreed the charge at a board meeting on Monday after figures revealed that almost 3,000 patients failed to turn up for a dentist appointment during a six-month period — costing the NHS £54,890.
• The Conservative Party published plans to introduce patient fines in England earlier this year in its proposals to shake-up NHS dentistry.
And last autumn, the Liberal Democrats announced that they would consider slapping a £10 penalty charge on patients missing their dental appointments.
Norman Lamb, the party’s shadow health secretary, said that the ‘persistent’ failure of a minority of people to attend appointments was a form of ‘irresponsible behaviour that needs tackling’ in the health service.
^1247443200^2074^Dental practices to fine patients f…^Patients who skip dental appointments face a £1-a-minute fine slapped on them by an NHS practice.Dental body corporate, Integrated Den…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/fines.png
Can you win this? Yes you can!^
The Preventive Practice of the Year Award 2009, in partnership with Oral-B, is designed to recognise the UK practice with the strongest, best established and well though out preventive ethos, whether it be NHS, private or mixed. As a team, you will successfully communicate the oral health message to your patients, you will work together to raise oral health standards and you will regard prevention as your number one priority above all else.
Who will be judging?
An independent panel of judges including members of the Preventive Dentistry editorial board will compile a shortlist of four finalists from all entries received, and the final say will rest with them.
How do I enter?
To enter, submit your details and 500 words explaining why your practice deserves to win. You may submit as much material as you wish to support your claims such as photographs (please send hard copies as well as electronic), patient testimonials or PR.
The more effort you make to present clear reasons why you should win, the more impressed the judges will be. The cost for entering the competition is £15 per practice.
If you would like to pre-register, please email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a prize?
If you are lucky enough to win, you will be exposed as an example of excellence to dental practitioners up and down the country. You will also win £500 for your practice to spend as you wish. Perhaps you could use it for a sophisticated team night out, or that new piece of equipment you’ve had your eye on.
This Award will help you get your practice the recognition it deserves.
What is the deadline?
All entries must be received by 30 October 2009. Enter now…
Thanks to our sponsor
Finally, a special ‘thank you’ must go to our official partners, Oral-B, without whom this Award would not be possible.
^1251158400^2079^Can you win this? Yes you can!^The Preventive Practice of the Year Award 2009, in partnership with Oral-B, is designed to recognise the UK practice with the strongest, bes…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/preventiveaward.png
Devon dental practice is cream of the crop^
Devon dental practice ‘committed to providing patients with quality gentle dentistry’ has been rewarded by the British Dental Association (BDA).
Trinity Dental Centre in Barnstaple, Devon, was accredited as a British Dental Association Good Practice and has joined its Good Practice Scheme.
As a member of the BDA’s Good Practice Scheme, each member of the practice team has signed up to the following 10-point commitment.
1. Providing a quality service
2. Meeting your needs
3. Making sure treatment is comfortable and as convenient as possible
4. Looking after your general health whilst receiving dental care
5. Following BDA guidelines on infection control
6. Checking for mouth cancer
7. Taking part in continual professional development
8. Training our team in work systems and reviewing training plans yearly
9. Welcoming feedback and dealing promptly with complaints
10. Working safely under General Dental Council guidelines.
For the last 12 months, the team at Trinity Dental Centre has been working to comply with 102 requirements of the BDA scheme.
Practice manager Julie Winfield said: ‘It has been hard work, but everyone has found
it worthwhile and we really do feel that we have improved our service to patients.’
Practice owner Donna Hill said: ‘We are committed to providing our patients with quality gentle dentistry and a kind and understanding way, and I am delighted that we have now been recognised by the British Dental Association as achieving this. Our commitment is ongoing and we will continually strive to ensure this in the dental care that we provide.’
^1247529600^2078^Devon dental practice is cream of t…^Devon dental practice ‘committed to providing patients with quality gentle dentistry’ has been rewarded by the British Dental As…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/trinity-copy.png
Obituary for Dennis Carroll ^
Dennis Carroll, 25 May 1946-10 June 2009
Dennis Carroll first burst into my life in the late 1980s when he joined the executive and finance committee of the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF), of which I was also a member.
His enthusiasm and dedication was infectious, and over the next few years he took the lead in developing the educational resource sales and leaflet range of the Foundation, bringing his knowledge of sales to the dental profession as dental manager of 3M dental to the table.
Never one to do things by halves, when Dennis felt that commitments to the British Dental Trade Association (BDTA) as a council member would detract from his work with the Foundation, he left the Foundation committees in 1993, but always remained a staunch advocate and a great supporter.
His legendary energy and enthusiasm was given for many years to the BDTA where he rapidly attained high office and was elected president in 1994. Here, he rejuvenated and reshaped the organisation, making it more inclusive and responsive and, by exerting his personal charm and magnetism, increased the membership during his presidency.
Breaking with tradition and unwilling to lose his talents, the BDTA members voted to extend his presidency for a further year and he continued to serve continuously on BDTA Council until 2004 when he retired from the dental industry. On his retirement he was elected to the BDTA roll of honour, an award reserved for very few exceptional people and a distinction of which he was very proud.
Not content with his great impact within the UK dental industry, Dennis also served as the representative of the BDTA in Europe on both FIDE and ADE where his charm and enthusiasm endeared him to colleagues from across Europe. Although he spoke no other languages, he was always able to communicate with his colleagues using his measured and clear approach.
Dennis was instrumental in developing the collection and distribution of dental market data across Europe, no mean feat when this involved sharing sensitive commercial information. He continued to fulfill this role after his retirement and it was at a press conference to launch the latest set of data in Cologne in March that I last saw Dennis. His performance as always was accomplished and entirely without notes.
Dennis was persuaded to rejoin the Trustee Board of the BDHF in 1998 and continued to provide his wise counsel until his untimely demise. He was instrumental in helping to guide the transition from a hands-on Board of Trustee to a true Governance body. He was elected president in 2006 in which role he served for two years. His passion for dentistry and for the Foundation was obvious to all who met him.
Dennis’ impact at the Foundation in his years as a trustee cannot be overstated. He was energetic and focused throughout the most recent years of the growth of the foundation and many people will recall his impassioned speeches at the launches of both National Smile Month and Mouth Cancer Awareness campaigns at the House of Commons.
Few could match Dennis’s commitment to the cause and he was a regular visitor to the Foundation’s head offices in Rugby. A telephone call would often be Dennis enquiring after the health of a staff member or simply thanking staff for their efforts. Dennis’s aversion to email was legendary – so there was a steady stream of printed emails being sent to his home by post.
As an active member of the Foundation Trustee board, Dennis fought for the best interests of oral health promotion and was a passionate advocate for the Foundation at any event he attended.
In his private life he had a passion for wildlife photography, the countryside and birds. He would often arrive at Board meetings with pictures from his most recent wildlife photography trip, most notably to India to photograph wild tigers. He fulfilled a lifetime ambition of moving to Scotland where he could indulge this love of nature and could be seen binoculars in one hand and glass of red wine in the other observing the wildlife in his surroundings.
Unfortunately this sojourn in Scotland was to be short lived and Dennis was taken ill and rushed to hospital in April. Whilst he fought bravely to recover, this was not to be.
Dennis will be missed not only for his sense of humour, his wry smile and his passion for a cause, but also for the loyalty he repeatedly demonstrated to any cause or individual in which he had faith and belief.
Our sympathy goes to his partner Kath, who he always referred to as his ‘young lady’, his children Nicky and Paul and his grandchildren.
Dennis will be missed by many, but I for one have lost a valued colleague, mentor and friend.
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NHS registration figures are up, but varied^
Figures show that the number of people registered with an NHS dentist has risen 14% in a year.
However, wide variations persist across Scotland where more than 3.3 million people in Scotland had an NHS dentist, up from 2.9 million a year ago, by the end of March.
The statistics revealed that levels of registration varied around the country, with rates for adults, in some areas, dropping as low as 35%.
Published by ISD Scotland, the figures showed that 61% of adults and 80% of children were registered with a dentist at the end of March – compared with 53% and 74% a year ago.
But rates vary across the country, with a low of 54% for children in the Western Isles and a high of 90% in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. For adults, the percentage registered with an NHS dentist ranged from 35% in Grampian to a high of 75% in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Opposition parties said parents faced a ‘postcode lottery’ when trying to secure an NHS dentist for their children. Six health boards have yet to meet a national target for 2010-11 of 80% of three-five-year-olds registering with an NHS dentist.
Almost £222 million was spent on NHS dental care in 2008-9 – up 10.2% on the previous year. The average cost of treating a child increased from £54 to £60, while the cost for an adult went up from £35 to £39.
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Dental team to log training at the click of a mouse^
Dental professionals will be able to track and submit continuing professional development (CPD) returns online for the first time next month.
Around 47,000 dental care professionals need to provide an annual declaration of continuing professional development (CPD) hours this summer – and a new section of the eGDC website aims to help.
All dental care professionals who registered before 30 July 2008 – and paid the annual retention fee by 31 July this year – will receive their Annual Practicing Certificate and a letter with instructions on how they can log on to the eGDC website to fill in their annual CPD hours electronically.
DCPs will also still be able to submit a return form which will be sent out with the letter this August.
A telephone helpline and email advice service will go live in August to help with any questions registrants may have in filling out their paper forms or hours online.
The new online facility will allow professionals to track and record CPD hours over their five-year cycle at the click of a mouse.
If they have previously submitted paper forms, they will be able to edit and add hours from their current five-year cycle online. Once they’ve entered their hours for this year, the site will tell them how many hours they have left to do.
The deadline for professionals to submit their hours is the end of September.
GDC Registration Development Manager Sarah Arnold said: ‘Lots of registrants tell us that the eGDC website is very user-friendly. As well as submitting your CPD returns you can also check and update your contact details that appear on the Register, pay your annual retention fee by credit or debit card, set up a direct debit and access your annual practising certificate.’
Professionals can contact the GDC by emailing email@example.com or calling the customer advice and information team on +44 (0) 845 222 414.
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Shoppers bag a dentist at supermarket ^
Shoppers at a supermarket can bag a place at an NHS dentist this week.
Staff from the Tewkesbury House Dental Practice still have 10,000 places to fill – and this week they are heading to the Sainsbury’s store in Gloucester to get shoppers to sign up.
With most NHS dentists in the county full to capacity, practice manager Julie King said it was a great opportunity for people without a dentist to get access to treatment.
She said: ‘We want to talk to anyone who is looking for an NHS dentist. We are taking patients from across the county. There are 10,000 spaces left because people just don’t realise we are here.’
The practice has been open for just over six months but is only running at a third of its full capacity.
Dental staff will be in the foyer of Sainsbury’s today and tomorrow (Thursday 16 and Friday 17 July from 10am until 4pm).
^1247702400^2083^Shoppers bag a dentist at supermark…^Shoppers at a supermarket can bag a place at an NHS dentist this week.Staff from the Tewkesbury House Dental Practice still have 10,000 plac…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/trolley.png
Report recommends canning Dental Treatment Benefits Scheme^^1247788800^2089^Report recommends canning Dental Tr…^^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/patient-in-pain.jpg
She shall go the ball!^
Elizabeth Summan from Edgbaston Dental Centre registered for tickets to BDTA Dental Showcase 2009 and was selected as the winner of 10 complimentary Bridge2Aid Charity Ball tickets.
Out of the thousands of people that have registered for tickets to this year’s BDTA Dental Showcase so far, Elizabeth Summan was picked at random and won 10 tickets for herself and members of the dental practice in which she works.
Liz Jennings, business manager at the Edgbaston Dental Centre said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to have won tickets to such a worthwhile event and our thanks go to the BDTA. I am sure the evening will be a great fundraising event and that we will all enjoy every moment of it.’
The Ball is taking place on the evening of Friday 13 November 2009 during the BDTA Dental Showcase event at the Hilton Metropole, within the grounds of the NEC, Birmingham and is sure to attract hundreds of people from the dental world.
The event is sponsored by Henry Schein, FMC and Dentsply and has been designed to raise money for Bridge2Aid, the charity running Hope Dental Centre, which is a training and community development programme in Mwanza, Tanzania.
If you would like to find out more information about the ball or book tickets, please visit: www.dentistry.co.uk/charityball.
BDTA Dental Showcase 2009 takes place 12-14 November 2009 at NEC Birmingham. To register in advance for your complimentary ticket, visit www.dentalshowcase.com/visit, call the registration hotline on +44 (0) 1494 729959 or text your name, address, occupation and GDC number to 07786 206 276. Advance registration closes 6 November 2009. On-the-day registration: £10 per person.
^1247702400^2086^She shall go the ball!^Elizabeth Summan from Edgbaston Dental Centre registered for tickets to BDTA Dental Showcase 2009 and was selected as the winner of 10 compl…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/B2A-Ball-logo.png
Dentistry graduates – best record for getting jobs^
Graduate unemployment may have reached a 10-year high but vocational courses – including dentistry – have the best record for getting their graduates into employment with a 99.5% success rate.
Almost one in ten are now not in jobs or further study six months after finishing university.
The recent figures on the destinations of last year’s graduates are the first evidence of the long-term impact of the recession upon university leavers.
Graduates from 86% of institutions in England found it harder to get jobs in 2008 than those who finished university in 2007.
Only 18 of 125 English universities improved their graduate employment rate — including Birmingham, Cumbria and University of the Arts London.
Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary of the University and Colleges Union, said that the figures, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, were ‘grim reading’ for the higher education sector.
The figures show that 9% of graduates in 2007-08 were without work and not on a course half a year after completing their first degree. This was a 2.8% rise on the previous year.
The graduates covered by the research began looking for employment just as jobs began to be shed at City firms and large banks. They were also the first to be hunting for a job during a downturn in numbers of graduate traineeships — which had previously been in abundance.
The study comes as prospects for this year’s finalists look bleak with 80,000 fewer vacancies for graduate-level jobs.
Vice-chancellors warned that the figures showed it was important that graduates had good quality degrees if they wanted to progress to graduate-level jobs.
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Mouth bacteria study aims to protect unborn babies^
A scientist is investigating how to halt common bacterium in a pregnant mother’s mouth which can prove deadly when it reaches an unborn child.
Yiping Han, associate professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine in the US, aims to understand how to build roadblocks for a common bacterium that’s harmless in a mother’s mouth but can become harmful when it reaches the baby.
She has received a five-year, $1.85 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at the National Institutes of Health to fund the effort.
This is the professor’s second NIDCR RO1 award. She’s published more than 10 papers from previous research related to the bacterium, Fusobacterium nucleatum, that creates havoc once it leaves the mouth and enters the blood stream.
She has discovered an adhesin protein molecule, called FadA, in the genes of F. nucleatum. This adhesin, or binding agent, on the bacteria allows them to connect with receptors on epithelial cells in the mouth and later the endothelial cells of the placenta.
In tests, bacteria without FadA had less binding capability compared to those with the adhesin, Han and a team of researchers report on this finding in the July issue of the journal Infection and Immunity.
Professor Han says: ‘We want to block the bacteria before it can do any damage. It’s an upstream approach to go back to where the whole process begins and stop it from starting its destruction.’
Once it leaves the mouth, the invasion of the bacteria through the placenta allows the bacteria to multiple rapidly in the immune-free environment that protects the foetus from being rejected by the mother’s body.
The rapid bacterial growth causes the placenta to become inflamed. In turn, the inflammation can trigger pre-term birth and foetal death.
According to Professor Han, this research into the mechanisms of bacterial transport not only has potential to prevent pre-term and stillborn births, it may have implications in preventing periodontal disease.
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e-Den project blossoms for dental learning^
The national e-learning initiative encompassing dentistry’s foundation years’ curriculum – e–Den – is in its pilot phase and will be launched at The Royal College of Pathologists, London, on 15 October 2009.
The e-Den project is the first major collaboration between the four dental faculties of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of England, Edinburgh and Glasgow and the Department of Health.
It is one of several programmes in different specialties that are being developed as part of the
Department of Health’s e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) initiative.
Registration for the launch is at 9.30am and the day will begin with a welcome from the chief dental officer for England Barry Cockcroft.
Presentations for the day will include an introduction to the programme itself from the e-Den clinical lead, Paul Brunton, a view from a trainee’s perspective and live demonstrations of
The launch will conclude with closing comments from the DoH e-LfH National Director, Julia Moore.
The e-Den project will be available nationwide and free of charge to all NHS trainees and all relevant staff with an NHS contract, and will offer educational support for the two years after graduation.
e-Den aims to be a useful tool for deaneries and VT/GPT schemes to use as part of supporting
postgraduate training for dentistry and promoting a consistent standard of
knowledge, skills and expertise across the country.
if you would like to attend the launch, contact the e-Den project at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7869 6815/6814.
^1247788800^2088^e-Den project blossoms for dental l…^The national e-learning initiative encompassing dentistry’s foundation years’ curriculum – e–Den – is in its pilot p…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/laptop-study.png
Junk food advertising ban to boost dental health^^1248048000^2092^Junk food advertising ban to boost …^^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/doughnut.jpg
Aloe to healthy teeth and gums^
Aloe vera tooth gel is as effective as toothpaste to fight cavities, according to the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.
Aloe vera tooth gel is intended to perform the same function as toothpaste, eliminating pathogenic oral microflora in the mouth. The ability of aloe vera tooth gel to perform that function successfully has been a point of contention for some dental professionals. However, research presented in General Dentistry may alleviate that concern.
The study compared the germ-fighting ability of an aloe vera tooth gel with two commercially popular toothpastes and revealed that the aloe vera tooth gel was just as effective, and in some cases more effective, than the commercial brands at controlling cavity-causing organisms.
Aloe latex contains anthraquinones, which are chemical compounds that are used in healing and arresting pain because they are anti-inflammatory in nature. But, because aloe vera tooth gel tends to be less harsh on teeth, as it does not contain the abrasive elements typically found in commercial toothpaste, it is a great alternative for people with sensitive teeth or gums.
However, buyers must beware. Not all aloe vera tooth gel contains the proper form of aloe vera. Products must contain the stabilised gel that is located in the centre of the aloe vera plant in order to be effective. Products must also adhere to certain manufacturing standards.
Dilip George MDS, co-author of the study, explains that aloe ‘must not be treated with excessive heat or filtered during the manufacturing process, as this destroys or reduces the effects of certain essential compounds, such as enzymes and polysaccharides’.
Dr George suggests that consumers consult non-profit associations such as the International Aloe Science Council to see what products have received the organisation’s seal of quality.
Although there are more than 300 species of the plant, only a few have been used for medicinal purposes.
‘Thankfully, consumers with sensitive teeth or gums have a number of choices when it comes to their oral health, and aloe vera is one of them,’ says AGD spokesperson Eric Shapria. ‘If they are interested in a more alternative approach to oral hygiene, they should speak with their dentist to ensure that it meets the standards of organised dentistry, too.’
^1248048000^2091^Aloe to healthy teeth and gums^Aloe vera tooth gel is as effective as toothpaste to fight cavities, according to the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy …^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/aloe.jpg
Dental decay detector secures UK distribution deal ^
A dental technology firm has signed a £4million distribution contract with a national supply company.
CarieScan, the Dundee-based producer of hand-held devices for the early detection of tooth decay and a subsidiary of 3D Diagnostic Imaging, has struck the UK distribution deal with Clark Dental.
The agreement will see the marketing and distribution company promote the CarieScan PRO tooth decay detection system to the dental market.
The CarieScan PRO device is a lightweight caries detection monitor, manufactured at factories in Livingston and Arbroath, which enables the early detection and monitoring of tooth decay.
It’s claimed that the device measures the presence of tooth decay earlier and more accurately than any other device on the market and is more than 90% accurate in detecting both sound and carious teeth, well ahead of current methods.
It also takes away the risks linked with the repeated use of X-rays.
The company, established in May 2008, uses technology developed by nearby St Andrews and Dundee universities and also say the device detects ‘hidden’ tooth decay, providing dental practitioners with the opportunity to arrest or even reverse decay, driving the trend towards preventive dental care.
It was originally developed by university spin-out IDMoS, which went into administration last year, but 3D Diagnostic Imaging snapped up the rights and assets of the business.
Graham Lay, chief executive of 3D Diagnostic Imaging, said: ‘We bought the assets of IDMoS last May, and we secured £2million of investment to keep the company going, which was 50% Scottish Enterprise and the rest coming from private equity.
‘There were a lot of lessons learned out of the demise of IDMoS, particularly entering into the market as a one-product pony without having access to a working distributor and sales marketing system to make it commercial viable. Trying to do all of it independently meant spending an awful lot of money to get the product to market.’
With the first major deal for CarieScan now secured in the UK, Lay is eyeing the North American market for further expansion.
He said: ‘The UK is our home territory, and Clark Dental, in our estimation, are the most appropriate dental distributor available to us, and they have sole exclusivity to distribute the product in the UK. At the same time we expect to get regulatory clearance for the device in the United States by early autumn, and we already have approval in Canada, so we are in discussions with distributors in those territories.
‘We expect sales in the US and Canada, once approval is granted will be substantial, but at this point I’d rather not put a figure on it.
‘The US has around 160,000 dentist, compared to 22,000 in the UK, so the expectations in the US are substantial.
‘There are other products on the market which claim to do similar things, but there is nothing on the market which measures dental decay like our device does.’
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From dentistry to Capitol Hill^
Second year dentistry student Alan Clarke, alongside three fellow Queen’s undergraduates, is currently on a prestigious Washington posting under an exclusive internship scheme run by the Washington Ireland Program for Service and Leadership (WIP).
Alan is interning for Congressman Tim Murphy. He said: ‘This experience has allowed me to gain insight into how change in the world happens. Working in government is a window into the issues faced by the whole of the USA. I feel privileged to be part of the WIP Class of 2009 and to be in DC at this new chapter in history.’
In week one of their placement, the class met the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, at the US Supreme Court. They have also had the opportunity to listen to award-winning journalist Mark Shields, the Irish Ambassador, Michael Collins, Norman Houston, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau, and the former White House Press Secretary, Mike McCurry.
And, during a recent visit to New York, they enjoyed a series of events at the United Nations, gaining private access to the Security Council Chamber, before going to NASDAQ for an informative session on the market system.
WIP is a US-Ireland charity that is helping to prepare the next generation of leaders for Northern Ireland and Ireland. WIP inspires students from Ireland to lead through service at home and expands their skills by placing them in Washington DC’s most prestigious internships.
More than 350 young adults have graduated from WIP, representing 25 different universities throughout Ireland and the UK. Many graduates are now emerging in important careers in politics, law, business, communications and education. As they move into critical leadership roles, they retain their connection with WIP and continue to give back to their local communities through an active alumni network.
For further information, and details of how to apply for the Class of 2010, please visit www.wiprogram.org.
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Dental course cleans up to meet guidelines^
A new course aimed at assisting in raising the standards of effective decontamination of dental instruments in dental practices is taking place in the autumn.
The Decontamination of Dental Instruments (DDI) course is to take place at Eastwood Park training centre in Gloucestershire.
It aims ensure that staff in NHS and private practice are fully proficient and operating to the latest best practices for dental instrument decontamination as laid down in HTM 01-05 Decontamination in Primary Care Dental Practices.
Failing to operate to these standards not only compromises patients’ well-being, the dentists’ reputation but also his/her ability to continue to practice.
Sue Peckham, Eastwood Park’s training manager (decontamination) says: ‘We already run an extensive infection prevention portfolio at Eastwood Park, however, I am delighted to be able to extend this into the dental sector. Effective decontamination of dental instruments has certainly been in the public arena in recent months following reported cases about poor hygiene standards in dental practices in Bristol and Bournemouth, where dental practices had been found to be inadequately decontaminating instruments.’
‘Best practice is certainly the minimum that dentists’ customers expect and I am sure now the profile on effective cleaning, washing and sterilisation in the practice has been raised, customers will be looking for much more re-assurance that standards are being proactively met. A key part of this process has to be addressed through practical staff training.’
Eastwood Park’s new DDI course includes:
• Day 1 Decontamination and Infection Prevention: an overview of current guidelines and best practice; what is meant by decontamination and the full decontamination process for dental instruments
• Day 2 Operation of Decontamination Equipment: staff responsibilities for decontamination; daily testing requirements; processing of dental instruments; tracking and traceability of instruments
• Day 3 Management of a service: management of issues including HTM 01-05 unit compliance; servicing and periodic testing of equipment; log books and record keeping; as well as training of staff in decontamination
Delegates will be able to attend days 1 and 2, with an optional day 3 aimed at senior staff/managers. (Unit managers are recommended to attend all 3 days).
The first courses will run in October and November. To find out more about the Decontamination of Dental Instruments course call 01454 262777 or visit www.eastwoodpark.co.uk/training.
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2009 Show Guide delivers verifiable CPD^
A new dimension has been added to the Show Guide which accompanies BDTA Dental Showcase 2009.
This year for the first time members of the dental team who attend Showcase will be able to gain verifiable CPD hours by reading and answering questions on a selection of dental and business articles.
Five educational articles will feature in the CPD section of the Guide and will cover clinical dentistry, innovations in equipment and materials, business and finance and customer satisfaction.
The articles will complement the information already contained in the guide which includes exhibitor contact details, a product locator and the latest news about the event.
Tony Reed, executive director at the BDTA said: ‘The Show Guide is essential reading for visitors planning to make the most of their time at BDTA Dental Showcase. I believe that the addition of verifiable CPD articles linked to Showcase will further enhance the value of the guide and add to the overall Showcase experience.’
For further information about the Show Guide CPD and other CPD opportunities available at Showcase 2009 visit www.dentalshowcase.com/CPD.
BDTA Dental Showcase 2009 takes place 12-14 November 2009 at NEC Birmingham.
To register in advance for your complimentary ticket visit www.dentalshowcase.com/visit, call the registration hotline on +44 (0) 1494 729959 or text your name, address, occupation and GDC number to 07786 206 276. Advance registration closes 6 November 2009. On-the-day registration: £10 per person.
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Dental students go global with blog peer reviews^
A UK university has joined forces with dental schools around the globe to build an online peer review forum to evaluate each other’s work.
The University of Birmingham’s School of Dentistry has signed up to International Peer Review in Blog Format, a new media project that encourages ‘professional development and global citizenship’ among dental students.
It will encourage dialogue and collaboration among dental students from the universities of Birmingham, British Columbia, Southern California San Francisco, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Tec Monterrey Mexico and Saskatchewan.
The format allows students from the different dental schools to meet online and evaluate each others’ work by peer review. The project is led by Karen Gardner from the University of British Columbia.
[email protected] for further details and an entry brochure. Alternatively, visit www.dentistry.co.uk/awards2009.
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‘Cocaine’ haul was dental powder^
Officers claimed to have found a stash of 13 kilos of cocaine with a street value of £500,000 after swooping on a pub in Tiverton, Devon, reports www.telegraph.co.uk.
Police said it was the largest seizure of a class ‘A’ drug in Devon and Cornwall and arrested five people on suspicion of possession with intent to supply.
But tests have revealed the ‘coke’ was actually benzocaine.
The four male and one female suspects, aged 22, 38, 42, 43 and 30, were due to answer bail in September.
A police spokesman said they have now been told no further action would be taken following the bust on the Prince Regent pub in May.
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Annual retention fee reminder for dental team^
The deadline for all dental care professionals (DCPs) to pay their annual retention fee (ARF) is 31 July 2009.
Failure to pay will put registration at risk.
It is important to be aware of the deadline, especially dental nurses and dental technicians, who are paying their annual retention fees for the first time.
The GDC has taken the decision not to increase the fee this year.
It remains £96 for dental nurses, dental technicians, dental therapists, dental hygienists, clinical dental technicians and orthodontic therapists.
The quickest way to pay is by credit or debit card on our 24-hour automated payment telephone line on 0800 197 4610 (+44 207 000 3650 from overseas)
For those of you registered online, the eGDC self-service website at www.gdc-arf.com can be used to make payment by credit or debit card.
If you are not yet registered online, all recent ARF related correspondence contains your ID verification, which you will need to create your eGDC account.
GDC Director of Operations, Edward Bannatyne said:’We are doing all we can to make sure people know about the deadline. We also hope you will spread the word among your colleagues. Please don’t ignore the deadline as you need to pay your fee in order to remain on the register.’
^1248393600^2109^Annual retention fee reminder for d…^The deadline for all dental care professionals (DCPs) to pay their annual retention fee (ARF) is 31 July 2009.Failure to pay will put regist…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/clock.png
Celebrity supports mouth cancer fundraiser^
The Mouth Cancer Foundation’s fourth annual 10km sponsored walk will be supported by celebrity Natasha Hamilton.
The former Atomic Kitten member, Natasha, said: ‘Mouth cancer is a disease that has affected my family as it is how my Nan died. The Mouth Cancer Foundation plays a pivotal role in supporting patients and families who have to go through the horrors of mouth cancer.’
The walk, to raise much-needed awareness of the disease, is being held on Saturday 26 September 2009 at 2pm in Hyde Park, London.
A website has just been set up – www.mouthcancerwalk.org – where people can sign up to take part in the event.
The founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, Dr Vinod Joshi, is encouraging dental, medical and healthcare practitioners, as well as friends and family from all over the UK, to sign up and take part in the free 10km walk.
He said: ‘Last year’s walk was a huge success; we are really excited about the fourth annual walk this year. This walk is a great opportunity for mouth cancer survivors, their families and friends, the public and health professionals to come together in a fun outing that will make a big noise in Hyde Park London about mouth cancer, loud enough for everyone to take notice. Costumes are invited if you’re feeling brave!’
There will be free mouth cancer screening on the day, plus prizes available for top individual and team fundraisers as well as top individual and team awareness raisers.
Money raised from the walk will help the Foundation improve its support for patients and carers.
To take part in the free Mouth Cancer Foundation 10km sponsored walk, visit www.mouthcancerwalk.org.
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PCTs urged to play ‘copycat’ to make NHS dentistry a world leader ^
The future of NHS dentistry is in the hands of PCTs prepared to share the secret of their commissioning success.
That was the shared view of Professor Jimmy Steele and chief dental officer (CDO) Barry Cockcroft as they addressed a packed auditorium of dental leaders at The Future of Dentistry, the second of the Westminster Health Forum keynote seminars.
The forum, held in London on 22 July, served as a post-mortem on the Steele-led independent review, published in June and recommending significant changes to the way NHS dentistry is organised.
The review – commissioned last year following widespread criticism of the new contract by the House of Commons Health Select Committee – advised the government that, this time, they must pilot reforms properly in order to succeed.
At the July forum, Professor Steele maintained that change would have to move slowly and be ‘evolutionary’ in order to be effective, but suggested that the sharing of information among those PCTS already successful in commissioning quality dental health care services could improve the process.
He urged PCTs with successful dental commissioning to share information with others, saying: ‘What it comes down to is the ability of those who do get the model to work well, to share that and make sure there is a transfer of information.’
CDO Barry Cockcroft was in agreement. Referring to the review report, he said that ‘this will not, cannot and must not be quick. Making this change must be done in an evolutionary way’.
He accepted that the speed in which changes were made was one of the problems with the 2006 contract and that PCTs will now need more national support in a direct way as there was ‘too much variation between them in their approach to commissioning dentistry services’.
He also added that this needed to be high-quality local commissioning, and, looking ahead, he, too, is keen to see communication between PCTs.
His message was do it, evaluate it, plagiarise it to develop a national protocol.
Citing Bradford, Tower Hamlets and Salford PCTs as leading lights in commissioning, Dr Cockcroft said: ‘One things that’s nice is that both Bradford and Tower Hamlets acknowledge that there’s some plagiarism in their programme towards Salford, and Salford is so pleased to be plagiarised.
‘Plagiarism is the highest form of compliment and also the quickest way to do your work. It’s the best way to make progress.’
Professor Steele began his address with what he called a ‘bold statement‘, suggesting ‘NHS dentistry could lead the world in providing an oral health service’.
He said: ‘This time, the changes have to be piloted over a long period of time as 60 years of habit needs to change, so the profession should “edge” towards it.’
He dug deep into the annals of history and put the blame for the UK’s poor dental health in the past 60 years firmly at the door of that ‘high energy cheap import’, sugar. He talked of an NHS dental profession brought up on ‘this diet of high caries and low expectation. And, of course, that world is changing and changing quite fast.’
In his address that followed, CDO Barry Cockcroft reiterated the NHS promise that ‘anyone who wants to should be able to access an NHS dentist by April 2011’ and announced that the latest data regarding access figures will be published on 20 August.
A lively questions-and-answers session followed for which the duo were joined by Jimmy Steele’s review team – Eric Rooney, a consultant in dental public health for four PCTs in Cumbria and Lancashire, Janet Clarke, clinical director of the salaried dental service in Birmingham and deputy director of the provider services in Heart of Birmingham teaching PCT, and Tom Wilson, director of contracting and performance with NHS Tameside and Glossop.
Topics debated included:
• how the government propose to offer IT support to NHS dentists
• how the three-year warranty for dental treatment will work
• the clarification of plans for specialists
• the crossover between the Steele report and Mike Warburton’s dental access programme (DAP)
Lord Colwyn, member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, chaired the forum.
Rounding it up, he thanked the two speakers for a ‘stimulating and interesting’ address and noted how all questions in the Q&A session ‘hit the nail right on the head’.
Closing the forum, he commented: ‘The review is a natural progression of change following on from the Health Select Committee review.
‘All parties are looking forward to constructively making the change to the delivery of NHS dentistry in England. Meaningful piloting and engagement with the profession and patient groups will be the key to developing new arrangements.’
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HSE helps dentists bridge the language divide^^1248739200^2111^HSE helps dentists bridge the langu…^^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/EMA.jpg
Pensions expert has good news for retiring dentists^
Six of the top annuity companies have raised their annuity rates in the last month. And according to pensions expert Nigel Callaghan, this can only prove good news for retiring dentists.
Despite the long-term trend for annuity rates being downward, he says there have been some short-term blips in this trend, and the majority of all annuity price changes since early June have seen rates holding steady – or actually increasing.
Nigel, pensions analyst with Hargreaves Lansdown, suggests that if dentists are thinking of taking an annuity soon, now could be a good time.
He says: ‘Many dentists have made substantial private pension contributions. The difference in their retirement annual income can often be huge by buying the best value annuity. Today’s dentists will be a long time retired – it really pays to squeeze as much income from their pension savings as possible.’
Since the onslaught of the credit crunch annuity rates have become far more volatile and he predicts that this is likely to continue in the coming months.
The latest development is that the income provided by investments that back annuities has increased significantly, allowing insurers to pass on these benefits to investors in the form of a larger retirement income.
Many of these income improvements are across all age ranges and cover most types of annuity options meaning good news for thousands of investors.
The extra annual income will be payable for the rest of an investor’s retirement – that can easily be 25 years or more.
Nigel says: ‘This can all add up to potentially thousands of pounds more income over their lifetime. When you buy your annuity, you lock into that particular rate and income for the rest of your retirement – no matter how long that is. This really can mean that a small increase in retirement income can make all the difference.
‘As you approach your retirement it is important to shop around to make sure that you are receiving the best possible annuity income. Often you can get significantly more than your current pension company is offering you.’
He adds: ‘Getting quotations from the top annuity providers can be quick and easy when you use a free annuity search service to review the market on your behalf. Their expertise increases the likelihood of searching out the best deals for you and making your pension savings stretch as far as possible. And this can be up to 30% higher than the income offered by your own pension company.’
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Portsmouth: next port of call for a dentistry debate^
Professor Jimmy Steele, author of the independent review into dentistry, is to discuss his vision of the future of NHS dental provision at an open forum in Portsmouth next month.
NHS Education South Central has collaborated with the School of Professionals Complementary to Dentistry to stage the event.
Professor Steele will address the audience on the findings of his independent review of NHS Dental Services in England and his presentation will be followed by an open forum, chaired by Helen Falcon, postgraduate dental dean, NESC.
It’s being held at The Portland Building at the University opf Portsmouth on Friday 28 August.
There will be a nominal fee of £10.00 per participant to cover light refreshments, and the meeting has been approved for three hours of CPD.
Please book through the NESC website at www.nesc.nhs.uk.
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Dental team crosses bridges to raise cash for slum kids^
A dental team walked the bridges of London at the weekend to raise much-needed funds for the slum children of India.
On Saturday (26 July), all the team members at Sparkle Dental Boutique in Hanwell, west London, crossed the bridges of London from Battersea Bridge to London Bridge in aid of UK charity, Children Walking Tall (www.childrenwalkingtall.com).
It’s dedicated to helping slum and street children in India and provides food, shelter, medical care and education.
This is a highly innovative project that we are confident will help towards positive progress in children’s oral health – Dr Nigel Carter
The initial idea was Mike’s, 52, who qualified from Guy’s in 1980. Sara, 43, qualified from Guy’s as a registered general nurse in 1986. She’s the practice partner and Smilescool’s CEO.
Sara explains: ‘It was borne out of his frustration that, after 23 years, nothing had really changed in the way we approach the delivery of the care of children in general practice i.e. in the main, we still wait until something goes wrong before we fix it. We do nothing to address the fact that both tooth decay and gum disease are preventable and that someone, sometime has to take a longer view and ensure children are empowered to be proactive by knowing exactly “how and what” they need to do to keep their mouths healthy for life. Being told to clean “more”, clean “better” and “not eat sweets” really doesn’t hack it. Mike was – and is – determined to leave some kind of legacy that will move forward the experience of dentistry and the lifelong outcomes with regard to improved oral – and general – health for today’s children.
She explains: ‘At a time in our careers when most of our peers are feeling that they’ve “made their mark” – and as a result are looking to coast gently towards retirement – Mike and I decided to undertake the biggest challenge of our careers to date.’
With two mixed NHS/private dental practices and two nursery schools, they decided to embrace the concept of their new-style practice to be used as the base and launch pad for the visionary approach to delivering children’s dentistry – Smilescool.
At the heart of the practice, in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, is the dedicated Smilescool children’s waiting-area that boasts computers and seating set knee-high to an adult, a range of dental health education books and their centre for positive oral development (POD), designed as a non-clinical environment to help children grow familiar with the sights, sounds and ‘strange people’ associated with dentistry.
Sara says: ‘By including a specific children’s area within a general practice setting, we’ve tried to ensure that children, parents, grandparents, etc can use the same premises and most of the same personnel. Smilescool is designed to combat or reverse any existing fear of “a trip to the dentist”, teach parents and children to understand how tooth decay and gum disease develop and, most importantly, the skills necessary for their prevention.
‘We recognise that preventive and educational childhood dental care has not always been seen as a priority and, by the time some children see a dentist, problems of decay and bad hygiene habits have already formed. We have provided a system for educating children and parents while encouraging practise and evaluation of their skills on an on-going basis. Smilescool moves away from the reactionary system of waiting for a problem to develop before intervening with repair – we teach that prevention is better than cure. Our goal is to help children enjoy looking after their teeth, teach, empower and motivate them with the skills necessary to do it and instil lifelong habits at the earliest age possible.’
At Smilescool, the team teaches life skills and methods to practise, and assesses each child’s oral cleansing techniques and skills. They dreamed up a measureable and quantifiable solution called M.I.K.E.S (Motivational Index for Kids Education Scoring) system – ‘and it’s not a coincidence that the acronym happens to be my husband’s name,’ Sara jokes. Children may join Smilescool from birth – and by the time they reach the age of three each member will visit the practice for 90 minutes, three times a year.
During each session, the children are given all of the tools to assist them at home which includes:
• support information
• a pen torch
• mouth mirror
• disclosing tablets
• a score sheet
• wall chart
• scoring stickers.
Smilescool can even benefit nursing mums. Sara explains: ‘Smilescool can provide an invaluable social network and can be the first point of contact for mums. We offer advice, assistance, tips and information both for pregnant and nursing mums and their babies and toddlers. You name it, we’re there – from explaining the importance of vigilant gum care during pregnancy, to teething and weaning, advising on the problems of thumb and dummy sucking to the solutions for oral thrush.’
The concept for Smilescool has attracted interest from across the sector and within the media. The Smilescool programme has received endorsement and recognition from the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF), Birmingham Dental Hospital, and the practice has developed working partnerships with both Aquafresh and DPAS. Smilescool is now being rolled out across the UK in the form of affiliation.
BDHF chief executive Dr Nigel Carter says: ‘The Foundation is delighted to be working with Smilescool, whose system will assist the important change to a new emphasis on preventive dental care. Providing a fun environment and educating children in dental hygiene habits will also help transform the image of a trip to the dentist. This is a highly innovative project that we are confident will help towards positive progress in children’s oral health.’
With regards to expansion into Europe and possibly, worldwide, Sara says: ‘We’ll have to watch this space! However, I can report that we have already had an enquiry from Salt Lake City.’
Fees start at £4.50 per month and go up to £15.73 per month. Practice owners interested in finding out more about Smilescool can visit www.smilescool.co.uk
How Smilescool works
• Attendance is encouraged from birth/six months
• Children enrol for a 12-month period into groups with children of their own age
• From 3-4yrs of age, attendance is three times a year for 90 minutes each session
• Makes use of all DCP team’s skills and knowledge, not just relying on ‘the dentist’
• Non clinical (Centre for Positive Oral Development) as well as clinical environment is provided – promotes orientation, familiarisation, continuity, trust, acceptance and enjoyment
• Programme includes care, treatment and educational content
• Large range of purpose-designed/age-specific educational/practice/support materials are provided
• System designed to facilitate practice and weekly monitoring of oral cleaning technique skill development at home
• Reward system
^1250035200^2153^News feature: Children are our futu…^Having gone through the traumas of the ‘wet the toothbrush under the tap and put it back in the mug without brushing’ moments, t…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/Mikey.png
Searching for a better way^
Mike Walsh BDS is principal dentist at his well-established practice, MGW Dental Care, in Bedford. While he has a particular interest in cosmetic dentistry and endodontics, it is his penchant for searching out safer and more effective methods of treatment that command attention. He has the distinction of being the first dentist in general practice to use the now world-renowned Sterilox system for disinfection of dental unit waterlines, and now it seems his exclusive use of Smartseal for endo treatments puts him in the innovative category once more.
What’s wrong with being satisfied?
Mike had been successfully treating patients with Gutta Flow and GP points for many years. The product had been more than adequate and Mike and his nurse, Kerrie, were familiar and comfortable with the process. There were no problems and customers seemed satisfied. But Mike was dissatisfied. He wanted a product that was biocompatible, that wouldn’t affect people with a latex allergy. He wanted a material that provided a better seal than GP – ideally something that actually bonded. There’s nothing wrong with being happy with what you have if it is
working well, but that’s no reason to stop searching for something better.
Mike knew what he wanted and when he read about the launch of Smartseal, his interest was piqued. It certainly filled his criteria: a biocompatible, non-rubber-based, bonding material. It was 2007 and the BDTA Showcase was approaching, so Mike visited the Smartseal stand to find out more. He purchased the product, returned to his practice full of enthusiasm… and put it in his cupboard.
Like so many dentists, once back at the practice Mike returned to his usual routine and didn’t have the time to try something new. Kerrie was unfamiliar with the new product and so wasn’t keen to try it either. Despite knowing that on paper Smartseal ticked all the boxes, and the fact that he had invested money in its purchase, Smartseal remained in Mike’s cupboard until a specific event forced him to try it.
The case for Smartseal
Mike’s case notes read: ‘The patient presented in February 2008 with symptoms at UR6 requiring root canal treatment. The symptoms settled following the first stage of RCT, and the treatment was completed in March 2008 with GP, using the Race system, with our usual protocol of irrigation with hypochlorite, EDTA, and 2% chlorhexidene. ‘The patient returned two weeks later complaining of discomfort and tenderness on touching the side of the tooth. I could detect no cause, did a minor adjustment to the occlusion, and booked in for review a few weeks later. He
re-attended as an emergency appointment five days later, complaining of sharp, shooting sensations and increased sensitivity. Suspecting a missed canal, I re-opened, and being unable to detect any extra canals, I refilled the tooth.
‘He returned again in May 2008 complaining of an ache from the same tooth and tenderness to palpation. I removed the GP, reviewed canal lengths (MB 21mm, DB 20mm, P 20mm), irrigated ultrasonically with 2% chlorhexidene, and dressed with calcium hydroxide. The symptoms settled within a few days, and on return two weeks later, I refilled the canals with GP. The patient returned a month later, reporting that the discomfort settled within a few days of the root filling being placed, but then returned describing it as being “like a nail being driven into the gum”.
That subsided, but now had become tender on touching the side of the tooth with a general ache all of the time, no temperature sensitivity, and not waking the patient.
‘I decided to keep it under review, but in October, as there was no improvement I again removed the GP, and this time I placed Smartseal, which had been languishing in my cupboard since I’d purchased it. Being unused to it, I felt that my handling of the new material was not as accomplished as we had become with Race and greater taper GP, but the symptoms settled almost immediately and the tooth has been problem-free since October 2008.’
Smartseal succeeded where all else failed, which was no surprise to Mike and Kerrie. Their only issue was how fiddly it seemed to use. Mike had always used tweezers to place points, and so naturally he emulated the process when using Smartseal. The points were difficult to grasp with tweezers and he embarrassingly had to contend with several flying across the room. And so, despite the fantastic result, Mike and Kerrie returned to their quick, efficient and well-practised GP-based approach until Mike decided there must be a solution and booked them both onto a Smartseal seminar.
Mike said: ‘I really wanted to use Smartseal so we attended a local seminar one evening to find out how we could overcome the drawbacks we had identified. I am very glad we did because the solution was so simple I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself. Smartpoints are much more rigid than traditional points, so tweezers are unnecessary – you can just use your fingers. It’s that simple. With that one problem solved we now use Smartseal exclusively and why wouldn’t we? It is biocompatible, it seals better and it is much easier to use. Both Kerrie and I love it.’
Beneficial to patients
Mike acknowledges that because of its radio-opacity, Smartseal radiographs don’t look as clear as GP. However, he also has experience of X-rays that show perfectly sound root canals
treated with GP that later turn out to be unsuccessful. He says: ‘If you know, as I do, that Smartseal is in there and working better at a microscopic level, then that’s what counts. Once you understand and acknowledge that the material you are using is superior, how it looks on an X-ray is less important.
‘Patients appreciate both my explanation and the fact that I am using what I consider to be a superior product. Let’s put it this way: if I were having a root canal, I would want Smartseal, and
you can’t get a better recommendation from your dentist than that.’
^1250035200^2154^Searching for a better way^Mike Walsh BDS is principal dentist at his well-established practice, MGW Dental Care, in Bedford. While he has a particular interest in cos…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/Jerry-Watson.png
On the right tracks?^
I am 53 and I don’t remember anyone in my childhood who had braces fitted.
Was this because we all had wonderful straight and even teeth? I don’t think so. My own teeth were neglected, due to ignorance or mishap, and heavily filled in the 1970s, where it seemed that dentists who catered for the masses were on a mission to fill as many teeth with ugly amalgam as possible. Of course, it may be that the well-heeled parents in those days took their gap-toothed offspring to orthodontists, but it was certainly not de rigeur for the ordinary, as it seems to be nowadays.
In the early 1980s I had two small daughters. We went regularly to the dentist and, subsequently, orthodontists and rows of tortuous-looking metal devices were fitted to their little mouths. My girls cried with sore gums and aching faces and I almost took them back to have the braces removed. Of course, as a doting mum, I always felt that straight teeth would only add to the given attractiveness of my two girls.
However, sitting in the waiting room on all those appointments, I couldn’t help but wonder about the merits of fitting braces to the spotty or ugly that were lined up for the ministrations of the always apparently fraught NHS orthodontists.
There was always the implication that the NHS was doing an enormous favour for those of us who could not even contemplate the cost of private orthodontic care. I found it difficult to get appointments, and had a misplaced sense of guilt at having to pull the girls out of school if after-school appointments were not available.
Now, it seems that braces are often a fashion statement, with adverts for invisible braces for fully grown adults who have presumably managed to live adequately with a few gaps in their teeth or a crooked canine or two. The cynic in me would suggest that this is a trend which has evolved in our celebrity-obsessed world of trying to achieve perfection.
I recently read an article that suggested that scientific developments have successfully grown new teeth from stem cell therapy and that the boffins have achieved producing teeth in a test tube.
I just hope they will be straight and even!
^1250121600^2155^On the right tracks?^I am 53 and I don’t remember anyone in my childhood who had braces fitted.Was this because we all had wonderful straight and even teet…^
Twittering about Dental Showcase^
BDTA Dental Showcase has joined the long list of celebrities who are sharing snippets of their lives, courtesy of the social networking website Twitter.
The online microblogs have caught the imagination of thousands and Twitter has been described as ‘one of the fastest growing phenomena on the internet’.
Now, Dental Showcase has a presence on www.twitter.com and regularly updates its page with the latest news about the event.
If you are already registered with Twitter, simply type Dental Showcase into the ‘who are you looking for box’ on the ‘Find People’ page.
Tony Reed, executive director at the BDTA says, ‘With millions of people around the world using Twitter everyday to communicate and stay connected, we felt it was an ideal platform for keeping people in the industry up to date with Showcase developments.’
BDTA Dental Showcase 2009 takes place 12-14 November 2009 at NEC Birmingham. To register in advance for your complimentary ticket visit www.dentalshowcase.com/visit, call the registration hotline on +44 (0) 1494 729959 or text your name, address, occupation and GDC number to 07786 206 276. Advance registration closes 6 November 2009. On-the-day registration: £10 per person.
^1250121600^2156^Twittering about Dental Showcase^BDTA Dental Showcase has joined the long list of celebrities who are sharing snippets of their lives, courtesy of the social networking webs…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/logo.png
Dental nurses unite at conference^
The 2009 National Dental Nursing Conference, sponsored by the British Dental Trade Association, will be held at the Cheltenham Chase Hotel, near Cheltenham, on 23 and 24 October 2009.
Outgoing President Angie McBain will hand over to Sue Bruckel at the opening ceremony and presidential inauguration, at which the keynote speaker will be Hew Matthewson, president of the GDC.
At the closing ceremony, sponsored by Phillips Sonicare, the new president will introduce new members and first-time delegates, present fellowships and congratulate members on their achievements.
Presentations will include:
• cross-infection control (sponsored by Schulke)
• personal development (sponsored by Colgate)
• chiropractics, dental technology, professional indemnity, health and safety, oral/max fac surgery, implants (sponsored by Nobel Biocare)
• the new BSc for DCPs
• medical emergencies, special needs, speech therapy and forensic dentistry (sponsored by Phillips Sonicare).
The annual general meetings of the British Association of Dental Nurses and the BADN national education group will also be held.
The conference registration fee of £120 for BADN members or £195 for non-members also includes breakfast canapés, lunch and refreshments on both days, as well as the black-tie presidential dinner.
BADN has also negotiated a special bed-and-breakfast rate for delegates at the Cheltenham Chase (www.qhotels.co.uk/hotels/the-cheltenham-chase.aspx) for the nights of 22, 23 and 24 October 2009. To reserve rooms, please contact the hotel direct quoting ‘BADN’.
Last year’s conference was such a success we had to turn people away as we just didn’t have room, so early booking is essential.
And for those arriving the day before conference, we have arranged special discounts in the hotel’s spa with an express facial at £15, bronze manicure/pedicure at £15 each and an express back, neck and shoulder massage at just £20.
To book or for further information, visit www.badn.org.uk.
^1250121600^2157^Dental nurses unite at conference^The 2009 National Dental Nursing Conference, sponsored by the British Dental Trade Association, will be held at the Cheltenham Chase Hotel, …^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/nursey.png
Chewing tobacco may cause mouth cancer rise^
Tobacco chewing is causing an ‘alarming’ rise in cases of mouth cancer in east London, health chiefs warned today.
Chewing paan, a mixture of tobacco and areca nut, is leading to a high number of patients in the Bangladeshi community in the London borough of Tower Hamlets being diagnosed, experts at Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in Whitechapel have revealed.
The findings emerged in a screening programme in the East End, led by Bart’s, when 1,300 people were tested for early signs of mouth cancer.
Most were from the Bengali community. One in 15 people were referred for further investigation.
The findings come in the same week that figures suggest that, nationally, alcohol is largely to blame for the rise in the rate of oral cancers among men and women in their forties.
The figures, released by Cancer Research UK, showed that since the mid-1990s, rates of oral cancers have gone up by 28% for men in their forties and 24% for women.
Anand Lalli, a clinical lecturer in oral surgery, said: ‘In parts of south Asia where paan usage is widespread, oral cancer is one of the commonest causes of death from all cancers. If oral cancer is caught early on, there is a good chance of curing it. But it becomes far less easy to treat the longer it is left.’
A team from the Centre for Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences used a mobile dental unit to tour areas of East London, targeting the Bangladeshi community, especially those who rarely visited a dentist.
He advised regular dental check-ups for people worried about oral cancer, saying: Your dentist is trained to spot the early signs of oral cancer such as ulcers or red or white patches on the gum or tongue. If you have any of these symptoms now you should see your dentist or doctor without delay.
‘If oral cancer is caught early on then there is a very good chance of curing it. But it becomes far less easy to treat the longer it is left,’ he said.
The Mouth Cancer Foundation has produced a new free leaflet in a bid to raise awareness of the symptoms of mouth cancer and risk factors. People can visit the charity’s website to request leaflets.
To get your free leaflets, send an online request via the website www.mouthcancerfoundation.org.