Today's Dental News

Hygienists Open Business, Save Canadians Money

Dental hygienists in Alberta are trying to make the best of a bad economy.

Hygienists in the Canadian province have opened up their own businesses, enabling patients to get dental services for a fraction of the cost of a visit to the dentist. These hygienists are legally able to do this because of a law that passed in Alberta in 2006. The Alberta Health Professions Act makes it possible for hygienists to open a business and provide basic treatments and services at lower costs than dentists.

Tracey Cote, the president of the Association of Private Practice Dental Hygienists of Alberta, claims that the hygienist offices are ideal for families looking to save money. These hygienists offer cleaning treatments and dental x-rays.

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Researchers Unveil Protein that Could Increase Implant Success

Georgia Health Sciences University researchers have come up with a bone-creating protein that could be revolutionary for implants. The protein could increase the rate of success for implants because it would make thin bones stronger.

Dental implants can’t function properly if the bone the implants are attached to is too thin.

The problem for dentists and implant specialists is that bone thinning is generally associated with tooth loss. Bone grafts are then needed in order for implants to be placed successfully into one’s mouth. But the problem is that more surgery is then needed.

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Zinc May be Hazardous to Dental Patients

A study done by Amar Patel, DDS, and his colleagues at the University of Maryland Dental school claim that zinc, which is an ingredient in many dental products, may be hazardous. The study appears in the March/April issue of the journal of General Dentistry.

Zinc is good for the body when the body is exposed to it in small doses, however, too much is potentially toxic. Some patients could have neurological problems from zinc exposure, and others could experience nausea, a stomachache or mouth irritation.

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Dentists Start to Get Piece of Botox Pie

They say regular brushing, flossing and professional tooth cleaning can take years off your true age. So can BOTOX.

Now, the two go hand-in-hand at some dental offices in Minnesota, where at least a few general dentists are tapping into the two fastest-growing cosmetic treatments of the past decade by offering BOTOX and dermal filler treatments.

“As a dentist, I’m very well-trained in the musculature and anatomy of the face and I feel no other doctor can give an injection better than a qualified and experienced dentist,” said Dr. Michael Skadron, who began offering BOTOX and Juvederm treatments in January at his West River Dental Care in south Minneapolis. “It’s a marvelous fit.”

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Computerized Tomography Scanning Offers New Uses in Oral Surgery Recovery

Computerized tomography (CT) has proved a useful tool in reconstructive dental implant surgery in which a bone graft is required. It provides reliable information in diagnosis and treatment planning and has been used to determine the volume of bone for grafts. Now dentistry is finding postsurgical uses for CT as well.

An article in the current issue of the Journal of Oral Implantology relates two case studies in which CT played an essential role. Both cases used CT scanning before and up to one year after the patients’ oral surgery. With this technology, oral surgeons were able to gauge the healing process following surgery that reconstructs the jaw and prepares it for future implants.

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