Researchers Produce 3-D Map of Individual Atoms of Teeth

Teeth and bone are important and complex structures in humans and other animals, but little is actually known about their chemical structure at the atomic scale. What exactly gives them their renowned toughness, hardness and strength? How do organisms control the synthesis of these advanced functional composites?

Now, using a highly sophisticated atomic-scale imaging tool on a sea creature’s tooth, two Northwestern University researchers have peeled away some of the mystery of organic/inorganic interfaces that are at the heart of tooth and bone structure. They are the first to produce a 3-D map of the location and identity of millions of individual atoms in the complex hybrid material that allows the animal to literally chew rock.

Illiterate Indian Women Perform Root Canal Operation

Bhawri and Kesar Devi of Tilonia village in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district in India have never been to school. They used to work in the fields and also doubled up as village midwives to eke out a living. Now, the two women, in their 50s, are learning tricky dental procedures like root canal operation.

Bhawri and Kesar were chosen by a team of Italian dentists visiting Tilonia’s Barefoot College, an NGO run by Sanjit Roy, popularly known as Bunker Roy. They were looking to train village women to perform basic dental procedures and make villagers aware of dental hygiene.

Young People With Asthma Run a Greater Risk of Developing Caries

Children and adolescents with asthma have somewhat more caries and suffer more often from gingivitis (gingival inflammation) than people of similar age without asthma. This is the conclusion of a thesis presented at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

The work presented in the thesis has examined children, adolescents and young adults in the age groups 3, 6, 12 to 16 and 18 to 24, with and without asthma. The first study revealed that 3-year-olds who suffer from asthma have more caries than 3-year-olds without asthma.

Dental Chain Now Close to Agreements with other Dentists

Allcare Dental, which abruptly closed last week, is nearing agreements with other dentists in many of the cities where it had offices, according to the company’s Web site.

Former patients in Syracuse, N.Y., Iowa, and Ohio now have dentists who will complete the work or perform the scheduled work these patients were to have. Allcare is instructing people with dental emergencies to visit the nearest emergency room or call 911.

New Device Set to Combat Fear of the Dentist’s Drill

An innovative device that cancels out the noise of the dental drill could spell the end of people’s anxiety about trips to the dentist, according to experts at King’s College London, Brunel University, and London South Bank University, who pioneered the invention.

It is widely known that the sound of the dental drill is the primary cause of anxiety about dental treatment, and some patients avoid trips to the dentist because of it. This new device could help address people’s fears and encourage them to seek the oral healthcare treatment they need.

The prototype device works in a similar way to noise-cancelling headphones but is designed to deal with the high pitch of the dental drill. Patients would simply unplug their headphones, plug the device into their MP3 player or mobile phone, and then plug the headphones into the device, allowing them to listen to their own music while completely blocking out the unpleasant sound of the drill and suction equipment. The patient can still hear the dentist and other members of the dental team speaking to them but other unwanted sounds are filtered out by the device.

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