Today's Dental News

Using Xylitol to Prevent and Control Cavities

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CHICAGO—If there’s one thing that all dentists have in common, it’s that they regularly see young patients with tooth decay. Roughly 42 percent of children ages 2 to 11 have had decay in their primary teeth, while approximately 32 percent of children ages 9 to 11 have decay in their permanent teeth. Although it’s vital for all patients to brush and floss every day, children in particular can improve their oral health by adding xylitol to their daily oral hygiene routine, according to an article published in the July 2010 issue of AGD Impact, the monthly newsmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

“Sugary foods and sticky candies can be difficult for children to resist, but they are a serious source of tooth decay, particularly when they get stuck in the crevices between teeth,” said Scott Cayouette, DMD, FAGD, spokesperson for the AGD. “Additionally, many children consume large amounts of soft drinks and sports drinks, which are known to have a high acidic pH and sugar content—a recipe for disaster in terms of tooth decay.” These dietary factors—combined with the possibility that children are drinking more unfluoridated tap or bottled water—might explain why the rates of tooth decay are rising.

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New Process Could Improve Dental Restoration Procedures

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Oral surgeons may one day have an easier, less costly approach to one important aspect of dental restoration, thanks to a newly patented process developed by researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The process computerizes the method for creating a dental bar, also called an overdenture. For dental restoration procedures, the device is the bridge connecting dental implants to dentures.

The computerized approach was developed by Dr. Ming Leu, the Keith and Pat Bailey Missouri Distinguished Professor of Integrated Product Manufacturing at Missouri S&T, and one of Leu’s former students, Amit Gawate, who received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 2005. Leu and Gawate were recently awarded a patent for their process.

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Aid Workers Killed in Afghanistan

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Tom Grams was motivated to help the people of Afghanistan.

Soon after the 9/11 terror attacks, the Durango, Colo. dentist heard a speech about the way the Taliban treated people. The speech was given by a man who had his teeth knocked out after a beating by the Taliban. After offering to work on the man’s teeth, Grams knew he had to find a way to do more of this.

He started by volunteering in Nepal and India, and making more than 5 visits to Afghanistan. He gave up his dental practice in Colorado to do this work.

Grams, 51, was one of 10 members of a medical team whose bodies were found Friday. They were murdered on their way back to Kabul, the Afghan capital.

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Six Dental Myths

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BOSTON (August 5, 2010) — Brushing, flossing, and twice-yearly dental check-ups are standard for oral health care, but there are more health benefits to taking care of your pearly whites than most of us know. In a review article, a faculty member at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) debunks common dental myths and outlines how diet and nutrition affects oral health in children, teenagers, expectant mothers, adults and elders.

Myth 1: The consequences of poor oral health are restricted to the mouth

Expectant mothers may not know that what they eat affects the tooth development of the fetus. Poor nutrition during pregnancy may make the unborn child more likely to have tooth decay later in life.

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University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry Golf Outing

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The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry Golf Outing, an annual event hosted by the College and the UIC Dental Alumni Association Board of Directors, will be held for the second year in a row at Maple Meadows Golf Club, 272 Addison Road, Wood Dale, IL, 70191, (630) 616-8424. Alumni of UIC’s and Loyola’s dental schools, as well as all other individuals, are welcome. The Golf Outing will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 1. The price for golf, a golf cart, and the lunch buffet is $95. For non-golfers wishing to attend, the price for the buffet alone is $35.

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