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8/24/2020 10:54:43 PM

Researchers at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine are collaborating on an artificial intelligence (AI) program that scans dental images like panoramic x-rays and alerts clinicians to results that require follow up.

For example, the virtual aide would look for troublesome signs in the xrays while the dentist conducts an exam, providing a less costly and more precise analysis that takes less time.

Projects like this are just apart of a shift toward digital dentistry, as technology transforms a profession that was once mostly dependent on manual skills.  Imaging technologies such as MRIs and CBCT, which produce 3-D cross sectional images, have expanded how dentists can explore beyond the teeth and gums, while panaramic x-rays are 2-D images commonly used in check ups and to plan implants braces and extractions.

But interpretation of these images can be time-consuming, and dental insurance typically doesn’t cover the cost of analyzing an x-ray.  If digital advances could speed up the analysis, the cost to the patient could drop.  But AI isn’t a magic box you stick data in and it gives you answers, you have to input alot of data cultivated by valid experts.  The old “garbage in, garbage out” philosophy.

Even though the results from this initial round are promising, the AI still needs years to assimilate data from hundreds of thousands of more x-rays before it is ready to be used in a dental office.  Even then strictly in a supporting role.

” The computer is not becoming the radiologist,” Dr Aruna Ramesh said.  ” I don’t think it will ever replace a skilled diagnostician.”  Guess he’s never seen Star Trek!

8/20/2019 9:43:34 PM

Teeth are coated with a thin layer of bacteria called plaque.  These bacteria feed off the sugars you eat or drink, and make acid that causes cavities.  Fluoride helps fight these “acid attacks”.  When infants and children eat food or drink water that contain fluoride, it is carried into the teeth developing beneath the gumline.  Fluoride that comes into contact with tooth surfaces in children and adults helps strengthen enamel and fight cavities.  The best sources of fluoride are fluoridated water, fluoride toothpaste and rinses and fluoride treatments from your dentist.  Most communities add fluoride to the water supply, but if you have a private well, it is advisable to have your water tested.  If the fluoride level is not optimal, your dentist can prescribe a fluoride supplement.  Most children no longer need a supplement past the age of 12.  At this point, the adult teeth are mostly formed even if they have not erupted, at which point systemic (internally taken) fluoride is of no benefit.

When using fluoride toothpaste and rinses, they should not be swallowed, as they can cause white spots and discolored teeth. Everyone should brush at least twice a day.  Children younger than 3 should use no more then a smear of toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.  Older children should use a pea sized amount.

Your dentist can apply fluoride gel or varnish to your childrens teeth at their periodic check ups.  And new research is touting the use of fluoride varnish on senior citizens to prevent root level cavities, a serious problem now that people are living longer and keeping their teeth.  And being able to eat is extremely important for our health and happiness as we age!!!


7/30/2019 4:04:04 PM

Yuck!  research conducted throught an unnamed oral care start up found 30% of millenials “brush their teeth once a day”.  The survey of 2000 Americans also found ” The average person had gone more than 2 days at a time without brushing their teeth at least once a day”.  Microbiological studies have shown it takes 8-12 hours for dental plaque (bacteria to organize into a colony and produce the harmful acids that cause tooth decay and other oral maladies.  So do the math!  If you believe in science, 2 times every day is the minimum, with brushing at bedtime the most important time, because ‘natural tooth cleansers’, tongue movements and saliva are not as active during sleep

4/29/2019 5:30:22 PM

Xerostomia is the term used to describe signs and symptoms associated with mouth dryness.                                                                 -Most people experience a dry mouth from time to time from dehydration, mouth breathing or consuming dehydating beverages. While a sip of water may solve temperary dryness when the condition becomes chronic, the effects can be life altering.                                                                 INCIDENCE                                                                                                     Xerostomia increases with age  ~20 % of the population affected with elderly females have higher prevelance of dry mouth due to postmenopausal decline in hormones.                              Complex interplay of aging, systemic diseases and polypharmacy(simultaneous use of several medications for one or more conditions)                                                                       Role of Saliva                                                                                                    Daily production .5-1.5 liters consisting of electrolytes, minerals, enzymes, and buffering agents.                             Involved in lubrication, digestion, taste buffering, protection and clearance. PH 6-7 neutralizes acids to remineralize teeth.                                                                                Signs & Symptoms                                                                                             Dry Mouth and Throat                                                                        Trouble speaking, chewing, swallowing, and                                 diminished taste                                                                                   Chapped, peeling,cracked lips, inflamation at the                        corners of the mouth.                                                                      Telltale signs include abcense of saliva pooling in                         the floor of the mouth, saliva is stringy and the tongue may be dry red and cracked                                                 CAUSES                                                                                                       MEDICATIONS                                                                                                400 + meds can cause dry mouth. Increase the number of meds increases the chances of dry mouth                                              Common Drugs include antidepressants, antipsychotics, beta blockers, antihypertensives                                RADIOTHERAPY                                                                                            Head and neck cancer                                                               SJOGRENS SYNDROME                                                                                 Disease attacks secretory cells of salivary and lacrimal glands causing dry mouth and dry eyes.                               OTHER FACTORS                                                                                            Smoking, drinking alcohol, caffienated  beverages.                     -anxiety and depression                                                                        -Chronic systemic diseases                                                                -Eating disorders                                                                                 -Illicit drugs, Opiates, Methamphetamines,                                      Cannabis                                                                         TREATMENTS                                                                                              8 8oz glasses of water daily                                                                 Dietary modifications                                                                                     avoid spicy, sugary, sticky, dry and crumbly food                            dehydrating beverages such as coffee, soda &                                     alcohol                                                                                     Ask physican if altering or changes drugs and                                    dosage is possible                                                                               MEDICATION                                                                                             Pilocarpine (Salagen)                                                                          Ceveneline (Evocare)                                                                      Nonmedical treatments                                                                          Lozenges, xylital sweetened gum, Mouthwashes(Biotine) and sprays                                                              Meticulous oral care








4/22/2019 10:18:26 PM

Oral appliances are one option for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  While very useful in the treatment of sleep apnea, research has shown sometimes dramatic changes in occlusion (“bite”).

The study concluded these changes to be generally negative, but they should not be treated orthodontically as they are ongoing, and will return post orthodontic treatment.

Even though major dental changes may occur, these side effects should not deter the patient from continued appliance therapy if it proves to be an effective treatment for OSA; since OSA can have very detrimental effects on the subjects overall health.

Conversely, if the patient can tolerate alternate therapies (CPAP), then orthodontic correction of the bite is a possibility.

3/19/2019 3:11:31 PM

Taking a low dose aspirin every day to prevent a heart attack or stroke is no longer recommended for most older adults.  The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association just reversed that idea.  The change comes after a large clinical study found a daily aspirin had no effect on prolonging life in HEALTHY elderly people, and suggested the pills could be linked to major hemorrhages.   Roger Blumental, co chair of the new guidelines,states: “Only select people with a high risk of cardiovascular disease and a low risk of bleeding might consider using it as a preventive measure.  It’s much more important to optimize lifestyle habits and control blood pressure and cholesterol.”

And as dentists, we have known for years that brushing and flossing along with regular cleanings and exams are important defenses against heart attack and stroke, since they reduce inflammation and bleeding and prevent bacterial contaminants from entering the bloodstream.

3/9/2019 7:33:45 PM

According to and Dr Alice Boghosian: “Look, as long as you are brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing or using another interdental aid twice a day you’re good to go.”  She adds, “Mouthwash is not a necessary step to maintain good oral health” Most just freshen your breath. An exception is fluoride mouthwashes which strengthen the enamel and work best if they come last. Personally, I like to floss first to let the fluoride toothpaste penetrate as much as possible.

2/25/2019 4:03:10 PM

During pregnancy changes occur in many body systems.  Most of these are hormonal and can lead to physical changes in the oral tissues, such as gingival (gum) inflammation,and increased risk of cavities and acid erosion.  The ideal time for dental care is early in the second trimester.  In the later stages of pregnancy, comfort and its relation to the angle of the dental chair are important considerations.

So , as a general rule; preventive, diagnostic and restorative (fillings) treatment is safe throughout pregnancy and is essential in improving and maintaining oral health.  It is preferable, however, that elective dental care be avoided in the first trimester for safety concerns, and in the last half of the third trimester for patient comfort.

2/18/2019 5:40:21 PM

The US Food and Drug administration issued a safety announcement warning consumers not to use teething products containing benzocaine on infants and children younger than 2 years of age.  The report details benzocaine’s association with methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced.  Benzocaine products are marketed under brand names such as Anbesol and Oragel.  The FDA has questioned the effectiveness of these products as an additional factor in their warning.  More to follow.


5/7/2018 10:09:50 PM

Researchers at the Creighton University School of Dentistry have concluded that charcoal toothpaste may do more harm than good.

— Read on


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