Consider the Evidence: Fluoride For Healthy Futures

By: Mirissa D. Price, Huffington Contributor

[OPINION]: Fluoride represents a major step toward not just treatment, but also prevention in oral health. Fluoride for healthy futures! The Oral Surgery DC Team

On February 1, 2016, in the late hours of the night, my jaw fell to the floor. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing: 

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And I truly hoped that none of the viewers would believe what they were seeing, either. Because it wasn’t based on evidence – not the kind prefaced by the word ‘science.’

And though a year has gone by since this Dr. Oz episode aired, I just couldn’t let the date pass without a call to action. To all readers, to all viewers, to you Ms. Brockovich, and you Dr. Oz, I don’t ask that you change your mind. Not necessarily. But I do ask that you read this statement drafted with a number of my HSDM 2019 DMD Candidate colleagues, and consider the evidence – the scientific evidence. Because, as a 2019 DMD Candidate at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a future pediatric dentist, I care about your health today and in the future; I care about our communities’ health, and the health of our children, and I care that we make the right choices for everyone today. So, for just a moment, consider . . .

Harvard School of Dental Medicine practices dentistry under a philosophy of evidence-based medicine, providing patients with an up-to-date and research-based quality of care. Unfortunately, the antifluoridation segment on the Dr. Oz show on February 1, 2016, left much to be wanted regarding evidence-based care. In a one-sided depiction of Erin Brockovich’s anti-fluoridation rhetoric, this episode gravely misrepresented the strong foundation of research in support of community water fluoridation. In doing so, this episode not only threatened a public health measure supported by over one hundred health organizations, including the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and American Dental Association, but threatened the oral health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable communities in our nation.

Community water fluoridation took root in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945. Soon, with a capacity to flow beyond the barriers to care dividing our society, community water fluoridation flourished as one of the greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century. Though only 37% of adults will actually visit a dentist in a given year, as of 2012, 200 million people in the United States received service from fluoridated water systems. These 200 million individuals thus had access to not only the remineralizing benefits of fluoride at the tooth surface and corresponding reduction in dental caries, but the associated increase in life satisfaction, employment success, and social confidence.

Unfortunately, Erin Brockovich, an environmental activist, misrepresented the impact of fluoride. She alluded to health risks of fluoride toxicity, citing the decreasing fluoride concentration in water from 1.2 to 0.7 mg/L as evidence of her claims. She further instilled fear in products vital to sustained oral health, including fluoridated toothpaste and natural foods. However, Ms. Brockovich failed to mention that the established safe fluoride levels are less than one-half the Maximum Concentration Limit, and all created within standards of the American Water Works Association and NSF International. Further, she fell short in factually supporting her claims of grandeur, misrepresenting the prevalence of dental fluorosis when this condition, in severe state, only presents in fewer than 1% of the population. The evidence in favor of fluoride is of such strength that even pediatricians are seeking to provide topical fluoride application in the pediatric medical home.

Fluoride represents a major step towards not just treatment but prevention in oral health. The use of fluoridated toothpaste and community water fluoridation has reduced the prevalence of dental caries from 90 to 30% among those age 12-17 years since the 1960s. Caries in adults have also seen significant decline since the introduction of community water fluoridation from 18 affected teeth on average among 35-44 year old adults in the 1960s to 10 affected teeth on average among 35-49 year olds in 1999-2004. As Americans are living longer, so, too, must our teeth, and scientific evidence overwhelmingly concurs that community water fluoridation is a vital component to sustaining our oral health and quality of life.

Thus, with respect for all voices and concern, the dental-medical community asks that the Dr. Oz Show and its viewers consider the scientific evidence in support of community water fluoridation as a strong and guiding voice of its own. Our choices today regarding community water fluoridation most certainly will affect the oral health and quality of life for our children tomorrow.

This statement was drafted as a collaboration of 2019 DMD Candidates at Harvard School of Dental Medicine as part of the Global and Public Health Curriculum, and does not represent an official response statement of HSDM.

Specific contribution is attributed to Jacquelyn Chou, 2019 DMD Candidate Harvard School of Dental Medicine; Justin Montenegro, 2019 DMD Candidate, Harvard School of Dental Medicine; Deepti Shroff, 2019 DMD Candidate, Harvard School of Dental Medicine; Edirin Sido, 2019 DMD Candidate, Harvard School of Dental Medicine; Mirissa D. Price, 2019 DMD Candidate, Harvard School of Dental Medicine; and additional 2019 DMD Candidates at Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

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The doctor said she would live in a nursing home, confined to a wheelchair, crippled by pain; that was thirteen years ago. Instead, Mirissa D. Price is a 2019 DMD candidate at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, spreading pain-free smiles, writing through her nights, and, once again, walking through her days.

Article from: http://buff.ly/2eZj16K

End of fillings in sight as scientists find Alzheimer’s drug makes teeth grow back

The days of fillings could be over after scientists find a drug stimulates stem cells in teeth

 

By Sarah Knapton, Telegraph❗️ Fillings could be sent to the history books after scientists discovered that a drug, already in trials for Alzheimer’s patients, can encourage tooth regrowth and repair cavities! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Fillings could be consigned to history after scientists discovered that a drug already trialed in Alzheimer’s patients can encourage tooth regrowth and repair cavities.

Researchers at King’s College London found that the drug Tideglusib stimulates the stem cells contained in the pulp of teeth so that they generate new dentine – the mineralized material under the enamel.

Teeth already have the capability of regenerating dentine if the pulp inside the tooth becomes exposed through a trauma or infection, but can only naturally make a very thin layer, and not enough to fill the deep cavities caused by tooth decay.

An image showing repair after four weeks (left) and six weeks (right)

But Tideglusib switches off an enzyme called GSK-3 which prevents dentine from carrying on forming.

Scientists showed it is possible to soak a small biodegradable sponge with the drug and insert it into a cavity, where it triggers the growth of dentine and repairs the damage within six weeks.

The tiny sponges are made out of collagen so they melt away over time, leaving only the repaired tooth.

Professor Paul Sharpe, lead author of the study, of the Dental Institute, from King’s College London, said: “The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine.

“In addition, using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics.”

Currently, dentists use man-made cements or fillings, such as calcium and silicon-based products, to treat larger cavities and fill holes in teeth.

But this cement remains in the tooth and fails to disintegrate, meaning that the normal mineral level of the tooth is never completely restored.

However, the new technique could reduce the need for fillings of cements, which are prone to infection and often need replacing a number of times.

When fillings fail or infection occurs, dentists have to remove and fill an area that is larger than what is affected, and after multiple treatments the tooth may eventually need to be extracted.

Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation: “This is an extremely interesting and novel approach which shows great promise and we will look forward to it being translated into clinical application that could undoubtedly be a progressive step in the treatment of dental disease.

“While fillings have remained highly effective in repairing large cavities, they are susceptible to wear-and-tear and can occasionally be in need of repair and replacement. This presents problems as the dentist could have to remove and fill a larger area each time and after numerous treatments the tooth may then have to be extracted.

“Creating a more natural way for the tooth to repair itself could not only eliminate these issues, but also be a far less invasive treatment option for patients. With dental phobia still being very common, using a natural way to stimulate the renewal of dentine could be an especially comforting proposal for these groups, for which undergoing treatment can often be a cause great anxiety.”

The procedure has so far only been used in mouse teeth, but it was shown to ‘fill the whole injury site’.

And Tideglusib has already been shown to be safe in clinical trials of patients with Alzheimer’s disease so scientists say that the treatment could be fast-tracked into dental practices.

The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Article from: http://buff.ly/2tOKxq6

LATEST TECHNOLOGY MAKES DENTAL IMPLANTS EASIER FOR PATIENTS – AND SURGEONS

By Dental Asia

🎉 Good news!! The latest technology will make dental implants easier for patients and surgeons, which means no incisions, minimal discomfort and little disruption! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Dental implants have come a long way. New technology makes it possible to place these tooth root substitutes with no incisions, minimal discomfort, and little disruption to the patient’s life. The latest in dental implant coatings, nanostructured titanium, is even stronger and heals even faster than implants using conventional coatings.

An article in the current issue of the Journal of Oral Implantology reports on the use of this nanostructured titanium and techniques that can shorten the treatment time for a patient. These implants should also decrease the risk of implant failure and disease complications.

When patients need a dental implant, they naturally want their new tooth quickly and with as little pain as possible. Both can be achieved with the latest advances in implant technology. Guided surgery allows an implant to be placed quickly without incisions, and new implant materials let the surgeon set a crown on the implant straight away.

This case report used the latest technology to even greater effect. In this case, the patient needed an implant to replace a missing front tooth. The surgeon successfully combined model-guided surgery with immediate placement of a nanostructured titanium implant, a final abutment, and the tooth.

The nanostructured titanium integrates with the bone faster, is stronger, and is less susceptible to disease than conventional implant materials. The model-guided surgery is highly accurate yet less expensive than computer-based techniques. By using a thin acupuncture needle, the surgeon was able to create the model without anesthetizing the patient. By keeping the original root structure, the surgeon was able to lessen the risk of gum recession.

The combination resulted in a successful implant, without the receding gums often visible when an implant patient smiles. The flapless surgery involved less pain compared to incision-based techniques. The faster process reduced disruption in the patient’s eating and other daily living habits, and discomfort was minimal.

The author concluded that these types of implants have great promise and that nanostructured titanium is particularly appropriate for immediate placement of the implant and tooth. The author noted: “The patient was pleased with the aesthetic result, the improvement in function, and the ease of maintenance.”

Article From: http://www.dentalasia.net/en/news-archive/latest-technology-makes-dental-implants-easier-for-patients-and-surgeons/335

Busboys and Poets in Anacostia May Not Open Until 2018

Rendering of planned Busboys and Poets in Anacostia

by Nena Perry-Brown

Six months ago, construction began at the future site of the first Busboys and Poets restaurant east of the Anacostia River. However, it doesn’t look like the restaurant will open this year as originally planned.

The building at 2004-2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE (map) is currently being built out by nonprofit partner and landlord the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative; however, construction is running roughly three months behind schedule, owner-restaurateur Andy Shallal informed UrbanTurf last week.

2004-2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE

Work on the space that Busboys will occupy was supposed to begin in June once the Collaborative completed their work. Now, factoring in the delay, Shallal and his team likely won’t begin their work until September, at which time it would take an additional 4-5 months to deliver the restaurant. The delay and construction timeline puts an opening date closer to late December-February 2018.

Article From: http://buff.ly/2tkXeMj