This Week in Perio
Sept. 15, 2010

Nebraska researchers to study gum disease, rheumatoid arthritis link
The North Platte Bulletin
It's not pretty. Inflamed receding gums. Loose teeth. A buildup of plaque that turns them brown. That's periodontitis. Aching joints. Hands that don't work. Feet that are too painful to move. That's rheumatoid arthritis. Two investigators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center believe the same bacteria cause both diseases. Ted Mikuls, M.D., and Jeff Payne, D.D.S., have joined forces to investigate the link. They are co-investigators on a $1.2 million grant funded by the American College of Rheumatology.More

Peri-implant instrumentation challenges
Dental implants are here to stay, and even if they are not placed or restored in your office patients with implants will be part of your practice. Long-term studies have concluded that the use of titanium implants and abutments to support prostheses are a predictable treatment for partially edentulous and fully edentulous patients. Routine implant maintenance is necessary to maintain peri-implant health and to ensure the long-term success of the implant; however, implants are susceptible to both peri-implantitis and implant failure.More

Health care wastefulness is detailed in studies
The New York Times
In a snapshot of systemic waste, researchers have calculated that more than half of the 354 million doctor visits made each year for acute medical care, like for fevers, stomachaches and coughs, are not with a patient's primary physician, and that more than a quarter take place in hospital emergency rooms. The authors of the study, which was published recently in the journal Health Affairs, said it highlighted a significant question about the new federal health care law: can access to primary care be maintained — much less improved — when an already inadequate and inefficient system takes on an expected 32 million newly insured customers?More

Translating research data into something meaningful for our patients
Dental hygienists routinely assess their patients' oral health by correlating their behaviors, habits, conditions and diseases with current medical and dental data reported in the literature. However, informing patients of their status can be challenging because most patients are neither able to decipher professional language and data nor apply it to themselves. Add to this the appointment time constraints that we face and it is easy to see why information critical to the success of offered treatment and increased patient compliance is often sketchy or not as individualized as it could be.More

The link between bone disease, oral health
Have you taken a close look at your teeth lately? Can they tell you more about your overall health than you might realize? While regular flossing and brushing are great practices to employ, if you take a closer look at your teeth they may have a hidden message for you. Studies have shown that periodontal disease affects nearly 80 percent of both men and women in the United States. This is a chronic infection that targets the gums and the bones supporting the teeth. Bacteria, coupled with the body's own immune system, can begin to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place.More

The top 5 dentistry faux pas that make your practice look outdated
When it comes to attracting new patients, retaining old ones and reconnecting with those you've lost touch, an outdated image could be hindering your efforts. Stay current and read on about the top five mistakes you may not realize you're making.More

Tel Aviv dental school accused of conducting experiments on humans, animals
Haaretz Daily Newspaper
Scientists allegedly are carrying out cruel and unnecessary experiments on cats at the Tel Aviv University medical school. This came to light after photographs of two frightened, abandoned kittens in Tel Aviv University's animal laboratory reached Behind Closed Doors, a nonprofit organization that advocates the rights of animals used in experiments in Israel. The ensuing examination led to committees of inquiry probing complaints filed about experiments conducted on human subjects, including an apparently forged complaint letter and a recent complaint to the police about the goings on in the university's medical school.More

The changing patient
Dental Economics
Dental implants have been shown in some cases to have a greater than 98 percent success rate, yet only about 15 percent of candidates receive implant-supported treatment. One of the reasons for this discrepancy: many patients who are eligible for implants never are presented with this treatment option by their general dentists. This article deals with common indications for dental implants and explains when they are an appropriate treatment option, as well as situations in which dentists should consider consulting specialists before making a treatment recommendation.More

Mike Lawrence: Will state meet challenge of new health care rules?
The State Journal-Register
Patients don't normally embrace their dentists after getting a tooth pulled, and dentists rarely reward patients with a crisp $5 bill. But this was no ordinary day in Gallatin County, population about 6,500, deep in the hills of southern Illinois on the banks of the Ohio. A tyke with a toothache so painful he could not focus on learning became the first customer for a dental clinic debuting in a school-based health complex. After the dentist performed the extraction, the boy hugged him, a clinic worker recalls. "Dr. Settle asked him if he wanted to keep the tooth. He asked 'what for?' The little guy did not even know about the Tooth Fairy. Dr. Settle reached in his pocket and gave the little guy $5 for it."More

Vitamin D helps teeth, bone
Natural Products Insider
New research shows calcium and vitamin D supplementation may help improve periodontal health, including the bone that contains the tooth sockets and anchor teeth to the jaw. Published online ahead of print in the Journal of Periodontology, the study collected data from patients enrolled in maintenance programs from two dental clinics. Of the 51 patients, 23 were taking calcium (at least 1,000 mg/d) and vitamin D (at least 400 IU/d) supplements, while 28 were not; all patients had some form of tooth detachment.More