Archive for July 2016

FDA Approves Intranasally Administered, Needleless Dental Anesthetic.

The ADA (7/15) reported that on June 29 the US Food and Drug Administration approved “a needleless, intranasally administered spray combination of the ester anesthetic tetracaine HCl plus the vasoconstrictor oxymetazoline HCl (6 mg/0.1 mg per 0.2 mL) for regional maxillary anesthesia.” The article noted that “Kovanaze™ is indicated for regional pulpal anesthesia when performing a restorative procedure on teeth 4 through 13 and A through J in adults and children who weigh 40 kg (88 lbs) or more.”

Regular Dental Scaling May Reduce Infection Risk After Knee Surgery, Study Finds.

The ADA (7/12) reported in continuing coverage that “analysis of data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) found an association between frequent and regular dental scalings and a decreased risk of periprosthetic joint infection” after total knee arthroplasty. Researchers from National Cheng Kung used “a nested, case-control study design,” finding “patients who received dental scaling had a 20% lower risk for infection than patients who did not undergo scaling.” The article added that the findings suggested “the more frequently patients underwent dental scaling, the lower their risk of infection requiring resection arthroplasty.”

Symposium Addresses Oral Health Disparities.

The ADA News (7/11, Manchir) reported the University of California, San Francisco’s Oral Health Alliance Symposium took place June 11, bringing together “more than 60 dental, medical, nursing, dental hygiene and community health professionals” to address oral health “disparities and access to care for children in underserved communities.” Dr. Brent Lin, a clinical professor at the UCSF School of Dentistry, received a five-year, $1.75 million grant from the US Health Resources and Services Administration in 2015, which helped fund the symposium. “Innovation is needed to address the issue,” said Dr. Lin. “Working together with primary health care providers from different disciplines, individuals from different sectors (e.g. administrator in nonprofit community health), people or trainees from different backgrounds are critical and will be the future trend in health care professions.”

        Additional information on Dr. Lin’s work is available at oralhealth.ucsf.edu.

Patients Advised To Consult With A Dentist Prior To Any Tooth Whitening Regimen.

The New York Observer (7/12, Silver) discusses how to achieve and maintain white teeth. The article emphasizes preventive dental care and drinking plenty of water to maintain white teeth, noting that coffee, red wine, and tobacco products may stain teeth. The article states that “Not everyone is a good candidate for teeth whitening,” and also mentions that professional whitening is not effective on crowns and fillings. If a dentist does determine a person is a candidate for teeth whitening, the article encourages the patient to discuss what shade may be achieved from treatment.

        The University Herald (7/11, Valencia) reported that DIY teeth whitening methods “might have negative impacts.” Lemon juice in some DIY treatments, for example, may erode enamel “due to its acidic property.” The article adds that dental experts advise consulting with a dentist when considering teeth whitening.

        MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on teeth whitening. ADA.org provides a Statement on the Safety and Effectiveness of Tooth Whitening Products. In addition, several whitening toothpastes and a whitening product have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

ACA Subsidies To Begin To Include Cost Of Kids’ Dental Plans In 2019.

The Detroit Free Press (7/11, Spangler) reports US Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) “said Monday that the Treasury Department has adopted a future change in benefits” to use “the cost of dental coverage to help calculate a portion of subsidies received by individuals and families under the Affordable Care Act.” The Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service “announced the proposed change – which won’t take effect until 2019 – in Friday’s Federal Register.” The article mentions that currently when providing subsidies “the government does not take into account the cost of standalone pediatric dental plans in determining how much a family receives in tax credits. In some state insurance exchanges, insurance plans are allowed not to include dental coverage as long as the exchange includes separate, standalone pediatric dental coverage.”

Adding Dental Care To Medical Visits Can Help Colorado’s Children.

Dr. Kathryn Hart, a pediatric dentist and director of the NYU AEGD Residency Program at Marillac Dental Clinic, wrote in the Grand Junction (CO) Daily Sentinel (7/3) that providing dental services during regular medical visits will help curb Colorado’s “silent epidemic.” According to the CDC, cavities are “the most common chronic illness among U.S. children.” One in seven Colorado kindergartners has untreated cavities, and “eight of Colorado’s 64 counties are classified as dental deserts, meaning they do not have a dentist providing oral health services.” Hart said a grant the Marillac Clinic received from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation will help fix these disparities. The clinic has hired a registered dental hygienists thanks to the grant, who serves as an “integrated member of the medical care team” who provides “additional services including cleanings, fluoride varnish, sealants and/or x-rays.”

Researchers Developing Fillings That Help Teeth Regenerate.

Newsweek (7/4, Cuthbertson) reports scientists from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University are developing regenerative dental fillings that “allow teeth to heal themselves,” which could ultimately make some root canals unnecessary. The treatment works by “stimulating stem cells to encourage the growth of dentin—the bony material that makes up the majority of the tooth—allowing patients to effectively regrow teeth that are damaged through dental disease.” This represents a “significant step forward” from current methods used to treat cavities. The researchers hope to work with industry partners to make the treatment “available for dental patients as an alternative to traditional fillings.”

        CNET News (7/4, Healey) adds that the research “picked up second prize in the materials category of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies Competition 2016.” Engadget (7/3, Fingas) also covers this story.

        MouthHealthy.org provides information on several dental filling options.

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