Dr. Dean Ho, from the UCLA School of Dentistry, talks with the Dentist News Network about a study he conducted involving nano-diamond and how they are a very versatile material in both medicine and dentistry.
A brighter, better, longer-lasting dental implant may soon be on its way to your dentist’s office.
Dental implants are posts, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed into the jawbone and topped with artificial teeth. More than dentures or bridges, implants mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. While most dental implants are successful, a small percentage fail and either fall out or must be removed. A scientist at Michigan Technological University wants to lower that rate to zero using nanotechnology.
“Dental implants can greatly improve the lives of people who need them,” said Tolou Shokuhfar, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. “But there are two main issues that concern dentists: infection and separation from the bone.”
Enter a nano-material that can battle infection, improve healing, and help dental implants last a lifetime: titanium dioxide nanotubes
In nursing homes across the country, residents are plagued by cavities, gum disease and cracked teeth, in part because their mouths are not kept clean. While residents now require more dental care than in the past, nursing home employees are rarely prepared to provide it. Aides are swamped with other tasks, and when older charges must be helped to the toilet, fed or repositioned in bed, brushing their teeth often falls to the bottom of the to-do list.
Even when care is available, few staff members are trained to cope with the rising numbers of residents with dementia who resist routine dental hygiene.
Dentures are easier for nursing home staff to clean.Jennifer Whitney for The New York Times Dentures are easier for nursing home staff to clean.
“I always say you can measure quality in a nursing home by looking in people’s mouths, because it’s one of the last things to be taken care of,” said Dr. Judith A. Jones, chairwoman of the department of general dentistry at Boston University. “Aides change someone’s Depends, change a catheter or turn somebody every few hours, but teeth often don’t get brushed twice a day.”