November 1st, 2010
Leading dentists are already giving their backing to a new cutting edge product that is claimed to be “the ultimate dentine substitute”. Dentine is one of the substances that makes up the structure of a tooth, needed to support the enamel layer.
Biodentine was launched by manufacturer Septodont in September this year and has already been well received by dentists who see it as an ideal bioactive substitute where the natural dentine layer has been damaged, either in the crown or the root.
The new substance is better than the previous treatments as it promotes the healing of the pulp layer of the tooth, which often also becomes damaged if there are problems with dentine. Biodentine has the same properties as natural dentine and so works more effectively than previous products used in root canal surgery.
Dental surgeons all over the country have already started using biodentine to treat patients, and even in the short time it has been available on the UK market it is already improving the success of the various treatments to replace dentine layers in teeth.
Well-known endodontist Dr Julian Webber described Biodentine as “the perfect root canal repair material,” adding; “With its improved handling ability and quick setting time, Biodentine offers considerable advantages over other similar materials. I cannot recommend it more highly.”
Dental students at the University of Liverpool will find that the product will be introduced into their training as one of their professors is convinced that Biodentine will become the standard in root canal treatment in years to come. Professor Calum Youngson said of the product, “Biodentine finally provides us with a material that closely resembles lost dentine and has the potential to promote, rather than just allow, healing of the pulpitc tooth.”
Biodentine is not currently used at all dental surgeries across the UK, but will become more widely available, especially for private patients, over the next few months.
October 26th, 2010
A government adviser has suggested that people who don’t take care of their own teeth should be refused dental treatment on the NHS. Jimmy Steele, Professor and Head of the School of Oral Health Services Research at Newcastle University, warned that the NHS is just wasting valuable time and resources continuing to treat people who refuse to change their own oral hygiene habits.
He told the Sunday Times newspaper that dentists should be allowed to decline certain patients expensive treatments like root canals and crowns if they are concerned that the procedure would be ruined by their poor oral health and diet. Crowns in particular can just rot away if the patient eats lots of sugary foods and does not brush their teeth properly.
Professor Steele is working on a plan for dentistry similar to that which is currently in place for certain types of surgery; declining alcoholics liver transplants and obese patients hip replacements, for example. He is expected to recommend that restrictions of this nature are also placed on certain dental procedures.
Critics argue that while action needs to be taken to save money a system that declines treatment to all patients with “self-inflicted” conditions does not have widespread support within the health industry. The Department of Health has confirmed that a new dentistry contract is currently under construction, but that they are not obliged to take the recommendations from Professor Steele’s team.
Professor Steele said; “The patient has the responsibility to abide by the recall intervals advised by the dentist and to take reasonable steps to look after their own health. Providing such time-consuming, technically demanding care can be a good investment where it will be valued by and provide benefit for the patient and survive the rigours of the mouth.”
October 25th, 2010
A St Albans dentist has been struck off by the General Dental Council after suggesting to a married mother-of-five that she pay for expensive dental treatment by having sex with him.
37-year-old Chammelle Courtney, whose husband Mark had suffered brain damage after a devastating asthma attack, claimed that her dentist Milan Shah called her at weekends after taking her number from the patient files at his dental surgery. When she decided to approach him in person about the persistent phone calls at his office, he admitted that he and his wife were living separate lives and suggested to her that they could “spend some time together”.
The phone calls became so problematic that Courtney decided to tape some of them in the hope that the police would be able to take some action. Shah was recorded saying: “You are not getting any loving from your husband and I am not from my wife. Maybe we can help each other out.” The police were unable to take any action, but recommended that Courtney take the tapes to the General Dental Council.
Shah had tried to charge Courtney the full fee for root canal treatment, despite it being available on the NHS. This was why she had been struggling to pay her bills and why Shah first made the suggestion that she could pay him in another way. The General Dental Council accepted all the complaints and struck Shah off, barring him from practising dentistry, though he now has 28 days to appeal the decision.
Mary Harley, the head of the panel at the council said, “The committee is in no doubt that, taken as a whole, your conduct fell far short of the standards expected of a dental professional and amounted to misconduct…You have shown no remorse or insight.”
October 18th, 2010
A London dentist, who is more used to treating the rich and famous at his city centre surgery, was in Yorkshire recently to treat a very different group of patients.
Dr Peter Kersetz visited the Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster to help treat a group of lions who arrived from a rundown zoo in Romania. Dr Kersetz has previously worked on other animals, including elephants, but this was the first time he had tackled lions. The pride of 13 lions all arrived from Eastern Europe with various health problems, but the three with the worst conditions have now been treated and are currently recovering from their ordeals.
The eldest, Jimmy Sr, along with two other lions, Cesar and Frida, have undergone major root canal surgery and other more minor treatments on their heavily damaged teeth. Unsurprisingly, the work was carried out with the creatures put to sleep under general anaesthetic, not just for their own comfort, but also for the safety of Dr Kersetz! Jimmy Sr is still in a very poor physical condition and could only be sedated for a short time, so the dental team will need to return in the future to carry out further treatment on his teeth, as well as the remainder of the pride.
Dr Kersetz said, “I’ve dealt with five-tonne elephants so I can handle the lions’ den. It is physically and mentally hard work but you cannot compare it to human dentistry. For starters, working with animals is far messier!” Working alongside the top surgeon was a team of dental professionals and anaesthetics to ensure the treatment ran as smoothly as possible.
Once the lions are recovered from their dental and veterinary treatment and are back to full health, they are sure to be a big attraction at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Animal director John Minion was grateful to Dr Kersetz and his team for their help, adding “We’re delighted that the lions will now no longer be in pain.”
September 7th, 2010
A man from Carlisle, England who had treatment to fit a dental bridge in his mouth has been left with lasting facial pain as a result.
Mr. Andrew Plant was told that there was nothing that could be done to end the regular pain that he experiences since the procedure. A self-employed piano teacher, forty-nine year old Mr. plant is forced to take very strong painkillers everyday in order to get by and he claims they only ease the pain slightly. He has been living with the pain for almost three years, leaving him unable to sleep and feeling depressed.
The treatment in question took place in October 2007 and, after being in pain for a couple of days, his dentist carried out emergency treatment to remove a root. Still left with unbearable pain, even without the root, Mr. Plant sought help from other dentists, specialists in Newcastle and pain consultants. However, nothing has relived the daily pain her experiences; I was never happy wearing a denture to I decided to go ahead,’ stated Mr. Plant. ‘I haven’t been pain-free since 2007. I’m having to take lots of painkillers every day but nothing really works, plus they have their own side effects.’
He continued, ‘I also have an even bigger gap now than when I started because they have had to take extra teeth out. I wish I’d never started any of it. There is nothing I can do except live with it. You just have to try and think that there is always someone worse off than you, but it’s not always easy. It has really affected the quality of my life. My levels of concentrations have deteriorated because it is always there, throbbing away, and it wakes me up at night. It makes me feel depressed. I sometimes have very black thoughts when the pain is unbearable. If it wasn’t for my family I don’t think I would be here today.’
The exact cause of Mr. Plant’s pain is unknown, and he has been advised against receiving high-risk facial surgery.