Researchers Incorporate New Antibacterial and Restorative Nanotechnology in Fillings

san francisco implant dentistrySAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – Wouldn’t it be miraculous if fillings could not only limit tooth decay, but could actually restore damaged teeth? Well that technology is in the works.

Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry are developing nanotechnology that rebuilds the structure of the tooth.

One of the San Francisco dentists, Dr. Greg Larson, is interested in how this technology will develop. These composites could help patients with cavities control the damage and repair key tooth minerals.

Dentists remove decay from teeth before implementing fillings. Studies at UM’s School of Dentistry are showing that it’s impossible to eradicate all the damaged tissue during this process. Small amounts of bacteria will be left behind. The nanocomposites created can offset the bacteria’s damage, effectively keeping harmful bacteria at bay.

The team conducting the research has inserted antibacterial agents in primers and adhesives. Primers are used after your dentist prepares a tooth for a filling. Your dentist then coats the cavity with adhesives to help the filling fix securely in place. These new antibacterial primers and adhesives will destroy residual bacteria.

“The reason we want to get the antibacterial agents also into primers and adhesives is that these are the first things that cover the internal surfaces of the tooth cavity and flow into tiny dental tubules inside the tooth,” the research team reports.

These new filling composites contain nanoparticles of calcium phosphate. Calcium phosphate restores key minerals in your teeth. The fillings also contain high pH levels to hinder bacteria from producing acids.

These new fillings are made to last longer than the normal five to 10 years, though more research is needed to determine exactly how much longer.

The next step is to test the product in animal and human teeth. The research team will work with the Federal University of Ceara in Brazil. The human teeth will be from volunteers. Researchers interested in this product’s development should contact the Office of Technology Transfer at UM. OTT licensing officer Nancy Cowger, PhD, says patents are pending on the primer and adhesive components and also the nanocomposite.

Dr. Larson, a provider of neuromuscular dentistry in San Francisco who also restores dental implants in Walnut Creek & Oakland, will watch this research unfold, as it will help patients maintain superb oral health. Dr. Larson also practices cosmetic, general and sedation dentistry, and he straightens smiles with his San Francisco Invisalign invisible braces services.

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Sports and Energy Drinks May Cause Irreversible Damage to Tooth Enamel

san francisco veneersSAN RAFAEL, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – It’s common to see active, athletic teens chugging sports drinks on the sidelines to replenish fluids and boost energy. These teens may not be aware that these drinks could cause permanent damage to their teeth.

Dr. Greg Larson discusses the consequences of drinking sports drinks, in light of a recent study published in the May/June issue of General Dentistry.

Nine energy drinks and 13 sports drinks were tested in the study. Researchers submerged human tooth enamel in various drinks for a 15-minute period. The enamel was then submerged in artificial saliva for two hours. The process was repeated four times daily for five days in a row, attempting to mimic a teen’s behavior. The enamel showed deterioration after five days. Researchers noted that the energy drinks were generally twice as harmful as sports drinks.

“This type of testing simulates the same exposure that a large proportion of American teens and young adults are subjecting their teeth to on a regular basis when they drink one of these beverages every few hours,” says Dr. Poonam Jain, lead study author and researcher. “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”

The American Beverage Association released a statement calling the study unrealistic to human behavior.

“This study was not conducted on humans and in no way mirrors reality,” the statement reads. “Furthermore, it is irresponsible to blame foods, beverages or any other single factor for enamel loss and tooth decay (dental caries or cavities). Science tells us that individual susceptibility to both dental cavities and tooth erosion varies depending on a person’s dental hygiene behavior, lifestyle, total diet and genetic make-up.”

Enamel is important to our oral health, as it guards our teeth against cavities and decay. Sugars and acids found in sports and energy drinks are detrimental to our teeth’s enamel.

Superb dental health includes eating a balanced diet. Low amounts of sugars and acids will keep your teeth healthy and strong. It’s good practice to research the sugar and acidity of beverages before you or your children consume them.

San Francisco cosmetic dentist Dr. Larson offers pain free dentistry with sedation options. Our patients enjoy beautiful smiles through Invisalign treatment, porcelain veneers and laser gum recontouring. Contact our office to schedule an appointment for you or your child.

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This Year's ADA Annual Session in San Francisco Features Laser Dentistry Education

san francisco pain free dentistrySAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – The American Dental Association just announced an increase in laser dentistry education at the 2012 Annual Session this October.

Dr. Greg Larson is interested in the session for its focus on continuing education in laser dentistry and its proximity to his San Francisco practice.

This year’s session will be held Oct. 18-21 in San Francisco. Dentistry professionals can browse the World Marketplace Exhibition for newly released products and fresh technologies in the dental world.

Close to 300 continuing education courses offered at the conference will keep dentists on the cusp of dental technology and research. The ADA will offer lectures, workshops and courses for introductory and advanced participants. The ADA will partner with the Academy of Laser Dentistry to offer a dozen courses in laser dentistry education – one will even feature a live patient. The two organizations have offered education classes at the Annual Session since 2008. Dentists can also attend a two-day ALD certification course at the session.

ADA member dentists can register for $75, and ADA member dental students and graduates students can attend for free. Hygienists and dental assistants will receive discounted registration rates. Dentists traveling to San Francisco for the session can book rooms at one of the ADA official hotels. Dental professionals who wish to attend continuing education courses must register for the course ahead of time and pay the course fee.

You may wonder how dentists incorporate lasers into your treatment. Dental lasers facilitate a variety of procedures. Dr. Larson uses laser therapy for his advanced restorative,
power teeth whitening and periodontal therapy procedures.

“With laser surgery, there is a reduced need for local anesthesia, bleeding is minimized, swelling is controlled, and there is usually little, if any, postoperative discomfort,” according to the ALD.

The Annual Session will include lectures and workshops in many other areas of dentistry as well. Hands-on cadaver courses include Cadaver Dissection of the TMJ and Associated Structures, Crown Lengthening Workshop, Biopsy Techniques for the General Practitioner, and Anatomy of the Masticatory System. Participants of Dr. Donald Coluzzi’s workshop will practice common laser procedures on pig jaws.

In San Francisco, Invisalign patients receive expert care at Larson Dentistry while invisible braces gently shift teeth into their optimum position. We offer patients many special services, including dental implants, migraine relief, sedation dentistry, teeth grinding relief and San Rafael veneers. Contact our office to schedule a routine exam or to inquire about specific dental procedures.

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