miércoles, 22 de agosto de 2012

Doctors transfer salivary gland into patient’s forearm | Dental Tribune International

Doctors transfer salivary gland into patient’s forearm | Dental Tribune International


Doctors transfer salivary gland into patient’s forearm

WÜRZBURG, Germany: An ENT surgeon from Germany has successfully tested a new surgical method to help mouth cancer patients with dry mouth syndrome. In a pilot project, he and his surgical team transferred a man’s submandibular gland into his forearm and re-implanted the gland after the patient had completed radiation therapy, which would have caused significant damage to the organ.
The technique was developed by Prof. Rudolf Hagen, director of the ENT clinic and plastic and aesthetic surgery at the University of Würzburg’s Hospital. In February this year, he removed a salivary gland from the neck of a 69-year-old tumour patient and transplanted the organ to the patient’s forearm temporarily. “We connected the salivary gland to the arm blood vessels and directed its excretory duct to the skin surface. There, the produced saliva was collected in a small disposable bag,” described Hagen. Following two months of radiation therapy and two subsequent months of recovery, Hagen re-implanted the gland. According to the clinic, the organ is fully functional and no problems have arisen. 

According to Hagen, intensive radiotherapy is generally necessary in patients with malignant head and neck tumours. The therapy often damages the salivary glands permanently and causes dry mouth, a condition that also negatively affects patients’ teeth and gums, as it can lead to tooth decay.

Although radiotherapy has become less aggressive, especially with regard to parotid glands, this is not the case for submandibular glands, Hagen added. As he was able to maintain full functionality of at least one of the six large salivary glands with the new method, Hagen hopes that the new method could help many mouth cancer patients suffering from dry mouth.

Every year, up to 100 patients who could be treated with this method are admitted to the clinic in Würzburg. Currently, more patients are awaiting their transplantation surgery, the clinic announced.

Baseball cap to prevent dentists from suffering back pain


06/08/2012 | EUROPE

Baseball cap to prevent dentists from suffering back pain

MUNICH, Germany: A German company has developed a baseball cap aimed at helping dentists prevent back pain. The cap, inspired by the African tradition of carrying weight on the head, has an integrated ergonomic weight inlay and can be worn standing up or sitting down.

Back pain is a common disease and is usually caused by one-sided and poor posture, typical of sitting at the PC for hours or when bending incorrectly.

Dentists usually work in a bent position, which affects the back negatively. According to the manufacturer, the new baseball cap can help prevent back pain. It only needs to be worn for about 20 minutes a day. As one has to adapt one's posture to the weight of the inlay, the tallabé promotes an upright posture. The cap is not only for dentists but can also be worn when performing different sports, walking or working at the computer. According to the manufacturer, the effect of the tallabé is immediately evident. The muscles of the body begin to coordinate, and the body is encouraged to adopt an upright and relaxed posture.

The brand name tallabé originated in Nigeria and means to carry something on one's head. The concept for the cap is based on African women carrying items on their heads.

The baseball cap weighs as much as two books, according to the manufacturer, and is available online in different colours and sizes and at a price of €129.

The baseball cap can be purchased online. (DTI/Photo courtesy ofTallabé)
06/08/2012 | EUROPE

miércoles, 1 de agosto de 2012

Researchers come one step closer to growing a tooth | Dental Tribune International

Researchers come one step closer to growing a tooth

HELSINKI, Finland: Finnish researchers have recently identified a marker for dental stem cells. They demonstrated that the transcription factor Sox2 is expressed specifically in the stem cells of the anterior teeth of mice. The study of stem cells requires their isolation and a lack of a specific marker has hindered studies so far.

Growing a tooth from stem cells remains a distant goal, even though new bioengineering protocols have been developed. There is a need for bioengineered teeth to replace lost teeth, which affects both oral health and quality of life. The development of a tooth entails a detailed process of cells differentiating into specific lineages to form dental cells. Stem cells are able to differentiate into the specialised cell types required but dental stem cells have not been isolated thus far, as no marker has been identified yet.

Prof. Irma Thesleff, research director at the Institute of Biotechnology in Helsinki, and her research team demonstrated that the transcription factor Sox2 is expressed specifically in the stem cells of the incisors of mice. These anterior teeth grow continuously throughout life and this growth is fuelled by stem cells located at the base of the tooth. These cells offer an excellent model for studying dental stem cells.

The researchers developed a method to record the division, movement and specification of these cells. By tracing the descendants of genetically labelled cells, they demonstrated that Sox2-positive stem cells give rise to enamel-forming ameloblasts and other cell lineages of the tooth.

"Although human teeth don't grow continuously, the mechanisms that control and regulate their growth are similar to those of mice teeth," said Emma Juuri, a co-author of the study. "Therefore, the discovery of Sox2 as a marker for dental stem cells is an important step toward developing a complete, bioengineered tooth. In the future, it may be possible to grow new teeth from stem cells to replace lost ones."

The study "Sox2+ stem cells contribute to all epithelial lineages of the tooth via Sfrp5+ progenitors" was published online on 19 July in the Developmental Cell journal.

Vibración para evitar el dolor en la anestesia odontológica

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Andrew Barclay's fear of going to the dentist began when he was a little kid, and just making an appointment used to give him nightmares.

"I would wake up in the middle of the night, and I'd be worried," Barclay said. "I'd be afraid they'd find a big cavity or something terrible like that, and so all my life that was they way I regarded dentistry."

And Barclay isn't alone. More than 20 percent of Americans say they don't visit the dentist because they're afraid of the pain, according to the American Dental Association's more recent survey that touched on dental anxiety. Barclay says he hated the pain from the injection used to deliver anesthetic.

"The actual dentistry we provide doesn't really hurt," said Dr. Eby, an Okemos-based dentist. "Most people are anxious about the needle, and that's where the anxiety lies, not with the actual procedure."

So to eliminate the pain from the needle, Dr. Eby began using a device called the DentalVibe. The hand-held tool looks like an electric toothbrush, and it uses vibrations to block pain signals from reaching the brain.

"The sensation of the vibrations travels to the brain faster than the pain from the anesthetic," said Dr. Eby.

Dr. Eby says the DentalVibe was patented by a doctor in Florida, and it took about seven years for a team of engineers to design it. The tool was approved for market use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about two years ago, and an updated version was released this year. Dr. Eby says more and more dentists will start employing the DentalVibe during dental procedures now that many dental schools across the country are using it.

Dr. Eby is one of the only dentists in the area to use the DentalVibe. He says it gives patients something positive to take away from their experience.

"In our practice, it's been really successful for helping people get over the anxiety of the needle."

Barclay says it's even helped him get over his life-long fear of the dentist.

"Dentistry has become totally painless," Barclay said. "That to me is really what changed my attitude about dentistry."

For patients whose dentists haven't adopted this technology yet, there are other ways to ease fears. It's important to find a dentist you feel comfortable with, and to do something that puts you at ease before the appointment or in the waiting room, like reading your favorite book or listening to soothing music.

If you don't face your fears and let dental problems get worse, then you might need more extensive or invasive dental procedures that are only going to increase anxiety. That's why doctors recommend getting your teeth cleaned on a regular basis.