Dentist starts petition asking for better dental care in New Zealand

HAMILTON, New Zealand: The horrific state in which many New Zealanders find their teeth has been likened, by some professionals, to those from developing countries. In a bid to improve the overall standard of New Zealanders’ oral health, dentist and co-founder of the charity Revive a Smile Dr Assil Russell recently started a petition to help persuade the New Zealand government into introducing universal free dental care.

Russell’s charity has helped almost 10,000 New Zealanders who cannot afford dental treatment, many of whom are suffering from extreme pain. As reported by New Zealand-based news website Stuff.co.nz, Russell recounted a patient who had attempted to remove his third molar by initially crushing it with pliers and then drilling the fragments out with his battery drill, using alcohol as an anaesthetic. “These stories aren’t one-in-every-hundred, these are really common occurrences that we find every day,” Russell said in the Stuff.co.nz article. Russell noted that universal dental care is an ambitious goal. However, to help take initial steps in achieving it, the petition is asking the New Zealand government to subsidise dental care to communities most in need and to lift the age limit for free dental care from age 18 to age 20. According to reports, a third of New Zealand adolescents do not go for regular check-ups for a number of reasons, including a lack of education around the importance of oral health at an early age and the low priority of dental health in general. As reported by Dental Tribune Online in January 2018, almost 50 per cent of all New Zealand adults avoid the dentist because it is too expensive. That cost barrier is something Russell also mentioned in the petition as the reasoning behind the country’s poor oral health. Setting an initial goal of 5,000 signatures, the petition has already received 4,769 (as of 13 August). Once all 5,000 signatures have been collected, Russell will deliver it in person to the Minister of Health, Dr David Clark.

Tags: dental care, health, New Zealand, petition
August 15, 2018
Open news on Dental Tribune

Intraoral sodium sensor aims to simplify hypertension management

ATLANTA, U.S.: Many people have acquired a taste for high-salt foods, which, over the years, may result in health issues related to high blood pressure. Monitoring salt consumption can help patients suffering from hypertension and certain other conditions to minimize the symptoms. In order to do that, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a flexible and stretchable intraoral wireless sensing system—which resembles a dental retainer—to measure the amount of sodium the wearer consumes.

Based on an ultrathin, breathable elastomeric membrane, the sensor is integrated into a miniaturized flexible electronic system that uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly report the sodium consumption to a smartphone or tablet up to 10 m away. The device has been tested in three adult study participants, who wore the sensor system for up to a week while eating both solid and liquid foods, including vegetable juice, chicken soup and potato chips. “By monitoring sodium in real-time, the device could one day help people who need to restrict sodium intake and learn to change their eating habits and diet. Our device could have applications for many different goals involving eating behavior for diet management or therapeutics,” explained Dr. Woon-Hong Yeo, an assistant professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He added: “The sensor is comfortable to wear, and data from it can be transmitted to a smartphone or tablet. Eventually the information could go a doctor or other medical professional for remote monitoring.” The device can record daily amounts of sodium intake as it is consumed. Thus, using a smartphone or tablet application, the system could advise users planning meals how much of their daily salt allocation they had already consumed. Yeo and his team are currently working on improving the device by further miniaturizing it, aiming for the eventual size of a tooth, and testing it with users who have the relevant medical conditions, such as hypertension, obesity or diabetes. The study, titled “Wireless, intraoral hybrid electronics for real-time quantification of sodium intake toward hypertension management,” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in May 2018.

Tags: dental, hypertension, intraoral, management, sensor, sodium, teeth
August 15, 2018
Open news on Dental Tribune

Live Planning of Actual Clinical Implant Cases. MSoft, MGuide and V3 Implants in Action

Real-time planning of actual clinical situations requiring implants for supporting fixed crowns.

The different considerations when choosing implant size and positioning will be explained, as well as critical factors to be borne in mind. A detailed step-by-step live demonstration of the entire planning workflow will be demonstrated and viewers will gain an understanding of the complete implant-planning process.
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