Dental Implants May Soon Include Stem Cells

Stem cell dental implantsDental implants are already cutting-edge dental technology… but the next generation of replacement teeth may allow doctors to use your stem cells to grow your own replacement tooth.

There’s no titanium tooth implant. With stem cells and growth enhancers, a scaffold can become a tooth in as little as nine weeks.

Most dentists find dental implants rewarding. This new dental implant technology is still is research, and the cost of dental implants won’t be dropping anytime soon. But stem cells just may be the new titanium.

The study, led by Dr. Jeremy Mao of Columbia University Medical Center, was published in the Journal of Dental Research.

Read more at Popular Science: Stem-Cell Dental Implants Grow New Teeth Right In Your Mouth

The Truth About Dental Tourism

The Truth About Dental TourismDental tourism has become a common practice among many Americans as a way to save money on dental treatments.

Statistics on this trend are hard to come by, but it is estimated that each year over one million people from around the world travel outside their country for some form of dental treatment, with summer being the busiest season for dental tourism.

The highest number of dental tourists is believed to come from the U.S., while Europeans are the second largest group to travel abroad for cheap dental treatments.

There are around 600 – 800 private clinics for surgical medical tourism, of which 80% offer dentistry services.

In recent years, medical travel companies all over the U.S. have sprung up to guide Americans through the dental insurance and logistical hurdles of treatments at medical facilities abroad in places like Mexico. One popular destination for Americans to receive dental treatment is in the Mexicali area, where the dental hub of Los Algodones is located.

Mexicali’s city tourism director, Omar Dipp even meets traveling medical tourists in the lobbies of their hotels.

Dipp recently told the online publication Fontieras that Mexicali received $16 million from medical tourism in 2010. His office is trying to boost that number by 50%.

The top 4 dental treatments patients travel for are –

1. Dental implants.
2. Crowns and bridges.
3. Root canal procedures.
4. Smile makeovers.

Some experts feel the rise in this trend is due to lack of dental insurance among patients, while others feel it is due to the rising costs of what patients have to pay over what dental insurance is willing to pay.

The American Dental Association has acknowledged that dental tourism is an increasing phenomenon that confronts dentists in the United States.

The ADA recommends the following to dentists:

1. A patient’s freedom of choice is an overriding consideration in any situation and is one in which dentists must recognize (ADA Code, Section 1, Patient Autonomy).

2. The ethical dentist will treat the patient who has received dental treatment outside the United States in the same manner as he/she would treat a patient who has transferred their care from any other practice, irrespective of the fact that the treatment performed outside of the United States might or might not be substandard and, in some instances, a possible detriment to the patient’s health.

3. A dentist should consult applicable state law to determine the definition of “patient of record.” Failure to treat such a patient may raise ethical concerns under ADA Code Section 2.F, Patient Abandonment.

4. A dentist should clearly describe to the patient his/her oral health status (ADA Code, Section 4.C, Justifiable Criticism) and maintain carefully documented records of treatment provided. Records should detail the patient’s baseline condition so secondary dental care can be clearly differentiated from treatment performed by another dentist whether in or outside the United States.

5. Where there is an emergency situation that develops as a result of dental tourism and the patient is not—or is no longer—one of record, dentists are obliged, at the least, to make reasonable arrangements for emergency care (ADA Code Section 4.B Emergency Service).

6. Dentists, especially those practicing in border states where dental tourism occurs more frequently, should begin to educate their patients about optimal oral health and costs versus the perceived value of dental tourism and advise them of the potential difficulty in seeking redress if problems are encountered with dental treatment performed in a foreign country.

Dentists, have you dealt with patients receiving dental treatments outside of the U.S.?

Have you lost dental patients due to dental tourism?

Dental Implants Needed in the UK

Cosmetic Dentistry & Dental Implants Needed in the UKUK residents are missing an astonishing total of over 100 million teeth — which averages out to just over two missing teeth per person. Over half (57%) of UK adults have missing teeth — and overall, they’re missing an average of four teeth per person.

And here’s another shocker: 20% of those with missing teeth said their dentist had never mentioned that dental implants were a treatment option.

We had the whole team together for a major meeting when Julie shared this bit of trivia with the group. We spent a few moments considering it.

“What happened to them?” Colleen asked, confused. “Where did they all go?”

“It must be all the soccer hooligans getting their teeth knocked out,” Matt declared.

“And you might have heard that the NHS dental care system can make getting a dentist appointment awfully challenging,” Julie added.

The group marveled for a moment that the stereotypes of the differences between British and American teeth really are based in fact.

I haven’t been to a dental trade show in the UK, but I’ve heard that they’re distinctly different from their American counterparts. In the US, you see a lot of dental implants on display. In the UK, you’ll see a lot more dentures and dental bridges.

Earlier in the day, the founder of a major US dental lab had been telling us about the changing face of that industry. Dental labs used to typically be mom-and-pop affairs, not so different from a traditional mom-and-pop dental practice. But their numbers have been steadily eroding, and national dental laboratory corporations have been growing.

It turns out that many UK residents aren’t particularly impressed with US cosmetic dentistry. They scoff that our perfect teeth look like dentures — except, of course, they probably wear more dentures per capita than we do!

Dentists Placing Dental Implants (VIDEO)

Dentists who place dental implantsApproximately half of general dentists are placing dental implants. Fifty-three percent of the general dentists in the poll indicated that they do dental implant placement themselves.

The remaining 47% of general dentists refer patients to a specialist.

Read more: Dentists Who Place Dental Implants

Dental Implant Placement by the General Dentist (video)

Dentists who place dental implantsAbout half of general dentists place dental implants. In this survey, 53% of general dentists said they do dental implant placement themselves.

“I pick and choose,” said a Virginia prosthodontist. “Those patients who need a more complex treatment are referred to our in-house oral surgeon or periodontists.”

“Every general dentist who can extract a tooth can do most dental implant surgery,” said an Oregon general dentist. “I feel that oral surgeons really do not want you to know how easy it is to do. All dentists owe it to themselves and to their patients. I restore 75% more tooth implants now because I am placing my own. The acceptance was astonishing.”

Read more: Dentists Who Place Dental Implants

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