Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dentists Need More Training in Oral Cancer Detection

Newswise — More than 92 percent of Illinois dentists provide oral cancer examinations for their patients, but many are not performing the procedures thoroughly or at optimum intervals, according to a new University of Illinois at Chicago study.

With an incomplete understanding of the nature of pre-malignant lesions and of proper examination techniques, some dentists in Illinois "are not doing all they should be doing to detect oral cancers in their patients," said Charles LeHew of the UIC Cancer Center's Center for Population Health and Health Disparities and the Institute for Health Research and Policy.

More than 500 dentists in 19 Illinois counties responded to the 38-item questionnaire that was used to gauge the extent of their knowledge of oral cancer prevention and early detection. A greater than 60 percent response rate indicated that Illinois dentists "take seriously their important role in addressing the state's oral cancer burden," said LeHew, who was the lead researcher of the study.

According to LeHew, the majority of dentists correctly identified squamous cell carcinoma, the most common form of oral cancer, as well as the most common sites for oral cancer and the most-common types of early lesions. Many, however, were not able to answer those questions correctly.

Moreover, dentists lacked knowledge needed for risk assessment and counseling. For example, when asked which of several risk factors is least important, the most frequent answer was age -- which is actually an important factor, LeHew said.

"Some dentists incorrectly identified tobacco or alcohol as the least important risk factor, when in fact they are the two most important," he said.

Two-thirds of the dentists had had oral cancer continuing education; however, 40 percent had trained more than two years prior to the survey. And training in risk counseling was rare, LeHew said. "There is a clear need for additional training and for greater vigilance."

Approximately 31,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year; it will cause more than 8,000 deaths. Of the newly diagnosed patients, only half will be alive in five years, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Survival has not significantly improved in decades.

The death rate for oral cancer is higher than for cervical cancer; Hodgkin's disease; and cancer of the brain, liver, testes, kidney or skin (malignant melanoma).

Early detection is essential in increasing the survival rate for oral cancer. Symptoms include a mouth sore that fails to heal or that bleeds easily; a white or red patch in the mouth that may not be painful but will not go away; a lump, thickening or soreness in the mouth, throat or tongue; and difficulty chewing or swallowing food.

"Illinois dentists face many barriers to providing early detection and risk counseling services to their patients," said Dr. Linda Kaste, associate professor of prevention and public health sciences who co-authored the study. "Lack of proper training and adequate time appear to be chief among them."

To increase awareness of the disease, UIC has been working with organizations in several Illinois counties that have high incidences of oral cancer to develop and distribute public health education materials, Kaste said. Oral cancer screenings are also provided to the underserved populations. The counties are located in northeast, central, western, and southwestern Illinois.

LeHew said the findings of the study were similar to studies in other states. Illinois dentists are performing at levels similar to dentists in other parts of the country, he said.

"Dentists are not going to diagnosis cancer," he said. "They are going to find potentially dangerous lesions and refer the patient to an oral surgeon. Because dentists are intimately familiar with the oral cavity, they can take a look around while they are examining a patient.

"The expectations are not clear for what dentists should do in regards to oral cancer. We need to identify what the best practices are. There is still a lot of work to be done to get there."

The study was published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry. It was partially funded by the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Cancer Institute and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

For more information about UIC, visit

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Palm Introduces the Foleo- I'm not buying it!

Well Palm and Jeff Hawkins (the brain behind the Palm Pilot and Treo) have announced their new device called the Foleo. It basically is a laptop computer (running Linux) that connects to your smartphone. It is smaller then any sub-notebook and has instant on (no booting up)but doesn't fit the bill for me. It does have wifi but all other connectivity goes through the smartphone. You can do a presentation with the Foleo but I am not sure if the device/smartphone has enough CPU horsepower to do animations. For $499 you can buy a notebook that will do so much more.

I got rid of my PDA when the first Treo was introduced because I did not want to carry 2 devices. Palm calls the Foleo a mobile companion. Thats not what I need. I need a better smartphone. Now this device will not fit in your pocket with its
10 inch screen. This reminds me more of a Windows CE device from LG that I had many years ago. I am not sure if this is a step forward or back for Palm.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Free Online CE From Metlife

MetLife's Quality Initiatives Program has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) as a recognized provider under its Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP). Dentists and allied health care professionals can earn continuing education credits by participating in educational offerings sponsored by the MetLife Quality Initiatives Program. The MetLife Quality Initiatives Program was the first commercial dental insurer whose educational offerings are currently approved for the ADA CERP.

Continuing education is an integral part of staying current on clinical and professional developments. The members of the MetLife Dental Advisory Council meet regularly to review quality data and the educational needs identified by dentists participating in the Preferred Dentist Program. Educational offerings are developed as a result of the needs assessment.

You can participate in the needs assessment by completing the evaluation form that accompanies the guide you review. You will be asked about topics for future guides. Your comments regarding the guides you have reviewed are shared with the author. Guides are updated every three years, and more often when changes in dentistry indicate.

MetLife Quality Resource Guides (QRG) are self-study courses authored by full time members of a dental school faculty or dentists who hold a prominent position with a national dental organization (e.g. NIDCR, ADA) or professionals who have published in the subject area. Guides undergo an extensive peer review process prior to publication.

CE credits are FREE to dentists and office staff participating in the MetLife Preferred Dentist Program (PDP) as a benefit of participation. Non-PDP dentists can access MetLife educational offerings at no charge. If a non-PDP dentist desires educational credits, he or she will be prompted to provide credit card information prior to the post-test being processed.

Click Here to view Quality Resource Guides.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Guide: How to under volt your notebook.

Here is a great tutorial on how to under volt your notebook processor. Why would you want to do this? Because it will improve your battery life maybe up to an extra hour. Great for getting things done on your next plane trip or not missing the end of the movie.

Click here for the under volt guide.

Street dentistry thriving in Pindi

ISLAMABAD: Like other forms of quackery, street dentistry is also thriving in Rawalpindi city. Raja Bazaar and Saddar are the places where many self-taught dentists display dentures, tooth moulds and banners with catchy messages like, ‘we offer cheap treatment to all kinds of tooth problems’, ‘dental treatment with money back guarantee’, tested formulas for your teeth, etc’.

Poor people are seen visiting these roadside dental clinics. An aged man, attended to by a quack dentist, told Daily Times that he could not afford going to dental clinics for lack of money. He said he and many of his family members and friends were used to visit roadside dentists whose fees were affordable. He said he had no complaints against these ‘messiahs’, as they took care of their teeth in return of a small fee.

Read the rest of the article here

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Survey Highlights Frequency, Severity and Causes of Dental Malpractice

A very interesting article. Especially looking at the 2003 data that over 50% of the claims resulted in less then a $10k pay out. follow the link below to read the whole article. Its short and an interesting read

Results show number and cost of dental malpractice claims to be stable in recent years

The following article summarizes results of a 2005 survey conducted by the ADA Council on Members Insurance and Retirement Programs on the frequency, severity and causes of dental malpractice claims reported between 1999 and 2003. Fifteen of the leading dental professional liability insurers across the country participated, which together insured nearly 104,600 licensed dentists.

Trends in the incidence and severity of dental malpractice claims are important in evaluating opportunities to improve the quality of patient care. The Council hopes this survey information is of value to member dentists in their risk management efforts.

* CMIRP Malpractice Survey | PDF file/78k

Friday, May 25, 2007

Do You Want To Borrow My Toothbrush? You Could Catch Anything

Most Britons would be happy to lend their toothbrush to somebody else according to a new UK-wide dental survey.

The National Smile Month Survey, commissioned by the British Dental Health Foundation in association with Healthplan provider HSA, found that over 60% of people would be willing to let their partners, children, friends and even celebrities borrow their toothbrush.

Interestingly, men were far more protective of their brushes than women with almost half saying they wouldn't lend their brush to anyone, as opposed to only a third of women.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Foundation, commented: "Sharing a toothbrush leaves people susceptible to all sorts of oral and general health problems. There are many hundreds of different bacteria and viruses in our mouths and people sharing a toothbrush could be passing these on to others. Whilst this might be something relatively harmless, such as a common cold or cold sore, if the person you are sharing with is infected with hepatitis B or HIV these could also be passed on via the toothbrush with life threatening consequences.

"People need to take good care of their toothbrush, changing it once every three months, and not letting anyone else borrow it. You should brush twice-a-day with fluoride toothpaste, cut down how often you have sugary foods and drinks and visit the dentist regularly as often as they recommend for a good oral healthcare routine."

"It's worrying that so many people either aren't aware, or don't care, that by sharing a toothbrush they could be running the risk of catching a serious infection. Especially those in London, who are most likely to share their brush with their favourite celebrity!" comments Abby Bowman from HSA. "It's important for individuals and families to look after their oral health and we would encourage regular trips to the dentist. And, if you are worried about the cost, a range of funding options are available."

The survey was commissioned to mark the 31st National Smile Month. The campaign will run until June 12 under the tagline 'Two Minutes Twice a Day'

Gel made from patient's blood speeds healing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Treating skin wounds with a gel made from a patient's own blood platelets speeded healing, researchers said in a study showing how doctors may be able to harness the body's innate healing ability.

Skin wounds treated with this gel healed about 10 percent more quickly than wounds in the same people treated with only an antibiotic ointment, Monday's study in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery showed.

The researchers cautioned that this was a small pilot study -- only eight people were examined -- but said the concept could change the way doctors deal with wounds, from surgical incisions to, potentially, internal injuries.

Read the rest of the article

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Emergency Dental Anesthesia Blocks.

I am glad to see this being discussed as it is much more effective at pain control then giving the patient an antibiotic and Percocet.

Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal. 29(2):172-179, April/June 2007.
Daymude, Marc L. MD, FACEP; Hilliard, Michael W. MD, FACEP

Traumatic and nontraumatic processes resulting in dental pain are common presentations in the emergency and acute care setting. Patients often present on weekends or after hours when acute dental care is not available. For most acute dental pain, emergent dental consultation is not clinically warranted, even if available. The emergent and acute care provider is left with limited options for acute pain management. One analgesic option is the application of peripheral nerve blocks. This article will discuss the local anesthetic agents, their potential toxicities, and their application in the 2 most commonly used peripheral nerve blocks for dental anesthesia.

(C) 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Anti-amalgam suit loses.

federal appeals court has dismissed a suit seeking to force the FDA to
classify amalgam as a device so that it would be subject to tighter
restrictions. The suit was brought by four organizations and five
individuals who mistakenly believe that the mercury in amalgam fillings
poses a hazard that deserves greater FDA regulation. The FDA argued that
(a) its regulation is adequate, (b) the court lacks jurisdiction, and
(c) the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue. The appeals court ruled that
failure of the FDA to classify a device does not give rise to judicial
review. [Opinion. Moms against Mercury et al. v. Food and Drug
Administration. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Circuit. Case No. 06-1147, Decided April 13, 2007] Responding to the
ruling, the American Dental Association, which was not a party to the
suit, stated: "Some activist groups, relying on faulty science, tried to
use the court system to force the FDA to deprive the nation's dentists
and the patients that they serve of a safe and inexpensive option for
treating dental decay. . . . Dental amalgam is a safe and effective
filling material."

Dental Plans Offer Rollovers

A growing number of group dental plans are letting patients roll over their unused maximum treatment limits to following years, similar to unused cellphone minutes. But often members must visit the dentist annually or more often for preventive care to get the extra allowance.

The trend started recently with Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America, companies that primarily serve small and medium-size employers in group dental plans. Large-group employers Cigna Corp. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. started offering the feature earlier this year. Principal Financial Group will implement its rollover plan effective Oct. 1 for plans sold after July 1, Starmount Life Insurance Co., a large provider of worker-paid dental plans, also started offering maximum-limit rollovers in the past year.

Insurers say the new plan designs are meant to encourage participants to visit their dentists regularly for examinations and cleanings to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which medical studies increasingly link to such serious and costly systemic ailments as diabetes, heart disease and premature birth. Reducing complications from oral disease is expected to reduce overall medical costs for employers and patients. As part of the trend, a growing number of insurers also are covering new oral-cancer screening tests and dental implants, which members can use the higher maximums to help cover.

Read the rest of the article on the Wall Street Journal site

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Smart Surgical Gloves

Professor John Rogers at the University of Illinois is working on a stretchable silicon that will pave the way for integrating electronics into surgical gloves, enabling them to monitor a range of biological parameters.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently showed how silicon can stretch in one dimension, like a rubber band. (See "Stretchable Silicon.") Now, in the group's most recent work, the researchers have made sheets of silicon that can stretch in two dimensions as well, which could make it possible to put electronics on spheres and surfaces with complicated shapes.

The new results from the Illinois team, led by John Rogers, a professor of material science and engineering, build on the group's earlier research with one-dimensional stretchy ribbons of silicon, in which they affixed ultrathin ribbons to a prestretched piece of rubber. When the strain on the rubber was released, the silicon ribbons buckled. Subsequently, the ribbons could be stretched again, pulling the silicon taut. However, these ribbons could only stretch in one dimension. A truly conformable sheet of electronics needs to stretch in two directions so it can, for instance, cover a sphere or some other three-dimensional object.

... The researchers affixed sheets of silicon--ranging in size from three to five square millimeters and in thickness from 55 to 320 nanometers--to a stretched-out sheet of rubber. When the stretch was released, the silicon buckled to form complicated waves and zigzags, creating a never-before-seen silicon geometry (see multimedia video). Rogers says that his team was surprised by the actual geometry, a herringbone pattern, which resembles the varying diagonals of the fish's backbone. Essentially, the snaking patterns of waves allow the sheets of silicon to stretch to two dimensions.

This device design, Rogers says, could be used in a smart surgical glove that would measure the concentration of hormones or pH in the body, for instance. In addition, the team is building an array of photo detectors on the stretchy silicon and placing it around a sphere to create an electronic eye.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Deepen Your Understanding of Headache

Written by Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, it describes the
current understanding of migraine pathophysiology.

The current consensus is that the term chronic daily headache (CDH) refers to headache disorders experienced very frequently (15 or more days a month), including headaches associated with medication overuse. CDH can be divided into primary and secondary varieties.1 Studies in the United States, Europe and Asia suggest that four to five percent of the general population have primary CDH,2-4 and 0.5 percent have severe headaches daily.5-7

Once secondary headache, including medication overuse headache (MOH), has been excluded, frequent headache sufferers are subdivided into two groups, based on headache duration. When the duration is greater than four hours, the major primary disorders to consider are chronic migraine (CM), hemicrania continua (HC), chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) and new daily persistent headache (NDPH). CM, NDPH, and HC are primary CDH disorders that are now included in the 2nd IHS classification.8 Transformed migraine (TM) is similar, but not identical, to CM. Understanding and identifying the multifarious presentations that fall under the rubric of CDH is further complicated by its rather esoteric pathophysiology. In this article, we will look more closely at the mechanisms at work beneath the surface.
Pathophysiology Of Chronic Daily Headache

The trigeminal nucleus caudalis (TNC) of the trigeminal complex, the major relay nucleus for head and face pain, receives nociceptive input from cephalic blood vessels and pericranial muscles (via the trigeminal and upper cervical nerves)A, as well as inhibitory and facilitatory suprasegmental input. The trigeminal nerve has three divisions: ophthalmic, mandibular and maxillary. Anterior pain-producing structures are innervated by the ophthalmic (first) division.B Posterior regions are subserved by the upper cervical nerves.9

Afferent processes of the trigeminal nerve converge to form the sensory root, entering the brain stem at the pontine level and terminating in the trigeminal brain stem nuclear complex, which is composed of the principal and the spinal trigeminal nuclei (subdivided into the nucleus oralis, the subnuclear interpolaris, and the nucleus caudalis). The brain stem spinal trigeminal nucleus is analogous to the dorsal horn of the spinal canal, the first synapse in the central nervous system.C

Most spinothalamic and trigeminothalamic tract neurons that originate from the dorsal horn and project to ventroposterior lateral and ventroposterior medial nuclei have wide dynamic-range characteristics.10 The trigeminothalamic tract is analogous to the spinothalamic tract. Second-order neurons from the trigeminal spinal nuclei form the trigeminothalamic tract and project to other midbrain structures, as well as to the thalamic tract. Most ventroposterior medial nuclei, some with wide dynamic-range characteristics, respond to low-threshold stimuli.9 Recent evidence suggests that central pain facilitatory neurons (on-cells) are present in the ventromedial medulla. In addition, neurons in the TNC can be sensitized as a result of intense neuronal stimulation.

Pain has three spatiotemporal characteristics: (1) as intensity increases, the area in which it is experienced often enlarges (radiation); (2) pain may outlast the evoking stimulus; and (3) repeated nociceptive stimuli D may increase the perceived pain intensity, even without increased input (sensitization).11 Pain has both sensory and affective dimensions. In addition to being physically unpleasant, pain is associated with negative emotional feelings shaped by context, anticipations and attitudes.10 Pain unpleasantness is in series with pain sensation intensity.

Headache Pathophysiology
Pain in Migraine
Migraine most likely results from a dysfunction of the trigeminal nerveE and its central connections that normally modulate sensory input. Components involved include: (1) the cranial blood vessels and meninges; (2) the trigeminal innervation of the vessels and meninges; (3) the reflex connections of the trigeminal system with the cranial parasympathetic outflow; and (4) local and descending pain modulation.F The key pathway for the pain is trigeminovascular input from the meningeal vessels. Brain imaging studies suggest that important modulation of the trigeminovascular nociceptive input stems from the dorsal raphe nucleus, locus coeruleus and nucleus raphe magnus.12

Although the source of pain in CDH is unknown and may depend on the subtype, recent work suggests several mechanisms:

(1) increased peripheral nociceptive activation (perhaps due to chronic neurogenic inflammation) G and activation of silent nociceptors; (2) peripheral sensitization; (3) altered sensory neuron excitability due to changes in ion-channel expression/ phosphorylation/accumulation in primary afferents; (4) central sensitization of TNC neurons due to posttranslational changes in ligand- and voltage-gated ion-channel kinetics, altering excitability and strength of their synaptic inputs; (5) phenotype modulation due to alterations in the expression of receptors/transmitters/ion channels in peripheral and central neurons; (6) synaptic reorganization modification of synaptic connections caused by cell death or sprouting; (7) decreased pain modulation due to loss of local and descending input;11 or (8) a combination of these.

Peripheral Mechanisms

Although the brain itself is largely insensate, pain can be generated by large cranial vessels, proximal intracranial vessels or dura mater. The central convergence of the ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve and the branches of C2 nerve roots explain the typical distribution of migraine pain over the frontal and temporal regions and the referral of pain to the parietal, occipital and high cervical regions.12

During a migraine attack, an inflammatory process occurs in the meninges, at the site of the nerve terminal. Trigeminal nerve activation is accompanied by the release of vasoactive neuropeptides, including CGRP, substance P (SP) and neurokinin A from the nerve terminals.H These mediators produce mast cell activation, sensitization of the nerve terminals and extravasation of fluid into the perivascular space around the dural blood vessels. Intense neuronal stimulation causes induction of c-fos (an immediate early gene product) in the TNC of the brainstem. SP and CGRP further amplify the trigeminal terminal sensitivity by stimulating the release of bradykinin and other inflammatory mediators from nonneuronal cells.13
Inflammatory mediators increase the responsiveness of and turn on silent, or sleeping, nociceptors. Neurotropins, such as nerve growth factor, are synthesized locally and can also activate mast cells and sensitive nerve terminals.14 Bradykinin and kallidin, both acting through the B1 and B2 receptors, can activate primary afferent nociceptors.15 Prostaglandins and nitric oxide (a diffusible gas that acts as a neurotransmitter)16 are both endogenous mediators that can be produced locally and can sensitize nociceptors. Cortical spreading depression (the cause of the aura) can activate the trigeminal system. I Repeated episodes of neurogenic inflammation may chronically sensitize the pain pathways and contribute to the development of daily headache.

Sarchielli et al.17 measured CSF levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), CGRP and SP in patients with TM both with and without medication overuse. Higher NGF, CGRP and SP levels were found in CSF in both groups of patients compared with controls. A correlation was found between NGF and SP levels. All levels correlated with the duration of the disorder. This study suggests the involvement of NGF and chronic activation of the trigeminal vascular system in TM. NGF production could arise from peripheral trigeminal nerve terminals as well as the TNC and pain facilitating pathways. A study by Ashina et al.18 strongly suggests that patients with an elevated CGRP level had TM and that the trigeminal vascular system is activated as part of the process of TM.
<>Lance observed that during migraine attacks patients complain of increased pain with stimuli that would ordinarily be non-nociceptive. These stimuli include hair-brushing, wearing a hat and resting the head on a pillow. This phenomenon of pain being produced by non-painful stimuli is referred to as allodynia. In a series of now-classic experiments, Burstein et al.19 explored allodynia development in patients with migraine. He measured pain thresholds for hot, cold and pressure stimuli, both within the region of spontaneous pain and outside it. He found that as an attack progressed in a selected group of migraine sufferers, cutaneous allodynia developed in the region of pain and then outside it (extracephalic locations). He found that 33 of 42 patients (79 percent) developed allodynia. Allodynia began over the first half of the attack in those who eventually developed it.

Peripheral Sensitization. Sensitization of nociceptors results in an increased spontaneous neuronal discharge rate. Neurons show increased responsiveness to both painful and non-painful stimuli. The receptor fields expand and, as a result, pain is felt over a greater part of the dermatome. This results in hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to pain) and cutaneous allodynia. An example of this is sunburn, with increased sensitivity to temperature (i.e., a warm shower feels painfully hot).

How does sensitization occur? Tissue injuryJ and inflammation result in the release of inflammatory mediators, such as prostaglandin E2, bradykinin and NGF. These substances act on G-protein-coupled receptors or tyrosine kinase receptors expressed on nociceptor terminals.K This activates intracellular signaling pathways, resulting in phosphorylation of receptors and ion channels. Phosphorylation changes the threshold and kinetics of the nociceptor terminals, producing increased sensitivity and excitability that results in peripheral sensitization.20 Transcriptional or translational regulation can also contribute to peripheral sensitization. NGF-induced activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in primary sensory neurons after peripheral inflammation increases the expression and peripheral transport of TRPV1 (a member of the transient receptor potential family), exacerbating heat hyperalgesia.21

The normal rhythmic pulsation of the meninges, which are innervated by peripheral trigeminal neurons, can mediate the throbbing pain that migraineurs experience. With the increase in intracranial neuronal sensitivity that migraine patients experience, the normal rhythmic pulsation is interpreted as painful. Bendtsen et al.22 has found evidence for sensitization in CTTH patients. Pericranial myofascial tenderness, evaluated by manual palpation, was considerably higher in patients than in controls (p<0.00001). The stimulus-response function from highly tender muscle was qualitatively different than from normal muscle, suggesting that myofascial pain may be mediated by low-threshold mechanosensitive afferents projecting to sensitized dorsal horn neurons.L
The completion of the entire article referenced above appears in the January 2007 issue of PRACTICAL Neurology.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Poisoned Toothpaste in Panama Is Believed to Be From China

May 19, 2007

Poisoned Toothpaste in Panama Is Believed to Be From China

Diethylene glycol, a poisonous ingredient in some antifreeze, has been found in 6,000 tubes of toothpaste in Panama, and customs officials there said yesterday that the product appeared to have originated in China.

“Our preliminary information is that it came from China, but we don’t know that with certainty yet,” said Daniel Delgado Diamante, Panama’s director of customs. “We are still checking all the possible imports to see if there could be other shipments.”

Some of the toothpaste, which arrived several months ago in the free trade zone next to the Panama Canal, was re-exported to the Dominican Republic in seven shipments, customs officials said. A newspaper in Australia reported yesterday that one brand of the toothpaste had been found on supermarket shelves there and had been recalled.

Diethylene glycol is the same poison that the Panamanian government inadvertently mixed into cold medicine last year, killing at least 100 people. Records show that in that episode the poison, falsely labeled as glycerin, a harmless syrup, also originated in China.

There is no evidence that the tainted toothpaste is in the United States, according to American government officials.

Panamanian health officials said diethylene glycol had been found in two brands of toothpaste, labeled in English as Excel and Mr. Cool. The tubes contained diethylene glycol concentrations of between 1.7 percent and 4.6 percent, said Luis Martínez, a prosecutor who is looking into the shipments.

Health officials say they do not believe the toothpaste is harmful, because users spit it out after brushing, but they nonetheless took it out of circulation.

Mr. Martínez said at a recent news conference that the toothpaste lacked the required health certificates and had entered the market mixed in with products intended for animal consumption.

He said laboratory tests had found up to 4.6 percent diethylene glycol in tubes of Mr. Cool toothpaste. The Excel brand had 2.5 percent.

Miriam Rodríguez, a spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, said she knew of no one who had become sick from using the toothpaste.

Doug Arbesfeld, a spokesman for the United States Food and Drug Administration, said diethylene glycol was not approved for use in toothpaste. Though the F.D.A. has no evidence that the tainted toothpaste slipped into the United States, he added, “We are looking into the situation in Panama.”

Mr. Delgado, the director of Panamanian customs, said the Dominican authorities had been notified to be on the lookout for the suspect toothpaste.

In Panama City, a consumer notified the pharmacy and drugs section of the Health Ministry after seeing that diethylene glycol was listed as an ingredient in toothpaste at a store.

The ministry fined the store $25,000 and ordered it closed for not following proper procedures in putting products up for sale.

The Northern Star, a newspaper in the southeastern Australian city of Lismore, reported yesterday on its Web site that the Excel brand of toothpaste had been found in a chain of supermarkets and taken off the shelves immediately.

Two weeks ago, The New York Times reported that a Chinese factory not certified to make pharmaceutical ingredients had sold 46 barrels of syrup containing diethylene glycol that had been falsely labeled as 99.5 percent pure glycerin. That syrup passed through several trading companies before ending up in Panama, where it was mixed into 260,000 bottles of cold medicine.

At least 100 people died as a direct result, according to Dimas Guevara, a Panamanian prosecutor who is leading the investigation into the deaths.

Over the years, counterfeiters have found it financially advantageous to substitute diethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting syrup, for its chemical cousin glycerin, which is usually much more expensive.

R. M. Koster contributed reporting from Panama City.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Osteonecrosis of the Jaw - AAOMS Webinar

Sign up for the webinar by clicking here

In 2003-04, oral and maxillofacial surgeons were the first clinicians to recognize and report an increased number of patients presenting symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw, a non-healing exposed bone in the maxillofacial region. Further investigation revealed that many of these patients had been treated with IV and, to a lesser extent, oral bisphosphonates.

Osteonecrosis adversely affects quality of life and produces significant morbidity in afflicted patients. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons, who have been responsible for counseling, managing and treating a majority of these patients, believe it is important that their dental and medical colleagues, particularly those who are likely to treat patients undergoing bisphosphonate therapy, to understand the symptoms and characteristics of osteonecrosis; the risk factors for the disease among patients undergoing bisphosphonate treatment for osteoporosis; treatment options for osteonecrosis; and possible steps to prevent the development of this disease. It is also important that dental and medical providers understand that patients at risk can also present with other common clinical conditions that should not be confused with osteonecrosis.

Plan to attend this important 90-minute, Webinar on Osteoporosis and Osteonecrosis, Wednesday, May 30, 2007, from 1:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time.

Educational Objectives
Upon completion of this session, the participants should be able to:

* Describe bone metabolism and the pathophysiology of osteoporosis
* Describe the role of bisphosphonates in the treatment of osteoporosis including their mechanism of action and how long they stay in bone
* Describe the pathophysiology of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws (BRONJ) and define its presentation characteristics
* Identify patients presenting with BRONJ or the potential for BRONJ
* Recognize current treatment algorithms for the management of BRONJ and describe:
o How to address patients
o The general dentists' role in diagnosis and management
o The oral maxillofacial surgeons' role in diagnosis and management

Friday, May 18, 2007

New File Saving Service has 1GB free (more if you want to pay) if you want to backup and save files. Whats really cool is that you can make some files public and the service generates the URL for the file. So anyone can access the file via the internet. Great if you blog and want to upload files. Want to post a video for your friends but keep it off You Tube.

It can also put a button on your MS Office applications to save it directly to This allows you to share and collaborate with others.

Give it a try

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Three Cures for Toothache Pain

From Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

Tea, ice, and chewing gum can soothe you until a dental appointment.

If a toothache strikes someone in your family, your first step should be to dial a dentist. Toothaches indicate a problem that likely won’t go away—a lost filling, a cavity, or a serious infection. After you’ve made an appointment, try these home remedies to deal with the pain.

Peppermint Tea: Because of its anti-inflammatory compounds, peppermint has a soothing ability. Make a cup of the tea, let it cool to room temperature, take a sip, then swish as needed. Another kitchen-cupboard option: cloves. For decades, clove oil was a mainstay in dentists’ offices for numbing pain. Take three to five whole cloves and tuck them between the gum and the sore tooth. A pinch of ground cloves also works.

Ice: Canadian researchers found that rubbing an ice cube on people’s hands can dull the pain of a toothache in about half of those tested. Wrap the ice in a thin washcloth and rub it into the fleshy part between your thumb and forefinger. The sensation seems to crowd out the pain messages going to your brain from your tooth.

Chewing gum: If you’ve lost a filling or cracked a tooth, fill the exposed area with a piece of softened sugarless chewing gum. This will protect the sensitive area until you get the tooth fixed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Endodontic Implications of Bisphosphonate-Associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaws

From the AAE Web Site

Bisphosphonates are an important class of drugs that have widespread use in managing osteoporosis and treating
certain cancers. A recently recognized adverse effect, bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaws (ONJ),
has important medical and dental implications. The American Association of Endodontists offers this Position
Statement to help make our members aware of these implications. It is, of course, up to the individual endodontist
to determine what course of treatment to undertake with respect to any given patient.
Bisphosphonates are commonly used to treat certain resorptive bone diseases such as osteoporosis, Paget’s disease
and hypercalcemia associated with certain malignancies such as multiple myeloma and bone metastasis from the
breast or prostate (Lipton 2003; Licata 2005; Lipton 2005). Bisphosphonates inhibit bone resorption by inhibiting
osteoclast activity (Lindsay and Cosman 2001), although other actions such as inhibition of angiogenesis have also
been reported (Wood et al. 2002; Santini et al. 2003; Vincenzi et al. 2005).
Bisphosphonate-Associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaws
There is growing recognition that bisphosphonates may be associated with a rare adverse event called
osteonecrosis of the jaws (ONJ). Several case reports, letters to the editor, reviews and position statements from
the U.S. FDA and interested pharmaceutical companies have been published on bisphosphonate-associated ONJ
(Carter and Goss 2003; Marx 2003; Migliorati 2003; Hellstein and Marek 2004; Ruggiero and Mehrotra 2004; Carter
et al. 2005; Cheng et al. 2005; Durie et al. 2005; Katz 2005; Markiewicz et al. 2005; Marx et al. 2005; Melo and Obeid
2005; Melo and Obeid 2005; Migliorati 2005; Migliorati et al. 2005; Migliorati et al. 2005; Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Corporation 2005; Purcell and Boyd 2005; Sarathy et al. 2005; Wooltorton 2005; Zarychanski et al. 2006). Because
there currently are no available randomized controlled trials or higher levels of clinical evidence, the following
information is presented based on retrospective analysis of case reports and expert opinions.
Patients presenting with bisphosphonate-associated ONJ typically present with at least some of the following signs
and symptoms:
• An irregular mucosal ulceration with exposed bone in the mandible or maxilla
• Pain or swelling in the affected jaw
• Infection, possibly with purulence
• Altered sensation (e.g., numbness or heavy sensation).
Additional important issues related to bisphosphonate-associated ONJ include:
• The site of occurrence of the osteonecrosis is the jaws, and presentation occurs more frequently in the
mandible than in the maxilla. The reasons for the presentation of osteonecrosis in the jaws versus other parts of
the skeleton are unknown at this time.
AAE Position Statement
Endodontic Implications of Bisphosphonate-Associated
Osteonecrosis of the Jaws
©2006, American Association of Endodontists, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 800/872-3636 (North America) or 312/266-7255 (International); Fax: 866/451-9020 (North America) or 312/266-9867 (International)
E-mail:; Web site:

Monday, May 14, 2007

AMD announces four-core Phenom chips

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has announced it will launch a new line of chips that integrate four computing centres on a single piece of silicon later this year.

The upcoming Phenom line of processors will be able maximize performance by managing energy use more efficiently and minimizing the distance information has to travel to be used, the Sunnyvale, Calif. chipmaker said on Monday.

Without naming chief rival Intel Corp., AMD said that its own design — which interlinks the four cores, keeping data within a single processor — eliminates "a bottleneck inherent in other products that are packaging two dual-core chips to form quad-core processors."

Intel's Core 2 technology is used in its chip lines that incorporate two processors in one computing core.

AMD on Monday was also to offer its first public demonstration of an eight-core system that pairs two of its Phenom quad-core processors. The eight-core platform expected to be available in 2008, is code-named "FASN8" — pronounced "fascinate."

AMD's Phenom chips will come in three versions — a four-core FX flavour that targets high-performance uses such as high-end PC video games and will be offered in an eight-core set, and X4 and X2 four- and dual-core versions.

On May 9, No. 1 chipmaker Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., launched its new line of Centrino-branded chips that incorporate wireless networking and the company's Core 2 Duo technology.

High serum antibody levels to Porphyromonas gingivalis predict myocardial infarction

Pussinen PJ, Alfthan G, Tuomilehto J, Asikainen S, Jousilahti P.

Institute of Dentistry, University of Helsinki bDepartment of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.

BACKGROUND: An association between coronary heart disease (CHD) and clinically diagnosed periodontitis has been found in several epidemiological studies. However, seroepidemiologic evidence based on prospective data on this association is totally lacking. DESIGN: The aim of the study was to investigate serum antibodies to major periodontal pathogens for their prediction of myocardial infarction (MI) in men free of CHD at baseline. METHODS: Cases and controls were ascertained from a random population sample of 4255 men aged 30 to 59 years at baseline. The study cases included 63 men with nonfatal MI or coronary death within the follow-up time of 10 years. Age-matched control subjects (n=63) were randomly chosen from the same cohort. Serum antibody levels to two major periodontopathogenic bacteria, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis, were determined. RESULTS: There was no significant association between the risk for MI and IgG- or IgA-class antibody levels to A. actinomycetemcomitans or IgG-class antibody levels to P. gingivalis. However, a high P. gingivalis IgA-class antibody level predicted MI independently of classical cardiovascular risk factors. The risk for MI increased by increasing quartiles of antibody levels (P for the trend 0.021). Compared with the first quartile, the multivariate odds ratios of MI in the second, third and fourth quartiles were 2.47 (95% CI 0.75-8.11), 3.30 (1.03-10.58) and 3.99 (1.22-13.10), respectively. CONCLUSION: The study provides serological evidence that an infection caused by the periodontal pathogen, P. gingivalis, increases the risk for MI.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Emerging Diagnostic Tools for Early Caries Detection

Though dental caries remains among the most prevalent of diseases globally, the developed world has seen a decrease in prevalence.1 This decline in prevalence has come about through the use of remineralization techniques, especially those involving fluoride. The resultant slower progression of carious lesions offers dental care providers the challenge of diagnosing and intervening in the disease process at an earlier stage, before cavities exist.

The standard diagnostic armamentarium in use by most dental care providers today comprises visual inspection, use of an explorer, and radiography. The diagnosis is typically “You do, or you don’t have a cavity,” and refinements of those techniques continue. For example, the International Caries Detection and Assessment System provides a unified set of visual criteria by which the level and activity of caries can be classified. Explorers are used to lightly assess surface hardness rather than for forceful probing. Both developments acknowledge that caries is a dynamic disease process involving cycles of demineralization and remineralization that occur before a cavity presents.

An ideal early detection system would allow the monitoring of the continuum of caries development, and allow for appropriate intervention before cavitation occurs.1 The system would have high sensitivity, specificity, precision, and accuracy. It would be easy to use, applicable to all surfaces and to all patients, and would allow the assessment of a lesion’s activity by identifying whether it is remineralizing, demineralizing, or dormant.

Read the rest on the Colgate Oral Care Report web site

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Net32 Provides Purchasing Capability for Pennwell Publications

Net32, Inc. (Net32), developer of the leading business to business electronic marketplace for the dental industry, today announced the launch of a new section in the leading print publications Dental Economics and Dental Office. This represents the first ever collaboration between an online open marketplace and a leading publisher in the dental industry that allows immediate purchase of products advertised in print at a single website.

I am pleased to say that the above paragraph is the lead in to our press release about a ground breaking new service involving Pennwell Corporation and Net32. Starting with the May edition of Dental Economics a new 4 page section of Net32 Specials will be included where up to 30 products will be displayed for sale from multiple vendors at great pricing. For the first time ever a wide range of dental supplies and dental equipment that dentists read about in the publication will be available for immediate purchase simply by coming to the Net32 website at Additionally, a new 4 page section will appear in Dental Office starting with the June edition, focusing on products and services that are of interest to the dental team.

What this means to you is that more products with even better pricing will be available at We are delighted to work with the forward looking people at Pennwell to close the advertising/buying loop making this possible.

Lyle Hoyt, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher for Pennwell's Dental Publications, said "The collaboration between Net32, Dental Economics and Dental Office will result in significant and measurable benefit to our readers. Dental Economics focus on practice management and emphasis on employing business systems inside the dental office to drive practice productivity and profitability will be greatly enhanced.

Our newest title, Dental Office, emphasizes the team approach to operating a successful dental practice. This will mesh seamlessly with Net32's product information and web capabilities in that these aspects of Net32 allow collaboration between the dentist, office manager and dental assistant to seamlessly coordinate the most efficient method of managing the purchase of dental products."

Please feel free to peruse the new Net32 Specials presented by Dental Economics at appearing each month, and get ready to enjoy 4 pages of Net32 Specials presented by Dental Office starting in June!

Thanks for your continuing support of our leading online marketplace for the dental industry. It is exactly that support that has made it possible to improve our service to you with these new offerings that will help to improve the efficiency and profitability of your practice.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ultreo - UnBoxed

I recently received an Ultreo ultrasound toothbrush.


The box was easy to open and contained the toothbrush, charging stand and
adapter and travel case.


Here is the Ultreo on its charging stand



I have used this brush for a week. Here are my Pros and Cons.


Nice packaging and feel.

Teeth Feel Clean.

Area to place your toothpaste (see photo where the orange rubber piece is )

Good Documentation

Loud warble to change quadrants


Head is too big

Brush feels hard

If your hand rides up the handle it can interfere with the sonic action

These are my thoughts on the Ultreo. As usual your mileage may vary.

FDA Approves Aastrom Phase III IND for Treatment of Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head

Patient-Specific Stem Cell Trial to Address Unmet Medical Need

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 7, 2007 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:ASTM), a regenerative medicine company, today announced that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Company's Investigational New Drug (IND) application to initiate a 120 patient Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of osteonecrosis (also known as avascular necrosis) of the femoral head. Aastrom intends this to be a pivotal trial with the goal of demonstrating clinical safety and efficacy for the submission of a Biologics License Application (BLA). In addition, the Company may have to generate further patient data in this indication, such as data from the ongoing pivotal trial in Spain, to support a U.S. BLA submission. Osteonecrosis is a progressive disease, with no established effective treatments, that often leads to a total hip replacement. Aastrom will use its Bone Repair Cell (BRC) product, based on Tissue Repair Cell (TRC) Technology, to evaluate this approach for treating patients suffering from osteonecrosis.

"This is our first Phase III clinical trial focused on tissue regeneration, and it represents a significant step forward for both the Company and the field of regenerative medicine. We are thrilled to report the achievement of this clinical milestone," said George Dunbar, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aastrom. "Should the clinical trial results meet our expectations, we intend to seek licensure and take the BRC product to market under our existing Orphan Drug Designation."

Initiation of this clinical trial complements the receipt of an Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA. Orphan drug status is granted to development-stage products that offer potential therapeutic value in the treatment of rare diseases and conditions. The Company may be entitled to several benefits prior to approval, including an expedited FDA review, the reduction or even elimination of filing fees, and the availability of possible tax credits, and will be entitled to seven years of marketing exclusivity once the product receives FDA approval.

This trial will seek to enroll 120 patients, randomized into two patient groups, at up to 20 clinical sites. The planned treatment approach for all patients will include a core decompression surgery where a core track (hole) is drilled into the head of the femur to relieve internal pressure. Patients randomized into the treatment group will have BRCs mixed with a bone matrix carrier placed into the core track, while control patients will receive bone matrix carrier without cells. If healthy bone can be successfully regenerated in the femoral head, we expect the need for a hip replacement could be delayed or eliminated in osteonecrosis patients. The primary efficacy endpoint of this trial is to prevent or delay the progression of osteonecrosis to fracture, and potentially collapse of the femur head, which will be measured by a blinded third-party reviewer through MRI and CT imaging. Patients will be followed for a total of 24 months, post-treatment.

"Osteonecrosis is a pressing medical problem in orthopedic medicine. This disease generally afflicts younger people, and often has a poor prognosis. More than half of the patients progress to debilitating fractures of the femoral head which require a total hip replacement without appropriate treatment, within two years of initial diagnosis," said Marc W. Hungerford, M.D., Assistant Professor of Orthopedics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "This trial represents a novel and promising approach aimed at preserving the functional integrity of the hip joint. It could potentially eliminate the need to subject the patient to major surgery."

The tissues involved in osteonecrosis of the femoral head include bone, bone marrow and blood vessels (vascular), complicating the development of effective treatments in the past. Aastrom's TRC-based products, which include a proprietary mixture of stem and progenitor cells derived from a small sample of the patient's own bone marrow, have been used in other clinical trials involving different indications to evaluate regeneration in all three of these tissues. With this capability, the application of TRC Technology may offer a novel means to regenerate the tissues lost due to osteonecrosis.

This study initiation is Aastrom's second clinical trial evaluating the Company's TRC Technology in patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head. In January, the Company announced it had treated the first two patients in a pivotal clinical trial for osteonecrosis in Spain.

About Osteonecrosis

The National Osteonecrosis Foundation indicates that in the U.S. alone, there are up to 20,000 people initially diagnosed with this debilitating disease each year, and current therapies are of limited effectiveness. Osteonecrosis is a painful medical condition where the tissue inside a bone is dying and unable to regenerate itself through natural processes. Ninety percent of the patients afflicted by this disease have osteonecrosis at the femoral head -- the ball at the top of the femur bone that rotates inside the hip socket. Left untreated the femoral head eventually collapses, leading to a total hip joint replacement. In the U.S., it is estimated that up to 10% of all hip replacements are performed due to osteonecrosis. There are no established pharmaceuticals for the prevention or treatment of osteonecrosis. For more information, visit the National Osteonecrosis Foundation's website at

Minnesota Dentist's Become Bathroom Monitor

Adult oral conscious sedation patients in Minnesota who need to use the bathroom anytime after they’ve received their initial dose of medication can now count on their dentists coming into the restroom and even individual toilet stalls with them.

Makes no difference if the dentist is male and the patient female or vice versa. Effective March 19, 2007, qualified dentists – not trained (same gender) members of their staff – must remain at all times with a patient who is still under the effects of oral conscious sedation (OCS).

The new regulation raises all order of potential bathroom embarrassments. If a dentist needs to use the bathroom once an adult patient has received sedation, the dentist by law must take the patient with him (or her).

This is no joke.

In fact, it has dentists in Minnesota facing a real quandary of how to manage patients during what are often multi-hour treatments using oral conscious sedation. Prior to the new regulations, male dentists routinely sent a trained female staff member to accompany female patients to the bathroom or felt safe leaving a trained staff member with the patient while they made their own restroom stop.

This is no longer permitted in Minnesota.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

How Good Is Your Dental Lab?

Lab Management Today ran an experiment by sending identical impressions to U.S. and Foreign Labs.

Identical impressions were sent anonymously to nine very different laboratories. The resulting crowns were evaluated by a panel of highly trained dentists and dental technologists. Every one of them resoundingly said: “I wouldn’t want any of these in my mouth.”

Read the very interesting results on the LMT Web Site.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Another Dental School Cheating Scandal

First it was my alma mater NJ Dental School now Indiana University School of Dentistry

Nearly half the students in the Indiana University School of Dentistry's second-year class have been disciplined for their roles in a cheating scandal in which students broke into password-protected files to view exam material before tests.

Read the whole article here

New Treo 755. I'm Not Buying It!

Well Palm has released the new Treo 755P. The specs for this Treo are almost identical to the Treo 700P. There has been many problems with the Treo 700P and after a year and a half the update for the phones software is due out at the end of the month.

So I still sit with my old reliable (if you can call any Treo reliable) Treo 650. I think I will be waiting to see if all the bugs are out of the Treo 755 and if the ROM update for the 700 works.

Here is what I will be doing before deciding what my next smartphone will be:

1. Wait for Jeff Hawkins to announce the new Palm product later this month a D Conference.

2. See what the bugs are in the 755P if any.

3. See if the ROM update for the 700P fixes all of its problems.

If the ROM update works well I may consider buying a used 700P because the SD cards are the same size and I have extra batteries that will fit. Otherwise I may just jump off the Treo ship or wait until the end of the year and see if I will beta test the new Linux Palm OS smartphone at that time.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Brightest Head Light?

Until now, doctors had to choose: either good task lighting with a fiber-optic system with annoying cords, cables and bulbs, or portable convenience with inadequate light.
Until now, many doctors concluded that the restrictiveness and discomfort were simply not worth the trouble, despite the obvious advantages of having a direct personal light source during surgery.
Finally, with the Iris you can have the best of both worlds -- a completely cordless headlight that provides phenomenally bright, surgical-quality light output, that's comfortable, lightweight and incredibly bright.

More on the enova website

Monday, May 07, 2007

Playing With Linux On My Old Notebook Computer

This weekend I decided to try and load Ubuntu Linux on an old laptop. I don't need the laptop but just was doing this as an exercise in Linux. The old Dell Insprion 4000 only has 128MB of RAM, a 600Mhz processor and a 10GB hard drive. I had Windows XP loaded on it but it was very slow. I am a Linux noobie.

Well with that little RAM I could not use the Ubuntu Live CD and had to do an alternate installation. I downloaded the file, burned the CD but could not get Ubuntu loaded. The install kept stalling at 77%. Ubuntu Live CD works fine on my current Dell Inspiron notebook and desktops that I installed it on. It is still my recommendation for installing Linux.

So I decided to try Puppy Linux. This live CD worked well but I could not get the display to work at any resolution other then 640x480. My Orinoco network card worked. Wireless network cards are sometimes a problem for Linux. So I decided to try Knoppix. Knoppix worked well from the live CD and I installed it on the hard drive. Now my network card didn't work and there were some other issues. Knoppix really is meant to be run from the CD.

I was going to try Kanotix. This Knoppix derivative Linux distribution is meant to be installed on the hard drive but while waiting for it to download I found ArkLinux.

ArkLinux states that it can be installed with just 4 mouse clicks. Ark Linux was developed primarily as a desktop system - easy enough for people without Linux (or computer) experience to install and learn.

Ark Linux comes on one CD - including everything the average Desktop user may need: the OS itself, an office suite, a web browser, a multi-protocol instant messenger program, video and music players, a peer-to-peer filesharing program, various games, and more.

So I downloaded the file, burned the CD and popped it in the notebook. It took about an hour to load the new OS and it just plain worked! A beautiful desktop and every thing installed perfectly. Well the old notebook is quite peppy now. Not sure where it will live but I will be honing my Linux skills on it.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Mini Player On Sale

Here is a nice multi media player for a great price. The Meizu is a portable player for both audio and video. Smaller then an iPod Nano and with a bigger screen. Its onsale at Walgreens for $99.

Read a review here on Gizmodo

Friday, May 04, 2007

Dentists miss the target

There are a few crooked, dishonest dentists in the UK. Some claim fees for inflicting unnecessary dental treatment on unsuspecting patients; others take a more simple approach. They claim for work they have not done. The latter is less painful for the patient, but I will leave you to judge the degree of moral turpitude of each course of action.

There are some crooked doctors, ranging from the criminally insane Shipman to the more prosaic consultants who are on Harley Strasse when they should be in their NHS Clinic. There are also, I daresay, some crooked Scottish architects, and some crooked Irish accountants.

It takes all sorts.

But I will let you into a secret. The overwhelming majority of British dentists are decent, caring, and hard-working. Yes, they want to make the best living they can, but only by providing decent, ethical, professional treatment for their patient. It is becoming impossible to do that within the NHS although a fair number have tried. They have taken a cut in income and stayed in the NHS because they are committed to the principles of the NHS.

Read the rest on the NHS Blog Doctor

FDA Launches New Web Page, E-newsletter to Enhance Online Consumer Health Information

Keeping up with the latest consumer health information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just got easier. FDA today announced two new initiatives to enhance online communications. A Web page, "Consumer Health Information for You and Your Family" (, provides comprehensive and timely consumer information. A free monthly e-newsletter, "FDA Consumer Health Information" (, will alert consumers to content contained on the page.

"The Web page and e-newsletter are important new consumer resources that will feature timely stories on pressing FDA topics, provide links to our most requested information, and include interactive content," says Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs.

The new consumer Web page will present important public health developments clearly and accurately in easy-to-read language. A current article describes FDA's ongoing investigation of the recent recall of more than 100 brands of pet food due to potential contamination. Other current articles discuss the benefits and risks of pain relievers, facts about generic drugs, and what FDA is doing to keep produce safe.

The page also provides links to useful information about the various products that FDA regulates, including food, human and animal drugs, medical devices, and vaccines and other biologics. The page also links to health information available from other U.S. government sources, and provides essential health information in Spanish.

The e-newsletter replaces the agency's print magazine and is expected to reach far more people. Subscribers will receive notice of product approvals, safety warnings, and other health news.

FDA invites feedback on the new Web page and the e-newsletter. Comments and questions may be sent via email to or mailed to FDA Consumer Health Information, Food and Drug Administration, HFI-40, Room 15-A29, Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Senior Citizens Make Big Gains in Latest Oral Health Reports

Based on data from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, the report, "Trends in Oral Health Status-United States, 1988-1994 and 1999-2004," represents the most comprehensive assessment of oral health data available for the U.S. population to date.

The key findings for senior citizens included:

• Moderate and severe periodontitis (gum disease) decreased from 10 percent to 5 percent among adults aged 20 to 64 years, and from 27 percent to 17 percent for seniors aged 65 years and older.

• Among seniors aged 65 years and older, the percentage with complete tooth loss (edentulism) decreased from 34 percent to 27 percent.

Read the entire article along with a state by state report card by clicking here.

Woman contracts hep B during oral surgery

From Reuters:

NEW YORK - Hepatitis B virus was transmitted from one patient to another when they both underwent oral surgery in the same office on the same day — despite proper infection control measures — public health officials report.

The situation came to light when a 60-year-old woman sought medical care because of joint pain and fatigue, and was found to have hepatitis B. She had no traditional risk factors for hepatitis, but she said she had oral surgery several months earlier.

A cross-match of the state department of health’s hepatitis B registry found a patient infected with hepatitis B virus who had oral surgery a couple hours earlier that day.
Viral DNA from the two subjects was identical, according to Dr. John T. Redd, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

An inspection of the surgeon’s office showed that appropriate, standard precautions for preventing transmission of blood-borne viruses were being followed, the investigators report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Hepatitis B virus can persist in dried blood on surfaces for a week or longer, and can also be present on surfaces that have no detectable blood.

Infection control procedures have nearly eliminated its spread in health care settings, note Dr. Ban Mishu Allos and Dr. William Schaffner in an accompanying commentary. Still, several similar cases have been reported in which the means of transmission could not be identified, they add.

This is “troubling because it suggests that there are aspects of transmission of blood-borne disease that remain poorly understood,” according to the editorialists, from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.

They advocate universal hepatitis B vaccination of all adults up to 40 years of age, as well as thorough investigations for non-traditional exposure sources when hepatitis B virus is diagnosed in patients with no recognizable risk factors.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Watch TV On Your PC with Joost

Here is a service that may be good for your patients to while away the time spent in the dental chair.

What's Joost?

Joost is a new way of watching TV on the internet. With Joost, you get all the things you love about TV, including a high-quality full-screen picture, hundreds of full-length shows and easy channel-flipping.
Inside the box

You get great internet features too, such as search, chat and instant messaging, built right into the program - so you find shows quickly and talk to your friends while you watch. And with no schedules to worry about, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you like - as often as you want. Joost is completely free, and works with most modern PCs and Intel Mac-based computers with a broadband connection.

Check out the Joost video by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Besides Backing Up, You Need To Restore

During my lectures on backing up I make sure that I tell everyone that backups must be restored in order to ascertain that the backup is good. Well even the N.Y. Times Magazine doesn't follow that rule.

How is this dental...
Well we all need to backup data in our dental offices and a quote form the article.

Business 2.0, the technology-aware magazine published by Time Inc., periodically reminds readers of the importance of backing up computer files. A 2003 article likened backups to flossing — everyone knows it’s important, but few devote enough thought or energy to it.

Last week, Business 2.0 got caught forgetting to floss.

On the night of Monday, April 23, the magazine’s editorial system crashed, wiping out all the work that had been done for its June issue. The backup server failed to back up.

Read the rest of article on the NY Times web site.


Dell to use Ubuntu on Linux PCs

I mentioned the new version of Ubuntu Linux last week. Well you will be able to buy a Dell computer with Ubuntu already installed.

Computer maker Dell has chosen Ubuntu as the operating system for its range of Linux computers for consumers.

Fans of Linux hope that the move will persuade more mainstream PC users to abandon Microsoft Windows and opt for the open-source operating system.

London-based firm Canonical, the lead sponsor of the Ubuntu project, will ensure the software works on Dell PCs.

Ubuntu includes software like office programs, e-mail, a browser, instant messaging software and a media player.

Michael Dell, the founder, chairman and chief executive of Dell, is himself an Ubuntu user. He has the operating system installed on a high-end Dell Precision M90 laptop he uses at home.

Read the rest on the BBC web site.

New Nanocomposites May Mean More Durable Tooth Fillings

A calcium phosphate nanocomposite filling in a tooth. The nanocomposite can "smartly" release decay-fighting agents to buffer against acids produced by bacteria, and rebuild the lost tooth minerals by releasing ions into the mineral-deficient area of the tooth.

View a photo here

The mouth is a tough environment—which is why dentists do not give lifetime guarantees. Despite their best efforts, a filling may eventually crack under the stress of biting, chewing and teeth grinding, or secondary decay may develop where the filling binds to the tooth. Fully 70 percent of all dental procedures involve replacements to existing repairs, at a cost of $5 billion per year in the United States alone.

Now, however, scientists at the American Dental Association’s Paffenbarger Research Center, a joint research program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), have shown that nanotechnology has the potential to lessen that toll by producing tooth restorations that are both stronger than any decay-fighting fillings available today, and more effective at preventing secondary decay. They report their findings in a recent issue of The Journal of Dental Research.*

The researchers’ new technique solves a problem with the standard composite resin filling, a natural-looking restoration that is the method of choice when appearance is an issue. A dentist creates the filling by mixing the pure liquid resin with a powder that contains coloring, reinforcement and other materials, packing the resulting paste into the cavity, and illuminating the tooth with a light that causes the paste to polymerize and harden. For decay-fighting composite fillings, the problem arises from an additive that is included in the powder to provide a steady release of calcium and phosphate ions. These ions are essential to the long-term success of the filling because they not only strengthen the crystal structure of the tooth itself, but buffer it against the decay-causing acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. Yet the available ion-releasing compounds are structurally quite weak, to the point where they weaken the filling as a whole.

To get around this conundrum, the Paffenbarger researchers have devised a spray-drying technique that yields particles of several such compounds, one of which being dicalcium phosphate anhydrous, or DCPA, that are about 50 nanometers across—20 times smaller than the 1-micrometer particles in a conventional DCPA powder. Because these nanoscale particles have a much higher surface to volume ratio, they are much more effective at releasing ions, which means that much less of the material is required to produce the same effect. That, in turn, leaves more room in the resin for reinforcing fibers that strengthen the final filling. To exploit that opportunity, the Paffenbarger researchers also have developed nanoscale silica-fused fibers that produce a composite resin nearly twice as strong as the currently available commercial variety.

* H.H.K. Xu, M.D. Weir, L. Sun, S. Takagi and L.C. Chow. Effects of calcium phosphate nanoparticles on Ca-PO4 composite, J Dent Res 86(4):378-383m 2007.