Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dental tattoos are the next big thing

I had never even heard of dental tattos until I read about that while waiting for my son at our Phoenix orthodontist office. Apparently it’s a growing trend that is poised to overtake the conventional tattoo market.

” As the idea is to show off the tattoo, they’re designed on the front portion of the teeth,” affirms Dr Anil Chandan, orthodontist, vice president, Delhi Dental Council.

“Dental tattoos came in the limelight when hip-hop singers and rappers began to don them to look phenomenal on the stage. This trend is basically for party animals,” agrees Dr Prashant Bhasin, an assistant professor at a dental college, and a private practitioner, adding, “Recently, a 13-year-old girl got a temporary tattoo done on her tooth. She had seen it on her friend’s mother’s tooth, so she also wanted one. Temporary tattoos are stuck on the tooth with the help of laser, while permanent ones are drilled into the tooth. Patients mostly go for temporary ones because this is a fad, and may not be so cool after a few seasons. Though permanent tattoos can also be removed, temporary ones are easily removable.”

Safe & painless option?
“There are no side effects of dental tattoos, until and unless you are putting in something which is not recommended,” asserts Dr Sonia, dental tattoo expert, “The product which is being put on your teeth has to be of a certain quality. We use very safe products so that if a person swallows the stud by mistake, it causes him no harm. Even I got a dental tattoo some time back, and there have been zero side effects. All you need to do is maintain your dental hygiene, and keep a check on cavities, etc.” And according to Dr Prashant, “It is not at all painful. Women think of it as dental jewellery and adore it.” Dr Chandan, however, disagrees, and often discourages people to get it done because of multiple apprehensions (see box below). “Our job is to let them know of the possible side effects and leave the final decision to the client,” he says.

Age no bar
Twenty-six-year-old Parul Suri got a tattoo on her tooth four months back. “It’s very trendy. I came to know about it from the internet. I’ve got a single stud on my tooth that sparkles whenever I smile. It’s been raining compliments ever since I got it done.” Hers is a temporary one because she thinks that she might get bored of it after some time and might want to flaunt a new design. And in case you thought it’s a fashion fad only among the young, think again. Dr Sanjay Arora, chief dental surgeon at Alchemist Dental Clinic, says that his clientele for dental tattoos comprises people from the age group of 15 to 50. Dr Sonia, too, gave a beautiful tooth tattoo to a 40-year-old lady recently.

How much is the cost?
“It ranges anywhere between `5,000 - 20,000,” says Dr Chandan. Moreover, it depends on the stud too. If one chooses a gold stud, the price will certainly shoot up. “The designs range from a flower to a stud. Anything that the clientwants can be incorporated. And depending on the design, and whether one wants to get it on a single tooth or multiple teeth, the cost varies,” specifies Dr Sanjay Arora.

In India, till now, the swarovski studs have been used the most. The pictorial ones are no so common yet. But you can get a custom-made design in a dental laboratory, which your dentist can stick on your teeth.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Adults often need to get braces as well

Despite having braces for four years as a young adult and teenager, I also had to have a Phoenix orthodontist fit me with braces as an adult in my thirties. This is an interesting subject that is rarely explored, since we so commonly associate orthodontics with young people, although it’s a growing trend for adults to correct their dental problems for various reasons. Some are now able to afford the high cost of braces that their parents were unable to pay when they were younger, as well as other issues that occur throughout one’s lifetime.

Some adults choose to get braces to enhance their careers. Regardless of whether it’s fair, appearance can matter in certain career fields.

Some adults wanted braces as children but didn’t get them for various reasons. Sometimes, it simply comes down to money. On average, adult braces cost between $5,000 and $7,000. Some insurance companies offer plans that cover a portion of the cost, but many companies stop covering braces after a person turns 19. Some orthodontists offer financing options through their offices.

What happens when you get braces?

There are a few options in correcting your teeth, including metal braces, tooth-colored braces, braces that go behind the teeth and clear aligners.

Metal braces are probably the most well-known approach. To install these braces, your orthodontist will glue individual brackets to your teeth. Next, wires will be placed through the brackets. Each time you come in for an adjustment, your orthodontist will adjust these wires to help gradually move your teeth. Your orthodontist might also use small rubber bands to help fix your bite.

Invisalign is another option that works to correct certain types of problems. With Invisalign, you wear a series of clear plastic aligners that gradually adjust your teeth. Invisalign doesn’t always correct bites as well as metal brackets. For example, if you only suffer from simple teeth crowding, Invisalign might work for you. But if the corrections needed are more complicated, your orthodontists might not use Invisalign. It will be up to you and your orthodontist to decide which option is best for your.

Porcelain veneers are one of the more expensive options for correction. Veneers are a compilation of several thin ceramic layers that replace original tooth enamel and an adhesive layer. To apply a veneer, a small amount of the original tooth enamel is removed to create room for it to fit in your mouth. Read more..http://newsok.com

Orthodontist article I found interesting

Here’s some interesting information about someone who isn’t a Phoenix orthodontist, but this breakthrough is extremely relevant to the practice of orthodontics and dental health in the future and beyond. Please post your thoughts and whether you agree with my impression.

It took about nine months for Todd Hyster to discover a scientific breakthrough, and by October 2012 to have it published in Science magazine.

And to think he almost became an orthodontist.

“I knew I liked science and math, I didn’t know I wanted to do organic chemistry. I actually thought I wanted to be a doctor or an orthodontist,” Hyster said. “I found in my chemistry and molecular biology class that I actually enjoy thinking about small things more than thinking about big macroscopic systems, and while I was taking my cell and chemical biology class I was also taking my first organic chemistry class, and that’s when I started to get the feeling than chemistry would be a better fit.”

Hyster, a fifth-year graduate student, collaborated with CSU chemistry professor Tomislav Rovis and scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland to create a new enzyme that allows scientists to transform other molecules in more selective ways at a faster rate than previously possible.

Enzymes help rearrange molecules in very specific ways to change their function. In the human body, enzymes break down food and rebuild the molecules into something the body can use for energy. The combination of an enzyme and a metal is called a metalloenzyme.

Although metalloenzymes occur naturally, Hyster and Rovis’ experiment paired a bacterial enzyme and a metal to create an “unnatural enzyme” not found in nature. This artificial metalloenzyme helps solve problems that do not work with just a metal or just an enzyme, according to Rovis.

In the pharmaceutical industry, it takes chemists anywhere from weeks to months to create a single candidate for a drug. Decreasing the time it takes to make a compound allows testing to begin sooner.

“If you shorten the discovery time, then in theory you can make a lot more candidates and in theory you have a better chance (of success),” Rovis said. “You keep swinging at a pitch, and the more pitches you swing at the more chances you have for a home run.”

The collaboration that led to the success happened by accident.

While on sabbatical, Rovis met Thomas Ward, a scientist at the University of Basel, who had developed technology for artificial metalloenzyme synthesis. Rovis put Ward in touch with Hyster, and Hyster ended up going to Basel for three months to work on the project with Ward and Livia Knörr. There was no guarantee of success, according to Rovis.

“I thought there was large potential for it, but it could have died,” Rovis said. “You plant a seed, and it could die, or it could sprout into this big tree and without the right person on it, it would have died, and I think Todd was the right person. It’s beginning to flourish, and it will continue to do that.”

Ward praised Hyster for his motivation and creativity, calling him “the best graduate student I have ever seen” and an adviser’s dream Ph.D candidate.

Rovis provided direction for the project, but he credits about 90 percent of the work to Hyster.

“Todd is capable,” Rovis said. “My role sometimes is just cheerleader.”

However, Hyster said that Rovis’ guidance over the years helped him better approach problems and become a better scientist.

“If the training has gone well, by the time you get to your fourth or fifth year you should be able to make these (intellectual) leaps on your own, and your boss should be able to sit back and admire the fact that his approach worked,” Hyster said.

Hyster began work in organic chemistry volunteering in the lab of his undergraduate adviser at the University of Minnesota. He said he enjoys the puzzle-like complexity of the projects he works on, and that he wants to become a professor like Rovis.

The project was published Oct. 26 in Science magazine, a “tremendous honor” because of the few organic chemistry papers that Science publishes, according to Hyster.

A publication in Science is “every scientist’s dream,” according to Ward, because it is a tangible sign of the importance and originality of a project.

The most exciting part of the discovery process for Rovis is the initial success of a project, and then finishing it and sending off to someone who recognizes its impact. Having Science be that someone is “pretty high up on the list,” Rovis said.

Because of Hyster’s project, CSU now has a small facility and is able to do more metalloenzyme development. There is a lot of interest in artificial metalloenzymes, and Rovis said he hopes other scientists continue the work Hyster started.

“It really is a small step,” Rovis said. “It is a very significant step, but it’s a small step. It’s an awful lot left to do, and while we’ve opened up one fairly narrow area, in theory you should be able to open up in this direction, that direction, and then it becomes a field. Now it’s, in essence, a blade of grass; we want it to become a whole field.” www.collegian.com