Monthly Archives: July 2019

Happy National Ice Cream Month! How can you defend against tooth decay that sugar can cause?

Chances are, you will rarely find someone who will turn down a cold ice cream cone; especially during a hot month like July. As National Ice Cream Month wraps up, I’m sure all of you sweet-treat fanatics are wondering: what is all that sugar doing to my teeth? As it turns out, satisfying your sweet tooth with a high sugar intake comes with its risks.

In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), dietary sugar intake is the single most detrimental factor associated with tooth decay. The problem linked to dental caries is not limited to a few cavities here and there. As a matter of fact, dental caries is the most prevalent noncommunicable (chronic) disease the world is faced with. On a case-to-case basis, individuals suffering from extreme tooth decay can face intense pain and complications on a daily basis. Additionally, attempting to solve the problem of dental caries on an international scale can put overwhelming strain on healthcare budgets across the globe.1 As you can see, an epidemic like this can put stress on both individual cases and the population as a whole.

The evidence is clear: sugar is most definitely not beneficial for your pearly whites. But the question still remains, how exactly is sugar wreaking havoc on your teeth? An important piece to note is that sugar itself is not the only attacker at fault. The other enemy at play here is, you guessed it, harmful bacteria. These groups of bacteria seem to have a sweet tooth of their own – allow me to explain.

When you consume sugar, say in ice cream for example, bacteria begin to feed on the free sugars left behind. In doing so, plaque is formed on your teeth. If the plaque is left occupying the tooth surface for too long, the pH of the oral cavity begins to plummet. As the mouth becomes increasingly acidic, this eats away at your teeth, ultimately leading to cavities and tooth decay if not treated.2

This, of course, is not to say that all bacteria that can inhabit your mouth are destructive. In reality, there are good bacteria that can exist in the mouth that can play a role in actually defending against tooth decay. Without further ado, allow me to introduce the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri. This beneficial bacterium is an all-star when it comes to promoting good oral health, including defense against tooth decay, with the scientific evidence to back it up.

A study published in the journal entitled Caries Research aimed to analyze the effect on caries in primary teeth after Lactobacillus reuteri supplementation. The study involved the participation of pregnant mothers during their final month of gestation and their children up until their first birthday. The group of 113 children were divided into a probiotic group involving 60 children and a placebo control group involving 53 children. These children were later assessed at 9 years of age to evaluate their oral health state. Interestingly, results showed that 82% of the children in the probiotic group were caries-free, while only 58% of the children in the placebo group were caries-free. This was despite no significant differences in oral hygiene habits and diet.3

I’m sure sugar enthusiasts will see these results as great news. A quick, easy and safe way to defend against tooth decay – yes please, hand it over! Luckily for those with a sweet tooth, BioGaia Prodentis harnessed the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri into one, mint-flavoured lozenge. With these lozenges, it’s never easier to upgrade your oral health game. Who said you can’t have your ice cream and eat it too?

  1. Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2015.
  2. Tan, V. (2017). How sugar causes cavities and destroys your teeth.
  3. Stensson, M., Koch, G., Coric, S., Abrahamsson, T. R., Jenmalam, M. C., Birkhed, D., & Wendt, L. K. (2014). Oral administration of Lactobacillus reuteri during the first year of life reduces caries prevalent in the primary dentition at 9 years of age. Caries Research, 48(2), 111-117. doi: 10.1159/000354412

Weighing pain control options: what makes a local anesthetic stand out?

Choosing a local anesthetic is not always simple. Many factors will influence the choice of pain control such as procedure type and patient history, to name a few. Most clinicians will usually favour around 1 or 2 local anesthetic they are comfortable with.  It is common for a clinician have 1-2 local anesthetics onsite with a vasoconstrictor and one type of anesthetic without vasoconstrictor, for patients with heart conditions.  The local anesthetic choice is typically dependent on various aspects, including what was used while studying in university, what has been used in previous practices or what their colleagues are currently using. In a study on local anesthetics used by dentists in Ontario, it was concluded that lidocaine 1:100,000 and articaine 1:200,000 are most commonly used.1

HANSAmed Limited was the first company to distribute the original articaine, Ultracaine, in Canada. Because of this, we pride ourselves. With Ultracaine, dentists are seeing exactly what is expected: predictability, safety, and efficacy.

With indications of infiltration anesthesia and nerve block anesthesia, Ultracaine has been clinically proven to be effective. Ultracaine has a high lipid solubility which allows the anesthetic to diffuse through tissue better and faster than any other anesthetic drug on the market.

Ultracaine D-S and D-S Forte have both a high plasma protein binding rate in addition to a high lipid solubility. The rapid breakdown of articaine to the inactive metabolite articanic acid is related to a very low systemic toxicity and consequently to the possibility of repeated injections.2

With so many pain control options available in the field of dentistry, it can be daunting to begin the process of choosing the right one. Although, with Ultracaine, the benefits listed above are evident. With choosing Ultracaine, you can be rest assured that your local anesthetic predictable, safe and efficacious.

  1. Gaffen, A. S., & Haas, D. A. (2009). Survey of local anesthetic use by Ontario dentists. Journal of Canadian Dental Association, 75(9), 649.
  2. Oertel, R., Rahn, R., & Kirch, W. (1997). Clinical pharmacokinetics of articaine. Clinical Pharmacokinetics, 33(6), 417-425. doi: 10.2165/00003088-1997-33060-00002.

“A defibrillator onsite? No thanks, EMS is waiting to help”: AEDs and the importance of being prepared

What does patient safety mean to you? Is a small investment worth saving a patient’s life? Or maybe the life of a staff member, or maybe even your own life? An interesting point was brought to my attention today during a Brain Food Seminar from a dentist who doesn’t believe in having an automated external defibrillator onsite due to clinic location being in close proximity to a hospital.  “We don’t need an AED, the hospital is right across the street”.

This is one of my favourite and most frequent comments I hear in the industry. People tend to forget that cardiac arrest can occur at any age, at any time, to people of all fitness levels, and without warning. We only have minutes to help before death can occur.

Although your clinic may be close to a health care facility or even across the street from emergency responders, the emergency dispatch steps work the same way regardless of your location.  Although the clinic may be located by a hospital or by an EMS station, we need to be able to take on the challenge of SCA should emergency responders be busy elsewhere.  We also need to take into consideration traffic or road congestion. With such a high-risk emergency like sudden cardiac arrest, we do not want to take the risk of waiting on immediate attention from an outside party. For the health of our dental community and patients, I encourage all clinics to be equipped with an easy to use defibrillator because of course; it’s easier to be over prepared than under prepared.

Optim Wipes HANSAmed

How clean is clean? Check out this test.

HANSAmed Limited conducted a cleaning test and our findings are quite surprising. As it turns out, disinfectants are not all the same. All products have different specifications such as contact times, bacterial targets and active ingredients. This information is usually in the fine print which often accidently gets missed. There is no one to blame on this matter as it is a common human error to skim on the fine print. So, what we have done at HANSAmed, is an experiment testing cleaning efficacy.  Using OPTIM wipes, CaviWipes, TB Minute Man, Sani-Cloth PLUS and Ultra Swipes we compared its ability to clean contaminated tiles. Using one wipe per tile, one hema-stick per tile, a 2-3-minute contact time and saline to hydrate we are able to detect each products ability to remove organic debris.

The results may or may not surprise you too. The test confirms that clean is not relative.

Watch the video to find out.

Ensuring patient comfort: Choosing the right local anesthetic

The idea of a successful dental procedure differs based on the opinion of the dentist and the opinion of the patient. To the dental clinician, a successful procedure could be: restoring a tooth, correct placement of an implant, or finally seeing pocket depth reduction in an uncontrollable 8mm infected periodontal pocket. To the patient, all of these factors matter as well. However, above all, a painless procedure is one major detail that a patient will base the procedures’ success off of. If the patients pain control is not taken into consideration throughout the entire procedure, they may reconsider going through this type of treatment again, or even worse, they may consider receiving dental treatment elsewhere.

Among all phobias, dental phobia is one of the most common. One (according to the patient’s standards) unsuccessful/painful procedure might cause mental trauma and have them never wanting to visit a clinic again. A story from some else’s bad experience may also discourage them from coming to the dental clinic.

The use of local anesthesia is closely tied with unpleasant experiences related to dental treatment and dental anxiety. Most fear has to do with dental injections:

  • General fear of dental injections
  • Pain of injection and of bodily injury from injection
  • Fear related to local anesthetic (such as side effects, inadequate anesthesia, etc.)

It is important to select a local anesthetic drug that will achieve the desired anesthetic effect as quickly and effectively as possible to complete the treatment while having pain controlled.

Ultracaine offers the advantages of not only a fast onset and profound action, but also the added benefit of two different vasoconstrictor concentrations. The 1:200,000 solution offers pulpal anesthesia in the range of 45-60 minutes, while the 1:100, 000 solution will extend further to 60-75 minutes. This is a significant advantage over the use of lidocaine HCl solutions, since they only offer pulpal anesthesia in the range of 60 minutes. By using a profound anesthetic, such as 4% Ultracaine, you will reduce the amount of discomfort your patient feels, without having to reinject due to the lasting effect making it a successful procedure for both the dentist and the patient.

Ultracaine HANSAmed