Watching cartoons could help children overcome anxiety of dental treatment

Watching cartoons through video glasses during dental treatment could help lessen children's anxiety and distress as well as reducing disruptive behaviour, according to a randomized controlled trial published in Acta Odontologia Scandinavica.

Anxiety about visiting the dentist and during treatment is common in children. Estimates suggest that as many as 1 in 5 school age children are afraid of dentists. Children with dental phobias end up experiencing more dental pain and are more disruptive during treatment. Although studies have shown that audiovisual distraction (eg, playing video games and watching TV) can be successful in minimizing distress and the perception of pain during short invasive medical procedures, the issue of whether distraction is beneficial during dental procedures is still hotly debated. Research to date has produced conflicting results.

In this study, 56 'uncooperative' children (aged 7 to 9 years) attending a dental clinic at the Royal College of Dentistry, King Saud University in Saudi Arabia were randomly assigned to receive either audiovisual distraction (watching their favourite cartoons using the eyeglass system Merlin i-theatre™) or no distraction (control group). Children underwent three separate (max 30 min) treatment visits involving an oral examination, injection with local anaesthetic, and tooth restoration. The researchers measured the anxiety levels and cooperative behavior of the children during each visit using an anxiety and behavior scale, and monitored each child's vital signs, blood pressure, and pulse (indirect measures of anxiety). Children also rated their own anxiety and pain during each procedure.

During treatment, the children in the distraction group exhibited significantly less anxiety and showed more cooperation than those in the control group, particularly during the local anaesthetic injection. What's more, the average pulse rate of children in the control group was significantly higher during the injection compared with children in the distraction group. However, the children themselves did not report differences in treatment-related pain and anxiety.

The authors conclude that audiovisual distraction seems to be a useful technique to calm children and ensure that they can be given the dental treatment they need. However, they caution that because of the limited number of participants, further larger studies will be needed in general clinical settings to confirm the value of this audiovisual distraction tool.

Article: Effects of audiovisual distraction on children's behaviour during dental treatment: a randomized controlled clinical trial, Amal Al-Khotaniabc, Lanre A'aziz Belloc, Nikolaos Christidisab, Taylor & Francis Online, doi: 10.1080/00016357.2016.1206211, published online 13 July 2016.

Beverly Hills Dentist Uses Therapy Dog To Help Apprehensive Patients

CBS2 / KCAL9 CBS2/KCAL9 is part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corp. and one of the largest network-owned station groups in the country. CBS Studio City Broadcast Center 4200 Radford Avenue Studio City, CA [] BEVERLY HILLS – Her name is Dr. Softie.

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Tobacco smoke makes germs more resilient

UofL dental researcher explores microbiological mechanisms as World Health Organization urges for a day of abstinence from tobacco use

University of Louisville- logoThe mouth is one of the dirtiest parts of the body, home to millions of germs. But puffing cigarettes can increase the likelihood that certain bacteria like Porphyromonas gingivalis will not only set up camp but will build a fortified city in the mouth and fight against the immune system.

University of Louisville School of Dentistry researcher David A. Scott, Ph.D., explores how cigarettes lead to colonization of bacteria in the body. Scott and his research team have identified how tobacco smoke, composed of thousands of chemical components, is an environmental stressor and promotes bacteria colonization and immune invasion.

Scott says since this initial finding several years ago, a recent literature review published in Tobacco Induced Diseases revealed that cigarette smoke and its components also promote biofilm formation by several other pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Biofilms are composed of numerous microbial communities often made up of complex, interacting and co-existing multispecies structures. Bacteria can form biofilms on most surfaces including teeth, heart valves and the respiratory tract.

“Once a pathogen establishes itself within a biofilm, it can be difficult to eradicate as biofilms provide a physical barrier against the host immune response, can be impermeable to antibiotics and act as a reservoir for persistent infection,” Scott said. “Furthermore, biofilms allow for the transfer of genetic material among the bacterial community and this can lead to antibiotic resistance and the propagation of other virulence factors that promote infection.”

One of the most prevalent biofilms is dental plaque, which can lead to gingivitis – a gum disease found in almost half the world’s population – and to more severe oral diseases, such as chronic periodontitis. Bacterial biofilms also can form on heart valves resulting in heart-related infections, and they also can cause a host of other problems.

“We are continuing research to understand the interactions of the elaborate communities within biofilms and how they relate to disease. Many studies have investigated biofilms using single species, but more relevant multispecies models are emerging. Novel treatments for biofilm-induced diseases also are being investigated, but we have a long way to go,” Scott said. 

Scott elaborates on this research in a short question and answer style blog published today on the BioMedCentral website.

Attention to Scott’s work comes as the World Health Organization observes World No Tobacco Day on May 31 to encourage a global 24-hour abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption. The effort points to the annual 6 million worldwide deaths linked to the negative health effects of tobacco use.

In the United States, Kentucky ranks second for cigarette use among adults, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only West Virginia has more smokers. Kentucky also brings up the rear among youth in grades 9-12 who use tobacco; according to 2011 CDC data, about 24-percent of high school students smoke cigarettes.

Dentists must know side effects of drugs



KARACHI: Associate professor and CPSP supervisor at Hamdard Dental College, Dr. Syed Abrar Ali, recently delivered a lecture on medication relating to inflammation and swelling.

In his lecture on the importance of prescribing medicines in the case of inflammation, he urged the dentists to have complete knowledge of medicines’ side effects before prescribing them and one way of remembering these are CME activities which, he added, must be a part of every dental institute.

The session was followed by a question-answer session. Students, house officers, faculty members and FCPS trainees of Hamdard Dental College attended the session.-PR


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Beautify Your Teeth with Ceramic Veneers – A Case Report From the Residency in Cosmetic Dentistry Program Held at University of Toronto

In the academic year of 2014 to 2015, a new continuing education program, Residency in Cosmetic Dentistry, was introduced to the dental community. This program was meant to provide opportunity for practicing dentists who are interested in enhancing their knowledge and skill in the subject of esthetic dentistry to join. The program included teaching instructions through lectures, small group seminars as well as hands-on clinical experience. The lectures were provided by a group of carefully selected speakers and covered a wide range of topics. Clinical procedures that were performed by participants ranged from ceramic veneers and crowns, CAD-CAM and implant-supported crowns and direct resin composite restorations. The aim of this paper is to share one interesting case treated by one of the program participants (KM) with readers of Oral Health.

Following the discovery of acid etching and bonding to enamel, the porcelain veneer technique was first introduced to the profession in the 1980s by Dr. John Calamia1. Its swift adoption and vast utilization in dentistry made it a standard dental procedure over a short period of time. However, long-term success and longevity of porcelain veneers continues to necessitate careful case selection.2,3 Compared to crowns, veneers offer a conservative preparation design with minimal depth, ranging from .3 to .5 mm, terminating in enamel that is necessary for reliable bonding.2 In a long-term clinical study that evaluated longevity of 580 porcelain veneers over a period of 12 years, when preparations had 20 percent involvement of dentin failures were observed, however, when preparations were completely confined to enamel no veneer failures were observed.4 This finding was confirmed in a review article on the topic that analyzed 24 papers published on the survival of porcelain veneers.5 It stated that “there is reasonable evidence indicating that a veneer preparation into dentin adversely affects survival.” When preparing teeth to receive porcelain veneers dentists must endeavor to maintain preparations minimally invasive with no involvement of dentin where possible.

While original porcelain veneers were made using feldspathic porcelain formulations, new glass-ceramic formulations with superior strength and resistance to chipping have been developed over the years and are now being utilized in place of the original formulations.

According to Nohl et al., “A complete understanding of a patient’s aesthetic problems is the key to treatment planning. Only then can an attempt be made to match expectations with realities and to provide appropriate restorations”.6 In the case presented below a strategic and instrumental approach was adopted throughout in order to ensure that the outcome met the patient’s expectation and at the same time the most conservative and most effective treatment approach was followed.

Case Report
A 44-year-old female with a history of bulimia presented with dark discoloration in her upper anterior teeth (Figs. 1-3). Vital bleaching of the anterior teeth was attempted, however, while there was some improvement in color the outcome remained less than ideal. Therefore, the case was assessed for suitability for restoration with ceramic veneers. A group discussion of the case among residency program participants and instructors ensued and the case was deemed suitable for restoration with glass-ceramic veneers. A diagnostic wax-up was made in the laboratory for assessment of suitability of the veneer restorations and case discussion with the patient. The patient was shown the diagnostic wax-up and the procedure for preparation of the teeth was explained to her in full detail. Alternative treatment modalities with their pros and cons were also discussed with the patient. The final treatment plan that was formulated with the patient’s consent and approval included six glass-ceramic veneers for maxillary anterior teeth, glass-ceramic veneers for maxillary first premolars and one glass-ceramic crown for maxillary second premolar and a glass-ceramic veneer for the other.

FIGURE 1. Preoperative appearance of the maxillary anterior teeth. Several bleaching attempts were made to get rid of the underlying dark discoloration with little response. 
FIGURE 1. Preoperative appearance of the maxillary anterior teeth. Several bleaching attempts were made to get rid of the underlying dark discoloration with little response.

FIGURE 2. Preoperative appearance of the right anterior side.
 FIGURE 2. Preoperative appearance of the right anterior side.

FIGURE 3. Preoperative appearance of the left anterior side.
 FIGURE 3. Preoperative appearance of the left anterior side.

Teeth were prepared for veneers with minimal tooth reduction that terminated in enamel using special diamond burs (#M392-016 and #SF379-023, Axis Dental) (Fig. 4). For premolar veneer preparations a small shelf was made with bur # F856-016 (Axis Dental) on the buccal aspect for better stability during function. The second premolar to receive crown was prepared with a parallel-sided flat-end diamond bur with a 1 mm all-around shoulder finish line and occlusal reduction of 1.5 mm. All line angles were maintained rounded to minimize stress build-up during function (Fig. 4). The diagnostic wax-up was also used to fabricate a reduction guide used to ensure adequate reduction prior to impression taking. A custom made perforated acrylic resin tray was used for impression taking with a polyvinyl siloxane material (Aquasil light- and heavy-body, Dentsply).

FIGURE 4. Appearance of prepared anterior and premolar teeth after removal of provisional restorations. Both 1st and 2nd premolars were prepared with a step on the vestibular aspect to help in stability of the porcelain veneers.
 FIGURE 4. Appearance of prepared anterior and premolar teeth after removal of provisional restorations. Both 1st and 2nd premolars were prepared with a step on the vestibular aspect to help in stability of the porcelain veneers

The diagnostic wax-up was also used to fabricate a matrix for making provisional restorations (Fig. 5). Spot-etching of enamel with phosphoric acid gel for 30 seconds was performed at mid-central locations on facial aspects of canines and premolars. Bonding resin was applied on the etched spots and light-polymerized. The matrix was loaded with provisional veneer material (Luxatemp, DMG America) and secured in place over the prepared teeth. After three minutes the matrix was then lifted off with a sickle scaler and trimming of excess material was carried out with a #7901 tungsten carbide bur. Occlusion was checked and adjusted accordingly. Final polishing with polishing discs and points was then performed to a glaze-like finish (Fig. 6). A provisional crown was made for the second premolar that was prepared for a crown using the same material.

FIGURE 5. A clear matrix was made in a vacuum-forming machine on the waxed up model for fabrication of provisional veneers.
FIGURE 5. A clear matrix was made in a vacuum-forming machine on the waxed up model for fabrication of provisional veneers.

One crown and nine glass-ceramic veneers were fabricated at a local dental laboratory (Shaw labs) in lithium disilicate (e.max CAD, Ivoclar-vivadent) (Figs. 6-9). At the next appointment the provisional restorations were carefully removed and teeth surfaces were cleaned with a slurry of medium-grit pumice with a rubber cup in a slow-speed handpiece. Intaglio surfaces of the ten glass-ceramic restorations were first etched with hydrofluorice acid gel then silanated with a silane-coupling agent. All ten restorations were carefully tried-in while the patient remained in a near horizontal position on the dental chair with face up. The patient was shown the restorations in a mirror for approval. Cementation of the nine glass-ceramic veneers followed using a light-polymerized resin cement (Variolink II, Ivoclar-Vivadent). First enamel surfaces of the prepared teeth were etched with phosphoric acid-etching gel for 45 seconds. The two veneers for the centrals were first simultaneously cemented (Fig. 10). After seating the veneers excess cement was carefully removed with an explorer before light-polymerization through the veneer material (Blue-phase Style, LED light-curing unit, Ivoclar-vivadent). This was followed by cementation of the maxillary laterals’ veneers

FIGURE 6. Provisional restorations were made using a clear matrix made to a waxed-up model. Spot bonding at the centers of the vestibular surfaces of the premolars was followed to optimize retention.
FIGURE 6. Provisional restorations were made using a clear matrix made to a waxed-up model. Spot bonding at the centers of the vestibular surfaces of the premolars was followed to optimize retention.

FIGURE 7. Nine porcelain veneers and one porcelain crown were fabricated at a dental laboratory.
FIGURE 7. Nine porcelain veneers and one porcelain crown were fabricated at a dental laboratory.

FIGURE 8. Lingual aspect of the fabricated porcelain restorations.
FIGURE 8. Lingual aspect of the fabricated porcelain restorations.

FIGURE 9. Four porcelain veneers and one crown fabricated for the right side.
FIGURE 9. Four porcelain veneers and one crown fabricated for the right side.

FIGURE 10. Five porcelain veneers fabricated for the left side.
 FIGURE 10. Five porcelain veneers fabricated for the left side.

(Fig. 11), then veneers for maxillary canines and first premolars were cemented one-side at a time (Figs. 12-14). Finally, the last veneer and the glass-ceramic crown were cemented to the maxillary second premolars. Variolink II was used in the dual-cure mode for cementation of the crown. Figure 15 shows a post-operative view of the case after excess cement was removed and interproximal areas thoroughly polished.

FIGURE 11. Porcelain veneers of the maxillary central incisors were first cemented in place with a light-polymerized resin cement.
 FIGURE 11. Porcelain veneers of the maxillary central incisors were first cemented in place with a light-polymerized resin cement.

FIGURE 12. Veneers for the laterals were then cemented.
FIGURE 12. Veneers for the laterals were then cemented.

FIGURE 13. Veneers for canines and first premolars are cemented.
FIGURE 13. Veneers for canines and first premolars are cemented.

FIGURE 14. Right side view showing porcelain veneers on central, lateral, canine and first premolar in place.
 FIGURE 14. Right side view showing porcelain veneers on central, lateral, canine and first premolar in place.

FIGURE 15. Left side view showing porcelain veneers on central, lateral, canine and first premolar in place.
FIGURE 15. Left side view showing porcelain veneers on central, lateral, canine and first premolar in place.

FIGURE 16. Frontal view showing all nine porcelain veneers cemented in place in addition to the porcelain crown cemented on tooth 15.
FIGURE 16. Frontal view showing all nine porcelain veneers cemented in place in addition to the porcelain crown cemented on tooth 15.

When considering treatment of maxillary teeth with veneers to improve esthetics dentists must consider each and every case according to its own merits. While the tooth preparation procedure is fairly simple great care must be taken to ensure that preparation boundaries terminate in enamel without encroachment into dentin. Cementation of multiple veneers can be a little tedious, however, breaking them down into manageable numbers is recommended. Careful removal of excess cement after setting is important to maintain health of the gingival tissues. When used judiciously in carefully-selected cases ceramic veneers can help patients achieve the most desirable esthetic appearance. OH


Dr. Omar El-Mowafy is tenured professor and head of restorative dentistry at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto. He is a full-member of the School of Graduate Studies of the University of Toronto. Dr. El-Mowafy is also member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon (Honor Dental Society). He published over two hundred research papers, case reports, literature reviews, book reviews in peer-reviewed journals with high scientific impact factor. He is member of Editorial Boards of Operative Dentistry and International Journal of Prosthodontics. He also, acts as reviewer for over 12 international journals. Dr. El-Mowafy spoke at scientific meetings at 29 different cities worldwide in addition to speaking on-board of two cruise ships. He maintains position in private practice in Mississauga since 1989.

Oral Health welcomes this original article.

1. Calamia JR. Etched porcelain veneers: the current state of the art. Quintessence Int 1985; 16(1):5–12.

2. El-Mowafy OM. The use of both porcelain veneers and all-porcelain crowns in restoring anterior teeth. J Can Dent Assoc 2006; 72(9):803–6.

3. El-Badrawy WA, El-Mowafy O. Porcelain veneers Vs. crowns when resolving esthetic problems – two case reports. J Can Dent Assoc. 2009;75(10):701-4.

4. Gurel G, Morimoto S, Calamita MA, Coachman C, Sesma N. Clinical performance of porcelain laminate veneers: outcomes of the aesthetic pre-evaluative temporary (APT) technique. Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent. 2012, 32(6):625-35.

5. Burke FJ Survival rates for porcelain laminate veneers with special reference to the effect of preparation in dentin: a literature review. J Esthet Restor Dent. 2012;24(4):257-65.

6. Nohl FSA, Steele JG, Wassell RW. Crowns and other extra-coronal restorations: Aesthetic control British Dental Journal 2002, 192, 443 – 450.

Anterior Post Traumatic Immediate Implant Manuscript

Fractured teeth are the mist common encountered dental emergency. This manuscript presents an anterior trauma case from initial presentation to final treatment through use of an interdisciplinary approach to diagnosis, planning, and treatment.

Continue reading “Anterior Post Traumatic Immediate Implant Manuscript”

Cigarette smoking alters the mouth microbiota

Smoking significantly changes the mouth's microbiome, with potential implications for tooth decay and the ability to break down toxins, according to results published in the ISME (International Society for Microbial Ecology) Journal.

[girl smoking]
Smokers' mouths have lower levels of the bacteria that break down smoking-related toxins.

Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and mortality in the US, leading to 480,000 deaths annually, or 20% of all deaths.

Over 16 million people live with a smoking-related illness in the US, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2014, the CDC estimated that 16.8% of Americans aged 18 years and over were cigarette smokers, or around 40 million adults.

Much recent research has focused on imbalances in the gut microbiota and how they relate to immune disorders such as Crohn's disease and gastrointestinal cancers.

There are around 600 species of bacteria in the human mouth. Over 75% of oral cancers are thought to be linked to smoking, but it remains unclear whether microbial differences in the mouth affect the risk for cancer.

Higher levels of Streptococcus in smokers' mouths

Researchers from New York University Langone Medical Center and its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center have been using precise genetic tests to investigate the impact of smoking on the composition and action of oral microbiota.

Fast facts about quitting smoking

  • In the US, there are more former smokers than current smokers, according to the CDC
  • In 2010, 68.8% of American smokers wanted to quit
  • In 2013, 48% of smokers in high school had tried to quit in the past year.

Learn more about quitting smoking

The team used mouthwash samples from 1,204 American adults who are registered in a large, ongoing study into cancer risk, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Participants were all aged 50 years or over. Among them were 112 smokers and 521 individuals with no history of smoking. There were also 571 people who had quit smoking, 17% of them having stopped within the past 10 years.

Using genetic tests and statistical data, the researchers analyzed the thousands of bacteria residing in the mouths of volunteers.

Results suggest that the oral microbiome of smokers is significantly different from that of people who have never smoked or are no longer smoking. In the mouths of smokers, the levels of 150 bacterial species were significantly higher, while levels of 70 other species were distinctly lower.

Proteobacteria made up 4.6% of overall bacteria in the mouths of smokers, compared with 11.7% in nonsmokers. Proteobacteria are thought to play a part in breaking down the toxic chemicals introduced by smoking.

By contrast, 10% more species of Streptococcus were found in the mouths of smokers, compared with nonsmokers. Streptococcus is known to promote tooth decay.

Recovery comes after quitting smoking

On quitting smoking, however, the oral microbiome appears to return to its previous state. In people who had smoked previously, but not in the last 10 years, the microbial balance was the same as in the mouths of nonsmokers.

Senior investigator and epidemiologist Jiyoung Ahn, PhD, says:

"Further experiments will be needed, however, to prove that these changes weaken the body's defenses against cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke, or trigger other diseases in the mouth, lungs or gut."

Co-lead investigator Brandilyn Peters, PhD, points out that the results do not reveal how long it takes former smokers' microbiome to find its balance after quitting.

The authors are planning further studies to establish the precise timeline for recovery of the bacterial community in the mouth.

They also hope to understand the biological changes that occur in the oral microbiome as a result of smoking, and how these changes might affect the risk for various cancers of the mouth and elsewhere in the body.

Medical News Today recently reported on research suggesting that the effect of some smoking cessation therapies may be limited.

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Important Update Regarding Conscious Sedation and Pediatric Conscious Sedation Permit Holders

Effective April 17, 2016, the Board of Dentistry’s revised Rules 64B5-14.009, Conscious Sedation Requirements: Operatory, Recovery Room, Equipment, Medicinal Drugs, Emergency Protocols, Records, and Continuous Monitoring and 64B5-14.010, Pediatric Conscious Sedation Requirements: Operatory, Recovery Room, Equipment, Medicinal Drugs, Emergency Protocols, Records, and Continuous Monitoring goes into effect.

These rules were amended to clarify language concerning standard equipment for the operating and recovery room and to add mandatory equipment.  A capnograph was added to the list of standard equipment that must be readily available to the operatory and recovery room and maintained in good working order. Additional clarification was made for continuous monitoring which requires a patient who is administered a drug(s) for conscious sedation must be continuously monitored intra-operatively by pulse oximetry and capnograph to provide pulse rate, oxygen saturation of the blood, and ventilations (end-tidal carbon dioxide).

Please click here for the full rule text of 64B5-14.009. Click here for the full rule text of 64B5-14.010.

For more the complete laws and rules booklet, please visit the Board’s website at


FDA to require boxed warnings on opioid medications

FDA to require boxed warnings on opioid medications


March 22, 2016 Rockville, Md. — As part of the government's commitment to ending the U.S. opioid epidemic, the Food and Drug Administration announced March 22 major label changes for all prescription opioid products, including new boxed warnings about the serious risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death.

The FDA also said it will require several more safety labeling changes to include additional information on the risk of these medications as part of the agency's efforts to "help inform prescribers about the importance of balancing the serious risks of opioids with their role in managing pain," according to an FDA release.

"Opioid addiction and overdose have reached epidemic levels over the past decade, and the FDA remains steadfast in our commitment to do our part to help reverse the devastating impact of the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids," said Robert Califf, M.D., FDA commissioner. "Today's actions are one of the largest undertakings for informing prescribers of risks across opioid products, and one of many steps the FDA intends to take this year as part of our comprehensive action plan to reverse this epidemic."

Opioid pain medications, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, are a leading source of drug abuse in the United States. As prescribers of these painkilling medications, the ADA believes dentists have a role to play in preventing their diversion, misuse, and abuse. The ADA has long encouraged continuing education about the appropriate use of opioid pain medications in order to promote both responsible prescribing practices and limit instances of abuse and diversion.

According to FDA, prescription opioids are divided into two main categories: immediate release products intended for use every four to six hours; and extended-release/long-acting products, which are primarily intended to be taken once or twice a day.

As part of the boxed warning on IR opioid analgesics, the FDA now requires a precaution that chronic maternal use of opioids during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated using protocols developed by neonatology experts.

Additionally, in the March 22 Drug Safety Communication, FDA outlined its plans to require labels to include safety information about opioids and their potentially harmful drug interactions with other medicines. This includes a serious central nervous system condition called serotonin syndrome as well as information on the effects opioid abuse can have on the endocrine system, including a rare but serious disorder of the adrenal glands and decreased sex hormone levels androgen deficiency.

The agency also said it is "carefully reviewing" all available scientific information about potentially serious outcomes related to interactions between benzodiazepines and opioids.

In October 2015, the White House announced a multi-agency initiative aimed at combatting opioid abuse and other forms of drug abuse. The Association has pledged to provide training on opioid prescribing in the next two years as part of the American Medical Association Task Force on this issue. To date, more than 66,000 providers have completed prescriber training, putting the task force on pace to meet that goal, according to the release.

For more information about opioids, including upcoming webinars and prescriber tips, visit

Evidence-practice gap for sealant application: Results from a dental PBRN

At the 45th Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research, researcher Naoki Kakudate, Kyushu Dental University, Kyushu Dental University, Japan, presented a study titled "Evidence-Practice Gap for Sealant Application: Results from a Dental PBRN." The AADR Annual Meeting was held in conjunction with the 40th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research.

In this study, the researchers aimed to examine dentist practice patterns regarding treatment recommendation of dental sealants and identify characteristics associated with this recommendation. The study was conducted using a cross-sectional questionnaire survey in Japan. Participants were Japanese dentists (N=282) recruited from the Japanese Dental Practice Based Research Network (JDPBRN) who indicated that they do at least some restorative dentistry. Scenarios, images and questionnaire items were the same as those used in a previous U.S. DPBRN study. A series of three clinical photographs of the occlusal surface of a mandibular first molar, together with a description, were presented portraying increasing depths of cavitation. The researchers inquired about the treatment decision for each case, which had a 12-year-old patient with high caries risk. Chi-square tests were performed to assess the association between belief about the effectiveness of caries risk assessment and sealant recommendation. Multiple logistic regression analysis were conducted to evaluate the association between the decision to recommend sealants and dentist, practice and patient characteristics.

Responses were obtained from 189 dentists (67 percent). In the hypothetical scenarios, dentists' recommendations of sealants for the 12-year old patient varied from 16 percent to 26 percent. Nineteen percent of dentists recommended sealants in the absence of dark brown pigmentation. Forty-eight percent of dentists (n=91) recommended sealants to more than 25 percent of patients ages 6-18 years. Multiple logistic regression analysis suggested that the dentist's belief in the effectiveness of caries risk assessment was significantly associated with the percentage of patients who would receive sealants. Dentist practice patterns for sealant treatment recommendation vary widely. Recommending a sealant was significantly related to the dentist having a higher belief about the effectiveness of caries risk assessment.