Archive for the ‘DENTURES MOUTHGUARDS’ Category

Smart Braces Take The Bite Out Of Conventional Orthodontia

One could say that donning a mouthful of braces isn’t the most pleasant of experiences. Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) are looking to revamp the process with smart, 3D-printed braces running on nontoxic batteries and light.

The new system centers around one lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery and two near-infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on each tooth. This tech is situated on a 3D-printed, semitransparent dental strip that is flexible enough to remove in order to recharge.

The Li-ion batteries supply the power to the LEDs, turning them on and off. The rate of light therapy depends on specific programming by the dentist, determined by the individual needs of each tooth. Phototherapy has provided considerable benefits in orthodontic treatment, reducing cost, time, and promoting bone regeneration.

“We started embedding flexible LEDs inside 3D-printed braces, but they needed a reliable power supply,” says Muhammad Hussain, leader of the research, along with Ph.D. student Arwa Kutbee.

“After the incidents with the Samsung Galaxy 7 batteries exploding, we realized that traditional batteries in their current form and encapsulation don’t serve our purpose. So we redesigned the state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery technology into a flexible battery, followed by biosafe encapsulation within the braces to make a smart dental brace,” Hussain adds.

The battery redesign, mentioned by Hussain, was accomplished through dry-etching. This technique thinned the battery and increased flexibility by removing the silicon that is usually situated on its back. The final dimensions leveled at 2.25 mm x 1.7 mm.

Materials made of soft, biocompatible polymers surrounded the power supply to halt leakage. The outer coating was vital for the device to remain safe for human use.

The KAUST team sees these initial findings as a preliminary step that serves as a proof-of-concept prototype. Clinical trials are next on the to-do list.

The full details of the research can be found in an article published in the journal Flexible Electronics.

www.energy-options.info

Henry Sapiecha

DENTISTS WARN AGAINST USING CHEAP MOUTHGUARDS AFTER THIS GIRL WAS SEVERELY INJURED IN HOCKEY GAME

Christina Johnson suffered traumatic facial injuries when she was hit by a hockey stick during a game.image www.perfectwhiteteeth.net

Christina Johnson suffered traumatic facial injuries when she was hit by a hockey stick during a game. 

Playing sport with a cheap mouthguard purchased at a pharmacy or sports store?

Christina Johnson’s horrific injuries may prompt you to get a stronger one made by a dentist.

Last week Ms Johnson suffered severe trauma to her mouth when she was hit by a hockey stick during a game in Tasmania. She was wearing a mouthguard that offered little protection.

As a result, one of her front teeth was knocked out, another one was fractured and others were pushed back and displaced. Her lips and gums were also split by the force of the hockey stick.

Ms Johnson, now facing extensive reconstructive surgery, is one of many Australians that dentists say are sustaining potentially preventable injuries during sport because they don’t have a custom-made mouthguard.

Although the Australian Dental Association says a bespoke mouthguard will cost about $250 (compared to about $10 for an over-the-counter mouthguard), it may save you serious pain and thousands of dollars for surgery if you get injured.

Dr Peter Alldritt​, chairman of the association’s Oral Health Committee, said people should give as much thought to their mouthguard as other sporting equipment because “$250 doesn’t go far when it comes to having a tooth fixed”.

“Not all of them (mouthguards) offer equal protection, and some of them can actually cause even more damage,” he said.

“Over-the-counter mouthguards are often difficult to wear and don’t provide the same level of protection as custom-fitted mouthguards; in contrast, custom-fitted mouthguards allow ease of breathing and speaking, and are far more comfortable.”

An association survey of about 1200 people recently found that three in four active adults who wear a mouthguard were using over-the-counter ones. Among children, it was one in two.

Ms Johnson said she had never considered getting a custom-fitted mouthguard from a dentist before she was injured last week.

“I thought the mouthguard I was wearing during the game, which I had bought from a store, was good enough”.

There is limited research assessing the protective effects of various mouthguards on athletes but a study of 301 Australian Rules footballers in 2001 concluded that those wearing custom-fitted mouthguards had a significantly lower rate of head and facial injuries than other players.

Sports Medicine Australia also recommends custom-fitted mouthguards for all contact sports to reduce the risk and severity of dental injuries because they can accommodate people’s unique arrangement and number of teeth and provide protection of vulnerable areas, such as the bony gum area finishing close to the junction of the inside of the cheek.

The group says a mouthguard is protective only if an adequate thickness of mouthguard material (4 millimetres – thickness of two matches) covers vulnerable areas including the biting surfaces of the upper teeth and the visible surfaces of the six front upper teeth upon which the lips rest.

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Henry Sapiecha