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A couple times a year, I fly down to Scottsdale to continue my advanced training at Spear Education. Will it ever end? The answer, if you are a dentist, is NO. Dentistry is a very dynamic field and there are exciting advancements in all areas: technology, biomaterials, techniques, biology, and physiology. Every time I get together with my colleagues for a conference or advanced workshop, I learn something new that blows my mind.
A few of the things that I have learned this year:
- Airway issues are HOT. In all areas of dentistry, we are learning that some of the symptoms we see in the mouth (like patterns of worn teeth) are related to people not being able to breathe while sleeping.
- Really young children (ages 4-7) could benefit from interceptive ortho. An example of interceptive ortho treatment is a palatal expander. This will not only expand the palate and give teeth more room to come in straight, it will improve airway issues, i.e. sleep. And more restive sleep leads to better focused children.
- Silver diamine fluoride. Wow. This clear liquid arrests cavities. It’s used in limited cases because it turns the decayed areas black, but this is changing how we practice, especially with our pediatric and geriatric patients.
- Bioactive filling materials stimulate production of apatite (little tooth crystals) at the interface between the tooth and the filling, creating an interlocking bond. Hello, geeky!
I don’t follow football and I don’t hunt, but you can always ask me about the latest happenings in dentistry. I will always have a lot to tell you.