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With technology like Allentown invisalign changing how dental care is handled, people are getting more and more options for getting their teeth cleaned. One team from the University of Pennsylvania developed something new for dentistry, bringing in automation and micro technology to dental practices.
The Penn team developed micro scoping robots, designed to precisely clean teeth without any form of scraping or invasive procedures; the robots are of two systems, one designed to work on surfaces, with the other designed for working in confined spaces. The scientists demonstrated that these robots, utilizing catalytic activity, can destroy bio films, the sticky clusters of bacteria grouped up in a protective layer on teeth and other surfaces
These robots weren’t necessarily designed for dental applications, unlike Allentown invisalign, but they are capable of working in such environs, along with dealing with water pipe cleaning, endodontic infections, as well as implant contamination.
The team’s work was published in Science Robotics, with Penn Dental Medicine’s Hyun Michel Koo and the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Edward Steager.
The cross-school team banded together to develop and test two robotic systems, which they call ‘catalytic antimicrobial robots’ (CARs), which are capable of degrading and outright destroying biofilms. The first system uses iron-oxide nano particles, suspended in a solution, which can then be directed by magnets to remove the bio films present on surfaces, behaving like microscopic plows. The second system, meanwhile, embeds the nano particles into gel molds in three-dimensional shapes, which allows them to attack bio films clogging enclosed tubes.
Both types of CARs were effective in their task, breaking down the protective film that surrounds bacteria, killing them and removing debris with high levels of precision. On dental practice, the CARs were not only able to remove bacteria biofilms from the surface of teeth, but also from the isthmus, a narrow channel between root canals where biofilm tends to accumulate, and is known for being one of the hardest part of the teeth to access.
Koo explains that current methods for dealing with biofilm are ineffective due to the fact that they can’t simultaneously degrade the protective layer, kill the bacteria embedded inside, and actually removing the biodegraded products. These new microbots can handle all of that simultaneously and effectively, Koo claims, and leave no trace of the biolfilms whatsoever.
Many a West Chester dentist, or anywhere else in the US, tell their patients to come back regularly, and not to miss their appointments, on top of the usual warnings and advice about dental health, and some of them say that their advice tends to go unheeded.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that’s actually happening. The CDC recently released their report on national dental hygiene in the US, which noted that about 36% of American adults have gone at least a whole year without going to a dentist. This is bad, as there’s already an abundance of clear evidence that says that the cost of prevention is much lower compared to the cost of treatment. A checkup ranges from $90 to $137 on average, while a single filling can cost anywhere between $230 to $313. Meanwhile, a crown will be far heavier on the wallet, costing at least $1,200, according to the report.
The report, however, also note that there’s more than just people maintaining their own dental health, as there are other variables that affect their dental health. People’s location is also a variable, as certain areas in the United States have more dentist professionals compared to others. Another major factor when it comes to dental health is the presence of fluoridated water in an area, which the report notes can help fight off tooth decay.
WalletHub, meanwhile, made their own study in order to see which states in the US has the healthiest teeth and gums, comparing data from the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, analyzing 26 key indicators of dental wellness, with the researchers ranking every state based off dental habits and oral health.
On top of the list is Wisconsin, with Arkansas at the rear. New Jersey sits at eighth, while Pennsylvania ranks at 36th, to the dismay of many a West Chester dentist in the state.
The report also took a look at things like adult dental visits, adolescent dental visits, treatment costs, and number of dentists. Pennsylvania managed to rank in at second in terms of adolescent dental visits at 2018.