by Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH
I have just returned from this year’s RDH Under One Roof conference in Chicago where I learned about some exciting new products and services! I really appreciate the exhibitors who invest in UOR because they are there specifically to support the dental hygiene profession. These exhibitors know they will be talking to hygienists, not dentists. They realize the influence you have on your patients, and they are eager to help you serve them at the highest possible level with hygiene specific innovations.
For example, PerioSciences based in Dallas, Texas, offers an innovative new product called AO ProVantage. The aqueous topical gel containing bioactive antioxidants is formulated specifically for the gum tissues to fight free radical damage. When too many free radicals or oxidants are in the body, the imbalance is called oxidative stress. In the oral cavity, oxidative stress is associated with gingivitis and periodontitis, which, as you know, can be a major contributor to systemic oxidative stress.This stress can lead to chronic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or vascular disease including heart attack or stroke.
Antioxidants are molecules that counteract the process of oxidation by neutralizing free radicals, rendering them harmless. When applied directly to the gum tissues, antioxidants have been shown to assist in the healing process during periodontal therapy. Following periodontal therapy, ProVantage used in conjunction with frequent periodontal maintenance will help the patient maintain disease remission.
Research has already proven the effectiveness of topical antioxidants on skin cells. New research is demonstrating that combinations of antioxidants can be applied topically to oral cells to neutralize free radicals in oral tissues. To learn more about this exciting new product and the science behind it, visit www.dentalantioxidants.com.
We all know how painful oral mucosa trauma, like a lip or cheek bite, or canker sore can be. Good news! Now there’s PerioPatch by PeriZone. This hydrogel patch absorbs wound exudates and keeps out irritants that could aggravate the wound and slow the healing process.
The patch forms a physical barrier that protects the wound for up to six hours, allowing the patient to heal with greater comfort. Trauma associated with dental or surgical procedures, braces, dentures, SRP, etc., can also be treated with PerioPatch. The patch is applied directly over the affected area; adhering on contact, it provides pain relief and protection from further irritation or re-injury. PerioPatch is supplied to dentists (and physicians) in a box of five patient packs with each pack containing six individually wrapped patches. Multiple patches can be applied at one time if needed. For more information, visit periopatch.com or call (866) 797-1333.
Store-A-Tooth from Provia Labs is providing an amazing service that allows our patients to bank dental stem cells for future use. Dental stem cells can be harvested from the pulp of deciduous teeth, third molars, and pre-molar ortho extractions, with deciduous teeth having the greatest potential benefit. Teeth contain mesenchymal cells, which are adult stem cells (not embryonic). Once the stem cells are obtained from the dental pulp, they can be cryogenically preserved and stored for future use.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells that have the potential to differentiate into a variety of cell types; osteoblasts (bone cells), chondrocytes (cartilage cells), and adipocytes (fat cells). Stem cell therapy is being studied clinically to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, brain trauma, and spinal cord injuries.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, suggested oral health applications include healing and regeneration of dental and periodontal tissues as well as craniofacial structures such as repair of cleft lip and palate (www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/P_StemCells.pdf). Our job as dental hygienists is to talk with our patients about the life-saving potential of dental stem cell banking and put the information in their hands so they can make an informed decision before teeth are exfoliated or extracted. Do your own due diligence and go to www.store-a-tooth.com to learn how your office can become an enrolled provider. You may also visit learnaboutdentalstemcells.com or contact Chris Halloran at [email protected].
Let me close by saying that, if you have never been to RDH Under One Roof — an amazing gathering of dental hygienists from all over the United States — you are missing something very special. The energy was high, the camaraderie was infectious, and the courses covered a wide variety of information. UOR consistently delivers quality continuing education that is geared toward hygienists. In just three days, and for one low registration fee that admits you to all of the general sessions, you can earn all the credits you need for license renewal. There are also smaller hands-on workshops available if you prefer a more intimate setting.
This year there were over 100 exhibitors who were all focused on helping you, the hygienist, get great patient results! The food was great and there was even a flash mob. Block off the dates in your appointment book now so you won’t have to move patients. Meet me in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel & Casino, Aug. 1-3, 2012, for next year’s RDH Under One Roof! I guarantee you won’t be sorry.
Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH, is the co-founder of PerioFrogz.com, which provides current oral systemic research summaries and patient education downloads. She speaks internationally, provides hands-on training, writes articles and webinars, and practices dental hygiene in Redding, Calif. Contact her at [email protected].
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