Dale from [188.8.131.52], at 3:42pm ET
I purchased a sonic toothbrush a year ago and my dentist says it is doing a good job. Do you believe that this type of cleaning is better than the standard toothbrush?
I believe that any of the mechanical toothbrushes can be effective. They have a particular appeal for those patients who have physical disorders and cannot hold a hand-held toothbrush. They are also used by many people as their conventional oral hygiene aide, and they seem to work well.
Jim in Denver from uchsc.edu at 3:43pm ET
There is some work in immunology which is targeted at preventing tooth and gum decay. Is there any possibility that many dental/periodontal problems might be prevented with "immunization" against common oral pathogens?
The history of the development of a immunization process or vaccine has been going on for a number of years. To this point in time, it has not been efficatious, and we do not have a vaccine that can prevent periodontal disease. That process, as research continues to develop, offers some outstanding opportunites to hopefully create new products and techniques that will truly help control and/or prevent periodontal disease.
SKW in da fort from [184.108.40.206], at 3:45pm ET
Will tooth transplantation ever be available?
It is available now. In some cases teeth have been transplanted from one location in the mouth to a second location in the mouth. These processes have not been very effective and today a great deal of effort is going into the development of dental implant technology so that in fact the transplantation of teeth is waning.
Sunny Johnson from coastnet.com at 3:47pm ET
Will the use of mercury almalgams be banned? Is danger of mercury now evident?
To date, all of the scientific work that has been done, shows clearly that the mercury in amalgum resorations is safe. I believe that in fact other materials will be developed that will be more effecatious, more aesthetic that the matierials used today. Today, amalgum is considered to be a safe restorative material here in the United States. That decision has been made not only by the governement through the FDA, but also by the scientific testing agency of the ADA.
lily from qwest.net at 3:49pm ET
In the near future are they coming out with any kind of technology that when getting you teeth clean, it will not be painful? especially when scraping is involved.
There are a lot of new technolgies coming into the marketplace in the area of maintenance care. The long-term hope is that products and techniques will be developed so that root-planing and scaling as we know it today may not be the treatment of choice. There are a number of products that have been developed and recently introduced that appear to control the bacteria in the mouth, and thus inhibit the development of calcalus on the roots of the teeth.
Phill Watts from [220.127.116.11], at 3:52pm ET