Montreal father removes daughter’s tooth using fishing line

In international news this week, several mainstream media outlets shared the story of a man from Montreal removing his daughter’s loose tooth using a fishing line. We’ll categorise this one under the heading ‘Don’t Try This At Home!’

The footage, as shared above, shows David Freiheit wrapping a fishing line around his daughter’s tooth before attaching it to a hook and throwing it into the water. His son then removes his sister’s tooth by reeling in the fish.

Speaking to Storyful, David Freiheit said, “Our family has a long history of creative ways of pulling teeth. We have done it by drone, squirrel, and today with the fishing line. I’m surprised it worked so well.”

Credit: David Freiheit via Storyful.

Man who hadn’t visited the dentist in 27 years has jaw removed due to ameloblastoma

Several tabloid media outlets have this week reported on the case of Darren Wilkinson, a 51-year-old man from Sheffield who has had 90% of his jaw removed after an ameloblastoma tumour was discovered. Wilkinson reportedly hadn’t visited the dentist in 27 years, finally going after his wife registered him and booked an appointment. The tumour was described as being ‘the size of a fist’.

Wilkinson’s wife, Mel, explained that “he would wake up in the morning with blood on his pillow and have a really bad breath from time to time”. However, she simply “thought he wasn’t brushing his teeth properly”.

Wilkinson’s case was later referred as non-urgent to the Charles Clifford Dental Hospital in Sheffield. It was there that two biopsies confirmed that the large shadow seen in the dentist’s x-ray was in fact an ameloblastoma that needed to be removed as soon as possible.

The operation to remove 90% of his lower jaw and to insert titanium plates was scheduled for the March, but postponed due to Covid-19, instead taking took place in April. A week later, it is reported that Wilkinson developed sepsis and needed to undergo emergency surgery. In total, Wilkinson underwent six emergency surgeries due to complications and infections.

While Wilkinson is currently unable to eat, drink, or speak, the plan is for him to receive a transplant from his lower leg bones in an attempt to rebuild his jaw. In the meantime, he has established online support groups for those with similar diagnoses and is working to raise awareness of rare tumours, such as ameloblastoma, while raising funds to support the Bone Cancer Research Trust.

Dental Protection celebrates first women in dentistry

International Women’s Day – celebrated 8 March every year – aims to, among other causes, honour the achievements of women throughout history and across the globe. Dental Protection is proud to support women in healthcare across the world and has today unveiled information about its first women members.

Dental Protection is part of MPS, which currently has over 155,000 female members around the world. This represents more than half of our membership – and that figure is on the rise.

Historically, it wasn’t easy for women to enter the profession, since medical and dental schools were not  opened to women and they had to pass their exams incognito before being able to officially register. The first female dental professionals appear to have joined the register in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Research by MPS has revealed that two of the earliest women dentists to join the organisation – then known as the London and Counties Medical Protection Society – did so within a few years of it being founded in 1892.

Ruby Grace Halliday was the first female dentist member, having joined in 1902. Ruby worked at the Endell Street military hospital in London during the First World War, which was the only hospital entirely staffed by suffragists and led by one of our earliest women medical members, Louisa Garrett Anderson.

Eva Mary Handley was the first woman dental surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital, joining three years later in 1905.

These two women could be regarded as the pioneers of dentistry in the UK and certainly led the way for female members of what is now Dental Protection.

Professor Dame Jane Dacre, President of the Medical Protection Society, said: “Although it wasn’t until the turn of the century that women were seen as entering the medical and dental profession officially – and being able to study, register and be remunerated for their work –healthcare began at home and within communities, and caring for the infirm had long been the responsibility of women.

“Nowadays, although almost half of healthcare workers are women, we still have structural barriers to overcome in order to improve the access of women to senior positions.

“It has not been an easy journey, but I am proud of the work of Dental Protection and the wider MPS does to support the efforts of women – who now account for more than half of our membership.”

Report published on fitness to practise ‘Rule 4’ consultation ahead of pilot launch

The General Dental Council (GDC) has published its report on last year’s consultation relating to the ‘Rule 4’ process in fitness to practise.

The Rule 4 process provides dental professionals with an opportunity to submit their comments about concerns that have been raised. These observations are considered by case examiners when deciding whether concerns can be concluded by them or whether they should be referred to a fitness to practise committee for hearing.

Further to feedback received in the ‘End-to-End Review’ of fitness to practise, the consultation sought views on whether an extension to the current 28-day deadline for clinical cases was required.

Building on the views received in the consultation, a nine-month pilot will begin from the end of January and will include the following:

  • A 14-day extension, by application, to the Rule 4-time limit for cases involving clinical concerns, where the individual has no other fitness to practise matters being actively considered.
  • Availability of clinical assessments earlier than the ‘Rule 4’ papers bundle being sent, to facilitate efficient preparation of dental professional’s comments.

GDC Executive Director, Fitness to Practise Transition, Tom Scott, said: “We understand, and are sympathetic to, the time pressures faced by dental professionals and their representatives in the fitness to practise process. Extending the time frame in certain cases to ensure we receive the best possible evidence aligns with our view that we need to be fully informed of all relevant facts as early as possible.

“I’d like to thank all of those who responded to the consultation for their views. The overall support for the proposals is welcome and we now look forward to seeing how they will work in practice.”

In addition to the overall support, the consultation also saw calls for the extension to apply to all cases and not just those of a clinical nature. However, in addition to enabling a measurable and well-defined pilot, the regulator says that it also needs to have consideration for patient safety and the timely disposal of cases. Therefore, at least for the pilot, the extension will remain focused on clinical concerns. The GDC also wished to highlight that the pilot is complementary to the existing arrangements for extensions.

Further details about the pilot, including the criteria for inclusion, can be found on the GDC’s website

Dental Design duo take on Great Wall of China challenge for Julia’s House

Staff at Dental Design Products in Poole went the extra mile fundraising for Julia’s House on Tuesday when they ditched their cars and took on a cycle to work challenge.

Members of the award–winning dental marketing agency, based in Braseside Business Park in Sterte Avenue West, left their cars behind and donated all the money they saved on petrol to Julia’s House.

Staff who clocked up a total of 64 miles were promised bacon or sausage baguettes and were told they could set off at their normal time by the agency’s owner and managing director Nigel Reece. Nigel also agreed to match the total amount raised by staff and the total raised by the duo so far is £1,160.

The Cycle To Work challenge was just one of a number of fundraisers for the charity completed by the digital team members including a half marathon, a cake sale, a car boot sale, raffle and a month-long carless commute to work challenge.

The fundraising bonanza has been inspired by colleagues Lucy Mander and Rosie Littlejohns who will be bravely stepping out this October with other trekkers on an ambitious hike for Julia’s House along the Great Wall of China raising vital funds for the charity that supports life-limited children and their families.

The duo and fellow hikers will complete an arduous five days of trekking to altitudes of over 800m with gruelling inclines and thousands of steps to conquer.

Training in progress

“The money raised for the Julia’s House Children’s Hospice will go towards providing much needed breaks for the children and their families who face challenges on a daily basis,” said Digital Design online marketing executive Lucy.

Adds Rosie: “It’s a great opportunity to help provide much-needed support and a chance to join together with others in a once in a lifetime adventure Walking the Great Wall of China.

“Julia’s House is such an incredible place and it’s a privilege to have fundraised for them.”

To sponsor either Lucy or Rosie click on the links below – any money donated will go directly to Julia’s House.

R A Medical Services recognised in the Parliamentary Review 

R A Medical started in 1994 as a direct heritage of Cyprane, Keighley; our Company being formed 25 years ago and now occupying a market leader position across the UK & Ireland for this very specialised area of medical equipment. 

Janet Pickles, Chairwoman of R A Medical Services Ltd., reports… 

Inclusion in this year’s Parliamentary Review is a recognition of all the hard work and subsequent achievements.  We are looking forward to attending the Houses of Parliament in October for a Gala Evening in late October.

Each year, The Parliamentary Review aims to showcase the best of business, journalism and politics, making the September release an eagerly anticipated exercise when it comes to demonstrating platforms of success and innovation across British industry. The Parliamentary Review has been an opportunity for the best and brightest business leaders, educators and healthcare professionals to speak directly to their peers and the political classes.

Success for businesses of any size does not always come easily, and this year’s edition of The Parliamentary Review is indispensable for anyone who seeks to make a name for themselves in industry. It highlights significant developments and concerns for business leaders up and down the country.

The co-chairman of The Parliamentary Review, Lord Pickles, has praised the upcoming Review as one of the most comprehensive yet. He commented that as Britain undergoes changes, it is “essential that politicians have a firm understanding of the challenges with which British organisations must contend” and that The Review once again provides a perfect platform for this.

Writing in The Review, The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove says “this year’s Parliamentary review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom.”

The best practice article for R A Medical Services can be viewed here:

Mouthwash use could inhibit benefits of exercise suggests research

Exercise is known to reduce blood pressure – but the activity of bacteria in our mouths may determine whether we experience this benefit, according to new research.

An international team of scientists has shown that the blood pressure-lowering effect of exercise is significantly reduced when people rinse their mouths with antibacterial mouthwash, rather than water – showing the importance of oral bacteria in cardiovascular health.

The researchers now suggest that health professionals should pay attention to the oral environment when recommending interventions involving physical activity for high blood pressure.

The study was led by the University of Plymouth in collaboration with the Centre of Genomic Regulation in Barcelona (Gabaldon’s lab), Spain, and was published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

Lead author Dr Raul Bescos, Lecturer in Dietetics and Physiology at the University of Plymouth, said: “Scientists already know that blood vessels open up during exercise, as the production of nitric oxide increases the diameter of the blood vessels (known as vasodilation), increasing blood flow circulation to active muscles.

“What has remained a mystery is how blood circulation remains higher after exercise, in turn triggering a blood-pressure lowering response known as post-exercise hypotension.

“Previous research has suggested that nitric oxide was not involved in this post-exercise response – and only involved during exercise – but the new study challenges these views.

“It’s all to do with nitric oxide degrading into a compound called nitrate, which for years was thought to have no function in the body. But research over the last decade has shown that nitrate can be absorbed in the salivary glands and excreted with saliva in the mouth.

“Some species of bacteria in the mouth can use nitrate and convert into nitrite – a very important molecule that can enhance the production of nitric oxide in the body. And when nitrite in saliva is swallowed, part of this molecule is rapidly absorbed into the circulation and reduced back to nitric oxide. This helps to maintain a widening of blood vessels which leads to a sustained lowering of blood pressure after exercise.

“We wanted to see whether blocking nitrate’s ability to convert into nitrite by inhibiting oral bacteria would have any effect on post-exercise hypotension.”

Twenty-three healthy adults were asked to run on a treadmill for a total of 30 minutes on two separate occasions, after which they were monitored for two hours.

On each occasion at one, 30, 60 and 90 minutes after exercise they were asked to rinse their mouths with a liquid – either antibacterial mouthwash (0.2% chlorhexidine) or a placebo of mint-flavoured water. Neither the researchers nor the participants knew which liquid they were rinsing with.

Their blood pressure was measured and saliva and blood samples were taken before exercise and at 120 minutes after exercise. No food or drink except water was allowed during exercise and the recovery period, and none of the study participants had any oral health conditions.

The study found that when participants rinsed with the placebo, the average reduction in systolic blood pressure was -5.2 mmHg at one hour after exercise. However when participants rinsed with the antibacterial mouthwash, the average systolic blood pressure was -2.0 mmHg at the same time point.

*Systolic blood pressure refers to the highest blood pressure level when the heart is squeezing and pushing the blood round the body.

These results show that the blood pressure-lowering effect of exercise was diminished by more than 60% over the first hour of recovery, and totally abolished two hours after exercise when participants were given the antibacterial mouthwash.

Previous views also suggested that the main source of nitrite in the circulation after exercise was nitric oxide formed during exercise in the endothelial cells (cells that line the blood vessels). However, the new study challenges this. When antibacterial mouthwash was given to the participants, their blood nitrite levels did not increase after exercise. It was only when participants used the placebo that nitrite levels in blood raised, indicating that oral bacteria are a key source of this molecule in the circulation at least over the first period of recovery after exercise.

Craig Cutler, study co-author who conducted the research as part of his PhD at the University of Plymouth, said: “These findings show that nitrite synthesis by oral bacteria is hugely important in kick-starting how our bodies react to exercise over the first period of recovery, promoting lower blood pressure and greater muscle oxygenation.

“In effect, it’s like oral bacteria are the ‘key’ to opening up the blood vessels. If they are removed, nitrite can’t be produced and the vessels remain in their current state.

“Existing studies show that, exercise aside, antibacterial mouthwash can actually raise blood pressure under resting conditions, so this study followed up and showed the mouthwash impact on the effects of exercise.

“The next step is to investigate in more detail the effect of exercise on the activity of oral bacteria and the composition of oral bacteria in individuals under high cardiovascular risk. Long-term, research in this area may improve our knowledge for treating hypertension – or high blood pressure – more efficiently.”

The full study, entitled Post-exercise hypotension and skeletal muscle oxygenation is regulated by nitrate-reducing activity of oral bacteria is available to view now in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine (doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2019.07.035).

BDA launch a lifeline for dentists under stress

The British Dental Association (BDA) has launched a new partnership with the award-winning employee assistance programme Health Assured to provide all BDA members with a 24-7 comprehensive and confidential counselling service.

The service offers expert advice and compassionate guidance, a pathway to structured telephone counselling for members or their dependents and for members face-to-face counselling sessions, alongside advice on any issues that cause anxiety or distress including debt management, accountancy, lawsuits, consumer disputes, property or neighbour disputes.

The BDA’s own research has found that almost half of dentists say stress in their job is exceeding their ability to cope. BDA surveys have found high levels of stress and burnout among the profession, with a fifth of respondents (17.6%) admitting they had seriously thought about committing suicide.

The Health Assured coverage includes access to their Health e-Hub App (via the App Store and Google Play) which offers access to holistic health and wellbeing support anywhere and anytime, an online portal with a virtual library of wellbeing information, and a range of online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) self-help modules, factsheets and invaluable advice videos from leading qualified counsellors. 

BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said: “Mental health matters. Evidence shows dentists are now in desperate need of support, and sadly all too often aren’t even offered signposts to basic services.

“We set out to guarantee that none of our members need to suffer in silence. Whatever is causing stress, with our friends at Health Assured we can now offer counselling, advice and tools, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” 

Data reveals 40% of claims costs relate to treatment started over 10 years ago

New data published by Dental Protection reveals that almost 40 per cent of its estimated annual claims costs in 2018 related to cases where treatment started ten or more years ago before the claim was made.

Claims that relate to treatment that started many years ago are also being made for larger amounts, sometimes up to £100k. Of the top 100 largest claims made against Dental Protection members in 2018, 60 related to where treatment started ten or more years ago before the claim was reported.

The majority of these late reported claims involve allegations relating to the management of periodontal disease, but also include allegations about management of caries over many years.

Patient care is now very different to that provided several decades ago. There is increased understanding of the importance of record keeping as well as much better education and training on the screening, diagnosis and management of periodontal disease and caries. However, the claims environment will continue to be challenging with increased public awareness of periodontal disease, changes in patient’s expectations about dental care and claimant law firms actively targeting periodontal claims and long-term care.

While predicting the future cost of claims can be difficult, it is an essential part of what Dental Protection does. It is vital to price accordingly in order to meet the possibility of future claims.

This data supports the importance for dentists to maintain their membership of a dental defence organisation that has a long-term understanding of risk and who will continue to support dentists in years to come.

Raj Rattan, Dental Director at Dental Protection, said: “We clearly live in an increasingly litigious environment and dentists need to be confident that they can request support from their indemnifier in 10, 20, or even 30 years time. Dentists can ask us for support in relation to claims brought against them even where they have since moved practice or retired, as can Executors/Personal Representatives where claims are brought against the estate of a dentist who has passed away.

“At Dental Protection we can confidently say we are here to stay. Our subscription rates reflect the cost of our long-term commitment to protecting you to the highest standard long into the future, not a short-term requirement to generate profits.

“Dental Protection membership provides excellence as standard; supporting not just when a claim or a complaint arises but through our education programmes, to prevent any issue from happening in the first place. To learn more about the nature of periodontal claims and what can be done to reduce the risk of a claim, Dental Protection members can take a free online e-module and also join a webinar on 17 September”.

Dental Awards 2019 winners announced

Exquisite dining and entertainment from Lucy Porter were features of this year’s Dental Awards 2019 & Gala Dinner, which attracted a vast number of entries.

The winners of the 2019 Dental Awards can finally been revealed, after months of anticipation over who will be crowned winner of each category.

Held on May 17 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, the evening began with speeches from Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, as well as Holly Payne, the editor of The Probe.

Shortly after, Amanda Harbrow-Harris took to the stage to be crowned winner of the Hygienist category, while Dental Therapist of the Year went to Julie Ellis.

Practice Manager of the year went to Ingrid Perry, winner of the Website and Digital Campaign went to Brynhyfryd Dental, Siana Garstang received the award for Dental Nurse of the Year and Receptionist of the Year was awarded to Sophie Scudder, for her hard work involving the care coordination of patients.

Best Outreach or Charity Initiative went to Smile Together, while Torrs Park Dental won the award for National Smile Month.

Coming top place in a vast number of entries was Bishopsgate Dental for Dental Team of the Year South, while for North & Central, Honour Health claimed the top position. Bishopsgate was then announced to be the overall award for the National Dental Team of the Year category.

Dental Practice of the Year South was awarded to The Implant Centre, while for Central, Imogen Dental took the award. Overall, National Dental Practice of the Year went to The Implant Centre.

A short interval took place halfway through the awards ceremony, whereupon wine and a lavish three-course meal was served to attendees.

Comedian Lucy Porter returned to the stage after her initial appearance at the beginning of the night to a round of applause from the audience.

With the ceremony back in full swing, Young Dentist of the Year for North & Central was awarded to Domingos Mamede, while Kreena Patel took the award for the South, then going onto win the overall category of National Young Dentist of the Year.

Boasting a bright, modern practice with all the features designed to appeal to patients is Glenhaven Dental Care, which went on to receive the award for Best Practice Design Interior.

Coming towards the end of the ceremony, the highly anticipated award for Dentist of the Year went to Patrik Zachrisson for his exceptional dedication and hard work.

The Outstanding Achievement Award marked the final category in the award ceremony and was awarded to Janine Brooks MBE.

Janine was presented with her award by Catherine Rutland, Head of Professional Support Services, who delivered a speech that captured the impact of Janine’s work in the profession based on her own experience of working alongside Janine. Catherine emphasised Janine’s passion for dentistry and commitment to mentoring.

Handing out the awards on the night were delegates from those sponsoring the awards, which included BA International, Carestream Dental, Colgate, Coltene, Dental Elite, Geistlich, Simplyhealth Professionals, Sparkle and Waterpik.

A team of beatboxers provided surprise entertainment for the audience, before music and dancing ensued which lasted into the small hours.

The Dental Awards is the industry’s longest-running and most prestigious award event. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the awards, which each year attracts numerous entries from those working in dentistry. Running alongside the Dentistry Show, each category is judged by an expert panel of judges.

Highly commended were:

Best National Smile Month Event – Bramley Dental Practice, Rotherham Oral Health Improvement Group (ROHIG)

Dentist of the Year – Gina Vega, Bishopsgate Dental Care

Young Dentist of the Year – South – Victoria Jephcote, Torrs Park Dental Practice

Young Dentist of the Year – North & Central – Indy Johal, Campbell Dental Practice and Isha Dhillon, Bhandal Dental Practice

Dental Therapist of the Year – Imogen Wood, Whitehouse Dental Clinic

Dental Hygienist of the Year – Gulab Singh, Wensleydale Dental Practice

Website & Digital Campaign of the Year – Elmfield House Dental Practice

Dental Nurse of the Year – Louise East, Essex Community Dental Service

Best Outreach or Charity Initiative – Well Connected, Plymouth

Dental Practice of the Year – South – Bishopsgate Dental Care

Dental Practice of the Year – North & Central – 

Practice Manager of the Year – Louisa Dallinger, Reginald O’Neill Dental Care

Dental Team of the Year – South – Torrs Park Dental Practice

Dental Team of the Year – North & Central – Andrea Ubhi Dentistry 

Dental Receptionist of the Year – Sarah Thornley, Oakley Road Dental Practice

Practice Design and Interior – High Trees Clinic

Thank you all for joining us on Friday night. To see a full array of images, see here –