In Chennai, India, a 7-year-old boy went to the hospital with a swollen jaw and mouth pain. Turned out he had more than 500 extra teeth. According to Prathiba Ramani, the head of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, the teeth were contained in a sac tucked inside his lower jaw. From CNN:
"There were a total of 526 teeth ranging from 0.1 millimeters (.004 inches) to 15 millimeters (0.6 inches). Even the smallest piece had a crown, root and enamel coat indicating it was a tooth," she said.
The boy was released three days after the surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, Ramani said.
Ramani said the boy was suffering from a very rare condition called compound composite odontoma. She said what caused the condition is unclear, but it could be genetic or it could be due to environmental factors like radiation.
"Doctors find 526 teeth in boy's mouth in India" (CNN) Read the rest
New research suggests that dentists may unconsciously smell fear and that their patients' anxiety can hurt their performance. How did the scientists control for the fact that a patient's anxiety in the dental chair is pretty obvious? First, Valentina Parma and her colleagues at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy collected t-shirts worn by students who had sat for a difficult exam or a calm lecture.
From New Scientist:
The team then doused the T-shirts with a chemical that masks body odour, so that it wasn’t possible to consciously smell any body odour on them. When the T-shirts were presented to a different group of 24 dental students, they said they couldn’t detect any difference between those taken from the stressful or the relaxed situations.
Next, mannequins were dressed in the donated T-shirts, and the second group of students had to perform dental treatments on them. Each student was graded on their performance by examiners – and they performed significantly worse when treating mannequins wearing T-shirts from people who’d been stressed. Mistakes included being more likely to damage neighbouring teeth, for example.
Parma thinks the scent of anxiety could be triggering the same emotions in those who subconsciously smell it. “It’s quite fascinating,” says Pamela Dalton at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. “It helps us understand how we can communicate without language.”
"Smelling Anxiety Chemosignals Impairs Clinical Performance of Dental Students" (Chemical Senses via Weird Universe)
image: David Shankbone, CC
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What kind of music do kids with braces listen to?
What does an orthodontist do during an earthquake?
She braces herself.
(GIF via /r/Damnthatsinteresting) Read the rest
Former dentist Kuang-Yi Ku created a prototype orthodontic retainer designed to improve the fellatio experience for the wearer's partner. After practicing dentistry for six years, Ku is now a student at Design Academy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. His Fellatio Modification Project is a speculative design effort featured in the Science Gallery London's new exhibit Mouthy: Into the Orifice. The prosthetic consists of a custom orthodontic retainer with the top "embossed" with soft denture base material to create nubs on the roof of the mouth. From New Scientist:
Science doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to incorporating human sexuality into research and practice. Dentistry, for example, considers three functions for the oral cavity: aesthetics, pronunciation and mastication. “There is another function, sex, which is never mentioned in the textbooks,” says Ku. “I’m from the gay community and I realised that the medical school is a very patriarchal system, very serious, and the professors are very traditional, particularly in Asian countries. So I wanted to approach that relationship.”
Instead of treating disease and restoring normal function to the mouth, Ku imagines dentists enhancing it along one particular line, the act of performing fellatio. To do this, he created retainers which offer a more intense sexual experience for your (male) partner.
"Sex and dentistry: I made a fellatio prosthetic for my mouth" (New Scientist)
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Palmer is said to have paid $50,000 for the privilege of killing the big cat with a bow and arrow.