Why is Dentistry so out of date?

Brushing, flossing, white strips and mouthwash: Thanks for all the help, but your services may no longer be required. The end of the cavity could be upon us.

UCLA microbiologist Dr. Wenyuan Shi has developed a mouthwash that completely eliminates the most malevolent of the 1,000 species of bacteria that can live in your mouth—after just one use. In a clinical study, 12 subjects who rinsed just one time with the mouthwash experienced a nearly complete elimination of the baleful bacteria, Streptococcus mutans. Four days after the first rinse, their mouths remained mutans-free.

Shi’s mouthwash is currently being tested by the FDA . If the mouthwash passes that hurdle, it will be the first cavity fighter approved since fluoride 60 years ago.

“I actually had no dental training,” Shi recalls, laughing. But once he began teaching, he was struck by how, in a country where we can reduce the risk of heart attacks and diabetes, battle cancer and lower cholesterol, dentistry remained out of date. The scientist-scholar resolved to work toward converting dentistry from a surgical model to a medical model.

“Last year in American health spending, heart disease was No. 1, cancer was No. 2 and dentistry was No. 3,” Shi notes. “We spent about $100 billion. In part, because it’s so old-fashioned. Mechanical removal is still the primary tool.”

via UCLA Magazine

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