March 2020
Volume 41, Issue 3

An Ounce of Prevention

Benjamin Franklin famously stated, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." What may surprise some people is that the renowned philosopher, inventor, and statesman was referring not to medicine but to, sensibly enough, fire safety. In his day people routinely carried "live" coals in buckets and on shovels from room to room and up and down stairs, and, as one can imagine, a little carelessness could have disastrous results. An undetected burning coal smoldering in the crevice of a floorboard could turn tragic quickly. Preventing fires, he advised his 18th century neighbors, was better than fighting them.

Similarly, clinicians know the importance of prevention. Franklin, who, of course, was also a brilliant scientist, would have marveled at today's dental technology, and, while he no doubt knew of the curative properties of silver, he'd probably be blown away by the development of what we call nanomaterials. In particular, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are being studied and incorporated into dental practice primarily for preventative use and also some restorative applications. Our first continuing education (CE) article this issue discusses the various capabilities of AgNPs, which offer antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, and their use in dentistry, including caries and periodontal disease prevention.

Our second CE this month examines the association-or possible association-between periodontal disease and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The authors review the dental literature and highlight key studies that show a connection, or in some cases no significant link, between these two very prevalent conditions. Periodontists, they explain, can play a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients' OSA.

This issue also features a report on a case series involving simultaneous crestal sinus elevation and implant placement. The authors utilized a ribose cross-linked, collagen bone graft material to achieve increased bone volume in ridge augmentation procedures. Additionally, we present a Kois Center Case in which the author employed a comprehensive approach to manage risk and restore function in a patient with a vast history of caries and single-tooth restorations. Also, a clinical research article demonstrates the efficacy of an oral hygiene regimen consisting of the use of a water flosser combined with an electric toothbrush on clinical signs of inflammation.

Yes, dental methods and technology have changed dramatically compared to three centuries ago. But Ben Franklin's sage advice still rings true today: prevention remains the best strategy.


Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD

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