Home' News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin June 2016 Contents REGULAR | CLINICAL
Moving right along, your Narrator followed
in his brother's footsteps, qualified as a
dentist, worked as one in Sydney and
London, and was accepted as an Intern
at the Eastman Dental Center [sic] and a
student at the University of Rochester, in
New York State. Here he was encouraged to
design and build a thin section machine for
serial-sectioning of whole teeth.* These thin
serial sections showed that some apparently
intact fissures can reach the dentino-enamel
junction and hide a massive carious lesion.
This led to he and his fellow students
investigating, under the direction of Michael
Buonocore, whether fissure sealants could
suppress caries in children attending the
Pedodontia Clinic. It could, and did.
By the late 1950s dental plaque research
was revealing its role in initiating and
extending fissure and smooth surface dental
caries, and the role of the fluoride ion in
suppressing or even preventing it. At this
point your Narrator wondered about the
effectiveness of the toothbrush in caries
control. There are four or five surfaces to
every tooth. The toothbrush and some
foods can suppress plaque accumulation on
two/three of them, but plaque on the mesial
and distal surfaces remains undisturbed.
Common sense suggests that interproximal
microorganisms are thus free to migrate and
re-colonise even the most carefully brushed
tooth surfaces, which they surely must do.
It follows that flossing interproximal plaque
away could well be more important than
tooth-brushing in reducing the amount of
plaque on the teeth. It might be even more
effective if the floss was impregnated with
the fluoride ion. So your Anecdotist took
out patents on fluoride-impregnated dental
floss.† This was not financially rewarding, as
none of the several companies advised of
this showed any interest.
For the past six decades your Scribe has
based his oral hygiene efforts on tooth-
brushing when his teeth feel furry, (say, every
second day). But he flosses the interproximal
surfaces of every tooth at least three times
per day, using fluoride-impregnated floss in
one of five different designs of floss holder.
His favourite is the Flos-Rite, marketed years
ago by his brother Kevin, but now no longer
available. He will buy any you may have.
Is this oral hygiene regime he follows
effective? The figures, for a statistically
deficient sample of one subject (age 81)
are: Total number of teeth in sample: 28
teeth (18 and 48 congenitally absent); 26
and 36 extracted (occ. caries) at age 11; occ.
amalgams 17, 47; gold crowns 16 and 46;
distal class III inlay 13; MOL amalgam 27;
occ. amalgam 37; all other teeth caries free.
Most recent restoration 40 years ago. DMFT 9
(congenital absence omitted). No periodontal
pocketing, minimal gingival recession,
occlusion is 'balanced' (full U/L contact in L,
R and Protrusive contact positions). This is a
good endorsement of the regime, but it is
for a very small sample size of one.
SQUARE ROOT DAY
It went by and hardly anyone noticed. The
day identified as the Fourth of April, Two
Thousand and Sixteen, is written as 4.4.16,
and called Square Root Day. Four times four
equals sixteen. Ask your children when the
next one will occur?
This is the word used in the Oxford English
Dictionary to define a statement which
makes no sense. It takes three columns to
do this. Michael Shermer, the publisher of
the magazine Sceptic, heads his regular
Scientific American column (April 2016) thus:
Hooey, Drivel, Baloney...then offers the
synonyms: babble, bafflegab, balderdash,
bilge, blabber, blarney, blather, bollocks,
bosh, bunkum...then later adds BS, (but
avoids criticism by quoting Harry Frankfurt's
more earthy 'bullshit'). He then continues
with a detailed explanation of BS, ending
his column with: "Language matters, so it
is incumbent upon us all to transduce our
neuro-phonemic excitatory action potentials
into laconic phonological resonances
unencumbered by extraneous and
obfuscating utterances. And that's no BS".
His effort was preceded by your Collator's
father, Dick Gillings' favourite: "Merely
corroborative detail, intending to give
artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald
and unconvincing narrative".
This is the title for a column written for the
Scientific American by Steve Mirsky, which
he describes as "The ongoing search for
fundamental farces". You may conclude,
correctly, that his writings are extremely
light-hearted, but very enjoyable. His April,
2016 column is relevant to the Michael
Shermer piece (above).
Steve states that there are 216 untranslatable
words pertaining to well-being, and quotes
experts in the field. He then cites the Yiddish
word "Kvell", a single word which means "to
*US Patent 860,746 made by Will Corporation and
sold to several dozen universities and transistor
† Australian Patent 904421, US Patent 3,830, 246.
34 | ADA NEWS BULLETIN | JUNE 2016
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