SOURCE: American College of Prosthodontists

October 25, 2005 13:45 ET

215 Million Americans Can Smile Brighter Thanks to New Dental Techniques

Developments to Create the "Smile of the Future" Unveiled in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 25, 2005 -- From "teeth in an hour" to new robotic techniques, a group of dental specialists will debut the latest breakthroughs in dental advancements this week in Los Angeles.

The American College of Prosthodontists -- dental specialists who have three to four additional years of training in everything from cosmetic procedures to complicated facial reconstruction and dental implants -- will showcase new technology for replacing and restoring missing and damaged teeth. In fact, more than 215 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and 30 million Americans have no teeth at all, making the need for tooth replacement critical.

"This conference highlights what we call 'the smile of the future' -- new ways that we can help patients look and feel better about their smiles," said Dr. Patrick Lloyd, president of the American College of Prosthodontists. "We'll be discussing techniques that could not have been performed just five or ten years ago -- and showcasing trends we'll see ten years in the future."

New dental developments include:

Teeth-in-an-Hour

Forget about dentures. New permanent dental implants eliminate the discomfort of denture movement, improve ability to chew, feel like natural teeth and improve appearance and even speech. Using CAT scans and computer software, you can enjoy years of eating your favorite foods. The actual installation of implants can take as little as an hour.

The Re-growth of Teeth

Imagine the possibility of losing a tooth and being able to grow it back. Scientists and prosthodontists are working together to discover breakthrough methods that include adult stem-cell research to help re-grow teeth.

The Treatments of Eating Disorders

In addition to the internal damage of the body, eating disorders cause severe destruction to the mouth and teeth -- dissolving the enamel and exposing the underlying soft dentin. Over time these patients wear down their teeth so severely that advanced dental procedures are required to rebuild lost tooth structure. Prosthodontists are now helping restore healthy teeth and smiles damaged by this disorder after the patient has received appropriate medical care and counseling.

The Repairs of Dental Damage from the War Zone

Soldiers who sustained facial injuries from gunshot wounds or bomb blasts now have the opportunity to obtain a new treatment to replace what was lost in the war. Some of the nation's top prosthodontists are using a technique called Rapid Tissue Prototyping to recreate facial tissue using a combination of computer and prosthetic technology.

"Prosthodontists are the experts in the future of dentistry," said Dr. Steven Eckert, a prosthodontist at the Mayo Clinic who is organizing the conference. "This conference highlights a few of the ways that Americans can now achieve healthier, better looking and longer-lasting smiles than ever before."

Consumers can find out more information about these procedures and find a prosthodontist in their area by visiting www.GoToAPro.org. Media interested in speaking with the experts or attending the conference from October 25 - October 28 in Los Angeles may contact Giselle Caamano at 312-616-2418.

About the American College of Prosthodontists

The ACP is the national professional association of dentists recognized by the American Dental Association as specialists in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Founded in 1970, the ACP is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing patient care, advancing the art and science of prosthodontics, promoting the specialty of prosthodontics to the public, other dentists and healthcare professionals, ensuring the quality of prosthodontic education and providing professional services to its membership. The ACP is dedicated to improving the quality of patients' lives through the advancement of prosthodontics. With a diverse membership across the United States, prosthodontists provide the highest level of dental care, creating generations of beautiful, healthy smiles.

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