Dr Ronan Kennedy BDS (QUB)

Dr Ronan Kennedy
Clonmullen Lane
Co Offaly
T: 046 973 1304/973 3750

Opening hours

9.00am - 5.30pm

Monday and Wednesday

New patients welcome
Emergencies accepted

News - June 2021

A gentler strategy for avoiding childhood dental decay

The combination of a carbohydrate-heavy diet and poor oral hygiene can leave children with early childhood caries (ECC), a severe form of dental decay that can have a lasting impact on their oral and overall health.
A few years ago, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine found that the dental plaque that gives rise to ECC is composed of both a bacterial species, Streptococcus mutans, and a fungus, Candida albicans. The two form a sticky symbiosis, known scientifically as a biofilm, that becomes extremely virulent and difficult to displace.
A new study from the group offers a strategy for disrupting this biofilm by targeting the yeast-bacterial interactions that make ECC plaques so intractable. In contrast to some current treatments for ECC, this treatment uses an enzyme specific to the bonds that exist between microbes.
The study was published in mBio and senior author, Geelsu Hwang said: "We thought this could be a new way of approaching the problem of ECCs that would intervene in the synergistic interaction between bacteria and yeast. This offers us another tool for disrupting this virulent biofilm”.
The work builds off findings from a 2017 paper by Hwang and colleagues, including Hyun (Michel) Koo of Penn Dental Medicine, which found that molecules call mannans on the Candida cell wall bound tightly to an enzyme secreted by S. mutans, glycosyltransferases (Gftb). In addition to facilitating the cross-kingdom binding, Gftb also contributes to the stubbornness of dental biofilms by manufacturing gluelike polymers called glucans in the presence of sugars.

From: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210518205444.htm

Dental procedures during pandemic are no riskier than a drink of water, study finds

A new study's findings dispel the misconception that patients and providers are at high risk of catching Covid-19 at the dentist's office. Covid-19 spreads mainly through respiratory droplets, and dental procedures are known to produce an abundance of aerosols – leading to fears that flying saliva during a cleaning or a restorative procedure could make the dentist's chair a high-transmission location.
Ohio State University researchers set out to determine whether saliva is the main source of the spray, collecting samples from personnel, equipment and other surfaces reached by aerosols during a range of dental procedures.
By analysing the genetic makeup of the organisms detected in those samples, the researchers determined that the watery solution from irrigation tools, not saliva, was the main source of any bacteria or viruses present in the spatter and spurts from patients' mouths.
Even when low levels of the Covid-19 virus were detected in the saliva of asymptomatic patients, the aerosols generated during their procedures showed no signs of the coronavirus. In essence, from a microbial standpoint, the contents of the spray mirrored what was in the office environment.
Lead author Purnima Kumar, professor of periodontology at Ohio State said: "Getting your teeth cleaned does not increase your risk for Covid-19 infection any more than drinking a glass of water from the dentist's office does … These findings should help us open up our practices, make ourselves feel safe about our environment and, for patients, get their oral and dental problems treated -- there is so much evidence emerging that if you have poor oral health, you are more susceptible to Covid".
The study was published in the Journal of Dental Research.

From: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210513084956.htm

AI helps predict treatment outcomes for patients with diseased dental implants

Peri-implantitis, a condition where tissue and bone around dental implants becomes infected, besets roughly one-quarter of dental implant patients, and currently there's no reliable way to assess how patients will respond to treatment of this condition.
To that end, a team led by the University of Michigan School of Dentistry developed a machine-learning algorithm to assess an individual patient's risk of regenerative outcomes after surgical treatments of peri-implantitis.
The algorithm is called Fast and Robust Deconvolution of Expression Profiles (FARDEEP). In the study, researchers used FARDEEP to analyse tissue samples from a group of patients with peri-implantitis who were receiving reconstructive therapy. They quantified the abundance of harmful bacteria and certain infection-fighting immune cells in each sample.
Patients who were at low risk for periodontal disease showed more immune cells that were highly adept at controlling bacterial infections, said Yu Leo Lei, senior author.
The team was surprised that the types of cells associated with better outcomes for implant patients challenge conventional thinking, said Lei: "Much emphasis has been placed on the immune cell types that are more adept at wound healing and tissue repair. However, here we show that immune cell types that are central to microbial control are strongly correlated with superior clinical outcomes.
Surgical management can reduce bacterial burdens across all patients, however, only the patients with more immune cell subtypes for bacterial control can suppress the recolonisation of pathogenic bacteria and show better regenerative outcomes”.
In the future, it may be possible to predict the risk of peri-implantitis before a dental implant is placed, he said. More human clinical trials are required before FARDEEP is ready to be used widely by clinicians.

From: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210512115654.htm