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Researchers say that the price of sweets should be increased


According to researchers, the price of sweets and fizzy drinks should be doubled to reduce tooth decay among children; there are calls for a 100% sugar tax to be added to soft drinks and confectionary in order to deal with an epidemic of cavities and dental problems currently affecting the public. It could also help with rising obesity levels and the associated health risks.

Recent figures have shown that 500 children are admitted to hospital every week with tooth decay and more than a quarter of youngsters have cavities. Although there are no plans to introduce such a tax, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Medicine say that it is necessary to try and get dental decay under control.

Lead researcher Professor Philip James said that at least 20% sugar tax should be added and he said that schools should stop serving fruit juice and vending machines in public places should be done away with. Professor James said that ‘this would be simplest as a tax on sugar as a mass commodity, since taxing individual foods depending on their sugar content is an enormously complex administrative process. The level will depend on expert analyses but my guess is that a 100 per cent tax might be required.’

Panda at San Diego Zoo gets dental treatment to repair damaged tooth


A giant panda at the San Diego Zoo, California, has undergone dental treatment to rebuild a tooth that was chipped; the panda, named Bai Yun, gnaws bamboo shoots for up to twelve hours a day, so she has had to get the tooth chip repaired to make sure she doesn’t lose weight. The teeth of giant pandas can become worn or damaged over time so repair is necessary in captive bears.

Bai Yun, who is 23-years-old, had to be put under general anaesthetic so that the veterinary team could take x-rays and repair the damaged tooth. As with similar treatments for human teeth, a composite resin material was applied to fill in the broken area and restore the tooth to full function. A curing light was then used to seal the filling and the panda’s teeth were thoroughly cleaned while Bai Yun was unconscious.

Meg Sutherland-Smith, associate director of veterinary services at the San Diego Zoo, said that there was no damage to the pulp canal, although the chip was ‘very close’ to breaking through to the centre of the tooth structure. She added ‘What we attempted to do was a restorative procedure to cover up the part of the tooth that was chipped to, hopefully, prevent any further chipping or deterioration.’

Patients in North Lancashire face long wait for NHS dentist


More than 6,000 patients in North Lancashire are on a waiting list to register with an NHS dentist, whilst others are facing a long journey to get treatment due to high demand in the area. NHS England is now planning to open a new dental practice in Lancaster to try and get the problem under control.

However, some people living in Lancashire are becoming frustrated with the wait and there are several residents that have been waiting longer than a year to register with a clinic.

Jackie Forshaw, Head of Primary Care (Lancashire) at NHS England, said that the body had ‘identified pressure on existing services’ in the area and found that ‘approximately 4.5% of the resident population [are] currently seeking access to NHS Dental Services.’ Despite this demand, it is thought that 90% of respondents in a recent survey said that they successfully arranged an NHS dental appointment. She added that ‘All patients in Lancashire have access, within 24 hours, to immediate dental pain relief through the emergency dental services that operate seven days a week in daytime and evening.’

MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, Eric Ollerenshaw, said that there are ‘issues’ with a previous contract from 2007 that is stopping negotiations for new NHS dentists in Lancashire ; he added that some dentists decided it would be easier to stay private in order to avoid ‘the endless form filling’ that comes with contract renegotiations.

Big Fat Gypsy Wedding star has his front teeth knocked out during brawl at funeral


Reality TV star Paddy Doherty, who found fame on shows like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Celebrity Big Brother, has had his two front teeth knocked out during a fight at a funeral for an eighteen month old child that died at a travellers site in Runcorn last week. The 56-year-old was said to be unwelcome at the service, due to on-going animosity between the Doherty’s and the Joyce family – also in attendance.

According to witnesses, Doherty spat at a pall-bearer during the funeral, which took place on Tuesday, and long-time rival Johnny Joyce took offence to the act, resulting in a brawl that left mourners hiding behind gravestones and a police helicopter hovering over the cemetery. No formal complaints or arrests were made at the scene, but a probe into the incident has been launched.

John Joyce, father of Johnny Joyce, told Manchester Evening News that Paddy Doherty had attended the funeral without an invite ‘even though he knew he was not welcome.’ He added that his behaviour was ‘disgusting’ and said that ‘a few lads were injured’ as a result of the fighting; including his own son knocking Doherty’s front teeth out. Joyce also said Doherty made a swift exit after the brawl started and ‘you couldn’t see him for dust.’

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they would like to speak to Mr Doherty ‘as a witness’ to the event.

Children’s dental health is improving in Wales


New reports published by the Welsh Oral Health Information Unit suggest that the dental health of children in Wales has improved since 2004-2005 and the proportion of 12-year-olds with no tooth decay has risen from 54.9% to 64.0% since that time period. There is still a strong link between the level of dental decay and deprivation but the figures show that there is a faster improvement among children in deprived areas of the country.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford called the report ‘encouraging’ and said that is ‘shows a very welcome reduction in the number of 12-year-old children in Wales with tooth decay. It is a significant achievement that we have managed to halve the prevalence of what is a chronic disease over the last 25 years.’

Mr Drakeford went on to talk about the Designed to Smile programme that has been working to eliminate decay among younger children, saying that the effects should be noticeable in future surveys on the subject. The initiative was rolled out across Wales in 2009 to highlight the importance of decay prevention and the link between oral health, nutrition, and general health. Mr Drakeford added that they hope the programme ‘will have had a positive impact in speeding up improvements in the oral health of children living in some of our more deprived communities.’

Dentist who left patient with a lisp is allowed to continue practising


An Aberdeen dentist whose patient was left with a lisp after poor dental surgery has not been struck off and will continue to practice at his clinic; George Glover, who provides dental services out of Fergus and Glover, in Union Street, was found guilty of misconduct at a General Medical Council in Edinburgh but it was decided that his fitness to practice was not impaired.

According to the hearing, Mr Glover was found to have ‘performed inadequately’ when placing implants for the patient – known as Patient A – and a soft tissue graft that was applied later on was also found to be inappropriate. After two years of treatment, Mr Glover did not achieve a satisfactory aesthetic result and the hearing decided that he had failed to provide sufficient information regarding the risks and possible complications associated with this type of dental surgery.

Despite the ‘serious deficiencies’, it was deemed that Mr Glover had ‘worked hard’ to try and improve the patients conditions and it was considered ‘highly unlikely’ that a similar situation would develop with another patient. Findings released by the panel stated that Mr Glover had since made a conscientious effort to improve his care and the GDC was ‘impressed by the extensive remediation’ he had undertaken since the incident with Patient A. They added ‘You have expressed genuine regret and remorse for the effect of your failings. The committee considered that your evidence showed considerable insight into your deficiencies, and you have taken specific action to address each of the failures involves and remedy them.’

Made in Chelsea beats TOWIE for best dental work


They might both be reality TV regulars but Alexandra ‘Binky’ Felstead and Joey Essex could not be more different when it comes to dental health; the two have opted for dental treatment at opposite ends of the spectrum. Binky, who is a regular on Made in Chelsea, has a much more natural smile than her TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex) counterpart Joey, who went for a bright white set of teeth that are hard to miss.

Dr Druian, of Mervyn Druian’s London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry, treated Binky recently when she chipped her front tooth and he spoke to The Daily Mail about his views on veneers, saying that he prefers the natural look compared to the favoured ‘Essex’ veneers that are obviously fake. Dr Druian said that the people on TOWIE tend to choose teeth that mirror their ‘bigger, more brash personalities’, which means having ‘the whitest teeth possible.’

With regards to his own patients, Dr Druian said that he would never let a patient leave his clinic ‘looking foolish’ and added that the surgery has turned people away who want veneers for the wrong reasons. When it comes to appearances, Dr Druian says that natural is best; he explains that his ‘perfect veneers’ look just like the real thing and cannot be identified as synthetic just by looking. He added that ‘I want my patients to be told they look really well. I don’t want them to be asked what work they’ve had done.’

Actress Helen Baxendale plans to grow old without Botox


British actress Helen Baxendale found fame on ITV comedy Cold Feet back in the nineties, and enjoyed further success as the second wife of Ross Geller in hit American show Friends; now the mother-of-three is enjoying her forties and has no plans to fight the aging process using Botox or other cosmetic treatments.

Helen, 44, spoke to The Telegraph about cosmetic surgery and growing old gracefully, and admitted that she had never even had a facial or a leg wax during her lifetime. When it comes to Botox injections, the actress said that she didn’t like ‘the idea’ of injecting the toxin into her body and added that she wanted to avoid looking ‘weird’ as some people can do after overdoing it with the cosmetic injections. Helen maintained that she wants ‘to age the way that life makes you age, because there’s beauty in autumn and winter and I think people forget that.’

The actress, currently starring alongside Greg Davies in BBC3 series Cuckoo, said that her beauty regime is kept to a minimum and she only dyed her grey hairs because her latest role required it. She added that she was looking forward to aging in the acting profession, saying ‘I’m going to be playing all the old hags soon. I’m hoping to hoover up all the crinkly, cranky old parts.’

Sheridan Smith uses false teeth to perfect Cilla’s Scouse accent


Actress Sheridan Smith has spoken to The Mirror about her new role as iconic entertainer Cilla Black and she cites false teeth as helping her perfect the singers Scouse accent. The 33-year-old was born in Lincolnshire and had to work for months to get the voice just right for her role in a new drama about Cilla’s life and career.

Sheridan has recorded all of her own vocals for the three part series and found that her set of false ‘Cilla’ teeth helped her to get the right inflection to mimic the pop stars voice perfectly. She said in an interview that she just had to put her false teeth in and start singing with a Liverpool accent. Sheridan said ‘I just had to whack my teeth in and I was away. I sang with them in because they change the shape of your mouth and it really helps with the accent and the way Cilla speaks.’

She added that Cilla ‘has two voices’ when she sings; describing ‘a really soft voice’ and then ‘a singing voice from the back of the throat when she does those big ballads.’

The drama, called Cilla, will be shown on ITV, starting September 15th.

Hull woman is left waiting in the rain for dental treatment


A woman from Hull was left outside in the rain with her granddaughter as they waited for an emergency NHS dental appointment. Julie Dixon took six-year-old Aleisha Mae to the Freetown Way Dental Practice after her face became swollen following a sleepless night suffering with bad toothache.

Miss Dixon said that when she arrived at the surgery ‘a woman on the speaker told me she was the only person working and we would have to wait outside. It was chucking down with rain and Aleisha Mae was crying in pain.’ She tried to explain to the receptionist that the weather was bad and her granddaughter was upset but was again told that they would have to wait outside due to ‘policy’. After ten minutes, the pair were let in, soaking wet; Miss Dixon was then asked to wait outside again when her daughter arrived to accompany Aleisha Mae into the dental clinic, as the surgery rules ‘stated there was only one visitor per patient’.

Miss Dixon told Hull Daily Mail that she felt let down by the ‘disgusting’ way she was treated by the staff and added that she was glad her granddaughter got treated but felt that her own treatment ‘was absolutely appalling.’ She added ‘Surely, they could have let us wait inside. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was sunny but it was absolutely chucking it down.’