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US Cosmetic surgery market boosted by Botox and fillers


Against the current economic trends worldwide, statistics released this week have shown that the plastic surgery industry in the US has grown for the third consecutive year; and it’s all thanks to non-invasive procedures, such as Botox, dermal filler injections, and chemical peels.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons – which represents more than 7,000 surgeons in the US – said that 14.6 million procedures of this nature were carried out in 2012, which represents an increase of 5% from the previous year. President of the society Gregory Evans said in a statement that this ‘overall growth’ is ‘driven by a significant rise in minimally invasive procedures, while surgical procedures remain relatively stable.’

According to the statistics, Botox treatments were up 8% in 2012, and demand for dermal filler injections was up 5%. Other non-surgical procedures were also on the increase; laser hair removal rose by 4% and chemical peels were up 2%. Looking at the whole picture, this reveals that minimally invasive treatments accounted for 13 million procedures last year, whilst surgical procedures, such as breast enlargements and facelifts, were down to 1.6 million – a drop of 2% from 2011.

Evans’ statement backed the findings, explaining that ‘Female cosmetic breast surgeries such as breast augmentation, as well as body contouring procedures like tummy tucks, were some of the most popular procedures performed in 2012, although they saw declines.’

Movie start meets namesake at dental practice in US


Actor Gerard Butler was travelling from Louisiana to New York by motor cycle when he came face-to-face with his name sake at a dental practice in New Orleans; the movie star was taking some time out after completing filming on his latest project Olympus and decided to take the road trip with a friend when he spotted the dental surgery as the pair stopped to take a rest.

Butler and his friend Freddie where in North Carolina when they decided to take a break from the road; they stopped at a 7-eleven – a type of store in the US – and were surprised to see a familiar name on the awning of a nearby building. Butler explains ‘We stopped to get some refreshments and I looked across the road and I’m like ‘Do you see what I see?’ and there was a dentist called Jerry Butler’.

Despite having no dental problems currently, the 43-year-old thought it would be entertaining to speak to the dentist, ‘So me and Freddie go across the road and Freddie knocks on the door and says, ‘Hi, I have an appointment with Jerry Butler…’ and [his assistant] says, ‘Who should I say is calling?’ and I step forwards and say, ‘It’s Gerry Butler.’

The 300 star also joked that it was a moving experience, saying ‘I went in and met Jerry Butler, the dentist, which was actually a big honour for me.’

Britney Spears denies claims of bad oral health


It’s fair to say that child star Britney Spears has had her fair share of problems in recent years, and just as it looks like she’s put her troubles behind her, US gossip magazine National Enquirer has published a story claiming that the mother-of-two has bad breath, due to her extreme diet. Representatives of Spears have come forward to deny claims that were quoted from an unknown source, saying that ‘Britney’s breath absolutely reeks!’

According to the source, it’s the pop-stars diet that is causing the decline in oral health, as they added that ‘It must be the acids in her tummy or something from this crazy diet she’s on because her breath will start smelling twenty minutes after she brushes her teeth.’ Her meal plan has been described as ‘absolutely brutal’ including egg whites, whey protein shakes and lean meats, as she attempts to keep in shape for her role as X-Factor judge in the US. This combination of foods can apparently cause halitosis by ‘producing breath-affecting by-products or ammonia in the body.’

There doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support this other than rumour and hearsay, and Internet site Gossip Cop has reported that Britney’s people are saying the rumours are ‘not true’; they have also denied that the so-called source is a friend of hers or has ever even met the star. 

US firm arranges dental tourist trips


A company in the US has begun arranging dental tourist trips to let Americans take advantage of cheaper treatment outside their home country. Jaime Bellos and his business partner Richard Dziurda have created a website called, designed to help people in need of expensive dental care to find a dentist in another country who can provide this for them. It is estimated that about a quarter of a million Americans travel outside the US to get their teeth treated every year, and now they can easily find contact details of reputable clinics in places like Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama.

The idea came from founder Dziurda when he was told he would need thousands of pounds worth of dental procedures; rather than pay up, the entrepreneur decided to combine a holiday with his treatment and save himself some money into the bargain.

The website allows patients to upload their medical records and contact details, after which dentists around the world bid for the right to carry out the necessary work at a lower price than they would pay in the US – where healthcare is notoriously expensive. Lots of different procedures are available, such as dental implants, porcelain crowns, root canals, and dentures. It costs nothing to read up on the initial bidder, then $25 for each one after that – customers could save thousands of pounds and enjoy a holiday at the same time.

Poorly trained dentists are putting US children at risk


Poor training and careless attitudes towards patient safety means that thousands of children across the USA are being put at risk when they visit the dentist, as some unscrupulous characters attempt to increase their profit by sedating very young patients. By pushing parents to add expensive sedation to their child’s treatment, badly trained dentists are making huge amounts of profit on what should be routine treatments.

In some cases, providers are administering oral sedatives to patients as young as 18-months and current research suggests that at least 31 children have died as a result of this careless practice in the last fifteen years. The parents of eight-year-old Raven Maria Blanco have set up a foundation in her memory after she passed away in the dentist’s chair in 2007, due to a lethal dose of sedatives. The Raven Maria Blanco Foundation was created to warn parents about the dangers of poorly trained dentists, Robin and Mario Blanco spoke to Diane Sawyer on ABC news about the tragedy and how it could have been prevented; they said ‘Parents assume that a dentist should know what he’s doing and that’s not always the case.’ ABC continued to investigate and found that there were very few regulations in place for dentists and that some states required just a weekend of training for administering oral sedatives.

Spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Dr Indru Punwani, called the weekend course ‘inadequate’, and suggested that this was not long enough to teach the dentists how to deal with the possible emergencies that could occur during surgery.

US magazine photoshops Kate Middleton’s teeth


It might be an outdated stereotype that’s not based in reality but many Americans still seem to think that the British have terrible teeth, if the cover of latest New Republic is to be believed. A picture of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has been posted on the front of the magazine with her smile photoshopped to look yellow and decaying, despite the fact she has had thousands of pounds worth of orthodontic surgery to give her a perfect, natural-looking smile. The picture was captioned; Something’s Rotten. The Last Days of Britain.’

Many American’s who are in the media spotlight are under the impression that their teeth should be incredibly straight and blindingly white, but the 30-year-old Duchess received dental treatment from French dentist Didier Fillion, who made every effort to avoid this effect, by performing some microrotations on her teeth. A colleague of Dr Fillion, Bernard Touati said that the fact that Kate’s teeth are not perfectly aligned is what makes them look so natural, he went on to say that ‘the problem in the United States is they have a very artificial vision, but what we like is a natural healthy smile, but not artificial.’

Online supporters – both American and British – have leapt to the defence of the young royal, saying the cover was a ‘low blow’, ‘absolutely ridiculous’ and even suggesting that the magazine should be sued for libel following the printing of the issue. One poster took a swipe at the journalism involved in The New Republic, saying ‘I wonder if these are the same critics who keep up on the Kardashians, or whatever flavour of the moth Hollywood squirts out.’

‘Tooth tattoo’ could be used to detect life-threatening conditions


Researchers at US university Princeton have developed a ‘tooth tattoo’ made from strands of silk and gold which can recognise bacteria that causes infection and could help with early detection of harmful viruses. The wireless device is glued to the enamel; it then transmits data to a computer detailing the chemicals present in breath and saliva.

Although the ‘tattoo’ is still in the early stages of development, researchers hope it could one day me used to monitor human health and help prevent life-threatening conditions getting out of control before treatment can be sought. The teams principal investigator Michael McAlpine explained that ‘the antenna coil is what transmits the signal, you don’t need a battery,’ after carrying out tests using a cow’s tooth. The device was created by mixing the silk strands and gold wires with a thin sheet of carbon called graphene, which makes a very thin substance that can be applied to the tooth like a transfer tattoo – hence the name ‘tooth tattoo.’

At the moment, it is too big to be placed on a human tooth, so the team are working to scale the invention down and make it strong enough to withstand brushing for a long period of time, Mr McAlpine said ‘Ideally, you want something that would be there for a while. We have a way to go before we could master that.’


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US singer has Botox to fix vocal chord problems


In the UK, American singer John Mayer is probably more famous for briefly dating Friends star Jennifer Aniston than for his music, but over the pond, fans are waiting with bated breath to hear The Daughters singer get his voice back after cancelling several tour dates. Mayer had surgery to remove a nodule in his throat that was affecting his vocal chords, and then underwent treatment with Botox to help the wound heal.

With his voice out of commission, the singer has been writing songs to keep busy, and he spoke to chat show host Ellen DeGeneres about the condition, assuring his American fans that his health was not at risk, he just wouldn’t be back to singing for a while. ‘I tried to beat it the first time and couldn’t,’ said the 34-year-old, ‘What they actually do is they cut this thing out of your throat and then they inject your vocal chords with Botox, which freezes your vocal chords so that this thing can heal without smacking up against the other side.’

Unfortunately, the first round of injections proved ineffective and Mayer had to return to the clinic for further treatment, which led to more cancelled tour dates. The singer is trying to remain positive though, telling Ellen ‘I’m very happy to be a writer, really lucky to be a writer.’

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US talk show host takes on ‘Human Barbie’


51-year-old plastic surgery veteran Sarah Burge has always courted controversy thanks to her warped view of how to raise a child, and now she’s flown over the pond to outrage US TV audiences with an appearance on a daytime talk show Anderson. However, all did not go to plan for the self-titled ‘Human Barbie’ and the interview was cut short after host Anderson Cooper branded her ‘dreadful.’

Miss Burge, who has spent over £500,000 on her looks, tried to justify presenting her eight-year-old with plastic surgery vouchers for her birthday, and injecting her teenage daughter with Botox, saying ‘I would prefer to oversee my daughter’s Botox than have her going underground finding a voodoo witchdoctor or getting it off the internet and administrating [sic] it herself.’

The mum-of-three is hardly popular on either side of the Atlantic for her controversial parenting techniques, and host Cooper was quick to disagree with her opinions, even to the point of calling off the interview midway through the segment, ‘I try and be really polite to all my guests,’ he said, but told Sarah, ‘I just think you’re dreadful and I honestly don’t want to talk to you anymore, so I’m just going to stop.’ He later admitted that it might not have been a good idea to have the Botox-mad mum as a guest, saying ‘I regret having her on in the first place and I regret that that’s how things ended.’

New Jersey surgeon offering 3D dermal fillers


Plastic surgeon Dr Paul LoVerme has introduced a revolutionary new 3D treatment for people who want to halt the signs of aging using dermal fillers; the Vectra 3D system allows the patient to see a full picture of the outcome and to make adjustments to meet their pre-surgery goals. Dr LoVerme said that the increased demand for such procedures meant surgeons were always looking for new ways to treat their patients successfully; ‘It is the responsibility of the surgeon to establish realistic treatment goals and manage patient expectations. A natural looking result where the patient looks more youthful and refreshed is key.’

Dr LoVerme went on to praise the Vectra 3D technology for giving him a more accurate determination of the amount of filler required; he said ‘Using a series of six specialised camera lenses, strobes, and the most sophisticated software, we can now capture images of facial features and measure specifically how much volume is needed to create the desired result.’

The new system generates a 3D mould of the patients face that gives the surgeon access to the contours of the face that are below the outer layers of skin, which means they can produce an individually tailored result according to the information provided on-screen. The New Jersey surgeon was confident that the technology would become more widely used after practitioners become familiar with it and see that it is highly accurate – 150 surgeons currently use Vectra 3D in the US.

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