Dental research and experiences pay dividends.

Amongst the things that came to my notice this week.

  1. Via the FT “How to spend it” magazine came “BONDIC”, which is apparently developed using concepts from Dentistry. It comes in an applicator with a built-in UV beam. Apply, shine the light and off you go.






2. From Nature 2004 (via reestheskin) the story of a breakthrough in cataract surgery. How a jolt and a bolt in a dentist’s chair revolutionized cataract surgery” tells the story of Charles Kelman and his pioneering technique of “small incision phacoemulsification” which allowed rapid, painless restoration of vision. His epiphanous moment is described….LINK

The idea for phacoemulsification came to Kelman in 1964 while sitting in his dentist’s chair and having his teeth cleaned. A sudden jolt from the dental drill produced an epiphanous bolt from the blue. As Kelman writes in his memoir, “I sat in his chair, as he reached over, took a long silver instrument out of its cradle and turned it on. A fine mist came off the tip but the tip didn’t seem to be moving. He applied the tip to my teeth, and I felt an exquisite vibration and heard a high-pitched sound.” Kelman asked, “What is that thing?” The dentist replied, “An ultrasonic probe.” “I knew this was the moment,” Kelman wrote.

Before the era of Charles Kelman, the surgical removal of cataracts was a major ordeal, requiring a hospital stay of 10 days (if no complications occurred) and a convales- cence of several months2. Typically, the patient underwent general anesthesia, after which a large, semicircular (180°) incision was made in the cornea to allow the entire lens to be grasped with a forceps and pulled from the eye in one piece. Eight or more sutures closed the incision, and the patient was kept on absolute bed rest for 3–5 days with both eyes occluded with patches. To restrict movement of the head, sandbags were placed along both sides of the head, and both wrists were bound with restraints to the bed. This enforced immobilization often led to mental disorientation, prostatic obstruc- tion, bedsores and pulmonary embolism. As many as 20% of patients developed vitreous hemorrhage, macular edema, eye infections and retinal detachment. After discharge from the hospital, the eyes and lids remained red, swollen and irritated for as long as 6 weeks. The surgically treated eye had to be patched for several months, and the aphakic patient had to wait for as long as 6 months to be fit-ted with thick spectacle glasses.


Published by Alun Rees

Dental Business Coach. Analyst. Troubleshooter. Consultant. Writer. Presenter. Broadcaster.

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