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A dentist’s role in oral cancer treatment

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Each trip to the dentist helps spot and treat cavities, clean teeth, provide preventative treatments like sealants, and seek out signs of gum disease. But many don’t realize it is a cancer screening, too.

“A routine dental exam is vital for maintaining good oral health, and it’s also the best method for detecting oral cancer in its early stages,” says Mark Roettger, D.D.S., Clinic Director of the University of Minnesota Dental Clinic. “Dentists have the primary role in oral cancer detection because we work most closely with the mouth, and inspect it most thoroughly.”

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Expert Perspective: U.S. lowers recommended fluoride in tap water

The U.S. will lower nationwide recommendations for fluoride in tap water, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week. The pre-established range of 0.7-1.2 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water has been replaced with a national standard of 0.7 milligrams per liter.

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Improving dental therapy education in Rwanda

When the U.S.-based Rwanda Human Resources for Health (HRH), was tasked with rebuilding Rwanda’s only dentistry school, leaders faced a dilemma.

Dental therapists had practiced in Rwanda for several years, but their education wasn’t viewed as quite up-to-standard. HRH wanted to improve the education of dental therapy students to provide higher quality care in a clinical setting. But they didn’t have any experience with dental therapy.

They sought out Karl Self, D.D.S, Director of Dental Therapy at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry – the only dental school in the United States to train dental therapists.

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UMN School of Dentistry students provide kids free dental care

More than 150 kids received free comprehensive dental care at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry’s dental clinic earlier this month on Give Kids a Smile Day.

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Research Snapshot: A better understanding of t-cell leukemia virus

The particles of the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), a human retrovirus closely related to HIV, are known to be non-infectious. They don’t cause much damage alone. But when those particles invade other cells, the virus becomes highly infectious, and can cause leukemia. About 5 percent of people with HTLV-1 will develop adult t-cell leukemia.

University of Minnesota researchers recently captured 3-D images of HTLV-1 through advanced electron imaging, a technology that enabled them to study the virus particles in more detail than ever before. Their finding, recently published in The Journal of Virology, could provide insight into why some particles are more infectious than others.

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Small steps for big changes in 2015

As January comes to a close, many find the resolutions they made on New Year’s Day, are becoming harder to maintain. Before you throw out your resolution to be healthy in 2015, HealthTalk compiled a short list of easy steps you can take to achieve your goals.

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