Breakthrough technology has the ability to measure bacteria in the mouth.
Beverly Hills, CA (July 2013) — Tattoos have long been a sign of artistic expression, but now they may be able to signal health problems before they start. These tattoos however are not made by ink and embedded in skin; instead they are made of tiny electrodes and implanted on a tooth. A new device being called a “tooth tattoo” is a breakthrough innovation that has the ability to measure bacteria levels in the mouth instantly. Though still not a standard tool in a dentist’s arsenal, this technology may someday be a standard weapon in the fight towards total oral health and wellness. As a top Beverly Hills Periodontist, Dr. Alex Farnoosh is at the forefront of revolutionary dental research and it makes his mission to provide his patients with the best and most advanced treatment possible.
Developed by Princeton University Scientist Michael McAlpine and bioengineers Hu Tao, David Kaplan and Fiorenzo Omenetto from Tufts University, the “tooth tattoo” is a super-thin sensor comprised of three layers of peptides, graphene and a sheet of gold foil electrodes. The device attaches to a tooth temporarily. Scientists created a special peptide that is able to detect bacteria by binding to the cell membranes in the bacteria. The peptide acts as a messenger by bonding with the graphene which in then sends a signal to the sensor. Because the sensor is so small and delicate, scientists had to additionally create a highly advanced type of silk to bond the sensor to the tooth. By manipulating the proteins in silk, the team was able to create a silk that was strong and flexible, but would also eventually dissolve once the device was in place. Not needing batteries, the sensor is powered by an antenna that also sends the signal to a hand-held device when “pinged” for information. Through radio waves, the sensor is able to wirelessly deliver bacteria levels directly to the hand-held device. “The possibilities of this invention are endless,” says Dr. Alex Farnoosh, “dental professionals like myself would be able have instant readings of bacteria in the mouth. We would be able to better assess a patient’s risk and treatment plan.” Scientists are optimistic about the future of this device and its ability to one day become a standard tool in dental check-ups. Previous studies have shown that dangerous bacteria in the mouth and other oral maladies are often associated with other overall health problems like diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. As a result, the “tooth tattoo” has potential beyond detecting oral problems exclusively, to being an important overall diagnostic device.
As a pioneer of revolutionary dental techniques including a lip lowering treatment to fix a gummy smile and gum bleaching to treat discolored dark gums, Dr. Alex Farnoosh is at the pinnacle of advanced oral wellness. He is a specialist in periodontal and cosmetic procedures for both adults and children. “Because maintaining good oral health habits in adulthood are cemented in childhood, this research further reinforces the importance regular dental visits. It could keep one healthier throughout their entire lives.”
The Total Smile was founded by Beverly Hills Periodontist Dr. Alex Farnoosh. Serving patients from around the globe at his Beverly Hills office for over 25 years, Dr. Farnoosh has proven expertise in the field of dentistry and offers many unique cosmetic and surgical services. Dr. Farnoosh specializes in dental implants, laser periodontal surgery, gum and bone grafting and his novel gum bleaching approach for treatment of dark and discolored gums and his lip-lowering treatment for a gummy smile. Dr. Farnoosh has been recognized by the Consumers’ Research Council of America (CRC) as one of America’s top dentists in their annual report since 2008. To learn more about Dr. Farnoosh and how to achieve The Total Smile, visit: www.thetotalsmile.com.
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