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Metal-free fillings vs metal fillings

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Metal-free fillings vs metal fillings

Sunday, November 10, 2019

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LEARNING that you have tooth decay can be upsetting, but you’re not the only one getting this news at the dentist’s office.

There are many types of dental fillings, and both metal and metal-free fillings are available. The best type of filling for a cavity will depend on many factors, including the cavity’s size and location, and your dentist can recommend the best type for your situation.

 

Metal fillings

Dental amalgam fillings, also known as silver-coloured fillings, are made of a mixture of metals. These are comprised of liquid mercury and powdered copper, silver and tin. The mercury reacts with the other components, binding them together into a durable material. Dental amalgam’s durability makes it a good option for large cavities in the back teeth. Amalgam fillings have been used in dentistry for more than 100 years.

Gold fillings are also made of a mixture of metals, including gold and copper. They are also known as inlays or onlays. These are the most durable type of filling and can last for more than 20 years.

 

Metal-free fillings

Composite fillings, also known as tooth-coloured fillings, are made of a mixture of resin and glass. These fillings look more natural than metal fillings, but they may need to be replaced more often.

Glass ionomer fillings are also tooth-coloured, and they’re made of powdered glass. These fillings form a chemical bond with the teeth after application.

 

Potential advantages of metal-free fillings

While both metal and metal-free fillings can be used to repair cavities, there are a few situations in which dentists may recommend the latter type. Since metal-free fillings are the same colour as your teeth, they look more natural than their metal counterparts. This may be an important consideration if you have a cavity in one of your front teeth or if you’re concerned with the appearance of your filling.

Glass ionomer fillings have another potential advantage. These fillings may release fluoride, which is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent future decay.

 

Safety of metal fillings

For those who may have concerns about the mercury content in dental amalgam fillings, scientific studies have consistently found dental amalgam to be safe. The type of mercury found in dental fillings isn’t the same kind that can build up in fish and cause health problems.

Further, studies haven’t found any links between dental amalgam fillings and health problems in the general population.

Some people may have allergies or sensitivities to the materials used in metal fillings. For these people, metal fillings can cause contact reactions, such as sores inside the mouth. If you have any allergies or sensitivities to metals, like copper or tin, let your dentist know.

If left untreated, cavities will only get worse. So, if your dentist says you need a filling, don’t delay. Many types of metal and metal-free fillings can be used to repair tooth decay. If you have questions or concerns about dental filling materials, talk to your dentist.

 

Dr Sharon Robinson DDS has offices at the Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, located at shop #5, Winchester Business Centre, 15 Hope Road, Kingston 10. Dr Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, School of Oral Health Sciences. She may be contacted at 630-4710. Like their Facebook page, Dental Place Cosmetix Spa.

 

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PAJ honours veteran journalists

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PAJ honours veteran journalists

Thursday, November 21, 2019

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The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) yesterday honoured four veteran journalists/broadcasters for their contribution to the field at its annual Veterans’ Luncheon at the Courtyard Marriott hotel in New Kingston.

Here three of the awardees pose with their citations.

From left are: Photographer Headley “Dellmar” Samuels; deputy CEO at the Jamaica Information Service Enthrose Campbell; and Jamaica Observer Senior Reporter Balford Henry.

Absent is Irie FM broadcaster Elise Kelly.

(Photo: Michael Gordon)


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Jamaica close second on UN-compiled femicide list

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PARIS, France (AFP) — Every day in 2017, 137 women and girls were intentionally killed by their partner or a family member somewhere in the world, according to UN statistics.

This adds up to more than 50,000 women’s lives ended by those closest to them, a scourge blamed on deep-rooted gender inequality and damaging stereotypes of women as weaker and less valuable members of society.
Here is an overview of the worldwide killings of women, also called femicide.

The toll

In 2017, some 87,000 women and girls were murdered worldwide, according to a 2018 report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Of these, 58 per cent had their life taken by someone in their inner circle — 30,000 by their spouse or intimate partner, and another 20,000 by a member of their own family.

The report showed that men were four times more likely than women to fall victim to homicide (they form 80 per cent of all murder victims), but more often than not died at the hands of a stranger.

Fewer than one in five murdered men were killed by their life partner, compared to 82 per cent for women.
Women in Africa are most likely to be killed by a spouse or family member, with a rate of nearly 70 per cent (19,000 murders) compared to 38 per cent (3,000 murders) in Europe, the region with the smallest share, said the UNODC.
In absolute numbers, Asia had the most severe toll, with 20,000 women killed by a partner or family member in 2017.

Husbands, fathers, brothers, mothers

The high murder rate among women is a consequence of rampant gender-based violence.

Nearly a third of women who have been in a relationship reported having experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their partner, or a non-partner, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Many of the victims of ‘femicide’ are killed by their current and former partners, but they are also killed by fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters, and other family members because of their role and status as women,” said the UNODC.
These killings, it added, do “not usually result from random or spontaneous acts, but rather from the culmination of prior gender-based violence. Jealousy and fear of abandonment are among the motives”.

The WHO report also blamed “unequal power of women relative to men” and the “normative use of violence to resolve conflict”.

War

Emergencies such as poverty, war and humanitarian crises make women even more vulnerable.

Countries topping a UN-compiled list of “intentional homicides, female” are mostly in Latin America and Africa, regions which struggle with gang and ethnic wars, unemployment and privation.

Topping the list is El Salvador with 13.9 out of every 100,000 women murdered in 2017, followed by Jamaica with 11 per 100,000 in the same year.

The Central African Republic was in third place with 10.4 per 100,000 based on 2016 statistics, followed by South Africa with 9.1 per 100,000 in 2011.

The real numbers are likely to be higher, with reports based on whatever data is gathered by national statistical systems — severely lacking in many countries in Africa and Asia.

Many wars, from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi to Kosovo and Iraq, are known for the tactic of targeting women, who are raped, beaten, taken as sex slaves, and often killed, as a “weapon of war”.

Family

According to the UN, some 1,000 of the 5,000 so-called “honour killings” reported around the world every year, are committed in India.

These are crimes committed by close relatives after a woman or girl is deemed to have diverted from religious or traditional mores and values — often for falling in love with a man from the wrong family, or for engaging in sex before marriage.

They are shot, stoned, burned, buried alive, strangled, smothered, or stabbed to death with what the UN describes as “horrifying regularity”, often in countries where the laws exempt the perpetrators from punishment.
Pakistan sees hundreds of these killings every year, while in Afghanistan 243 cases were recorded between April 2011 and August 2013.

Change coming?

Spain is hailed in some quarters for turning the tide in the battle against femicide through a 2004 law against gender-targeted violence that sought to address the problem in different spheres simultaneously — social, educational and correctional.

About 100 special courts and police units were also set up.

Last year, 50 women were murdered in Spain, and 51 so far this year, down from 71 in 2003.

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ECC launches app for parenting children

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ECC launches app for parenting children

Thursday, November 21, 2019

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THE Early Childhood Commission (ECC) has launched its 1st 1000 Days app, which is an intervention for changing negative parenting behaviours to achieve positive outcomes for children.

Those targeted are biological parents, adopted parents, caregivers, and anyone tasked with the responsibility of parenting children from birth to two years. The app will provide parents with the information needed to care for children in this age cohort.

The app, which was unveiled at Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday, is free of cost and enables users to know the kind of development that is taking place with their children, track developmental milestones, and be aware of the actions necessary to support their children’s developmental needs.

As of December 16, persons will be able to access the app on mobile devices that carry the iOS and Google Play operating systems.

The 1st 1000 Days app is being rolled out on a phased basis. In the first phase, the app will cover pregnancy, infancy and toddlerhood (age zero to two). The second phase will cover the preschool years (age three to five) and the third phase will cover primary years (age six to eight).

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Karl Samuda, who gave the keynote address at the ceremony, commended the ECC for development of the app, which he said will equip parents with vital information in this critical stage of childhood development.

“Early childhood begins before the child is born. The psychological impact that the parent has on the child before it is born has an influence on the child’s development throughout his or her life,” he said.

Samuda further noted that development of the app is critical support for the age six to eight cohort to ensure that the needs of this group are being sufficiently met for optimal academic performance.

Meanwhile, ECC Executive Director Karlene DeGrasse-Deslandes said over the years there has been a gap in the extent to which the ECC has been able to serve the zero to two age cohort, many of whom are not enrolled in the formal education system but mainly access the primary health care system through parental visits to clinics.

“Parents of children enrolled in early-childhood institutions (predominantly the age three to five group) have traditionally been able to receive support through their interaction with the school system. As we seek to develop this innovative approach to parent support, it is necessary to begin with our support of parents at the foundational level where there is a gap in provision,” she said.

DeGrasse-Deslandes said rolling out the app in a controlled and phased manner will enable the ECC to gain valuable insight on user interaction, feedback, and the value of the content that is being provided to parents.

“The app in its entirety is a parent support tool for parents of children zero to eight years and will be developed accordingly in phases to support all parents within our cohort,” she said.

Parenting support consultant, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Ytske Van Winden, said the first 1,000 days of life – the time spanning roughly between conception and the child’s second birthday – is a unique period of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established.

“The first 1,000 days is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a baby’s brain and shape a child’s ability to learn and grow. In the first 1,000 days, a child’s brain develops faster than any other time,” she explained.

 “We congratulate the ECC for launching the 1st 1000 Days app. UNICEF is proud to have supported this important initiative. Through this app, parents will have access to reputable sources of high-quality, up-to-date information on parenting children in this critical early-childhood stage,” the UNICEF consultant added.

Van Winden said the app will be linked to the UNICEF’s global parenting site at unicef.org/parenting, which has mini master classes, short videos on parenting and fact sheets on every critical stage of parenting.

The 1st 1000 Days app was developed by local software and technology firm, Elyctom Technologies, with funding from UNICEF in the amount of approximately $1.5 million. 

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