about what kind of connection between the tooth and nezaplombirovannym astronaut career, we are asked to tell the academician, doctor of medical sciences, professor, laureate of the State Prize of the USSR Valery Konstantinovich Leontiev.
- Valery K., over the years you headed the dentistry section of the State Medical Commission for the selection of candidates for the astronauts.What was the work of your section?
- One of the main tasks of our committee was to develop science-based criteria, indications and contraindications in the state of dental systems for space flight.Already as a
fact that conditions such as the presence of impacted teeth, hidden foci of infection, cured bad teeth, and more, were risk factors for disease in space.Therefore, the main criterion for the selection of astronauts was to identify these factors and their elimination.Only such an approach could ensure the safety of the astronauts in flight stay.It should be noted that the risk factors were in every other candidate.
- Which factors exactly do you mean?
- In space flight, particularly long-term, is an astronaut in zero gravity without suffering of gravity.In this case there are difficulties in chewing of food, and, consequently, with the oral hygiene problems.
worth noting certain restrictions in diet, dehydration, etc.Reduced chewing load space flight provokes the development of osteoporotic violations of dentoalveolar apparatus.The astronaut also is in low mobility, and it also creates the likelihood of disturbances in dentition.
add significant overload, especially when the spacecraft taking off, that affect the periodontal tissues.This includes the possibility of exacerbation or appearance of an astronaut dental diseases - and that during the flight, when to ask for help to the dentist there is no way!
Finally, the risk of cross-transmission of infection, when a small number of people for a long time is in extreme conditions.
- And it was difficult to refuse people actually healthy in all other respects?
- Certainly.Perhaps we were very uncomfortable and difficult for astronauts medical commission section.After all, we, dentists are not dealing with a single body, and with a large number of them (32 teeth, tongue, lips, gums, etc.), Each of which individually and together are able to create a huge number of risk factors.But we are aware of the full extent of his responsibility as for the life and health of the astronauts and for the safe conduct of space missions.
- Were the candidates with perfect teeth in your practice?
- Practically there was no individual, planned to fly, who would be absent these or other dental problems that the selection committee could close your eyes.
- Apparently, few of the candidates had a chance to get astronauts into space?
- Yes, indeed, the ideal candidate from our point of view, it was not.But, fortunately, most of the risk factors we were able to eliminate at the stage of selection and training of candidates.It was about oral hygiene, replacement of fillings, dentures, and others. However, the requirements of the teeth have been so high that it is almost always recommended for the removal of teeth with pulpitis, periodontitis, even in the absence of clinical signs of disease.Therefore, the loss of teeth was almost always inevitable in the course of preparation of the astronaut to fly.
- What is your relationship with candidates for astronauts?
- most of them belong to the visit to the dentist with a certain apprehension, considering it very important.But relations have always been working, cooperative and friendly.Our candidates are usually correctly assessed the role and dental requirements of astronauts selection and did not show any misunderstanding, as the price of these errors is very high: the cost of a rescue mission, and the economic consequences of the suspension and emergency completion, the removal of the astronaut to orbit medically imposed on usgreat responsibility.
- Valery Konstantinovich, how long stay in space affect the teeth?
- not the best way.Extreme factors can create conditions for thinning enamel, caries, periodontal disease, diseases of the oral mucosa.At the time, we set up an experiment: we examined the volunteers who took part in the ground simulating long-term (8 months) of space flight, and the astronauts who worked on the space station for more than 70 days.The control group consisted of astronauts who have not flown in space.The results of adaptation to the space isolation were impressive.Participants ground the experiment observed the same symptoms as that of the astronauts who visited long expedition.
- It turns out that in space fly people to healthy teeth and returned to your patients?
- extreme conditions of space flight affect even healthy and trained people.And our work aims to ultimately reduce risk factors, regardless of who is in front of us - an ordinary man or an astronaut.
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