What is Biomimetic Dentistry, and How Does it Benefit You?

You may have heard the term "biomimetic" before, but what you may not know is how it relates to dentistry- or why we are so passionate about using a biomimetic dentistry approach with our patients. The word biomimetic literally means ‘imitating (mimesis) life (bios).’  In dentistry, biomimetic dentistry means we take a minimally invasive approach to dental care- an approach which strives to keep as much of the natural tooth intact as possible. We do this by using specialized techniques, tools, and advanced materials to repair damaged teeth- instead of just cutting away the damaged area and hoping whatever we stick to the tooth stays in place and looks realistic. The ultimate goal of our practice, and of biomimetic dentistry as a whole, is to "help our patients keep their teeth for a lifetime... In a condition that’s beautiful and that’s functional."

What makes biomimetic dentistry different is kind of like that old metaphor about optimism versus pessimism, where you are asked whether you see the glass half full or half empty. Traditional methods of dentistry historically have taken a more pessimistic approach, giving little thought to the remaining structure of the tooth, and instead focusing on the repaired section.  When you pay more attention to the restoration, it’s a lot like seeing the glass as half empty, because you are not focused on the healthy portion of the tooth. With biomimetic dentistry, we aim to repair the damage to the tooth, not to simply replace the damaged areas, as this essentially creates more damage to the tooth in the process. This is like seeing the glass half-full because we understand the importance of preserving the natural tooth.

In addition to your teeth looking better with biomimetic dentistry, biomimetic dentistry offers two things that many traditional procedures cannot: comfort and predictability. Because biomimetic procedures are minimally invasive, they are naturally less painful than traditional dentistry procedures.  Not only that, but most patients experience less tooth sensitivity after the procedure, as well. As for predictability, with biomimetic dentistry, there are no surprises. You already know what your tooth looks like, so restoring that tooth creates no change in the look or feel of your natural tooth. Best of all, because the tooth is repaired, you can feel confident that the health of your teeth is protected- and that you will keep your natural teeth for the rest of your life.

So, given what we know about biomimetic dentistry, why don’t more practices apply biomimetic dentistry principles to their practice?  The biomimetic approach is not as easy as traditional dentistry. Biomimetic dentistry requires a lot of skill, patience, and training. It requires the dentist and their staff to look at dentistry under a completely different lens than they were probably initially trained to do. Hopefully, in the future, this will change, and biomimetic dentistry will someday become the standard of care in all practices. But until then, finding a practice which follows the principles of biomimetic care and maintains their focus on the health of the existing tooth instead of the damaged portions of the tooth can be an integral part of enjoying the strength and beauty of your natural teeth for the rest of your life.

If you’d like to learn more about how Dr. Lederman and the biomimetic approach to dentistry can benefit the holistic health of your teeth, give us a call at 516-882-1764 for an appointment.

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A New Dental Implant Could Kill Germs, Fight Infections

For patients who have lost teeth due to oral infections like periodontitis, a new spin on dental implants could help prevent similar infections from occurring in the future. Researchers at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium have developed a dental implant with a built-in reservoir that can be filled with antimicrobial drugs to fight or prevent oral infection. We spoke to Dr. Gary Lederman of Bellmore, NY about this exciting new dental technology.

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Can Scuba Diving Could Be Bad for Your Teeth?

With winter upon us and many of us planning on jetting off to warmer locales for vacation, a new study published in Science Daily may just add one more item to your pre-travel checklist: a visit to the dentist. If there’s even a chance your vacation could include scuba diving on its itinerary, Dr. Gary Lederman encourages you to have one of your twice-yearly dental exams prior to taking off.

According to a recent article published in The British Dental Journal, researchers at the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, NY found that 41% of scuba divers surveyed reported what they referred to as "dental symptoms" in the water during a dive. These so-called ‘dental symptoms’ ranged from jaw pain to loosened crowns and even cracked teeth!

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Snoring is the symptom. Sleep apnea is the disease.

As your dentist, I have a great view of your mouth and airway at each appointment. And, as a neuromuscular dentist, I’m in a great position to help my patients who suffer from sleep apnea. The conversation on sleep apnea often begins with complaints about snoring. And, yes, snoring can interrupt your sleep but the sleep apnea that causes snoring is much more serious.

There are three kinds of sleep apnea and the first step in my sleep apnea treatment is diagnosing which a patient has. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles collapse during sleep, obstructing the airway. Central sleep apnea happens when the brain fails to send the proper signals to control breathing. Mixed sleep apnea includes both conditions.

Once a patient is diagnosed, we determine which treatment will work best. I can create an orthotic that patients can use to keep the jaw in the proper position to maintain an open airway. Sometimes this is all the treatment a patient needs. Other times, it’s necessary to combine using the orthotic with CPAP treatment.

In all cases, the goal is to help patients breath fully while they sleep, resulting in restful nights, better function during the day and a lowering of risk factors for major diseases like heart disease and diabetes which are associated with Sleep apnea.

If you snore or your partner snores, please contact us for a consultation to begin diagnosis for sleep apnea. Call Today: 516-882-1764.

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Two New Studies Give Hope to Periodontitis Sufferers

Two recent discoveries by researchers around the globe are yielding promising results for those suffering from chronic periodontitis. Periodontitis is a gum infection that if left untreated, damages both the soft tissue and bones surrounding the teeth- and can eventually lead to their loss. Periodontitis is also responsible for a variety of illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and even certain cancers. But now, universities in the US and Australia have released two unrelated studies that offer hope to those who suffer from chronic periodontitis. Dr. Gary Lederman of Bellmore, NY discusses these findings.

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Mercury Falling: Why Dr. Lederman Prefers Resin Fillings to Mercury Amalgam

You may have noticed mercury fillings back in the news recently, following a recent study by the University of Georgia’s Department of Environmental Health. The study evaluated 15,000 patients and found that patients possessing 8 or more mercury amalgam fillings had 150% more mercury in their bloodstream than those with no amalgam fillings. While many dentists have switched over to resin composite fillings for health reasons, Dr. Lederman stopped using amalgam fillings over 20 years ago, long before anyone realized the full extent of the dangers of amalgams- but for completely different reasons.

 

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TMJ Stem Cells Used to Repair Damaged Cartilage

A promising new study by the Columbia College of Dental Medicine at Columbia University is offering hope for the tens of millions of people around the world suffering from Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder. In the study, researchers were successfully able to regenerate the cartilage within the temporomandibular joint using stem cells located within the jaw bone. Dr. Gary Lederman of Bellmore, NY is a neuromuscular dentist who specializes in the treatment of TMJ disorder. We spoke to him about the implications of this study, and what the findings could mean for patients living with TMJ disorder.


The TMJ joints are the joints which anchor the lower jaw to the upper jaw, allowing the jaw to open, close, speak, and chew. If the temporomandibular joint becomes misaligned, it can become painful enough to restrict the movement of the jaw. This is known as TMJ disorder. Though there are many treatments for TMJ disorders, most only treat the symptoms of the disorder and not the cause. One successful method of treatment is neuromuscular dentistry, which while it does treat the cause, cannot currently heal the cartilage in the temporomandibular joint- in fact, until recently, nothing could. This is because the cartilage found in the TMJ is fibrocartilage, a type of cartilage also found in the vertebrae and knee meniscus that doctors long believed could not regrow or heal. In fact, damage to this cartilage is considered permanent- but the findings of this study have the potential to change everything.

Researchers discovered that when they took stem cells directly from the temporomandibular joint of a mouse, manipulated those cells, and transplanted them directly back into the fibrocartilage of the joint, the implanted stem cells spontaneously regrew damaged cartilage within the joint. Even more promising is that the cells used were the subject’s own cells. This is important because using donor stem cells has a lower rate of success because donor stem cells can often be rejected by the body- and even when they’re accepted, can introduce pathogens and increase the instance of tumors in the area of implantation.

The ability to regrow fibrocartilage offers hope for not just patients suffering from TMJ disorders, but patients with knee and spine injuries, and children suffering from juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a condition which often causes stunted growth in the jaw- and for which there is currently no treatment.

Though an actual stem cell treatment is not yet available to the public, Lederman is optimistic. "This type of stem cell treatment may be the missing piece of the puzzle between neuromuscular dentistry and eliminating TMJ pain entirely in some patients," Says Lederman. In the meantime, there is no need for patients to needlessly suffer through treating just the symptoms of their TMJ disorder. For those patients, Lederman suggests giving neuromuscular dentistry a try. "Neuromuscular dentistry can actually put the temporomandibular joint back into its optimal alignment by repositioning the jaw. This will eliminate pressure on the teeth, muscles, and joints, so they all work together harmoniously. By realigning the jaw, you can drastically reduce or even eliminate TMJ pain." While nobody knows how long it may be before the stem cell treatment is available – or if it will ever become a reality, "For now," says Lederman, "it offers hope. "

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How does the Environment Affect your Jaw?

It’s no secret that pollution and environmental damage can have harmful effects on your health. You’ve probably seen news reports about how poor air quality can contribute to an increase in skin and lung cancers, among other things. But did you know that the environment can also be linked to chronic conditions like Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) and sleep apnea? Dr. Gary Lederman discusses how something as simple as the air we breathe can have a huge impact on our bodies.

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Looking to Improve Your Game? The Edge You Need May Be In Your MouthGuard

If you’ve ever watched professional sports on TV, you’ve probably noticed athletes from a variety of different sports wearing mouth guards. But while mouthguards make sense in rougher sports like hockey, football, and boxing, did you know that athletes from every genre of sport can utilize the benefits of mouthguards? One such mouth guard- the Pure Power Mouthguard, is creating a lot of buzz in both the athletic and dental communities. We spoke to Dr. Gary Lederman of Bellmore, NY about this innovative technology.

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What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

Our bodies are complex systems that are interconnected in many ways. One part usually almost impacts another in some shape or form. Our mouths are no different, which is why the practice of neuromuscular dentistry can be quite beneficial, though it’s a fairly unknown form of dentistry. Dr. Lederman finds this type of dentistry has been the right fit for many of his patient’s suffering from mouth and jaw issues.

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If the Set of Dentures Don’t Fit, You Must Pitch It

Many dental patients who wear dentures are not satisfied with the results because the shape and condition of their jaws can change due to bone loss and the loss or displacement of other teeth over time. But there is no excuse for tolerating the frustration of ill-fitting dentures. Dr. Gary Lederman is a dentist who specializes in helping patients with ill-fitting dentures upgrade to the new American Dental Association (ADA) standard of care – dental implants.

But dental implants are far more expensive than dentures, so aside from the fit, why upgrade? A dental patient wearing dentures –that fit well, mind you—exert approximately 50 psi of bite force, whereas dental implants can restore you to a full healthy bite force of 150 psi. This means that opting for dental implants can dramatically improve your quality of life by restoring your ability to indulge in more solid foods. Not only does this provide you with the ability to enjoy more foods and flavors; it allows you the opportunity to have better nutrition through food choices as well.

The other problem with dentures? When you lose an adult tooth, your tooth roots are not stimulated by the activity of chewing, and that lack of stimulation means that the root structure is no longer summoning the appropriate nutrients to maintain the place they occupy in your jaw, and your jaw actually begins to shrink through a process called osseointegation.  The jawbone actually gets smaller to bring your remaining teeth closer together so that nature maintains your ability to chew with what you have left. This can result not only in functional degradation, but cosmetic deformation of your facial features as well.

When dental implants are placed, the oral surgeon inserts a titanium screw post into the jaw bone, and Dr. Lederman tops the post with a porcelain crown. The titanium posts embedded in the jaw actually fuse with the bone and prevent further bone loss.  In fact, this fusion makes the dental implant and the the jawbone one, and maintains the full 150 psi bite force and the root stimulation for the areas the teeth have been lost.

To schedule a consultation to determine if dental implants are right for you, call our office at 516-882-1764.

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How Sedation Dentistry Can Help You Relax in the Dentist’s Chair

For most people, going to the dentist is one of their least favorite things to do. In fact, that’s often why it gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. But for some people, the anxiety they experience before and during a dental appointment can be debilitating and may even cause them to forgo dental treatment all together. Dr. Lederman wants his patient to have the most comfortable experience possible while undergoing dental treatments, which is why he offers sedation dentistry. 

Sedation dentistry is a technique used to help patients relax during dental procedures or treatments. It helps ease anxiety associated with dental fear. Because stress can cause patients to become agitated and sometimes less cooperative, procedures can take longer to complete. When patients are in a more relaxed state, it helps expedite the process by eliminating resistance from the patient which in turn allows the dentist to work more quickly. Additionally, if more than one procedure is necessary, your dentist will be able to perform them in one sitting. Sedation dentistry allows patients to be more at ease, making the experience considerably more comfortable.

At our office, our sedation dentistry process doesn’t involve needles. We take a gentler and less invasive approach. Instead, patients take one pill approximately one hour before their visit. You aren’t unconscious but rather in a more relaxed state, making your appointment less stressful and much easier to manage.

If you’re nervous or anxious about your upcoming dental appointment, sedation dentistry might be right for you. Call our office today at 516-882-1764 to request sedation dentistry for you next appointment.

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The Surprising Fruit that Prevents Plaque Buildup

Often publications have shown how particular foods are bad for teeth because they introduce sugars and acids that promote the development of plaque and tooth decay.  However, since 2005, researchers have been looking to cranberries and cranberry juice as a possible ally in the war on plaque, gum disease and tooth decay.  Dr. Gary Lederman offers professional dental cleanings and restorations to help patients keep their smiles in tip top shape.

So what is magical about cranberries apart from other foods and juices that makes them good for your teeth?  When eaten raw, the texture of the cranberry acts as a detergent food helping to brush sticky plaque forming bacteria away from teeth to be carried off by saliva as you chew.  This property has also been found in apples, celery, and certain cheeses.

But what is most interesting about cranberries and sugarless cranberry juice is the way that researchers have found it inhibits the growth of oral biofilm containing the bacteria streptococcus mutans.  Streptococcus mutans is the main ingredient in the formation of plaque.  Additionally, chemicals in the cranberry juice also reduce inflammation and reduce the production of acids and restore the pH balance of the oral flora.

However, this does not mean that you should run straight to the grocery store and buy just any cranberry juice off the shelf.   Most commercially produced cranberry juice is full of sugar and other additives that can cancel out the benefits of the cranberries.  Scientists have been working since 2005 to find ways to isolate cranberry extracts for inclusion in tooth pastes and mouth wash.

To learn more or schedule your semiannual checkup, contact our office at 516-882-1764.

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The Basics of Biomimetic Dentistry

Dr. Lederman works to help his patients maintain their smile in some of the most minimally invasive ways possible. One such way is through biomimetic dentistry, a type of dentistry that promotes tooth conversation. One of the primary principles of biomimetic dentistry is maintaining and conserving natural tooth structure. By utilizing minimally invasive techniques that treat weak and decayed teeth, dentists are able to strengthen and seal effected teeth and preserve their natural integrity.  

Biomimetic loosely translates to “mimicking nature.” The goal of this type of dentistry is to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. Oftentimes, traditional dentistry requires dentists to compromise the healthy tooth structure to successfully restore it. In contrast, biomimetic dentistry aims to minimize this by only replacing that part of the tooth that is damaged.

Once a tooth has been structurally compromised, such as being prepped for a crown, it often requires additional work which further chips away at the natural tooth. Ironically, while a crown is meant to protect and strengthen the tooth, it can have the opposite effect. For a tooth needing a crown, a biomimetic dentistry approach only removes the damaged part of the tooth. The final restoration, often called an inlay or onlay, is safely bonded to the natural tooth. In fact, using a biomimetic approach can actually preserve a tooth that might otherwise require extraction.

Biomimetic dentistry is a great way to preserve the appearance of your smile while also maintaining the look, structure and strength of your natural tooth. Contact our office at 516-882-1764 to learn more.

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Fashion Week Highlights Beautiful Smiles as Fashion

This year’s New York Fashion Week featured a surprising accessory that you already have: your smile. In conjunction with fashion expert Tai Beauchamp, the American Association of Orthodontics set up a pop-up shop in NYC’s Columbus Circle where the public could come and learn more about how to get their best smile ever.

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Porcelain Veneers: Your Path to the Perfect Smile

Do you cover your mouth when you laugh or talk, dread having your picture taken, or force a tight-lipped smile to hide your teeth? If you don’t love your smile, it’s time to talk porcelain veneers. You may have considered porcelain veneers in the past, but have a preconception about veneers or unanswered questions about veneer application, the ability to achieve a natural look, or their durability. Read on to find out why Dr. Lederman believes that porcelain veneers are the best fit to fix your smile and bring back your confidence!

What Exactly are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are custom-made, ultra-thin layers of ceramic similar in structure to your tooth’s enamel, and are designed to cover a myriad of common cosmetic dental issues. These issues include worn or discolored enamel caused by diet or smoking, general wear and tear like chips or cracks, and also uneven or misshapen teeth. Porcelain veneers can even cover orthodontic concerns such as smile symmetry, gaps, and incorrect tooth positioning – but you’ll see results instantly versus lengthy traditional orthodontic treatments like braces.

I Want to Look Natural.

Materials used to craft veneers are matched with your existing tooth color or a color that is desirable to you in to produce a natural look. Veneers are highly personalized, so expect your dentist to take measurements and pictures of your existing teeth, smile, and bite profile to produce an image or wearable sample of what your smile will look like when your veneers are applied.

But Will They Last?

Despite their thinness, porcelain veneers are extremely durable and strong.  Veneers also are resistant to stains caused by normal eating and drinking (even dark beverages like coffee, tea, or wine), and smoking.  Veneers are extremely durable, but it is important to take care of them just like you would your regular teeth. This means avoiding crunching hard candy or ice, using your teeth in place of scissors, bottle openers, or other tools, and using a night guard to prevent teeth grinding or chattering. 

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Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for patients who want to achieve a perfect smile and feel confident again. Call Dr. Lederman today at 516-882-1764 to schedule a consultation on porcelain veneers and bringing back your confidence!

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TMJ and TENS

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, an estimated 10 million Americans suffer from Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders, or TMJ. The disorder can cause a number of problematic symptoms including jaw pain, stiffness and even lock jaw. Dr. Lederman has extensive post-graduate training in neuromuscular dentistry and works with his patients to treat this condition with the best individualized course of treatment. One step in the neuromuscular treatment process that may be beneficial for some patients is TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

TENS treatments for TMJ are an electric massage used to relax the jaw muscles. Electrodes are attached to the patient’s face to stimulate the facial muscles and nerves. The end goal is full relaxation of the muscles to help your dentist determine proper jaw position. Once your dentist is able to achieve this, he or she can access whether additional treatments are necessary.

TENS treatments also trigger the release of endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural pain relieving chemicals, and as such, they often lessen symptoms associated with TMJ.

For many patients, TENS treatment can provide relief of their TMJ-related symptoms. Though patients are initially and painless Patients feel rhythmic taps on their face that may trigger a tingling sensation. The intensity of the treatments can also be adjusted to accommodate the patient’s comfort level.

Whether TENS or another neuromuscular treatment option is the best course of action for TMJ, Dr. Lederman’s patients can rest assured that he will recommend the most appropriate treatment plan. To schedule your consult, contact our office today at 516-882-1764.

 

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How Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss

Dental Implants are becoming the standard of care for adult tooth loss, largely due to the fact that they provide superior bite force in comparison to bridges and dentures. They also prevent further bone loss from the structure of the jawline. Dr. Lederman explains how.

The dental implant is made up of a titanium screw that is surgically placed into the jawbone topped by a porcelain crown that replaces the missing tooth. The titanium screw functionally fills the space that was once taken by the roots of the extracted tooth, and provides stability for the crown above the gum line.

The screws are made of titanium specifically because titanium has the ability to fuse to the bone, a process called osseointegration. The fusion between the titanium and bone preserves the previously weakened bone structure caused by the loss of the tooth.

Without the placement of the implant, the bone density is lost because the stimulation of the root structure by the pressure of chewing is necessary to support the body’s natural upkeep of the alveolar sac like structure in the bone that was once a pocket that held the teeth.

Without the stimulation created by the tooth chewing, the root structure retracts and the pocket collapses causing the jawbone structure to thin and recede. Over time, with multiple teeth lost, the remaining teeth will drift to fill in the space occupied by missing teeth, causing problems with jaw alignment. If you have questions about Dental Implants call us at 516-882-1764.

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1- Visit Veneers

For lots of patients considering cosmetic dentistry to improve their appearance, time can be a big deterrent.  Multiple visits to the dentist’s office to get impressions taken, waiting for porcelain onlays to be milled and shipped to the dentist, then another appointment for them to be placed, can seem like too much for some.  Dr. Gary Lederman offers CEREC as a 1-visit alternative.

CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. The process was first developed at the University of Zurich in 1980, with the first successful applications placed on patients in 1985.

The process begins with Dr. Lederman creating a digital 3D impression of the patient’s mouth using digital radiographs or an intraoral camera. He then used a Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) program to design the porcelain onlays. Once the design is complete, a special 3D printer mills the onlays to the prescribed specifications and provides them to the dentist.

The dentist then provides the finishing touches by painting it, polishing and glazing it before he cements or adhesively integrates it to the tooth. Depending on the type of ceramic material used, the onlay can be crafted in as little as fifteen minutes.

If you have questions regarding cosmetic dentistry, call us today at 516-882-1764. We would be happy to answer your questions.

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Why I Don't Use Dental Crowns

Crowns were once the best possible fix in dentistry. They gave decayed teeth their strength back and alleviated pain for the time being.

However, this kind of restoration does immediate and irreversible damage. When preparing teeth for a crown, all sides (including the biting surface) must be drilled away. Crown material also tends to break, causing the need for replacement every few years. Even with crowns, cracks often grow over time and a root canal becomes a necessary to resolve the problem. Cavities are also difficult for the dentist to detect because the entire tooth is covered.

Using the principles of Biomimetic Dentistry, we practice a minimally invasive approach. Rather than tearing away vital structure, we work to build the tooth back up for healthy restorations that look and function just like natural teeth. In some cases, we avoid the drill all together by using air abrasion technology to remove decay. Biomimetic restorations are more comfortable for patients in the short term and produce long-lasting results.

If you have any questions about Biomimetic Dentistry restorations, please contact us today at 516-882-1764.

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