Damascus, Syria
Damascus, Syria

The University of Damascus is the largest and oldest university in Syria, located in the capital Damascus and has campuses in other Syrian cities. It was founded in 1923 through the merger of the School of Medicine and the Institute of Law . Until 1958 it was named the Syrian University, but the name changed after the founding of the University of Aleppo. Currently, there are 9 public universities and more than 10 private ones in Syria.The University of Damascus consists of several faculties, Higher Institutes, intermediate institutes and a School of Nursing. There is an institution specialized in teaching the Arabic language to foreigners, which is the largest institution of its kind in the Arab world. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

The Russian intervention in Syria has been, by most accounts, a success. And Russian President Vladimir Putin is going to do everything he can to keep it that way. Beginning with an air campaign on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in September 2015, Russian forces have not only stopped regime losses but also helped Damascus retake Aleppo city in December 2016. Now with the opposition stronghold under government control and Assad’s hold on power no longer in question, Moscow has said it plans to reduce its presence in the country. But while some Russian forces did initially depart in early January, Moscow is actually expanding its role in Syria. Russian officials announced major expansions to Russian military bases in the country while the number of private contractors fighting on the Kremlin’s behalf also swelled. Most interestingly, however, Putin deployed an unprecedented Russian weapon to Syria: several units of Chechen and Ingush commandos hailing from Russia’s restive North Caucasus region. Until recently, regular Russian forces in Syria were largely limited to being a support crew for aircraft conducting strikes across the country. Apart from a few notable exceptions — artillery and special forces deployments in Hama province and military advisors alongside Syrian troops in Latakia — Moscow’s ground game in Syria has been minimal. But the ongoing deployment of the Chechen and Ingush brigades marks a strategic shift for the Kremlin: Russia now has its own elite ground personnel, drawn from its Sunni Muslim population, placed across Syria. This growing presence allows the Kremlin to have a greater role in shaping events on the ground as it digs in for the long term. Such forces could prove vital in curtailing any action taken by the Assad regime that would undermine Moscow’s wider interests in the Middle East while offering a highly effective method for the Kremlin to project power at a reduced political cost. The exact role and size of the Kremlin’s new brigades are still uncertain. Initial open-source reports on the ground placed the number of Chechens deployed in December at around 500, while some estimates suggested a total of 300-400. The number of Ingush is reportedly slightly smaller, at roughly 300. Despite their designation as “military police,” the units are reportedly drawn from elite Spetnaz formations within the Chechen armed forces and are being employed in a role far beyond the simple rear-area guard duty that’s typical of such units: manning checkpoints, distributing aid, guarding bases, and even coordinating the defense of pro-government strongholds with regime forces. “I think this represents Moscow’s grudging recognition that it’s stuck in a quagmire,” says Mark Galeotti, a senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations in Prague. In their hybrid civil-military role, capable of a wide range of operations, these brigades have become a go-to deployment for the Kremlin as it seeks to assert itself in various theaters abroad. Chechen fighters have appeared alongside pro-separatist Russian “volunteers” in eastern Ukraine, and several battalions of Chechen servicemen also entered Georgia during its brief war with Russia in August 2008, occupying the town of Gori. At least some of the Chechen troops deployed in Syria have combat experience in eastern Ukraine, with the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reporting that one of the Chechen commanders is Apti Bolotkhanov, who spent substantial time fighting alongside pro-Russian forces in the Donbass. But beyond their skill on the battlefield, the brigades are valuable to Moscow for other reasons. Russian society and leadership have proved extremely sensitive to casualties in Syria; the Kremlin has gone to extreme lengths to hide its losses. Casualties are often only publicly confirmed after observers find the tombstones of deceased soldiers in their hometown cemeteries. Moscow’s official figures only account for 30 dead in Syria — with the true figure likely much higher. Using nonethnic Russian special personnel might protect the Kremlin from a public backlash sparked by rising battlefield casualties. Losses incurred by the new, North Caucasian contingent are unlikely to trigger such a response. Russian society carries a deep-seated resentment toward natives of the region, in particular Chechens, after two wars in the 1990s and multiple terrorist attacks since. Gregory Shvedov, the editor of the Caucasian Knot website and an expert on the North Caucasus, says popular disdain toward the region is a major factor for the deployment of these personnel. “Cynically speaking [it would be much easier for Putin] if the Chechens or other [troops] from the Caucasus would be killed in Syria … than those from other regions of Russia,” Shvedov notes. Employing these fighters offers Moscow another major advantage. The natives of the North Caucasus are almost entirely Sunni Muslims, a faith they share with the majority of Syria’s population. Since the first units arrived in December 2016, Moscow has sought to use their shared religion and appearance to its advantage. North Caucasian units have been documented using handbooks that include helpful suggestions for dealing with locals, such as the liberal use of the word “mukhabarat” (Syrian secret police) — implying detention and other nasty repercussions — should a request be met with resistance. On a more cordial level, Chechen military police have been told to use shared Islamic words to build friendlier relations with the public, relying on various religious epithets to greet locals when on a patrol. The conversion of an ethnic Russian soldier to Sunni Islam, conducted by Chechnya’s grand mufti in front of Syrian onlookers in Aleppo, was another public relations maneuver utilizing the shared faith between Syrians and the servicemen. While the deployment of the Caucasian brigades represents a new phase of Russia’s intervention in Syria, Moscow’s use of its Muslim-majority regions to reach out to the Middle East is not new. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has often acted as an interlocutor between Moscow and Sunni Arab states, making state visits on behalf of Putin and attracting Gulf investors to the Chechen capital. Kadyrov has attempted to cast the Chechen capital, Grozny, as a center of international Sunni discussion on the state level, hosting numerous international forums where Chechen figures were the sole representatives of Russia’s 20 million Muslims. The aim of such conferences is generally to discredit Salafi Islam, the hard-line strain followed by most jihadis. Syrian officials themselves have begun to engage closely with North Caucasian authorities. A delegation from Damascus including Syria’s minister of religious affairs visited the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala in March, discussing counterradicalization with Dagestani authorities and students. In present circumstances, where it is rare for Syrian officials to make any foreign trip, let alone to a far-flung region of another country, the Makhachkala trip is significant in demonstrating the depth of Moscow’s use of its Sunni Muslim region as an outreach tool. Most recently, the head of Damascus University announced in mid-April that his institution is opening a campus in Chechnya. Given these religious and cultural links, Moscow is banking on its new Muslim-majority brigades to prove more amenable to the Syrian populace than its ethnic Russian soldiers. As Moscow’s footprint deepens, North Caucasian special forces have taken on increasingly important tasks across Syria, from guarding Syrian Kurdish units against Turkish incursions in Manbij to ensuring the success of negotiated rebel evacuations on the outskirts of Damascus. The growing role of the brigades demonstrates a desire on Russia’s part to wield greater influence over areas of Syria it deems crucial, particularly in the face of occasional tension with its Syrian and Iranian allies. Although outward appearances suggest solidarity, Moscow has occasionally clashed with both Damascus and Tehran. Perhaps the most publicized example of this uneasy alliance came during the late stages of the Aleppo campaign. Iranian officials were reportedly incensed with the terms of a cease-fire brokered for the city by Russia and Turkey in December 2016 that were imposed without their input. Iran later intentionally scuttled the deal, using its Iraqi and Syrian proxy forces to resume fighting in Aleppo. Not coincidentally, Moscow’s first Chechen soldiers arrived in Syria within weeks of that event. The importance for Moscow in being able to control unexpected events on the ground was highlighted in late January when rumors began to spread that Assad had suffered a stroke. Adding fuel to the fire, some opposition figures claimed that the Syrian president had flown to Beirut for treatment; Damascus uncharacteristically denied the claims instead of ignoring them, fueling the speculation. Amid the uncertainty, reports emerged that with Assad’s health failing, Iranian forces were posturing to install his brother Maher, who is rumored to not be among the Kremlin’s preferred list of successors. Within several days, Assad returned to Damascus and held a series of publicized meetings, calming the situation. But the incident highlighted the value for Moscow in having its own ground forces in the Syrian capital. As part of its strategy to further control events on the ground in Syria, the Kremlin has also elected far more secretive means to expand its footprint. To bolster its regular forces, Moscow has employed a sizable private military contractor (PMC) that now has nearly four years of experience in the country. First known as the Slavonic Corps, the group’s first mission in 2013 in Syria proved a major debacle, but after rebranding itself and gaining stronger Kremlin backing, the group redeployed to Syria as part of Moscow’s official intervention in 2015. Now called Wagner, the group is headed by Dmitry Utkin, a former intelligence officer in the GRU, Russia’s foreign military intelligence agency, who first deployed the PMC in operations in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Obtaining precise statistics on the group is difficult, but the most accurate estimate by the Russian daily RBC, whose experts have broken numerous stories on the group, puts their number at 2,500. Russia’s regular forces in Syria total around 5,000, so when combined with its brigades from the North Caucasus and its PMCs, Moscow’s true ground strength in the country has swelled significantly. The first stage of Moscow’s Caucasian adventure in Syria ended on March 27, as the deployed Chechen military police returned home after their first tour. The soldiers were greeted by Kadyrov himself in Grozny and received several awards for their service. But the Chechens’ initial success appears to have earned them another tour. Less than a month after the return of the first military police battalion, Kadyrov announced on April 19 that a new unit of Chechens had just been deployed to Syria. The Ingush battalion, meanwhile, continues to function in Damascus, having been spotted in the center of the capital throughout April. There are signs that the Ingush battalion is becoming more involved in front-line action with rebel forces in the Syrian capital. In Damascus’s Jobar district, the scene of heavy fighting in March, rebels reportedly intercepted communications indicating that some Ingush officers, as well as some remaining Chechens, were coordinating much of the pro-government defense of the area. The Ingush battalion will reportedly return home from its tour in May. Another tour is yet to be announced for the Ingush battalion, but given the units’ early successes, expect to see Russia’s North Caucasian specialists appear in locations across Syria as the war grinds on. So far, the deployment of Chechen and Ingush forces has been very surgical, appearing only in areas and events Moscow considers critical to its aims in Syria. And while their role is unlikely to expand greatly anytime soon, the North Caucasian battalions will continue to serve as the tip of the spear in Moscow’s wider strategy to expand its influence in Syria. Christian Borys, an independent Canadian journalist focused on Eastern Europe and based in Ukraine, contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter at: @itsborys.

Aljerf L.,Damascus University | Alhaffar I.,Damascus University
Biochemistry Research International | Year: 2017

Oral diseases associated with systematic diseases as metabolic and vasculitic have been included in this paper. This will enhance our understanding of the salivary function in promoting healthy oral condition. The study investigates the effects of type I and type II diabetes mellitus in well-controlled diabetic patients, in addition to Behçet disease (BD) on saliva flow rate (SFR), pH, the decay, missing, and filled tooth (DMFT) index, glucose, and major earth-Alkaline ions (Ca2+ and Mg2+) compared to healthy males and age-matched controls. Saliva samples were collected from 1403 male human subjects, distributed on 7 levels including 3 control groups, and analyzed. The symptoms and clinical observations were enrolled. A preprandial salivary glucose has illustrated statistically strong significant and positive correlations with HbA1c and blood glucose levels. TIDM saliva showed lower pH, SFR, and Ca2+ but higherMg2+, caries risk, and poormetabolic control. These led to dysfunction of secretory capacity of salivary glands. TIIDM proved higher SFR, DMFT, and glucose than TIDM patients. DM oral calcium has decreased by age while magnesium sharply slopes at seniority. BD oral fluid is associated with lower glucose and minerals but noticeably with both higher pH and DMFT. © 2017 Loai Aljerf and Iyad Alhaffar.

Kwieder M.,Damascus University
International Journal of PharmTech Research | Year: 2016

Leishmaniasis comprises a spectrum of diseases caused by an obligate intracellular parasite Leishmania. There is a wide range of clinical presentations which are dependent on the different species of the parasite as well as immune response offered by the host. This study was done to analyze quantitatively the cellular immune host response by demonstrating various T cell subsets in new and old cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) patients using flow cytometric immunophenotype, and some cytokines levels were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay in patients with new or old CL. Blood samples were collected from CL patients visiting the Dermatology Hospital in Damascus, after confirming of their infection microscopically. Patient's samples were divided into two groups according to legion's age, the first group containing new infections (1-3 months, 28 patient), and the second one including old infections (6-9 months, 30 patient). In result, immunophenotyping showed increasing in CD4 and CD8 T-cells proportion through infection progression. As well, an obvious increasing in CD4CD25 regulatory T-cells proportion was observed in old patients in comparison with early stages of infection and non-infected persons. In addition, higher interleukin (IL)-4 level was observed in patients with new lesions, whereas old and cured subjects produced IFN-gamma and IL-12 at elevated levels. In conclusion, we tried in this study to determine the immune parameters provide protective immunity and responsible for cure. © 2016, Sphinx Knowledge House. All rights reserved.

News Article | December 21, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Dr. Nizar S. Eskandar, who founded and runs the Nephrology Department at SouthCoast Health and who also is board-certified in critical care medicine, is celebrating 20 years since he began his residency in the United States. Dr. Eskandar, who earned his medical degree at Damascus University School of Medicine in Syria, where he was born and raised, came to the United States with $2,000 in his pockets and the dream of practicing medicine. In 1996, after passing the necessary exams for foreign doctors seeking to practice in the United States, he began his residency at Providence Hospital in Detroit. “My first preference was to come to the United States because it is the land of opportunity — no doubt,” Dr. Eskandar said. “I did it. I lived it. I came with only an education and hard work and I made it.” Dr. Eskandar began the immigration process by working for five years in areas that the U.S. government considers under-served in terms of access to healthcare. That is what brought him to the Coastal Empire, as he practiced in Liberty County, which is home to SouthCoast’s office in Hinesville. Dr. Eskandar left the area to continue his education in critical care medicine in Rochester, N.Y., and then performed a fellowship in nephrology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. When it came time to practice, he returned to Savannah and has remained at SouthCoast ever since. “Practicing medicine at SouthCoast and experiencing the growth of my personal practice in step with that of the rapid growth of SouthCoast as a whole has proved a truly gratifying experience,” Dr. Eskandar said. “The 20 years since I began my residency has gone by so fast that it is almost hard to comprehend. It has been an honor to help so many patients during that time. At the same time, I have loved making Savannah the home of my practice, as well as the home of my family — in the best country in the world.” Dr. Eskandar and his wife Margarita have two children, Nicholas and Grace. SouthCoast Health is a multi-specialty, physician-owned medical group with more than 120 healthcare professionals and 18 locations. The organization has been providing quality healthcare solutions to the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry for more than 20 years and is dedicated to complete patient wellbeing. For more information, visit http://www.SouthCoast-Health.com and connect with SouthCoast Health on Facebook.

News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: www.prnewschannel.com

The International Association of HealthCare Professionals is pleased to welcome Refad Rabah, DDS, Dentist, to their prestigious organization with her upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. Dr. Refad Rabah is a highly trained and qualified dentist with an extensive expertise in all facets of her work, especially oral surgery, endodontics, and orthodontics. Dr. Rabah has been in practice for more than 18 years and is currently serving patients within Horizons Dentistry in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Dr. Refad Rabah graduated with her Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree in 1998 from the Damascus University Faculty of Dentistry in Damascus, Syria. To keep up to date with the latest advances and developments in her field, Dr. Rabah maintains a professional membership with the American Dental Association. She provides a comprehensive range of dental treatments, and is recognized as a specialist in dental surgery, endodontics and orthodontics. Dr. Rabah strives to communicate effectively and gain a complete understanding of her patients’ needs, goals, and concerns. Learn more about Dr. Rabah here: http://www.horizonsdentistry.com/ and http://www.iahcp.com/8137484.html and be sure to read her upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. FindaTopDoc.com is a hub for all things medicine, featuring detailed descriptions of medical professionals across all areas of expertise, and information on thousands of healthcare topics.  Each month, millions of patients use FindaTopDoc to find a doctor nearby and instantly book an appointment online or create a review.  FindaTopDoc.com features each doctor’s full professional biography highlighting their achievements, experience, patient reviews and areas of expertise.  A leading provider of valuable health information that helps empower patient and doctor alike, FindaTopDoc enables readers to live a happier and healthier life.  For more information about FindaTopDoc, visit http://www.findatopdoc.com

The International Association of HealthCare Professionals is pleased to welcome George E. Barsa, DDS, Dentist to their prestigious organization with his upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. Dr. George E. Barsa is a highly trained and qualified dentist with an extensive expertise in all facets of his work, especially cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Barsa has 11 years of experience in his field and is currently serving patients within his own private practice, Confident Smiles, located in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. George E. Barsa has a previous DMD from Damascus University from 2006 and graduated with his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree in 2012 from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry with honor and is a member of OKU(Omicron Kappa Upsilon). Since his graduation, he has completed many advanced training courses to stay up to date with the latest advancements in dental techniques, practices, and technologies and with time he became the President Elect of The Chicago Dental Society West Side Branch. Furthermore, Dr. Barsa has attended and participated in a number of conferences. He maintains professional memberships with the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Illinois State Dental Society, and the Chicago Dental Society. He is dedicated to ensuring that his patients are free of pain and discomfort, providing the highest level of quality care to create a smile that will improve their overall health, self esteem, and confidence. In his free time, Dr. Barsa enjoys hiking, biking, reading, watching movies, and spending time with his wife. Learn more about Dr. Barsa here: http://confidentsmileschicago.com/ and be sure to read his upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. FindaTopDoc.com is a hub for all things medicine, featuring detailed descriptions of medical professionals across all areas of expertise, and information on thousands of healthcare topics.  Each month, millions of patients use FindaTopDoc to find a doctor nearby and instantly book an appointment online or create a review.  FindaTopDoc.com features each doctor’s full professional biography highlighting their achievements, experience, patient reviews and areas of expertise.  A leading provider of valuable health information that helps empower patient and doctor alike, FindaTopDoc enables readers to live a happier and healthier life.  For more information about FindaTopDoc, visit http://www.findatopdoc.com

Zaid K.W.,Damascus University
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention | Year: 2014

The aim of this study was to establish the expression and localization of E-cadherin and β-catenin in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) so that we could correlate the findings with prognostic-relevant histopathological variables. E-cadherin and β-catenin expression in normal oral epithelia and in oral squamous cell carcinomas was examined immunohistochemically, and associations with histopathological differentiation and prognosis were then analyzed in 33 patients who had been operated on for OSCC. E-cadherin expression was found in (82%) of the squamous cells of well differentiated OSCC, (61%) of moderately differentiated and (39%) of poorly differentiated. E-cadherin expression was significantly associated with histological grade (p=0.000). No nuclear staining was detected. In (19.5%) of the cells E-cadherin localized in the cytoplasm, with no correlation to the histological grade (p=0.106). β-Catenin expression was found in 87% of the squamous cells of well differentiated OSCC, 67% of moderately differentiated and 43% of poorly differentiated, the expression was significantly associated with histological grade (p=0.000). the nuclear β-Catenin expression appeared in 3.3% of the cells and it was correlated to the histological grade (p=0.000). In (23.5%) of the cells β-Catenin localized in the cytoplasm, with correlation to the histological grade (p=0.002). According to this study the expression of β-catenin and E-cadherin were independent prognostic factors for histological grade. E-cadherin was closely linked to β-catenin expression in OSCC (p=0.000) and to tumor differentiation. That reflects a structural association and the role of both in tumor progression.

Chkir S.,Damascus University
Energy Procedia | Year: 2011

This paper presents a method for calculating the flow around a wind turbine rotor. The real flow is replaced by a free stream past a vortex model of the rotor. This model consists of lifting vortex lines which replace the blades and a trailing free vorticity. The vorticity shed from the blade is concentrated in two vortices issued from tip and root. To compute the unsteady forces exerted on the rotor, a free wake method is used. This method consists of a Lagrangian representation of the flow field. The evolution of the wake is obtained by tracking the markers representing the vortices issued from the blade tips and roots. To solve the wake governing equation and to obtain the marker positions, a time-marching method is applied and the solution is obtained by a second order predictor-corrector scheme. To validate the proposed method a comparison is made with experimental data obtained in the case of a model of wind turbine where the flow field immediately behind the rotor is measured by means of PIV. It is shown that the numerical simulation captures correctly the near wake development. The comparison shows satisfactory accuracy for the velocity field downstream of the rotor. © 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) <25 nmol/L) was common in a convenience sample of apparently healthy Syrian adults. Female gender, season, and concealing clothing were independent predictors of vitamin D deficiency. Community-based research is needed to identify vulnerable subgroups and inform public health actions. Optimal vitamin D status for bone health has been inferred from the determination of serum 25OHD levels below which there is an increase in serum parathyroid hormone (PTH). Studies worldwide showed high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D even in sunny countries. There is little evidence about its prevalence among Syrian adult population. We aimed to assess the serum levels of 25OHD and factors related to vitamin D inadequacy and its relation to serum PTH and calcium among apparently healthy adults. Serum 25OHD and PTH measurements were obtained from 372 subjects aged 18-62 years living in Damascus and its surroundings, between April 2011 and March 2013. Binary logistic regression was used to assess risk factors for hypovitaminosis D. The mean (standard deviation (SD)) 25OHD level was 24.7 (16.9) nmol/L [9.8 (6.7) ng/mL] and was higher in men than women (p < 0.001). Levels <25, <50, and <75 nmol/L were detected in 61, 90.1, and 99.2 % of the participants, respectively. Season influenced vitamin D status in men but not in women (p < 0.001). Female gender and wearing the veil (hijab) were independent predictors of vitamin D deficiency (25OHD <25 nmol/L). PTH was significantly higher below this threshold (p < 0.001). Serum 25OHD <25 nmol/L, sex, and age ≥ 35 years were statistically significant factors for PTH elevation. Vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in our sample. Further research is needed to identify population groups vulnerable for hypovitaminosis D and specify its predictors and inform the necessary public health measures.

Dashash M.,Damascus University
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) is a tooth development disorder in which the teeth are covered with thin, abnormally formed enamel. This enamel is easily fractured and damaged, which affects the appearance of the teeth, especially if left untreated. Negative psychological outcomes, due to compromised appearance and function, in patients with AI, have been found to compromise a person's attractiveness and reduce social interaction. The treatment used depends on the severity of the problem. To compare the success rates of different restorative materials and techniques used for the restoration of anterior and posterior teeth with AI in terms of patient satisfaction (aesthetics and sensitivity) and function. We searched the Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register (to 18 April 2013), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2013, Issue 3), MEDLINE via OVID (1946 to 18 April 2013), EMBASE via OVID (1980 to 18 April 2013), CINAHL via EBSCO (1980 to 18 April 2013), Abstracts of the Conference Proceedings of the International Association for Dental Research (2001 to 18 April 2013) and reference lists of relevant articles. There were no restrictions on language or date of publication in the electronic searches. Randomised controlled trials where children and adolescents with AI who required restoration of teeth were allocated to different restoration techniques would have been selected. Outcomes which would have been evaluated were patient satisfaction, aesthetics, masticatory function and longevity of restorations. Two review authors would have extracted data and assessed the risk of bias in included studies independently. Disagreement between the two authors would have been resolved by consulting a third review author. First authors were contacted for additional information and unpublished data. No studies met the inclusion criteria for this review. We found no randomised controlled trials of restorative treatments for children and adolescents with AI, and therefore there is no evidence as to which is the best restoration. Well defined randomised controlled trials which recruit children and adolescents and focus on the type and severity of the disorder should be undertaken to determine the best intervention for restoring teeth affected by AI.

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