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OA Links

Good Dentist

Lately, it seems like dentists have been getting a lot of bad press — which in turn casts dentists in a negative light.  While there are certainly dentists that are less-than-ideal, I’d like to think that these recent stories are the exception and not the rule!

Oral Answers LinksWe’ll start with the bad.  There’s this dentist from the UK that used a dead man’s handicap sticker to get a great parking spot for his Ferrari.  A few other dentists in the UK were also recently in the news.  One has been accused of neglecting his patients and the other one apparently pulled the wrong tooth, threw it away, then dug it out of the medical waste bin and put it back in the patient’s mouth.  In the United States, this former dentist was recently charged with drug trafficking and this dentist was sentenced to prison for defrauding Medicaid, and this dentist is being charged with firing an assistant that simply raised legitimate concerns about the dental practice.

Dr. Dove, a pediatric dentist in California, was recently attacked on Facebook by the father of one of his patients who states that Dr. Dove mistreated his child.  The Facebook group now has nearly 300 members.  You can learn more about his story on Dr. Bicuspid or from this news release.  You can also watch a protest that occurred at his office in this news broadcast clip on YouTube.  Flap’s dentistry blog wrote an article from a fellow California dentist’s perspective.

Although parents say that they have filed complaints against Dr. Dove, I found his public records dental license information by using this dental license verification page and saw that no disciplinary action has been taken by the California dental board.  Interestingly, it did show that the status of  his oral conscious sedation certificate is “delinquent.”

Good Press for Dentists

Hiding under all of that bad press were a few news articles that discuss the good things dentists have done.  I would guess that dentistry is like anything else — you often only hear about the extremes, whether good or bad.

This article tells the story of the unselfish dentists that responded after the September 11th attacks.

Many dentists also provide free care to the underserved population.  Here’s one such article about a dentist in Arizona who did just that last Saturday.

Here’s an article that describes the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s Give Back a Smile program that has helped restore over 1,000 smiles that were damaged as a result of domestic violence.

To redeem the UK, here’s an article that talks about how dentists in the United Kingdom are providing much-needed dental services in Africa.

Most Dentists Are Good People

Most dentists out there want to help you achieve good oral health and want the best for their patients.  One often quoted factoid is that dentists are one of the most trusted professionals in the United States.  I think that most dentists are working to uphold the status of our profession.  Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the many good things dentists do often go unreported, while the media tends to focus on the bad.

What are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear your opinion — simply leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading!

Cute Little Girl Brushing Teeth
©Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock.com

Oral Answers LinksIt’s been a long week, and I’m excited for the weekend!  Two more weeks until the end of the semester, then we’re going to go exploring to find a place where we’ll end up after dental school.

We’ve been to Maine and Vermont.  We’re headed to Maryland in August.

10 more months and I’ll be a dentist.  Time’s passing by fast!

Here’s some interesting links that caught my eye over the past week:

Is Your Dentist Putting Germs Around Your Neck?

I read this Fox News article and was a little grossed out.  It turns out that the little chains dentists use to hook the patient napkin around your neck can harbor bacteria from the previous patient.

Germs on Dental Chains
Does Your Dentist Hang Germs Around Your Neck?

I always thought my dental school was just being cheap — we tape our patient’s napkins to their shirt to hold them on rather than using the standard chain.

Today I did an externship at a community dental clinic and the germophobe in me made me sanitize the chain that we were using there.  Hopefully, it fit into the 80% of “uninfected” chains after I was done with it…

An Eggsperiment to Understand Your Teeth

Crest whipped up a little experiment to help kids understand dental decay.  It involves using an egg, vinegar, and Crest toothpaste (of course no other brand would work!  Any fluoridated toothpaste should fit the bill.) to understand how the bacteria in your mouth eat away at your teeth and weaken them, and how fluoride can make your teeth stronger.

If you don’t want to do the experiment, but want the educational experience, try reading the article Try to Keep Your Teeth Below Freezing.

Fairbanks De-Fluoridates Their Water

The city of Fairbanks, Alaska has stopped adding fluoride to their public water supply.  Given that their water is already naturally fluoridated with 0.3 ppm of fluoride and people are getting fluoride from other sources, it may not be such a bad move to balance out the prevention of dental fluorosis as well as the prevention of cavities.

If you want a closer look into the water fluoridation debate, check out this final report from the Fairbanks Fluoride Task Force.  It is a PDF file, so it may take a bit longer to load.

Questions or Comments?

I’d love to hear what you have to say about any of these articles.  Feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading – have a great weekend!

Crazy Dentist Illegal Dentist
©Igor Shootov/Shutterstock.com

Oral Answers LinksThere’s been a few interesting stories about dentists in the news over the past few weeks. Since I haven’t done an “OA Links” post lately, I decided to share them with you in this edition of Oral Answers Links.

A Fighting Dentist

Yesterday afternoon, a dentist near Daytona Beach, Florida was taken to jail for fighting with an 85 year old patient.  He had just made the elderly woman a removable partial denture and was adjusting it.

The woman was unhappy with the denture and took it out of her mouth and threw it at the dentist and demanded a refund.  The dentist had pretty quick reflexes and caught the denture, at which point the woman charged him and tried to grab the denture.  They played tug-of-war with the denture all the way down the hall and then the woman bit the dentist’s hand and tried to open the door to leave.

The dentist shut the door, not allowing the woman to leave.  She then jumped up on the receptionist’s desk to climb out of the window.  I don’t want to spoil the ending, but you can read the full article over at the Daytona Beach News-Journal to find out what happened.

UPDATE: Here’s another article with a picture of the denture in question.

An Elderly Dentist

At 90 years old, Dr. Paul Kincaid is the oldest practicing dentist in the state of Kansas.  He’s been practicing for over 66 years.  He said that he did retire one day, but then came back to work the next day.  He has an interesting story, and I really enjoyed reading it.  He obviously enjoys what he does, and I developed a lot of respect for him by reading the article.

One thing that stood out to me was that for only $3,000, he was able to set up his own dental practice over a shoe store.  If I could set up a practice for only $3,000, I might have the courage to do it right after graduation.  Nowadays, it would take several hundred thousand dollars to set up a dental practice.

Using the dentist license verification search that I posted a few months ago, I was able to track down Dr. Kincaid’s license and found that he was issued a license to practice dentistry on August 16, 1945 —nearly 66 years ago!

An Illegal Dentist

Illegal dentistry is becoming more popular in the United States during the recession.  This article describes an illegal dental clinic located in Mesquite, Texas.  It is located in a house in a residential area and has a neon “OPEN” sign.  Patients have reported that there are at least 18 illegal dental clinics set up in the state of Texas.

In this case, a dentist from Mexico came over the border and opened up shop.  Without any regulation or licensing, getting services from illegal dentists can be quite risky.  The article describes a man who they call Fred who wasted a lot of money and ended up with a lot more dental problems that now need to be addressed elsewhere.

Unfortunately, it seems to be difficult to shut down these illegal dental clinics.

Any Thoughts?

Do you have any thoughts, questions, or comments on the above stories?  I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

Rockport Harbor Maine Dental Association

My wife and I traveled up to Maine this past weekend to attend the Maine Dental Association’s annual conference.  Since Maine doesn’t have very many dentists, they are trying to attract dental students to go and practice there after they have graduated.  It was really pretty (see the end of this post for some pictures), and they might have won us over…  but we’re still not quite sure where we’ll end up in 2012 when I graduate.  I’ll get to the links now, but scroll down to the end if you want to see some of the pictures we took in Maine.

Oral Answers Featured in Glamour Magazine’s Blog

Oral Answers LinksRecently, an Oral Answers article, Don’t Treat Your Teeth Like Tools was the subject of a blog post on the Glamour Magazine Vitamin G blog – check it out here.

The author, Sarah Gio, commented that “dental health has never been so interesting!”  Hopefully you agree.

Are Dental Sealants Safe for Your Children?

A recent study showed that dental sealants, a thin layer of plastic placed over teeth to keep the bacteria from causing a cavity, can release a chemical called bisphenol-A (or simply BPA.)  BPA has been linked to cancer, diabetes, early-onset puberty, and obesity.  For more on bisphenol-A, you can read this information page from USA Today.

Here’s the American Academy of Pediatrics said in their statement on the BPA issue:

” On the basis of the proven benefits of resin-based dental materialsand the brevity of BPA exposure, we recommend continued usewith strict adherence to precautionary application techniques.Use of these materials should be minimized during pregnancywhenever possible. Manufacturers should be required to reportcomplete information on the chemical composition of dental productsand encouraged to develop materials with less estrogenic potential.”

Other media outlets also reported this story.  You can read what CNN wrote, what USA Today wrote, and what MSNBC wrote.

For now, it is accepted that the cavity-preventing benefits of dental sealants outweigh the risks posed from a BPA exposure.

Practicing Dentistry Without a License

Frank Cerebino wrote an entertaining article in Florida’s Palm Beach Post regarding the recent surge in arrests of people practicing dentistry without a license.  I’ve noticed this trend, but didn’t think much of it until reading his article.  Here’s a quick excerpt:

Doing dental work without a license has to be one of the least appealing crimes.  If I were going to impersonate a white-collar professional, a dentist would be somewhere near the bottom of the list, certainly ahead of a proctologist, but not by much.

Here’s a news report of someone practicing dentistry without a license, another one here, and one last one.

Pictures from Our Trip to Maine

Here’s a few pictures we took on our trip to Maine for the Maine Dental Association’s yearly conference.

In the picture below taken in Glen Cove, ME, you can see Clam Cove on the right, and the West Penobscot Bay on the left which leads to the Atlantic Ocean.

Clam Cove in Glen Cove, Maine

We took this picture on Highway 1 in Maine as we were driving over one of the many bridges.

Going over a Bridge on Highway 1 in Maine

We love seeing the leaves change colors in the fall:

Maine Autumn Leaves on the Trees

Here’s one more view of Clam Cove and the West Penobscot Bay

Another View of the Bay from Glen Cove, Maine

We loved the beautiful scenery and the wide open spaces in Maine!  It was a welcome break from dental school in the crowded city!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

OA Links: Dental Work Expensive
©Lisa S./Shutterstock.com

I’m at the beginning of what should be a pretty tough semester! I have nine classes on top of seeing patients four days a week.  I’ll try to keep writing three days a week, but if I miss one here or there,  know that it’s because I’m busy studying!

Why Is Dental Care so Expensive?

Oral Answers LinksI discovered a really interesting blog over the past week written by Dr. Dean Brandon, a pediatric dentist from Alabama.  If you have young kids, he has a lot of great, accurate information on his blog, Cyber Dentist.  One article I really enjoyed was Why Does Dentistry Cost So Much? Dr. Brandon boiled it down to two main reasons: time and expertise.

Don’t Swallow Your Toothbrush

This was one of the most interesting dental-related articles I’ve read in a long time.  A 15 year old girl swallowed her seven inch toothbrush while running up the stairs.  She started choking and her brother tried to pull it out, but her strong gag reflex made the toothbrush disappear down into her stomach.  It took a hospital visit and general anesthesia, but they got the toothbrush out!  It’s a good reminder to not run with objects in your mouth.

Bad Oral Hygiene Can Give You a Heart Attack

Bacteria from your mouth can increase the risk of blood clots and heart attack.  A study done in the United Kingdom adds to the evidence that bad oral hygiene can be bad for your whole body.  Dr Howard Jenkinson, professor of Oral Microbiology at Bristol’s School of Oral and Dental Science, presented the findings.  He said the following: “Poor dental hygiene can lead to bleeding gums, providing bacteria with an escape route into the bloodstream, where they can initiate blood clots leading to heart disease.”

West Virginia Children Not Seeing Dentist… Why?

The Weirton Daily Times in Weirton, West Virginia had an interesting article about dental visits.  They reported that 43% of children in school that have been seen through Marshall University’s public health dental program had untreated dental decay.  What I found most interesting was that nearly 90% of the kids had dental insurance — they simply weren’t going to the dentist.  The program’s coordinator, Bobbi Muto said, “I truly believe it’s an educational thing.  I don’t think we place a value on dental care and dental services like we should.”

I think I agree with Bobbi.  Most people don’t understand how important oral health is to your overall health.  That’s one of the reasons that I started blogging about dentistry: to help more people understand the importance of keeping your mouth in good shape.

This article reminded me of a post I wrote a month or so ago: Why Don’t You Go to the Dentist?

Questions or Comments?

Do you have any questions or comments on these articles?  Please feel free to leave them below in the comments section.  Thanks for reading!

Do You Lie to Your Dentist?
©Tyler Olson/Shutterstock.com

There are many good dental articles on the Internet, and I would like to share them with you every few weeks in a series I will call, Oral Answers Links.

Oral Answers LinksI won’t interrupt my regular Monday/Wednesday/Friday posting schedule for these links, I’ll try to post them on Tuesdays or Thursdays.  If you have any feedback on this feature, please leave a comment below.

Angie’s List Dental Survey – 32% of patients report sometimes lying to their dentist when they’re asked about oral hygiene practices. A good thing about the survey was that about 80% of the respondents say that they have “great trust” in their dentist.

20 Worst Drinks In America – Men’s health did a feature a few months ago that I’ve been wanting to share.  They show pictures of the 20 “worst” drinks in America and then show a shocking picture of each one next to some junk food to illustrate just how much sugar is hidden in those drinks.

Neglecting Your Teeth May Lead to Alzheimer’s Disease – A recent study done at New York University shows that gum disease (an inflammation of the gums) may lead to an inflammation of the brain, leading to Alzehimer’s Disease.  Obviously, much more research will be needed in this area to confirm the results, but I always find it interesting to hear confirmed reports of how closely linked the mouth and body are.

Chewbaru - Photo Courtesy of R. Steven Rainwater
The dentures on Chewbaru’s roof

Europe is Regulating Online Teeth Whitening More Closely – It seems like you can buy any strength of teeth whitening gel online for a cheap price.  Some contain peroxide levels that are considered unsafe for your gums.  Europe is regulating this to hopefully increase the safety of the teeth whitening gels that are available to consumers.   Should the USA follow suit, or should consumers be allowed to choose unsafe gels without knowing the consequences?

Chewbaru the Mobile Masticator – A few years ago, a man had a dream to build a car that represented the mouth.  He purchased some dentures on eBay and eventually decorated a Subaru from the 90’s with a medley of dental-related items.

He even installed wireless infrared cameras so he could watch people’s reactions to the car and perhaps catch those who would vandalize his work of art.

You can read his story at the above link and see a lot more pictures of the Subaru turned into Chewbaru.

If you have any questions or comments about the above-mentioned articles, go ahead and leave a comment below!  Thanks for reading!