DMD Check-Up: Board Clears Dentist in Toddler's Death

The Texas dental board has cleared Michael Melanson, D.M.D., of any wrongdoing in the death of 14-month-old Daisy Torress, who died while under anesthesia in the doctor’s practice. A wrongful death lawsuit, filed by Daisy’s parents, is still pending. In the lawsuit, the parents allege that Daisy was given treatment that was excessive and unnecessary, which ultimately led to her death.

Austin dentist will not face disciplinary action for toddler's death https://t.co/frsqWEaSKj pic.twitter.com/4ORqGUqgkY

— KABB FOX 29 (@KABBFOX29) April 27, 2017

AUSTIN DENTIST WON’T FACE DISCIPLINARY CHARGES IN TODDLER’S DEATH

An Austin dentist will not face Texas state dental board censure in the death of a toddler who died under anesthesia during a procedure.

CBS Austin updates us on the status of Michael Melanson, D.M.D., who was under review after 14-month-old Daisy Torres died under his care at Austin Children’s Dentistry. Dentist’s Money Digest® previously reported on this tragedy after Daisy’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Melanson.

Texas board examiners dropped the investigation after saying they lacked sufficient evidence to continue, the report says.

In the lawsuit, Daisy’s parents say they were first told she needed two fillings. Then, after the procedure began, they say they were told Daisy would need four root canals and four crowns. Later, Daisy would die after complications from anesthesia.

The parents’ lawsuit says that the procedures were “painful” and “unnecessary.”

COSTLIER DENTAL VISITS?

The U.S. trade debate may have some implications for dentistry. A recent Bloomberg report highlights the fact that nearly 40 percent of restoration products that are used in the U.S. originate in China or Mexico. Bloomberg notes that these cheaper restorative materials sell for a fraction of the price of their U.S.-made equivalents, and help boost profits for group practices and larger corporate entities, such as dental service organizations.

The article details how DSOs have been able to capitalize on their corporate buying power, coupled with overseas mass-production abilities.

“The voracious market for discount choppers, along with industry consolidation and technology advancements, has contributed during the past decade to the closing of about half of U.S. dental labs,” Bloomberg reports.

The article explores the question of whether policy that pushes dentistry away from foreign-made restorations will be a boon for labs in the U.S., and/or whether it will make dental visits more expensive for patients.

1 Miami News Search Businesses (Battered Wife Empowers Others After Dentist Repairs Her Once Damaged Smile) Mi ... - https://t.co/f4I8l4vwRA pic.twitter.com/YNrvBXF0PI

— 1 Miami (@1Miami_) April 26, 2017

HELPING A PATIENT IN NEED

A Miami dentist took community service to a higher level this week when he performed free reconstructive surgery for a woman who lost five teeth after her husband allegedly beat her and threw her from a moving van.

CBSMiami reports on Steven Roth, D.M.D, who replaced five of Kariza Fernandes’ missing teeth. Fernandes says her husband trapped her in a van and began striking her. Eventually, her husband accelerated and she was thrown from the vehicle. She was then hospitalized with a broken jaw, nose and the five missing teeth, CBSMiami reports.

“I looked like a dead person walking, totally destroyed,” Fernandes said.

A friend referred her to Roth, CBSMiami reports, who then offered to do the surgery for free.

“Dentistry is an interesting art, and when you have the reward of making somebody smile and making them feel good about themselves, there’s nothing better,” Roth says in the report.

CBSMiami reports that Fernandes has documented every step of her journey in hopes of inspiring other battered women to come forward.

Is tooth banking the next wave in stem cell treatment? In other words, cryopreserving baby and wisdom teeth https://t.co/271pIE7EEh pic.twitter.com/YgqR854HMW

— CNN International (@cnni) April 27, 2017

TOOTH-BANKING IS GAINING STEAM

Prepare for more patients to start asking you about banking baby teeth and wisdom teeth for their stem cells.

CNN reported this week on how the trend, which is based on preliminary research, is gaining acceptance in developing countries. The thinking is that the stem cells in the teeth can be saved for later in life when they might be needed for potentially life-saving procedures.

The report, however, highlights the scientific divide over the procedure. Many say it’s just too early to know whether or not we’ll be able to harness these stem cells’ healing abilities in the future.