The DMD Check-Up: A Drill-Free Future?

March 18, 2016
Greg Kelly

Our weekly roundup of must-read news stories for dentists.

Dental schools are optimistic about the prospects of a drill-free future. That story tops this week's DMD Check-Up. Also on the list of must-read stories: The British blast a marketing campaign that suggested chewing gum prevents oral health problems, while a new study claims probiotic pills may do the same.

The Coming Days of No-Drill Dentistry (NPR.org)

A report about the state of dentistry in America and the push for more and better preventative measures in oral care. “Two-thirds of US dental schools teach some kind of disease management model based on a thorough risk assessment. And at some point all dentists will follow a preventive protocol.”

Fake Florida Dentist Nabbed (Naples Daily News)

This week’s weird tale in dentistry: Naples Police have arrested Flores Orgaz Tuesday after reports that he tried to extract two molars from a woman who paid $100 for the procedure. In past year, there have been 45 investigations and 13 cease and desist orders issued for the unlicensed practice of dentistry.

A Pill to Prevent Cavities (Medical Daily)

A new study published in Applied Environmental Microbiology shows that probiotics can help balancing the mouths’ acid levels. In pill form, probiotics (also known as “good bacteria”) can be taken on a regular basis as a maintenance to fight off cavity build-up.

World Oral Health Day (Fdiworldental.org)

Every March 20, the World Dental Federation sponsors “an international day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth and to promote worldwide awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of oral hygiene to looking after everyone old and young.” Broaden your horizons.

Dentists Wouldn’t Recommend Dentistry (Dentistry.com.uk)

A recent NHS Confidence Monitor survey found that 70% of British dentists would not recommend dentistry as a profession to their family. One official was “unsurprised but nonetheless sad to learn that confidence levels are so low among dental team members across the board.”

Taking a Bite Out of Wrigley (Health News Review)

A hard-hitting editorial lambasting a recent Wrigley Company pitch: “Chewing sugar free gum could save the NHS £8.2 million a year.” The UK media and academia fell for it too. Not the first wayward marketing work from the American chewing gum giant.

Tooth Plaque May Hold Clues About Ancient Life (National Geographic)

According to an American Journal of Physical Anthropology report, “researchers have successfully sequenced DNA from fossilized plaque on 700-year-old teeth. And solidified plaque—called calculus—contains a whopping 25 times more DNA than ancient tooth or bone.”

CDC Issues Tough New Guidelines on Painkillers (Health.com)

Hoping to stem an epidemic of drug abuse tied to narcotic painkillers, federal officials issued new prescribing rules to the nation’s doctors and dentists “stressing they should try to avoid these addictive “opioid” painkillers whenever possible for patients with most forms of chronic pain.”

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