The DMD Check-Up: Dentistry Loses Inventor of Chloraseptic


The Boston Globe reports that Robert I Schattner, D.D.S., the dentist who invented Chloraseptic, has died. He was 91. A report from CBS Austin says that though dentists are often sanctioned by the Texas State Dental board, they rarely have their licenses suspended. And when they do, they tend to keep practicing. Also, a new study indicates that genetic mutations may lead to tooth-enamel defects that encourage cavity development.

It was a busy week last week in dentistry, with the industry mourning the death of an iconic inventor. Hawaii is also experiencing high rates of tooth decay among its children, according to Honolulu Magazine. And a Science Daily report explores the deadly threat of endocarditis.

Inventor of Iconic Sore-Throat Spray Is Dead (Boston Globe)

“Dr. Robert I. Schattner, a dentist-turned-inventor who created Chloraseptic, a popular sore-throat medication, and the medical disinfectant Sporicidin, died Jan. 29 at a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. He was 91.” In 1952, “after months of late-night work, he found a formula that eased soreness in the mouth and the throat.”

Dishonest Texas Dentists Seldom Disciplined (CBS)

“Each year the Texas State Dental Board of Examiners disciplines dentists from all over the state for providing treatment that isn't medically necessary, but a CBS Austin investigation finds that those dentists rarely have their licenses suspended, and when they do, they can keep practicing dentistry.”

Genetic Defects in Tooth Enamel Lead to Cavities (Science Daily)

“Bacteria are not the sole cause of cavities; tooth resistance also plays an instrumental role. Researchers from the University of Zurich demonstrate that mutated genes lead to defects in the tooth enamel and can therefore encourage the development of cavities.”

New Insurance Plan Causes Dentists Some Pain (Boston Globe)

“A plan by the state’s largest dental insurer to sell new low-cost coverage has sparked an outcry among dentists, who fear the move will cut their incomes and force them to rush through appointments,” according to this report from Massachusetts. Delta Dental “says the move is necessary to attract budget-conscious businesses and consumers amid a slowdown in its growth.”

Virginia Dentist Takes City to Federal Court (WAVY)

All roads lead to: Dr. Allan Bergano is “suing the City of Virginia Beach, claiming that he was not compensated for having to move his practice to make way for the widening of Witchduck Road. He is seeking $475,000, which is the amount it reportedly cost him to move.”

Hawai‘i’s Rampant Tooth Decay Problems (Honolulu Magazine)

Results from a major dental screening by the Hawaii State Department of Health found that state’s “children have the highest prevalence of tooth decay in the United States — literally the worst in the nation when it comes to taking care of our kids’ teeth.” Will water fluoridation help?

Bacterium Goes From the Mouth to the Heart (Science Daily)

When human mouth bacteria “spreads to other tissues via the blood stream, the results can be catastrophic. Researchers from the University of Bristol have now revealed a potentially key molecular process that occurs in the case of infective endocarditis, a type of cardiovascular disease in which bacteria cause unwanted blood clots to form on heart valves.”

Military Dentists Gather for Professional Development (DVIDS)

“More than 60 active-duty dental officers gathered Feb. 2 at Naval Hospital Bremerton to attend the first dental leadership symposium sponsored by the Puget Sound Military Health System.” The goals: “help attendees develop as military officers and for their role as dental providers within the Military Health System.”

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