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This week's list of must-read news stories for dentists.
Pay for dentists has been flat, according to a new report. That story tops this week’s DMD Check-Up. Also making the list: How dentists can ID child abuse, and former presidential candidate Rick Perry gets a job in the dental industry.
• US Dentists' Earnings are “Stagnant” (ADA.org)
According to a new report by the ADA’s Health Policy Institute, “since the early 2000s, dental spending has flattened but the number of dentists has increased, resulting in stagnant dentist earnings.” Last year the average general practitioner netted about $175,000; specialists did nearly $325,000.
• Dentists Taught to Identify Child Abuse (Daily Mail)
A report about British dentists being trained “to spot survivors of child sex abuse over concerns that too many victims are slipping through the cracks without proper help.” NAPAC research suggests “that for many people, going to the dentist can trigger memories of negative experiences and abuse in the past.”
• California Kids Get Poor Oral Health Services (DrBicuspid.com)
The most populous state in the nation gets “a D+ grade for not providing enough oral health services for its poorest children.” The 2016 California Children's Report Card issued by the advocacy group Children Now found that over half of all ER visits were for dental problems.
• In Dentistry: “Mercury is like a hot potato” (McClatchyDC)
A thorough but uneven report about the state of “mercury fillings in the teeth of more than 100 million Americans.” The ADA President says: “No properly designed, peer-reviewed scientific study links dental amalgam to any neurological or systemic disease, and that’s the scientifically sound bottom line.”
• Hispanic Population Needs Oral Health Attention (DentistryiQ)
The nation’s fastest growing demographic group has “one of the greatest racial and ethnic oral health disparities among young children,” according to a new DentaQuest Foundation report. Effective connection with the Hispanic community “goes beyond speaking Spanish and offering bilingual literature. It’s important to understand cultural, environmental, and behavioral factors.”
• Rick Perry has New Job with Dental Insurer (Texas Dentists for Medicaid Reform)
Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history and twice an unsuccessful GOP presidential candidate, has a new job “chief strategy officer at MCNA Dental, the nation’s largest privatively held dental insurance company.” MCNA was the top contributor to Perry’s presidential bid—about $58,000.
• Warning Labels on Soda? (US News & World Report)
A new studied in the journal Pediatrics, shows that “health warning labels on sugary beverages—similar to those on cigarette packs—might make parents less likely to buy such beverages for their kids.” The average sweetened soda drink has up to seven teaspoons of sugar in it.
• Time for the Dietary Guidelines to Die? (RealClearScience)
For 35 years, the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines have offered middling advice. Reform is overdue. “Nutrition science is notoriously terrible: characterized by poorly conducted research, pervasive industry influence, and a diffuse sense of confirmation bias almost akin to religion.”
• Pennsylvania Dentist Retires After 70 Years (LancastorOnline.com)
A heart-warming report about Dr. Harry B. Lutz, a Lancaster, PA dentist who always found time for his patients. His daughters “are working on an application to Guinness World Records to verify if he is the dentist with the longest career in history.”