The DMD Check-Up: Dentists, The Unsung Heroes of Pro Hockey

December 23, 2016
Greg Kelly

“Broken or missing teeth, smashed jaws, torn lips, slashed tongues, raw nerves … it’s all in a day’s work for the unsung heroes of the hockey world, NHL team dentists. Nothing fazes them,” The Globe and Mail reports.

This week's list of must-read news stories for dentists includes:

Americans Rate Healthcare Providers High on Honesty (Gallup Poll)

Most Americans trust their healthcare providers to be honest and ethical, but few other professions fare so well in Gallup's Poll. Nurses top the list with 84% of the public rating their standards as "high" or "very high.” Dentists were in the #5 position with a 59% top rating and physicians were #2 at 65%.

A Look Inside the Grisliest Job in Sports (The Globe and Mail)

“Broken or missing teeth, smashed jaws, torn lips, slashed tongues, raw nerves … it’s all in a day’s work for the unsung heroes of the hockey world, NHL team dentists. Nothing fazes them. And for the players? The pain they can handle, but fear is another matter. The dental chair is the ultimate equalizer.”

Researcher Uses Genome Sequencer to Study Tooth Decay (The Newsstand)

“A Clemson University researcher is embarking on a mission to help fight the most prevalent chronic disease plaguing Americans today — tooth decay. ‘What we aim to do is use DNA and RNA sequencing to better understand how these good and bad bacteria differ at the genetic, or more precisely, genomic level,’ says Professor Vincent Richards.”

Gauze of Death: Routine Dentist Visit Risks Life (Inside Edition)

“For some patients, a trip to the dentist ended in the emergency room when a piece of gauze became lodged in their throats, with some cases even ending in death,” according to this report. “The ADA has no recommendations for throat packs because materials used during dental procedures are chosen through the clinical judgement of the individual dentist.”

Mercury from Fillings Can’t Go Down Public Sewers (Centre Daily Times)

“The US Environmental Protection Agency has adopted a rule to require dentists, whose treatment of tooth decay with mercury compounds has sent the toxic substance into public sewers for decades, to contain their discharges by early 2020.” Dental offices account for half the mercury in public waste streams.

US Dental Care Forecast Shows Missed Opportunities (The Hill)

“The impact of not accessing dental care can be great, including missed work or school, diminished social connections — even sub-optimal nutrition, since dental disease can hinder the ability to eat. Poor dental health increases the risk for diabetes, heart disease and poor birth outcomes,” according to this troubling report from the nation’s capital.

America’s Judicial Hellholes (American Tort Reform Foundation)

The ATRF’s 2016 to 2017 report shines a bright spotlight on nine courts or areas of the country with a reputation as Judicial Hellholes — that is, “jurisdictions where courts have been radically out of balance.” Tops are: #1 City of St. Louis, Missouri, #2 California, and #3 NYC Asbestos Litigation.

More Electric Toothbrushes in China (China Daily)

“American oral hygiene brand Oral-B, a sub-brand of P&G, is bullish on the growth potential of the electric toothbrush market in China, as a rising middle class and an increased awareness of oral care are set to drive the sales of various high-quality products.” Just 2% of Chinese residents use electric toothbrushes verses up to 40% in the US and Europe.

The Oral Health Hazards of Holiday Stress (PR Newswire)

Timely patient education report: “Holiday stress can be a pain in the neck … and the teeth, warns Delta Dental. If too much family time or the mad dash for last minute gifts causes you to grind or clench your teeth, be aware that it can cause your teeth to ache, wear down, become loose or even crack.”

Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, Famous for Antichoking Technique, Dies at 96 (The New York Times)

A mouthful: “Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, the thoracic surgeon and medical maverick who developed and crusaded for the antichoking technique that has been credited with saving an estimated 100,000 lives,” is dead after suffering a heart attack at his home in Ohio. RIP.

It's a One-derful Life: An Ace Unites Father and Son Once More (Golf)

Here’s a very touching golf story about a dentist and his son: "I cried for the next three holes. I couldn't get it together. It was just so emotional. To have Bergy's son ace that hole, where we'd just spread the ashes, I couldn't believe it. I lost the tournament there and, honestly, I couldn't have cared less."