The DMD Check-Up: Fear of The Bill, Not The Drill

November 28, 2016
Greg Kelly

One news report highlights a survey that shows patients are more afraid of the price of a procedure than of the pain it might cause.

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

Price Beats Pain as Biggest Fear When Visiting Dentist (Personal Today)

“New research from Unum Dental has found cost to be the main barrier to visiting the dentist, with 38% of people saying it has put them off. This was considerably ahead of the 25% who listed fear of pain as a barrier, or the 21% who said taking time off work was a barrier.”

Dentists Do Notice Your Teeth When You're Talking (HJnews.com)

A compelling Q&A with a Utah dentist on the “top 3 things dentists want people to know about them.” Dr. David Gordon says, “Unlike a lot of medical professionals, dentists see their patients often enough to develop strong friendships, to watch kids grow up. I see that as one of the most rewarding parts of my profession.”

Retirement Outlook Good for Many Dentists (DentistryiQ)

“The results of the SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard survey are optimistic for dentists and their retirement savings plans. Most dentists are saving accordingly, and for those who aren't, there's still time to start. When measured against other businesses of similar size, dental practices are already on the right track.”

How to Start Expanding Dental Care For All (Seattle Times)

“The Legislature should expand dental care for more adults, and the place to start is with pregnant women and patients with diabetes. The payoff is improved health and saving taxpayer dollars by preventing expensive medical costs,” according to this opinion piece from a top Washington state media outlet.

Dentist Referrals Could Delay Cancer Diagnosis (Express)

“People with suspected mouth cancer are having their diagnosis delayed because they are first referred to a dentist, British surgeons have warned. Writing in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, they said around 1 in 9 patients could have their diagnosis delayed due to the current guidance.”

Dentist Bounces HIV-Positive Patient (New York Post)

A New York dentist tossed a patient out of his office and called her “disgusting” after learning she was HIV-positive, a new lawsuit alleges. “Because I am black, because I am a woman, because I am HIV-positive, Dr. Kur treated me as less than a person,” said Yvette Brown.

Marijuana May Benefit Mental Health (Time)

According to a new study in Clinical Psychology Review, “researchers have found evidence that cannabis can likely benefit people dealing with depression, social anxiety, and PTSD.” After the 2016 elections, 28 states now allow some form of legal marijuana use.

Most Nursing Home Patients Refuse Dental Care (University of Buffalo)

“Nearly 90% of patients at long-term care facilities don’t take advantage of dental services, even when they are free, a recent study by University at Buffalo researchers has found. Medicare does cover dental exams—oral health care takes a backseat to other medical needs.” Read more on Dentist’s Money Digest here.

Canada's Private Dental Care System Fails Most Vulnerable (Montreal Gazette)

“About 25% of Canadians have difficulty accessing dental care, due to cost, lack of dental insurance or transport. These are the most vulnerable members of society: the elderly, indigenous people, young children, individuals with disabilities, recent immigrants/refugees, those living in rural and remote communities and the poor.”

How Dentists Can Utilize SEO Services (TG Daily)

“Many dental clinics are already using the power of Search Engine Optimization to promote their services and it is working. Although some are still trying to figure out how to market their services to their customers. Proper use of SEO services for your dental business, can turn it into a big success within a short period of time.”

In Praise of Big Pharma (RealClearHealth)

“Hospital spending represents 32% of American healthcare spending, 20% goes to physician and clinical services, 15% goes to ‘other health spending,’ and 10% is for prescription drugs.” The headline should be: Pharmaceuticals represent just “a dime on the dollar” of all US healthcare spending, according to the president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.