The DMD Check-Up: Filling Cavities 'Not Brain Surgery'


Our weekly look at the top dental industry news from around the web.

A convention of state lawmakers gets heated when the subject of dental therapists comes up. That story tops this week's DMD Check-Up. Also making the list: a dentist raised by Holocause survivors shares his gripping story, and controversy in California over a lack of participation in the state's "Denti-Cal" program.

Dental Workshop Hits Nerve of Dentists and Policymakers (Vermont Watchdog)

Sparks flew at a recent meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council as state lawmakers and industry officials debated solutions for the access to care problem in many states. When a representative of the American Dental Association suggested that only trained dentists should be filling cavities, an Arizona state legislator went on the attack: “It’s not brain surgery,” he said.

Dentist Raised by Holocaust Survivors Shares Family Story (Frederick News Post)

A life-fulfilling story about a Maryland dentist. Dr. Harvey Levy tells of his parents’ ordeals and how his life was impacted as a second-generation Holocaust survivor. “Don’t ever take America for granted,” he said.

How a Broken, $1 Billion Program Leaves Californians with Cavities (Capital Public Radio)

A most troubling report from the nation’s most populous state. “The government spends over $1 billion annually offering dental coverage, but most state dentists refuse to participate in the Denti-Cal program, leaving patients with impossible wait times that lead to expensive health consequences.”

Kids Miss Too Much School Due to Oral Health Problems (Erie News Now)

As back-to-school season unfolds, Delta Dental is out with a disturbing new survey: 30% of US children ages 6 to 12 have missed more than 9 million school days due to dental problems. This, even as 71% of parents cite their child's oral health as a top concern.

5 Things You Don’t Know About a Dentist (Huffington Post)

Here’s a taste of what the mainstream media is feeding patients on what they need to know about practicing dentists in America. Are they right?

Reform Licensing Laws to Fix Dentist Shortage (Reason)

A “free minds and free markets” blogger hits on a touchy subject in professional dental care. “Some states are taking steps to address a shortage in basic dental care by reforming licensing laws to create a new classification of dental professional—dental therapists.” And it’s “entrenched political interests preventing this sort of innovation.”

Video Shows Dentist Fatally Abuse Baby, then Grab Some Pizza (Fox 2 Now)

In this month’s dumb, dangerous dentist going viral report: “An Oklahoma dentist is accused of killing his girlfriend's 19-month-old son, and prosecutors are using a dramatic surveillance video to try and prove it.” Judge calls Dr. Bert Franklin “a danger to the community.”

Changing the Way Patients Find Dentists (Entrepreneur)

A Q&A with Dr. Reza Izadi who is “anything but a normal dentist. His app startup emerged from his private dental practice, where he saw a problem with traditional interaction between dentists and their patients. With seed money from savings and colleagues, he aims to disrupt the way patients find their dentists. His app, Denteractive, is like Yelp—for toothaches.”

Do Missing Teeth Kill Job Prospects? (Metro)

“Nearly 40% of first impressions are determined by your confidence and your voice, both of which are greatly influenced by oral health,” according to this report from the American College of Prosthodontists. For those in need of help, “dentures and advanced dental care can break that cycle.”

Dentist Ordered to Pay $717,000 in Illegal Billing (Connecticut Law Tribune)

By judge’s order a retired Connecticut dentist must pay $717,046 after being charged with violating the law by improperly billing the state Medicaid program for dental cleanings and fluoride treatments. Lawyers for Douglas Macko, DMD, say “he doesn't have the money to pay."

America’s Best Hospitals 2016-17 (US News & World Report)

US News & World Report is out with its 27th annual “Best Hospitals” rankings. The national media outlet compared nearly 5,000 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. No. 1: Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Reading Books Brings Longer Life (Quartz)

All the book reading you did in dental school — it pays off. A new study published in Social Science & Health shows that reading books has a significant relationship to increased lifespan (sorry, magazines or newspapers didn’t have the same effect).

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