The DMD Check-Up: Goodbye to the Dentist's Needle?

January 22, 2016
Greg Kelly

A new technology could soon let dentists numb patients without needles, British doctors prepare to strike, and a researcher mounts a public health case against “Big Sugar.” Those stories and more in this week’s DMD Check-Up.

A new technology could soon let dentists numb patients without needles, British doctors prepare to strike, and a researcher mounts a public health case against “Big Sugar.” Those stories and more in this week’s DMD Check-Up.

Goodbye to the Dentist’s Needle?

(Mirror)

Patients terrified of injections at the dentist’s office could soon get relief, according to a University of São Paulo dental school study. Under a new technique, “a tiny electric current passes through an anesthetic gel seeping into the gums providing fast acting and long lasting numbness.”

Secondhand Smoke Affects Children’s Teeth (Emirates 24/7 News)

A new study in the BMJ finds that “exposure to tobacco smoke at four months of age was associated with an approximately twofold increased risk of tooth decay in deciduous or milk teeth.” Will this be “a revelation in the dental world which will cause shockwaves”?

10 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence (Inc.)

Those dentists who struggle to find success in both their personal and professional lives must develop and deploy their emotional intelligence—“the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” Find these skills.

Primary Care within a Dental Practice (Northeastern University)

Two prominent eastern universities (one dental school, one nursing school) have launched a new program joining nurse-​practitioner and dental students together in a clinic to provide both primary care and dental services. School leaders are calling it a “cutting-​​edge model of care that offers patients access to healthcare that they other­wise might not have.”

Dentists & Physicians Create New Fluoridation Society (DrBicuspid.com)

Now in agreement as to its health value, dental and medical professional groups have joined to create the American Fluoridation Society. The mission will be to "debunk myths and clarify the evidence behind fluoridation's safety and benefits.”

Dental Hygienists in the Primary-Care Physician’s Office? (DentistryiQ)

A provocative essay on the growing effort to lower healthcare silos. “The key to getting oral health care to underserved populations may not be the dental practice—it could be the primary-care physician's office, offering dental hygienist a new nontraditional practice setting in which to expand their careers.”

British Dentists Hit the Picket Line (Dentistry.co.uk)

Junior dentists (those in training for Britain’s NHS) have joined their medical colleagues in staging a work walk-out; the first UK doctor strike since 1975. The government is offering higher pay but reductions in the number of weekend hours junior doctors can claim extra “unsocial hours” pay for. Here’s a Q&A with a striking dentist.

Dental Care is Best Left to Dentists, Not Dental Therapists (Seattle Times)

The Washington State Dental Association president believes a state plan “to have Medicaid pay the same amount for dental procedures regardless of whether a dental therapist or a dentist provides the care” is flawed. “With costs being the same and no shortage of dentists in this state, the creation of a lesser-trained provider—dental therapists—wouldn’t save money, but does pose increased risks to vulnerable patients.”

Dentist Sued for Playing Christian Music (The Christian Times)

It’s a sensational story that’s swamped the Internet as a “dentist” matter. “A Michigan dentist faces legal charges from her former employees over her all-day streaming of Christian music in her office.” Where are the adults?

Former Dentist Reveals Sugar's Rotten Secrets (Pacific Standard)

A troubling report about Dr. Cristin Kearns who gave up “a promising career at the Kaiser Foundation to dig through sugar industry archives for a smoking gun. With help from the man who brought down Big Tobacco, she’s now proving that Big Sugar steered scientists away from looking at the ingredient’s harmful effects.”