The DMD Check-Up: Millennials Drive Demand for 'Dental Bling'

Here's a look at this week's top dentistry-related news stories from across the web.

Millennials are embracing cosmetic dentistry, even asking for “dental bling,” according to a new report. That story tops this week’s DMD Check-Up. Also making the list: A new study says dentists prescribe too many opioids for too long, and legislators in Texas investigate sedation dentistry.

Millennials Looking for “Dental Bling” (MY9NJ)

The state of dentistry? A news video report out of New Jersey about how cosmetic dentistry care is soaring across the United States—reaching some $16 billion last year. “Dentists say around 60% of their patients are millennials who come in for everything from Invisalign to “dental bling.”

Dentists Overdo Opioid Prescribing (PainMedicineNews)

A new study has found that dentists’ prescriptions for opioids after tooth extractions are often for too long and for too many pills. “We have gotten away from thinking about opioids as dangerous medications,” explains the co-author from Harvard Medical School, “and dentists may not be as conservative as they need to be with respect to using them.”

Dental Health Lacking in Communities of Color (

“Dental care is one of the nation’s greatest unmet health needs,” according to a new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. “In particular, communities of color have much higher rates of tooth decay and tooth loss and fewer dental visits and preventive treatments than white populations.”

The Dangers of Being Put Under at Dental Offices (KXAN)

A detailed news report from Texas about problems involved with the growing field of sedation dentistry. “A state lawmaker is demanding changes after an investigation discovers little oversight on dentists putting patients under sedation.” Plus, the state’s board of dental examiners rarely disciplines wayward dentists.

ER Dental Care: The High Cost of Failure (Tampa Bay Times)

In news from Florida, “the number of dental-related visits to state emergency departments is surging,” according to a new study in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry. "The emergency department is about the least appropriate, most expensive place you can go for dental care," explains a University of Florida dentistry professor study co-author.

Too Much Decay in the UK (The Herald)

According to the latest Oral Health Survey among the British, 21% of 5-year-olds will have tooth decay when they begin the new school year. That’s down from 25% four years ago, a drop the director of dental public health at Public Health England calls “great news.”

Two Out of Three Connecticut Adults Visit the Dentist (WTNH)

The American state that is first in per capita income ($45,877), is second best at going to the dentist (76.1%). They trail only “Massachusetts by 0.1%, according to a survey from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.”

Can Boxing and Dentistry Mix? (InMenlo)

They can indeed, according to this compelling profile of Dr. Kate Brown—a practicing California dentist who says “what other people get from yoga or meditation, I get from boxing.” The “dentist by day, boxer by night” mix is about “always wanting to do something with my hands.”

Medical Error a Leading Cause of US Deaths (The Washington Post)

A new analysis published in the BMJ “shows that ‘medical errors’ in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are incredibly common and may now be the third-leading cause of death in the United States—claiming 251,000 lives every year.” Dentistry isn’t immune.