Our weekly roundup of the top dentistry-related stories on the web.
Minnesota and Florida seniors have the best oral health, according to a new survey. That story tops this week’s DMD Check-Up. Also making the list: Pot’s effect on periodontal health, and a dentist aims to tackle the high cost of dental school.
• “State of Decay” - Senior Oral Health Nationwide (Healthjournalism.org)
In a report from the Association of Health Care Journalists, the State of Minnesota has earned top marks in a new report card that ranks the oral health of elders in states across America; Florida does well too. But the news is not so good for seniors in many other states—especially in the South.
• Don’t Let Your Teeth Go to Pot (The Washington Post)
New research in JAMA finds that “smoking marijuana didn't influence blood pressure, cholesterol levels, or inflammation, but it did significantly worsen people's periodontal health.” Does this “latest study marshal up some convincing evidence that marijuana's toll on physical health may be far less than once feared”?
• Why Dentists Write Too Many Scripts (Philly.com)
This Philadelphia Inquirer report tells of “a nationwide push to get dental schools to help fight opioid addiction.” Also, a Harvard research team reported recently that "dentists are among the leading prescribers of opioid analgesics," particularly for surgical tooth extractions.” All from habit?
• Tennessee Dentist Pulls Teeth … and Trucks (Memphis Daily News)
A nice slice-of-life story: Memphis dentist Tim Messer doesn’t do all his pulling in the office; he competes on the pro truck pulling circuit. One of his trucks is named Wide Open; his first truck was The Driller. “I like the noise,” he said. “That’s part of the adrenaline, to hear that motor.”
An informative Q&A with the dentist-CEO of the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies (LVI Global), who has built a business determined to change the image of dentistry. How is it that “67% of dentists wouldn’t go into dentistry if they could start over again?”
• Average Annual Family Healthcare Costs Reaches $25,000 (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
The average total cost of healthcare for the typical US family of four will top $25,000 in 2016, according to the Milliman Medical Index. This includes the average cost of health insurance paid by employers and employees, as well as deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for the most common type of health plan.
More than one-third of adults with private dental benefits did not have a single dental claim within the year, according to a new ADA Health Policy Institute analysis. And “for the majority of adults, total copayments, coinsurance and premiums exceed the market value of their dental care.”
• How to Keep Your Dental Costs Low (Nerd Wallet)
One of the internet’s better websites geared toward millennials offers up some financial wisdom: “there are several ways to save money on dental care, and some may surprise you.” Dentists could be well served by educating themselves on how the patients in this category think and act.
• Hey Buddy, It’s All in the Smile (PR Newswire)
“What happens in the bedroom may have a lot to do with what happens in the bathroom,” finds a new Delta Dental survey—nearly 75% of women consider good oral health one of the sexiest qualities in a man.
• How to Tackle Dental School Debt (Forbes)
With the average dental school graduate having nearly $250,000 in student debt, Dr. Douglas Carlsen, founder of a financial consulting firm for dentists, offers a plan on how to dig out and prosper. “Dentists have not, in many instances, been prepared well for the real world of employment and possible business ownership.”