The DMD Check-up: Florida Dentist Stripped of License for Malpractice

A dentist in Ocala, Florida had his license revoked for apparent malpractice after a unanimous vote from the Florida Department of Health’s Board of Dentistry. That tops this week’s news in the world of dentistry. Also making the list: Free care for veterans, a tooth decay vaccine and dental care for babies.

1. Board of Dentistry pulls license of former Ocala dentist An Ocala dentist, who weathered numerous license suspensions in the past several years, may be out of business permanently after the Florida Department of Health’s Board of Dentistry voted to revoke his license. Department of Health investigators charged Dr. Ben Mac-Ryan Spivey with violating several Florida statutes as the result of caring for two patients. Spivey was absent during the Aug. 25 proceeding in which Board of Dentistry members voted unanimously to stop him from practicing.

2. Reno Dentist Serves Veterans for Free It's a common misconception that veterans get dental care covered along with the rest of their benefits. But while the VA does offer dental, most vets don't qualify. So a Reno dentist's office is taking on the mission to serve those who have served.

3. Could this tooth decay vaccine end frightening visits to the dentist? Dreaded trips to see your dentist could be replaced with a vaccine to prevent tooth decay in the future, researchers predict. The jab, developed by Chinese scientists, offers a dose of proteins that are effective at removing build-ups of plaque responsible for cavities. Early trials show it to be 64 percent effective - meaning people would still have to brush their teeth twice a day to avoid a trip to the dentist's chair.

4. Bill to expand access to dentistry picks up steam on Beacon Hill Claiming momentum in a fierce policy battle, lawmakers who favor a legal expansion of the scope of dentistry work so that more patients can be served say they are gaining ground on Beacon Hill. "I'm very proud that the fact is the dentists are at the table with us, talking about this," said Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, who represents many rural communities in Berkshire County, hearing on legislation authorizing a new type of professional, a dental therapist. "This wasn't happening a year ago, but it's happening today. This mid-level practitioner, no pun intended, will fill the gap for so many folks who are in need of health care."

5. Dental checkups urged for babies -- but many dentists are wary Allen Barron scrunches up his tiny face and wails as his mother gently tips him backward onto the lap of Jean Calvo, a pediatric dental resident at the University of California-San Francisco. Allen's crying may be distressing, but his wide-open mouth allows Calvo to begin the exam. She counts his baby teeth and checks for dental decay.

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