Today's Dental News

Maryland is Best State for Children’s Dental Care

Maryland was named the top performing state for children’s dental care, according to a recent report card among the 50 states on children’s dental health.

Maryland was the lone state to meet or go beyond seven of the eight total benchmarks set forth by Pew Center of States. Officials in Maryland said they would maintain this high level of dental performance for the children of Maryland.

This kind of dental treatment in Maryland may stem from the death of a 12-year-old boy, Deamonte Driver, four years ago. The child died from an untreated toothache.

Read more: Maryland is Best State for Children’s Dental Care


Inuit People More Likely to have Dental Issues

Officials from a northern Canadian Territory are asking for better dental care for its citizens.

The Inuit people of Nunavut are more susceptible to having dental issues than other people, according to a survey. That’s why officials are calling for better dental services for the people indigenous to the area.

The Health Canada Inuit Oral Health survey was conducted in March. The results showed that more than 85 percent of the Inuit children demonstrated signs of having cavities in at least eight teeth. The information also indicated that many of the people don’t visit a dentist even though the possibility of developing a dental problem is so high.

Read more: Inuit People More Likely to have Dental Issues


Dentists May Avoid Treating Children on Medicaid

Dentists are more interested in treating children with private insurance, according to a recent study in Illinois. The undercover research revealed that the dentists weren’t as interested in treating children on Medicaid.

To determine this belief, six members of the research team pretended to be mothers of a 10-year-old boy who didn’t exist. They claimed their child had a fractured front tooth.

The researchers called about 85 dental practices twice within the span of four weeks. They wanted to determine how their insurance coverage affected the specific practice’s decision to schedule a prompt appointment. In the study, of the 170 calls made to Medicaid-enrolled and other practices, 95.4 percent of children covered by Blue Cross scheduled an appointment. Only 36.5 percent of the children covered by Medicaid were able to schedule an appointment.

Read more: Dentists May Avoid Treating Children on Medicaid


Bullying, Low Self-Esteem May Stem from Dental Issue

There’s a link between a child’s oral appearance and bullying, according to a study by the British Dental Journal.

One out of eight children that has a noticeable dental issue was bullied, which resulted in low self-esteem and also had a negative impact on the child’s oral health.

The research team, which consisted of hospital-based orthodontic specialists, analyzed a group of children from ages 10 to 14. They found that these children were at a higher risk for being bullied or teased and the reason was because of an irregular dental issue. Some of the issues included maxillary overcrowding, a cleft lip with or without a palate or some kind of overbite.

Read more: Bullying, Low Self-Esteem May Stem from Dental Issue


Canadian Dental Surgeon Heads to Afghanistan to Mentor Troops

A Canadian dental surgeon recently decided there was more for him to do than be a dentist.

So instead of maintaining his practice and making the money he was on course to make, he opted to head to the Kandahari desert to mentor Afghan troops in counter-insurgency tactics.

“Most people find it hard to relate to,” Capt. Luong Phuc Nguyen told the Vancouver Sun. “I am losing a lot of money and not furthering my career.”

Nguyen, whose parents are from Vietnam, chose to mentor the Afghan troops. But he’s not simply a military dentist or dental surgeon behind the scenes. He’s a qualified infantry officer and will be at a Forward Operating Base with combat troops. That means he’s not behind the scenes, which is something he did during a tour in 2007-2008.

Read more: Canadian Dental Surgeon Heads to Afghanistan to Mentor Troops


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