Mouth Cancer Awareness Should be All Year Round

Following the success of the recent Mouth Cancer Action Month, Dr. Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, has called for both dentists and patients to maintain their vigilance throughout the year, to help prevent deaths from the disease.

Dr. Carter said: “The support from the profession since the campaign started has been sensational and has grown year-on-year. The sheer number of surgeries and PCTs taking part, through free screenings, decking the walls with our posters, sporting Blue Ribbon Badges and working hard to highlight the campaign has been immensely pleasing.

Exhibition probes history of dentistry

People who hate going to the dentist can get an idea of the real horrors of dental treatment in times gone by at an exhibition in Zurich.

Until the 18th century if you needed a tooth pulled you went to the blacksmith or barber who would yank it out—or try to with a pair of pliers. Things have moved on considerably since then, but for many people fear of the dentist remains.

An exhibition at Zurich University’s Museum of the History of Medicine, entitled “With Bite—Stories of Dental Medicine,” presents ordinary cultural experiences in the context of the development of dentistry down the ages.

Making the Decision to Replace Yourself

In early 2008, Matt Dorey, founder and chief executive of Curve Dental, was at a loss. Three years into building a comprehensive Web-based software package for dentists, he felt the product was ready, but he was not sure how to make Curve a market leader.

“The company was getting complicated,” Dorey said. “I was starting to become conscious of what I didn’t know. It was almost a feeling of loneliness.”

Then he learned of a chief executive, Jim Pack, who was looking for new opportunities after a private equity firm had bought his medical-billing software company, AdvancedMD. Dorey reached out with a LinkedIn invitation.

Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health

Philadelphia dental implants expert Dr. David DiGiallorenzo beefed up efforts to teach diabetic patients and those with gum disease about the oral health/diabetes connection in November.

This connection is a two-way street, according to some research on the topic, said DiGiallorenzo, who treats patients with diabetes at his Philadelphia, periodontics practice.

Gum disease can cause blood sugar levels to increase and aid in the progression of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Diabetics have a higher risk of encountering serious gum disease because they tend to be more prone to bacterial infection.

Oral Health Advocates Push for Dental Therapists

Oral health advocates, bolstered by favorable national reports on dental therapists, are pushing for legislation that would train and deploy mid-level providers. But the Oregon Dental Association (ODA) promises to fight any bill introduced next session.

Judith Woodruff, health work force program director with the Northwest Health Foundation, advocated for developing training programs for dental therapists, a new type of provider whose scope of practice falls between that of a dental assistant and a dentist. Dental therapists would be relatively inexpensive to train and hire, Woodruff said in testimony before the Senate Interim Committee on Health Care last week.

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