Today's Dental News

Missed Appointments Denying Others NHS Care, Warns BDA, UK

Patients failing to attend NHS dental appointments in England could be denying significant numbers of other people the chance to access care, according to a survey by the British Dental Association (BDA). The survey suggests that committed NHS dentists in England each lose the equivalent of almost two weeks a year because patients fail to turn up for appointments.

The BDA believes that the research highlights a problem of a significant scale and that the option to charge a fee for missed appointments, abolished as part of the widely-criticized 2006 reforms to dentistry, should be reinstated.

Read more: Missed Appointments Denying Others NHS Care, Warns BDA, UK


United Nations Urged to Ban Mercury Fillings

Mercury, the main ingredient in "silver" or amalgam fillings, will be the subject of a United Nations conference to be held in Chiba, Japan on January 24 to 28.

Members of various nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), as well as dentists and scientists from groups such as the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), will be attending and urging a ban on products containing mercury, including dental amalgam. The deliberations serve as the second of five intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) meetings planned with the purpose of creating worldwide mercury regulations by 2013.

Read more: United Nations Urged to Ban Mercury Fillings


Is Kissing Dangerous to Your Health?

Is kissing harmful to your health? With just one kiss couples can share more than 500 different types of disease-causing germs and viruses, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), a professional association of more than 35,000 general dentists.

“Not knowing who you are kissing could be as dangerous to your health as having multiple sexual partners,” says AGD spokesperson Connie White, DDS, FAGD.

Before you pucker up again, Dr. White dishes on the most common diseases and viruses that you and your sweetie can transmit to each other while smooching:

Read more: Is Kissing Dangerous to Your Health?


Healthy Gums May Lead to Healthy Lungs

Maintaining periodontal health may contribute to a healthy respiratory system, according to research published in the Journal of Periodontology. A new study suggests that periodontal disease may increase the risk for respiratory infections, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. These infections, which are caused when bacteria from the upper throat are inhaled into the lower respiratory tract, can be severely debilitating and are one of the leading causes of death in the US.

The study included 200 participants between the ages of 20 and 60 with at least 20 natural teeth. Half of the participants were hospitalized patients with a respiratory disease such as pneumonia, COPD, or acute bronchitis, and the other half were healthy control subjects with no history of respiratory disease. Each participant underwent a comprehensive oral evaluation to measure periodontal health status.

Read more: Healthy Gums May Lead to Healthy Lungs


Canadians Head to Mexico for Dental Procedures

LOS ALGODONES, Mexico—When Bernardo Magana arrived in Los Algodones as a young dentist in 1969, he was the only dentist in town. Today this sun-drenched community of 4,000, just across the border from Yuma, Arizona, has what is likely the highest density of dentists in the world. There are more than 200 dental clinics in town and their nearly wall-to-wall billboards and barkers colorfully promote their services.

People flock to the town—nicknamed Molar City—from all across Canada and the United States for one reason only: The dental services are significantly cheaper than in their hometowns.

Read more: Canadians Head to Mexico for Dental Procedures


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