Week in Review: Prenatal fluoride exposure | Oral cancer screening issues | Orthodontist indicted

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

A controversial study from JAMA Pediatrics found that prenatal fluoride exposure may have neurotoxic effects. Researchers reported that children in six Canadian cities with greater prenatal fluoride exposure had lower IQ scores as preschoolers.

What are the implications of the new study? We don't know, other than more research is needed. But this definitely is an opportunity for supporters of community water fluoridation to educate their patients and their communities.

Also this week, we reported some disturbing results from a study on oral cancer screening. About 75% of racial and ethnic minorities and patients with low socioeconomic status reported that dental professionals did not screen them for oral cancer during dental visits.

A well-known orthodontist in Arkansas has been charged with 15 counts of fraud and wire fraud. He allegedly paid bribes to and performed free dental work for a former state senator in exchange for legislation that benefited his dental clinics. The orthodontist will plead innocent to the charges.

We'll finish with a discussion about patient retention. In the past, maybe your practice could have overcome the loss of patients because there was always an influx of new ones. As Dr. Roger P. Levin notes, that's not today's reality. He advises implementing a reactivation system for patients who are overdue or inactive.

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