Top 5 stories of the 1st quarter of 2014

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Now that we are into the second quarter of 2014, takes a look back at the most-read stories from the first quarter of the year (January 1 through March 31), as measured by page views.

Reflecting the diversity of interests of readers, our most-read stories include a dental chain being excluded from Medicare and Medicaid participation, a new device that uses artificial bone scaffolding to help patients grow new bone tissue, the story of a dentist who placed his own implant and then posted a YouTube video of the process, and more.

  1. Small Smiles owner excluded from Medicare, Medicaid programs
    March 12, 2014 -- CSHM, which owns 53 Small Smiles dental clinics in 19 states and the District of Columbia, has been excluded from participation in the Medicaid and Medicare programs for a minimum of five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The exclusion follows a recommendation by a U.S. Senate committee that the Small Smiles chain should be excluded from the Medicaid program for encouraging dentists to perform unnecessary treatments to boost profits. Read much more here.
  2. Dentist places own implant, posts video on YouTube
    January 9, 2014 -- When an endodontically treated tooth continued to prove troublesome, Daniel Hatch, DDS, decided it was time to extract and replace it. But this Montrose, CO, dentist utilized a remarkable approach: He extracted his own tooth and placed the implant himself. He also filmed the procedure and put it on YouTube.

    To Dr. Hatch, it was a practical decision, not a stunt. "My tooth started hurting, so I thought I'd take it out," he said in an interview with "I've done quite a few implants, and so I felt comfortable doing it myself, a little bit more so than having someone else do it. And I saved some money in the process." Find out more here.
  3. New device repairs bone damaged by cancer, periodontitis
    March 24, 2014 -- A new device by Norwegian researchers can help rebuild the faces of patients who have been disfigured by mandibular cancer and help patients with loose teeth caused by periodontitis. The process uses artificial bone scaffolding that determines where new bone tissue will grow. Read more about this device and treatment here.
  4. ADA: 8.3M adults now eligible for Medicaid dental benefits
    March 10, 2014 -- More than 8 million low-income adults will become eligible for dental benefits this year, according to a new ADA analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). But expanded Medicaid coverage doesn't guarantee increased access to dental care, the report noted.

    The February report by the ADA Health Policy Resources Center noted that the increase is caused by two key aspects of the ACA: expanded Medicaid eligibility and increased enrollment efforts.

    Expanded Medicaid coverage includes about 2.9 million adults who will be eligible for extensive benefits and an additional 5.4 million who could get limited benefits. Read more here.
  5. Study: Carefully consider implants vs. endodontic treatment
    January 6, 2014 -- The introduction of dental implants has proved to be a pivotal technology in dentistry. In a profession that strives to help patients keep their dentition, the point when it becomes necessary to opt for dental implants is a judgment call. Now, a new critical review published in the Journal of Dental Research comparing the long-term survival of implants and teeth that have been treated endodontically can help clinicians gain perspective on the two options (January 2014, Vol. 93:1, pp. 19-26).

    "Both options should be seen as complementing each other, not as competing, and should serve the overall goal in dentistry, the long-term health and benefit of the patient, being least invasive and incorporating function, comfort, and esthetics," the authors from the University of Pennsylvania wrote. "A tendency exists toward a simplified approach of 'extraction and implant,' but this is not always simple or ethical." Read more here.
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