Dear DrBicuspid Member,
Our top story of the week summarized a dissertation that raised concerns about potential complications of root canal treatment performed by general dental practitioners.
In her doctoral thesis, Dr. Emma Wigsten, a Swedish dentist and researcher, found 30% of patients at public dental clinics failed to complete root canal treatment, often because the tooth needed to be extracted instead. The findings made Wigsten question whether more root canal treatments of molars should be performed by endodontic specialists.
Let's talk about long COVID
Long COVID is the name of a syndrome associated with people who recover from an initial COVID-19 infection but continue to have long-lasting symptoms. While the syndrome is increasingly being talked about, there's still no concrete definition or solid estimate of how many people may have the condition.
In a recent Journal of the American Dental Association study, researchers summarized what we do know about long COVID, including that patients tend to be ambulatory and have a higher risk of developing thromboembolism. The team encouraged dentists to treat patients with long COVID similarly to patients with other medically complex conditions.
Staffing issues highlighted at DTA meeting
Movers and shakers in the dental industry gathered in San Diego this week at the 2021 Dental Trade Alliance (DTA) meeting to talk about major trends disrupting the industry. Presenters highlighted three hot issues touching every aspect of dentistry: COVID-19 pandemic recovery, dental Medicare benefits, and dental service organizations.
One major trend you may feel in your own practice is the struggle to hire and retain staff. ADA Health Policy Institute data shared at the meeting showed half of dental practices say hiring and retaining staff is the No. 1 factor limiting practice capacity -- a factor stifling dentistry's COVID-19 pandemic recovery.
The lack of staffing is also an issue faced by dental labs, which Dr. Teresa Yang explored in a column on the website this week. Yang asked whether automation and rising costs will make dental labs obsolete, and she offered tips for small dental labs struggling to compete in the modern dental landscape.
Vote for your favorite people, products, and events
The year is coming to a close, and what better way to acknowledge the outstanding people, products, and events from this year than to nominate them for the 2021 Cuspies awards. The annual awards celebrate the best and brightest in dentistry. Your votes directly affect who makes the semifinalists list.