DrBicuspid.com Cosmetic Dentistry Insider

Dear Cosmetic Dentistry Insider,

Demand for clear aligner products and services is on the rise at a time when many cosmetic procedures -- dental and otherwise -- are experiencing a decline. With more products to choose from and a broader patient base to offer treatment to, a growing number of general dentists are considering adding this option to their practices.

Read more about this trend, and why some patients who never considered orthodontic treatment before might just consider it now, in our latest Cosmetic Dentistry Insider Exclusive.

In other Cosmetics Community news, pharmaceutical giant Allergan will pay $600 million to settle civil and criminal charges that it illegally marketed Botox to medical professionals to encourage off-label use, including cosmetic and therapeutic procedures offered by dentists. Read more.

On the clinical front, dentists are being urged to play a more central role in screening patients for obstructive sleep apnea and related disorders. Can they also help treat patients who suffer from these chronic and potentially hazardous conditions? Read part 2 of our two-part series on diagnosing and treating sleep disorders.

And two new studies lend further support to the need for dental professionals to caution patients about the dangers of tongue piercing, which can lead to severe infections, chipped and fractured teeth, gingival recession, and even death.

Speaking of risks, with the majority of orthodontic patients being young teens who often undergo full-head imaging before, during, and after treatment, there is concern that using cone-beam CT in every case unnecessarily exposes these patients to dangerous amounts of radiation. Click here to read what one imaging expert says practitioners need to know in order to minimize dose and maximize the quality of cone-beam CT imagery in orthodontics.

Meanwhile, a small, randomized study in Operative Dentistry found that dentist-prescribed overnight teeth whitening was just as effective as in-office whitening and costs patients much less. Which do you recommend?

Finally, on a lighter note, what inspired the winners of the 2010 Hu-Friedy orthodontic wire-bending contest? For one, it was a love of working with his hands. For the other, it was love for his soon-to-be wife. Read our exclusive interviews with these two winning doctors here.

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