Week in Review: Rare lesions on dental x-rays | Cuspies winners announced | Debt plaguing dental grads

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Rare and aggressive vascular maxillofacial lesions were detected as an incidental finding on two patients' dental x-rays. Our top story of the week summarized the highlights of the case report.

The report describes a teenager and young adult diagnosed with asymptomatic juvenile angiofibroma after undergoing imaging in preparation for orthodontic treatment. Though benign, these tumors can spread to the sinuses, throat, and brain and can damage bones and nerves if untreated.

Congratulations Cuspies winners

If you haven't already, make sure you check out this year's Cuspies award winners. The 12 people, products, and events that took home a trophy represent some of the best and brightest in dentistry today.

One big theme among this year's award winners is the relationship between oral and overall health. The winning educators focus their lectures on the oral-systemic connection, the top schools pride themselves on integrated clinics, and many products emphasize periodontal health as a key to improving overall health.

Student debt plaguing dental grads

It is increasingly difficult for young dentists to achieve desirable career, lifestyle, and financial outcomes. The reason? High student debt.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association modeled five scenarios for a fictitious dentist who graduated from school in 2019 with $292,169 in student loans, the average loan debt of dental graduates in 2019. In almost all scenarios, the hypothetical dentist struggles to attain a desirable lifestyle without spiraling into consumer debt.

Harassment of male hygienists

A series of groundbreaking studies last year documented the extent to which dental hygienists, who are mostly female, experience sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual conduct while at work. Now, a new study shows that male dental hygienists are also likely to experience gender discrimination, bullying, and sexual harassment in the workplace.

More than half of male hygienists surveyed said that patients refused to be treated due to their gender, and about 1 in 5 experienced bullying and sexual harassment. Hygienists with these experiences are also more likely to consider leaving their jobs.

Gum Disease Awareness Month

February is Gum Disease Awareness Month, so I sat down for a video interview with Dr. Samuel Low to discuss why patients don't take periodontal disease as seriously as they should. Low called on the dental profession to step up their rhetoric about severe gum disease and talk about the resulting tooth loss like the emergency it is.

Stay tuned for more news on gum health and more next week. Our editors will be in Chicago to bring you all the science, news, and energy from the Chicago Dental Society's 2022 Midwinter Meeting.

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