Filling without drilling; new sedation rules

Dear member:

Wouldn't you love to fill and bill without the drilling? Drilling takes time and stresses out even the most laconic patients. Now a new study suggests that maybe you can save your drilling for more serious dental ailments.

The discovery was born of desperation. Dentists in rural Scotland had to cope with reluctant patients who also had a huge incidence of caries. To solve both problems, dentist Norna Hall didn't prepare the surface of a tooth or bother with anesthesia. Instead, she simply cemented a metal crown over the surface, sealing the cavity. The idea: starve the bacteria. Does the Hall Technique stand up in clinical studies? Read here for the results.

A shot in the dark

Another boon for reluctant patients (and dentists trying to lure them back into the chair) is oral conscious sedation (OCS). With just the right amount of anti-anxiety medication, a formerly frazzled patient is calm as a clam. Problem is, not all dentists are properly trained in administering these drugs, and rules vary from state to state. Now the ADA has stepped in with new guidelines. But are they enough? Maybe not, say some. Check Senior Editor Laird Harrison's story for the skinny.

A brand new year!

2007 was a banner year for -- we laughed, we cried, we felt a thousand emotions and then...we launched the site. (At the end of September, that is.)

As 2007 recedes, we're naturally reevaluating what we've done so far. Got an opinion? Drop me an email and let me know what you've liked on DrB, what you didn't, and what you'd like to see this coming year. Brickbats, bouquets, article ideas, and more, are welcome.

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