Dental spending nosedives; reader survey

Editor's Note

Dear member:

Amid all this talk of recession, one decline has been overlooked: the slide in dental spending. Wonder why so many people have chronic dental problems? A report from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services lays out the cold, hard facts: while patients paid out of pocket for only 12 percent of their overall healthcare in 2006, they had to shell out 44 percent of the cost of their dental care.

What's the government's role in all this? Is Medicaid a safety net full of holes? And can private insurers fill the gap? Read Laird Harrison's story here and get the scoop.

Vote, schmote!

DrBicuspid's first reader survey is underway and now's the time to cast your vote! Simply surf on over to and a little pop-up window will appear, asking a handful of questions. (If the window doesn't open because your browser's being cranky about pop-ups, locate "If a new window does not open, click here" on the page and click.) In just a handful of screens, you can tell us which topics matter and which don't, what articles are key, and send us personal notes about specific changes you'd like to see. So far, readers have suggested a special section on the site devoted to dental students; and more coverage of specialties; and more clinical cases. Let your voice be heard--click here and share your thoughts.

Big minis

At the close of business last week, I quickly mentioned an upcoming article worth checking out. Well, the piece--"Smaller implants meet skepticism"--has finally hit the page. The big debate on these tiny tools: can mini implants take the place of standard implants? Can they secure, say, dentures? Are they a reasonable alternative for patients on a budget? Read here for the details.

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