Dental problems stymie soldiers; stem cells stir debate

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Welcome to our new look! We've upgraded the design of both the Letter from the Editor and our Web site's home page to bring you even more great content. From daily stories on imaging and practice management to new product news and the ever-popular Case of the Week, DrBicuspid provides the most up-to-date news and information about the dental community you can find online.

For instance, did you know that 55% of soldiers in the National Guard are considered undeployable because of dental issues? Click here to find out what the Army is doing to reduce this staggering number.

Another hot topic these days is how to ensure that those who are less fortunate have equal access to regular dental care. More than 130 million Americans currently do not have dental insurance, and efforts to reform the Medicaid system to include dental coverage have stalled in Congress. But several states are putting significant resources into making oral health and dental care a priority for the poor, and their efforts are beginning to pay off. To find out if your state is making it worth your while to work more closely with low-income families, click here.

The subject of stem cells always stirs up debate, and dental stem cells are no exception. Several companies offer dentists and their patients a fast and easy way to "bank" the stem cells that live in the dental pulp of baby and extracted teeth. But some researchers say these companies are tugging on the heartstrings of parents by promoting the service as a way to protect their children's health. Read the discussion firsthand here.

And be sure to check out part I of our two-part series, "Perfect panoramics: What to buy," in the Imaging Community. As contributing editor Fred Gebhart points out, if you don't have a digital panoramic x-ray system, you may be depriving both your patients and your pocketbook.

Finally, a hearty "Congratulations!" to this month's winner of our Refer a Friend contest, Rubia Kapusta, D.D.S., M.S., of Slidell, LA. For referring a colleague to the DrBicuspid site, Dr. Kapusta will receive a satellite radio. You could be next!

As always, keep those cards and letters coming. We love your feedback and ideas. And don't forget to log onto the Forums to chime in on other key topics, from amalgams to dentistry for reservists.

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