FDA amalgam deal hits a snag; patient swallows screwdriver

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Just when it looked as though the FDA had calmed critics of mercury fillings, the hornet's nest has been stirred up again. Two weeks after the agency negotiated a settlement in a lawsuit filed by anti-amalgam activists, one of them has moved to reopen the case.

Plaintiff Karen Palmer claims she was not notified of the settlement agreement and would not have accepted it if she had been. Now she wants the court to overturn the agreement and reconsider earlier petitions to ban amalgam.

Find out why she's so upset, and what the FDA plans to do about it, here.

Meanwhile, a Florida dentist is caught up in his own legal battle after he inadvertently dropped some dental instruments down an elderly patient's throat on two separate occasions. The patient ultimately died from complications after he aspirated a miniwrench into one of his lungs, and the dentist must now pay a large fine to the state, cover all of the patient's medical costs, and go through additional training.

It all could have been avoided if he'd taken the right precautions, experts say.

In another surprising move, the National Kidney Foundation has changed its position on fluoridated water after more than 25 years of saying there was not enough evidence to recommend fluoride-free water for kidney disease patients. The NKF has now quietly removed its name from the ADA's fluoridation compendium. Find out what the ADA has to say about that here.

FREE STUFF?! Who doesn't like a good deal, especially one that involves the word "free"? Find out how to grow your business by making your patients some offers they can't refuse. Author Richard Geller shares his secrets here.

Also check out the first of our two-part series on the changing face of dentistry. After several years of a "dentist drought," the number of dental school graduates is once again on the rise. And you might be surprised at some of the changes they are bringing with them.

We're updating and adding new features to our Forums, including postings of current cases by DrBicuspid members. Why not share some pictures of your own, or comment on those of your colleagues?

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