ADA gets an earful on amalgam; are your patients lying?

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

The ADA is back in the spotlight again because of amalgam and mercury. This time, however, it's the wastewater.

In what was supposed to have been a hearing on environmental concerns related to amalgam wastewater, ADA representative William J. Walsh came under fire yesterday when two members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's subcommittee on domestic policy aired "deeply personal diatribes" about their experiences with mercury-based amalgam fillings. Find out how Walsh responded and whether the hearings will affect the ADA's position on amalgam separators here.

In a exclusive, we tackle another touchy subject: honesty. Should you confront your patients about hygiene issues, or is there a more tactful way to help them improve their oral health? See what some psychologists recommend.

What would you do if you had to pay $4.75 a day for toothpaste? Fluoride toothpaste has helped many developed countries battle dental caries, and most developing countries are trying to follow suit. But according to a new study, this common drugstore item is too expensive for the world's poorest populations.

Also this week: Are dentists doing everything they can, and should, to help patients at high risk of caries? One study presented at the recent International Association for Dental Research (IADR) meeting very clearly says "no." Read more.

Also from the IADR conference: Should you reconsider your stance on glass ionomers versus conventional cements? And is acupuncture a good stress reliever for some patients? Be on the lookout for more IADR coverage in the weeks ahead!

And in another first, check out our video about how to grow your practice by attracting Hispanic patients. Filmed and edited by Senior Editor Laird Harrison, this piece -- part of a story on "Hispanics: The untapped market" -- is the beginning of a series of multimedia resources we'll be bringing you in coming months.

We are also excited about another new project: a member survey on Internet usage. We're asking all members to take a few minutes to fill out the short survey, designed to help us develop some new practice-management tools tailored to your needs. In addition, three lucky survey respondents will receive a nifty "thank you" gift: an iPod Shuffle.

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