Dentists sanctioned for sedation death; lasers replace anesthesia

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

On December 17, Georgette Watson took time off from her job as a Chicago elementary school principal to get root canal therapy. She never returned.

Last week, the state of Illinois suspended the licenses of her dentists and released some details of the sedation it believes resulted in Watson's death. Click here to read more about the case and for tips to avoid such sedation accidents.

Watson's dentists weren't the only ones on the hot seat last week. Three hundred miles away in Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear has ordered a conflict-of-interest investigation of the state dental board president, David Narramore, D.M.D. The board recently raised the standards it uses to evaluate scores on the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB); Dr. Narramore presides over a rival testing agency. Read more here.

Lasers that promote healing

When you think of lasers, you may think of zapping "Star Wars" clones or burning away carious lesions. But for decades now, researchers have been showing that low-level lasers can actually accelerate tissue regeneration, reduce inflammation, and -- in some cases -- substitute for anesthesia. To learn why U.S. dentists are just beginning to explore this approach, click here.

In another innovation, two groups of international researchers are exploring the notion that you can protect your patients' teeth from rotting by coating them with resin -- much like shellacking a deck. Click here to find out more.

If you were hiring an associate to handle something as cutting-edge as resin-coated roots, your top criterion would be experience, right? Not if you're like most dentists. Read this to learn the most important qualification reported in a new survey.

Speaking of surveys, we recently got a great response to one of our own. While we couldn't recognize everyone, we were able to award iPod shuffles to three of those who responded: Calvin Weber of Glenwood, IA; Bruce Seader of Tuckahoe, NY; and Michael Marrone of Niagara Falls, NY.

Missed the survey? Don't hesitate to send your thoughts about our site to us at

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