Dentists ponder Olympic teeth; suicide myth debunked

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

The Summer Olympics have been a hot topic this past week, what with swimming sensation Michael Phelps proving he really is superhuman, Usain Bolt looking to do the same in track and field, and human rights activists fighting to make their voices heard above it all.

In fact, it wouldn't be the Olympics without some sort of controversy -- such as questions about the actual age of the Chinese gymnasts. After watching these young women perform, some U.S. dentists are urging the International Olympic Committee to begin using panoramic x-rays to better determine if athletes are old enough to compete.

In other sporting news ... hey, wait a minute, this is a dental publication! But many dentists are sports fans, too. Like William Maloney of Westchester County, NY. He's such a Yankee fan, in fact, that last summer he paid a visit to the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore. He was so taken with the exhibit detailing the Bambino's health issues that he decided to write an article on the relationship between tobacco, alcohol, and oral cancer. His research sheds some surprising new light on what really caused Ruth's death.

The notion that dentists are more prone to suicide than other professionals is no laughing matter. And yet it is so ingrained in our culture that it's made its way into sitcoms. While depression among dentists does occur -- as in any profession -- studies of suicide rates have been mixed in their findings. Now research from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health could help dispel this myth once and for all.

Remote receptionists?

Outsourcing isn't new to dentistry, but can you imagine turning over your front-desk duties to a receptionist in another state or country? Some dentists say it's the wave of the future -- and a great way to reduce overhead, too. Read more.

And in clinical news, British researchers have discovered a new bacteria that could help dentists one day better battle tooth decay and gum disease.

Finally, be sure to take advantage of the new "Comments" box at the end of each article. It links directly to the Forums, where you can start your own discussion on this week's topics!

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