Teeth grinders, beware! Also, Delta Dental provision questioned

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

You know there's a financial crisis when the Wall Street Journal prints a page 1 feature on temporomandibular disorder (TMD), as it did October 6. As we noted last week, economic anxiety is leading some patients to cut back on dental visits just when they are most likely to be gnashing their teeth.

In fact, some patients suffering from bruxism may be tempted to treat themselves with inexpensive products now being touted on the Internet. Do these products work, or should dentists be urging their patients to put their faith in more conventional office-based treatments? Find out in our two-part series, "New bruxism products panned."

Dentists can also play an important role in helping cancer patients manage the oral after-effects of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Statistics show that 60% to 70% of oral and pharyngeal cancer patients are treated with radiation or radiation in combination with chemotherapy, which increases adverse side effects such as oral mucositis, alteration in taste, xerostomia, caries, candidiasis, and osteonecrosis. Here's how you can help.

In other dental news, should insurance companies be allowed to dictate what you can charge for procedures not covered by your patients' dental plans? Delta Dental is the latest carrier to require dentists to honor its maximum allowed fees for noncovered services, and this trend has some dentists concerned. Read more.

New features on DrBicuspid!

We've been busy the past few weeks developing some exciting new additions to DrBicuspid.com. As we announced last week, we are now offering product reviews and comparisons direct from The Dental Advisor, which has been providing dental professionals with objective information on the performance of products and equipment based on unbiased clinical and laboratory research since 1984.

And this week we launch "Word of Mouth," a new op/ed section of the site that offers advice and opinions on a range of topics, from general and cosmetic dentistry to practice marketing and imaging. "Word of Mouth" brings a fresh perspective to the site in the form of columnists and bloggers who are also members of the dental community, just like you.

Our editorial staff will of course be at the ADA meeting this week, providing daily coverage of the scientific sessions and special events. If you're in San Antonio, please stop by our booth (#2468) and say hello!

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