Turf wars debated; fluoride supplements questioned

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Two words had the DrBicuspid.com Forums buzzing this past week: "superhygienist" and "Christensen." Dr. Helaine Smith's blog posting, "Dentists must fight superhygienist law," prompted a flurry of comments from dentists and hygienists alike. Here's a sampling:

  • "Dentistry will continue to be vilified and ridiculed in the press until we start using legitimate studies as a basis for criticism or opposition to dental therapists."

  • "Access to dental care is a major problem, but dental therapists are not the answer."

  • "Very few [dentists] are able and/or interested in serving the underserved where equipment may be antiquated and some things are less than desirable -- especially the remuneration."

  • "There is no evidence that hygienists are 'dangerous,' just as the hysteria over the Alaska DHATs [dental health aide therapists] was unfounded."

Have your own thoughts on the issue? Join the debate here.

Laird Harrison's recent article, "Christensen 'embarrassed' by U.S. dentistry" -- which has turned out to be the most-read story ever on DrBicuspid.com -- also prompted strong reactions. Check out what some members had to say here.

In other news ...

  • Oral health agencies in several countries are recommending that fluoride supplements be given only to children at highest risk of caries, or to no one at all. Now the ADA is mulling a similar shift in its guidelines. Read more.

  • Too many dentists don't fully understand how the NTI bruxism device works or when it should be used, according to the company that sells it. If you don't take the time to properly fit it to a patient, it can make matters worse. Read more.

  • The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is reviewing a complaint by Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company that Cadbury USA does not have adequate evidence to back claims it's made about the oral benefits of Trident Xtra Care gum. Read more.

And don't forget to read the latest News in Brief -- "Woman sues dentist over bad breast surgery," "Nobel Biocare expands CAD/CAM business with $32 million deal," and much more!

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