U.S. dentists' incomes healthier; how to spot, treat sleep disorders

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Two recent ADA surveys indicate that, just as the economy in general is showing some signs of improvement, so are dentists' incomes and confidence. Of 1,966 U.S. dentists surveyed, a narrow majority reported either stable or increasing income for the first quarter of 2010 compared to the previous quarter. Read more in our latest Practice Management Community feature.

In Cosmetics Community news, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects more than 18 million Americans per year. Given the risks involved if the condition goes untreated, dental practitioners are being urged to play a more central role in screening patients for OSA and related sleep disorders. Click here to read part one of this two-part series, which outlines the signs and symptoms of sleep disorders and offers several treatment recommendations.

In other clinical news, periodontal disease may increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to research presented last month at the International Association for Dental Research meeting. The study, conducted at New York University, offers the first long-term evidence that inflammation of periodontal tissue may contribute to brain inflammation, neurodegeneration, and Alzheimer's.

And in response to reader feedback on her latest Second Opinion column -- about Medicaid cutbacks in Massachusetts -- Dr. Helaine Smith asks: Are teeth really necessary?

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