Are U.S. oral health priorities slipping? And, new endo file solves old problem

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

When the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its Oral Health Initiative last year, the dental community was overjoyed at the prospect that the federal government was finally making the country's oral health a priority.

But now there are indications that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering downsizing its Division of Oral Health and turning it into a branch of the Division of Adult and Community Health -- raising new concerns about the government's commitment to oral healthcare issues. Read more.

Meanwhile, the battle between the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners continues to heat up. Last week the dental board sued the FTC for trying to keep the board from regulating teeth-whitening services offered by nondentists; this week the FTC ruled that its original complaint against the board, filed in June 2010, will move forward as planned.

The dental board had sought to have the FTC's complaint dismissed -- arguing that, as a state agency, it is protected from federal antitrust laws. But the FTC unanimously rejected the board's argument, and now the matter will go before an administrative law judge on February 17.

In clinical news, tongue cancer patients who have compartmental tongue surgery (CTS) live longer and have fewer recurrences of the disease than those who undergo standard surgery, according to a study in Oral Oncology. While the developers of CTS contend that using longitudinal rather than circumferential compartmental resection amounts to a paradigm shift in treatment, not everyone agrees. Click here to read why.

Finally, three recent college graduates are hoping to make a dent in the dental market with a new endodontic file that does something truly unique. Read more about this young Kentucky start-up and its first dental product in our latest Restoratives Community feature.

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