Dentist accused of stifling free speech; dentists fare well in HIV/AIDS study

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

A New York dentist who required patients to agree not to post negative online comments about her before she would treat them is now facing a federal lawsuit claiming she violated their rights and disregarded dental ethics.

Click here to read more about the case, which highlights the growing role that social media is playing in professional circles and dental practitioners' fears about the impact such sites can have on their reputations.

In other news, 5% of dental offices in Los Angeles County have a blanket policy of refusing dental services to people living with HIV/AIDS, according to a study released this week by the Williams Institute. And while another 5% said they would treat patients living with HIV/AIDS differently than other patients in ways that could be considered discriminatory, these numbers are significantly lower when compared with other healthcare providers, the researchers found. Read more.

Finally, a November 28 New York Times article contended that "new" technologies such as the Diagnodent are prompting dental practitioners to do what some consider unnecessary restorative work -- and increasing patient costs in the process. But in a Second Opinion response, Dr. Peter Blanchard of the DentaQuest Oral Health Center argues that focusing on prevention and disease management is critical to keeping patients out of the "drill and fill" cycle and that better compensation systems are needed to help make this happen.

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