Chewing tobacco 'ruined my life'; BPA-free restorative shows strength

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

An Illinois man who began chewing tobacco at age 13 has become a vocal critic of the practice after developing squamous cell carcinoma as a teen and undergoing 34 surgeries to remove the cancerous tissue and reconstruct his face.

Today, cancer-free but still disfigured, Gruen von Behrens is a 34-year-old motivational speaker who travels across America sharing his story with schoolchildren, health officials, and policymakers in an effort to educate them on the dangers of smokeless tobacco. Most recently he was in Maryland urging lawmakers to increase the tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco to 70%, the same as the tax rate on cigarettes.

Click here to read his inspirational story, which is part of our ongoing coverage in support of Oral Cancer Awareness Month.

Meanwhile, more research news from the recent American Association for Dental Research meeting in Tampa:

  • A California company has created an experimental crown and bridge restorative material that is free of bisphenol A and performed well when compared to two currently available commercial products in strength testing.
  • Participating in community-based dental clinics has a positive effect on fourth-year students' attitudes about treating minorities and the disabled after they graduate, according to a study of University of Michigan dental school alumni.

Finally, a new radiation protection law slated to go into effect this July in California would require all radiologists -- including oral and maxillofacial radiologists -- to add radiation dose levels to their reports and report radiation overdoses to patients, physicians, and state regulatory officials.

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