Dentist's gingerbread houses celebrate the season; OMS helps patients around the globe

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Unlike many of his colleagues, Ohio dentist Dr. John Learner doesn't spend his free time on the typical hobbies -- golf, fishing, watching sports on TV, etc. Rather, outside of work his passion is building ornate, award-winning gingerbread houses that replicate famous homes from around the U.S.

Click here to find out more about his unique creations, which take months for him to design and build and utilize some often rare materials.

Meanwhile, as chief medical officer aboard the world's largest nongovernmental hospital ship, oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) Dr. Gary Parker has spent more than two decades traveling the globe, treating complex cases often not seen in the West. Read more about his work and what motivates him in this latest Dental Heroes feature.

Over in the Hygiene Community, pregnant women who are at high risk for preterm birth and have periodontal disease may be able to lower their risk by getting scaling and root planing treatment, according to a systematic review in the Journal of Periodontology. This finding could result in significant healthcare cost savings, according to the study authors.

Finally, did you know that the woman in the famous 1945 photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in New York's Times Square on V-J Day was actually a dental assistant? A new book describes the decades-long investigation that revealed the true identities of the couple who captured the hearts of so many and how the iconic image came to be.