ER dental visits cost nearly $1B, Doniger on casual patients; Climo on business models

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Emergency room (ER) visits for dental problems cost nearly $1 billion per year, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). The majority of those seeking dental ER care are poor and uninsured, the study found. Read Features Editor Donna Domino's article here.

A new study that surveyed periodontists, hygienists, and general practitioners about the scope of periodontics found that most agreed surgical treatment of advanced gum and bone infection is the most important therapeutic focus of periodontists, but there was disagreement over the importance of placing implants and related procedures. Read Contributing Editor Rabia Mughal's article here.

Some dentists look at "casual" patients as an issue to be solved. But Dr. Sheri Doniger finds these patients a part of the fabric of a dental practice. She sees these patients as loyal and uncomplaining, even if they do present with major (in our minds) dental issues from time to time. Read her latest Sheri's Solutions.

In his column, consultant Thomas Climo, PhD, examines two business models of dentistry. If you're a dentist who has up to three dental practices, consider remaining a solo practitioner, as economies and centralization of management would be too costly, he writes. But, with four practices, costs are effectively spread and begin to translate into bottom-line results. Read his thought-provoking column here.

Does the JADA study referenced above really surprise anyone who has been paying attention? Of course not, but the responsibility for solving this problem doesn't just fall to one group. Accidents will happen, but taking action for basic oral healthcare is everyone's job. What are your thoughts on how to approach this growing issue? Email me or speak out in our Forums.

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