Week in Review: Top 10 DSOs | Big questions about dentistry's present and future | Vaccines required for shows

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Our top story of the week listed the top 10 dental service organizations (DSOs) in the U.S. Heartland Dental once again topped the list, while MB2 Dental and North American Dental Group made appearances for the first time.

All of the featured corporations have grown considerably since we last updated our list of the largest DSOs in October 2019. At that time, a DSO could make the list with fewer than 200 practices. Now, all firms have at least 250 affiliated practices.

Dentists asking the big questions

Dentists asked the hard questions about dentistry's present and future in two thought-provoking opinion pieces this week.

In her Second Opinion article, Dr. Caroline Zeller wrote that the COVID-19 pandemic prompted dentistry to tout the importance of oral health. While she applauded the industry for stepping up in the face of personal protective equipment shortages and limited access to vaccines, she also asked why the profession hasn't always been this vocal about the necessity of dental care.

Dr. Marc Cooper also asked one crucial question that will help determine dentistry's future: Who will dentists need to be in the future that they are not now? His exploration of this question paints a future in which the needs of the larger medical system drive dentists and DSOs to run healthcare practices -- not dental ones.

Hypnosis as an anesthetic?

No, you're not dreaming. Researchers really did successfully use hypnosis in place of anesthesia to perform dental procedures on three women, according to a recent report in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Two of the women had previous difficulties with medical anesthesia, including an anaphylactic reaction to local anesthetic and a paradoxical reaction to pharmacological sedation. The results led the authors to conclude that hypnosis can contribute to full analgesia with the lowest dose of drugs -- or even none at all.

Shows will require COVID-19 vaccination

With the continued spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus and rising COVID-19 cases, premier fall dental shows will require attendees to show proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing. The precautions will be in place for individuals who attend the ADA's SmileCon 2021 or the 2021 Greater New York Dental Meeting.

Will the precautions influence your plans to attend a fall dental show? Let us know by taking our survey on Twitter or emailing your thoughts to [email protected].

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