Diving into thoughts on the other side of a controversial study

By Dr. David Rice, DrBicuspid.com clinical editor

November 4, 2020 -- Last week, I heard you, my colleagues. I heard how upset you were about a study that came out regarding six-month appointments and whether there is really a need for them. I read your letters after details of the study were published on DrBicuspid.com. As your clinical editor, I talked to some of you on the phone and chatted with others through social media about the article and why it was published. I appreciate your passion, comments, and the time you took to talk to me about it.

As a dentist, I understand where you are coming from. We know the risks. We know the benefits. We know the science. What we also need to know is what our patients are watching, hearing, and reading.

It's important to understand that this study was making headlines in the days before it ran on DrBicuspid.com, including on Yahoo. It's important to know that your patients were likely seeing it, in addition to journalists and we dental professionals. Being aware of that, we, as dentists and dental team members, can prepare to answer all questions that come our way.

Speaking to the science, we know biofilm is our enemy. We have data on the time it takes biofilm to form and what our patients need to do at home, in addition to what we do in our offices, to disrupt it. We know genetics plays a role. We know nutrition, sleep, and home care all play a role. We know that not every patient is created equal, and we know that if there's one truth in that study, it's that we need to customize our care based on all of the above.

Should we encourage our patients to regularly visit our business to maintain their oral health? Absolutely. There's no question about that. Should we also be thinking about what's best for each patient and where he or she is in the oral health journey? I believe the answer is yes to that question as well.

I share some more thoughts on this study and our response in the video below. I know some of you will have more questions and will agree with or challenge my comments. That's OK. This is how we grow.

You can also drop me a line at david.rice@ignitedds.com. I'm happy to continue the conversation about this important topic.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.


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