Planet DDS Blog

More states could soon broaden authorized “dental therapist” procedures.

February 21, 2017 · By Planet DDS

Dental therapists, also known as advanced dental hygiene practitioners, typically receive more training than hygienists but not quite as much as full-blown dentists. With that training, they can install fillings, seat temporary crowns, and perform extractions. Some states, such as Maine and Vermont, allow dental therapists to perform these procedures without a dentist present. Now,…


Possible change in law for DSOs in Washington State.

February 08, 2017 · By Planet DDS

In late January, three Washington State Senators introduced a bill to loosen prohibitions in the Evergreen State on DSO activity. According to Group Dentistry Now, DSOs have operated in the state for three decades, serving 300,000 patients via 150 dentists. As in several other states, DSOs in Washington are barred from owning or leasing the…


Is fear of the dentist hereditary?

January 26, 2017 · By Planet DDS

It’s not uncommon for patients to experience some anxiety in the dental chair, and many of our Denticon users go to great lengths to put their patients at ease when they come in for a visit. A team of researchers at West Virginia University has been working on identifying the root causes for that anxiety….


A biological replacement for conventional fillings?

January 20, 2017 · By Planet DDS

In a previous post, we discussed synthetic fillings as an alternative method for treating cavities. These synthetic fillings activate stem cells in order to naturally regrow the dentine in teeth. Promising as this method may seem, it’s still years away from practical application, which can only come after lengthy clinical trials. But recently the Dental…


Celebrating an icon of dental hygiene.

January 04, 2017 · By Planet DDS

In 2016, celebrity deaths filled the headlines. But there was one passing that hit close to home in the dental world: on December 12th, Dr. Esther Wilkins, a giant in the field of dental hygiene, died a few days after suffering a stroke on the morning of her 100th birthday. Dr. Wilkins was best known…


Higher Denti-Cal reimbursement rates in 2018?

December 21, 2016 · By Planet DDS

California lawmakers have introduced a bill in the State Assembly to boost reimbursement rates for dentists participating in Denti-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for dental care. A recent Kaiser Health News piece explains that California’s funding for dental care ranks very low compared to other states. These below-average reimbursement rates give dentists little incentive to…


Are e-cigarettes harmful to oral health?

December 14, 2016 · By Planet DDS

In the past few years, e-cigarettes have grown in popularity in large part thanks to the perception that they aren’t nearly as harmful to health as regular cigarettes. While conventional cigarettes deliver nicotine from burning tobacco, e-cigarettes heat and vaporize a liquid solution containing nicotine, which can be inhaled. E-cigarette manufacturers have marketed this vapor…


Why do many Americans skip the dentist?

December 09, 2016 · By Planet DDS

According to a recent United Press International article, Americans are more likely to skip dental care because of cost than they are to skip any other type of health care. A study conducted by Marko Vujicic (Chief Economist of the ADA’s Health Policy Institute) found that nearly 13 percent of working-age adults forgo dental treatment…


A new definition of oral health.

December 01, 2016 · By Planet DDS

Oral health has always been somewhat loosely defined as the absence of disease—a concise definition, but one that failed to acknowledge the complexity of what goes into a healthy smile. Dental health professionals and policy makers have long expressed the need for a more robust definition. At its annual congress in September, the World Dental…


Thanksgiving dinner topic: 400-year-old dentures?

November 23, 2016 · By Planet DDS

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, many of us will be spending time with parents and grandparents, some of whom may have dentures. If so, their modern dental appliance can trace its origins back several centuries. A recent discovery has shed some light on an early pair of dentures employing gold bands to hold the teeth in…

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