Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Dental Download: April 4, 2014

This week, we learn the secrets to creating a successful safety net dental program, discuss DentaQuest Foundation’s recently-launched initiative and find out what sport causes the most dental-related injuries.Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

DentaQuest Institute’s Dr. Mark Doherty was featured in DentistryIQ this week discussing key factors in the success of a safety net dental program. The DentaQuest Institute’s Safety Net Solutions program works with safety net dental programs to provide high-quality dental care. Dr. Doherty’s article highlights the importance of monitoring performance by collecting data on a variety of factors, such as no-show rate, number of visits and percentage of completed treatments. For more information on DentaQuest Institute’s Safety Net Solutions program, visit

DentaQuest Foundation launched its Oral Health 2020 initiative last month, and DrBicuspid caught up with Dr. Mike Monopoli and Brian Souza to learn more about the program. The goal of Oral Health 2020 is to ultimately eradicate dental disease in children and improve oral health across the life span. DentaQuest Foundation is creating a national network of grantees, partnersand oral health advocates who are making strides in improving the oral health in their communities.

Did you know that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month? Oral cancer includes those cancers that occur in the mouth itself, in the very back of the mouth known as the oropharynx, and on the exterior lip of the mouth. Use of tobacco is the most common cause of oral cancer, and according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 43,250 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2014. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to get screened this month.

      With March Madness on everyone’s minds this week, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs as oral health advocates if we didn’t warn of the dangers of playing basketball without a mouthguard. Although stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki and Stephen Curry use them, most college players go without. A 2007 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that men’s basketball had the highest rate of dental injury (nearly 11 injuries per 100 athletes) among all sports, yet the NCAA still has not mandated the use of mouthguards.
According to a new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, emergency department (ED) visits for dental-related problems cost nearly $3 billion between 2008 and 2010. The report also states that the majority of those seeking dental care from EDs were lower-income patients without insurance. 57% of these visits were related to dental caries, which are almost completely preventable with preventive care. To learn more about how to avoid dental caries, visit our Oral Health Library.

According to the Washington Post, molars taken from skeletons unearthed by work on a new London railway line are revealing secrets of the medieval Black Death, and of its victims. Scientists tested molars from the twelve skeletons and found the presence of the plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, in several of the teeth. They think the individuals had been exposed tothe Black Death, which is thought to have killed at least 75 million people. You sure can learn a lot from a tooth!