Still Not Enough Dentists in England

Solution: Import Dentists from Eastern Europe

It’s hardly news that the UK’s National Health Service is not meeting the dental needs of most residents. Amidst all the confusion, a few bold entrepreneurs are fixing to make a handsome profit by offering private dental care to those who can’t get in to see an NHS dentist.

Fergus and Judith Wilson own property valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and they’re planning to increase their fortune even further by opening a chain of private 24-hour dental clinics across the UK that will charge less than other private competitors.

With a serious shortage of dentists in the UK, the Wilsons have come up with an innovative way to staff their clinics: they’re planning to recruit up to 1,000 Eastern European dentists. Their first clinic will open soon near Kent, boasting an impressive roster of 150 dentists.


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Periodontal Examinations: Dentists Recommend More Than 1 a Year

periodontal disease Dentists perform periodontal examinations once a year, we found in our recent survey, with some dentists preferring to do this procedure twice a year or more.

In fact, 14 percent of the dentists we surveyed are likely to recommend periodontal exams every three months.

“It should be done every time the patient comes in even if they see the dentist,” advised one dentist, “Generally, the patient should be seen 4 times a year.”

The respondents to this survey tended to perform periodontal examinations at least once a year.

43% recommend periodontal examinations once a year
33% recommended periodontal examinations at least twice a year
14% recommend periodontal examinations four times a year
9% recommended periodontal exam frequency on the need of their patients

Here are some comments from dentists:

“For periodontal maintenance complete charting should be done every three months.” (Florida periodontist)

“We probe at each cleaning visit, so the frequency varies based on the needs of the patient, ie: either 4x, 3x, or 2x per year.” (Arizona dentist)

“I recommend 3 to 4 times per year depending on the patient that I have diagnosed with having a case type III or higher.” (Illinois dentist)

“For the average healthy patient – once a year. For the patient with active periodontitis – every appointment.- For the patient with perio who has been been controlled for at least a year – annual full probes, and spot probes at other appointments.” (General Dentist)

“This all depends on the patient’s periodontal health. We do periodontal probings at each new patient exam and all recall/recare appointments with the RDH.” (Kentucky dentist)

“A four-month recall for adults is best!” (Virginia dentist)

“If a patient has aggressive periodontitis, we probe more frequently, and have the periodontist check the patient annually as well.” (Texas dentist)

“My hygienists probe at each hygiene appointment –every 3-4 months for perio patients.” (General dentist)

Read more: Periodontal Exams Should Be Done Every Time A Patient Sees The Dentist.

Dentists: Are You Tired of the Fluoridated Water Debate?

Dentists: Are You Tired of the Fluoridated Water Debate?Are you for or against fluoridated water?

Ever since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced taking important steps to ensure that standards and guidelines on fluoride in drinking water continue to provide the maximum protection to the American public to support good dental health, the fluoridation of public water has been a hotly-debated news item.

The American Dental Association states that 67% of American communities have public fluoridated water systems.

Why does the debate continue when according to many reports no valid scientific study on fluoridation has ever shown any health risks? (see 1991 study)

Yet, the fluoridated water debate rages on this week in the news —

–Philomath Oregon residents will be deciding in their March 13 special election whether fluoride will be restored to the city’s water supply.

–The Pennsylvania American Water Works announced that it has reduced the level of fluoride in the drinking water supplied to its Philipsburg area customers.

–The New Jersey legislature is in the process of putting together a new law that would force mandatory fluoridation to public water systems across the entire state.

–Pinellas Park, Florida voted to provide fluoridation of the water to its citizens as soon as it can find funding to pay for the necessary equipment.

The California Dental Association Foundation cancelled its commitment to pay for the fluoridation facility for Watsonville, California, siting ballooning costs.

–In Bolivar Missouri, city leaders voted to stop adding fluoride to the city’s water supply.

–The fluoride issue is being hotly debated in Bozeman, Montana — even though Bozeman has been adding fluoride to its water since 1953.

–A Carroll County, Maryland water district operator began an anti-fluoride fight in her district.

Basically all water contains some amount of fluoride. When fluoride is added to the water supply it only reaches levels of approximately 1 part fluoride per million parts water; this is the optimal level for preventing tooth decay, this according to the National Cancer Institute.

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute evaluated the relationship between the fluoridation of drinking water and the number of deaths due to cancer in the United States during a 36-year period, and the relationship between water fluoridation and number of new cases of cancer during a 15-year period.

After examining more than 2.2 million cancer death records and 125,000 cancer case records in counties using fluoridated water, the researchers found no indication of increased cancer risk associated with fluoridated drinking water.

Studies by the ADA have stated that fluoridation has been the single most effective public health measure to prevent dental caries, yet groups like the Fluoride Action Network and The Light Party actively campaign against the use of fluoride in drinking water.

Even here at The Wealthy Dentist we’ve seen dentists argue on both sides of the fluoridation issue.  What are your thoughts on fluoridation?

Do you think the fluoride issue will ever be laid to rest?

Cosmetic Dentistry: Many Dentists Provide Gummy Smile Reduction

cosmetic dentistry - gummy smilesWhile the type of cosmetic dentistry treatment for a ‘gummy smile’ may vary per dentist, 54% of the dentists surveyed do provide this service for their dental patients.

“We discuss lip repositioning which is surgical correction, or Botox,which is a short-term fix. If appropriate, we recommend esthetic crown lengthening or gingivectomy,” said one dentist.

In this survey where The Wealthy Dentist asked if dentists are offering treatment specifically for gummy smile reduction, only 35% don’t offer gummy smile reduction.  Another 11% offer other alternatives.

Of the 54% of dentists who answered yes to offering gummy smile reduction, we also asked their preferred treatment.  Here are some of their comments on treatments:

  • “We offer gingivoplasty as treatment.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “We give our patients the option of a modified widman flap.” (Misouri dentist)
  • “Our preferred treatment utilizes computer imaging and a “gum lift” which is often is followed by longer crowns or veneers.” (New York periodontist)
  • “We recommend Botox to drop upper lip.” (General dentist)
  • “The treatment involves a gingivectomy and contouring.” (Oklahoma dentist)
  • “We offer a soft tissue laser for only soft tissue cases.  If they need bone reduction we send them to a periodontist. ” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “We perform laser tissue re-contouring.” (General dentist)
  • “Treatment depends on whether it is ‘delayed’ passive or active eruption and the osseous crest level: CEJ. It’s either a gingivectomy or flap with osseous.” (Arizona periodontist)

To read more on this survey see: Dentists provide ‘gummy smile’ treatments for their dental patients

Right or Wrong: San Jose California About to Fluoridate Drinking Water

Right or Wrong: San Jose California About To Fluoridate Drinking WaterThe largest city in U.S. without fluoride, San Jose, is about to add fluoride to their drinking water. The Santa Clara Valley Water District voted on November 15th to support fluoridation to most of the county.

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that it will be at least a year before the water district can secure funding to add fluoride to the water. The fluoridation project is expected to cost anywhere from $4.4 million to $9.5 million, with annual operating expenses at $836,000.

A 1995 law prohibits water companies from passing fluoridation costs on to rate payers. So both the water district and San Jose Water Company must seek outside methods of providing the capital needed to build the infrastructure necessary to fluoridate the water.

Residents who are against the fluoridation project site fears of dental fluorosis, lowered IQ and raised cancer risks. But the National Cancer Institute supports a February 1991 Public Health Service report, where the agency found no evidence of an association between fluoride and cancer in humans. The report, based on a review of more than 50 human epidemiological (population) studies produced over the past 40 years, concluded that optimal fluoridation of drinking water “does not pose a detectable cancer risk to humans” as evidenced by extensive human epidemiological data reported to date.

Dentist Donald Lyman, of the California Department of Public Health tells The Washington Post, “When you fluoridate the water, childhood tooth decay drops 40 percent and among the elderly, tooth loss and decay drops 70 percent.”

The American Dental Association continues to endorse fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. This support has been the Association’s position since policy was first adopted in 1950. The ADA’s policies regarding community water fluoridation are based on the overwhelming weight of peer-reviewed, credible scientific evidence. The ADA, along with state and local dental societies, continues to work with federal, state and local agencies to increase the number of communities benefiting from water fluoridation. (From the ADA website)

New York City cosmetic dentist and Huffington Post contributor, Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S. writes, In my years of being a dentist, I’ve found enough to make me feel that fluoride in the water just isn’t worth it. Even if some research is scoffed at, the question itself is enough to make me pause. Especially because I do feel we have enough education on oral health that everyone should be brushing their teeth. And trust me, if you are brushing like you should be (and your dentist is using a topical treatment every so often), then I feel you don’t need fluoride in your water. I’m not a fan of inserting a chemical into our water that most of us simply don’t need to help the few that won’t help themselves.”

What are your thoughts on the use of fluoridation in public water supplies? Leave us a comment or take our most recent survey on fluoridation here.

For more information see: Santa Clara Valley Water District Approves Adding Fluoride to Water in Spite of Objections.

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