FDA Finally Takes a Stand on Mercury… Sort Of

Agency Promises to Make a Decision Next Year

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long avoided taking a public stand on the safety or danger of mercury in silver dental fillings. However, with a recent settlement in a lawsuit brought by the organization Moms Against Mercury, the governmental health agency has finally agreed to take a stand on the issue. Eventually.

The agreement calls for the FDA to complete its reclassification of dental amalgam by July of 2009. (The agency began that process in 2002.)

Some news articles have heralded this as a major change in the FDA’s attitude toward amalgam, with headlines making grand proclamations about a new post-amalgam era.

Can you guess which of the following is not a genuine headline?

These are attention-grabbing headlines, to be sure! The problem is, they’re not necessarily true per se. (And okay, I made the last one up.)

In the ADA’s response to news of the decision, the dental organization disputes these suggestions. “As far as the ADA is aware, the FDA has in no way changed its approach to, or position on, dental amalgam,” reads the statement.

As part of the agreement, the FDA has updated the consumer information provided by its website on the subject of mercury and dental amalgam.

“Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses. When amalgam fillings are placed in teeth or removed from teeth, they release mercury vapor. Mercury vapor is also released during chewing. FDA’s rulemaking will examine evidence concerning whether release of mercury vapor can cause health problems, including neurological disorders, in children and fetuses.”
Questions and Answers on Dental Amalgam (FDA Consumer Information)

What do you think? Is this a new era, or just more of the same?

Dentists Worry About Long Term Use of NTI Splint (video)

NTI splint surveyThe NTI-splint is a dental mouthguard used to treat headaches, migraines and teeth grinding. But there are dentists who worry about its long-term use.

“I think the NTI-splint does more damage than good. It is only for immediate pain relief, not as a long-term appliance,” said a California prosthodontist.

“NTI causes open bite issues and long-term damage to the TMJ’s,” reported a Texas dentist.

Some dentists worry that improper use of the NTI can cause orthodontic problems or jaw pain.

“The NTI caused a patient increased TMJ pain,” said a Georgia dentist. “The NTI creates anterior open bites if used for the long term,” declared a Hawaii dentist.

To hear more of what dentists had to say about NTI-splints, please click play and watch the following survey video –

In general, it’s great for dentists have more treatment options in their bag of tricks, but the NTI is like almost any other treatment modality: if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can do more harm than good.

What has been your experience with the NTI-splint at your dental practice?

Dentists Say Specialists Usually Refer Patients Back

Prosthodontists and Periodontists Suck; Oral Surgeons and Orthodontists Rule

Dental Survey ResultsThis survey asked dentists how frequently their patients are referred back after being sent out for treatment by specialists. The clear majority said they always or almost always got their patients back.

Dentists reported that prosthodontists were the worst offenders when it comes to not referring patients back. There were also complaints about pediatric dentists and periodontists. Dentists were happiest with oral surgeons, orthodontists, and endodontists.

Here are some comments from dentists about specialist referrals…

  • “Periodontists only have incoming phone lines. They never refer back.” (Arizona dentist)
  • “Building a good relationship with your specialists is critical. Specialist referrals are our second greatest source of new patients, after existing patient referrals.” (Pennsylvania cosmetic dentist)
  • “Endodontists love to do it all, endo and restorations. They’re too greedy.” (Arizona dentist)
  • “The endodontists to whom I send patients are tremendous.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “Oral surgeons and orthodontists are a great source of new patients, especially in a growing area.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “Orthodontists will not share or help with easy cases, and refer existing patients to oral surgeons, not back to us.” (Arizona dentist)
  • “I enjoy the relationship with my periodontist. He does the perio and I do the restorative. I’m not afraid that when I refer the patient that they will get lost.” (California dentist)
  • “Periodontists attempt to take over patients’ care and regular hygiene visits.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “Pedodontists never, ever refer back! They are by far the worst of all specialists.” (Arkansas dentist)

about specialist referrals or read the complete results

Do You Have The Best Dental Sign? See Who Thinks Theirs is Better!

the wealthy dentist dental signage contest

In this article, we are featuring a few of the top contenders in our contest for the best dental practice office sign, display window or office front.

Do you think you have the best dental sign?

Does your dental office front kick butt?

Well, what are you waiting for?

Take a picture and enter The Wealthy Dentist Dental Practice Office Sign, Display Window or Front Picture Contest!

Hurry! We are still accepting submissions through June 30th.

Here are the most notable entries to date:

1. Jayhawk Dental

Window –

Signage –

Jayhawk Dental Sign

2.  Biderman Dentistry

Signage –

Biderman dental sign contest

3.  Boger Dental

Window dressing and signage –

Boger Dental Sign

4.  Marina – Pacific Dental

Window dressing,  signage and front office –

Marina Pacific Heights Dental

So come on!

Enter your dental office sign or office front for a chance to win a Cisco Flip. Just submit a photo of your dental sign or office front by emailing chughes(at)drs1.com before midnight on June 30th.


Dental Signage tutorialDesigning The $1,000,000 Dental Sign

Everything you need to know to design and position your sign – even tips on how to pick the best location for a new dental facility.

Dentists Frustrated by the Limitations Dental Boards Put on Dental Marketing (video)

dental boards and advertisingThe purpose of state dental boards is to make sure that dentists stay in line both professionally, clinically and ethically. They make sure dental marketing stays in line too.

The Wealthy Dentist asked dentists if they feel that state dental boards unfairly restrict dental practice marketing. Two out of three dentists said no – dental boards are just protecting the public’s best interest. But one out of three dentists was frustrated by the limitations dental boards put on advertising and other dental marketing efforts.

Watch the Video to hear more of what dentists have to say –

What are your thoughts on state dental boards and dental marketing?

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