Dental News

Paying the price for the DAT

When I made the decision to pursue dental school, I knew that I would not only have to take one of the most difficult exams of my life, but also pay for it as well. The challenge of taking the DAT did not deter me, but the significant cost in order to achieve the success I wanted almost did. Through my initial research, I learned that taking the DAT alone was $415! I would also need to purchase several DAT study materials to prepare me for the exam.

Evidence-based dentistry: what you need to know

As a health sciences major, I enrolled in a course called Evidence-Based Practice. Every week, we would learn new skills to apply to the ultimate objective: choose a clinical topic in our field and evaluate the literature to make a (hypothetical) treatment decision. As an undergraduate student with little exposure to clinical research papers, the assigned task seemed overwhelming. The truth is, learning how to evaluate literature is a skill that takes effort and time to develop, but doing so is critical. Evidence-based dentistry is so important, in fact, that it is listed as one of ADEA’s entry-level competencies for graduates entering into practice. Despite this, new dentists struggle to implement it into their practices. The two most frequently cited obstacles are lack of time and insufficient background knowledge to evaluate research critically. If you are unfamiliar with evidence-based dentistry, here are some things to help get you acquainted.

The Advanced Dental Admissions Test, one year later

As the second year of the ADAT test cycle approaches, it becomes more and more apparent that the ADAT is here to stay. The ADA launched the Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT) in April of 2016 to test dental students, as well as practicing dentists, interested in postgraduate training. The purpose of the exam is to provide advanced dental education programs with a means to assess applicants’ potential for success. With the roll out of the ADAT and our first look at the participating programs, I was curious to see how the pilot year fared. Here are some takeaway points from the results…

Courtroom dentistry: Why “I’m sorry” laws are gaining steam

Most medical professionals pride themselves on their ethics. They are trained in ethical management just as they are in clinical skills. Concepts such as confidentiality, justice, beneficence and veracity are emphasized throughout our schooling so that future clinicians can best serve their future patients. These ideals are challenged, especially in dentistry, when it comes to accepting culpability in medical accidents.

How will the Trump administration address oral health care?

On January 20, 2017, President Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Just a week before the inauguration, both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate passed budget resolutions that serve as initial steps in repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). President Trump’s health care reform plan strongly supports the repeal of the ACA, and make no mention of dentistry or oral health, perpetuating the status quo of oral health being left out of general health. As the country faces a major potential shift in health policy, it’s important that we consider how this may affect our profession.

Sugar taxes sweep the ballot

hand holding soda can pouring out sugar content Election season is always an exciting time in the United States. On November 8, 2016, Americans took to the polls to not only vote for elected officials, but to also weigh in on state, local and federal measures. This year, residents of three California cities – Albany, Oakland and San Francisco – and Boulder, Colorado, had the opportunity to voice their opinions on ballot measures to implement taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Additionally, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted on implementing a sugar tax in Cook County, Illinois on November 10, 2016.

Xylitol and health

Toothbrush with chewing gum and sprig of mintXylitol was introduced to the world of dentistry in the late 20th century. But even before that, it was used as a sweetener in many parts of the world. In dentistry, many studies have shown potential benefits of xylitol in caries prevention and plaque formation. Streptococcus mutans, a type of caries-causing bacteria, requires sugar to proliferate. But studies such as this one have shown that it cannot use xylitol for energy production and will eventually die when exposed to it. Xylitol also weakens the adhesion of plaque-causing microorganisms and thereby helps in preventing plaque formation.