Tag Archives: dentists

Investigation reveals dental board’s lack of transparency

Image by SalFlako via flickr.

Image by SalFlako via flickr.

How transparent is your state dental board when it comes to helping patients find out more about their dentists?

In Arizona, the state board of dental examiners has taken actions against hundreds of dentists in recent years. But it can be difficult for a patient in the state to find out if his or her dentist has been in trouble.

Linda Holt started worrying about the quality of her dental care after suffering complications from an implant procedure, Phoenix-based ABC-15 television explained in one part of a recent investigative series.

But if she had checked the profile of her dentist, Glenn Featherman, on the Arizona Board of Dental Examiner’s website she would not have been able to tell that he had recently been cited by the board for problems that arose with an implant procedure he performed on another patient. Continue reading

Reporter shares lessons learned about questioning conventional wisdom

Photo" Parveen chopra via Fickr

Photo” Parveen chopra via Fickr

“The decision to remove wisdom teeth often seems like a routine part of young adulthood. But more people are starting to ask whether it’s always necessary,” Elise Oberliesen told readers of the Los Angeles Times in a recent story.

“Those who oppose automatically taking out those four teeth say “watchful waiting” is a better path because the teeth and surrounding gum tissue might remain normal, making costly surgery unnecessary,” she wrote. Continue reading

Listeners hear from patients, dentists at charity dental clinic

Katie Hiler

Katie Hiler

KBIA Mid-Missouri Public Radio listeners were recently offered an insightful report on the problems poor adults in the state have been facing in getting dental care.

Nearly a decade ago, Missouri eliminated funding for all Medicaid beneficiaries except children, pregnant women and the disabled.

The move “left a lot of people with only bad options,” reporter Katie Hiler explained, borrowing a quote from the film “Argo.”

To illustrate the point, Hiler invited her audience along on a visit to a rare charity clinic called Smiles of Hope, run out of a converted church attic. At the clinic, dentist William Kane spoke of his efforts to meet the overwhelming need for services such as emergency extractions.

Hiler ended her report with some news. A decision by the Missouri legislature to restore funding for adult dental care under Medicaid is expected to help to give some poor Missourians more options, she observed.

Yet at the same time, 300,000 low-income adults who would qualify for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are at this point shut out because of the state’s refusal to expand the program.

“Which means,” Hiler noted in closing, “Smiles of Hope isn’t going anywhere.”

In a Q&A for AHCJ, Hiler offers some thoughts on what got her started on this story and how her work unfolded. She also shares some wisdom on what it takes to make a radio story come alive.

Movement toward enabling dental therapists gets boost in Maine

The battle over mid-level dental providers has come to Maine and reporters at the Portland Press Herald have been closely covering it.

A bill that would allow dental therapists to practice in the state advanced in the legislature on March 6 but will require additional votes in the house and senate before it reaches the desk of the governor, staff writer Steve Mistler reported.

The legislation had been amended from a previous version to tighten dentists’ supervisory roll over the auxiliaries.

“The amendment, designed to gain the support of Gov. Paul LePage, strengthens portions of the bill to ensure that therapists are directly supervised by licensed dentists,” Mistler explained to readers. Continue reading

Dentists borrow a tactic from gun-control advocates

Image Crystal via flickr.

Image by Crystal via flickr.

Call it a teachable moment.

Halloween candy buyback programs have become a popular way for dentists and orthodontists to let the public know about their practices while getting out the word about the dangers of sweets.

Melissa Daigle, of KYTX-Tyler, Texas, recently interviewed Culberson Boren, D.D.S., who offers local children $1 a pound for their candy.

“A lot of people are trying to get guns off the street,” Boren told her. “We’re trying to get candy off the street.”

“We’ve been fighting cavities here for, probably 30 years now. So, usually when I see parents, I tell them, let their kids eat candy four times per year – Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Valentine’s.” Continue reading