Dental Care in Japan

I found an interesting piece by Kevin Rafferty in The Japan Times Online from June 15, 2011, titled “A dentist need not be a masked demon.” The article is located here The article gives an inside look into recent developments in dentistry with a particular focus on Japan but the principals and message apply globally. The main focus on the article centers around a report soon to be published in both English and Japanese titled “Guideline for treating caries following a minimal intervention policy, an evidence and consensus based study.” The report was conducted by Mikako Hayashi of Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry and her committee in which 18 months was spent conducting research. Some notabled quotes from the article by Kevin Rafferty include “Recent advances in dentistry include recognition that teeth, if properly treated, regularly cleaned and … Read more

Patient Consultations for Wisdom Teeth Removal

In my last post on the Well Informed Patient I discuss how Dr. Thomas B. Dodson talks about “…a new brand of well-informed patient.” In that post I attempted to make that case that many patients are not being well informed at all when it comes to wisdom teeth extractions and is partially due to the current model of informed consent in the U.S but also failure to provide their patients with current scientific evidence and information. In this post I will look specifically at 2 examples of patients who have in the past few years visited oral surgeons to discuss the possibility of having wisdom teeth removed and/or had wisdom teeth removed. From their writing one can make the case that they may have benefited from being better informed and aware of the fact that no current evidence supports … Read more

The Well Informed Patient

In a recent editorial in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery (vol. 69. page 1263, 2011),  titled “Shouldn’t All Clinical Research Be Scientific?”, Dr. Thomas B. Dodson,  talks to his fellow oral surgeon colleagues and says “Not only do we face rapid advances in science and technology, but we have new accountability from economic, legal, and regulatory challenges, as well as a new brand of well-informed patient.” I personally would hope that the well-informed patient are patients who are being informed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons and dentists. However, I do not believe that is really the case here. One question to ask is why patients in the past were not well informed? The other and more pressing question to ask is why are these patients still not being properly informed today? (This also applies to other doctors and … Read more

17 Year Old Female Dies After Wisdom Teeth Removal

I was very saddened to recently hear about the death of a young 17 year old girl who was a junior in high school. The woman went into cardiac arrest while having her wisdom teeth removed. She was left in a coma and died 10 days later on April 6, 2011. She was involved in multiple choral programs and was hoping to be a professional singer. What really is upsetting to me about this is at the recent memorial service for her on April 17, 2011, her mother described the doctors calling this very unfortunate and premature death “freak.” One high school senior at the same school discussed how she was still planning to have her wisdom teeth extracted later in the week. The appropriate response should call into question the validity of extracting healthy wisdom teeth from young teenagers … Read more

Wisdom Teeth Promotion and Marketing

I have previously talked about PBHS Inc. on this blog and website. They design many websites for oral surgeons and also help with branding and promotion. I have some issues with them in that they provide websites with nearly identical content for oral surgeons to use Even so they do make quality videos on wisdom teeth although of course fail to disclose many of the more serious complications that can occur and the fact that no evidence thus far supports or refutes removing healthy disease free impacted wisdom teeth. On PBHS Inc.’s website, on their third molar education and marketing plan section they say, while of course talking to oral surgeons and dentists “Think about this: One –and only one– extra set of wisdom teeth per week will net you approximately $50,000 more annually. If you do one … Read more