Top 12 Dental Stories of 2012

What do Mark Zuckerberg, John Lennon, and Elmo have in common? Besides fame and fortune, these household names are making the news for their contributions to dental care this year.

To help keep you up-to-date, here’s a roundup of the top 12 dental stories of 2012:

  1. Mark Zuckerberg’s Dentist Dad May be Worth $60 Million [Business Insider] – In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg turned to his father Edward for the startup capital for Facebook. Edward, a dentist in Dobbs Ferry, NY, loaned his son the money. Today, those shares are worth about $60 million.
  2. Sesame Street’s New Oral Health Multimedia Kit [ADA News] – Sesame Street characters Elmo and Abby Caddaby are reaching out to preschool children, parents, caregivers and health professionals with important oral health messages through Sesame Workshop’s latest oral health outreach effort.
  3. More Americans Seeking Dental Treatment at the ER [USA Today] – More Americans are turning to the emergency room for routine dental problems—a choice that often costs 10 times more than preventive care and offers far fewer treatment options than a dentist’s office.
  4. Discount Plans Poised for Growth [Employee Benefit News] – As employers continue to shift costs, move to consumer-driven health plans and, in some cases, discontinue dental coverage altogether, discount dental plans could be poised for growth.
  5. Preschoolers in Surgery for a Mouthful of Cavities [The New York Times] – For the first time in 40 years, the CDC noted an increase in the number of preschoolers with cavities in a five-year study. Dentists nationwide say they’re seeing more preschoolers with six to 10 cavities or more.
  6. Teach Me How to Brushy Video [CBS News] – A new song called “Teach Me How to Brushy,” set to the tune of Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie,” is attempting to teach young kids how to take care of their teeth in a fun way.
  7. America’s Dental Care Crisis [PBS Frontline] – More than 100 million Americans don’t go to the dentist because they can’t afford it. New research released from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlights just how dire our dental care system has become.
  8. Discount Dental Clubs: How to Save at the Dentist [ABC News] – Cost is cited as the number one reason why consumers delay dental care. But, did you know that you can score a discount at the dentist without even having insurance?
  9. New Dentist Drill Replaces Buzzing with Ballads [CNET News] – Enterprising Indonesian dentist, Dhanni Gustiana, modifies a standard dental drill to emit far more pleasant sounds than the standard ominous high-pitched whine.
  10. A New Tooth Made to Order in Under an Hour [The New York Times] – New technology allows dentists to create a crown with computer-assisted design and computer-aided manufacturing, while the patient waits. The result is a ceramic crown that can be glued in place in under an hour.
  11. Health Overhaul to Move Ahead in States [Employee Benefit News] – Under the Affordable Care Act most Americans must have health insurance by 2014. In order to cope with rising health costs, states will be required to set up online health exchanges.
  12. John Lennon’s Molar to Help Fight Oral Cancer [ABC News] – Tony Gedge is using the image of John Lennon to encourage people from all over the world to walk into the dentist office and undergo a simple 10-minute check for oral cancer.

What was your favorite dental news story in 2012? Let us know in the comments below!

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