Top 10 Dental News Stories of 2017

It’s been quite a year in dental news! 2017 seemed to bring on some interesting areas of concerns for dental hygienists – whether it was health issues to lookout for, questionable acts inside the practice and, of course, the new tax announcement made for Canadian dentists. Oral Health has been there to deliver it all to you, from the best to the worst, and now we’re counting down the 10 stories YOU were most interested in. We’re aiming to bring even more dental news to you in 2018 in even more ways – on our website, in our e-newslettter, and across social media (a big topic on our blog: dentists getting social!). For now, catch up on what made our top 10 dental news stories in 2017 – click on the headlines to read the full story, in case you somehow missed it!

10. Tooth Whitening Administered Dangerously by Dental Nurse
At-home dental care is a big trend these days (whether because of budget or time) and this story doesn’t really help. Vivien Hassett was administering teeth whitening services, but offering an exposure level of 35 per cent. As you can imagine that didn’t go over very well.

9. Prenatal Exposure to Fluoride Linked to Lower IQ Levels 
Ah, fluoride – the topic that never fails to cause debate. This time around the debate was surrounding IQ levels. With soon-to-be-parents more alert than ever, this is one topic you must stay on top of, regardless if you’re pro or con.

8. Patients from Burlington Dental Clinic Need Infectious Disease Testing
Unfortunately, this story doesn’t stand alone in 2017. Exposure to diseases from in the dental office was all too common, as you’ll see with the following stories. This Burlington practice’s issue? Improperly cleaned dental instruments affecting 9,000 patients.

7. Guelph Practice’s Patients Urged to Get HIV Testing
This Guelph practice joined the dirty trend of 2017, quickly urging their patients from the past TWO years to get HIV testing immediately. Southern Ontario patients were not too lucky this year, but this isn’t the end of the story.

6. “Super-Gonorrhoea” Spreading Due to Unsafe Oral Sex
Probably not a topic you want to have with your patients: oral sex. An alert from the World Health Organization made this unavoidable for dentists as they warned of a “super-gonorrhoea” (untreatable, antibiotic-resistant) that was spreading due to unsafe sex.

5. Alberta Dentists Suspended from Providing Anesthesia
Who remembers this ongoing trend from the beginning of 2017? Anesthesia in Alberta was a hot topic, ultimately ending in a suspension for dentists. While the story progressed throughout the year, this initial decision seemed to catch everyone’s attention.

4. Healthy California Toddler Dies After Routine Dental Visit
Sorry to say, but we couldn’t get through the year without an upsetting story. This unexpected death of a three year-old left many, including the family, wondering what happened during the “routine” dental procedure.

3. “Best in Vaughan” Dentist Loses License After Sex Scandal
This story was a great example of how to quickly, and publicly, lose your license to practice. While he was voted “Best in Vaughan” his patients and employees had a different opinion on how things were being run, including the patient he had sex with.

2. UPDATE: Dental Clinic Facing Legal Challenges After Health Issues
You know that Guelph practice we mentioned before? Well things certainly didn’t get better for them. After closing for a few weeks following the news of unsanitary instruments, the practice found itself in the middle of some legal problems (we’re not surprised).

1. Dentists in the Crosshairs of New Tax Announcements
We’re not at all surprised that this story topped our charts this year. New tax announcements that directly hit dentists in Canada started quite a conversation on social media, in practices and on our website. We’ll have to wait and see what happens next – and keep you updated, of course.

That’s it for us! Thank you all for a fantastic year in dentistry. Happy holidays from Oral Health Group and we’ll see you in 2018!