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Oral Health’s Top 10 Dental News Stories of 2018

December 19, 2018
by Oral Health


With another year down it’s time to look back and see what headlines you stopped scrolling for. There was no shortage of hot topics (think sterilization and oral/systemic health) to keep our website and newsletter active every week. 2018 was a busy year for Oral Health Group – we began our new Data Driven Dentistry project (look out for new data and content coming in January!); our blog is seeing new, different voices every week; we joined Instagram; and we revamped the Oral Health Office and Oral Hygiene web pages to make catching up an easier task! Looking ahead, 2019 already has us working hard on new projects, new looks and new ways to bring you the information you’re looking for. Speaking of ‘you’, this list is all because of YOU! We’ve gathered the top 10 headlines in dental news that you were clicking on and reading the most this year. Take a look through and see what a crazy year it’s been (we even had a couple “was that this year?” moments) – just click on the headlines to take a trip back through 2018’s top stories.

10. Cluster of Dentists Treated for Chronic, Progressive Lung Disease
A scary store broke early in the year about a group of dentists who were diagnosed with a chronic lung disease. The mystery of what these dentists had in common wasn’t clear, but there was a notion of ‘occupational exposure’. While not the most comforting story to start off with, it sure did interest a lot this year.

9. Chaperone Ordered for Dentist Accused of Groping Colleagues
While awaiting a trial, this dentist was given a chaperone to be present with her at work. We love a little company while working, but we’re not entirely sure this provides an air of trust with your staff and patients.

8. Dental Chain Pays $24 Million After False Billing Charges
Kool Smiles was feeling the heat in 2018. After fraudulently billing Medicaid programs for unnecessary work on kids, it was revealed that bonuses were awarded to dentists who met their goals. Internal reward programs are great… until they cost you $24 million.

7. Red Deer Dentist Wins Partial Victory in War with Alberta Dental College
Ah, Dr. Michael Zuk. He gave us quite a few news stories this year, thanks to his ongoing battle with the Alberta Dental Association and College. He called dentists “Vaneer Nazis”. The College didn’t like it… it’s an interesting saga to look into, but perhaps start with story number six.

6. Red Deer Dentist May Take Dispute with Dental Authority to Supreme Court
This is where our story began with Dr. Zuk. It’s not terribly often you hear of a dentist taking a College to the Supreme Court, but then that’s just kind of how 2018 went.

5. Ontario Dental Surgeon Pulls Man’s Teeth Out “In Error”
Picture this: You’re the patient. You wake up from a dental procedure. You have no teeth. We can’t say it’s an “error” we’ve heard of, but it certainly made for a popular story, kicking off our top five stories of the year.

4. Dentist Suspended for Letting Employees Practice Without Licences
Having a license seems like a pretty standard need in order to practice dentistry in Canada. However, for this Winnipeg dentist that didn’t seem like a necessity. After being charged with FIVE counts of professional misconduct, Dr. Steven Lawson had his license suspended.

3. B.C. Dental College Settles Complaint With Dentist
Canadian dentistry didn’t escape the trend of #MeToo this year. The College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. had to formally apologize for poorly handling allegations of sexually inappropriate comments. While this wasn’t a unique story this year, there weren’t many that hit the Canadian dental industry.

2. Oral Sex to Blame for Erythema Discovered During Check Up
A trip to the dentist revealed quite an… interesting erythema. It was decided that the finding was caused from the patient performing oral sex a few days prior to the appointment. There were many other stories regarding oral sex and oral health, but this one peaked more interest than most.

1. Edmonton Dentist to Pay $330,000 After Patient Left with Permanent Brain Damage
You’ve definitely heard the names Amber Athwal and Dr. William Mather by now. The extremely public case came to light after Amber, a four-year-old girl, was rushed to hospital in cardiac arrest after being given anesthesia for a dental procedure.

Well, we didn’t end on an exceptionally positive note, but what a year! Thank you for the continued support throughout 2018. We look forward to bringing you even more in 2019! Happy holidays everyone!


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