By Lori Roniger, DrBicuspid.com associate editorApril 3, 2017 -- Pregnant women are believed to face an increased risk of gingival bleeding and tooth decay. But when during pregnancy do these changes occur, and could differences in oral health status, behavior, or attitude be responsible?Two poster studies presented at the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) annual meeting examined some of these issues.Marika Hasunen, a doctoral student at the Institute of Dentistry at the University of Turku in Finland, investigated oral health differences between women at the end of the first trimester of pregnancy and nonpregnant women. Meanwhile, in a separate presentation, researchers from the University of Hong Kong led by May Chun Mei Wong, PhD, a professor of dental public health, studied the self-reported oral health problems experienced by women in early to midpregnancy.“Gingival inflammation and tooth decay are common in pregnant women already during the first trimester.”— Marika Hasunen and colleaguesResults of the studies suggest that oral health problems are common among pregnant women, and the researchers propose that various factors, including the regularity of dental care, could play a role."Gingival inflammation and tooth decay are common in pregnant women already during the first trimester," the Finnish researchers concluded.
April 4, 2017 -- DrBicuspid.com is pleased to present the next column from two lawyers who spend every day defending dentists in litigation and before the licensing board. The purpose of this column is to offer our readers a fresh perspective on common practice and risk management issues from attorneys who litigate these issues in the real world.A 68-year-old woman who had been edentulous for many years was growing increasingly unhappy with the full dentures she wore on both arches, especially regarding the lower. She presented to a local prosthodontist, who had been out of residency training less than a year.On the first visit, she completed traditional intake paperwork, including a health history form, which the dentist later discussed verbally with the patient. The patient stated that she had high cholesterol that was controlled by a statin. She denied all other medical conditions in the check-off boxes and during the subsequent discussion, and for the question on the form of "Are there any other medical conditions we should be aware of?" she responded with "cholesterol" but nothing more.William S. Spiegel and Marc R. Leffler, DDS, are both partners at the law firm Spiegel Leffler in New York City.Clinical and radiographic examination