Alaska Natives: Dental Care Without A Dentist

Increasing reliance upon Western diets has exacerbated problems with tooth decay in Native Alaska. Soda pop arrives by the crate to villages only reachable by plane, boat or snowmobile. Public water supplies of fluoridated water is rare. The underfunded Indian Health Service has had chronic difficulty hiring dentists to serve in remote communities. Even if they come, they often leave. …

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Eva’s Keynote Speech Influenced My Career Path: Improve Dental Care For Cancer Patients

Dear Eva, In January of 2012, when I was in college, I volunteered in the oral oncology department of the British Columbia Cancer Agency. During this time I was exposed to dentistry and the challenges faced by those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer, but I didn’t really connect the dots between cancer and dentistry at that time. I …

#1 On Your Priority List: You

Some dental professionals do a cursory screening; some do a very thorough one.  There is no standard or required level of quality, except one: an oral cancer screening should be performed at every dental check-up. I spoke with a dentist (about 50 years old) who told me she never learned how to perform an oral cancer screening in dental school so she doesn’t …

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Hospital Infections: Dental Biofilm

Dental hygiene is not part of the care patients are given. My dad is receiving treatment at one of the most acclaimed cancer centers in the world. In his hygiene package, he was given a tube of toothpaste, a mini hard-bristled toothbrush, and a Biotene mouth rinse. Due to the severity of my Dad’s operation, family members are by his side to …