Like any health care field, dentistry is constantly evolving as new technology, research and events become available.

Staying on top of the latest news and trends is a must for any dental professional committed to career success, practice efficiency and patient satisfaction. Read on to see what the dental community has been buzzing about in September!

Dental research 

Emerging dental research from the month of September highlighted findings that could have noticeable impacts on treatment for many different patient demographics. 

As the dental industry continues studying best practices for evaluating and treating patients on a holistic level, research is focusing more and more on the habits and lifestyles that could result in diminished oral health. 

A new study out of the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found that smoking weakens the ability for pulp in teeth to fight illness and disease. In the past, research into the endodontic effects of smoking was limited, but this study now offers endodontists deeper insight into precisely why smokers show poorer treatment outcomes and delayed healing. 

Many pregnant women are well-acquainted with the dental issues that commonly appear alongside the many other physical impacts of pregnancy. A story covered by WBAL-TV in Baltimore highlighted the experience of a woman who experienced four oral infections while pregnant with her daughter, who later experienced similar dental issues.

Doctors advise women to be extra diligent with their oral hygiene when expecting in order to avoid issues such as pregnancy gingivitis. 

On a similar note, a new study highlighted in Science Translational Medicine is researching the use of baby tooth stem cells for re-growing “dead” dental tissue in young kids whose roots haven't grown properly due to tissue damage. Researchers are still in the planning stages for FDA-approved trials in the U.S., but early tests in China have resulted in enough healthy tissue re-growth that kids were able to regain certain sensations and stability in the tooth. 

Dental insurance

Dental professionals - especially those running their own practice - should be well aware of a widespread conversation happening around the country regarding dental and medical billing.

A widely-circulated article by Kaiser Health News explored the practice of billing medical insurers for dental treatment in an effort to provide more coverage options for patients. The article quoted Dr. Chris Farrugia as saying, “there is a medical part of our practice and a dental part - you have teeth, you got the ‘other stuff.’ It’s the other stuff that medical insurance pays for.”

Dr. Farrugia is the instructor for Spear Online's “Medical Billing for the Dental Practice” pathway, and recommends dentists “first consider what medical insurance might cover and then bill the dental plan for the rest.”

Do you have experience with medical billing for your patients?

Entrepreneurship and innovation in dentistry

Nowadays, there is no telling what new apps are going to come about and change the way modern medicine is practiced.

An article in Digital Trends highlighted “Toothpic,” a new app that allows users to upload photos of their teeth into the app to be analyzed by a licensed dental professional. The app was designed to minimize trips to the dentist and allow people to get timely advice from home.

What are your thoughts on this app?

Have you read any interesting recent dental news that we missed? Leave a comment below or send us a link at