Overtreatment, Lax Scientific Standards Raise Concerns in Dentistry

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A dentist administers oral anethtesia before extracting a tooth at a free health clinic on July 22, 2017 in Wise, Virginia. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

Chances are a dentist has told you to floss more. But studies from the Cochrane Institute and the American Dental Association have found that many common oral health recommendations such as biannual cleanings, yearly x-rays and flossing have not been verified through scientific research. Forum discusses efforts to steer dentistry toward more evidence-based practices and we'll talk about challenges facing the field, including charges that many dentists overtreat their patients.

Mentioned on Air:
The Truth About Dentistry (The Atlantic)


Mary Otto, author, "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America"

Joel White, distinguished professor in restorative dentistry, UCSF School of Dentistry; vice chair, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences