More young people turning to dentures to solve smile problems

By Alison Majikes/Special to The areas of the nation that top the list in unemployment also see a prevalence of a condition that could prevent someone from getting a job: missing teeth. According to an article on, the number of working-age Americans with absent teeth seems to be on the rise. The largest example of this epidemic is […]

T.rex’s teeth were more than just sharp

By Alison Majikes/Special to Have you ever wondered how the Tyrannosaurs rex and other theropods avoided chipping and cracking their razor sharp teeth while ripping apart their prey? Well, me either. But according to an article on, researchers examined the teeth of theropods, a group of bipedal carnivorous dinosaurs that include the T.rex and Velociraptor, […]

Be glad your dentist doesn’t use sharp rocks and beeswax during treatment.

By Alison Majikes/Special to Twice-yearly dental checkups aren’t appointments that excite many, especially because of  the sights, sounds and shiny sharp instruments. But imagine visiting a friendly neighborhood dentist 14,000 years ago when, during the Paleolithic era, when the most advanced tool he or she had was likely a sharp rock. A human tooth specimen discovered from this era was […]

Dental student’s ‘Desire’ fulfilled

By Alison Majikes/Special to “Age 23. Can I play?” These two sentences comprised the sign that 23-year-old dental student Ryan Luxenberg held up when he attended a U2 concert in Montreal on June 16. Luxenberg, a longtime fan of the band that formed in 1976, before the dental student was born, attended the concert alone at […]

Turns out dentists didn’t have ultrasonic scalers 400,000 years ago

By Alison Majikes/Special to Most people visit the dentist twice each year to keep their pearly whites clean and healthy, but what happened for those who lived 400,000 years ago when dentists weren’t on call for those checkups? According to an article published on, that’s the exact question for which  Tel Aviv University set out to find out […]

Wisconsin hospital to offer special needs dental care

By Alison Makijes/Special to

Meriter, St. Mary’s and University of Wisconsin hospitals are stepping up to provide a joint program to dental patients that need full sedation, replacing the services offered at the Max W. Pohle Dental Clinic, which is closing at the end of June.

According to an article on the new program will treat patients  with disabilities and other conditions who require anesthesia. U unfortunately it will not be up and running by the time the Pohle Dental Clinic closes on June 26, said Meriter-UnityPoint Health spokeswoman Leah Huibregtse.

The University of Minnesota’s dental school has agreed to step in and take the patients in Wisconsin. This isn’t the best scenario for the patients (the commute from Madison, Wi. to Minneapolis, Mn. is a little more than 8 hours roundtrip) but the treatment they will be receiving in Minnesota makes it worthwhile.

The program is on track to stick around a long time in it’s new home in Madison. “All of us are very optimistic and committed to working together on this,” she said.

The University of Minnesota’s dental school sees around 400 special needs patients from Minnesota and a handful of other states each year, said Jeff Ogden, chief administrative officer. Sadly, the services is losing about $250,000 a year.

The school already has some Wisconsin patients booked for appointments, but most are on a four-to-five month waitlist.

The good news:  a new facility set to open in January will expand capacity.

Dr. David Walther, a Madison dentist, treats some special needs patients at Mertier outside of the Pohle clinic.

“I’m excited to hear that Madison will continue to provide this service in some form,” Walther said, noting that going to Minnsota is “not that workable” for many special needs patients. “These patients typically don’t travel well,” he added.

The new facility will be a great aid to the special needs patients in Wisconsin for years to come.

To read the full story:


BY ALISON MAJIKES/ Special to Many young people today may be dreaming of becoming a dentist or hygienist when they grow up, but in reality, going to school for a career in the dental field can be a bit pricey, making that dream unattainable for some. Lucky for the future dentists and hygienists, an article on […]

UNLV gives chairside manner a boost

By Ali Majikes/Special to Picture this: you’re an hour into your root canal procedure. You can’t stop fidgeting, you’re anxious and the sound of the handpiece is making your skin crawl. Then your dentist utters two little words put you over the edge: “uh-oh” “Dentists say silly stuff all the time,” Dr. Phillip Devore said. […]

Cuts in California’s dental insurance cause ED visits to spike

By Alison Majikes/Special to Since dental benefits were cut from California’s public health insurance for the poor, Emergency Department visits shot up for dental related issues. At least that’s according to a study published May 4 in Health Affairs, which examined ED for Medicaid-enrolled adults in California between 2006 and 2011. An article on estimated that removing […]