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Dentists no longer need as much protection

One could argue that keeping prenatal fluoride illegal is no longer justified for the sake of keeping the dental business thriving. It looks like things have turned around. The rest of this will be quotes from an article in the Wall Street Journal.


Here is a link to the full article you can use from a library or other subscribing source:

A few quick quotes:


”Once the poor relations in the medical field, dentists in the past few years have started making more money than many types of physicians, including internal medicine doctors, pediatricians, psychiatrists, and those in family practice….”   “From 1988 to 2000, dentists’ incomes more than doubled, while the average physician’s income grew 42%. The rate of inflation during that period was 46%.” (And doctors work far more hours per week.)


(Reasons – lack of managed care / insurance, esp for highly profitable cosmetic procedures.)  Healthier teeth Dentists have grown richer even as cavities, once the main cause for visiting them, have declined, largely because of fluoridation of drinking water and improved preventive care. [my emphasis] “…”…cavities in 6-to-18 year-olds dropped by three-fifths from the early 1970s to the early 1990s…[ADA source]”….”As people born in the 1960s and later have grown into adulthood, they tend to need fewer fillings than their parents did…”   “The situation is a sharp turnaround from the 1980s, when dentistry seemed to be in decline. Falling rates of tooth decay and glut of dentists produced much soul-searching in the profession. Several dental schools closed, while others slashed enrollments.”


[Repeating a timing note from me: Fluoridated water did make a difference, but that happened more in the 1950’s. The spread of fluoridated water had pretty much come to a stop by the time the big drop in cavities came. That effect was from the 1962 introduction of the very popular vitamins with fluoride, mostly for infants, but also prenatal.]


Source: Maremont, M.  …Tale of Two Docs...Wall Street Journal Jan 10, 2005.  p. A.1