Saturday, May 30, 2009

Flap's Dentistry Blog Links May 30, 2009


Their patients could be little league sluggers or college gridiron stars, Olympic athletes or professional basketball players. But the 164 dental professionals who attended the 2009 Academy for Sports Dentistry Annual Symposium in Chicago May 7-9 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago found common ground when discussing topics like dental trauma treatment, on-field injury management, mouthguards and more. Said ASD President Jeffrey P. Hoy of Torrance, Calif., "the word is getting out about us and our membership is growing. ASD offers some very important benefits of membership, including our journal [Journal of Dental Traumatology] and great opportunities for networking, camaraderie and continuing education at our annual symposium."

Ted Kennedy, long a health-care power broker, is stepping up his game in the Senate’s health-reform debate. Until now, most of the attention has focused on the Senate Finance Committee, led by Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley, which has released a series of high-profile reports on the health reform in the past few weeks. Now Kennedy, the Massachusetts Dem who chairs the Senate HELP committee, is circulating a draft summary his own health-reform plan. The Washington Post lists a number of sure-to-be-controversial details included in the plan, which hasn’t been made public.

At first glance, you might be put off by the title of Fred Joyal's new book, Everything Is Marketing. "Dentistry is one of the greatest professions on earth," he said in an interview with at the recent California Dental Association (CDA) meeting in Anaheim. "It's also one of the most misunderstood." And he believes it's the responsibility of the dental community to change that perception. But if you can get past that initial reaction, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the "pearls of wisdom" he shares from running 1-800-Dentist for more than 20 years. In fact, the dental community's general aversion to sales and marketing is one of the core themes of his book, and Joyal addresses it head on -- with compassion.

Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland reported on this new intervention for arthritis in the Journal of Periodontology. "It was exciting to find that if we eliminated the infection and inflammation in the gums, then patients with a severe kind of active rheumatoid arthritis reported improvement on the signs and symptoms of that disease," said Nabil Bissada, D.D.S., chair of the department of periodontics at the dental school. "It gives us a new intervention," adds Bissada.

As of July 1, the state Medi-Cal system no longer will cover dental care for low-income adults. The cuts are expected to save the state $115 million a year, but the fallout could be ugly for the adults, seniors and disabled people who rely on the program for dental care. Hospital emergency rooms in Stanislaus County already are seeing patients with untreated dental conditions. And the cuts will hurt clinics that serve large numbers of Medi-Cal patients, such as the Western Dental Centers and Golden Valley Health Centers.

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