Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Saturday Drill: June 11, 2011

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments for your day.

Government lists formaldehyde as cancer causer

The strong-smelling chemical formaldehyde causes cancer, while styrene, a second industrial chemical that's used worldwide in the manufacture of fiberglass and food containers, may cause cancer, the National Institutes of Health says.

The NIH said Friday that people with higher measures of exposure to formaldehyde are at increased risk for certain types of rare cancers, including those affecting the upper part of the throat behind the nose.

The chemical is widely used to make resins for household items, including paper product coatings, plastics and textile finishes. It also is commonly used as a preservative in medical laboratories, mortuaries and consumer products including some hair straightening products.

The government says styrene is a component of tobacco smoke, and NIH says the greatest exposure to the chemical is through cigarette smoking.

The two chemicals were among eight added to the government's list submitted to Congress of chemicals and biological agents that may put people at increased risk of for cancer.
Drilling Away at Dental Costs
If you lack dental insurance or have a skimpy policy, your options for scoring a better dentistry deal are growing.

More insurers are offering individual dental coverage. Others, such as Aetna and Cigna, are stepping up their efforts to help members with certain medical conditions prevent tooth and gum problems that can wreak havoc on their overall health -- and lead to costly dental and other health-care bills. Meanwhile, a new website called offers members discounts at participating dentists.

About 10 million Americans have lost their dental insurance in the last few years as the recession weakened the reach of employer plans, the dominant source of coverage. Fifty-four percent of people had some form of dental benefit in 2009, down from 57% between 2006 and 2008, says Evelyn Ireland, executive director of the National Association of Dental Plans, a Dallas-based trade group.
Exercise Reduces Silent Brain Infarcts
Older people who exercise regularly may be less likely to develop silent brain infarcts, considered hallmarks of subclinical cerebrovascular disease.

"Encouraging older people to take part in moderate to intense exercise may be an important strategy for keeping their brains healthy," lead investigator Joshua Willey, MD, from Columbia University in New York, said in a news release.

His team's new study was published online June 8 in Neurology.

"These silent strokes are more significant than the name implies because they have been associated with an increased risk of falls and impaired mobility, memory problems, and even dementia as well as stroke," Dr. Willey said
Dental Pilot Program Bill Passes Budget Committee After Three Contentious Votes
Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham) and fellow legislators think that Senate Bill 738 will address, for the first time in years, an “extreme need” to provide better access to dental care throughout Oregon, particularly in rural areas.

That bill would fund pilot projects across the state, offering dental services to people whose incomes fall below the federal poverty level, by expanding the scope of practice of dental hygienists.

The bill passed out of the Joint Ways and Means Committee this morning after almost failing on Wednesday and being the subject of three contentious votes today.

When the Joint Ways and Means Committee voted on Wednesday, the bill received a split 12-12 vote, with Rep. Mary Nolan (D-Portland) absent. Nine Republicans, as well as three Democrats representing rural areas, voted against the bill.

Typically bills that receive a split vote do not survive, but Rep. Tina Kotek (D-Portland) changed her vote from “yes” to “no,” a procedure allowing for the bill to be reconsidered.

Kotek made a motion to reconsider the bill, but Republicans tried to stop it by objecting to the motion on parliamentary grounds.

Sen. Fred Girod (R-Stayton) objected on the grounds that a member of the House--Kotek--filed the motion to reconsider a bill that is a Senate bill. He argued that because the motion was not served from a Senator, Kotek's motion was invalid.

"We need to allow bad bills to die and not have someone drop a vote so they can move it to the floor," he said. "I would ask my colleagues on the House side who are Republicans to stick with me on this procedure."

Girod's motion to reject the motion failed, only receiving seven votes. Kotek's motion for reconsideration passed, and received votes from two Republicans.

Then there was a third vote to pass the bill out of the committee so it can proceed to the Senate and House floors. The bill passed out of the committee 17-8.

The bill was not expected to hit the rocky road that it did in the committee, but it was the subject of a short but passionate debate about scope of practice issues on Wednesday.

Girod, who filed a potential conflict of interest because he is a dentist, spoke passionately against the bill when it first came up for a vote on Wednesday.

He believes it will expand a dental hygienists’ scope of practice so much that it will fundamentally change his profession for the worse, by allowing “people who are not allowed to practice dentistry to practice dentistry.”

“For some reason, this committee thinks that any moron can do dentistry,” Girod told his colleagues. “I dare someone to look in the mirror work backwards in a mouth that has saliva, a tongue that won’t sit still, and try to cut [in the mouth]. It is not that easy.”

He argued that it’s just as inappropriate to expand a dental hygienists’ scope of practice as it would be to expand a nurse’s scope of practice to practice medicine.
Enjoy your Saturday drill!

No comments:

Post a Comment