Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Morning Drill: August 17, 2011

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

Oregon law supports dental therapist pilot projects

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed into law a bill that will allow the Oregon Health Authority to establish pilot projects for dental therapists and community dental health educators.

SB 738, known as the Oral Health Coalition bill, also establishes the Dental Pilot Projects Fund. The pilot programs are intended to encourage the development of innovative practices in oral healthcare and deliver care to underserved and uninsured populations.

The bill also expands the scope of practice for dental hygienists who have a limited access permit (LAP) that allows them to provide the same services a dentist can provide, under the supervision of a dentist. It also renames the LAP permit holders to expanded practice dental hygienists.
Cigarette makers sue FDA over new labeling rules
Four big cigarette makers sued the Food and Drug Administration, seeking to void as unconstitutional new graphic labels and advertising that warn consumers about the risks of smoking and induce them to quit.

The lawsuit by Reynolds American Inc's R.J. Reynolds unit, Lorillard Inc, Liggett Group LLC and Commonwealth Brands Inc, owned by Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, said the warnings required no later than September 22, 2012 would force cigarette makers to "engage in anti-smoking advocacy" on the government's behalf.

They said this violates their free speech rights under the First Amendment, according to a complaint filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

"The notion that the government can require those who manufacture a lawful product to emblazon half of its package with pictures and words admittedly drafted to persuade the public not to purchase that product cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny," said Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment specialist representing the cigarette makers, in a statement.

An FDA spokeswoman declined to comment, citing an agency policy not to discuss pending litigation.

Making Teeth Tattoos Cute
We recently came across an article in Ginza Magazine regarding a new beauty buzz that has people chattering about it – “teeth art tattoos”. Having been available in other countries before it is only now that teeth art is starting to creep onto the fashion scene here in Japan also. The most popular global designs tend to be diamond shape or any glittering rhinestone, giving wearers a ‘blinged’ up smile.

Of course, Japan has taken the fad and added its own twist, offering personal designs and outfit combinations, rather than just going for the sparkles. The idea is to express a more individual fashion statement, and as ever in Japan, usually combined with a certain cute charm. There are plenty of combinations to reflect the seasons as any good fashion item has including red ladybug characters or marine look anchor tooth art giving the necessary summer charm, or a golden heart or shining star design tooth look for a night on the town.

Another way the Japanese girls are putting their twist on things is matching their nail art and teeth art, both in the design and the colors. For example; red lipstick and nail polish with same rhinestone pattern on both.
Will you have a heart attack? These tests might tell
Most heart attacks strike with no warning, but doctors now have a clearer picture than ever before of who is most likely to have one, says Dr. Arthur Agatston, a Miami cardiologist and author of the best-selling South Beach diet books.

Agatston says relatively new imaging tests give real-time pictures showing whether plaque is building up in key blood vessels, alerting doctor and patient to an increased risk of a potentially deadly heart attack.

"Unless you do the imaging, you are really playing Russian roulette with your life," he said.

Agatston invented one of the imaging tests, the coronary calcium scan, which looks at plaque in the arteries leading to the heart. Plaque in these arteries is a red flag for a potential heart attack. (Agatston does not make any money from the coronary calcium scan.)

The other imaging test Agatston recommends is an ultrasound of the carotid artery, looking at plaque in the main blood vessel leading to the brain. Plaque in the carotid artery is a sign of increased risk for a heart attack and stroke.

Both tests are non-invasive and outpatient, although the calcium scan does expose the patient to the equivalent of several months of normal background radiation.

The coronary calcium scan looks at plaque in the arteries leading to the heart

Enjoy your morning!

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