Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Morning Drill: January 26, 2012

Dr. Cole and Laptop

Good Thursday morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Valrico Dentist Heads to Court Over Neighbor's Cigar Smoke

In the 23 years Dr. Edmund Rahal has had his dentist office in the strip shopping center at 3646 Lithia-Pinecrest Rd., Valrico, he's had his share of neighbors.

But, up until now, none of them have stunk, Rahal said.

That all changed when the Twisted Cigar moved into the storefront next to Rahal's dental office in October.

Rahal said smoke from the combination cigar shop and smoking lounge has filtered into his dental office, making employees sick and eliciting complaints from patients.

"It's not just a cigar shop. It's a place where patrons come in and smoke. There are big-screen TVs for them to watch," said Rahal. "And now they've applied for a beer and wine license.

"Since they opened, we've been losing existing patients, and there's no way to gauge how many new patients we've lost because of this," Rahal said. "We had a women just this morning complain. She said she couldn't stand the smell."

He said employees say they go home at night smelling of cigar smoke and one employee who's allergic to smoke coughs and wheezes in the office.

Twisted Cigar owner Jim Brown has tried to alleviate the problem by installing filters and sealing the drywall that separates the two storefronts.

However, Rahal said the problem persists. "The cigar store has done what it could, but nothing's made a difference," said Rahal.

Report outlines 5 elements for improving oral healthcare

Accountability, data collection, and new ways of delivering care are critical if the U.S. is going to improve the quality of its oral healthcare, according to "Oral Health Quality Improvement in the Era of Accountability," a new report funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the DentaQuest Institute.

Dental expenses are now among the highest out-of-pocket health costs to consumers, second only to expenses for drug prescriptions, according to the report.

The report, authored by Paul Glassman, DDS, MBA, a professor of dental practice and the director of the Pacific Center for Special Care at the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, lists five elements for improving oral healthcare in the U.S.:

  •     Increased use of electronic dental records and integrated health records
  •     Better measurement of oral health outcomes
  •     New payment and incentive mechanisms
  •     Expanded delivery of care by nondental professionals, as well as new types of allied dental professionals
  •     Use of telehealth technologies to reach people in remote areas
Exercise may boost mood for some chronically ill

Working out regularly may brighten the mood of people with chronic health problems like cancer, heart disease and back pain, according to the first sweeping look at previous research.

But it's no miracle cure: On average, six people would need to hit the gym or go for a jog for one person to see a mood improvement.

"It's a nice piece of evidence and I'm pleased because I like the concept," said Dr. Alan J. Gelenberg, who chairs the department of psychiatry at Penn State University in Hershey.

Gelenberg, who wasn't involved in the new work, said the findings jibe with guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association, which recommends regular exercise against the blues.

"There is some evidence for its use to prevent depression, and there actually is evidence for exercise as a treatment in itself," he told Reuters Health.

The Write Diet: Lose Weight With Just 15 Minutes and a Journal

Can losing weight really be as simple as a 15-minute writing session? It worked for a group of women who recently took part in a psychological study. But it depends on what you write about.

Women who wrote about their most important values for 15 minutes lost an average of 3.4 pounds over the next few months. Women who wrote about something less important gained an average of 2.8 pounds.

The researchers think the weight loss was due to increased self-affirmation or self-esteem. Writing about their values made the women see themselves as better people and feel better about themselves. It may also serve to strengthen resolve. Often, heavy eaters eat in an attempt to elevate their mood. Who hasn't felt better after eating a brownie? But some people take this to an extreme and over time, the pounds can add up.

The researchers speculate that writing about one's values can kick off a chain reaction. It starts when writing about an important value makes you feel better about yourself. Maybe when you go home that night you skip the brownie or cookies you've been using as an emotional crutch. In time, skipping the brownie becomes a habit.

Enjoy your morning!

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