Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Morning Drill: March 1, 2012

Dr. George Hatzigiannis

Good Morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Lynn dentist arraigned on groping rap

An Exchange Street dentist arraigned Tuesday in District Court for indecent assault and battery allegedly fondled a woman’s breast in 2010 while she was under sedation for wisdom teeth removal, according to police reports.

Lynn police filed a criminal complaint on Feb. 23 outlining the charge and Judge James Wexler released George Hatzigiannis, 39, of Boxford, on $100,000 personal surety, and ordered him to not practice dentistry until he provides police reports detailing the assault charge to the state Board of Registration in Dentistry.

Wexler also ordered the Greek native to surrender his passport.

Hatzigiannis pleaded innocent to the indecent assault and battery charge on Tuesday and his attorney, Paul Cirel of Boston, said Hatzigiannis has already complied with Wexler’s order to send police reports to the board.

Colorado undertaker accused of stealing dental gold from corpses

A Colorado undertaker is accused of stealing dental gold from corpses and cremated remains at funeral homes where he worked and then pawning the ill-gotten bits of precious metal for nearly $4,300, authorities said on Wednesday.

Adrian David Kline, 43, who worked as a contract embalmer at several Denver-area mortuaries, is charged with providing false information to pawnbrokers, according to a 10-count indictment returned last week in Boulder County District Court and released on Wednesday.

He is accused of lying to several pawnbrokers about where he obtained the gold and with providing a phony address in violation of Colorado law. Eight of the charges are felonies.

The investigation began when a pawnbroker in Longmont, Colorado, contacted police to report that a man who said he worked at a funeral home was trying to hock gold crowns he brought into the shop.

PEW: The US Dental System Is Failing Disadvantaged Consumers

More than 830,000 visits to the emergency room in 2009 were for preventable dental conditions, according to a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

That constitutes a 16 percent increase from 2006, and is raising alarms over how accessible preventative care is to America's most disadvantaged consumers.

“The fact that so many Americans go to hospitals for dental care shows the delivery system is failing,” said Shelly Gehshan, director of the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign.

“The care provided in an ER is much more expensive, and it generally doesn’t solve dental problems. Most hospital ERs are not staffed with dentists, and the medical personnel who work there are not trained to treat the underlying problems of patients with untreated dental issues.”

In the report, "A Costly Dental Destination," Pew found that more than half of Medicaid-enrolled kids weren't receiving even the most minimal dental care, including routine exams.

A number of factors are to blame here, including dentist shortages in some areas of the U.S. and the growing number of dental service providers that have stopped accepting Medicaid patients, Pew says. The latter reason alone has driven a 31 percent spike in ER visits by Medicaid patients in Oregon in the last three years.

Dentist buys Elvis’s crown to add to celebrity tooth collection

A dentist in central Alberta has shelled out nearly $10,000 to buy a dental crown made for rock legend Elvis Presley.

Michael Zuk already owns a rotten tooth out of the mouth of Beatles icon John Lennon.

The Elvis crown came to him through an auction in the United Kingdom and had previously belonged to Memphis dentist Henry Weiss.

Elvis apparently had a gap in his smile that he covered with a crown, and Weiss made a number of them because the king would often chip them on the microphone.

Zuk says he doesn’t know yet whether Presley wore the crown he bought, but he’s hopeful. Pictures of it show what looks like a crack across the front.

Elvis Presley's Crown

Enjoy your morning!

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