Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Morning Drill: March 22, 2012

Good Thursday morning!

I have returned from a few days off recuperating from my latest Los Angeles Marathon.

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

More U.S. states consider expanding hygienists' duties

What hygienists are allowed to do and where they are allowed to do it would change in a number of ways under proposed bills being considered by states across the U.S. The debate heated up this week in Connecticut during a hearing before the state Public Health Committee.

In a public hearing March 21 at the Connecticut State Capitol, for example, members of the Public Health Committee heard testimony from some 80 people regarding HB 5541, which would recognize the practice of expanded function dental auxiliaries (EFDAs) and establish a new certification program for advanced dental hygiene practitioners (ADHPs).

Under the proposed legislation, Connecticut ADHPs -- through a collaborative agreement with a licensed dentist -- would be allowed to:

  •     Formulate an individualized care plan
  •     Administer local anesthesia
  •     Diagnose and treat certain oral diseases and conditions
  •     Provide diagnostic, educational, palliative, therapeutic, prescriptive and minimally invasive restorative oral health services, including preparing and restoring primary and permanent teeth using direct placement of appropriate dental materials; temporary placement of crowns and restorations; placement of preformed crowns; pulpotomies on primary teeth; direct and indirect pulp capping in primary and permanent teeth; and placement of atraumatic temporary restorations
  •     Prescribe, dispense, and administer certain drugs
  •     Remove mobile or exfoliating primary teeth and mobile permanent teeth
  •     Place and remove sutures
  •     Prevent or intercept potential orthodontic problems
  •     Provide temporary reparative services to patients with defective prosthetic appliances
  •     Use electronic technology to transfer digital radiography, photography, clinical assessment data, and fiber optic imaging in collaboration with other healthcare professionals when warranted

"The ADHP will add a new member to the dental team to deliver care to the underserved in Connecticut," the Connecticut Dental Hygienists' Association (CDHA) website states. "This proposal will make it possible for thousands of underserved patients who cannot obtain care to receive needed dental care."

Political Posts and Social Media

Everywhere you look there are political campaign posters, signs, commercials, tweets, messages on Facebook – a never ending barrage of political campaigning to assault the senses.

It seems harmless right?  I mean I should have the freedom to express my opinion.  Well, you may be surprised to know that a huge percentage of the people following you on Facebook do not want to hear about your political interests.  The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that a sizeable chunk of the population will “un-like” or leave social sites with political content that offends them.

The numbers are huge, 4 out of 10 people had a “serious” political disagreement with a friend.  The results of the disagreement caused 1 in 5 users to take action.  (Amongst passionate liberals, that number rose to over 1 in 4 users).

What did they do?

* Blocked posts from this friend
* Unfriended the person
* Ignoring posts and marking them as SPAM

Making the Case for Running Shoes

For the past few years, proponents of barefoot running have argued that modern athletic shoes compromise natural running form. But now a first-of-its-kind study suggests that, in the right circumstances, running shoes make running physiologically easier than going barefoot.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder, began by recruiting 12 well-trained male runners with extensive barefoot running experience. “It was important to find people who are used to running barefoot,” says Rodger Kram, a professor of integrative physiology, who oversaw the study, which was published online in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

“A novice barefoot runner moves very differently than someone who’s used to running barefoot,” Dr. Kram says. “We wanted to look at runners who knew what they were doing, whether they were wearing shoes or not.”

Specifically, he and his colleagues hoped to determine whether wearing shoes was metabolically more costly than going unshod. In other words, does wearing shoes require more energy than going barefoot?

Aspirin Reduces Cancer Mortality and Risk for Distant Metastases

Evidence from 3 new studies demonstrates that aspirin can reduce the risk for cancer-related mortality and can reduce or prevent the risk for distant metastasis.

Peter M. Rothwell, MD, PhD, professor of clinical neurology at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, was lead author on all 3 studies.

In the first study, published online March 21 in the Lancet, comparing daily aspirin with no aspirin to prevent vascular events, aspirin use reduced the risk for nonvascular death in all 51 trials examined (1021 vs 1173 deaths; odds ratio [OR], 0.88; P = .003). When data from 34 trials were examined (n = 69,224; 89% of total cohort), there were fewer deaths from cancer in the aspirin than in the control group (562 vs 664 deaths; OR, 0.85; P = .008).

Dr. Rothwell and colleagues note that even though the decreased risk for major vascular events in these trials was initially offset by a higher risk for major bleeding, both of these effects diminished over time, leaving only the reduced risk for cancer after 3 years.

"In view of the very low rates of vascular events in recent and ongoing trials of aspirin in primary prevention, prevention of cancer could become the main justification for aspirin use in this setting," they write.

Enjoy your morning!

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