Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Morning Drill: October 2, 2012

Marquette School of Dentistry Expansion Groundbreaking

Good Tuesday morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Rule change could curtail Maine kids' dental care

Changes to Maine's access rules for school-based preventive dental care now require public health hygienists to contact a child's dentist if he or she was seen within the past year by the provider. Advocates for children's oral health say the change creates an unnecessary barrier to care, but the dental board says it improves communication between providers.

Previously, there was no requirement that the child's dentist needed to be contacted.

Maine's Board of Dental Examiners approved the rule change last week after hearing concerns that the care provided by public health hygienists "was not consistent with the treatment plan of the patient's dental office," board spokesman Doug Dunbar told DrBicuspid.com.

Rock Doc: Dentist remains a player on stage

Back in mid-90s, John Whittemore was faced with a tough decision about his professional future. A third-year student at University of Tennessee's College of Dentistry, Whittemore was also one of Memphis' hottest young guitarists. He'd been nominated for a local Grammy Premier Player award and was being enticed with an offer to join a major label band in Los Angeles.

"In that moment, I suppose my life could've tipped in a totally different direction," said Whittemore. He would ultimately choose dentistry, but he would not turn his back on music entirely.

As the third annual "Memphis Means Music Month" kicks off this week, Whittemore remains one of the Bluff City's most respected, versatile and in-demand guitarists — as well as one of its top dentists.

Dentistry students begin focus on pregnant patients

The UNC School of Dentistry recently announced that it has instituted a new student clinic rotation for fourth-year D.D.S. students, which focuses on treating and triaging pregnant women.

“Pregnant patients require certain methodology for comfort and safety during dental appointments, but most dental students don’t ever get exposure to them,” explained Rocio Quinonez, associate professor in the Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, Departments of Pediatric Dentistry and Pediatrics. “This new clinic rotation changes that.”

The rotation is part of the Prenatal Oral Health Program, or pOHP, a program co-developed by Quinonez and Kim Boggess, professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. pOHP, which is funded by a grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, is designed to educate all prenatal health care providers and expectant women on how oral health affects a woman’s overall health and how that can help set a trajectory of optimal oral health practices for their child.

Anatomy of a liberal hit job

For liberals, intentions are far more important than facts. That’s why confronting liberals with facts and data is such a Sisyphean task.

Take the George Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity (CPI) and its attack on the U.S. dental industry. The attack began in June of this year with “Dollars and Dentists,” a PBS documentary funded in part by CPI. A thinly veiled docu-lobby on behalf of socialized dentistry, “Dollars and Dentists” takes aim at Kool Smiles, the country’s largest Medicaid dental provider, as well as other dental service organizations (DSOs). The documentary claims that DSOs overcharge patients and have a tendency to recommend risky and expensive procedures in instances where they aren’t warranted. Think root canals and crown construction to treat cavities. On 9-year-olds.

Like most liberal offensives, the film was designed to elicit emotion, if not inquiry or skepticism. And it’s pretty devastating stuff.

Problem is, the claims are false.

Kool Smiles hired famed Reagan economist Arthur Laffer, the father of supply-side economics, to conduct an exhaustive study about the dental industry (while Kool Smiles funded the study, the company wasn’t given any input over how Laffer conducted it). What Laffer discovered shouldn’t come as a surprise: “Dollars and Dentists” is a classic liberal hit job — short on facts and oblivious to the data.

Enjoy your morning!

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