Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Morning Drill: February 5, 2013

Good morning!

On to today's health and dentistry headlines:

3D Printers Are Revolutionizing Dentistry

Apex Dental Milling use the Objet Eden260V 3D Printer to turn digital impressions into physical models. The use of the Objet 3D printer allows Apex to reduce their cost per case significantly and to stay at the forefront of Digital Dentistry. The final models are sent to the dental technician who performs a final fit and quality check before a restoration is sent back to the doctor. Objet’s reputation for fine resolution 3D printing allow the dental technician to provide the most accurate restorations to his clients. Objet machines are reliable and robust and are typically left to run overnight and over weekends without attendence – further improving the cost/benefit to Apex.

New HIPAA rules issued

The HIPAA rule is effective March 26, and covered entities, including covered dental practices, will have an additional 180 days, or until Sept. 23, to comply with applicable requirements. The regulations:

  •     Enhance HIPAA enforcement;
  •     expand many HIPAA requirements to "business associates" such as contractors and subcontractors that receive protected health information;
  •     expand individuals' rights to receive electronic copies of their health information and to restrict disclosures to a health plan concerning treatment for which the provider has been paid out of pocket in full;
  •     modify rules that apply to marketing and fundraising communications and the sale of protected health information;
  •     expand the definition of "health information" to include genetic information, and
  •     clarify when data breaches must be reported to the HHS Office for Civil Rights.
Gum Disease Found to Worsen Infection in Animal Model of AIDS

Texas Biomed scientists in San Antonio have found that moderate gum disease in an animal model exposed to an AIDS- like virus had more viral variants causing infection and greater inflammation. Both of these features have potential negative implications in long term disease progression, including other kinds of infections, the researchers say in a new report.

The public health message from the study is that even mild inflammation in the mouth needs to be controlled because it can lead to more serious consequences, said Luis Giavedoni, Ph. D, a Texas Biomed virologist and first author of the study.

"This is important because moderate gum disease is present in more than 50 percent of the world population. It is known that severe gum disease leads to generalized inflammation and a number of other health complications, but the conditions that we created were moderate and they were mainly localized in the mouth," he added.

Dentist accused of assault appears in court

A Merced dentist accused of sexually abusing four female patients made a brief appearance in court Monday.

Four women told Merced police they were sexually abused, some while sedated, when they were patients at the dental office of Dr. Sang Hyuk Park, who's facing six counts of sexual abuse. He remains free on bail.

On Monday, Park was in court with defense attorney Thomas Johnson to confirm that they are ready for the preliminary hearing.

The preliminary hearing was scheduled by Merced County Judge Mark Bacciarini for 1:30 p.m. Monday. The hearing is to determine if there is enough evidence to move forward with a trial.

"Dr. Park maintains his innocence, and we look forward to trial," Johnson said.

He said they also began their own investigation because somebody created a Facebook page after the first story about Park was published. Only after that did other people come forward and make allegations, Johnson said.

The defense doesn't know who created the page or when it went up. Johnson said he can't find it, but it was cited in police reports.

Additionally, Johnson said two of the claimed victims were employees at Park's office and continued to work after the claimed assaults. The other two were patients who also continued to see Park for treatment "numerous" times after they claimed to have been assaulted, he added.

"That much we know," Johnson said.

Enjoy your morning!

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