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Dental assistants making a difference by celebrating February as National Children's Dental Health Month
by Carolyn K. Breen, ADAA President

Each February, the American Dental Association sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness regarding the oral health of our nation's children. The initiative is widespread with many activities conducted each February to provide needed services, patient education, information and materials to children in need of dental care. Dental assistants, along with members of the allied dental team, assist in all phases of treatment, provide education, and distribute materials and auxiliary heath aids to thousands in many communities across the country.
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It's so much more than a paycheck
Dental Assisting Digest via DentistryIQ
Kevin Henry, editor of Dental Assisting Digest writes: "Usually when the topic of pay and dental assistants comes up at my lectures or roundtable discussions, I think of Donna Summer's song, 'She works hard for the money.' I've said it before and I'll say it again … dental assistants are easily the most underpaid and underappreciated part of the dental team. I have personally seen how dental assistants work and sacrifice every day as part of their job. It's one of the reasons why I’m such a big fan and supporter of dental assistants."
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The sleuth in you
We now know that the mouth is the portal to the entire body. With strong evidence suggesting, and indeed revealing daily, oral links to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, low-birth-weight babies, and more, it has become glaringly obvious and imperative that the dental office be more than a cleaning and filling station. The dental practice of today — and of the future — must be a center for wellness and prevention. It must be a screening, diagnostic, and treatment center for a plethora of conditions that affect oral and whole body health. The ideal place to direct these energies is the preventive-oriented hygiene department.
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New dental X-ray guidelines spell out radiation reduction
Medscape (may require free subscription)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dentists who ignore the new American Dental Association and U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines on radiography may be putting their patients at unnecessary risk, experts told Medscape. Published in November, the guidelines update the ADA-FDA's 2004 recommendations and, for the first time, offer detailed methods for limiting patients' exposure to radiation. More

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Tooth decay bacteria evolved as diet changed
ABC Science
Mesolithic hunter-gatherers living on a meat-dominated, grain-free diet had much healthier mouths that we have today, with almost no cavities and gum disease-associated bacteria, a genetic study of ancient dental plaque has revealed. The international team of researchers, led by a group at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, University of Adelaide, published their findings in Nature Genetics.
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What Wall Street saw at the 2013 Chicago Midwinter Meeting
Dentistry IQ
The Wall Street analysts at Baird Equity Research have been holding meetings at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting with investors and have come away from what was probably a giant oak table with smiles on their faces (or at least straight faces). Their report, Medical Technology: Better Than Feared in Chicago, asserts that trends are stable and the 12-month risk/reward for HSIC/XRAY is looking good.
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ADAA STUDENTS: Could you use $750 or even $500? Applications are being accepted through March 15 for student awards. Don't delay, apply today! Juliette A Southard Scholarship ($750) / ADAA-HuFriedy Merit Scholar Award (free 1 year ADAA membership) / Student Achievement Award ($500)

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Who made that toothbrush?
The New York Times
"I don't have any of those toothbrushes that went to the moon," says Dr. Ben Swanson, former president of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry. He was speaking from his basement, where he stores his trove of 40,000 artifacts related to dental history. Swanson once dreamed of owning every kind of toothbrush in existence, but ended up stockpiling only a few hundred. "I had to give up because there were so many of them," he says. In fact, it would be nearly impossible to collect every specimen; the toothbrush is one of the most reinvented of human objects, with thousands of patents on file.
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HHS releases final rule regarding essential health benefits
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released the final rule on standards related to essential health benefits, actuarial value, and accreditation. The rule solidifies the Obama administration's approach to EHBs, the standard set of services that must be covered by insurance plans offering coverage on the new health insurance exchanges, as well as in the individual and small group insurance markets in each state, according to an update from the Children's Dental Health Project.
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50-Second Surface Disinfectant

PureLife Dental recently launched the 50-Second Solution, a next-generation surface disinfectant that kills tuberculosis in 50 seconds flat. Officially known as BioSURF, the product is non-toxic, making it safe for use around staff and patients. The 50-Second Solution is available in a 24oz spray and a 5L bottle. MORE

Americans fear tooth loss more than flu, root canals
DrBicuspid    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More Americans fear losing their teeth than getting the flu or root canals, according to a survey by the American Association of Endodontists. Despite an especially bad flu season that has taxed hospital emergency rooms and led to public health emergencies, more survey respondents hoped to avoid losing a permanent tooth (74 percent) than getting the flu (73 percent), the AAE noted in a press release. Outdated concerns about endodontic treatment may have been an underlying factor; 70 percent of respondents said they want to avoid root canals, and 60 percent were more anxious about root canal treatment than getting an extraction (57 percent) or receiving dental implants (54 percent). More

Mouthrinse reduces plaque and gingivitis more than toothbrushing alone
Medical News Today
New research published in the January/February 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, indicates that the use of a germ-killing mouthrinse in addition to regular toothbrushing can significantly reduce plaque and gingivitis, more so than brushing alone.
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