This Week in Perio
Apr. 17, 2013

The leader of the plaque: Iceman Ötzi had bad teeth
National Geographic
Ötzi the Iceman, the world's oldest wet mummy, may have had many things in life, but a dazzling smile and fresh breath were not among them. A team of researchers from the Centre for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich announced that Ötzi's oral hygiene left a lot to be desired, to put it mildly. The 5,000-year-old mummy's mouth is filled with cavities, a broken tooth, and a bad case of gum disease — problems that still plague people today.More

How to negotiate with the Tooth Fairy
The Wall Street Journal
The Tooth Fairy apparently has given America's children a raise. According to a survey by the insurance company Delta Dental, the going rate for a lost baby tooth climbed 15 percent in 2012 to an average of $2.40, up from $2.10 the year before. What's more, a child's first lost tooth has turned into a real moneymaker, worth at least $3.40 on average. The survey also found that, while 51 percent of children got only a buck last year, 22 percent struck it rich, raking in $5 per tooth (and not just for the first one). Income inequality, it seems, extends to incisors.More

5 dental habits that can help you keep your teeth
U-T San Diego
These days, teeth have become an important fashion accessory. Everyone wants his or her smile to be just as white, bright and dazzling as that of any Hollywood celebrity. A great smile starts with healthy teeth. The following are five dental habits to develop that will give you the best smile possible and help you keep that smile for a lifetime.More

Herbal supplements may have side effects
Reading Eagle
Q: I do my best to stay healthy by getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. I avoid prescription medications, preferring natural safe herbal dietary supplements. My dentist said my gums are bleeding and that treatment requires taking an antibiotic. Green tea and garlic are both good antibacterial supplements and much safer than the antibiotic he would like to prescribe. Are you aware of any other herbal products that will help in treating my gum disease?More

Periodontal disease a diabetic risk
Florida Today
Nearly every diabetic knows the risks associated with the disease. It's one of the first things that your doctor or nurse talks about when the diagnosis is made. There are some dental nuances that affect the diabetic as well.More

Keeping periodontal maintenance relevant and positive
Do your patients tire of returning for their periodontal maintenance visits? Unless they are extraordinary, most eventually will. After all, according to the American Academy of Periodontology and the American Dental Association, periodontal maintenance lasts for the lifetime of the dentition or its implant replacements. Patients requiring periodontal maintenance to prevent disease progression make room in their schedules approximately every three months to visit their dental hygienists. What if we could make this appointment a positive visit, and make it relevant to the patient's health?More

What caused California man's death during third-molar surgery?
Authorities are looking into a San Diego man's death last month during what was considered a routine third-molar extraction procedure. On March 21, Marek Lapinski, 25, underwent surgery in the care of Dr. Steven Paul, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Temecula, Calif. In the midst of the surgery, Lapinski began to cough, was administered propofol, and subsequently went into cardiac arrest, according to news reports. Paramedics were called, they attempted to incubate him, and he was transported to a nearby hospital and placed in intensive care. He died on March 24. Now state and local authorities — along with the young man's family — are trying to determine what caused his death. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Periodontal disease incidence
Dental Economics
There is a large survey of thousands of people that is undertaken periodically, and the data is used extensively for a wide range of studies. It is called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and periodontal pocketing is among the parameters measured. Previous estimates from the NHANES survey conducted from 1999 to 2004 indicated that 7 percent of the U.S. population between ages 35 and 64 had moderate to severe periodontal disease. The most recent survey, which concluded in 2010, revealed that 36.7 percent of the same population had periodontal disease.More

Straumann unveils new implant line
Straumann has introduced a new implant line that has a combination of Roxolid material and the SLActive implant surface on all implant diameters with the Loxim transfer piece. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Baby boomers may boost dental economy
American Dental Association via DentistryIQ
As a whole, Americans aren't spending any more on dental care than they were five years ago, but baby boomers may alter that. After decades of steady growth, national dental expenditures began to slow in the early 2000s, years before the economy soured. When the Great Recession hit in 2008, national dental expenditures leveled off and has remained flat ever since. These changes are being driven by fewer adults visiting the dentist.More

2 new ways to use the power of mobile marketing to acquire new dental patients
A recent survey found that, astonishingly, almost 25 percent of patients say they would rather go a week without their toothbrush than a week without their mobile phone. There is no doubt that Americans love their mobile devices. In fact, the Pew Research Center reported that mobile tools such as smartphones and tablets are now a primary source of Internet connectivity.More

Helpful tips to avoid HIPAA violations in social media
Dental Health Magazine
Some practices are allowing HIPAA regulations to keep them from taking advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Foursquare and blogging. But if you're having second thoughts about engaging with your potential patients on social media networks, you can be sure that your competition is way ahead of you. Take a look at these tips that will help ensure that you avoid HIPAA violations.More

Mystery surrounds Iraq war vets with severe tooth decay
A Dallas-based investigative reporter has been working to find the source of oral health problems plaguing a number of U.S. soldiers returning from the war in Iraq. While the soldiers that Byron Harris of WFAA-TV interviewed for a recent story all went to Iraq with healthy mouths, they returned with teeth that turned gray in color, became weak, and ultimately broke. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Don't be afraid of dentists
It is disheartening and alarming to learn that as many as 7,000 patients are at risk of serious, life-threatening infections because of dentist W. Scott Harrington's alleged failure to follow "standard infection control guidelines" at his practice in a Tulsa, Okla., suburb. Around the country, people are asking: Are U.S. oral health services safe?More

5 things to do at the dentist's office
The recent news in Tulsa, Okla., brings to light an issue that is rare, but nonetheless important: cross infection in the dental office, or the transfer of infection from one patient to another in a healthcare environment. The unfortunate reality is that you, as the consumer, have very little chance of knowing what's going on — it's a huge trust relationship.More

Maine dentists oppose dental therapist bill
Kennebec Journal
Dentists came to the Maine State House in droves to oppose a bill that supporters say will help expand access to dental care in the state, particularly in rural areas. House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, is sponsoring L.D. 1230, which would create a new category of dental professionals called dental hygiene therapists. They would have the ability to pull teeth, place crowns, administer anesthesia and prescribe anti-inflammatories and other drugs in consultation with a supervising dentist.More

Medicare claim denial process begins May 1
American Dental Association
Medicare will "turn on" a claim denial process May 1 affecting dentists and other healthcare providers ordering particular Medicare-covered items or services for Medicare beneficiaries. As of that date, a provider of a covered clinical laboratory, imaging, durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies or home-health service will not be paid if the ordering or certifying practitioner has not enrolled in Medicare or properly opted out.More