This Week in Perio
Dec. 22, 2010

Dental hygienists make U.S. News & World Report's top 50 careers for 2011
U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report released their 50 Best Careers of 2011 and dental hygienists made the list. The report said employment within this field presents plenty of opportunity. In 2008, hygienists held 174,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department, and by 2018 that number is expected to climb to 237,000, or 36 percent — much higher than the average forecasted for all professions.More

Dental implants: Cosmetic beauty or benefit?
Dental Health Magazine
If you have lost a tooth or teeth as a result of getting older and wondered what affect the missing tooth or teeth would have on your appearance or what would happen to your brilliant and wonderful smile, you don't have to wonder any more. The reason that you don't have to wonder any more is because you are a candidate for a dental implant. The good news is that a dental implant will improve your cosmetic appearance and your oral health. Aging is the primary reason why people get dental implants. Usually this begins when a person reaches middle age. The reason for this is that as a person gets older there is an increased possibility that the person will lose a tooth or teeth. However, dental implants are not required only for aging people but they are necessary for people who have been injured or been in an accident.More

It takes a team: How new dental providers can benefit patients, practices
Pew Center on the States
Policymakers in a number of states are considering the creation of new types of licensed professionals who would work with dentists to deliver primary dental care to children and other underserved patients. This report is the first to examine the potential effects of dental therapists and hygienist-therapists (also called allied providers) on the productivity and profits of private dental practices, where 92 percent of the nation's dentists work. Some dentists are concerned that authorizing new types of dental professionals could negatively affect their businesses. Pew's analysis, however, shows that most private-practice dentists who hire an allied provider can serve more patients while maintaining or improving their financial bottom line. Importantly, most dentists who add a dental therapist or hygienist-therapist to their team can treat more Medicaid enrollees and still preserve or increase their income.More

Most US dental schools offer cone-beam CT training
A majority of dental schools in the U.S. own cone-beam CT systems and have incorporated training in 3-D image interpretation into their curriculums, according to research presented at the recent American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology meeting in San Diego. With the growing interest in, and adoption of, cone-beam CT technology for maxillofacial imaging, researchers from Ohio State University and University of Detroit Mercy wanted to determine to what degree pre- and post-doctoral dental programs are including 3-D image acquisition, interpretation and application of implant planning software in their course offerings. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Chewing tobacco maker agrees to $5 million settlement
The Associated Press via Google News
The maker of Skoal and Copenhagen smokeless tobacco has agreed to pay $5 million to the family of a man who died of mouth cancer in what is believed to be the first wrongful-death settlement won from a chewing tobacco company. A legal expert said the case could open the door for more lawsuits against makers of chewing tobacco, an industry that drew fewer legal battles during the 1990s than cigarette manufacturers. U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. will pay the award to the family of Bobby Hill of Canton, N.C., who began chewing tobacco at 13. He died in 2003 at 42. Attorney Antonio Ponvert III, who represented Hill's relatives, told The Associated Press about the agreement. Regulatory documents confirmed the deal.More

Survey shows Americans trust their doctors
A majority of adult Americans trust their doctors and are confident in their advice, a new survey indicates. The new Gallup Health and Healthcare Survey shows that 70 percent of Americans are confident in their doctor's advice and don't feel a need to seek out a second opinion or do additional research on their own. That's up from 64 percent of Americans who expressed such confidence in Gallup's 2002 survey on the same subject. The new research indicates the following.More

Consumer risks feared as health law spurs mergers
The New York Times
When Congress passed the health care law, it envisioned doctors and hospitals joining forces, coordinating care and holding down costs, with the prospect of earning government bonuses for controlling costs. Now, months into the new law there is a growing frenzy of mergers involving hospitals, clinics and doctor groups eager to share costs and savings, and cash in on the incentives. They, in turn, have deployed a small army of lawyers and lobbyists trying to persuade the Obama administration to relax or waive a body of older laws intended to thwart health care monopolies, and to protect against shoddy care and fraudulent billing of patients or Medicare.More

Stuart J. Oberman: The importance of privacy
Dental Tribune International
Privacy is something we all value. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that dental patients want to ensure more than ever that their personal information will not be shared with anyone without a legitimate need to know. Under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HIPAA Rules were created to ensure that all health care professionals respect and protect a patient's privacy. HIPAA gives patients significant rights in controlling how medical professionals maintain and communicate individual health information. How well does your office comply with HIPAA guidelines? Because HIPAA compliance is not optional, every dental office should take the necessary steps to ensure it is HIPAA compliant.More

Vermont ranked healthiest state
The Boston Globe
Vermont has maintained its ranking as the healthiest state in the country for the fourth year in a row. The 2010 American's Health Rankings put Massachusetts in second place, followed by New Hampshire with Mississippi as the least healthiest state. The rankings published by United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention noted Vermont's strengths as its high school graduation rate, low rate of uninsured people and ready access to early prenatal care.More