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Archives for April, 2011

Quality over Quantity in Dental World

A new patient system which aims to reward and increase quality has been unveiled by the NHS. This new scheme will see dentists providing a set quantity of NHS treatments that they will be paid for, and they will be rewarded for each patient and not each treatment.

At the moment, 62 dental practices have been chosen to trial the new scheme. According to the government, this new scheme is meant to pull dental practitioners away from the “drill and fill” mentality, where payments have been tied to target treatment.

Now, dentists are meant to collaborate with their patients to promote proper oral health are to be held responsible for the value of treatments they provide. For the patients, this new scheme will restore their right to be registered with a dentist.

If the scheme is successful, the new scheme could be introduced in April 2014 as a general practice. Health Minister Lord Howe said that this approach is not only beneficial for patients, but it is also a better use of the NHS’s resources.

“We want our reforms to give dentists the encouragement they are looking for to provide a service that meets the needs of today’s population, and which fosters positive habits from an early age,” Howe said.

Dental Practice Seeks Maternity Cover Three Times Over

They’re the talk of the practice, Emily Brook, Geri Bowman and Laura Simmonds. All three women are nurses at Whitstable’s Harbour Dental Practice and all three are pregnant. Now, bosses of the practice are embarking on the frantic search for maternity cover for each of them.

Principal dentist Jane McGuckin said: “The fact that all three dental nurses have become pregnant at the same time has created a lot of interest among our patients. They are asking us which chair they should or should not sit in.”

Emily Brook is first up, with her baby due at the end of May. She’ll be followed by Geri Bowman, who has an expected due date of 29 June and, finally Laura Simmonds’s is expected to give birth in September.

McGuckin said, “We’re delighted and very proud for them, but when they go they will leave a huge cavity. We are looking for maternity cover because our mums-to-be will probably want their jobs back.”

New Zealand Dentists Push for Tougher Whitening Regulations

Following a series of situations where patients have been negatively affected after receiving botched teeth whitening treatments, the New Zealand Environmental Risk Management Authority has proposed that dentist be the only people allowed to administer teeth whitening treatment when the products contain more than 3.6 percent bleach.

In the most recent case brought to the authority’s attention, a woman’s gums turned white and she experienced extreme pain following an improper procedure carried out by a representative of the teeth whitening product’s company. Because the representative was not a registered health professional, they were unable to be punished for the botched treatment.

The New Zealand Dental Association says the use of hydrogen peroxide, the bleach used in teeth whitening, can be dangerous and should be monitored, as a result the association, has raised the issue with the authority in hopes of regulating its usage.

A representative of the dental association said, “It’s always amazed me that a lay member of the public can put a highly caustic material in someone else’s mouth with the potential to cause quite a bit of damage to them.”

At the moment, at home teeth whitening kits would still be available to purchase in New Zealand as they contain a considerable amount less of bleach and are generally considered to be very safe.

New Dental Technology Helps to Detect Oral Cancer

Dentists could play a vital role in the detection of oral cancer, says dentist Jonathan Glatt.

“Dentists are inherently very close to the mouth and are ideally positioned to help identify suspicious conditions of the head, neck, and oral cavity — such as red or white lesions in the mouth that don’t heal, as well as to monitor any risk factors a patient may have that could create changes at the molecular level,” he said.

Oral cancers refer to tumors involving the tongue, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, uvula, tonsils, base of the tongue, pharyngeal wall, gums, cheeks, mouth and lips. Accord to the National Cancer Institute over 36,000 new cases of oral cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2010, and nearly 8,000 people died from it.

Oral cancer affects men twice as often as women and those of African descent more than any other racial group. Two known risk factors of oral cancer are smoking and drinking, and when the two are combined, the risk increases.

To combat the sometimes fatal oral cancer and detect it sooner, Glatt and his partner, Joseph Oleske, have come up a two-minute white light and Velscope exam that could save lives.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. A white light exam is done of the patient’s head, neck and oral cavity with the naked eye.
  2. A Velscope, a high-intensity light that works similar to fluorescence, is used to detect suspicious situations that might require more attention. When exposed to a Velscope’s light, normal cells get excited and fluoresce back, while cells that have molecular changes won’t, revealing dark shadows in the scope, Glatt said.

Of the procedure, Glatt said, “It’s safe and quick … [it] helps highlight areas which might not otherwise be seen by the naked eye.”

Dental Students Educate Pupils on Oral Cancer

“Hot Lips Don’t Smoke” was the name of the campaign dental students presented to over 2,500 school students about the dangers and importance of not smoking in Plymouth.

The dental students visited Stoke Damerel Community College, Eggbuckland Community College and Ivybridge Community College and presented information on the health risks associated with drinking and smoking, paying special emphasis to oral cancer.

The dental students informed the pupils that smoking and excess alcohol consumption were the two leading risk factors of oral cancer. “Hot Lips Don’t Smoke” also aimed to educate pupils on the symptoms of oral cancer including unexplained swelling in the head or neck, non-healing ulcers and a white or red patch in the mouth.

Campaigners also suggested that students under the age of 18 should attend the dentist at east every six months to maintain optimum oral hygiene.

Thousands Seek NHS Dental Care Across Worcestershire

January and February saw NHS staff out on the streets in Worcester, Malvern and Kidderminster contacting the public to remind them of the importance of seeking dental care, explaining the options made available to them through the NHS as well as the costs they might incur and giving information on where to go for check-ups.

The hours of canvassing have paid off; more than 2,000 people have signed up to NHS dentists is Worcestershire. Alan Michael, an NHS public health consultant said that they canvassing activities had been definitely proved to be a great achievement. “It’s been a huge success. We know access to NHS dentistry is important to people in Worcestershire and we are continuing to invest to expand provision,” Michael said.

An NHS dentist can be advantageous to everyone as you do not have to be a recipient of benefits in order to receive NHS treatment. An NHS dentist might be an option for you if you are looking for an affordable to receive top notch dental treatment. In addition, help with costs may be an option for you if you qualify under one of the many schemes available.

Dentistry Meets War Tactics for the Win

A new book, Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way, by former dentist Michael Young, has snatched the top prize in the Diagram Oddest Book Title of the Year competition.

The book, which advises dentists on how to run their dental practices in the style of the Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan, contains chapters on team building, managing conflicts and disaster planning. According to Young, Khan’s vicious tenacity is required to build a successful dental practice in the western world.

It is unclear how much success Young can expect to have from his strangely titled book, however, if the contents are sound and a bit less strange, then anything’s possible. One more tick for not judging a book by its cover, aye?

Tighter Regulations Posed for Teeth Whitening

A New Zealand woman has been left in considerable pain and with bleached gums following a botched teeth whitening session with an unqualified practitioner. As a result of the botched treatment, it has been reported that the woman’s gums turned white and were burning for over a day.

Prior to the treatment, the woman had her teeth scaled and polished by a dental hygienist. It is speculated that this procedure may have contributed to the bad reaction of the bleaching. The teeth whitening procedure was performed by a person trained by the company supplying the whitening equipment instead of a trained dental professional.

As a result of this mishap, a proposition is on the table that will be decided on on Tuesday by New Zealand’s Environmental Risk Management Authority. The proposition suggests that only dentists be allowed to administer teeth whitening procedures with products that contain more than 3.6 percent hydrogen peroxide.

New Zealand’s Health and Disability Commissioner reportedly said that this case highlights the risks of tooth whitening treatment being performed by people who were unqualified. However, at present, there is no legal requirement in New Zealand for teeth whitening to be performed by a dentist.

Teeth and breath, the highest order in Singapore

Teeth, although necessary for eating and maintaining a healthy diet, vary in importance from culture to culture. That is not to say that they lose importance, but that the importance of the appearance of teeth is significantly varied. In Singapore, findings of a recent research survey reveal that 64 percent of all Singaporeans reported noticing other people’s teeth when they laughed.

The survey, a Nielson survey, conducted by Oral-B in conjunction with the “Healthier Teeth, Healthier Singapore” dental awareness programme was given to 300 Singaporeans via the internet. One of the most alarming findings of the research is that 79 percent of Singaporeans have suffered from sensitive teeth, bleeding or swollen gums, tooth decay, bad breath, periodontitis and gingivitis.

Other noteworthy survey results conclude:

  • 66 percent of Singaporeans said they will never date a person with bad breath
  • 87 percent of female Singaporeans agreed that men with bad breath were unattractive
  • 43 percent of female Singaporeans would rather date a man who was balding than who had bad breath
  • 55 percent of managers, executives and businessmen confessed to harboring a negative impression of their colleagues due to halitosis

As part of the “Healthier Teeth, Healthier Singapore” programme, Oral-B is offering free screenings over the next five weeks to help Singaporeans boost their dental hygiene.

Internship may become mandatory for Delhi dental students

The Dental Council of India has decided to revisit a 2007 decision to scrap the need for hands-on training with real patients for dental students.

If finalized, students will have to complete a year-long clinical programme, after completing four years of BDS theory. In 2007, the internship was dropped due to lack of seriousness on part of the students.

Now, it is felt that reinstating the internship will outfit the students with hands-on, professional experience. India has 249 private dental colleges and 40 government colleges. When the BDS was made a five year course without an internship, India became one of a handful of countries not to implement an internship process.

These implications are not the only changes being made. Due to the dental industry’s emergence as a lucrative way to make money, the Dental Council of India has made it mandatory for undergraduate professors to remain in the same college for at least a week.

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