August 13th, 2013
The fashion for getting cosmetic dentistry, in particular teeth-whitening has grown substantially over the last few years.
However as well as off-the-shelf treatments available a number of business people notably those in the beauty industry sought to get in on the act.
But that will shortly come to an end.
Recent legislation made it illegal for anyone other than a dental practitioner to carry out teeth-whitening or any other similar cosmetic treatment.
Yet, while it is illegal, many salons have been disregarding this and continue to offer teeth-whitening services.
As such, the government is now embarking on a crackdown following a recent legal landmark case which saw a beauty therapist found guilty of offering services which they were not qualified to offer.
The judge in the case made a ruling that only suitably qualified professionals could offer customers and patients, services such as teeth-whitening.
June 27th, 2011
Israeli’s have something to shout about today, after news that their government are giving away free dental care to some of the youngest members of the populace.
From the 1st July, children aged between eight and ten will no longer need additional insurance to cover their dental costs, as the Israeli government will now cover this. The Cabinet unanimously approved the plan, which is due to help many people who are in oral health poverty, as just like their American counterparts, many cannot afford the costs attributed to dental work. At this moment in time, the cost of this will be NIS 80 million.
Initiated by the Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman, the plan is set to be launched in stages and children aged up to twelve will be eligible. By 2014, children aged up to fourteen will be able to claim for free dental health care. At present, there is a set cost of NIS 20 for check-ups, X-Rays, fillings and extractions.
It has been reported that between July 2010 and March 2011, 190,000 children aged up to eight years old had benefitted from the plans made by the government. The average cost of dental treatment for a child of this age was NIS 935 and the success of the plan is due to spread to older children.
Furthermore, the government said in 2010 that private practices could participate in the program as long as they were not-for-profit. Not one NPO (Non-Profit-Organisations) has been formed so far but this situation could always change.
No matter what the governments’ critics are saying, at least this is one helpful way in which they are assisting their citizens.
June 9th, 2011
According to the British Dental Associations (BDA) a new pilot, which will aim to bring together a number of parties for a new dental contract in England, have been told they must pool all their resources together if they wish to succeed.
Dr Milne expressed his feelings in a blog which was made ahead of the 2011 Annual Conference of Local Dental Committee on Friday 10th June. Dr Milne is the chair of the general dental practice committee, but has accepted that changes are a definite as the pilot progresses. In his blog, Dr Milne also warned that government and the participants involved must adhere to the processes laid down in this pilot and take into consideration the problems which arise that must then be dealt with.
In the same blog, Dr Milne acknowledges that the fundraising problems, which could be an issue, must also be dealt with accordingly and not be ignored. He also states in the blog that extra NHS funding must be made available to particular patients who require it. If the contract is passed through it has a win/lose negotiation, which means that the contract will only work if there is a win/win situation.
Dr Milne also mentions in his blog that for a win/win situation to become apparent would mean that the patients’ oral health would improve and the effectiveness of the teams working relationship would alter for the better as well.
May 19th, 2011
A new chief dental officer has been named in Wales as David Thomas, a practicing Cardiff dentist. Thomas will be responsible for advising the Welsh Government Ministers in relation to dentistry policy, practice and the encouragement of excellent oral health.
With some previous experience in dental leadership roles, Thomas is anticipated as being a positive representative of the chief medical officer team. Dr. Tony Jewell, chief medical officer in Wales, said, “David brings to the role a background in community dentistry, dental public health as well as a record in academia in both a management and research role.”
Thomas, who worked previously as the deputy chief dental officer to the Welsh Government, was also acting chief dental officer following Dr. Paul Langmaid’s retirement. Of the position, Thomas said he is “delighted” and is looking forward “to working with Ministers on the many aspects of dental policy and practice, including promoting and improving the dental health of the people of Wales.”
January 26th, 2011
A New York City Council member has introduced a new piece of legislation, which calls for the removal of fluoride from the city’s water supply.
New Yorkers have had fluoride in their tap water since the 1960s, but many people claim that this has had no positive effect on oral health in the city and has caused health conditions like fluorosis among young people.
Council Member Peter Vallone Jr has launched his legislation “prohibiting the addition of fluoride to the water supply” and is supported by more than 3,000 professionals, including nearly 300 dentists.
The professionals signed a petition organised by the Fluoride Action Network, who have backed Vallone and his campaign to remove fluoride from the water supply. Several US Environmental Protection Agency unions are also calling for a moratorium on the policy of adding fluoride to tap water, until further research on its benefits and side-effects has been carried out.
Attorney Paul Beeber, President, NYC Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation says, “It’s a rare legislator who’s willing to speak the truth about such a controversial issue, not for his own benefit but for the good of his constituents. Most government officials cling to outdated endorsements, baseless government pronouncements and fear of organized dentistry’s power and money. Vallone is a New York treasure.”
Vallone and his supporters quote evidence from a number of sources, including articles in scientific journals, that the standards of oral health in New York have not improved in the years since the water supply was fluoridated, but that cases if fluorosis have increased.
November 10th, 2010
The Scottish Government has announced that it intends to recover the millions of pounds it has mistakenly been giving to dentists for patients who are deceased or who have registered with other surgeries. A recent review found that the NHS has been paying for 150,000 patients who are either being taken care of elsewhere or have passed away.
In order to tackle the problem, dental bosses have started carrying out daily checks to ensure that deceased patients are disconnected from records but they are also planning to recover the money already paid out, despite not yet knowing exactly how much money this could involve.
The problem came about due to there being no guideline in place to alert the Practitioners Services Division when a patient died or moved away, so they could amend the payments made to a surgery accordingly. Dental check-ups are free in Scotland, as the government pays a monthly payment per patient to dentists – 96p for adults but anything up to nearly £5 for children and teenagers.
Dentists are concerned that they could end up having to pay for the government’s mistake and that being forced to repay money they have already spent on improving their surgery and treatments will have a negative impact on patient care.
Robert Kinloch, chairman of the British Dental Association’s Scottish dental practice committee said; “We have underlined the fact that monies paid to surgeries will have been invested in practice facilities, and call for a sensible approach to addressing the government’s error that recognises that the recovery of monies could adversely affect the treatment of patients. The process has also identified problems with the payment of allowances, which in some cases could have resulted in underpayments to dental practices.”
A spokesman for the Scottish government added; “Practitioners Service Division have now undertaken urgent remedial work and removed all duplicate patient entries. We are assessing the situation of overpayments and are working to recover any money wrongly paid. The new system will help to eliminate any further errors in payment.”