Low reimbursement, lack of dental schools lead to access problems in Ill. | Genetics play a role in tooth decay, researchers find | Small-business employees value optional benefits
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July 17, 2014
NADP SmartBrief
News affecting dental benefits

Industry News
Low reimbursement, lack of dental schools lead to access problems in Ill.
Illinois Medicaid reimburses dentists at about half the rate of some other states, health care consultant John Frana says. Moreover, some areas of the state are not attractive to dentists educated in big-city schools, says Heartland Dental Vice President of Administration Chad Thompson. "We need more dental schools to graduate dentists to keep up with the population throughout the United States," he said. Rockford Register Star (Ill.) (7/13)
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Genetics play a role in tooth decay, researchers find
Genetic factors account for about 60% of the risk for tooth decay, says Mary Marazita, director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Some gene variants are associated with a sweet tooth; others- contribute to the hardness or softness of tooth enamel, Marazita and her colleagues have found. Environmental factors including dental hygiene and diet contribute to the remaining 40% of risk for tooth decay. Guardian Liberty Voice (Las Vegas) (7/13)
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Small-business employees value optional benefits
Forty-seven percent of employees at small businesses surveyed by Aflac said they would be less likely to seek employment elsewhere if their employer improved their benefits packages, and 57% said they would accept a job with slightly lower pay but better benefits. Only 12% of survey respondents said they are extremely satisfied with their benefits, and only 14% said their benefits package meets their needs extremely well, this article says. National Underwriter Life & Health (7/10)
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New dental school opens at University of the Pacific
University of the Pacific, in San Francisco, opened a $151 million school of dentistry that includes a state-of-the-art dental practice lab. The mannequins on which the students work will eventually be mechanized to simulate eye and tongue movements and generate saliva, professor Jessie Vallee said. KPIX-TV (San Francisco) (7/13)
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Oral Health
Digital dentistry upends the patient experience
Technological advances in dentistry are evident from the moment patients sign in for an appointment with a tablet computer that logs data into their health record, Alex Howard writes. Dental imaging has gone digital as well, intraoral digital cameras give dentists a big-screen view of their patients' mouths, and advanced scheduling software simplifies making an appointment for patients and the dental team. TechRepublic (7/10)
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Should dentists offer HIV testing?
Eighty-two percent of Sydney dental patients polled said they would not object to receiving an HIV test at their dentist's office. Most said they would prefer a saliva swab, 15% would choose a pinprick and 8% would opt for a conventional blood test. Few dentist worldwide offer HIV tests. New York magazine/Science of Us blog (7/15)
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Company News
Connect with Other CONVERGE Attendees beforehand.
Did you know that once you are registered for CONVERGE you can see who is coming to the event through the CONVERGE 2014 Dental Interact Community? Also, you can see demographics for who is attending the conference here. Through the CONVERGE Community, attendees will receive handouts and course materials prior to the conference, have the ability to network with other attendees and make plans beforehand, receive real-time notifications on conference information and changes, get Discovery Zone updates, and receive information about contest giveaways from exhibitors. To visit the CONVERGE 2014 eCommunity, you must first register for the event. Then, visit nadpconverge.org and select Attendee Buzz on the navigation bar. Make sure you upload your photo to your Dental Interact profile so that other attendees can easily put a name to the face come September.
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July 22 Webinar: How to Get Your Boss to Listen to Your Great Ideas
Please join NADP and presenter Larry Marks, CEO of Marks & Associates, Inc., for the webinar "How to Get Your Boss to Listen to Your Great Ideas." Whether you are the senior manager dealing with the board, middle level or just starting out, it's not enough to have good ideas. You must be able to be explain your thinking, make sure ideas are soundly constructed and in harmony with the firm's goals. All NADP webinars are one hour long and begin at 1:00 p.m. (CT). Visit the Knowledge Center for pricing and registration information.
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Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear."
-- Leo Buscaglia,
American author and motivational speaker
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