A large, nonprofit medical center in Seattle partnered with dental residents and dentists in training, oral surgeons and community health care centers to streamline referrals of Medicaid and uninsured patients who need dental care. The health care centers serve as the patients' dental homes, staff performs exams and provide other dental care, and complex cases or patients needing surgery are referred to a specialty clinic within the hospital.
Dental sealants are effective and economical, but many schools lack sealant programs, and 10 states require a dentist to be involved in sealant application, though the process can be handled by a hygienist, writes health economist Austin Frakt. Sealants cost about $30 to $40 per tooth, compared with $100 to fill a cavity, Frakt writes.
Treatment with a 38% silver diamine fluoride solution stops caries progression in primary teeth and is inexpensive and easy to administer, according to a review published in JDR Clinical & Translational Research. No significant complications were reported, but the treatment leaves lesions black, the researchers said.
A $350,000 grant from HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration will allow the Greater Danbury Community Health Center in Connecticut to add two dental exam rooms and hire three dentists, two hygienists and five assistants. The center provides primary and dental care to low-income and under-insured residents using a sliding fee scale.
Small cavities can start developing six months after a dental exam, and gum disease can progress within a year. After five years without dental care, serious oral health problems can develop, and teeth may be covered in calcified deposits that contribute to decay; after a decade, teeth may have become sensitive and deteriorated.
US dentists and oral surgeons remove 10 million wisdom teeth every year, but less than 1% of impacted wisdom teeth left in place and 20% of all wisdom teeth involve complications, according to research. Critics say extraction is a source of income dentists and oral surgeons want to protect, but Louis Rafetto, president of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, says wisdom teeth extraction is more difficult in older adults.
Take advantage of the complimentary webinar One and Done: Bringing Dental Provider Credentialing Into the 21st Century, sponsored by a SKYGEN USA on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. Central Time. This presentation will discuss the need for the dental industry to replace the current, repetitive, one-off model with a "one-and-done" centralized credentialing solution that will save time, save money and improve accuracy on both sides. Panelists include Mike Lessila, director of credentialing services; John Schaak, president, Scion Dental; and Annie Driscoll, manager, administrative and credentialing services, American Dental Association. Register in the NADP Knowledge Center.
Join NADP on Oct. 5 as best-selling author, Randy Dean, presents the webinar Smart Phone Success and Terrific Tablets at 1 p.m. Central Time. Dean will highlight apps, services and functions that will help you turn your Droid, iPhone/iPad, and/or Windows device into a productivity workhorse. This webinar is the third in a three-part series, presented by Dean, who wrote "Taming the E-mail Beast." For more information and to register, visit the NADP Knowledge Center.