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ADA gives senior dental students free drug guide

 

To make the transition to practice a little easier, the ADA is providing senior dental students with a courtesy one-year subscription to the new ADA/PDR Dental Therapeutics Online, a comprehensive, user-friendly digital reference on drugs used in dentistry.

The Colgate Oral Health Network for Professional Education and Development provided a grant that enabled the ADA to provide the subscriptions.

Some 5,000 U.S. senior dental students will receive the complimentary subscription. A Colgate-Palmolive grant provided hard copy versions of the drug guide to senior dental students in previous years.


SCIENCE


“The value of the online version is ease of use,” said Phyllis Martina, Colgate’s senior academic relations manager. “Can you imagine a dental student bringing a printed version of the PDR to their dental clinic chair for each patient appointment? The book would be very heavy, impossible for a dental student to bring to their dental chair. With just a few key strokes, each dental student has quick access to information on medications for their clinic patients, prior to their board exams and to use as they begin their dental practices.”

Dr. Sebastian Ciancio, who edited the drug guide, also emphasized the ease of use of the online product for dental students.

“The student of today is well versed in the electronic publishing world,” said Dr. Ciancio, professor and chairman in the Department of Periodontology and director of the Center for Dental Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo, in Buffalo, N.Y. “Since the content of the current edition is published electronically, students will find this edition especially easy to use as a rapid chairside reference relative to medications their patients are taking.

 

“The book was first published in 1998 and, over the years, students and clinicians gave us feedback as to their needs in terms of information on dental therapeutics. From students we learned that this book is not only a valuable chairside aid, but also serves as a useful resource in preparing for various board examinations.”

The students will have a handy resource that is valuable to both the practicing dentist and the dentist in training.

“Colgate also understands that dental students may not have the financial resources to purchase this essential reference on their own,” Ms. Martina said. “Providing the PDR Dental Therapeutics online for dental students will give them one of the indispensable references they require as they begin their dental careers.”

The ADA collaborated with Physician’s Desk Reference to post the content of Dental Therapeutics on the Internet, where subscribers can quickly locate dosages and information of clinical significance.

The ADA, PDR, editor Dr. Ciancio, 27 leading practitioners and Colgate-Palmolive transformed the content for digital use, building a database of more than 50,000 drugs.

The database is filled with brief, informative descriptions of drug categories. The online subscription provides access to PDR3D, a digital reference product that pairs the largest human drug label database available with an intuitive search platform allowing for access to critical label information.

Key features include crucial data on dosage, interactions, precautions and adverse effects; clear, well-organized tables on dental therapeutic agents that offer rapid access to information on common drugs used in dentistry; an evidence-based overview of herbs and dietary supplements; and appendices that cover drug-related issues that affect dental practice, including substance abuse, tobacco-use cessation, agents that affect fetuses and nursing infants and others.

Helping gather practice-based evidence through the National Dental PBRN


Round table discussion: Members of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network discuss their projects at an annual meeting of Southwest region practitioners in San Antonio in February 2013. Participants are, from left, Dr. Michelle Martin, Houston; Dr. Dena Fischer, Bethesda, Md.; Kim Lovell, a dental hygienist, Mesa, Ariz.; Dr. Leonard Kinateder, Killeen, Texas; Dr. Malcolm Ray Scott, Austin, Texas; and Dr. Melissa Nevid, Austin, Texas. 

Birmingham, Ala.—New opportunities exist through the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network for dentists to gather evidence that may have chairside significance.

Dental practice-based research networks are the investigative union of practicing dentists and academic scientists who propose and participate in research studies addressing oral health care. The intent is to expand the profession’s evidence base through studies involving data collected in dental offices.

“We continue to be very impressed by the input that we receive from practitioners,” said Dr. Gregg Gilbert, network director and chair of the department of clinical and community sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “This input has come enthusiastically at every step of the study development process—from idea generation, to study design, to design of the data collection forms, to study implementation, all to be done in busy clinical practices.”

Before consolidation in 2012, three regional PBRNs coexisted under separate principal investigators. The three were the Dental Practice-Based Research Network; Practitioners Engaged in Applied Research and Learning; and Northwest Practice-Based Research Collaborative in Evidence-Based Dentistry. They operated with separate funding and support from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

 

NIDCR supports the new streamlined network, based at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with a seven-year, $66.8 million grant.

Dentists nationwide can become network practitioners and have their practice participate in a network study—or even propose research. Dr. Sonia Makhija, an associate professor at UAB and network director of communications and dissemination, points out that dentists who were part of the three separate PBRNs must rejoin the united organization if they want to continue participation.

“You weren’t grandfathered in,” Dr. Makhija said. “So if you were in one of the previous networks, you still have to join the new network.”

Launched or soon-to-be launched projects include a cracked tooth registry, a questionnaire about isolation techniques used during root canal treatment, a study on suspicious occlusal carious lesions, and one about dentin hypersensitivity. Under the new national model, participating members also can earn continuing education credits.

The network will also host a three-hour program at ADA 2014—America’s Dental Meeting, Oct. 9 in San Antonio.

To enroll, visit NationalDentalPBRN.org. More information also is available through the network’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter (@DentalPBRN), LinkedIn and YouTube.

For more information, visit nidcr.nih.gov and search for National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.

ADEAGies Foundation to honor awards recipients


Golden winners: Eight honorees will receive these William J. Gies Awards March 17 at the American Dental Education Association Annual Session and Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas. 

Washington—The American Dental Education Association Gies Foundation announced the eight recipients of its annual William J. Gies Awards for Vision, Innovation and Achievement.

The recipients will be honored March 17 at the 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas.

“This awards program represents the best in oral health and dental education, and it is an honor to recognize the dental educators and academic institutions that are making significant advances within the field,” said Dr. Richard W. Valachovic, president of the ADEAGies Foundation and ADEA.

The award is named after William J. Gies, Ph.D., a Columbia University biochemistry professor and founder of its College of Dental Medicine.

In 1926, Dr. Gies published “The Gies Report, Dental Education in the United States and Canada,” a landmark report that established the importance of dentistry as a healing science and an essential component of higher education in the health professions.

The award honors individuals and organizations exemplifying dedication to the highest standards of vision, innovation and achievement in dental education, research and leadership.

The 2014 honorees are:

• Dr. John Eisner, University of Buffalo School of Medicine, Outstanding Innovation-Dental Educator;

• Dr. Raul I. Garcia, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Outstanding Vision-Dental Educator;

• Dr. Lisa A. Tedesco, Emory University James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies, Outstanding Achievement-Dental Educator;

• American Academy of Periodontology Foundation, Outstanding Achievement-Public/Private Partner;

• Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, Outstanding Innovation-Academic Dental Institution;

• Columbia University College of Dental Medicine’s Community DentCare Program, Outstanding Achievement-Academic Dental Institution;

• The Hinman Dental Society of Atlanta, Outstanding Vision-Public/Private Partner;

• Henry Schein, Inc., Outstanding Achievement-Public/Private Partner.

“Each year, I am increasingly impressed with the innovation and progress exhibited through the achievements of the William J. Gies Awards winners,” said Dr. Valachovic.

The awards are presented by the ADEAGies Foundation, the philanthropic arm of ADEA. The Foundation works to enhance the public’s oral health through programs that support dental education, research, leadership and recognition.

For more on information on the 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition, visit adea.org.

MouthHealthy.org reaches 1 million visits in 2013

 

Launched in June 2012 by the ADA, MouthHealthy.org, which provides the latest information to help patients make informed decisions about their oral health, reached a milestone: 1 million visitors.

The award-winning educational website had its 1 millionth visitor at the end of 2013—1,003,764 through December 2013.

In addition, average visit duration to the website was approximately six minutes—adding up to more than 99,000 hours of oral health education delivered through MouthHealthy.org since its inception.

MouthHealthy.org is an exceptionally valuable resource for individuals and families,” said Dr. Sally Hewett, Council on Communications chair. “It’s wonderful that it has informed, engaged and helped empower so many people to take charge of their oral health.”

MouthHealthy.org—available in Spanish translation as well—includes timely and credible information on prevention, care and treatment with in-depth content, videos and a highly engaging presentation. It won the bronze award in the website category in the Association TRENDS 2012 All-Media Contest.

ADA members can market their own practice on MouthHealthy.org by completing their profile on ADA Find-A-Dentist. 

Members can also connect their patients directly to ADA-approved patient education by downloading a web button and linking it to their practice website. Download the web button and other promotional materials at promotional materials.

Give Kids a Smile Day is Feb. 7




 
 
 
 

With Give Kids A Smile Day just days away, a total of 1,500 GKAS events have registered, and estimate they will treat nearly 345,000 children on or around Feb. 7. More than 9,000 dentists and 28,000 other dental team members and lay volunteers will be providing care to kids in need through GKAS programs.

Programs are encouraged to register if they haven’t done so yet—either before or after their events, and all program coordinators/dentist participants are asked to report their actual program totals following their events. Log on to GKAS.

GKAS program coordinators nationwide should have their digital cameras ready to capture the highlights of the event.

The ADA News welcomes digital photo submissions from GKAS program participants—including candid pictures of children, dentists and team members interacting and clinical photos (patients in the chair, dental team in gloves, masks and protective eyewear). Be sure to include identification of those pictured and facts about your event.

Send high-resolution photos for consideration for use in the ADA News and on ADA News Today (on ADA.org) to adanews@ada.org as soon as possible following your event.

Program coordinators can also post photos on the new ADA GKAS Facebook page. Clinical photos submitted for the website should also show dental professionals using universal precautions.

GKAS corporate sponsors continue to generously support the program. Henry Schein Dental will provide professional dental kits containing gloves, patient bibs and bib holders, masks, plastic cups, tongue depressors, gauze pads, prophy angles and paste, fluoride varnish, chair sleeves and fluoride trays. Colgate Palmolive Co. has donated toothbrushes and toothpaste. DEXIS Digital X-ray Systems will donate the use of their X-ray units and the expertise of their staff to U.S. dental schools requesting assistance, state associations and large group practices during GKAS.

Dental Quality Alliance to test measures on use of ERs for caries-related reasons


Meeting of importance: Dr. W. Ken Rich, Dental Quality Alliance chair, listens at the Dec. 6 meeting, where a resolution to validate three measures related to the use of emergency rooms and caries-related treatment was passed. 

The Dental Quality Alliance will test a new set of measures that evaluate the use of emergency rooms for caries-related reasons.

At its Dec. 6 meeting at ADA Headquarters in Chicago, the DQA approved a resolution that funds a proposal from the University of Florida to validate three measures related to the advanced caries management and pediatric health status project. The measures include the use of ERs by patients with problems related to caries; a follow-up after a visit to the ER; and the use of general anesthesia for caries-related treatment.

The University of Florida will use Medicaid data from Florida and Texas to determine if the ER measures are appropriate.

“Inappropriate use of health care has become a major concern in this era of health care reform, especially the inappropriate use of emergency rooms. This care is not only inappropriate but also very expensive,” said Dr. W. Ken Rich, DQA chair. “It has long been known that people with dental pain will seek relief by presenting to an emergency room. The extent of this problem can only be determined if we have a way to evaluate it. These measures will not only quantify but will hopefully lead to a solution to this problem of inappropriate use of our health care system.”

 

“Testing and developing measures on the use of emergency rooms, especially follow-up after such use compliments the ADA’s Action for Dental Health, a major campaign aimed at ending the dental health crisis affecting tens of millions of Americans,” said Dr. David Schirmer, representing the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations on the DQA. “One of the major pillars of the Action for Dental Health is to provide care now to people who are suffering.”

The measures are programmatic measures and are meant for use by the Medicaid programs and health plans to identify the extent to which their enrolled population uses the ER inappropriately. Overcoming this problem will require programs and plans to encourage patients to seek timely preventive and restorative care within office settings. In addition to evaluating ER measures, the DQA will continue its work in validating new oral health measures, thanks to a grant from the ADA Foundation.

“We’re seeing an increasing focus on quality measurement in both Medicaid programs and in emerging marketplaces,” said Dr. Jim Crall, DQA chair-elect. “This shows us how important the work of the DQA is and reaffirms that we need to continue moving forward to develop and promote measures that can help guide improvements in oral health care programs.”

This year, the DQA will look into measures for adults. For more information, visit the DQA website.

Maryland study looks at correlation between dental insurance and utilization

Baltimore—Providing people with dental insurance does not necessarily mean they will use it and seek dental care, according to a new study from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The research suggests that outreach and education are needed to ensure that people value their dental health and use their coverage to seek appropriate dental care. The researchers hope that policymakers will use the findings in designing future programs and initiatives, according to first author Dr. Richard J. Manski, Ph.D., professor and chief of dental public health at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

“You can’t just hand people coverage and say, ‘There, that’s better,'” says Dr. Manski. “You need to offer some inducements, some promotional campaign to change people’s attitudes and beliefs. We hope this starts the process of a new way of thinking about the problem.”

The researchers examined data from the Health and Retirement Study of 2008, looking at older Americans who had dental coverage and those who didn’t, and examining who was using dental care. They also looked at personal characteristics such as race, gender, marital status, age, health status and more.

The scientists found that providing dental coverage to uninsured older Americans who do not tend to use dental care will not necessarily mean that, once insured, those people will seek dental care.

Rather, if policymakers want people to use dental coverage and seek care, they have to go a step further than just providing insurance.

While many of the factors that keep people from seeking care—such as age and gender—can’t be changed, other factors could be influenced by outreach. These factors include knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, tastes, health status and income, according to the study.

Education and marketing outreach about the importance of dental care to overall health could alter these factors and make people who get coverage more likely to use it.

Improving the economy and the unemployment rate could also affect the problem for the better.

The number of providers available in the market could also affect the likelihood that patients will use their dental coverage, supporting the development of programs encouraging people to enter the field of dentistry.

The data also indicate that getting people to use dental coverage to seek care is not a short-term process, Dr. Manski said.

“We need to set long-term goals for such things and understand that dental coverage and use is a long-term issue, so that we don’t get frustrated that rates of use aren’t going up right away,” Dr. Manski said.

Oral health is a critical part of a person’s overall health, and the study has implications for other types of health insurance as well, Dr. Manski said.

“Dentistry and dental coverage is a perfect experimental model for health care,” he said. “There are lessons to be learned for overall health coverage and use as well.”

Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., managing vice president of the ADA Health Policy Resources Center, which has studied older Americans’ utilization of dental services, praised the study but said it’s important to note that it focuses on people 50 and older. Many studies, including those published by HPRC, have shown the 50 plus population is the group where dental insurance has a much lesser impact on dental care use, mostly because of a shift in the source of financing, Dr. Vujicic said.

“The evidence suggests that baby boomers place a high value on dental care, have invested in their oral health and are more willing to pay out of pocket for their dental care when they lose coverage,” Dr. Vujicic said.

“The generation behind them, however, is totally different. As our HPRC studies and others have also shown, the access to care issue, the decline in dental care use, the increased financial barriers to care, are all rising among working age adults, especially those under 35. From a policy perspective, all of this evidence emphasizes that expanding dental insurance among baby boomers might not be the most critical issue in improving access to care.”

Microsoft to discontinue support for Windows XP


Dr. Licking

Microsoft will discontinue its technical support for Windows XP as of April 8, which could put covered dental practices that still use the operating system at increased risk of serious security problems.

For dental practices covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that could lead to violations of the law.

Security updates that help protect PCs against newly discovered vulnerabilities will no longer be provided for Windows XP as of that date. The operating system will still work after April 8 but computers may become more vulnerable to security risks, according to Microsoft.

The antivirus software for Windows XP called Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to receive regular updates until July 14, 2015.

Other antivirus vendors are also expected to continue to provide updates.

These security risks could lead to data breaches that would require covered dental practices to notify their patients and the federal government and could expose them to liability for violating state data security laws.

They could also be at risk of violating the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, a set of standards developed by the payment card industry to protect credit and debit card data.

But it may be an oversimplification to state that any health care provider using an XP work station or server after April 8 is automatically violating the HIPAA Security Rule, according to Dr. Mary A. Licking, chair of a working group of the Standards Committee on Dental Informatics.

 

The HIPAA Security Rule includes two standards that should prompt covered dental practices that are currently using Windows XP to develop a transition plan to Windows 7 or 8, Dr. Licking said. The “Risk Analysis” standard requires a covered dental practice to conduct an accurate and thorough assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of electronic protected health information held by the covered practice.

The “Security Management Process” standard requires covered practices to implement security measures sufficient to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level to comply with general requirements of the Security Rule.

“These requirements basically mean that covered entities must be aware of privacy threats and adjust their policies, procedures, and, sometimes, their office computer networks to respond to changes in their threat environments in an appropriate manner,” Dr. Licking said.

Older computer operating systems, like Windows XP, may be more vulnerable to hacking attacks over open networks and to computer viruses, Dr. Licking said. They can also crash without warning, exposing data to possible loss, she said.

Once a developer like Microsoft stops offering support for an operating system, no more security patches or bug fixes will be available.

“Vendors of products that run on the old operating system, like dental practice management software, may cease support for those products as well, exposing the client to the risks posed by bugs, crashes, data loss and other security problems,” Dr. Licking said.

“It’s more prudent to use a reasonably current operating system that’s supported so that the organization can continue to receive security patches, software updates and technical support necessary for meeting the HIPAA Security Rule’s technical requirements.”

Microsoft encourages its customers to upgrade their operating system to Windows 8.1, if their PC can handle it. Windows 7 is also an option.

Dental practices that are planning to transition away from Windows XP should consult with their technology vendors to devise a prudent and appropriate migration path.

For more information on HIPAA requirements, visit ADA.org. The Office for Civil Rights also has information on the law at hhs.gov/ocr/privacy. To learn more about the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, visit pcisecuritystandards.org.

The ADA Complete HIPAA Compliance Kit (J598) is available from the ADA Catalog, catalog.ada.org, and includes a manual, the training CD-ROM and a three-year update service.

The kit is $300 for members and $450 for nonmembers.

Code Maintenance Committee asks for input on CDT 2015


Casting a ballot: Members of the Code Maintenance Committee vote on a change to CDT 2014 at their meeting at ADA Headquarters in 2013. The CMC will meet Feb. 27-March 1 to discuss CDT 2015.

ADA member dentists and others in the dental community have the chance to weigh-in on proposed changes to the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature at the Code Maintenance Committee meeting.

The CMC will meet at ADA Headquarters in Chicago Feb. 27-March 1 to address 119 requests for CDT Code additions and other changes. Accepted requests will be incorporated into CDT 2015. The meeting will begin with an open forum, where request submitters and other interested parties are invited to comment on any of the actions on the agenda.

“This is a great opportunity for members to contribute to one of the ADA’s most important pieces of intellectual property,” said Dr. Andrew Vorrasi, CMC chair.

“The CDT Code touches every dentist in every practice, and a robust, unambiguous code set supports accurate patient records and claims submissions.”

Following the public forum, the CMC will move into its business session, which is open to observers.

The 21 voting members of the CMC will then decide which requests to accept and which to decline.

“More than a third of the change requests came from practicing dentists,” Dr. Vorrasi said. “This is a living, breathing document that we want members and other interested groups to be a part of maintaining.”

 

The CDT Code is ADA intellectual property and named by the federal government as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act standard for reporting dental services on claims.

The ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs established the CMC to ensure that all stakeholders have an active role in evaluating and voting on CDT Code changes.

For more information vist the CMC page.

At the 2013 CMC meeting, 58 changes were voted on to incorporate into CDT 2014: 32 additions, 22 revisions and four deletions.

To purchase a copy of CDT 2014, visit catalog.ada.org. The hard copy book (J014) is $39.95 for members and $59.95 for nonmembers; the e-book (J014D) is $29.95 for members and $44.95 for nonmembers; and the book and e-book bundle (J014D) is $49.95 for members and $69.95 for nonmembers.

ADA endorses health insurance Web portal

 

Members looking for Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance options can look to the ADA as a resource beginning Feb. 15.

The ADA Board of Trustees approved the endorsement of a national private health insurance exchange Web portal, the American Health Insurance Exchange powered by JLBG Health.

AHIX will provide interested ADA members with access to both state public exchange health insurance plans—the same plans that are available on healthcare.gov—and private, ACA-compliant health insurance plans.

“With the implementation of the ACA, many of our members may be faced with increasing health insurance cost for their staff, and they will want to investigate coverage options,” said Dr. Charles H. Norman, ADA president. “The ADA is offering a new resource that allows our members to find for the coverage that best fits their needs using an endorsed Web portal. In this changing insurance market, it is reassuring to access a product that has been evaluated by the ADA.”

The ADA is designing an ADA.org Web landing page that will first list the direct links to websites and 800 numbers for members to access ACA-compliant medical plan options endorsed by their state dental associations. That is followed by a link to the ADA-endorsed AHIX Web portal for members that do not have health insurance plans offered through their dental association, said Dr. Robert Coleman, chair of the Council on Members Insurance and Retirement Programs.

Member-only services include:

• a dedicated answer line via email or toll-free number;

• licensed insurance brokers will consult with members to find health plan to meet their needs;

• fast and secure access to rate quotes and plan options;

• ability to shop for plans on and of the public health insurance exchanges;

• apply for the health plan of their choice with our without subsidies.

“This is an endorsement of a Web portal only, not of a health insurance company or plan,” Dr. Coleman said, adding that CMIRP recommended the endorsement in response to members looking to the ADA for solutions due to the impact of the ACA on medical insurance plans. The ADA Board took action Jan. 8 to approve the endorsement of AHIX.

“This resource will maximize member value by making it easier for members throughout the country to find health insurance that best meets their needs in a very complicated, new medical insurance landscape,” Dr. Coleman said.

“The ADA is working to have the Web page available beginning Feb. 15 prior to the 2013 ACA open enrollment period closing on March 31 to serve as a valuable resource for members who are looking for ACA compliant health insurance options for 2014,” Dr. Coleman said.