Tupac dental colleague says patients seemed at risk

LOS ANGELES — A longtime Bakersfield dentist testified Tuesday that he took “no pleasure” in reporting onetime friend Dr. Robert Tupac to the California Dental Board for alleged negligence, but felt duty-bound to do so because “patients’ welfare was being harmed.”

Then, under polite grilling by Tupac’s attorney, the dentist, Robert Reed, acknowledged he had only seen two of the seven patients he named in his dental board complaints as having had care problems, that the dentists who treated the other five did not file complaints, and that he might have been exaggerating a bit when he reported there being “every week a different problem” with work Tupac performed on one patient.

 

Source: Bakers Field Californian / http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/health/x738926417/Tupac-dental-colleague-says-patients-seemed-at-risk

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Oral health: A window to your overall health

DID you know that your oral health can offer clues about your overall health? Or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Understand the intimate connection between oral health and overall health, and what you can do to protect yourself.

What’s the connection between oral health and overall health?

Your mouth is teeming with bacteria—most of them harmless. Normally, the body’s natural defenses and good oral-health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, harmful bacteria can sometimes grow out of control and cause oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

In addition, dental procedures, medications, or treatments that reduce saliva flow disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in your mouth or breach the mouth’s normal protective barriers may make it easier for bacteria to enter your bloodstream.

What conditions may be linked to oral health?

Your oral health may affect, be affected by or contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:

Endocarditis. Gum disease and dental procedures that cut your gums may allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream. If you have a weak immune system or a damaged heart valve, this can cause infection in other parts of the body—such as an infection of the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis).

Cardiovascular disease. Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to oral bacteria, possibly due to chronic inflammation from periodontitis—a severe form of gum disease.

Pregnancy and birth. Gum disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection—putting the gums at risk. In addition, people who have inadequate blood sugar control may develop more frequent and severe infections of the gums and the bone that holds teeth in place, and they may lose more teeth than do people who have good blood sugar control.

HIV/AIDS. Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.

Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and brittle—may be associated with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss.

Alzheimer’s disease. Tooth loss before age 35 may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

Other conditions. Other conditions that may be linked to oral health include Sjogren’s syndrome—an immune system disorder—and eating disorders.

Be sure to tell your dentist if you’re taking any medications or have had any changes in your overall health—especially if you’ve had any recent illnesses or you have a chronic condition.

 

How can I protect my oral health?

To protect your oral health, resolve to practice good oral hygiene every day. For example:

Brush your teeth at least twice a day.

Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

Floss daily.

Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks.

Schedule regular dental checkups.

Also, watch for signs and symptoms of oral disease and contact your dentist as soon as a problem arises. Remember, taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.

Source: Business Mirror / http://businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/features/health-fitness/9587-oral-health-a-window-to-your-overall-health

Kirkwood dental tech instructor named national Educator of the Year

A successful college program leader is getting national recognition for her contributions to her field. Betty Mitchell, Kirkwood’s Dental Technology program director, was named the National Association of Dental Laboratories Educator of the Year at a ceremony in January.

The NADL annually recognizes individuals and companies who have made contributions to NADL and the dental laboratory profession. NADL members are invited to nominate a person, laboratory or company they believe deserved to be recognized by their colleagues.

“Betty has been a tremendous leader in the dental technology field and an asset to Kirkwood’s program,” said Allied Health Dean Nancy Glab. “It’s very clear Betty is most deserving of this honor, for the number of high-quality graduates who have come through her program, and the countless hours she’s given back to the profession.”

Mitchell is the past-president of the Iowa Dental Laboratory Association. She’s also served in roles as a curriculum advisor and commission representative for Commission on Dental Accreditation site visits, a member of the CODA’s review committee, the educator representative on the NADL board and has served on the advisory committee for the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped.

Mitchell said it was her involvement in both state and national associations with the dental technology community that contributed to her recent honor. Part of her nomination included recommendations from peers in the field and graduates of Kirkwood’s Dental Technology program. She said she’s honored to receive the award, but looks at it as being a product of the support of other faculty members, staff and administrators she’s received at Kirkwood.

“This isn’t an award just for me,” said Mitchell. “It’s for everyone at Kirkwood and the dental technology community in the support given to this program. Years ago we experienced some low enrollment counts. Now we have maximized our laboratory facilities by running both day and evening labs to better meet the needs of the community. The success of this program and its students does my heart good.”

Since Kirkwood is the only ADA accredited institution in the Midwest, and one of just 19 across the country, Mitchell said typical graduates will have at least three job offers. She said there are around 15-20 dental laboratories, manufacturers or dental offices looking to hire dental technicians annually in Iowa, and without other accredited programs around, offers come from surrounding states as well.

Dental technicians combine science, art and technology to make dentures, and gold and porcelain crowns. Their role is to recreate a tooth or teeth, to make them as natural looking as possible. Kirkwood’s Dental Technology program is a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree.

Source: The Gazette / http://thegazette.com/2013/02/12/kirkwood-dental-tech-instructor-named-national-educator-of-the-year/

 

How to Lower Dental Insurance Costs and Make it Affordable

Without dental insurance, we cannot have access to proper dental care treatments. However, with the insurance costs continuously on the rise, it is quite difficult to find a policy which offers enough coverage, but which is affordable too.

In order to enjoy a good overall hearth, it is important to take care of both dental and gum health. With regular checkups and treating teeth when the problem is still minor, you will not have any problems.

Sadly, some statistics released by Gallup Poll in 2011, show that as many as 35% of the American adults have not even visited the dentist for as much as a full year. What do most people say as an excuse of not visiting the dentist? The costs.

They find dental care very expensive, so most of them consider going to the dentist only when they need emergency dental treatments. People who were most likely to visit the dentist on a regular basis were those who did have proper dental insurance.

But again the numbers show that as many as 130 million Americans don’t have dental insurance at all…and even those who have dental insurance, have got an annual coverage of about $1,000 per year, which is not enough to cover for all oral health needs they encounter.

How to lower dental insurance & dental treatments costs:

Inform your dentist about your dental costs related concerns. Let your dentist know that you are concerned about the price of the dental treatments. He is going to suggest alternative treatments which are the same effective, but come on a more affordable price.

Research & Negotiate. Especially if you need more expensive dental treatments such as dental implants or braces, you should research the average price for those treatments in your area.

Check thoroughly your dental insurance to see if anything is covered and as a last step negotiate with your dentist the price. You should know that if your dentist tells you the cost of a dental implant is $3,000, it is possible to obtain a discount of even up to 15% or 20% if you pay upfront for example.

Consider the dental discount plans. Regardless of whether you have dental insurance or not, a way to reduce costs for expensive dental treatments is to use a dental discount plan.

For this, you will have to pay an annual membership, and then you will benefit of discounts between 10% and even up to 60% on a wide variety of dental treatments. Don’t worry if your dental insurance does not cover for root canal treatment, because a dental discount plan can save you up to 60% on such a complex treatment.

The free dental clinics. All you need is an internet connection, and you can find out within seconds where is the next free dental clinic held in your area. There are some eligibility criteria that you must fulfill, but other than that you can get from dental X-rays and up to denture repairs all sorts of important dental treatments for free.

 

Source: World Dental / http://worldental.org/dental-insurance/dental-insurance-costs-affordable/9989/

Brushing teeth Gangnam style: Dentists say song is best for children to clean effectively

  •     A musician and dental professional have come up with a formula that encourages children to brush properly
  •     The formula is designed to make teeth brushing fun

Gangnam Style became an international cult hit with celebrities, Eton students and even a robot destined for work on a warship copying the iconic song and dance.

Now, Korean pop star PSY’s song has been identified as the best for encouraging children to brush their teeth properly as it enables them to complete the correct number of strokes needed for a complete clean.

An expert from Brighton Institute of Modern Music and a dental professional have devised a musical formula for brushing teeth, which works out the pattern of beats needed for a perfect clean.

The equation, created by Ivor Novello nominee Jim Williams, shows that songs that have eight bars of music, followed by another two sets of four bars can encourage brushing.

They must also include a double chorus and middle ‘bridging’ section, known as a double eight.

Based on this formula, Mr Williams complied a list of songs that best match the calculation designed to help children brush better.

Gangnam Style – which recently became the most watched item ever posted on YouTube with over one billion views – came out on top, followed by Rihanna’s Diamond; Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To know; Olly Murs’ Troublemaker; Wiley’s Heatwave and Cheryl Cole’s Call My Name.

Dental expert, Tina Tanna, who worked with Aquafresh to create the brushing technique, said: ‘Children must brush at least 35 times on each side of the mouth – using seven strokes in five areas – to ensure their teeth and gums stay healthy.’

Lesley Stonier, senior brand manager for Aquafresh, said: ‘Brushing teeth is essential to children’s oral health but it can be a battle for mums and dads to get them to do it properly.

‘This new formula and top songs to brush to are designed to help put the fun into brushing time. Using these tunes to establish a good teeth cleaning routine with your children will set them up with good dental hygiene for life.’

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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2277252/Brushing-teeth-Gangnam-style-Dentists-say-song-best-children-clean-effectively.html#ixzz2Kvb6pAs6

 

A simpler, fairer way to fund California’s schools

Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal aims to transform the way the state distributes money to schools.

Driving along Pacific Coast Highway, you can see the successive layers of earth and rock that have piled up over millions of years to create California’s coastal landscape. You can see a similar but less attractive phenomenon if you look at the way California funds its public K-12 schools.

Over the last several decades, Sacramento has piled up layer upon layer of funding requirements in education, adding new regulations to the pile while leaving old ones in place.

These “categorical” programs send money to school districts to support specific activities, and each comes with its own set of rules and obligations.

Categorical programs provide earmarked funding for reduced class sizes in selected grades, incentives to hire physical education teachers, oral health assessments for students in kindergarten and more.

These are all worthy purposes, but the resulting jumble of policies is inefficient, inequitable and hostile to local innovation and experimentation.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal aims to transform the way California distributes money to schools by making two big changes under his “Local Control Funding Formula.”

First, the governor would do away with the many layers of categorical funding requirements that have piled up, which now govern more than $7 billion in school revenue each year. The new system would consolidate the dollars now scattered across multiple programs into a single per-pupil grant. Local educators would be freed to decide how best to spend the money they get from the state to design programs that meet the specific needs of their communities.

The state would hold school districts accountable for success in meeting achievement goals for their students, rather than for compliance with categorical spending rules.

Second, the system would direct additional resources to the schools and students that need them most. Under the proposal, all school districts and charter schools would receive a base grant for each student they enroll. School districts and charters with students who face greater challenges — children in foster care, students living in poverty and students still learning English — would receive additional funds to support these students.

Districts in which more than half of all students come from disadvantaged backgrounds would receive a further supplement to help them overcome the obstacles to educational success caused by concentrated poverty.

The governor’s proposal would not reduce funding for any school district, but revenue would grow faster in school districts that educate lots of disadvantaged students than it would in others.

Adopting the governor’s proposed formula would make California’s education finance system simpler and fairer. It would make education spending more efficient, by reducing the administrative burden on local educators. It would make school funding more equitable, by directing a larger share of resources to the neediest schools and students. And it would increase flexibility and encourage local innovation and experimentation, by freeing local educators from the rules and mandates that go along with categorical funding.

Piling up layers of earth and rock has produced the magnificent panorama of California’s coast. Piling up layers of categorical programs in California’s education system has been far less inspiring.

The governor’s proposed changes for California’s education landscape are long overdue.

David N. Plank, a research professor in the Stanford Graduate School of Education, is executive director of policy analysis for California Education, a partnership of Stanford University, UC Berkeley and USC.

Source: LATimes / http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-plank-california-education-20130124,0,234511.story

Colorado children saw oral health improve, but gaps remain survey says Read more: Colorado children saw oral health improve, but gaps remain survey says

The teeth of Colorado schoolchildren got much healthier in the past five years, but significant needs remain in cavity treatment by income and racial measures, according to an updated long-term survey.

Fourteen percent of Colorado third-graders had untreated decay in the 2011-12 school year, down from 25 percent five years earlier, according to the oral-health survey by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Nearly half of third-graders are now getting tooth sealants that block decay, at 45 percent compared with 37 percent five years ago, the survey said.

Publicity and outreach efforts to parents have boosted the number of children using dental benefits under Medicaid, said Dr. Katya Mauritson, oral-health director at state health. More kids are enrolled in dental “homes” that will monitor their care over time.

Yet many low-income and Latino children either lack dental benefits or aren’t using those they have. Children at lower-income kindergartens had more than twice the rates of decay or fillings as children at better-off schools, measured by qualifying for reduced-price meals.

Thirty-two percent of white kindergartners had decay or fillings in the latest study period, compared with 55 percent of Latino children, the survey said.

Health officials and educators are trying to boost oral care by expanding providers willing to take public benefits and applying more sealants in public-school clinic settings. Professional standards now urge pediatricians to recommend a dental visit by age 1.

“While there is some encouraging news here about reduced rates of tooth decay overall, it is totally unacceptable that low-income kindergartners are twice as likely as their more affluent peers to experience tooth decay,” said Cody Belzley, vice president for health initiatives at the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “All children should be able to get the care — including dental care — they need, when they need it to grow up healthy and strong. This report tells us we’ve got some momentum behind us but still a long way to go.”

Read more: Colorado children saw oral health improve, but gaps remain survey says – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_22569742/colorado-children-saw-oral-health-improve-but-gaps#ixzz2Kgg36ZVY