The John Fornetti Dental Center Presents Dentistry For Our Vets 2018

Iron Mountain, MI – The John Fornetti Dental Center will present Dentistry For Our Vets on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Dentistry For Our Vets provides free dental care to our veterans in need.

Dr. John and Dr. Dan Fornetti, along with their team of employees, volunteers and sponsors will be hosting their 5th annual Dentistry For Our Vets on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Those over age 18 in need of dental care will be able to choose between one free extraction, filling or hygiene cleaning. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis until 3:00 p.m.

The media is invited to join the many volunteers and patients to spread free smiles across Iron Mountain through Dentistry For Our Vets at The John Fornetti Dental Center. We are turning our parking lot into an outdoor waiting room, with a heated waiting area and burn barrels, but please remember to bundle up and stay warm.

91% of U.S. veterans are ineligible for dental benefits. Dr. John Fornetti of Iron Mountain, MI, thinks as Americans, we can do better. In response, Dr. John started Dentistry For Our Vets. The John Fornetti Dental Center’s 2017 event was able to serve 58 veterans, providing over 162 procedures, and over $20,000 in services donated.

Dentistry For Our Vets will be held at The John Fornetti Dental Center, located at 100 S. Stephenson Avenue, Iron Mountain, MI. from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Anyone interested in volunteering their services for the event can find more information by calling (906) 774-0100 or visiting us on the web here and on Facebook.

This content was originally published here.

Spirit of the Entrepreneur: Valdosta Family Dentistry | Local News | valdostadailytimes.com

VALDOSTA — Being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy and everyone does it a little differently.

Some open online stores, while others open brick-and-mortar storefronts.

Some go all in and invest their lives into a new venture, while others start a new business as something to do on the side. Regardless of the type, entrepreneurs help drive the local economy.

Larry Black, owner and dentist at Valdosta Family Dentistry, didn’t begin his career in dentistry until he was in his mid-30s.

At 17, he left Valdosta and joined the Navy for six years.

He worked as an electronic technician doing satellite communications and cryptography.

After leaving the military as an employee, he worked as a civilian contractor for the Navy for six years doing similar work.

The work required Black to travel regularly, and he eventually decided he wanted to settle down.

“We traveled about 11 months out of the year,” he said. “We traveled anywhere the Navy was having trouble with communications equipment. I decided that I was ready to quit traveling and started back to school.”

Being from Valdosta, Black returned to attend Valdosta State University to earn a biology degree.

After three years of undergraduate work and a degree in hand, Black had been introduced to the world of dentistry through Dr. Greg Morris, he said.

So, Black attended the Medical College of Georgia for four years to to become a dentist.

By the time he attended MCG, he was the third oldest student in his cohort. Black said being a non-traditional student was beneficial to him.

“I was one of those people who could not have done and focused on school at 18,” he said. “Part of the reason I went into the Navy was I knew that about myself.

“When I came back from the Navy and started school, it was much easier for me having already had life experience and improved time-management skills. Knowing where I wanted to be and how to get there helped me jump through the hoops or check off the boxes to get there.

“I knew what I wanted and was wiling to work harder for it and put in the time.”

After graduation, Black came back to Valdosta in 2004 and opened his first office, Quitman Family Dentistry in Quitman.

“When I got out and looked at a place to set up my office, there was still plenty of room for more dentists in Valdosta, and having grown up here, I felt that it would be easier to start up a business in my hometown,” he said.

In 2009, Black opened an office in Valdosta.

“When I was working in Quitman Family Dentistry, myself and Dr. Eric Castor felt there would be a need for an emergency dental clinic in Valdosta,” he said. “We spent a year with this office as an emergency-only clinic.”

Based on customer requests, Black expanded to a full-service dentist office in 2010.

After being in practice for almost 15 years, he said the hardest part has been operating the business side.

“Running the business is probably the toughest part of what I do,” he said. “The toughest part for most dentists is we tend to be very technical. We enjoy working with our hands and working with people. And dental school prepares you for all the knowledge you need to do dentistry.

“The tough thing is they don’t prepare you to run a small business. When you come out of school and you have to learn about tax structure and accounting.”

Black said he leaned on his late wife, Dana Black, when he first opened his business.

“I got into it thinking you get out, put your sign on the door and you go to work,” he said.

While he worked with the clients, Dana learned how to run the business for him.

“She was a big part of why we were able to do what we did,” he said.

Dana passed in 2017.

As for advice for new or potential business owners, Black suggests taking a few years to learn about the selected industry. He also recommends utilizing the small business resources available.

“If you are going to open up your own business, understand that business,” he said. “Most people have an idea of what a business is but they haven’t worked in it before. They don’t have an idea of how it works. Take a few years and start from the bottom and work in a few positions.

“Then go and take some accounting classes and business classes either through (Wiregrass Georgia Technical College) or the (University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Valdosta State University) that’s here in Valdosta because both of those guys helped me out after I got started.”

Valdosta Family Dentistry, 2935 N. Ashley St., Suite 130, is open open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Quitman Family Dentistry is open Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, call (229) 333-8484.

Jason Smith is a reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be contacted at 229-244-3400 ext.1257.

This content was originally published here.

The Importance of Geriatric Dentistry

As you grow older, it’s important to keep up with your teeth. Perhaps you or your companions don’t see the need to go to the dentist, but the impact of good dentistry on your teeth and overall health is undeniable.

Here, we’ll explore all you should know about geriatric dentistry.

Why Do Older Adults Not Go to the Dentist?

With retirement, spending time with family, and other life events in full swing, it can be difficult to prioritize your oral health.

Here are some specific reasons why seniors don’t visit the dentist:

  • Cost: Seniors don’t have workplace insurance coverage. Programs like Medicaid offer limited coverage for dental procedures. Some seniors don’t view paying out-of-pocket as a realistic option.
  • Misinformation: Some seniors believe that they don’t need to go to the dentist because they don’t have teeth. This is simply not true. At a visit, you can be fitted for dentures and get exams to screen for signs of oral cancer.

How Your Oral Health Affects You

Your oral health is important in so many ways. Some of the top reasons include:

Contributing to Your Bodily Health

Your oral health doesn’t just benefit your teeth and gums. Poor oral health can lead to:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Pneumonia

Neglecting to visit a dentist can lead to specific oral issues like:

  • An uneven jawbone
  • Root decay
  • Darkened or otherwise discolored teeth
  • Gum disease

Giving You Confidence

There is an aesthetic appeal to good oral health.

A white, aligned smile is self-assuring. It can help you feel confident and allow you to more fully enjoy social interactions.

Ceramic crowns, veneers, and other types of cosmetic dentistry from Calgary, for example, all help seniors smile with confidence. More standard services, like teeth whitening and cleaning, help preserve your smile for life.

How to Go on a Budget

If the cost of going to the dentist is daunting, use these tips for going to the dentist on a budget.

Limit Unnecessary Visits

At home, be sure to care for your teeth. Take these preventative measures:

  • Brush twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • If you have extra-sensitive teeth, use a gentle toothpaste.
  • Avoid foods that may cause tooth damage, like hard candy or acidic fruits

Even though skipping out on visits may save you money temporarily, it isn’t a financially-savvy habit. Attending regular visits prevents the need for costly treatments down the road.

Review Your Options

Look up different dental offices around you. They will vary in price based on the services they offer and the areas where they operate. Consider driving to a nearby area with a lower cost of living. The extra minutes it takes to drive to a different location can save you money, especially on costly procedures.

Look for Coupons

Some offices offer special coupons or deals for new customers. Look actively on saving sites like Groupon or browse your local newspaper.

Go to a Dental Hygienist

In many areas, you can see a dental hygienist without a dentist present. These types of visits are significantly less expensive than regular office visits. Be sure to research the regulations in your area. Some areas restrict what a hygienist can treat.

Ask for a Discount

If you’ve been going to the same office for years, consider asking for a discount. Most dental offices are willing to negotiate a price, especially on a costly procedure. Do so before you receive treatment. You can also request treatment to be performed in different stages. This way, you have time in-between visits to save money to pay for your treatment.

Visit Your Dentist!

Managing your oral health as a senior can be intimidating. As with other adults, seniors should have their teeth cleaned twice a year. You should also get X-rays at least once a year to ensure there are no underlying problems with your teeth or gums.

Take command of your oral health as a senior!

The post The Importance of Geriatric Dentistry appeared first on LivingBetter50.

This content was originally published here.

BYU students promote women in dentistry

From left to right: Lauren Olsen, Eliza Butcher, Nadia Valentin, Kendra Law, Tessa Hadley, Cyerra Davis and Haram Kim smile at the opening social of the BYU Women in Dentistry committee last week. (Ty Mullen)

Recent BYU graduate Lauren Olsen wanted to be a dentist since she was 4 years old, but while at BYU, her advisor influenced her to pursue a different career path. She ended up graduating in 2018 with a degree in public health.

“He looked at me and was like ‘You know, if you’re a dentist, you’ll have a really hard time being a mom,’” Olsen said, describing the conversation that led her to change majors. “I left and just cried a lot.”

Lauren Olsen dressed as a dentist with her father. Olsen said she knew she wanted to be a dentist at a very young age. (Lauren Olsen)

Olsen said a public health internship in Cambodia helped her realize she needed to return to her roots and study dentistry. While there, she met a young girl with an infected tooth and a swollen face who couldn’t speak. There were no dentists available in the area to assist her.

“I was flying home the next day and thought ‘I didn’t do anything for her,’ and it’s one of my biggest regrets,” Olsen said. “When I got home, I started having a lot of little experiences that reminded me that I wanted to be a dentist all along.”

Olsen said once she got home, she asked family members if they knew any women in dentistry. She eventually learned about Jennifer Klonkle, who is a mother and works one day out of the week as a dentist in Arizona.

Dentists like Klonkle inspired Olsen to find a way to share their stories with other aspiring female dentists.

“If only other girls at BYU could see this,” Olsen said. “I know these nice, normal, smart girls are dentists and moms and whatever they want to be.”

Despite the small number of female dentists in Utah, Olsen established the Women in Dentistry committee at BYU to inform others that there are women who have successfully forged a career in dentistry.

Only four percent of dentists in Utah are women, while 28.9 percent of dentists are female nationwide, according to a 2017 study by the Utah Medical Education Council.

Women in Dentistry president Kendra Law said the group has grown from six to about 30 members. Law said she believes the numbers have increased because of the committee’s support for students who would otherwise be discouraged from a career in dentistry.

“It just helps to have this support group of women who are all trying to reach the same goal,” Law said. “Even when some people are saying, ‘No, you can’t do it,’ we can turn to each other, and we have a good network of people supporting and pushing us to all reach the same dream.”

The first six members of the Women in Dentistry club (from left): Alejandra Garcia, Lauren Olsen, Tess Hadley, Emily Coenen, Kendra Law and Emma Kohl. Club president Kendra Law said the number of members has grown since then. (Lauren Olsen)

The Women in Dentistry committee volunteers for organizations like Community Health Connect to help youth from low-income Utah County families receive the dental care they need. Members of the committee participate in a fluoride varnish program where they check children’s teeth and refer severe cases to dentists who offer dental care free of charge.

“They get a chance to see and understand that there are kids that really don’t have a toothbrush or can’t take care of themselves,” said Julie Francis, Dental Assistant Program Coordinator of Mountainland Technical College. “They get that feeling to help people and become more involved in the community.”

Olsen said she is expanding the Women in Dentistry committee to reach female dental assistants who are juniors and seniors in high school.

“Ninety percent of the high school students we talked to signed up to learn more,” Olsen said.  “It taught me when you teach young girls about their potential, they want to do big things.”

Olsen is now completing prerequisites at UVU so she can apply for dental school next summer. She is also creating a website where young women can observe the examples of female dentists who have successfully balanced their career and other interests.

“So that there will never be a girl again who comes to BYU and gets told ‘No, you can’t be a mom and a dentist. You can’t be a Young Women’s president and a dentist,’” Olsen said. “We’ll have a database of interviews showing that you can and that women all over the country are doing it.”

For updates about BYU Women in Dentistry club meetings, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

This content was originally published here.

Mentoring In Dentistry: Promoting Growth And Development – Oral Health Group

With September and the launch of a new school year, we inevitably begin to think about learning and education. When it comes to facilitating the learning and development of new healthcare professionals, mentoring is noted as being a key mechanism to accomplish this goal. While mentoring may not be as prevalent in dentistry as it is in other health professions, the principles and expected benefits are equally applicable and relevant.

The process involves the pairing of an experienced dentist, the mentor, with a less experienced dentist, the mentee, in order to help the latter attain professional goals and to progress throughout their careers. The mentor serves as a support person and facilitator for the mentee, with the goal of promoting professional development and growth of the mentee through the sharing of knowledge, information and perspectives.

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Mentoring relationships can be initiated formally or informally. Formal relationships may be facilitated or encouraged if working within a larger organization or as part of a professional association or group. In these scenarios, a new dentist is paired with a dentist willing and trained to act as a mentor as part of a formal and structured program with clear goals and objectives. Informal mentoring relationships are typically formed when a new dentist independently seeks out an experienced dentist to serve as a guide. These relationships tend to be less structured with variable objectives and outcomes.

Keys to successful mentoring

The success of any type of mentoring relies on a productive and functional relationship between mentor and mentee that is based upon reciprocal trust and respect. This is facilitated when mentors and mentees enter the relationship with clear expectations. The setting of ground rules is essential and requires a frank discussion to determine parameters around such things as communication, commitment, responsibility and timelines. Strong commitment between both parties is essential, and open and ongoing communication is required for success.  Mentoring is a two-way street and both the mentor and mentee have equally important roles to play.

Personal characteristics and traits also serve as key determinants of success. Good mentors exhibit qualities of openness, humility, patience and empathy. Mentors who offer the most are those who practice active listening, can be reflective and are able to serve as a professional role model and guide. It is not essential that a mentor be able to address every question or concern of the mentee, but rather is able to facilitate learning and growth by directing the mentee to the required tools and resources. Mentees who will gain the most from the experience are those who have a desire for learning, are eager to develop, enthusiastic, open-minded and receptive to feedback and guidance. An important skill to develop for mentees is critical reflection, as success of the experience requires an honest self-assessment of one’s learning and development needs.

Benefits of mentoring

Best practices of mentoring dictate that the mentor will guide the mentee in the creation of learning objectives that are required to achieve the desired professional development and growth. These objectives will serve as a starting point for discussions around the relationship and what it may entail. While a mentee may have an idea about where they want to go, it is the mentor’s role to guide and support the journey, or where appropriate, suggest alternate routes.

The benefits of mentoring include creating a sense of belonging, improving productivity, achieving goal clarity, increasing confidence and greater job satisfaction. Mentoring can be a rewarding experience not only for the mentor and mentee but also for the organization and profession by creating a positive climate and culture. A fruitful and effective mentoring relationship is a win for everyone involved. Dentists at all stages of their careers should consider becoming involved in mentoring. Whether as a mentor or mentee, the sharing of knowledge, wisdom and perspectives will provide a meaningful experience.

About the Author

Dr. Shawn Steele graduated from Western University with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2005 and entered into private practice. While continuing to practice dentistry, Dr. Steele earned a Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Education degree. He is an Assistant Professor at Schulich Dentistry, the City-wide-Chief of Dentistry for London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London and continues to work in private practice. Dr. Steele serves as the Clinical Coach for dentalcorp’s Associate Development Program and is committed to supporting the development and growth of dentists and the dental profession.

This content was originally published here.

Eagle News Online – Goel Family Dentistry moving location, changing name

The Goel Family Dentistry staff at a recent outing to Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards. (courtesy Goel Family Dentistry)

Goel Family Dentistry, which has been serving the Cazenovia community for the past decade, has announced some major changes coming up for its business, not the least of which is a move to a new building and a re-naming of the practice.

The change is really about expansion — the practice has hired a new dentist and a new hygienist, has 9,500 patients from all over the Cazenovia area, and needs more room for working and more room to grow, said Dr. Vikas Goel, owner of the practice currently located in the Atwell Mill building on Albany Street.

“We’re busting at the seams here,” Goel said. “I’m nervous, excited, everything. It’s a good move for us, and also for Cazenovia.”

Goel has purchased the former Pro-Tel building at 4 Chenango Street and is currently undertaking some upgrades and renovations to prepare for a move-in that he hopes will be in January. Pro-Tel owner Eric Burrell sold the building after he moved his offices to 95 Albany St.

An artist rendering of the new business sign for Creekside Dental, the new name for Goel Family Dentistry. (Courtesy Goel Family Dentistry)

Goel’s new offices will double his current footprint from 2,400 to 5,000 square feet, he said. Patients will enter from the parking area through the lower level of the Chenango Street building, where the reception and waiting room will be, then take an elevator upstairs to the clinical space where there will be 11 chairs for patients, he said.

Goel recently hired Dr. Tyler Maxwell, a graduate from Buffalo University, as the third dentist in the practice, joining Goel and Dr. Anna Romans. He also recently hired another hygienist.

“Right now, we have three doctors, five hygenists and six chairs — the math just doesn’t work anymore,” he said. “And it’s just time I get my own place.”

With the new building, more chairs and more staff, an increased number of appointment times will also open up for their patients, Goel said.

The new dental office will not only have a new address, but also a new name: Creekside Dental. Goel said that with three dentists now, to keep his name alone on the business was “not really fair.”

Goel Family Dentistry is currently located at 135 Albany St., but will soon be moving to its new location at 4 Chenango St. For more information, call 315-655-5885 or visit the website at doctorgoel.com.

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Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.

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IU Dentistry serves smiles to Ronald McDonald House families

This past fall, our Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) ASDA chapter partnered with our local Ronald McDonald House to serve families who are displaced while their seriously ill or injured child receives care at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. We helped provide home-cooked meals for families on a monthly basis, interacting with them and spreading information about our resources at IUSD, which is located across the street. These dinners also served as a time for the family members to share their child’s story and connect with other parents who may be going through similar experiences.

We established this programming because we recognized the need for volunteers at our local Ronald McDonald House, and with the facility being only a short walk away from the dental school, it became a no-brainer in terms of getting dental students and the dental school more involved.

One of the toughest parts of the dinners was hearing some of the heart-wrenching stories from the families. For example, one family had multiple other children at home over four hours away. We listened to how they balanced time between being with their child who was receiving treatment at Riley Hospital and tending to their other children at home. As a dental student, it is so easy to get caught up in the exams, crown preps and denture projects that we may forget about the hardships others are facing right in our backyard. Partnering with and serving at Ronald McDonald House taught us how to be a little kinder and more open to listening to and comforting those in need.

My experience at our dinners was always heart-warming and meaningful. Watching my fellow students come together in the kitchen to serve those away from their home for several weeks or even months allowed me to see how much can be accomplished when a group works together and how big of a difference just a warm meal can make.

It is important to continue outreach to displaced populations such as the families at the Ronald McDonald Houses. For children facing a serious medical crisis, nothing is scarier than not having family nearby for love and support. Ronald McDonald Houses provide places for families to call home so they can be near their child at little to no cost.

My advice for a student wanting to start their own outreach project for displaced populations is to tap into local resources to see how you can collaborate to give back. You can make an even bigger difference when multiple organizations come together united. In addition, be creative and optimistic, realizing that no matter how small or large the project is, ultimately, a difference is being made. This event has impacted my understanding of oral health by illustrating to me how without outreach events, those in the community who may need care the most might not know about it or receive it.

One thing I wish I’d known earlier about the event was how much the families at the Ronald McDonald House truly appreciated the meals and the interactions. I had no idea how meaningful this work would be, and I found that sometimes a parent just needed someone to listen to them. Participating in this event as a health care provider taught me how to truly get to know people in the community who are struggling in some of the most challenging aspects of life, having an ill or injured child. This event illustrated the importance of a group of volunteers coming together for a cause and making a difference in the lives of those displaced from their homes.

~Sydney Twiggs, Indiana ’21

ASDA thanks Colgate for their exclusive sponsorship of the National Outreach Initiative. This backing includes funding for the Dentistry in the Community Grant and free oral health care supplies to any chapter that requests them.

This content is sponsored and does not necessarily reflect the views of ASDA.

This content was originally published here.

‘Dental Therapists’ Filling Gaps In Rural Dentistry Care

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — It can be hard to keep smiles healthy in rural areas, where dentists are few and far between and residents often are poor and lack dental coverage. Efforts to remedy the problem have produced varying degrees of success.

The biggest obstacle? Dentists.

Dozens of countries, such as New Zealand, use “dental therapists” — a step below a dentist, similar to a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner — to bring basic dental care to remote areas, often tribal reservations. But in the U.S., dentists and their powerful lobby have battled legislatures for years on the drive to allow therapists to practice.

Therapists can fill teeth, attach temporary crowns, and extract loose or diseased teeth, leaving more complicated procedures like root canals and reconstruction to dentists. But many dentists argue therapists lack the education and experience needed even to pull teeth.

“You might think extracting a tooth is very simple,” said Peter Larrabee, a retired dentist who teaches at the University of New England. “It can kill you if you’re not in the right hands. It doesn’t happen very often, but it happens enough.”

Dental therapists currently practice in only four states: on certain reservations and schools in Oregon through a pilot program; on reservations in Washington and Alaska; and for over 10 years in Minnesota, where they must work under the supervision of a dentist.

The tide is starting to turn, though.

Since December, Nevada, Connecticut, Michigan and New Mexico have passed laws authorizing dental therapists. Arizona passed a similar law last year, and governors in Idaho and Montana this spring signed laws allowing dental therapists on reservations.

Maine and Vermont have also passed such laws. And the Connecticut and Massachusetts chapters of the American Dental Association, the nation’s largest dental lobby, supported legislation in those states once it satisfied their concerns about safety. The Massachusetts proposal, not yet law, would require therapists to attain a master’s degree and temporarily work under a dentist’s supervision.

But the states looking to allow therapists must also find ways to train them. Only two states, Alaska and Minnesota, have educational programs, and they aren’t accredited. Minnesota’s program is the only one offering master’s degrees, a level of education that satisfies many opponents — dentists generally need a doctorate — but is also expensive.

“I would have to relocate to another state to go to school, and if you need to work and you still have a job, why would you do that?” said Cathy Kasprak, a dental hygienist who once hoped to become a therapist under Maine’s 2014 law.

Some dental therapists start out as hygienists, who generally hold a two-year degree, do cleanings and screenings, and offer patients general guidance on oral health. Some advocates of dental therapists argue they should need only the same level of education as a hygienist — a notion that horrifies many opponents.

Some lawmakers in Maine, which will require therapists to get a master’s from an accredited program, are optimistic about Vermont’s efforts to set up a dental therapy program with distance-learning options. It’s proposed for launch in fall 2021 at Vermont Technical College with the help of a $400,000 federal grant.

Nearly 58 million Americans struggle to afford and make the trip to dental appointments in thousands of communities short on dentists, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

One of the biggest benefits of dental therapists, proponents say, is that they can make preventive care easier to get by lightening the load of dentists, whose appointment slots are often stolen by complex procedures.

Even in states where therapists must practice in dental offices, like Minnesota, they can shorten travel times by opening slots for simple procedures closer to home, a small but growing body of evidence shows.

Christy Jo Fogarty, Minnesota’s first licensed advanced dental therapist, said the nonprofit children’s dental care organization she works for saves $40,000 to $50,000 a year by having her on staff instead of an additional dentist — and that’s not including the five other therapists on staff.

Dental therapists make $38 to $45 an hour in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Dental Association. Dentists, meanwhile, average over $83 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to state law, at least half of Fogarty’s patients must be on governmental assistance or otherwise qualify as “underserved.” She has also achieved the level of “advanced” therapist, meaning she has practiced with at least 2,000 hours of supervision and can make outreach trips on her own, to places like Head Start programs and community centers.

“Why would you ever want to withhold these services from someone who was in need of it?” she said.

Ebyn Moss, 49, of Troy, Maine, went without dental appointments for seven years before breaking a tooth below the gum line in 2017.

Moss has since had four teeth pulled, a bridge installed, a root canal, two dental implants and seven cavities filled at a cost of $6,300, and expects to shell out another $5,000 in the next year — a bill Moss is paying off with a 19% interest credit card and $16,000 in annual income.

“That’s the cost of choosing to have teeth,” Moss said.

Now, Moss gets treated at a dental school in Portland — a two-hour drive for appointments that can last 3 1/2 hours.

A dental therapist nearby would have made preventive care easier in the first place, Moss said.

The ADA and its state chapters report spending over $3 million a year on lobbying overall, according to data from the National Institute on Money in Politics. The Maine chapter paid nearly $12,000 — a relatively hefty sum in a small state — to fight the 2014 law that spring.

Some opponents of dental therapists argue they create a segregated system that gives wealthy urbanites superior care and puts poor, rural residents on a lower tier. Dental groups in Nevada and Michigan had argued lawmakers should instead boost Medicaid reimbursement to encourage dentists to accept low-income patients.

Some see less noble reasons for opposition: competition and potential loss of profits.

“They’re afraid if dental therapists come in to take care of the poor, they’re going to compete for their patients,” said Frank Catalanotto, a dentistry professor at the University of Florida.

Despite signs of more openness, successes aren’t uniform. Legislation failed in North Dakota and Florida this spring. Bills are pending in Kansas, Massachusetts and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, where therapists could be authorized to practice outside reservations.

“Available data have yet to demonstrate that creating new midlevel workforce models significantly reduce rates of tooth decay or lower patient costs,” ADA President Jeffrey Cole said in an email.

But the recent authorization of dental therapists in so many states may indicate the lobby’s influence and the arguments of other opponents are beginning to lose power.

“There is no justification, no evidence to support their opposition to dental therapists,” said dental policy consultant Jay Friedman.

He and some cohorts suggest dental therapists may need only as much education as a hygienist and argue they shouldn’t be working primarily in clinics. Such rules don’t help vulnerable groups like poor children in rural schools, he said.

“It’s no longer a question of if dental therapists will be authorized in every state,” said Kristen Mizzi Angelone, manager of the Pew Charitable Trusts dental campaign, which has waged its own push for dental therapists. “At this point it’s really only a matter of when.”

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

This content was originally published here.

Overtreatment, Lax Scientific Standards Raise Concerns in Dentistry | Forum | Forum | KQED

Chances are a dentist has told you to floss more. But studies from the Cochrane Institute and the American Dental Association have found that many common oral health recommendations such as biannual cleanings, yearly x-rays and flossing have not been verified through scientific research. Forum discusses efforts to steer dentistry toward more evidence-based practices and we’ll talk about challenges facing the field, including charges that many dentists overtreat their patients.

Mentioned on Air:
The Truth About Dentistry (The Atlantic)

Joel White, distinguished professor in restorative dentistry, UCSF School of Dentistry; vice chair, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences

This content was originally published here.