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  • Writer's pictureDr. Nancy A. Barnett

Winter 2018

Welcome to 2018, hopefully it will be a winning season for all Americans at the Olympics and in your offices. Transitions abound in the dental profession especially with insurance changes, economic changes and patient expectations. Here are some interesting items to consider:

Long term studies from Johns Hopkins are now proving that there are links between an increased risk of cancer in individuals with advanced gum disease. This research found a 24% increase in the risk of developing cancer among participants with severe periodontitis compared to those with mild to no periodontitis at the baseline level. Among patients who had no teeth-which can be a sign of severe periodontitis, the increase was 28%. The highest risk was observed in cases of lung cancer, with a small increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Smoking raised the risk of colorectal cancer.

The Salem, MA Veterans Administration found that tooth brushing each day keeps pneumonia at bay. For the last decade hospitals have focused on ventilator-acquired pneumonia, but researchers are finding just many patients---many of them younger and including new mothers---acquire pneumonia while staying on non- ICU floors. The common denominator for the pneumonia was poor oral care. Since the “every patient, every shift, every day” policy has been instituted, the cases have been significantly reduced.

Due to increased restrictions, lower payouts and difficulty in working with the insurance companies we have developed and offered a new flexible payment plan. Patients are offered the opportunity to purchase packages that fit their needs with a discount applied. This benefits both the patient and the office, and gives us the ability to provide the best quality care at the best price and the patient’s budget. The plan provides clear cuts costs and transparency in the therapy proposed.

Floss piks: the good, the bad the ugly. Floss piks have become the go to flossing device for many people. Although it is good that individuals are thinking about their home care, the floss piks can be detrimental to your gums. Improper flossing can cut the tissues, destroy the papillae and create recession. Once the papillae are gone, there is minimal or no recourse. So if you have clients that insist on using the floss pics, make sure they are using them properly.

Our office wishes everyone a happy, healthy and successful new year!

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