Case Reports Serve a Place in Dentistry

An interesting article titled “CASE REPORTS HAILED” appears in JADA in September 2014, written by Enihomo Obadan, Elsbeth Kalenderian, and Rachel B. Ramoni. The article discusses an article in an earlier 2014 JADA article that featured an interesting case report. The authors state “Almost becoming a lost art in the biomedical literature, case reports still hold tremendous opportunities for learning in dentistry. In addition to the obvious learning potential for the individual dental professional, the entire professional body advances in giant strides when there is cross-organizational learning among dental clinics through information sharing.” The authors then discuss how adverse dental events being reported by dentists would help make dental treatments safer for all. The authors feels this helps promote a culture of safety, as long as there is no fear of retribution when the report occurs by the dentists. The authors describe how the identification of threats to patient safety is the first element of the patient safety initiative by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the U.S. The authors state “Ideally, there should be a national patient safety organization to which these events could be reported. This would provide dental clinicians, researchers and patients alike essential information […]

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How to Address a Patient who Had an Interrupted Treatment Plan

An interesting article titled “Following up with a patient whose treatment has been interrupted” appears in the November 2014, JADA, and written by Michael H. Halasz. The article discusses a patient who received a complex treatment from a military dentist. The treatment started but because of deployment of a large number of troops in Iraq the treatment was interrupted so that the dentists could attend to other troops. The article addresses if the patient was abandoned during this time. The American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct states “Once a dentist has undertaken a course of treatment, the dentist should not discontinue that treatment without giving the patient adequate notice and the opportunity to obtain the services of another dentist. Care should be taken that the patient’s oral health is not jeopardized in the process.” The article states that if the dentist felt he was going to resume the treatment of the patient after handling the deployed troops, then he acted reasonably. However, one could also argue that since the dentist did not know how long he would be tied up with the other troops, he had an ethical obligation to inform the patient to have […]

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The Ethics of a Dentist Leaving a Practice

An interesting article written by William Walton, appears in JADA December 2014, titled “Addressing the ethics of leaving a dental practice.” In the article, a discussion of what a dentist should ethically do when they are at a current dental practice and are moving to a different dental practice. It is stated that the American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct provide guidance on what should be done in such a situation. It is suggested that once a dentist knows they are moving to a different practice they notify their patients of this and the departure date. Further, if a patient is in the midst of a treatment plan, then discussions should take place regarding if the treatment can be finished and if this is unlikely then other options for completing the treatment should be discussed. This will allow the patients to be involved in their treatment decisions. Another issue at stake is that of patient abandonment. The dentist should not discontinue the treatment without giving the patient adequate notice and the opportunity to seek the services of another dentist. If needed interim dentists can be used. The article addresses a few issues in regards to […]

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Looking Forward in The Dental Market

An interesting article appears in the November 2014 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Society by Marco Vujicic titled “The invisible hand and the market for dental care.” In the article the author opens by discussing Adam Smith’s invisible hand and that it is better than central planning and regulated prices. The author then discusses the supply and demand of dental services from 1993 to 2012. In the article, 3 distinct periods of dental care from 1993 to 2012 are described. The first period was from 1993 to 2002 when dental care was growing steadily at about 4% per year in real terms while the supply of dentists remained constant. In this period dental incomes increased. From 2002 to 2008, dental spending grew at about 2% per year while the supply of dentists remained roughly the same. In this period dental incomes stagnated. From 2008 to 2012 the supply of dentists increased while dental care spending was flat. This caused dental incomes to decline. The author then touches on points with an eye to the future to help the reader better determine what will happen to the supply and demand of dentists in the future and the growth of […]

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Finding Relief From Headaches with Meditation

According to research published in the journal Headache, meditation may help migraine headache sufferers. Researchers have known that stress can be a trigger for headaches but there hasn’t been a whole lot of research done to evaluate meditation and it’s benefits. The researchers set out to develop a study to assess the feasibility, safety,and effects of a yoga and meditation intervention known as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in adults who suffer from migraines. In the study 19 adults were randomly assigned to 2 groups with 10 of the adults receiving MBSR and 9 receiving standard medical care. The participants attended 8 weekly classes in order to learn MBSR techniques and were told to practice 45 minutes on their own 5 days per week. The participants in the study were evaluated before and after the trial period using measures such as mindfulness, self-efficacy, and disability. The patients maintained headache logs throughout the trial to document how often the headaches occurred, how long they occurred, and the intensity. The researchers found that MBSR study participants had fewer migraines and when migraines occurred they were less intense. In addition, patients with MBSR had headaches that were shorter and less disabling when compared to patients […]

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