Archive | January, 2016

The Importance of Reputation Management for Dentists

The dental malpractice law field is alive with some companies encouraging patients to sue dentists. It is possible for dentists to have as many as three or more complaints lodged against them at a single time. This causes stress to dentists and dampens the quality of care provided for patients. Whilst we can’t, unfortunately, change the culture that allows this to occur dentists can take steps to try and manage their reputation and reduce the risk to have a suit. These techniques can be used to improve customer interactions and try to mitigate any negative feelings or resentments patients may feel . So how can dentists manage their reputation more effectively? Patient Interactions The most important place to start is with patient care. With often heinously busy schedules dentists can skip over some of the niceties of patient interactions. However, when it comes to the perception of patients these small interactions make a world of difference. Dentists are encouraged to open sessions with a little small talk – even if only a few seconds. This helps relax the patient and develop a personal rather than professional connection. Dentists who relate to their patients can cause patients to be less likely to sue or to leave negative reviews. Make […]

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The History of Dental Pain Management: The Progress That Has Been Made

This is a guest article by Dr. Justin Clemens. Within the past 30 – 40 years, it has become increasingly popular to sedate patients to have dental work completed. Although this seems like a long time, in the sense of medicine and dentistry, it really isn’t. This is where the true melding point of medicine and dentistry occurred. Let’s take a little trip in time to see where we began in dentistry to help us better understand where we are now in terms of pain management. The most recent of what we would call “modern dentists” were more like “tooth mechanics”. They were simply drill and fill or just yank it out with no numbing at all. This was until the advent of cocaine in the late 1800s. It is from cocaine that we derive all of our synthetic local anesthetics with which you may be familiar. The big ones that might ring a bell would be Novacaine, Lidocaine and Septocaine, just to name a few. These essentially made dentistry painless. Patients can still feel anxious about dentistry even with all those drugs available. This is because of the hundreds of years of barbaric dentistry before these drugs were invented. It is not […]

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Can a Dentist Lose Their Skills Over Time?

An interesting article titled “Keeping skills current” appears in the May 2015 issue of JADA by Don J. Ilkka. The article discusses the ethics of what a pediatric dentist should do who used to perform sedation on his patients over 20 years ago, but now wants to do so again. For the around 20 year gap the pediatric dentist had an anesthesiologist in his office to monitor the sedation. The article discusses how there are many issues at work here. This includes if the dentist can legally perform the sedation and if he is qualified to do so or needs any additional training. Furthermore, there is a question about whether the staff of the dentist is qualified to support him. Working without an anesthesiologist may cause the dentist to perform less cases a day. The article states “As the dentist you describe has spent many years working with an anesthesiologist and has not directly conducted sedation, he may have lost some or all of the skills that are developed while learning and administering the medications and their respective effects on patients.” The article says the rusty skills the dentist has could be updated through a program.  By doing so the dentist offers his […]

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Dental Phobia – Therapy Treatments for Anxiety and Phobia

Overcoming a fear of the dentist, or odontophobia, is incredibly important if you want to maintain your oral hygiene and avoid having serious health problems in the future. You may be pleased to learn that fear of the dentist is actually surprisingly common – affecting 20% of the population worldwide. Most people’s fear of the dentist doesn’t stop them from visiting the dentist when problems arise but it does stop them when going in for regular check-ups – which increases the likelihood of actual problems occurring.  For some though dental phobia is so severe that they will not visit the dentist under any circumstances – and will often result to extreme measures to fix their own dental issues. In either case various techniques and therapies can be used to overcome dental phobia. Visiting the dentist regularly is the best way to keep your oral hygiene under control – and is one of the best ways to stop you having fears; as regular visits to the dentist promote good oral hygiene. This means a lower likelihood of,root canals or other invasive oral surgery. What are the most common dental Phobias? Dental phobia covers a broad range of specific fears and anxiety […]

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Preserving Research Funding in Dentistry

An interesting article titled “The vital role of research funding in preserving the oral health of the public and the dental profession,” appears as a guest editorial in the June 2015, issue of JADA and written by Maxine Feinber and et. al. The article discusses how it is critical that investments in dental, oral, and craniofacial research continue in the United States to help improve the nations oral health. The article states “…oral diseases persist on a scale that is poorly understood and wholly unacceptable… 3.9 billion people had oral conditions, with untreated dental caries in permanent teeth the most prevalent disease, affecting 35% of the world’s population….1 in 5 Americans is afflicted with dental caries…” The article says that around 4% of health care spending in the U.S. is for dental services. Even so we know little about oral disease and what it takes to eradicate it. The authors feel we need research on many different fronts and we need research on how to best prepare dental professionals. The authors state “Research also helps define us as a profession. The dental profession must continue to support clinically relevant science to advance our knowledge of comprehensive patient care, or it has the potential […]

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