Tag Archives | dental care

Proper Dental Care Can Lead to Less Respiratory Infections in the ICU

A study appearing in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology suggests that proper dental care can lead to less respiratory infections in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital. The study was conducted by Brazilian researchers who used an observer-blind randomized clinical trial to analyze data from 254 patients who stayed in a ICU for at least 48 hours. The patients were randomized to receive enhanced dental care by a dentist or to receive standard oral hygiene by a nurse. Enhanced dental care included teeth brushing, tongue scraping, atraumatic restorative treatment, removal of calculus, extraction of teeth, and topical application of chlorhexidine 4 to 5 times a week. Regular dental care consisted of mechanical cleansing using gauze which was followed by chlorhexidine 3 times a week. The patients who received enchanced dental care were 56% less likely to develop a respiratory tract infection during their ICU stay when compared to the patient control group. The researchers feel that enchanced dental treatment routinely performed in ICUs can help in reducing oral bacteria and help prevent respiratory tract infections like ventilator associated pneumonia. This study shows that bacteria causing infections can often start in the mouth or oral cavity. Source: Wanessa T. Bellissimo-Rodrigues […]

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Few Children Under 1 See a Dentist

Unfortunately, new research has shown that few children under the age of 1 are seeing a dentist. This was touched on in an earlier blog post over at http://blog.teethremoval.com/will-health-care-reform-result-in-more-dental-visits/ where it was mentioned that for children between ages 1 and 4 around 60% of them have seen a medical doctor (physician) during the year, but not a dentist. The new research appears in an article titled “Factors Associated With Dental Care Utilization in Early Childhood,” by Denise Darmawikarta and et al. which was published online in Pediatrics in May 2014. The study looked at 2505 children in Toronto, Canada, who were seen for primary health care between September 2011 and January 2013. The study was past of TARGet Kids (The Applied Research Group for Kids), a collaboration between doctors and researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The aim of the program is to follow children from birth with the goal of preventing common problems in the early years and understanding how they impact health in later years. In the study, less than 1% of the healthy urban children looked at received dental care by the age of 12 months and less than 2% of the […]

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Will Health Care Reform Result in More Dental Visits

An interesting article titled “Health care reform brings new opportunities,” appears in the April 2014 edition of JADA written by Marko Vujicic (vol. 145, no. 4, pp. 381-382). The article discusses how health care reform in the U.S., specifically the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may help bring about new opportunities for dentists. The article opens by discussing how the U.S. spends more money on health care than any other developed country and there is little measurable benefit in terms of health outcomes, patient satisfaction, and access to care. The author discusses how ACA is expected to bring access to dental care to an additional 8.7 million children by 2018. The author discusses how the focus is on implementing new health care delivery models and payment mechanisms that focus on value and not volume of care. The author believes that due to the health reform developments, dentists should expect to have more collaboration with other health care professionals. This is because of the changing payment mechanisms which will push hospital groups to engage with many different health care professionals. As such dentists can be expected to play a bigger role in the screening and management of chronic diseases. The author states “What […]

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What to Do about Patients Who Call After Hours Wanting Prescription Drugs

An interesting article titled “Addressing after-hours requests for prescription drugs,” appears in the April, 2014, issue of  JADA written by G. J Muller II (vol. 145, no. 4, pp. 389-390). The article discusses how the oral and maxillofacial surgeon has had several instances of after hours or weekend phone calls from people claiming to be current or past patients who have had a sudden onset of a toothache and want narcotic pain medication. The surgeon says that the people always agree to be seen in his office the next day or following Monday if it is a weekend. However, often the person will not follow up with the surgeon and not show up for the appointment after having received the medication. The surgeon says occasionally he checks if the person is a patient of record and sometimes the person is not, other times it may have been someone who was last seen a long time ago. The surgeon is concerned that many of these people who call are drug seekers and are not legitimate. In the article, tips to handle such a situation are discussed. The first thing to determine is if the person has an emergency. This is easy to […]

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The Cost of Health Care in the U.S. compared to Other Countries

An interesting article titled “How affordable is health care in the United States and other countries,” appears in the May 2014, issue of JADA written by Dr. Marko Vujicic (vol. 145, no. 5, pp. 482-483). The article discusses how the cost of medical and dental care stacks up against 10 other countries. The article opens by addressing how the U.S. spends more on health care than any other country but that the by measures of access, efficiency, and satisfaction of health care the U.S. ranks below lower spending countries. This is believe to be partially due to wasteful spending which the Affordable Care Act may help reduce. The article discusses data from the Commonwealth Fund which presents data for 11 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries showing the percentage of adults who can not obtain medical or dental care due to cost. This shows that in the U.S. the percentage of adults who do not obtain both medical and dental care is higher than all the 10 other countries (New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Canada, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom). It also shows that the financial barriers to dental care are much higher than for medical care in most […]

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