The ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics has approved for circulation and comment a draft technical report on a standards-based protocol that provides interoperability among various vendor platforms.
“Proposed ADA Technical Report No. 1085 for Implementation Guidelines for the Secure Transmission of Protected Health Information in Dentistry” covers technical specification and implementation guidelines for the secure transmission of protected health information based on the Direct Secure Messaging Protocol. Adoption of these policies and practices will give dental providers a simple, secure method of sending authenticated, encrypted health information directly to known and trusted recipients over the Internet.
Dentists can get insight about digital photography, interoperability and choosing effective hardware and software for their practices thanks to the work of the ADA SCDI, which aims to help dental practitioners streamline and empower their practices through the use of information technology.
Another report, “Proposed ANSI/ADA Standard No. 19 Elastomeric Impression Materials,” from the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Products, specifies the requirements and tests used to help determine whether elastomeric impression materials are of the quality needed for their intended purposes. This standard revises ANSI/ADA Standard No. 19:2004 (R2014).
The ADA SCDP provides standards to ensure the health and safety of dentists and patients by setting requirements for products that will deliver consistent quality and effectiveness.
Copies of the draft standards are available by calling 1-800-947-4746, Ext. 2506, or sending an e-mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about ADA’s work on dental standards, visit ADA.org
and search for “dental standards.”
The dental practice transitions market is undergoing considerable growth, and there are several important tips to keep in mind when buying or selling a practice, according to practice financing experts at Wells Fargo Practice Finance, the only practice lender which ADA Business Resources endorses.
“Beginning in 2009, the number of available practices for sale started declining as retirement opportunities diminished and doctors chose to continue practicing for a few more years,” commented Gavin Shea, senior director of sales and marketing at Wells Fargo.
“Now older practice owners are beginning to leave their careers and sell their practices. At the same time, practitioners just now reaching the traditional retirement age are placing their businesses on the market as well.”
As a result of these market changes, the dental industry is likely to experience a large number of available practices for sale over the next two to three years.
“Sellers can preserve practice value and attain top dollar in a vigorous buyer’s market, but keeping the buyer’s perspective and lender’s requirements in mind will be critical,” Mr. Shea said.
By following these important guidelines — maintaining production levels through the sale of your practice, staying technologically current, leaving future work for your buyer and keeping your financial books in order — ADA members are more likely to increase their chances of gaining the highest dollar for their career-long investments and attracting the perfect new owner for their practices and patients.
Wells Fargo Practice Finance has specialized in dental practice financing for nearly 30 years, providing clients financing and access to tools and resources to help them achieve their practice goals.
ADA members receive preferred pricing on practice financing, as well as equipment, expansion and relocation project funding, practice equity loans and more.
Wells Fargo’s Practice Success Program for dentists offers complimentary business planning tools, referrals to professional dental practice service providers and short term management consulting. To learn more, call Wells Fargo Practice Finance at 1-888-937-2321 or visit wellsfargo.com/dentist
— The National Health Service Corps invites scholarship applications through May 7 for the 2015-16 school year for students pursuing primary care health professions training leading to a degree in dentistry or other specified disciplines.
The scholarship pays tuition, fees and other educational costs and provides a living stipend in return for a commitment to work at least two years in a NHSC-approved site in a community classified as an underserved health professional shortage area. For each year of financial support (up to four years), the student agrees to serve one year (minimum two years) at an approved site in a high-need urban or rural community. Service begins upon graduation and completion of primary care residency training for dentists.
To learn more about the program, visit hrsa.gov
, click on National Health Service Corps tab on left of page and select scholarships “learn more.” A customer care center number is available 1-800-221-9393 Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Eastern time.
Lands’ End, the only apparel company endorsed by ADA Business Resources, offers dentists comfortable, professional logo clothing with an exclusive discount for ADA members.
This spring, Lands’ End is featuring new shirts, blouses and tops. These include chambray shirts for men and women, and Active Collection clothing that feature breathable, antimicrobial, moisture-wicking fabric.
In addition, Lands’ End representatives know the needs of dental practices and are ready to assist with any questions regarding branding options, sizing, fit or colors.
“We’re thrilled to help out dentists in every way possible, and we love hearing of their success stories once in their new Lands’ End logo apparel,” said Lands’ End representative Sarah Millstone.
Lands’ End carries a wide variety of branded products that give dentists the opportunity to get their practice’s name in front of more people. Lands’ End has in-house, on-demand embroidery application and over 100,000 branding options.
ADA members are offered 10 percent off products and logo application fees. For more information, including how to order, visit ada.landsend.com
or call 1-800-990-5407.
Between now and July 1, water suppliers nationwide are required to send their customers annual Water Quality Reports or Consumer Confidence Reports, giving dental professionals the opportunity to check on the status of their community’s water—and in particular—its fluoride levels.
The reports, which detail quality and content of water, may be mailed to consumers’ homes, often with the water bill, published in local newspapers or posted online.
“It is important that dentists review their community’s annual water report to monitor at what level, if at all, their community water source is fluoridated,” said Dr. Valerie Peckosh, a pediatric dentist in Dubuque, Iowa. Dr. Peckosh is chair of the National Fluoridation Advisory Committee and a member of the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations.
“Knowing the amount of fluoride in our water source is a critical piece of information when formulating preventive treatment plans for our patients. In addition, reviewing these reports can be the first alert to a dentist that there have been changes in fluoridation efforts, including decreases to suboptimal levels or cessation of fluoridation efforts altogether.”
Water systems are required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue these annual reports. For more information on CCRs, log on to the EPA website or visit the “My Water’s Fluoride” page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to check on local water system fluoridation status.
You can also contact the local water supplier or the local, county or state health department for more information about the fluoride content of your water system’s water.
The ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations offers a variety of resources and training opportunities for dentists in communities working to initiate or retain fluoridation. For more details visit ADA.org/fluoride
or contact Jane McGinley, CAPIR’s manager of fluoridation and preventive health activities, by emailing email@example.com
Greenwood Village, Colo.
Dr. Kessler: CDA worked with state on program.
— The Colorado Dental Association, in collaboration with the state of Colorado, has been successful in getting 94 percent of dentists with a Drug Enforcement Agency license to register with the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.
The prescription drug monitoring program is a secure, online database created in 2005 that provides objective information about patients’ controlled substance prescription records. In 2014, through the persuasion of the CDA and other key stakeholders, Colorado legislators passed a bill requiring all dentists with a DEA registration to register with the prescription drug monitoring program.
Colorado has had a prescription drug monitoring program for nearly six years but Dr. Brett Kessler, CDA president, said only around 20 percent of health care providers were using it.
“This system alerts dentists who are prescribing too much or if they have patients who are getting prescription drugs from multiple doctors,” said Dr. Brett Kessler, CDA president, who testified in front of the state senate as the representative from dentistry. “In Colorado, more people died from prescription drug overdoses than drunk driving in 2013. In response to the growth of prescription drug misuse and abuse, the four major prescribers in the state — physicians, dentists, nurses and pharmacists — got together to discuss best practices and what we can do to curb the problem, since the prescriptions are coming from us.”
The health care providers were also responding to the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan, which expands on President Obama’s National Drug Control Strategy. The plan calls for educating parents, youth and patients about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs; developing convenient and environmentally responsible prescription drug disposal programs; providing law enforcement with the necessary tools to eliminate improper prescribing practices and stop pill mills; and implementing prescription drug monitoring programs in every state to reduce “doctor shopping.”
The White House’s plan also included connecting prescription drug monitoring programs from state to state to prevent patients from hopping over the border to get drugs.
Dr. Kessler attributes much of the success of the high enrollment to the CDA’s marketing of the program. Colorado state officials recorded a series of public service advertisements that the CDA helped market through social media and sent to members via email. Dr. Kessler was prominently featured in the PSAs. To view the PSAs, visit YouTube.com and search for “DORA Colorado.”
Dental progress: Dr. Stacey Moon, dental fellow at the UCSD Free Dental Clinic Project and Ryan Pham, UCSD pre-dental student, talk with ADA President Maxine Feinberg at the UCSD Pacific Beach Free Dental Clinic site in March. The UCSD Pre-Dental Society runs four free dental clinics based in the San Diego County area with the help of dental professionals. An upcoming site at Veterans Village of San Diego, in conjunction with the San Diego County Dental Society, will expand the program further.
— Some disadvantaged veterans in need of dental care in San Diego will have a state-of-the-art clinic to visit beginning this summer, thanks to a collaboration between a rehabilitation center and local dental groups.
The San Diego County Dental Society is working with Veterans Village of San Diego and pre-dental students at the University of California, San Diego to build a dental clinic there for homeless veterans.
San Diego County Dental Society members will provide volunteer dental work, while UCSD pre-dental students will manage the administrative aspects of running the clinic and screening for volunteer dentists. The new clinic will supplement the services already offered at Veterans Village of San Diego, including medical care, rehabilitation and mental health services, substance abuse recovery, legal services, job training, food and housing.
ADA President Maxine Feinberg, who visited the site of the future clinic in March, called the effort “amazing.”
“Some of these veterans are coming out of rehabilitation and out of homelessness, having combatted drug addiction and alcoholism. They’re trying to regain footing in society and this dental clinic will be a major component of helping to reintegrate them back into productive members in their community,” said Dr. Feinberg in a recent interview.
Looking ahead: Standing among other UCSD pre-dental students at Veterans Village San Diego are (from left) Diewitt Duong, former student director, UCSD Free Dental Clinic Project; Charlotte Chiu; Akanksha Shukla; Daniel Witcher, oral surgeon, San Diego; Thomas Bordieri, former student director, UCSD Free Dental Clinic Project; Dr. Donna Silverstein, professor, UCSD School of Medicine and advisor, UCSD Free Dental Clinic Project; Dr. Thomas Brandt, general dentist, El Cajon; Dr. Maxine Feinberg, ADA president; Michael Koonce, executive director, San Diego County Dental Society; Justin Montenegro; Dr. Irvin B. Silverstein, director, UCSD Free Dental Clinic Project; Patrick Anghel; Rick Ochocki, development director, Veteran’s Village of San Diego; Sean Sullivan, director, Patterson Dental, San Diego; and Philip Yoong.
Several members of the board of directors of the San Diego Dental Health Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the county dental society, have already provided needed dental services in there own offices for some residents of Veterans Village of San Diego, according to Annabel Wulfhart, care coordinator for the San Diego County Dental Society. To date, they’ve provided basic and major restorative services valued at $100,000, according to Ms. Wulfhart.
Many of the veterans served are missing teeth and require partials or dentures, according to Dr. Irvin B. Silverstein, director and advisor for UCSD Student-Run Free Dental Clinics.
Assisting veterans at the dental clinic with these issues can help them not only get back to work, but also improve their self-esteem, said Dr. Feinberg.
At the future dental clinic, veterans’ “dental problems are going to be addressed in a very comprehensive way so that they’ll be able to go to job inte