Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Dental Download: April 11, 2014

This week, we hear from DentaQuest’s CEO about the need for adult dental plans on the exchanges, learn about a new teledentistry program and find out why mouthwash may be detrimental to your oral health.Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

Fay Donohue, CEO and president of DentaQuest, spoke with Inside Health Policy about the need for adult dental plans on health exchanges. Here’s an excerpt:

“Fay Donohue, president and CEO of DentaQuest, which is offering dental plans in Florida, Virginia, Texas and Maryland, was also happy to see so many adults buying family and individual coverage. "There has been a lot of focus on pediatrics, which is great, but the SADPs are able to offer adult coverage through exchanges as well and we're seeing a lot of interest in those products. DentaQuest would love it if adults who already have a medical plan could go to the federal or state-based exchange and purchase a dental plan," Donohue says. "We hope to see it happen sooner rather than later," she adds.

To learn more about dental plans on the marketplaces, visit

A new “teledentistry” program in California allows low-income patients to be treated by hygienists and dental assistants in classrooms, nursing homes and other community centers to perform basic preventive procedures on patients.If necessary, the patient is then referred to a dental office for further care. The program, called the “Virtual Dental Home Demonstration Project,” has launched in 50 locations throughout the state and is currently funded by grants and non-profits, but a bill pending before the state Legislature would expand the program statewide and require Medi-Cal to pay for procedures. This aligns with DentaQuest Foundation’s Oral Health 2020 initiative to eradicate dental disease in children by incorporating oral health into the primary education system by the year 2020. Learn more about how DentaQuest Foundation is working to achieve its goal here.

A recent study found that poor dental hygiene and excessive use of mouthwash containing alcohol could increase the risk of oral cancer. The article reports that 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, which resulted in 7,890 deaths last year alone. To learn more about how to recognize symptoms of oral cancer, check out our Oral Health Library.

A new charting system for dentists called the “Ideal Charting for General Dentists” (ICGD) system has been launched to minimize confusion in diagnoses and processes, as well as diminish malpractice in the industry. According to the article, the new system will update charts and progress notes without any additional effort on the dental practitioner’s part.

Dr. Michael Zuk, a Canadian dentist who bought one of John’s teeth at an auction for over $30,000 in 2011, recently stated on the British television show “Dead Famous DNA” that he’d like to use the DNA in Lennon’s tooth to clone the late musician and raise him as his own son. Whether this is actually a possibility remains to be seen, but Dr. Zuk seems pretty adamant about it, stating that he’d try cloning Lennon multiple times if necessary.