Latest Posts

Reading between the lines: Clues to spot a “drug shopper”

pill-shoppingAs dental professionals, we strive to provide a pain-free experience to our patients. We use topical and local anesthesia to alleviate pain during the procedure, use our tactile grace to ensure that our patients have a positive dental visit, and prescribe our patients with pain medications after certain procedures to ease the recovery. However, when a patient comes into our office complaining of pain, how can we distinguish whether they are genuinely in pain or in search of pain medication for non-medical related reasons? Chances are, you will encounter this fraudulent seeking of prescription medications in your practice, known as “drug shopping.” According to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, approximately 20% of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Here are some red flags to look for in a patient who is “drug shopping:”

Alcohol and networking: mix with caution

3184695159_03ab24fac2_zI moved to Wisconsin for residency last summer. As a native Midwesterner, I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with the culture, values and cheese curds of Middle America. License plates may label this state as America’s Dairyland, but it seems to me a different indulgence is its most famous export. Beer.

Wisconsin isn’t the only drinking danger zone! Today’s dental students face alcohol-fueled culture at mainstream professional events. Social receptions tend to come well stocked with spirits. I see four significant alcohol-centered threats staring you down as an ambitious young dentist working hard to expand your network.

Saliva soup: A delicacy worth tweeting about

nest

Imagine building anything completely out of your saliva. That’s what Cave Swiftlets do, building their nests out of puresaliva high up in the dark damp caves of the Southeast Asian island Borneo. Cave Swiftlets are nocturnal hunters and leave their nests at night. Other hours are spent building a nesting place for the young, hundreds of feet above the cave floor. Imagine making a nest of countless strands of saliva to swaddle your young, nearly suspended in thin air above hungry cockroaches on the cave floor. I couldn’t even begin to fathom the disgusting mess that would be. Instead of trying this techniques ourselves, humans praise the bird nests for other reasons. We eat them.

Dental school meals on a budget

quick crockpot mealsGoing to classes, working in the clinic, and being involved in student organizations leaves very little time for anything else, let alone preparing a home-cooked meal every night of the week. We often find ourselves once again going to Chipotle or ordering take-out, which may seem like a quick, easy fix but can add up and make a serious dent in our wallets. Today, I want to share with you a great way to save time AND money while preparing the most delicious home cooked meals! My search to try to find an efficient way to feed a household of two with minimal effort lead me to crock-pot freezer meals.

Dental insurance practices: In the patient’s best interest?

losing-money-to-insuranceAs dental students, we tend to focus on gaining as much clinical experience and knowledge as we possibly can during our dental school years. We try our best to avoid the confusing world of insurance, not thinking about the eventual contracts we will likely sign with dental insurance companies, or “third party payers”. Within these written agreements are a number of possible stipulations and common practices that will affect the way we run our practice and treat our patients.

For example, what if I told you that as an out-of-network, or non-participating provider, a dental insurance company could refuse to forward reimbursement to you, as this would be considered a “perk” of being an in-network contracted dentist? Read on for a list of common dental insurance practices for which every dental student and new dentist should be aware…