Moral Monday

A tooth collection program that you’ll want to implement at your own chapter

tooth-collectionDental students are required to collect extracted teeth throughout our four-year program. These teeth are used in classes such as operative, endodontics, and even our licensure exam for Texas – the WREB. In fact, collecting teeth is one of the first tasks assigned to us once we are accepted to dental school. Many students are able to collect several teeth, while others struggle to gather any. To make matters even more challenging, many of our assignments require the infamous “ideal” teeth that should be a variety from all over the mouth. Read on for Andrew’s solution to this dilemma…

3 ways to give back during the holidays

charityThe past couple weeks, I’ve seen news stories pop up about dentists buying back Halloween candy from kids. There’s a Halloween Candy Buy Back program where dentists pay kids $1 per pound of candy they bring in and often give out toothbrushes and other oral hygiene supplies. They take the candy and donate it to an organization that ships it to U.S. troops overseas. We can only hope a few toothbrushes get shipped along with the candy! It’s a sweet program [pun intended] and a great way to get involved in your community.

There are plenty of ways to give back all year round–individually or as an ASDA chapter. But this time of year seems to warm people’s hearts and inspire more than the usual charity. If you’re looking for a way to give back this holiday season, here are three ideas on how to do so…

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…

3 ways to minimize the ethical pitfalls of a live patient exam

484582925 In recent years, ASDA, ADEA, and the ADA have publically denounced the use of live patients during licensing exams. ASDA’s L1 policy clearly states that any clinical licensing exam should, “be a non-patient based examination emphasizing the recognition, diagnosis and treatment planning of disease, in conjunction with the treatment of simulated disease by use of a typodont.” While much progress has been made to create alternate pathways to licensure including: a PGY1 residency, portfolio review in California, and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in Minnesota, there is still much work to be done to eliminate the live patient component.

Taking a team approach to oral health

483915271“When was the last time you visited the dentist?” “Do you floss regularly?” These two questions are an essential part of my dental history repertoire that I ask all my patients. However, this time I was not the one asking the questions, I was the one answering the questions. Earlier last year I switched my primary care physician (PCP) and was inspired by her interest in my oral health. As a dentist we often find ourselves contacting physicians for medical clearance for our medically compromised patients. We often forget that physicians and other non-dental healthcare providers can also play a vital role in promoting oral health.