Students

Five dental insurance terms you (and your patients) should know

Transitioning to the clinic portion of dental school comes with a lot of changes. Navigating the intricacies of dental insurance shouldn’t be one that you worry about. Whether your patient has private dental insurance or a public plan through Medicaid, there is some basic terminology that is universal. Being able to speak the language of dental insurance will help you better communicate with your patient and get through the world of clinic. In addition, it’ll help you communicate with insurance companies after dental school and become an active participant in the legislative conversation regarding health insurance. Here is a list of the top five dental insurance terms you should know before entering clinic.

Therapy-dog patients help craniofacial patients smile

As we began setting up the sports-themed carnival at Penn, we heard the sound of dogs barking. Just like us, they were getting ready for the exciting and emotional day ahead. The Operation Smile Club from Temple Dental teamed up with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to help make the sixth annual Best Friends Bash (BFB) spectacular. After seeing child after child smile and laugh on June 2, 2018, the day proved to be nothing short of spectacular.

The celiac patient: Our role in referral, diagnosis and treatment

Wheat, barley and rye are my arch nemeses. Since being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2014, I look for these common food ingredients in everything I eat. Every single meal. Every single day. Luckily, I am not alone. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder estimated to affect one in 141 people in the United States, according to the October 2012 issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology, and most people don’t know they have it.

Mental health as a barrier to care

My patient was escorted to our urgent care clinic wearing an ankle monitor. Her chief complaint was that she felt pain around every tooth. When I took a closer look, the source of her pain became apparent. She had a mouth full of non-functional root tips. Almost every root tip showed signs of infection. My patient was from a local drug rehabilitation center, and she was 10 months sober from a heroin addiction. As a result, she wasn’t allowed any prescription narcotics or nitrous oxide, as instructed by her program due to fear of relapse.

The challenges of delivering dental care to geriatric patients

“I think I’m just going to tie my tooth to a string and slam the door,” said one of my first patients, a kind and hilarious 83-year-old woman. We got an oral surgery consultation that cleared her extraction after considering her multiple comorbidities, and it was then I realized the unique challenges geriatric patients face in obtaining dental care.

Add these 4 books to your reading list

We spend a lot of our time reading, whether it’s PowerPoint slides, research articles or textbooks. The conceptual knowledge we gain in our first two years of dental school positively impacts our procedural knowledge in clinic. However, there are other aspects of clinical practice that aren’t taught as thoroughly in school, including effective leadership and communication. These four books are great resources for enhancing these skills.