Transforming dentistry's discussion on mental wellness: From awareness to action

Individuals and organizations around the globe are raising awareness about the current mental health crisis. And it’s definitely a crisis. More than 300 million people worldwide deal with depression, making it the leading cause of disability.1 Every 40 seconds, a life is lost to suicide.2 As The Guardian put it in a headline last year, “World in mental health crisis of ‘monumental suffering,’ say experts.”3 It's distressing for us as clinicians and caregivers to feel paralyzed and powerless when a problem is so immense and overwhelming; after all, we are in the business of fixing and making things better. That’s why moving from general big-picture understanding to actionable measures that encourage mental well-being is the best use of this moment in time. And people want and need support to take action: 91% of Americans say their emotional well-being has been hurt by ignoring or not recognizing warning signs that they’re overstressed.4 The goal is to assist dentistry professionals in recognizing the warning signs of mental health issues, obtaining the support they need, making the necessary improvements, and living the life they deserve, not merely the life they settle for. Beyond destigmatization Talking about destigmatization is noble. But action starts with truly understanding mental health issues and the brain’s role. Today we know that the human brain is not static, but instead has a remarkable lifelong potential to effect adjustments. The brain is miraculous; 100 billion neurons firing and wiring together, forming the circuits that support thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Although neuroscience might be confusing and even overwhelming, it is essential to note one thing: we each have the power to change our own brain. The good news is that, with this move, we are now set for a shift. Years of programs have brought the topic of mental health from the periphery to the mainstream. (For example, since 1949, May has been Mental Health Month.) Schools are learning about mental health. Police forces are speaking about it. More and more influential individuals are chipping away at the stigma, from pop stars and politicians to pro athletes and members of the British royal family, by sharing their own experiences and hardships. It’s time dentistry follows suit. Our need is great but resources few. Creating platforms and safe spaces—such as the Dental Mental Network—that dental professionals and family members can turn to without the fear of being ostracized, is an essential element in moving the needle. Unveiling the struggle behind our masks in a supportive environment and having immediate access to skilled mental wellness professionals is only the beginning. There is still much work to be done in the stigma eradication arena, and it starts with us having the fundamental human decency to be present for others and listen actively. We all have a basic need to be heard and understood. So, what does it mean to transition from awareness to action? What can all of us realistically do amid this global crisis? Science holds the answer. Stanford Medicine researchers are revolutionizing how we perceive stress, encouraging us to take constructive action in our daily lives to manage the effects. Dr. Leanne Williams, Director of Stanford's Precision Mental Health and Wellness Center has used high-definition brain imaging technology to describe eight types of “short circuits” that occur in the brain when we experience continuous negative stress that we don't think we can handle.5 Understanding the emotions, thoughts, and patterns associated with each biotype will contribute to an understanding of the times and situations in which we suffer most and what actions will assist with depression or anxiety. One way this power manifests is in the way we respond to stress. Stress is a massive part of life, and it shapes how the brain changes and adapts, for good and for bad. At this moment in time, dentistry is facing a mental wellness crisis of historic proportions. We are frightened, exhausted, lost, and stressed like never before. When we're stressed because we can't control our situation, negative thoughts and emotions take hold. Stress is not bad in and of itself, and certain kinds of stress are okay, like stress linked to an ambitious project that’s important to you. But when negative stress becomes cumulative, in the parts of the brain responsible for thoughts and feelings, we can experience a "short circuit" and become trapped in a loop. These short circuits are not a form of weakness or a personality flaw, they communicate with our experience through biology. And at some stage, everybody experiences them. Constant strain can be placed on your brain circuits when you have persistent negative stress you don't believe you can handle. Your brain circuits will become more and more stressed if you can't find a way to adjust to the stress and ultimately get trapped. We call clinical depression or clinical anxiety disorder effectively the state of being trapped and feeling like there is no way out or no way to think about it. It can be challenging to be effective under such circumstances. Refer link:

28th December, 2020

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Ask a dental assistant: How to stop dentist from treating DAs so badly?

QUESTION: I've been working in an office for a few months now, and I’ve realized how badly the doctor treats the assistants. She is the only doctor and the owner of the practice. Her office manager treats us even worse. I’ve witnessed the doctor smack the suction away or grab the suction and then proceed to put down an assistant in front of patients. We are treated like everything we do is wrong, and we’re made to feel ignorant all the time. I was recently scolded for talking about Christmas shopping because the hygienist complained to the office manager about it, more than a week after the conversation! My question is, what can we do so we aren’t treated so badly? ANSWER FROM TIJA HUNTER, CDA, Editor of Dental Assisting Digest: I'm sorry to hear you're having so much trouble feeling respected. Nobody should be treated that way. During my years as an assistant, and in my life in general, I have found that the best way to stop this type of nonsense is to not put up with it. People will walk on you as long as you allow them to, so please do not allow them to. You need to stand up for yourself, but at the same time be respectful of the doctor. Even though you are treated poorly, you should not operate that way because you don't want to lower yourself to their standards. But let your coworkers know that you will not tolerate being treated like this anymore. Try saying, "Please don't speak to me that way." Say this in front of patients if that's where the poor treatment occurs. Turn and face the dentist straight on and stand your ground. She will become upset you if you allow her to. So, stay calm and strong. People like that will generally back down. They like being a bully but they can't take it when someone dishes it back to them. If all else fails, don't allow the stress of the situation to control your life. Dental assistants are in demand and you, my dear, have a lot to give an office! Pick yourself up and find a doctor who will appreciate you and all of your talents. You deserve better! Refer link:

23rd December, 2020

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Tooth loss associated with increased cognitive impairment, dementia

Tooth loss is a risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia -- and with each tooth lost, the risk of cognitive decline grows, according to a new analysis led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and published in JAMDA: The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. However, this risk was not significant among older adults with dentures, suggesting that timely treatment with dentures may protect against cognitive decline. About one in six adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior studies show a connection between tooth loss and diminished cognitive function, with researchers offering a range of possible explanations for this link. For one, missing teeth can lead to difficulty chewing, which may contribute to nutritional deficiencies or promote changes in the brain. A growing body of research also points to a connection between gum disease -- a leading cause of tooth loss -- and cognitive decline. In addition, tooth loss may reflect life-long socioeconomic disadvantages that are also risk factors for cognitive decline. "Given the staggering number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and dementia each year, and the opportunity to improve oral health across the lifespan, it's important to gain a deeper understanding of the connection between poor oral health and cognitive decline," said Bei Wu, PhD, Dean's Professor in Global Health at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and co-director of the NYU Aging Incubator, as well as the study's senior author. Wu and her colleagues conducted a meta-analysis using longitudinal studies of tooth loss and cognitive impairment. The 14 studies included in their analysis involved a total of 34,074 adults and 4,689 cases of people with diminished cognitive function. The researchers found that adults with more tooth loss had a 1.48 times higher risk of developing cognitive impairment and 1.28 times higher risk of being diagnosed with dementia, even after controlling for other factors. However, adults missing teeth were more likely to have cognitive impairment if they did not have dentures (23.8 percent) compared to those with dentures (16.9 percent); a further analysis revealed that the association between tooth loss and cognitive impairment was not significant when participants had dentures. The researchers also conducted an analysis using a subset of eight studies to determine if there was a "dose-response" association between tooth loss and cognitive impairment -- in other words, if a greater number of missing teeth was linked to a higher risk for cognitive decline. Their findings confirmed this relationship: each additional missing tooth was associated with a 1.4 percent increased risk of cognitive impairment and 1.1 percent increased risk of being diagnosed with dementia. "This 'dose-response' relationship between the number of missing teeth and risk of diminished cognitive function substantially strengthens the evidence linking tooth loss to cognitive impairment, and provides some evidence that tooth loss may predict cognitive decline," said Xiang Qi, a doctoral candidate from NYU Meyers. "Our findings underscore the importance of maintaining good oral health and its role in helping to preserve cognitive function," said Wu. Story Source: Materials provided by New York University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

20th September, 2021

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onDiem partners with health-care leaders to launch Smart Safety COVID-19 course

Industries across the globe continue to watch intently as the dental industry, thought of as a barometer for the country’s post-pandemic recovery, reopens its doors to the public. But as our community returns to work, dental professionals—and their patients—are feeling anxious about the particular risks faced in our industry. As the founder of onDiem, a national on-demand dental staffing platform, it’s my job to not only listen to dental professionals’ concerns, but to take them seriously. Here’s a small sample of the frequently asked questions my team has received from the professionals on our platform: • If my daughter has been exposed to somebody, do I come to work that next day? • If a team member goes to a restaurant and finds out the restaurant was compromised, do they go to work? • How can I afford to take care of my special needs child if I’m forced to quarantine for 14 days? • These questions indicate a high level of uncertainty on basic safety standards in the dental workplace. They also show the concern about what we should do collectively to keep people safe on the job. Many competing voices Safety guidances for the dental industry have been issued by state boards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the American Dental Association, among others. This information can sometimes feel overwhelming and daunting for our professionals. As an industry that values evidence-based work and adherence to strict standards of excellence, we are already inundated with information from countless sources. But during our global pandemic, that flow of information has widened to include a myriad of documents on safety and the mitigation of risk. There is also confusion when guidances conflict or become outdated. The result is a cumbersome and time-consuming process for professionals to manage information. Now more than ever, the dental industry needs consolidated and reliable information on best practices. Without it, dental professionals cannot efficiently and easily manage the various risks involved with the global pandemic. The Smart Safety COVID-19 course To address this issue, we’ve collaborated with leaders in our community to create the Smart Safety COVID-19 course.i This free COVID-19 basic training module, now available to all professionals through onDiem and Higher Learning Technology (HLT) platforms, provides dental professionals with a general understanding of COVID-19 so they feel more equipped to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their patients. Dental professionals who use onDiem’s staffing platform and complete the course will receive recognition on their profiles, which can be viewed by prospective employers. After completing the module, participants will be able to: • understand the etiology of SARS-CoV2; • describe the clinical presentation of SARS-CoV2; • identify sources and routes of COVID-19 transmission; and • recognize measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission in dental practice. Forca Healthcare and Bioshield Healthcare have led the charge in content development for the course, ensuring that it provides resources and information that are reliable, up to date, and easily implemented across dental practices and clinics. Contributors include Mohamed Ahmed Syed, DDS, who is a public health expert and the CEO of Forca Healthcare. Dr. Syed is also the leader behind a number of safety-related medical device innovations, such as a dental syringe that prevents needle stick injuries and cross infections. Dr. Ryan Lee, a dental oncologist and implantologist for the US Army National Guard, also provides his expertise as the co-medical director of BioShield Healthcare, which provides safety, compliance, and COVID-19 preparedness services. The Smart Safety COVID-19 course relies on the delivery mechanism of HLT, a Silicon Prairie startup that has revolutionized and streamlined learning and certification preparation for dental and medical students across the globe. As a key collaborator in this project, HLT ensures that the course responds to our community’s need for safety in a thoughtful manner, with intuitive, user-friendly, and engaging design. This is critical for an industry that has always experienced a degree of discord in delivering streamlined information. “The era of COVID-19 has changed the job of health-care professionals, and the world is still figuring out how to respond to that,” explains Alec Whitters, cofounder and CEO of HLT. “It's a critical problem facing the world right now. I think that we can play an important role in helping get high quality, credible information out there that makes an impact.” The Smart Safety COVID-19 course is part of the larger Care for a Better Tomorrow campaign, which is led by a community of changemakers focused on transforming health care through a mouth-first approach. Coalition-building with key innovators in dentistry and health care—including BlueIQ, Dentira, American Dental, and The Leadwell Network—helps us work through the mental, physical, and societal changes dental professionals face today. Charles Mitchell, president of onDiem, puts it this way: “To be able to have a coalition focused on creating an opportunity and making a difference in a much bigger way with greater impact—I think that's how you create true, lasting, and sustainable change.” Refer link:

30th December, 2020

Human resources questions for dentists: COVID-19 testing of employees

QUESTION: Tell me all about COVID testing for my employees. ANSWER: As COVID cases rise and people socialize, you are likely to be confronted with a situation in which having your employees get tested seems like the right path to take. Before going down that path, know this: Employers do not have an automatic right to require COVID testing. Employers cannot require antibody tests. COVID testing is not something employers can take lightly or without proper planning. Employers cannot simply, on a whim, require employees to get tested. This must be done judiciously. If an employer requires COVID testing for any employee, the employer must ensure that the testing procedure is legally compliant, reliable, and effective. In part, employers must: • Select the right test • Document the process • Obtain written authorization • Ensure confidentiality • Determine how a positive test will be handled When a situation presents itself in which COVID exposure or practice safety is a concern, do not jump to immediately requiring a test. COVID-19 testing is not 100% reliable. It is possible for an employee who is infected with the virus to test negative, and for an employee who does not have the virus to test positive. COVID-19 testing should not provide employers with a false sense of security; even if all employees in the workplace have tested negative for COVID-19, the best methods for preventing COVID-19 in the workplace are maintaining physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, wearing face coverings and personal protective equipment, and following the CDC’s cleaning and sanitation protocols. If exposure is a concern, keeping the employee home for a period of time, monitoring symptoms, and having the employee manage his or her own health-care needs (seeing a physician, seek a test, etc.) is likely the best choice. If or when you do require a COVID test, then following must be considered: Who pays for the COVID test? As always, "it depends.” If an employee initiates the test entirely on their own, or their treating physician orders it, or the employee is instructed to get tested by the health department, then the employer is off the hook. If you, as the employer, require a COVID test, then you have to pay 1) for any out-of-pocket costs associated with getting the test (see below regarding health insurance), and 2) the employee’s hourly wages while traveling to the clinic, waiting in line, being tested, and returning. Language is important. If you say someone “should” get tested, you “encourage” them to get tested, you say “it would be a good idea to get tested,” or you make a negative test result a requirement for returning to work, this is the same as you “requiring” the test. Be proactive about testing: Do your research now. 1. Figure out where testing can happen in your area and how it works. 2. Pick one or two labs with good reputations. 3. Establish a working relationship. 4. When your employees are seen there, the bill should be sent to your office. 5. Decide how employees will report their time to you (paper timesheet or digital time clock.) If you are requiring the test, your office provides a group health insurance plan, and employees just have a copay for COVID testing, you would be responsible for the copay and not the entire test. If you are requiring the test and your office does not provide health insurance, then employees should not be using their personal health insurance for the COVID test. Your office should be paying for 100% of the cost. Check out our Handling Employee Sickness Guide for help and guidance. Refer link:

30th December, 2020

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Myth busters for dental assistants: It’s OK to carry my cell phone through the workday

It’s OK to carry my cell phone in my pocket while I’m at work. I mean, if my family needs me, I have to answer. Right? WRONG! You do not need your cell phone on you at all times. Your family should have your office phone number to reach you in case of a true family emergency. If you are in the middle of any procedure, there is no way you should be answering your phone. When you think about it, what text message did you receive yesterday that was a true emergency?More than likely, it was your partner asking what was for dinner, one of your kids asking if they could go to a friend’s house, or the kids arguing and wanting your attention. Cell phones gained popularity in 2000 with the advent of text messaging. So, most of us did not have cell phones 20 years ago, and you know what? We survived! I believe these tiny computers—that we insist on not only having, but on keeping in our hands at all times to answer the next text or phone call in a flash—have become a source of alienation for humanity. I think we’ve become a society of rude people. Have you ever been talking to someone who receives a text, then immediately looks at his or her phone and texts back? And here you thought you were in the middle of a conversation with the person! Let’s explore another aspect of the cell phone craze. Back in the day, we had these amazing little rooms to hide out in, called darkrooms. They were so nice—we could keep our snacks in there and nobody bothered us because we simple yelled, “Don’t open that door!” Thinking we were developing x-rays, no one opened the door! It was a safe haven in the middle of a hectic day. Then technology stole our little piece of paradise. Now, the only place we can hide out is the bathroom! We grab our phones, or have them in our pockets, and we head into the bathroom for some private time. We catch up on our texts, emails, take a selfie, and when we’re done with our business, we set down our phone and wash our hands. We’re the masters of hand hygiene. I mean, after all, we all know how to properly use hand asepsis. So, we scrub up good, and then pick up our phone! Link:

27th October, 2020

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It’s time to pick a dental dance partner

Would it be too dramatic to say COVID-19 has changed the world? How about the dental business? New guidelines are created almost daily. Extreme measures are needed to create an aura of safety. And hesitant patients are entering dental offices like frightened children. If the constant mask-wearing doesn’t drive you crazy, then you’re better off than most. This might be a dramatic start to get your attention, but my main point is sound: It’s time to pick a dental distribution partner and settle in for the long haul. Several months ago, I wrote an article on what to look for when choosing the right dental distributor. Yes, there are very good reasons to do your research and choose one over another. Some people dig in and check return policies. Some look at reward programs. Some evaluate software capabilities. Others simply go by word of mouth without performing due diligence. But then there are those of you who play them all—using one for most of your needs and then "working the system" to find someone willing to come down by a few hundred dollars on a piece of equipment. I’m here today to tell you that this is a one-way ticket to nowhere. As the saying goes, loyalty talks and...well, you know the rest. To use an analogy, when the tornado sirens are blaring, it's time to head to the cellar. But the only people who are getting in are close family. Take a look at the personal protective equipment (PPE) situation. There will be less to go around for months and maybe even longer. If you aren’t being told to try getting PPE where you spend the most money, then you’re probably getting an inferior product. Lnik:

29th October, 2020

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Understanding face shield maintenance—practical steps to insure cleanliness and optical clarity

Since most dental health care workers are expected to reuse their face shields, it is important to understand how to clean and disinfect this personal protective equipment (PPE). Proper and effective cleaning is a hot topic online. Typically, the comments are off-the-cuff and anecdotal. Last week I spent hours trying to get answers to these questions. I contacted numerous distributors and manufacturers and quite honestly there was very little consensus regarding how to care for these devices, but here is what I learned. Plastic face shields The actual face shield material is some type of plastic, but that is where the similarity ends. Shields are made with a variety of materials, including polycarbonate and polyethylene terephthalate (also known as PET or polyester). Some materials are more rigid than others and some shields are more scratch-resistant, prolonging the overall life of the shield. Optical clarity in a plastic shield is also critical. Sifting through the information One company did not have a specific cleaning protocol. This decision was based on the manufacturer not having specific clearance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) about cleaning and disinfecting their specific product. Another company deems their product to be single use only and recommends the shield should be discarded after each patient use. The remaining five companies had a variety of responses including using plain soap and water, or an EPA-approved product commonly used as a hard surface disinfectant or cleaner in a dental office, or 70% isopropyl alcohol as a disinfectant. The mere lack of information or conflicting advice is not shocking. Until this recent pandemic few dental professionals routinely wore face shields, so quite simply the conversation is a new one for most companies. Out of desperation, I sought the advice of a chemical engineer on how to safely clean a plastic device. While he is not an infection control expert, he would know how to keep the shield clean without damaging the optical properties of the plastic. Since this engineer is married to a dental hygienist, he has a vested interest in a positive outcome. Basic cleaning and disinfecting tidbits To avoid creating surface scratches, submerge the face shield in warm water to dislodge particulate matter. Adding a mild liquid dish, like Dawn, reduces surface tension, and allows the soapy water to evenly disperse across the surface. A soft cloth or sponge can be used to gently clean the shield. Rinse the shield in clear water and dry with a soft cotton towel or a microfiber cloth. Remember soap and water removes microbes on our hands, so it will work on your shield as well. Some clinicians also wish to use a surface disinfectant wipe or spray, but these products can leave a visible residue, which then needs to be removed. Time also matters when it comes to disinfectant solutions. Strictly follow the specific product directions for use to ensure complete disinfection. While a quick wipe may seem efficient, the contact time must be a followed. The required wet contact time can range from thirty seconds to as long as four minutes. A 70% alcohol wipe will also disinfect and keep plastic surfaces clear, but it is critical to remove the bioburden prior to disinfecting. Damaging a face shield Avoid using household cleaners that contain ammonia or products formulated to clean glass surfaces. Cleaners like these have the potential to damage plastic surfaces resulting in a permanently cloudy surface. Commercial cleaners that contain any type of grit are also contraindicated, including toothpaste. Avoid using paper towels, which can create microscopic scratches. If you are worried that a specific cleaner or disinfectant might damage your face shield it is easy to run a compatibility test. Apply a small amount of the product in an inconspicuous place on the shield, such as the edge. To avoid an oops moment, make sure the test area is out of your line of sight. Patient eye protection In addition to face shields, many clinicians offer patients protective eyewear or goggles. Most likely this practice will become more common. Patient eye protection can be cleaned and disinfected in the same way as our shields. Once dry, store the protective eyewear in individual zip lock bags. Patients are bound to appreciate this additional consideration. OSHA weighs in on PPE According to OSHA, clinical dental health care workers are deemed a very high exposure risk for COVID-19. Current guidelines include minimizing the use of dental handpieces, air water syringes, and ultrasonic dental scalers and any other aerosol-generating procedures. OSHA recommends the use of an 8 mm diameter HVAC suction systems to help capture splatter and control aerosols. In addition to a mask, a face shield is recommended for all aerosol-generating procedures on all patients considered well, and for any procedure when treating a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. In addition, OSHA recommends performing as many tasks as possible away from patient care areas, such as cleaning a face shield. Planning for the future Not only has it become difficult to find a product that will work well, there are significant backorders. Manufacturers are working around the clock to meet the increased demand for face shields for healthcare workers. Now it is more important than ever to take good care of your reusable PPE to get maximum life and optimal protection out of all products. Not only does this help the practice bottom line, but it also reduces unnecessary landfill waste, while helping us protect our own health. link:

11th November, 2020

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Why digital marketing should be every dentist's priority

If your dental marketing strategy isn’t primarily digital, it’s time for an overhaul. Defined as all marketing initiatives centered on an electronic device or the internet, digital marketing allows dentists to connect with patients on search engines, social media, email, and their dental practice websites. Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches per day, according to Internet Live Stats. No doubt people searching for a dentist in your local area are included in this number. Relying solely on traditional marketing methods such as direct mail and radio spots is keeping you from reaching current and prospective patients. Read on for reasons why digital marketing is important for your practice. Benefits of digital marketing for dental practices Inbound marketing is more effective than outbound marketing Your dental marketing efforts fall into one of two categories—inbound or outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is the process of engaging potential patients with content produced by your practice, effectively leading them back to your business. Conversely, outbound marketing requires you to seek out potential patients and compete with other practices for their business. One-third (32%) of marketers believe outbound marketing tactics are overrated, according to HubSpot. Consider this a warning if your strategy is largely outbound. Just like you specialize in dentistry, these people have an expertise in marketing. Consumers prefer contact via email over direct mail Email is the most effective marketing channel, according to the 2018 Email Marketing Industry Census. This preference isn’t too surprising, considering Statista expects the number of active email accounts to reach nearly 5.6 billion this year. Effective dental marketing strategies give patients what they want, and that’s email. Increase the success of your campaign by using your patients’ preferred method of communication. Online marketing is less expensive Running a successful dental practice means keeping an eye on your bottom line. Therefore, you should know that outbound leads cost 49% more than inbound leads, according to HubSpot. When you think about it, this makes sense. For example, if you run a direct mail campaign, you’ll incur design, printing, and postage costs. On the other hand, email marketing requires much less overhead, making it more cost-effective. Success rates are easy to measure Traditional dental advertising, such as running an advertisement in your local newspaper, is tricky because there’s no real way to determine how many people actually see it. This makes it difficult to gauge the effectiveness of these methods. Conversely, the success of digital marketing efforts is easy to monitor and very telling. The ability to view statistics such as website traffic lets you know what pages people visited, their referral source, and the device they used to access your site. Adjust your campaign with real-time results The secret to effective dental marketing is finding tactics that work. Getting this right is a process of trial and error, but digital marketing allows you to view the success of your campaigns while they’re still in progress. Since online-based initiatives such as an email or social media campaign are relatively simple to adjust, you’re able to make any necessary changes immediately. This is much more difficult with traditional marketing methods—a billboard or a television ad—because they’re harder to amend. Single out your target market Successful marketing for a dental practice is all about identifying your ideal patient base. Digital marketing makes this easy because you can see what pages are most popular on your website, blog, and social media accounts. When you know what content people are reading, and if you’re sharing it on your social sites, you’re able to tailor your marketing messages to meet people’s needs. Crafting marketing content that speaks to your target patient base will keep your waiting room full. link:

24th November, 2020

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Accessible care is equal care: An appeal to improve primary health care for people with disabilities

People with disabilities have a long history of unequal access to, and discrimination in, oral health and primary care, which has resulted in large health disparities between disabled individuals and their nondisabled peers—as well as poorer health outcomes. The primary causes for this are well known: Health-care facilities lack accessible medical diagnostic equipment, such as exam tables, radiology machines, and weight scales, the lack of which is a significant barrier to obtaining preventive care for those with mobility disabilities. Dental and medical education lacks instruction on physician’s nondiscrimination obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Education also lacks instruction on disability cultural competency—including how stereotypes, biases, and assumptions about a patient with a disability can unjustly impact treatment decisions. This concern spurred a collaborative effort between the National Council on Disability (NCD) and Henry Schein Cares in 2019 to help equip and educate the medical and dental communities in disability competency. COVID-19 quickly highlighted these issues and the critical need for nondiscriminatory access to health care for people with disabilities. In late 2019, NCD published a series of bioethics reports finding that the lives of persons with disabilities are often devalued by medical professionals. Biases and assumptions about the “quality of life” of people with a disability are societally pervasive and have long resulted in the devaluation and disparate treatment of people with disabilities, and in the medical context, these beliefs can seep into treatment decisions with deadly consequences. These findings were validated by the treatment of people with disabilities in response to COVID-19. Opening any newspaper or media outlet during the past months made clear that people with disabilities should fear for their lives—not only of contracting COVID-19, but of what could happen if they had to seek treatment for it. Widespread reports predicted shortages of ventilators necessary to save lives and of discriminatory Crisis Standards of Care that states were implementing if rationing ventilators became necessary. Several states’ Crisis Standards explicitly stated that people with certain disabilities or chronic illnesses would not receive COVID-19 health care if rationing became necessary. Others established point systems that put people with disabilities at the back of the line for care. These plans were shocking given that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that people with certain disabilities and preexisting health conditions are at increased risk for the most severe effects of the virus. To implement such plans would allow a deadly type of discrimination. We must ask why. Link:

28th October, 2020

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