Planet DDS Blog

The dental care divide.

May 17, 2017 · By Planet DDS

Last fall, we wrote a post about the dental care divide in the U.S. A recent Washington Post feature story put a human face on this public health challenge. The Post article describes the work of Mission of Mercy, a non-profit that provides free dental care to those who “fall through the cracks” of the…

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Virginia enacts e-prescription mandates for opioids.

May 10, 2017 · By Planet DDS

As the Department of Health and Human Services makes clear in the starkest terms, the U.S. faces an unprecedented opioid epidemic. On an average day, 3,900 people initiate non-medical use of prescription opioids, while 78 people die from an opioid-related overdose. In 2014, more than 240 million scripts were written for prescription opioids—more than enough…

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Denti-Cal reimbursement bill update.

April 18, 2017 · By Planet DDS

At the end of 2016, we discussed a proposed bill (AB 15) in the California state legislature aimed at increasing reimbursement rates for providers under the Denti-Cal program. This bill was drafted in direct response to comparatively low reimbursement rates in California, which some have blamed for the “silent, hidden epidemic of tooth decay and…

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2017: The Year of the DSO?

April 13, 2017 · By Planet DDS

The first few industry shows of 2017 (including the ADSO Summit in Florida and the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting) made one thing clear: dental groups are on the march. Although the American Dental Association estimates that only 7.4% of dentists are affiliated with a dental support organization, that percentage is growing, and it’s much…

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Why is the Tooth Fairy so generous?

April 05, 2017 · By Planet DDS

For the past twenty years, Delta Dental’s “Tooth Fairy Poll” has tracked the “average monetary payout” from the Tooth Fairy in the United States. The final results for 2016 show an all-time high average payout of $4.66, up from $3.91 in 2015. Total cash payouts in 2016 from the Tooth Fairy: $291 million, up 14…

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California grants $150 million in dental initiatives for underserved children.

March 23, 2017 · By Planet DDS

In late February, California’s Department of Health Care Services announced the 15 proposals selected for its Local Dental Pilot Project—with awards totaling $150 million spread across the next four years. These pilot projects are one component of the state’s Dental Transformation Initiative (DTI) to broaden access to dental care for the roughly 5 million children…

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Adding dental benefits to Medicare.

March 16, 2017 · By Planet DDS

It’s not uncommon for senior citizens to neglect dental treatment. In fact, federal researchers report that approximately 19 percent of adults aged 65 and older have untreated tooth decay. One of the main reasons for this trend: cost, and the inability of many seniors to afford treatment. A recent article published by USA Today sheds…

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Pain pills in dentistry.

March 01, 2017 · By Planet DDS

Every year, 3.5 million patients in the U.S. have their wisdom teeth removed. In many cases, those patients receive a bottle of immediate-release opioids like Vicodin and Percocet to manage the post-surgery pain. According to a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, dentists are responsible for 12 percent of prescriptions for fast-acting…

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More states could soon broaden authorized “dental therapist” procedures.

February 21, 2017 · By Planet DDS

Dental therapists, also known as advanced dental hygiene practitioners, typically receive more training than hygienists but not quite as much as full-blown dentists. With that training, they can install fillings, seat temporary crowns, and perform extractions. Some states, such as Maine and Vermont, allow dental therapists to perform these procedures without a dentist present. Now,…

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