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How to Clean Invisalign | My Crazy Good Life

Keeping your Invisalign retainers clean is easier than you might think! Here are some tips on how to clean Invisalign aligners and also what to avoid when cleaning them. 

This post, How to Clean Invisalign, is sponsored by Invisalign.

Jack is in the process of using Invisalign to straighten his teeth, and Invisalign is providing treatment in exchange for our honest thoughts and experiences. 

Make sure to keep your mouth, aligners, and teeth all squeaky clean and healthy with these tips and tricks. Remember, it’s important to clean your trays properly so they’re not damaged or weakened in the process! 
 

How to Clean Invisalign

If you’ve ever started an Invisalign journey you probably know that they’ll have to come out and be cleaned several times during the day for eating as well as a deeper clean daily. 

Figuring out how to clean your Invisalign retainers is an important part of caring for your aligners. Let’s take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts associated with cleaning your Invisalign trays.

Cleaning Invisalign Trays Do’s: 

DO clean your Invisalign retainers once a day. The best ways to clean them are with specified retainer soaking products OR with a soft bristle toothbrush and a clear liquid soap. 

DO soak them. A great DIY soak for a squeaky clean Invisalign aligners is equal parts lukewarm water and white distilled vinegar. 15 – 30 minutes (maybe while you’re eating dinner) will do the trick! 

DO check packages. If you do select a store bought soak for your Invisalign trays make sure it is specifically designed for retainers. Something designed for dentures is not a great idea for your clear plastic retainers.

Cleaning Invisalign Retainers Don’ts:

You should never use an abrasive cleaner on your aligners. Something too coarse or stiff can scratch or damage your Invisalign trays. 

Another big don’t is mouthwash. It can seem like a great idea because the alcohol will kill the germs, right? Nope! Soaking them in mouthwash is not good for their structure and it won’t do a good job of eliminating buildup or germs. 

Finally, remember that toothpaste is not designed to clean your Invisalign retainers. Just like with dentures, it can be abrasive and cause more places for germs to build up and grow. 

Are you thinking about Invisalign® Treatment for someone in your family? I highly recommend it, and am happy to answer any questions you have! 

This content was originally published here.

This new study shows listening to heavy metal is good for your health

heavy metal health study-min

It’s no secret most of us often turn to music to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and escape life’s demands. For all of you metalheads out there, that means rocking out to bands such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Black Sabbath and Pantera.

However, a new study has reportedly found that blasting heavy metal music may be better for your health than you realize. According to a study conducted by the Vera Clinic, listening to heavy metal music can reportedly lower blood pressure and heart rate and reduce anxiety.

Read more: You can spend the night in the ‘Silence Of The Lambs’ house—here’s how

For the study, Vera Clinic, a Turkish hair transplant and rhinoplasty practice, had 1,540 volunteers between the ages of 18-65 take part in non-verbal reasoning tests designed to produce lower stress levels. Participants listened to a specific soundtrack that was made up of various Spotify playlists. Then, they were fitted with heart rate and blood pressure monitors and recorded their health stats throughout the study.

Researchers found that heavy metal was the second most effective genre at reducing anxiety. In fact, 89 percent of participants reported a decrease in their blood pressure levels. As well, their heart rates dropped by an average of 18 percent.

It turns out, the ’80s pop music playlisthad the greatest impact on participants. According to the study, participants saw a 36 percent decrease in heart rate. Meanwhile, 96 percent of individuals reported a drop in blood pressure while listening to this playlist.

Read more: This MGK and YUNGBLUD collab gets 11 pop-punk renditions in new cover

For Doctor Avlanmış, who led the study, they noted a key observation about heavy metal music.

“In terms of heavy metal, I’d observe that angry music can help listeners process their feelings. And as a result lead to greater well-being.”

All of the findings from the recent heavy metal study can be viewed via MetalSucks here.

Over the years, various music studies have been conducted. As it turns out, researchers have found out just how much heavy metal music can impact listeners. Back in 2015, one study suggested that metal music can actually make people calmer. Meanwhile, in 2018, another study reportedly found that metal music can be good for listeners’ brains.

Read more: grandson gives “Dirty” a vibrant new spin in this live performance—watch

More recently, a 2019 study found that listening to heavy metal music while in the car can apparently make you a bad driver. As well, another 2019 study concluded that listening to heavy metal music doesn’t really cause violent behavior or lack of empathy.

What are your reactions to the study’s findings of heavy metal music’s impact on health? Let us know in the comments below.

The post This new study shows listening to heavy metal is good for your health appeared first on Alternative Press.

This content was originally published here.

Diversity, enthusiasm … dentistry: Hong Kong literary festival lauded as one of the world’s best by authors | South China Morning Post

Author Jeong Yu-jeong of South Korean at a book signing at last year’s Hong Kong International Literary Festival. Photo: Isaac Lawrence
Author Jeong Yu-jeong of South Korean at a book signing at last year’s Hong Kong International Literary Festival. Photo: Isaac Lawrence

This content was originally published here.

COVID-19 pandemic fuels attacks on health workers globally

Two Nigerian nurses were attacked by the family of a deceased COVID-19 patient. One nurse had her hair ripped out and suffered a fracture. The second was beaten into a coma.

Following the assaults, nurses at Federal Medical Centre in the Southwestern city of Owo stopped treating patients, demanding the hospital improve security. Almost two weeks passed before they returned to work with armed guards posted around the clock.

“We don’t give life. It is God that gives life. We only care or we manage,” said Francis Ajibola, a local leader with the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives.

The attack in Nigeria early last month was just one of many on health workers globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report by the Geneva-based Insecurity Insight and the University of California, Berkeley’s Human Rights Center identified more than 1,100 threats or acts of violence against health care workers and facilities last year.

Researchers found that about 400 of those attacks were related to COVID-19, many motivated by fear or frustration, underscoring the dangers surrounding health care workers at a time when they are needed most. Insecurity Insight defines a health care attack as any physical violence against or intimidation of health care workers or settings, and uses online news agencies, humanitarian groups and social media posts to track incidents around the world.

“Our jobs in the emergency department and in hospitals have gotten exponentially more stressful and harder, and that’s at baseline even when people are super supportive,” said Rohini Haar, an emergency physician in Oakland, California, and Human Rights Center research fellow. “To do that work and to do it with commitment while being attacked or with the fear of being attacked is heartbreaking to me.”

Medical professionals from surgeons to paramedics have long confronted injury or intimidation on the job, especially in conflict zones. Experts say many attacks are rooted in fear or mistrust, as family members react to a relative’s death or a community responds to uncertainty around a disease. The coronavirus has amplified those tensions.

Ligia Kantún has worked as a nurse for 40 years in Mexico and never felt threatened until last spring. As she was leaving a hospital in Merida in April, she heard someone shout the word “Infected!” She was drenched in hot coffee before she could turn around.

“When I got home 10 minutes later my daughter was waiting for me and I hugged her crying, all scared, thinking, ‘How is it possible that they have done this to me?’” she told The Associated Press.

Kantún said many people in Mexico at the time thought health workers wore the same uniforms in public that they wore when treating coronavirus patients. “That ignorance was what made them act that way,” she said.

Researchers saw the most attacks last spring and summer as the coronavirus swept across the globe. Yet recent events from Nigeria to the Netherlands, where in January rioters set fire to a coronavirus testing center, prove the threat remains.

Haar said she expected health care workers to be widely celebrated for their lifesaving work during the pandemic, just as Italians sang tributes to doctors during the lockdown.

“But actually that didn’t happen in many, many places,” she said. “There’s actually more fear, more distrust, and attacks grew rather than decreased.”

Many attacks may have gone undetected because they are never reported to police or in the media. Insecurity Insight scrambled to expand its monitoring as a flood of attacks were detected in countries that have traditionally been safe for health workers, said director Christina Wille.

In the United States, for example, researchers counted about a dozen threats to health care workers last year. Several incidents involved the injury or arrest of street medics during Black Lives Matter protests.

“I think in the U.S. the culture has been more of trusting health workers,” Haar, the emergency physician, said. “There hasn’t been a longstanding conflict where there’s been a dissonance between health workers and the community.”

Yet health workers in the U.S. are still subject to great risk. Hospital employees in the U.S. are nearly six times as likely as the average worker to be the victim of an intentional injury, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and last month a Minnesota medical assistant was killed during a shooting at a clinic by a former patient unhappy with his treatment.

Misinformation has spurred violence in some cases. Wille said her team looked closely at social media postings in April after three Ebola treatment centers were ransacked in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We could actually see that there was a build-up over several days of misinformation about what they call the ‘Ebola business,’ that this was all related to people inventing the disease,” she said.

Experts say that even though health workers are in many cases the target of attacks, entire communities suffer when they lose access to medical care after a clinic or medical facility is forced to close due to threats.

“You’re robbing the community of the service they would have provided,” said Nyka Alexander, who leads the World Health Organization’s communications on health emergencies.

With or without a pandemic, the most dangerous places for health workers are often areas of conflict and political upheaval. Last year, hundreds of threats and acts of violence were tracked in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Naser Almhawish, surveillance coordinator for Syria’s Early Warning Alert and Response Network, said he faced threats several times while working as a doctor in the city of Raqqa. He recalled the day in 2012 at Ar-Raqqa National Hospital when armed men confronted him in the middle of an operation, saying they’d kill him if the patient died.

“You just freeze and you know that you are working and you are trying to save this guy,” he said. “This is our duty. I didn’t ask if this guy was a military, civilian or anything. He’s a human being who needed an operation.”

Almhawish said such attacks on health care settings in Syria had waned in the last year. Researchers said declining violence in the country was the reason they didn’t see a greater surge in total health care attacks in 2020.

Kantún, the nurse in Mexico, said she went almost eight months after the attack last April without wearing her nursing scrubs in public. Now, one year into the pandemic, she feels health workers are more respected. But she still worries.

“I’ve had that fear of going out and finding my car scratched, or my car window broken,” she said. “I do have that fear, since I lived it.”

Helen Wieffering is a Roy W. Howard Fellow. Joshua Housing is an investigative fellow on the global investigative team.

Contributing to this report are AP video journalist Federica Narancio and Anne Daugherty and Devon Lum at the University of California, Berkeley Human Rights Center Investigations Lab.

This content was originally published here.

A GOP Senator Just Compared Trans Health Care to ‘Genital Mutilation’

She’s set to be the highest-profile trans government official in U.S. history. So Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul used the Senate confirmation hearing for Dr. Rachel Levine to falsely compare gender-affirming health care to genital mutilation.

“Most genital mutilation is not typically performed by force but, as WHO notes, that by social convention, social norm, the social pressure to conform, to do what others do and have been doing as well as the need to be accepted socially and the fear of being rejected by the community,”  Paul told Levine, a Pennsylvania pediatrician and health official who has been nominated to become President Joe Biden’s assistant health secretary. 

“American culture is now normalizing the idea that minors could be given hormones to prevent their biological development of their secondary sexual characteristics,” he said. “Dr. Levine, do you believe that minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one’s sex?”

He didn’t ask a single question about the pandemic that’s claimed more than 500,000 Americans’ lives. Instead, he mischaracterized how gender-affirming care works and downplayed the discrimination facing trans and nonbinary people in favor of amplifying an effort, currently popular among state-level conservatives, that would deprive trans kids of health care.

Levine didn’t react to the provocation. If confirmed, she would be the first openly trans person to be confirmed by the Senate. 

“Transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed,” she told the Republican senator. She said that she’d be happy to work with Rand and discuss the issue. 

Rand accused her of evading the question. He later thundered, “We should be outraged that someone’s talking to a three-year-old about changing their sex.”

Beyond his apparent assumption that the words “sex” and “gender” are synonymous—they are not—Rand’s suggestion that Americans are now “normalizing” gender-affirming care ignored the reality that trans and nonbinary children face high levels of discrimination. About 78 percent of trans students report being discriminated against at school, according to a 2017 survey of more than 23,000 students by GLSEN; about 70 percent of gender-queer and non-binary students said the same. In that same survey, almost half of all trans kids said that they’d missed or changed schools because of fears for their safety.

This demographic also faces devastatingly high rates of suicide attempts. More than half of trans male and 30 percent of trans female teenagers said that they’d tried to end their lives, according to a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2018. More than 40 percent of nonbinary teens also said they’d attempted suicide.

Puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormone therapy may be able to save these kids’ lives: Research indicates that they improve trans and nonbinary kids’ mental health. The average risk of suicide for trans children fell by about 75 percent after spending a year on gender-affirming hormone therapy, according to a Trevor Project research brief.

Medical professionals are, for the record, not performing surgery or giving hormones to three-year-olds. But major medical organizations do support trans kids’ rights to gender-affirming, inclusive health care and have done so for years. In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that trans and gender-diverse kids have “access to comprehensive, gender-affirming, and developmentally appropriate health care that is provided in a safe and inclusive clinical space.” 

Rand’s focus on trans children’s bodies echoed an ongoing, nationwide conservative attempt to restrict trans’ kids lives by blocking them from gender-affirming care and participating in sports that match their gender identity. So far this year, legislators in 16 states have introduced 19 bills that would block trans kids from receiving gender-affirming care, according to a tally by the ACLU.

Biden has promised to make his cabinet the most diverse in U.S. history, but many of his nominees—and particularly the women of color—are now facing pushback in the Senate. 

Rep. Deb Haaland, a Democrat from New Mexico who would be the first Native American to lead the Department of the Interior, has been attacked for being too “radical.” Neera Tanden would be the first Indian American to head the Office of Management and Budget, but she’s run into trouble due to her history of attacking prominent officials on Twitter.

This content was originally published here.

Zimmer Biomet dental unit to distribute Invisalign maker’s intraoral scanners | MedTech Dive

Dive Brief:

Dive Insight:

Zimmer Biomet executives touted “continued improvement” in the dental business on its most recent earnings call, with CEO Bryan Hanson telling investors the unit “has been gaining traction over the last few quarters.” The business markets dental implants, as well as sutures and putty.

But on a year-over-year basis, dental sales declined from $428 million in 2016, to $419 million in 2017, to $411 million last year. A Wall Street Journal report from March 2018 said Zimmer Biomet was considering divesting the dental business altogether.

Zimmer Biomet’s most recent annual report said it competes primarily with Danaher’s Nobel Biocare, Dentsply Sirona and Swiss manufacturer Straumann in the dental implant market. It attributed the continued slide in sales in 2018 to “ongoing competitive challenges in the U.S. and EMEA and restructuring of our dental organization in certain European markets.”

The agreement with Align “expands Zimmer Biomet’s global footprint in the rapidly growing market for digital restorative dentistry solutions,” the medtech said in its announcement.

For Align, the deal comes after recently public teledentistry company SmileDirectClub served as a bit of a boon and a bane. The two companies struck a deal in 2016 for Align to become SDC’s exclusive third-party supplier of non-Invisalign clear aligners. But the business partners have since had disputes. An arbitration decision in March forced Align to close its piloted Invisalign stores due to non-compete provisions.

Align is optimistic about the potential of the Zimmer partnership for its scanner business.

“Through this partnership, the iTero scanner becomes the preferred intraoral scanner used in the U.S. and European Zimmer Biomet Institutes, which train thousands of dental professionals annually,” said Yuval Shaked, senior vice president of iTero Scanner and Services.

Also this week, Danaher dental spinout Envista priced its initial public offering, which it said is expected to close Friday. Danaher’s plans to have its dental businesses form a separate publicly traded company were first announced last July.

This content was originally published here.

Support Birmingham at Magic City Dentistry’s food drive in December for a chance to win big

Sponsored

Donate non-perishable items at the Vulcan statue at Magic City Dentistry for a chance to win big! Photo via Nathan Watson for BhamNow

Throughout December, Magic City Dentistry is hosting a food drive to support Alabamians through Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. Read on to see how you can win big while supporting your community.

Win Big By Supporting Alabamians

Magic City Dentistry
Next time you visit Magic City Dentistry, you might see Saban or another one of Bham’s dogs hanging out! Photo via Magic City Dentistry

“When we were developing this practice, we knew that we wanted to connect to this community that we love.  We are always looking for ways to do that.  Donating food during this time of year is a no brainer, is easy, and makes you feel good!”

Kristye Dixon, Practice Manager

If you’ve been here for a while, you know that Birmingham is essentially a small-town community in a big-city environment.

Being part of a small town means looking out for your neighbor, especially during the holiday season. So, Magic City Dentistry is collecting cans, dried food, and other non-perishable items to donate to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama.

From now until December 31, bring in any nonperishable food item to their office at 2117 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama 35203

When you donate an item to the food drive, you will be entered to win in a drawing held on January 6th.  The winner will get to choose between either a Zoom In-office teeth whitening OR a teeth cleaning and check up!

Community Food Bank of Central Alabama

Food Bank
Donations to the Community Food Bank help kids just like these have full bellies. Photo via Community Food Bank of Central Alabama

Helping out your fellow Alabamians is as simple as picking up an extra can or two when you go grocery shopping. By supporting the Community Food Bank, you’re helping thousands of Alabamians get the food they need.

The Community Food Bank supplies millions of meals each year by donating to 230 food pantries, shelters and children’s programs. These donations serve 60,000-80,000 Alabamians each month.

What Should I Bring?

You can help cover Vulcan in cans by donating to Magic City Dentistry in December. Photo via Nathan Watson for BhamNow

Since high-protein foods help families create filling meals, seeking quality canned foods is better than just grabbing a random can from the shelf. But if you feel lost in the grocery store (like me), here’s a handy list of high-quality canned foods to bring to a drive:

  • Tuna, salmon, chicken and other meats
  • Beans
  • Soups and stews
  • Canned chili
  • Low-sodium vegetables
  • Pasta or rice
  • Canned or dried fruit
  • Cereal, oatmeal, or grits

Want to support the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, but can’t make it out to Magic City Dentistry? Donate online.

Cover Vulcan in Canned Food

Sonia Summer’s design for Vulcans on Parade, displayed at Magic City Dentistry. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now.

When you walk into Magic City Dentistry, Sonia Summer’s design for Vulcans on Parade is the first thing you’ll notice.

During the food drive, all donations will be stored around Vulcan. Although there is a lot of space, how incredible would it be to completely cover Vulcan with donated food?

Address: 2117 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama 35203

So, next time you visit the grocery store, consider picking up an extra can or two. Then, bring them to Magic City Dentistry and help cover Vulcan. By donating to the food drive, you can win a Zoom teeth whitening or a teeth cleaning and checkup! Your donation will help an Alabama family stay full during the Holiday season.

Be sure to snap a pic with as you cover Magic City Dentistry’s Vulcan with canned food and tag @bhamnow!

Sponsored by:

The post Support Birmingham at Magic City Dentistry’s food drive in December for a chance to win big appeared first on Bham Now.

This content was originally published here.

Why Are So Many Health-Care Workers Resisting the Coronavirus Vaccine? | The New Yorker

Tiffany Chance has worked as a certified nursing assistant since 2005. As an African-American woman in her mid-thirties, Chance typifies the demographics of her profession: most C.N.A.s are young, over a third are Black, ninety per cent are women. She was born and raised in Ohio, and for years worked at a single nursing facility. When the pandemic started and nursing homes faced dire personnel shortages, as many employees contracted the virus or quit in fear of it, Chance started picking up scattered shifts through IntelyCare, a staffing agency that allows health-care workers to choose jobs the way that Uber drivers accept riders. She often works six shifts a week, eight or twelve hours each, across several nursing homes.

When considering a shift, Chance, who has asthma, tries to choose nursing homes without active coronavirus spread. This information, however, is self-reported, and there’s often a delay. “I’d pick a place that said they don’t have the virus, then I’d show up and they’d say, ‘Actually, some of these people have COVID,’ ” Chance told me. In early October, she scheduled a shift at a new facility, which, she was told, had no coronavirus-positive residents; she was given a surgical mask, not an N95 respirator. A week later, as she started to develop a runny nose, she received a call: a resident had tested positive. Soon, her breathing worsened. “God, it was terrible,” she said. “It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t walk an inch without getting out of breath.” Chance couldn’t work for weeks; during that time, she received no sick pay. She tried to sign up for food stamps and unemployment benefits, but “I had to jump through so many hoops. They wanted my medical records, my test result, my pay stub, my last employer. I’m thinking, What does my last employer have to do with this? I need help right now!” She tried to e-mail the paperwork, but was told it would take longer to process than if she dropped it off. “I’m, like, I can’t drop it off, I have COVID.” As the weeks wore on, she turned to family for help with food and money for rent. “I kept thinking, You work this hard, you care for so many people. And when you get sick, this is how you’re treated.”

While navigating these bureaucratic hurdles, Chance’s symptoms worsened; during one especially rough night, she considered going to the hospital. But the following morning her breathing eased, and slowly it returned to normal. Chance is convinced that her illness didn’t get worse only because, a few years ago, she’d received the pneumonia vaccine. “I really think it helped,” she said. “That vaccine saved me.”

Chance doesn’t want a coronavirus vaccine. (Because it’s not known how long naturally acquired immunity lasts, the C.D.C. recommends that people who have already had the virus still get vaccinated.) I asked her how she has come to believe that one vaccine saved her life but another threatens her health. The vaccine “came out too fast,” she said. “I think they removed a lot of barriers to get it done faster.” She continued, “It’s not that I don’t believe they’re trying to do a good job. I think they have awesome scientists working really hard. I applaud them for doing what they’re doing. I just don’t believe there’s been enough research yet. There’s no way they’ve been studying it for long enough.” Beyond the speed of development, Chance has questions—about how long vaccine-generated immunity lasts, about how serious the long-term side effects might be, and about what could happen if the virus mutates further. Until these questions are answered to her satisfaction, she has no plans to get immunized. “I’m not saying never,” Chance told me. “I’m just saying not now.”

Like Chance, Kia Cooper has been a certified nursing assistant for nearly two decades. She works in and around Philadelphia; early in the pandemic, she would split her time between traditional nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. She prefers the latter. “Nursing homes give you too many patients, and they are much more dependent on you for everything—dressing, bathing, feeding, transport,” she said. “It’s backbreaking work.” In Cooper’s experience, it’s not unusual for a single C.N.A. to care for twenty nursing-home residents at a time. One evening in the spring, she arrived for an overnight shift to find that the other C.N.A.s scheduled to work hadn’t shown up. “It was me and two nurses for fifty residents,” she said. “The charge nurse kept calling people to try to get them to come in but no one responded.”

Cooper now prefers to work in home care and assisted-living facilities, where the residents require less support; she’s found four assisted-living facilities on the outskirts of Philadelphia that she likes. Recently, a previous employer offered her a chance to get vaccinated. She passed. “I’m not totally against it,” she said. “But it was so rushed. I want to wait and see how others do.” Her experience with a health-care industry that seems to put profits over the interests of patients and staff—that denies hazard pay, that fails to provide adequate protective equipment—also contributes to her hesitancy. “I do wonder if it’s a money thing,” she told me. “These are big companies trying to force these products on everyone. You have to wonder, Are they doing it for us or are they just trying to make money?”

Destiny Hankins, a licensed practical nurse from Tennessee, currently working in Ohio, shares these concerns. “Sometimes, it feels like no one cares about us,” she said. “I’ve worked in places where pretty much the whole staff walked out because the facility lied to us. They said there was no COVID when there was. They didn’t give us P.P.E. They didn’t have the decency to be straight with us.” During the pandemic, Hankins has been sleeping in her garage to avoid infecting her twelve-year-old daughter, who has epilepsy, and her fiancé, who has an autoimmune condition. She told me that she’s managed to stay safe by adhering to a mantra she’s dubbed the “three ‘P’s”: prayer, precautions, and P.P.E. When the vaccines first became available, she decided that she didn’t want to get immunized. She thought that the vaccines might contain live virus, which would pose a threat to her family; she saw a video of a woman who, after receiving the vaccine, claimed that she was unable to move properly. She heard from some colleagues and acquaintances that the vaccine contained microchips. Eventually, she learned more, and decided that she wanted the shot. But because she works part time at several facilities, and full time at none, she hasn’t been able to get one.

Despite confronting the damage of COVID-19 firsthand—and doing work that puts them and their families at high risk—health-care workers express similar levels of vaccine hesitancy as people in the general population. Recent surveys suggest that, over all, around a third of health-care workers are reluctant to get vaccinated against COVID-19. (Around one in five Americans say they probably or definitely won’t get vaccinated; nationwide, hesitancy is more common among Republicans, rural residents, and people of color.) The rates are higher in certain regions, professions, and racial groups. Black health-care workers, for instance, are more likely to have tested positive for the virus, but less likely to want a vaccine. (Thirty-five per cent turned down a first dose.) Compared with doctors and nurses, other health professionals—E.M.T.s, home health aides, therapists—are generally less likely to say that they’ll get immunized, and a recent survey of C.N.A.s found that nearly three-quarters were hesitant to get the vaccine.

At Yale-New Haven hospital, ninety per cent of medical residents chose to get the vaccine immediately, but only forty-two per cent of workers in environmental services and thirty-three per cent of food-service workers did. The problem may be most pressing in nursing homes. In December, the governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, said that sixty per cent of the state’s nursing-home staff had declined the vaccine; in North Carolina, the number is estimated to be more than fifty per cent. According to the C.E.O. of PruittHealth—an organization that runs about a hundred long-term-care facilities across the South—seventy per cent of employees in those facilities declined the first dose.

This hesitancy is less outright rejection than cautious skepticism. It’s driven by suspicions about the evidence supporting the new vaccines and about the motives of those endorsing them. The astonishing speed of vaccine development has made science a victim of its own success: after being told that it takes years, if not decades, to develop vaccines, many health-care workers are reluctant to accept one that sprinted from conception to injection in less than eleven months. They simply want to wait—to see longer-term safety data, or at least to find out how their colleagues fare after inoculation.

Another major hurdle is mistrust of both the political and the health-care systems. The problem is most acute in historically marginalized communities, which already live with racial disparities in life expectancy, maternal mortality, access to medical care, representation in clinical trials, informed consent, the physician workforce, and COVID-19 outcomes. And it’s exacerbated among health-care workers who are underappreciated and poorly paid. “In many cases, vaccine hesitancy is not a lack-of-information problem, it’s a lack-of-trust problem,” David Grabowski, a professor of health-care policy at Harvard, told me. “Staff doesn’t trust leadership. They have a real skepticism of government. They haven’t gotten hazard pay. They haven’t gotten P.P.E. They haven’t gotten respect. Should we be surprised that they’re skeptical of something that feels like it’s being forced on them?”

Health-care leaders have resorted to various carrots and sticks to get their employees vaccinated. Given the newness of the vaccines and the lack of long-term safety data, most employers have opted to encourage—not mandate—vaccination; some have offered cash bonuses, days off, even Waffle House gift certificates. (“If that doesn’t get you in line, I don’t know what will,” the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, said.) But officials at some organizations have started mandating vaccination. (The law generally allows companies to pursue compulsory vaccination, and recently the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission signalled that employers might begin requiring it for the coronavirus.) “I have very mixed feelings about mandates,” Grabowski said. “I see this a lot on Twitter: just mandate the vaccine and good riddance. Putting the ethical issues aside, the people who say that have no understanding of the labor market here. It’s a very fluid workforce. A number of employees would just say, ‘No thanks,’ and nursing homes would be even more understaffed than they already are. That’s a very dangerous place to be.”

Relative to the staff, nursing-home residents have very high levels of vaccine acceptance—above ninety per cent in many places. This is good news, considering the devastation that COVID-19 has visited upon these facilities. So far, nursing homes and long-term-care facilities have accounted for some hundred and forty thousand COVID-19 deaths—forty per cent of the total U.S. death toll, though these facilities represent only five per cent of the country’s cases. But, even in nursing homes, vaccination efforts have not proceeded with the requisite urgency. In the month after the vaccines were released, less than a quarter of the doses made available for nursing-homes were administered; even today, nearly a quarter of residents of long-term-care facilities have not received their first dose of a vaccine, according to the C.D.C.

In most states, CVS and Walgreens, in partnership with the federal government, are responsible for vaccinating people in long-term-care facilities. The federal government sends vaccines to the states, which allocate doses to nursing homes; teams from the pharmacy giants then visit the facilities on pre-specified days. In mid-December, Alex Azar, the head of Health and Human Services in the Trump Administration, suggested that all nursing-home residents could have their first dose by Christmas. But, even before Azar spoke, many states had informed the C.D.C. that their programs responsible for nursing-home vaccinations wouldn’t be active until at least December 28th. Four weeks later, some facilities are still waiting for their first appointment.

“It’s worth saying that this was never going to be easy,” Grabowski told me. “Given the number of facilities and the population you’re dealing with, it was always going to be an operations and logistics nightmare. You can’t just set up a drive-through or bring people to Dodger Stadium en masse. You have to go to every facility, make sure every resident has a chance to get vaccinated—that requires very high levels of management and coördination.” The speed of vaccinations has been further complicated by what some believe is unnecessary paperwork, including, for example, gaining written consent from residents, many of whom have dementia or other cognitive deficits. Large pharmacies also don’t have established relationships with care facilities and cannot use nursing-home staff to help administer the vaccines. “If you talk to them, I think they’d tell you that things are actually proceeding according to schedule,” Grabowski said. “It’s just a slow schedule.”

Some states have opted out of the program. West Virginia has relied on local pharmacies, in addition to the big chains, to administer vaccines; by the end of December, the state had the highest nursing-home-vaccination rate in the country—all two hundred and fourteen facilities had been offered the vaccine, and more than eighty per cent of residents in two hundred homes had received their first dose. Nationwide, each CVS or Walgreens is responsible for vaccinating around twenty-five nursing homes; in West Virginia, there are more pharmacies than nursing homes participating in the vaccination program. Many nursing-home residents in West Virginia received their second dose before those in other states got their first.

Kimberly Delbo has been the director of nursing services and innovation at an assisted-living facility in central Pennsylvania for three years. Delbo takes great pride in the culture that she’s helped create. “We’re a small, tight-knit family,” Delbo told me. “The most important thing we can do as an organization is make sure people know that we truly care about them.” In an industry where a fifty-per-cent annual staff-turnover rate is not uncommon, Delbo’s facility did not lose a single employee in 2019; last year, it had a ninety-per-cent retention rate. During the pandemic, employees have had access not only to adequate protective gear but also to what she calls the “health-care heroes’ room,” complete with a massage chair, aromatherapy, antioxidant drinks, and fresh fruits and vegetables. “They work hard,” she said. “They deserve a tranquil environment.”

Around Thanksgiving, the facility had a coronavirus outbreak in which nearly one in seven residents and half of the staff were infected. One woman—a C.N.A. for more than forty years—contracted the coronavirus and lost her husband and her father within the same month. “She still came back to work,” Delbo said. “She said, ‘This is what I’m made for.’ When you see that kind of resilience, it’s truly humbling. You think, These are the real heroes.” To manage the staff shortage, Delbo lengthened shifts from eight to twelve hours, and reached out to contacts in the state’s health department to arrange emergency staffing. Her son, also a nurse, took time away from his regular job to help out. “It sounds bad—and it was—but, compared to some other facilities, we were relatively spared,” Delbo said.

In early December, Delbo was told that her facility would be vaccinated by the end of the month. As the New Year approached, however, the projected date was revised to mid-January. She sent some staff members to a local hospital to see if they could get immunized; it wasn’t until January 23rd that the pharmacy team finally delivered the first doses to her facility. “The vaccine-distribution process has been very discouraging,” she told me. “It was presented one way on paper but turned out to be completely different in reality.” The residents at her facility are aged seventy-eight to a hundred and eight. “You would think this is a priority population,” she said. “We were like sitting ducks, just praying we could dodge the bullet of another outbreak. We were watching as the general public started getting vaccines, and we were still waiting.”

Like staff at nursing homes across the country, those at Delbo’s facility are split on whether to get vaccinated. “I have a staff member who’s been with us for twenty years and said, ‘Can I be the first person to get it?’ ” Delbo said. “But others are very unsure about it. They ask me, ‘Kim, what do you think about this vaccine? Is it safe?’ ” Delbo has made educating residents and staff a central priority. “We’ve been very proactive about building confidence in it, about getting them the facts, about debunking conspiracy theories and social-media myths,” she said. “We can engage in this dialogue because they trust us. I think what’s important for people to understand is that you don’t build trust in a day and you don’t build it for a specific purpose. We’ve been investing in trust for years. We were doing this before the pandemic, and we’ll do it after.”

This content was originally published here.

As Health Officials Resign, Cuomo Says He Doesn’t Trust The Experts

“Trust the science.” “Listen to the experts.” These were the media’s mantras in 2020. Oh, and one other one: “Cuomo is so competent.” Today we know, as many long suspected, that the last one is not at all compatible with the first two. The New York Times reports that nine top New York state health officials resigned in recent months, citing Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the reason why.

On Friday, Cuomo had this to say about the experts: “When I say ‘experts’ in air quotes, it sounds like I’m saying I don’t really trust the experts. Because I don’t. Because I don’t.” Can you imagine if Donald Trump had said that at any point during the pandemic? The entire staff of CNN would have had a collective mental breakdown. Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s head would have exploded on live TV.

The statement comes a week after a bombshell New York attorney general report indicated Cuomo has undercounted deaths in nursing homes and engaged in a cover-up regarding his own role in those deaths. In addition, New York’s initial vaccine rollout — which was basically a result of Cuomo rolling up his sleeves and saying, “Step aside, college boy,” to his health officials — was an abject disaster.

And all of this from the man who in the spring was declared the most effective leader in America by much of the media. Take this headline from a Jennifer Rubin article in the Washington Post: “Andrew Cuomo gets it right: Govern by science, not your gut.”

Here is CNN’s Chris Cillizza back in May: “What the future holds for Cuomo is hard to predict. But what’s far clearer is that Cuomo’s competent and, at times, charismatic handling of the coronavirus crisis in his state has made him one of the most popular politicians in America today.”

And here is his headline from Jan. 28, even before today’s New York Times reporting: “Andrew Cuomo’s Covid-19 performance may have been less stellar than it seemed.” Ya think, Chris? Ya think? The list of major mistakes made by our media during the pandemic could stretch around the Earth several times over, but the adoration of the Cuomo is emerging as one of the absolute worst.

This is because the unserious and non-curious coverage of the Empire State’s governor was driven, like so much else, by little more than hatred of Donald Trump. It was never about science or experts. Trump didn’t have nine top officials resign because he refused to listen to them. In fact, Anthony Fauci, who now seems to enjoy throwing Trump under the bus, has said in the past that Trump did whatever he asked him to. In retrospect, that might have been Trump’s biggest mistake.

The fact that the media’s coverage was driven first and foremost by a desire to make Trump look bad affected far more than just their genuflections to Emperor Cuomo. If you think that schools being closed, restaurants at limited capacity at best, a devastated travel industry, and a whole host of other horribles might be related to a year of anti-Trump pandemic coverage, you are exactly right.

Governors such as Florida’s Ron DeSantis and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem have objectively better records both in terms of coronavirus deaths and obviously in terms of state economies that they didn’t choose to grind into a fine dust. Yet month after month, we heard little except what monsters they were, monsters that wouldn’t listen to the science. Now who didn’t listen to the science?

In a strange way, Cuomo himself is a victim of the media here. They don’t care about him; they never actually liked him that much. They just used him to make the other guy look bad. Now, with Cuomo having served his purpose, his sycophants in the press are happily flaming him for clicks or a good headline. I can’t feel sorry for him; his choices were his own, but one can’t help wonder if they might have been a little different had the media been honest with us and with him.

What we are learning as Trump recedes from power and the media resumes some modicum of truth-telling is just how badly they lied to us for over a year now. People have been destroyed because of it. Now as the corporate press happily flicks the halo from atop Saint Andrew’s head with their finger, the truth is coming out. It is far too late. And the people of America, not just New York, have every reason to be very, very angry about it.

This content was originally published here.

Women’s Equality Day and progress in dentistry

One hundred years ago, the 19th Amendment was adopted. Women were finally given the right to vote, which was a centerpiece of the first women’s rights movement. Today, this milestone is commemorated as Women’s Equality Day, celebrated every year on Aug. 26 since 1971. Albeit difficult, women have risen to achievements beyond our wildest dreams. We’ve reached for the stars, literally, making an impact in all industries and professions, from engineering, science and technology, publishing, health care and so much more.

For me, dentistry provides a career that allows me to make an impact by fostering meaningful relationships with my patients, thus improving their health, and many women are choosing this field with the same mindset. According to the ADA Health Policy Institute, in 2018, nearly 50% of dental school graduates were women; this number was a mere 11% in 1978. When asked why she chose dentistry, Brianne Schmiegelow (Missouri-Kansas City ’21) stated, “I wanted the freedom to spend time with my family and friends and to have a life outside of my career, while still being able to make a lasting impact on my community through my work.” 

While so many women have paved the way for us and made great strides in dentistry, such as Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Ida Gray, M. Evangeline Jordon and so many others, there are still times when we encounter people who challenge or doubt our abilities. On her external rotation, Taylor Little (Missouri-Kirksville ’21) experienced a patient who left the office because she was not a male provider. While most reactions are usually not this strong, Little says she recognizes she may be the first female provider some patients have ever had. To her, this presents a unique opportunity to bond with the patient and showcase her skills. For a fellow classmate of mine, she shared the experience of having interviewers ask her questions about family style and time commitment — all based on her gender. Sometimes it feels as if women can be shamed for desiring a powerful career or that some of society assumes we all want to be wives and mothers and do not think we could have time for both if we do. Progress is progress, but it has been slow, and while this can be discouraging, we can remember our advocates and support systems.

When asked what Women’s Equality Day means to him, Dr. Dylan Weber (Missouri-Kansas City ’20) stated that it’s the “recognition and celebration of the unique and innate power of all women. As a male dentist, I strive to contribute to a practice environment where my co-doc and mentor receives the same level of respect I do for merely being born male. This carries to the collective of our all-women staff who have been incredible in my introduction to dentistry in private practice.”

Women’s Equality Day means a lot of different things to a lot of people. For some, it’s a celebration of how far we’ve come; it is a remembrance of those who have paved the way to create these vast opportunities we sometimes take for granted. For others, it’s a reminder of how far we still have to go. The world isn’t perfect — and it won’t ever be — but we can take this time to remember those who came before us and to continue to push for equality, justice and peace.

~Alyssa Kieschnick, Missouri-Kansas City ’21, District 8 Wellness Chair

This content was originally published here.

Minnesota orthodontist ‘The Braces Guy’ takes TikTok by storm | Grand Forks Herald

So you won’t see the Rochester orthodontist performing dance duets or shuffles on TikTok, but as “The Braces Guy,” Collins and his 20-member staff at Collins Orthodontics in Rochester, Minn., have been a sensation on the infectious social media app.

Their short videos have racked up 3.2 million followers and 180 million likes.

And they achieved that success in the most unique way imaginable: By using TikTok to channel advice and useful tips to people who wear braces.

From Collins’ short video skits, people learn such smile-widening insights: How to mitigate the pain from wearing braces; how underbites can be transformed into radiant smiles; and tips for handling braces-related mishaps, like what do you do when your retainer breaks.

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Collins had dabbled with other social media platforms before, but it wasn’t until he opened TikTok two years ago that his audience began to soar to stratospheric numbers. It was, to say the least, a surprise to Collins.

“It really wasn’t an expectation of mine at all,” Collins said. “Again, I enjoy the video. I like the creation part. I try to make sure that we’re doing this for the right reasons.”

The Braces Guy’s popularity perhaps isn’t so surprising. Take a tour. The 30-second videos are slickly produced and edited (Collins does the editing after work). There is an element of zaniness and fun about them.

When Collins isn’t sporting his blond pompadour, he might be wearing a blue or gold wig, posing as the foul-tempered “Karen The Hygienist” who mock-shames people into wearing their retainer or making sure they floss their teeth. He is a character, in the best sense of the word.

The Braces Guy features staff dancing and holiday-themed videos, but the vast majority of the videos are educational in nature. Collins said the videos are an enhancement of the clinic’s mission, which is to create a “memorable guest experience” akin to going to Disney World, Chick-fil-A or Starbucks.

“We really hone in on training our team to provide excellent customer service,” Collins said, “and TikTok is an expression of that.”

The videos address both the anxiety and dread, hope and excitement associated with one of those pivotal events many teens go through: Getting braces. Whether it’s to fix an overbite or underbite, crowded or crooked teeth, few things are as life-changing as having one brace’s removed to reveal … a new smile.

“It’s a big life event for people,” Collins said. “And to be able to be a part of that and be alongside of them during that journey and be there with them when they get to see that transformation — nothing beats it.”

A 2002 graduate of Century High School in Rochester, Collins earned his orthodontics degree from the University of Minnesota Dental School and spent his residency at Mayo Clinic. Collins Orthodontics opened seven years and is owned by Grant and his wife, Kimberly Collins, who is also the office manager.

Collins said he was first introduced to TikTok by a patient and observed early on how many people, even doctors and dentists, used it for light, airy content. He saw the potential for using it as an educational medium, particularly for debunking myths about teeth and braces.

Collins hopped onto the app in March 2019, and six month later, had chalked up 1 million followers. The pandemic and downtime caused by it allowed Collins and his staff to amp up production.

One of his earliest creations was a short video on teeth whitening. All toothpaste has an abrasive component to it for removing stains on teeth, but some brands have much higher levels. Charcoal toothpaste, for example, is like rubbing sandpaper on teeth, scrubbing away both stain and tooth (Collin used sandpaper to illustrate his point). The message: Don’t use charcoal toothpaste.

Today, Collins makes three to four videos a week. Because the videos are so popular with fans, The Braces Guy has been designated as a “verified” account by TikTok. The exposure generated by the app has been an undeniable benefit to the practice. Young people, the primary audience of TikTok, come to Collins Orthodontics in southwest Rochester longing to meet The Braces Guy.

Along the way, there are other opportunities and temptations that come with being a popular content creator. Brands come knocking with offers and ad opportunities, but Collins said he says no to most of them.

“I think it’s important for me to be authentic and make sure that people are getting an honest opinion about things,” Collin said. “I don’t accept money from dental companies to give advice. I think it’s important to make sure that people are getting an honest opinion about things.”

This content was originally published here.

Spain’s virus surge hits mental health of front-line workers

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The unrelenting increase in COVID-19 infections in Spain following the holiday season is again straining hospitals, threatening the mental health of doctors and nurses who have been at the forefront of the pandemic for nearly a year.

In Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar, the critical care capacity has more than doubled and is nearly full, with 80% of ICU beds occupied by coronavirus patients.

“There are young people of 20-something-years-old and older people of 80-years-old, all the age groups,” said Dr. Joan Ramon Masclans, who heads the ICU. “This is very difficult, and it is one patient after another.”

Even though authorities allowed gatherings of up to 10 people for Christmas and New Year celebrations, Masclans chose not to join his family and spent the holidays at home with his partner.

“We did it to preserve our health and the health of others. And when you see that this isn’t being done (by others) it causes significant anger, added to the fatigue,” he said.

A study released this month by Hospital del Mar looking at the impact of the spring’s COVID-19 surge on more than 9,000 health workers across Spain found that at least 28% suffered major depression. That is six times higher than the rate in the general population before the pandemic, said Dr. Jordi Alonso, one of the chief researchers.

In addition, the study found that nearly half of participants had a high risk of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks or substance- and alcohol-abuse problems.

Spanish health care workers are far from the only ones to have suffered psychologically from the pandemic. In China, the levels of mental disorders among doctors and nurses were even higher, with 50% reporting depression, 45% reporting anxiety and 34% reporting insomnia, according to the World Health Organization.

In the U.K., a survey released last week by the Royal College of Physicians found that 64% of doctors reported feeling tired or exhausted. One in four sought out mental health support.

“It is pretty awful at the moment in the world of medicine,” Dr. Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said in a statement accompanying the study. “Hospital admissions are at the highest-ever level, staff are exhausted, and although there is light at the end of the tunnel, that light seems a long way away.”

Dr. Aleix Carmona, a third-year anesthesiology resident in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia, didn’t have much ICU experience before the pandemic hit. But as surgeries were cancelled, Carmona was summoned to the ICU at the Moisès Broggi hospital outside Barcelona to fight a virus the world knew very little about.

“In the beginning, we had a lot of adrenaline. We were very frightened but we had a lot of energy,” Carmona recalled. He plowed through the first weeks of the pandemic without having much time to process the unprecedented battle that was unfolding.

It wasn’t until after the second month that he began feeling the toll of seeing first-hand how people were slowly dying as they ran out of breath. He pondered what to tell patients before intubating them. His initial reaction had always been to reassure them, tell them it would be alright. But in some cases he knew that wasn’t true.

“I started having difficulty sleeping and a feeling of anxiety before each shift,” Carmona said, adding that he would return home after 12 hours feeling like he had been beaten up.

For a while he could only sleep with the help of medication. Some colleagues started taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs. What really helped Carmona, though, was a support group at his hospital, where his co-workers unloaded the experiences they had bottled up inside.

But not everyone joined the group. For many, asking for help would make them seem unfit for the job.

“In our profession, we can handle a lot,” said David Oliver, a spokesman for the Catalonia chapter of the SATSE union of nurses. “We don’t want to take time off because we know we will add to the workload of our colleagues.”

The most affected group of health care workers, according to the study, were nurse’s aides and nurses, who are overwhelmingly women and often immigrants. They spent more time with dying COVID-19 patients, faced poor working conditions and salaries and feared infecting family members.

Desirée Ruiz is the nurse supervisor at Hospital del Mar’s critical care unit. Some nurses on her team have asked to take time off work, unable to cope with the constant stress and all the deaths.

To prevent infections, patients are rarely allowed family visits, adding to their dependency on nurses. Delivering a patient’s last wishes or words to relatives on the phone is especially challenging, Ruiz said.

“This is very hard for … people who are holding the hand of these patients, even though they know they will end up dying,” she said.

Ruiz, who organizes the nurses’ shifts and makes sure the ICU is always staffed adequately, is finding it harder and harder to do so.

Unlike in the summer, when the number of cases fell and health workers were encouraged to take holidays, doctors and nurses have been working incessantly since the fall, when virus cases picked up again.

The latest resurgence has nearly doubled the number of daily cases seen in November, and Spain now has the third-highest COVID-19 infection rate in Europe and the fourth-highest death toll, with more than 55,400 confirmed fatalities.

But unlike many European countries, including neighboring Portugal, the Spanish health minister has for now ruled out the possibility of a new lockdown, relying instead on less drastic restrictions that aren’t as damaging to the economy but take longer to decrease the rate of infections.

Alonso fears the latest surge of virus patients could be as detrimental to the mental health of medical staff as the shock of the pandemic’s first months.

“If we want to be cared for adequately, we also need to take care of the health care workers, who have suffered and are still suffering,” he said.

Follow AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at:

This content was originally published here.

The NFL Honored Health Care Workers by Throwing a Superspreader Super Bowl

If you took a look at the pictures coming out of the Super Bowl last night, you’d never know that the U.S. was in the middle of a global pandemic. 

After nearly a year of public health experts stressing the need for social distancing, the National Football League held an in-person Super Bowl game for around 22,000 people, and the host city was poppin’.   

Fans pass by a protest against Covid-19 vaccine outside the Raymond James Stadium ahead of the Super Bowl LV game between Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa, Florida, United States on February 07, 2021.

Fans pass by a protest against Covid-19 vaccine outside the Raymond James Stadium ahead of the Super Bowl LV game between Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa, Florida, United States on February 07, 2021. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Outside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, thousands more swarmed the streets to cheer on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs, often standing shoulder to shoulder without masks, in videos posted on social media. 

Fans packed the stadium to watch the Bucs and the Chiefs fight it out in Super Bowl LV, in a state that’s continuously been in the news for opposing coronavirus restrictions.

The NFL gave special tribute to health care workers during the game by, among other things, naming one as an honorary captain. The league gave free tickets to about 7,500 Florida health care workers to attend. Another 14,500 sometimes-maskless fans were also in the stadium.

In an attempt to create social distancing within the venue, officials placed cardboard cutouts of celebrities and common folk in between seats, including the rapper YG, the iconic Bernie Sanders mittens photo, and Guy Fieri. Still, about one-third of the stadium was occupied by living, breathing humans—some of whom took to the streets before and after the big game to celebrate. 

Fans sit among cardboard cutouts before the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.

Fans sit among cardboard cutouts before the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Videos shared on social media captured thousands of football fans parading around the streets of Tampa, cheering on their teams. 

Hours after the game on Sunday, the #SuperSpreaderBowl hashtag started trending on Twitter, with many slamming Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been exceptionally heedless of COVID restrictions throughout the pandemic.  

The big game took place only days after experts warned that more contagious variants of COVID-19 have been detected and were spreading in the U.S. A strain that medical officials say originated in the U.K. was found just last week in Kansas, which sent a team, and lots of fans, to the Super Bowl in Tampa, the AP reported. 

Health officials are also worried about at-home Super Bowl parties, saying they very well may contribute to a country-wide spike of COVID-19 as well. 

“If you have 10 or 20 people you are meeting with, there is a very good likelihood that one or two of those people will have COVID-19,” Dr. Dana Hawkinson, director of infection control for the University of Kansas Health System, told the AP. “If you are in a small enclosed space, then three or four of those people will get it.”

Health officials are also worried about at-home Super Bowl parties, saying they very well may contribute to a country-wide spike of COVID-19 as well. 

“If you have 10 or 20 people you are meeting with, there is a very good likelihood that one or two of those people will have COVID-19,” Dr. Dana Hawkinson, director of infection control for the University of Kansas Health System, told the AP. “If you are in a small enclosed space, then three or four of those people will get it.”

This content was originally published here.

The business of dentistry revolves around patient communication

To succeed as a dentist, you need to be able to exercise clinical skills and training, but you also need to be able to communicate with patients and build a rapport.

In an age where reviews and feedback carry more weight than ever before, communication and customer service are essential elements of modern-day dental business success.

Why is communication important?

There are several reasons why communication is important both in terms of making patients feel comfortable and increasing your chances of running a successful dental business.

Customer service

If you were to put yourself in your patient’s shoes, how would you feel if you climbed into a dental chair, and your dentist had nothing to say or they came across as aloof or disinterested? Many patients want to be greeted with a smile, they want to know what is going to happen to them when they get into that chair, and they want to be reassured. Dental anxiety is an incredibly prevalent problem, and if you’re feeling anxious, a friendly, talkative, supportive dentist can make all the difference. Communication can help to put patients at ease, it can lower levels of anxiety and fear, and it can also create a much warmer and more pleasant atmosphere. Many people read reviews and ask for recommendations before choosing a dentist today, and customer service is an integral factor in review scores. A patient may be reluctant to recommend a dentist even if they have done a brilliant job if they weren’t polite, for example.

Information and advice

Clear communication is also key for informing patients about dental conditions say’s Dr Mark Hughes from Define Clinic, offering advice and information and providing details about costs and the types of treatment that could be beneficial. As a dentist, you’re familiar with all the jargon and technical terms, but the majority of people you come across won’t necessarily know what you mean if you speak in dental talk.

If there is an issue, for example, a patient has a cavity, they want to know what the problem is, why it’s potentially dangerous, what can be done about it, and how much treatment is going to cost. If you can convey information succinctly and clearly, this will be hugely beneficial for your patients. In many cases, patients feel scared because they don’t fully understand what the issue is and what the solution entails.

If you tell somebody they need a root canal, for example, they might immediately feel panicked and terrified. If you relay this information and then take the time to explain what that procedure involves, how you can reduce and prevent pain, and how it will benefit them moving forward, this could help to make the patient feel more comfortable and content.

Effective communication methods

We tend to think of communication as talking, but there are other ways of opening up channels of communication and building a bond with patients. Body language is important, and it’s crucial to listen, as well as to talk. Welcome your patients with a smile, engage in eye contact, and ask them how they are. Listen to them if they have concerns or questions.

Communication in the 21stcentury doesn’t just involve face to face contact in a dental surgery. Today, there are multiple channels open to dentists, and you can reach out to patients in many different ways, for example, sending text reminders for appointments and sharing news and events at the practice via social media sites like Facebook. Use platforms like this to interact with clients, respond to queries and show off the treatments and services you’re offering.

Communication plays an increasingly important role in modern dentistry. Building bonds with patients and creating a friendly atmosphere benefits patients, as well as dentists aiming to run successful businesses, attract new clients and keep hold of existing patients.

Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash

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The business of dentistry revolves around patient communication

This content was originally published here.

Insurers add food to coverage menu as way to improve health

When COVID-19 first swarmed the United States, one health insurer called some customers with a question: Do you have enough to eat?

Oscar Health wanted to know if people had adequate food for the next couple weeks and how they planned to stay stocked up while hunkering down at home.

“We’ve seen time and again, the lack of good and nutritional food causes members to get readmitted” to hospitals, Oscar executive Ananth Lalithakumar said.

Food has become a bigger focus for health insurers as they look to expand their coverage beyond just the care that happens in a doctor’s office. More plans are paying for temporary meal deliveries and some are teaching people how to cook and eat healthier foods.

Benefits experts say insurers and policymakers are growing used to treating food as a form of medicine that can help patients reduce blood sugar or blood pressure levels and stay out of expensive hospitals.

“People are finally getting comfortable with the idea that everybody saves money when you prevent certain things from happening or somebody’s condition from worsening,” said Andrew Shea, a senior vice president with the online insurance broker eHealth.

This push is still relatively small and happening mostly with government-funded programs like Medicaid or Medicare Advantage, the privately run versions of the government’s health program for people who are 65 or older or have disabilities. But some employers that offer coverage to their workers also are growing interested.

Medicaid programs in several states are testing or developing food coverage. Next year, Medicare will start testing meal program vouchers for patients with malnutrition as part of a broader look at improving care and reducing costs.

Nearly 7 million people were enrolled last year in a Medicare Advantage plan that offered some sort of meal benefit, according to research from the consulting firm Avalere Health. That’s more than double the total from 2018.

Insurers commonly cover temporary meal deliveries so patients have something to eat when they return from the hospital. And for several years now, many also have paid for meals tailored to patients with conditions such as diabetes.

But now insurers and other bill payers are taking a more nuanced approach. This comes as the coronavirus pandemic sends millions of Americans to seek help from food banks or neighborhood food pantries.

Oscar Health, for instance, found that nearly 3 out of 10 of its Medicare Advantage customers had food supply problems at the start of the pandemic, so it arranged temporary grocery deliveries from a local store at no cost to the recipient.

The Medicare Advantage specialist Humana started giving some customers with low incomes debit cards with either a $25 or $50 on them to help buy healthy food. The insurer also is testing meal deliveries in the second half of the month.

That’s when money from government food programs can run low. Research shows that diabetes patients wind up making more emergency room visits then, said Humana executive Dr. Andrew Renda.

“It may be because they’re still taking their medications but they don’t have enough food. And so their blood sugar goes crazy and then they end up in the hospital,” he said.

The Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer Anthem connected Medicare Advantage customer Kim Bischoff with a nutritionist after she asked for help losing weight.

The 43-year-old Napoleon, Ohio, resident had lost more than 100 pounds about 11 years ago, but she was gaining weight again and growing frustrated.

The nutritionist helped wean Bischoff from a so-called keto diet largely centered on meats and cheeses. The insurer also arranged for temporary food deliveries from a nearby Kroger so she could try healthy foods like rice noodles, almonds and dried fruits.

Bischoff said she only lost a few pounds. But she was able to stop taking blood pressure and thyroid medications because her health improved after she balanced her diet.

“I learned that a little bit of weight gain isn’t a huge deal, but the quality of my health is,” she said.

David Berwick of Somerville, Massachusetts, credits a meal delivery program with improving his blood sugar, and he wishes he could stay on it. The 64-year-old has diabetes and started the program last year at the suggestion of his doctor. The Medicaid program MassHealth covered it.

Berwick said the nonprofit Community Servings gave him weekly deliveries of dry cereal and premade meals for him to reheat. Those included soups and turkey meatloaf Berwick described as “absolutely delicious.”

“They’re not things I would make on my own for sure,” he said. “It was a gift, it was a real privilege.”

These programs typically last a few weeks or months and often focus on customers with a medical condition or low incomes who have a hard time getting nutritious food. But they aren’t limited to those groups.

Indianapolis-based Preventia Group is starting food deliveries for some employers that want to improve the eating habits of people covered under their health plans. People who sign up start working with a health coach to learn about nutrition.

Then they can either begin short-term deliveries of meals or bulk boxes of food and recipes to try. The employer picks up the cost.

It’s not just about hunger or a lack of good food, said Chief Operating Officer Susan Rider. They’re also educating people about what healthy, nutritious food is and how to prepare it.

Researchers expect coverage of food as a form of medicine to grow as insurers and employers learn more about which programs work best. Patients with low incomes may need help first with getting access to nutritional food. People with employer-sponsored coverage might need to focus more on how to use their diet to manage diabetes or improve their overall health.

A 2019 study of Massachusetts residents with similar medical conditions found that those who received meals tailored to their condition had fewer hospital admissions and generated less health care spending than those who did not.

Study author Dr. Seth Berkowitz of the University of North Carolina noted that those meals are only one method for addressing food or nutrition problems. He said a lot more can be learned “about what interventions work, in what situations and for whom.”

A lack of healthy food “is very clearly associated with poor health, so we know we need to do something about it,” Berkowitz said.

Follow Tom Murphy on Twitter: @thpmurphy

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

This content was originally published here.

Biden picks transgender Jewish woman as assistant US health secretary | The Times of Israel

WASHINGTON (AP) — US President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, leaving her poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the US Senate.

A pediatrician and former Pennsylvania physician general, Levine was appointed to her current post by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in 2017, making her one of the few transgender people serving in elected or appointed positions nationwide. She won past confirmation by the Republican-majority Pennsylvania Senate and has emerged as the public face of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond,” Biden said in a statement. “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”

A graduate of Harvard and of Tulane Medical School, Levine is president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She’s written in the past on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders and LGBTQ medicine.

Biden and his transition team have already begun negotiating with members of Congress, promoting speedy passage of the president-elect’s $1.9 trillion plan to bring the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 400,000 people in the United States, under control. It seeks to enlist federal emergency personnel to run mass vaccination centers and provide 100 immunization shots in his administration’s first 100 days while using government spending to stimulate the pandemic-hammered economy,

Biden also says that, in one of his first acts as president, he’ll ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days to slow the virus’ spread.

Levine, who is Jewish, joins Biden’s Health and Human Services secretary nominee Xavier Becerra, a Latino politician who rose from humble beginnings to serve in Congress and as California’s attorney general.

Businessman Jeff Zients is Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator, while Biden picked infectious-disease specialist Rochelle Walensky to run the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vivek Murthy as surgeon general and Yale epidemiologist Marcella Nunez-Smith to head a working group to ensure fair and equitable distribution of vaccines and treatments.

The government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, will also work closely with the Biden administration.

This content was originally published here.

A Letter to the American Thyroid Association Re: Fluoride Science – International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine

Earlier this year, several health professionals and scientists formally asked the American Thyroid Association (ATA) to “demonstrate either scientific integrity and professional ethics” by Publish[ing] a position statement opposing the practice of community water fluoridation (CWF) based on its impact on thyroid hormones, interference with glucose and calcium metabolism in susceptible populations, and general capacity …

This content was originally published here.

In the first six months of health care professionals replacing police officers, no one they encountered was arrested

A young program that puts troubled nonviolent people in the hands of health care workers instead of police officers has proven successful in its first six months, according to a progress report.

Since June 1, 2020, a mental health clinician and a paramedic have traveled around the city in a white van handling low-level incidents, like trespassing and mental health episodes, that would have otherwise fallen to patrol officers with badges and guns. In its first six months, the Support Team Assisted Response program, or STAR, has responded to 748 incidents. None required police and or led to arrests or jail time.

The civilian team handled close to six incidents a day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, in high-demand neighborhoods. STAR does not yet have enough people or vans to respond to every nonviolent incident, but about 3 percent of calls for DPD service, or over 2,500 incidents, were worthy of the alternative approach, according to the report.

STAR represents a more empathetic approach to policing that keeps people out of an often-cyclical criminal justice system by connecting people with services like shelter, food aid, counseling, and medication. The program also deliberately cuts down on encounters between uniformed officers and civilians.

Print

Source: Denver’s STAR Program

“This is good stuff, it’s a great program, and basically, the report tells us what we believed,” said Chief of Police Paul Pazen. Pazen added that he doesn’t want to sound flippant, but the approach was somewhat of a known quantity because he’s been talking about it with advocates for mental health and criminal justice reform for years. Denver just so happened to launch the program in the middle of a movement against police violence.

Pazen’s goal is to fill out the alternative program so that every neighborhood can use its services at all hours, instead of just weekdays during normal business hours. Nearly $3 million for more social workers and more vans should help Denver move toward that “North Star” this year, Pazen said. The is expected to come from the city budget and a grant from Denver’s sales-tax-funded mental health fund.

Carleigh Sailon, one of two civilian social workers on the team, said more vans — and more food and blankets to go with them — as well as weekend and after-hour shifts will do big things for the program.

The Support Team Assisted Response van. June 8, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Support Team Assisted Response van. June 8, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

“We run an unbelievable amount of calls for such a limited pilot program and have had some really good outcomes on those calls,” Sailon said.

The policing alternative empowers behavioral health experts to call the shots, even when police officers are around.

Sailon said she remembers a call last year in which a woman was experiencing mental health symptoms at a 7-Eleven. The clerk had called the police — the woman was technically trespassing — but when the police arrived, they called Sailon.

“We got there and told police they could leave,” Sailon said. “We didn’t need them there.”

The woman, who was unhoused, was upset about some issues she was having on her prepaid Social Security card. Sailon helped her into the van where the two “game-planned” a solution before the STAR crew drove her to a day shelter for some food, she said.

“So we were sort of able to solve those problems in the moment for her and got the police back in service, dealing with a law enforcement call,” Sailon said.

The fact that the police officers even called the STAR team tells Matthew Lunn, a doctor in charge of DPD’s strategic initiatives, that the program is working. About 35 percent of calls to STAR personnel come from police officers, according to the report.

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Source: Denver’s STAR Program

“I think it shows how much officers are buying into this, realizing that these individuals need a focused level of care,” said Lunn, who authored the report.

No one really needs any more evidence that this alternative to traditional policing works, but Sailon and Lunn said more data will make STAR stronger. For example, while STAR might steer people away from jails and courts initially, the long-term effects of the program must be studied, the report states.

Chief Pazen is thrilled with the success of STAR, but the time and money it saves will go toward fighting crime, he said.

A spectrum of solutions has sprouted from protests against systemic racism and police brutality that started last summer, including the idea of taking money from traditional policing and giving it to social programs not unlike STAR.

For Pazen, transferring low-level calls to civilian teams is not about reallocating money. It’s about solving two problems at once: getting harmless residents the help they need while letting police focus on other things.

“I want the police department to focus on police issues,” Pazen said. “We have more than enough work with regards to violent crime, property crime and traffic safety, and if something like STAR or any other support system can lighten the load on mental health calls for service, substance abuse calls for service, and low-level issues, that frees up law enforcement to address crime issues.”

Pazen added: “I see this as an ‘and.’ Not an ‘or.’”

This content was originally published here.

Making a Visible Difference | Valderrama Orthodontics

“I always saw dentistry as a part of a more HOLISTIC view of healthcare.”

Dr. V consulting with a patient different options, traditional or clear, lingual braces or clear aligners.

When we search for healthcare providers, there are two qualities that engender trust. The kind of trust that provides peace of mind in the moment and confidence in the future. Between medical professionals and their patients, it is based on their doctor’s ability; are they qualified? And their empathy; do they really care?

It would be difficult to determine which quality is stronger in Dr. Natalia Valderrama, of Valderrama Orthodontics in Melbourne. How many graduate from medical school in dentistry at just 18? Not one in a million people, but perhaps one in a million doctors. Then, she became a celebrated and innovative provider of oral health and treatment, in the poorest and most remote parts of her native Columbia, often traveling by horseback to treat villages in rural areas.

Looking back on what drew her towards dentistry she said, “I loved science and was fascinated with how the human body operated.” This, along with the influence of her mother, a biology professor; her father, a philosopher and a philanthropist; and her own orthodontist, who gave her a transformative experience when she was a teenager and encouraged her focus on her profession.

“I had such a wonderful experience with an orthodontist and saw what a difference they could make in a life. I prayed that one day I would be able to have that kind of impact on others.”

COMING TO AMERICA

State of the art equipment, software and technology allows digital treatment planning of cases for individualized needs

With latest scanning technology, her patients do not have to take impressions and molds any longer, since everything is done via the internet.

Already a successful and experienced dentist with her own practice, at 25 she came to America on vacation and was captivated by how clean, modern and safe it was. “I loved the country and three days after my arrival, I decided this is where I wanted to live,” Dr. Valderrama said.

Though eminent in her native country, like many immigrants before her, she had to divert to a slightly different track to help her achieve American citizenship and an ability to practice dentistry. She chose to become a registered nurse.

“Part of the reason I did that is was I wanted to understand how the larger healthcare system in America worked,” she explained. “By becoming a nurse, I served in hospitals in the ER, labor and delivery and intensive care; my goal was to become a better overall clinician. I always saw dentistry as a part of a more holistic view of healthcare.”

She then went through a special international advanced program in general dentistry at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester. Having finished that program, she continued on to complete a specialty in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

Orthodontists, in addition to completing their general dentistry training, spend two to three years specializing in the diagnosis, prevention and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws, including overbites, occlusions and overcrowded mouths.

THE DIFFERENCE EXPERIENCE MAKES

Consultations include a digital photo and radiographic analysis as well as an oro-facial, respiratory and dental assessment of the patient.

“I wanted to be in a place where I could help people and I realized that in dentistry I have the power to change people’s lives,” Dr. Valderrama said. “That is why we offer free consultations; because part of my mission is to use my knowledge and experience for the betterment of others.”

One of the critical differentiators she identified, being initially trained and practicing in a poorer country, was that the focus of healthcare in these countries is on prevention, rather than curing people once they are sick. Early detection and intervention are foundational to their approach. From a quality of life, as well as the practicality of pure economics, the benefits are obvious. “If you can detect and intervene early, it has a huge impact,” she observed.

In addition, Dr. Valderrama is proactive in taking the initiative to refer patients to other medical specialists. “The longer you wait to treat a problem, the worse the problem has the potential to become. A simple referral to an ENT(Ear, Nose, Throat specialist), speech therapist or a general dentist can make a remarkable difference.”

Dr. Valderrama, is also committed to collaboration and with digital technologies at her disposal she is able to consult with specialists and clinicians from around the world.

CHANGING FACE OF ORTHODONTICS

“My practice covers both sides of the age spectrum,” she said. “For the young, we focus on early diagnosis and treatment, but I also have patients as old as 82.” The explanation is simple: she is seeing and treating people who have been suffering the effects of poor alignment all their lives.

Thus, they have gum problemsbecause they can’t floss properly,or their teeth are wearing incorrectly. Now with life expectancies increasing with each generation, what was once considered old, is now seen almost as middle age. Thus, orthodontic care becomes a healthy, quality of life and lifestyle option.

The case for having straight teeth isn’t simply a cosmetic issue, rather it helps ensure your teeth last longer and your overall health is improved. Therefore, if you are expecting to live to 100 or 110, then orthodontic care in your 50’s and 60’s makes perfect sense. “These individuals have the potential to be able to keep their teeth for an additional 40 or 50 years,” she said.

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, children should see an Orthodontist for an exam before they are 7 years old. Dr. Valderrama offers complimentary consultations at her practice: Valderrama Orthodontics in Suntree/ Viera.

The post Making a Visible Difference | Valderrama Orthodontics appeared first on Space Coast Living Magazine.

This content was originally published here.

Liberal outlet Vox recommends mental health treatment to recover from psychological trauma of Trump’s presidency

“His presidency is over, but the trauma isn’t,” Vox’s Anna North wrote in solemn reference to the mental health impact of former President Donald Trump’s four years in the Oval Office, suggesting that many Americans are still grappling with the effects of “Trump anxiety disorder” even now after he has left office.

What did she say?

In a lengthy column published by the liberal news outlet on Thursday, North argued that Trump’s presidency was so detrimental to the American psyche that lasting mental health effects can still be felt today and will likely continue to plague society for some time to come.

“Now, Trump has finally left office, despite his constant threats that he wouldn’t. But the impact on the American psyche of four years of racist rhetoric, incitements of violence, and out-and-out chaos remains,” she said, adding later: “Like the impact of Trump’s policies, that stress doesn’t go away overnight, especially when the conditions that led to his election — systemic racism, anti-immigrant paranoia, and the rampant spread of misinformation — are still very much a reality.”

To prove her point, North cited a nationwide survey published by the American Psychological Association showing that stress levels tied to the nation’s political climate were steadily on the rise during Trump’s presidency.

The survey reportedly found that in 2016, following Trump’s surprise election-night victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, 63% of Americans felt the future of the country was a “significant source of stress,” while 56% said they were “stressed by the current political climate.” Then in 2018, those numbers went up to 69% and 62%, respectively.

Another survey published by the APA found that the 2020 presidential election, specifically, was a more significant source for stress for Americans than the 2016 election by a whopping 16 percentage points, jumping from 52% to 68%.

North argued that while Trump’s time in office may have been a source of excitement and enthusiasm for some, “For many others, his presidency was, quite simply, scary,” even going on to compare the lasting effects of his presidency to those that accompany a physically abusive relationship.

What’s the solution?

But people don’t have to live like this forever, North argued; “rest, treatment, and action can help people recover from trauma.”

Relaying advice from clinical psychologist Jennifer Panning and gender justice advocate Farrah Khan, North wrote, “For some, the first step toward rebuilding that feeling will be simply acknowledging that the past four years — and especially the last year — have been traumatic.”

She then noted that one way people can heal is through self-care practices such as “online storytelling, journaling, and crafting workshops.” Though others struggling with symptoms of depression or anxiety may need to seek outside help in the form of therapy and medical treatment.

Still others can look to “activism” as a way to heal, Khan asserted in the article, though Khan cautioned that even activists need to make time for rest.

This content was originally published here.

Englewood Health’s New Dental Residency Program Meets Community Need for Affordable General Dentistry Services

November 3, 2020 — Englewood Health has launched a dental residency program for newly graduated dentists. Accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation, the one-year general dentistry residency offers residents supervised hands-on training, instruction, and clinical rotations in both inpatient and outpatient settings, while providing patients with both surgical and restorative services. Upon completion of the program, dental residents are prepared to provide oral health care independently in the community for a wide range of patients.

“This is an important and much-needed service for our community,” says John Minichetti, DMD, chief of dentistry at Englewood Health and program director of the Dental Residency Program. “In addition to training the next generation of dentists, our new dental clinic offers patients top-notch care, provided by well-trained residents under the supervision of highly regarded dentists from our community, regardless of income.”

Training Program for New Dentists

Launched in September, the dental residency program accepts three dental residents each year, with one resident continuing for a second year as program facilitator. Each of Englewood Health’s dental residents has completed a four-year dental school program, graduating with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree. The program is supervised and taught by a volunteer faculty of 16 private-practice dentists from throughout northern New Jersey.

As part of their training, residents complete clinical rotations through Englewood Hospital’s anesthesia, emergency medicine, internal medicine, pathology, and radiology departments, as well as a rotation at the oral maxillofacial surgery trauma center at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, where they participate in multidisciplinary care.

In addition to general dentistry training, the program provides the dental residents with a one-year, 300-hour implantology course, given on weekends, where they learn to perform implant surgery and prosthetic rehabilitation.

Dental Clinic for Underserved Patients in the Englewood Community

A newly established outpatient dental clinic, located at North Hudson Community Action Corporation (a federally qualified health center) on South Van Brunt Street in Englewood, staffed by the dental residents and supervised by the faculty members, is open for appointments Monday through Friday. The facility has four treatment rooms and state-of-the-art equipment, including an advanced CTCB scanner and digital imaging. The dental clinic provides:

  • a full range of general dentistry services
  • availability to everyone in the community, based on need
  • safe care for medically compromised patients
  • consultative services for Englewood Hospital patients, including inpatient medical and surgical, radiation oncology, cardiology, and emergency medicine

Services offered in the outpatient dental clinic include:

  • oral examinations
  • cleanings
  • extractions
  • root canals
  • crowns
  • implants
  • dentures
  • operating room dentistry for patients who are dentophobia, medically compromised patients, special needs patients, and some pediatric patients
  • pediatric dentistry
  • specialized care for patients with special needs, including autism spectrum disorder

In addition to outpatient services, Englewood Health’s Department of Dentistry now provides hospital inpatient consultations and care for toothache, broken dentures, and other conditions. Consultative services are provided by dentistry residents under the supervision of attending dentists, including in radiation oncology, cardiology, and emergency medicine.

“Dental health is intrinsic to overall health and well-being,” says Dr. Minichetti. “Our team is restoring patients’ oral health by eliminating pain, enabling them to eat properly and more nutritiously, and improving their appearance—all of which ultimately can impact socialization, job opportunities, and overall functioning in society.”

He adds, “Prevention is essential. Dental conditions such as gum disease can lead to tooth loss and jawbone deterioration; they can also be a risk factor for heart and systemic disease. A history of smoking can lead to oral cancers that might go unidentified. It’s important not to neglect one’s teeth and gums.”

“With the dental residency program, new dentists gain experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings and, as a health care system, we ensure that everyone in our community has access to high-quality, affordable dental care.”

For more information on Englewood Health’s Dental Clinic, call 201-537-4442.

The post Englewood Health’s New Dental Residency Program Meets Community Need for Affordable General Dentistry Services appeared first on Englewood Health.

This content was originally published here.

Gov. Cuomo’s Top Health Officials Jump Ship | Dan Bongino

A new report from New York’s Attorney General found that as bad as the state’s nursing home scandal was, it was worse than we initially believed.

While there were roughly 8,711 deaths recorded in New York’s nursing homes the day before the AG’s report, those stats didn’t provide an complete picture. If a nursing home resident caught coronavirus in the home and then was transported to a hospital where they later died, that wasn’t counted as a nursing home death. When counting deaths accurately, the AG report found that there an estimated 12,743 nursing home deaths.

Since the reports publication, Cuomo has finally gotten the delayed criticism over his nursing home policy that he’s long deserved. Even more shocking than the extent of the undercounting is the fact that this isn’t actually some grand revelation. We’ve known as much since at least August thanks to a report from the Associated Press on undercounting in the nursing home death toll – with their estimates in line with what the AG report. At the time there were an estimated 6,000 nursing home deaths, while the AP estimated the true number around twice that.

Meanwhile, Cuomo’s top health advisers are jumping ship. According to the New York Post:

At least nine top Cuomo administration health officials have resigned, retired or been reassigned amid the coronavirus crisis that’s devastated New York.
The flood of departures was reported Monday by the New York Times, which tied them to dissatisfaction with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and cited sources who complained that pandemic policy is set entirely by Cuomo and a close circle of aides rather than health experts.

Meanwhile, Cuomo has stood by his top health expert, Zucker, despite ongoing controversy over the Health Department’s March 25 directive for nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients — which critics have blamed for spreading the virus among highly vulnerable residents, with disastrous results.

Last week, Zucker also came under fire following Attorney General Letitia James’ revelation that the DOH downplayed the total number of nursing home deaths by withholding the number of residents who died in hospitals.

Cuomo himself said of the nursing home deaths following the AG report, “who cares.”

“It’s not about pointing finger. It’s a blame. It’s that this became a political football, but who cares?… died in a hospital, died in a nursing home. They died! Why COVID? Why did God do this? I don’t know” he said. It’s reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s post-Benghazi comment; “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

The comment was widely condemned as insensitive – and at the very minimum it was terribly worded. Cuomo seemed to be trying to argue that people dying of coronavirus were going to die of it regardless of their geographic location, so why focus on nursing homes? The obvious answer is that those deaths could’ve been avoided by not sending coronavirus patients to nursing homes.

This content was originally published here.

What Dallas Dentists Say About Mail-Order Orthodontics – D Magazine

Two years ago, I plopped down nearly five grand to have my teeth straightened with Invisalign. The orthodontic alternative to traditional metal or clear braces uses a series of removable custom aligners to move teeth into tidy rows. Everything about the process—from having a mouth full of plastic for 22 hours a day to monthly visits to my dentist—was annoying. I hated every second of it, but I am happy with the results.

I was likely a candidate for the much less expensive SmileDirectClub, but it was only after I began treatment that Facebook started serving me ads for the nascent direct-to-consumer orthodontia business. Founded in 2014 and based in Nashville, SmileDirectClub opened its first Dallas office downtown at WeWork in March 2017, only a few months before I began Invisalign treatment. Today, it has five freestanding SmileShops in North Texas. In June, the company unveiled locations inside four CVS pharmacies in Dallas, Plano, Bedford, and Fort Worth, with seven more planned for 2019. That has drawn frowns from some Dallas dentists.

SmileDirectClub bills itself as teledentistry meant to “democratize access to a straighter smile through an affordable and convenient direct-to-consumer platform.” It has spawned many imitators with camel-cased names that suggest gaps between words, like gaps between teeth, are ugly. They include SmileLove, ClearCorrect, and SnapCorrect. Some dentists and orthodontists are concerned about the potential for permanent damage from this lightly guided approach to teeth straightening. In April, the American Dental Association filed a citizen petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to shut down SmileDirectClub. The public has until October 22 to comment.

But is the pushback legit or merely outrage over a market disruption?

“Well, that is the question,” says a 30-year dentistry veteran and top Invisalign provider in Dallas who called the issue “a very hot topic.” It’s so hot that she wouldn’t speak on the record for fear of litigation. “The concern is unidentified problems that can develop without the supervision of the dentist watching the movement of the teeth,” she says. Though she admits, “I’ve had two SmileDirect patients come in, and I have to tell you, I don’t hate it.” For that opinion, she says, her colleagues might pop her in the mouth.

There are differences in the treatments. The Invisalign treatment is available only through a licensed dentist, whom you have to see repeatedly during treatment. It has been around since 1997, and if you want to go this route, your dentist will look at your teeth and gums and take X-rays to determine if you are a candidate. If you get the green light, a dental tech takes 3D scans of your teeth with a wand called an iTero. Those images are sent to Invisalign, which sets a treatment plan and 3D-prints a series of removable aligners. In a couple of weeks, you return to your dentist for the first of the aligners, which are like super thin mouth guards for the upper and lower teeth. You wear each of them every minute that you are not eating or cleaning your teeth for 10 to 14 days. Then you move to the next set of aligners in the series. Every 30 to 45 days, you visit your dentist for an exam and to get a few more aligners. Invisalign treatment generally lasts 12 to 18 months. The average cost is $5,750.

None of the Dallas practitioners I spoke to are worried about losing patients to SmileDirectClub. All insist that their concerns are a matter of health and safety.

Treatment through SmileDirectClub works similarly. The biggest differences: no in-person visits to the dentist and a much lower price. A patient declares that his or her teeth and gums are healthy before visiting a SmileShop for 3D scans or purchasing an at-home impression kit from CVS, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, or the internet. A licensed dentist or orthodontist reviews the scans or impressions to determine the patient’s eligibility and set a plan. The patient is then asked to check in with a SmileDirectClub dentist every 90 days via phone, text, or email and to continue regular checkups with his or her own dentist. SmileDirectClub claims treatment lasts on average just six months—presumably because it accepts only mild to moderate cases of crowding or spacing, and focuses on moving only the front teeth. (Invisalign can be used to treat more severe cases.) It costs $1,895 plus $49 for the impression kit (scans are free).

Dr. Sarah Poteet has a private dentistry practice near Preston Center. She says she has a patient who is likely going to lose a tooth as a result of an infection that she feels was exacerbated by SmileDirectClub treatment. “If someone has gum disease or bone loss, and you start moving teeth in a compromised foundation, you can end up losing teeth as a direct result of that movement,” Poteet says. “The problem with cavities and gum disease is that patients don’t always feel pain. People look at their teeth and they look fine. They think, I can get a better deal. It’s cheaper to do this, and I don’t have time, and I am just going to take the shortcut.”

In other words, she says, it’s risky to move your teeth without knowing for sure that your dental health is A+, and the price you pay could be something you can’t put on a credit card.

“It’s not that the systems inherently don’t work,” says orthodontist Dr. Brody Hildebrand of Preston Hollow Specialists, which provides traditional braces as well as Invisalign. “There is merit to the technology. The issue is who is overseeing things. Who is the person responsible for the treatment and how does the patient address issues when they arise? The fact is, problems happen.”

That’s not something SmileDirectClub disputes. “If there is an outcome that is undesirable, we get involved and manage it,” says Dr. Jeffrey Sulitzer, chief clinical officer at SmileDirectClub. “It’s a significant small minority, and you handle it as you would anything as a clinician.” He stresses that the business works “with Texas-licensed doctors, managed by the same rules and regulations. They are doctors with the same passion about standard of care and the same passion for making sure the dental board is comfortable. Ninety-eight-point-five percent of the doctors affiliated with SmileDirectClub treat patients in their own practices as well. A lot of establishment organizations are pushing back, even though they know the model is safe, efficacious, and productive. They don’t want it to be true.”

I called the Dallas County Dental Society to ask about that. Its president, Dr. Brad Crump, referred me to the American Dental Association. A senior manager in the communications department there emailed me a list of links to its website. One of them warns against “potential irreversible harm” from direct-to-consumer orthodontic services. A representative at the Baylor College of Dentistry told me to call the American Association of Orthodontists. As part of a consumer alert, that organization has posted on its website a list of 14 questions to ask when considering direct-to-consumer orthodontics.

Though Dr. Poteet admits the uproar is a bit of a turf war, none of the Dallas practitioners I spoke to are worried about losing patients to SmileDirectClub. All insist that their concerns are a matter of health and safety.

So should you trust your smile to teledentistry? Should you drop by CVS to begin a teeth-straightening plan? That depends. If you don’t have a major dental problem and you’re a responsible adult committed to brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, you’ll likely be just fine. But do your research first. Google. Talk to a dental professional. Be honest with yourself. And know that, as Hildebrand warns, if you end up with a misaligned bite that causes problems down the road, your dentist may say, “I told you so.”

This content was originally published here.

Research shapes safe dentistry during COVID-19 — ScienceDaily

It is well known that coronavirus can spread in airborne particles, moving around rooms to infect people, and this has been a major consideration when looking into patient and clinician safety.

Research, published in the Journal of Dentistry, has led the way in helping shape national clinical guidance for the profession to work effectively under extremely challenging circumstances.

The findings have been used by the Dental Schools’ Council, Association of Dental Hospitals and the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme to guide key Covid-19 policies for the profession.

Research findings

Research revealed that aerosol generated procedures — such as fillings and root canal treatment — can spray aerosol and saliva particles from dental instruments large distances and contamination varied widely depending on the processes used.

In the open clinic settings, dental suction substantially decreased contamination at sites further away from the patient, such as bays five meters away. Often these distant sites had no contamination present or if contamination was detected it was at very low levels, diluted by 60,000 — 70,000 times.

It was also found that after 10 minutes, very little additional contaminated aerosol settled onto surfaces and therefore is a suitable time to clean a surgery after an aerosol-generating procedure.

Dr Richard Holliday, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry at Newcastle University, UK, said: “Our research has improved our understanding of dental aerosol generated procedures and identified how cross-contamination could be a risk for spreading Covid-19.

“When the pandemic began, dental services were significantly reduced and there was an urgent need by the profession to focus on how dental clinics could work in a safe environment for patients and staff.

“We now have a much greater understanding of where the splatter of aerosols go and how far they travel during different procedures and settings, allowing clinical teams to make informed decisions to protect people.

“I am pleased that our research here at Newcastle has been used nationally by leading dental bodies to inform their policies on how the profession should carry out procedures during the pandemic.”

Collaborative effort

A research team from the School of Dental Sciences, including clinicians, dental nurses, microbiologists and scientists carried out the study.

The team used the tracer dye, fluorescein, while carrying out aerosol-generating procedures on a dental mannequin to analyse how far and where aerosol particles and saliva travelled from the patient’s mouth.

A range of procedures were done and the effect of suction and ventilation analysed. Experts looked at contamination close by and also in an open plan clinic.

Kimberley Pickering, a research dental nurse involved in the study, said: “For the safe re-opening of dental services, it was essential to understand the behaviour of the aerosols that come out of a patient’s mouth during dental work.

“We now better understand where the aerosols go and how far they travel during different procedures and settings.

“We also understand how dental aerosols settle over time, which has helped inform cross-infection control procedures.”

Further research will continue to focus on where aerosol and droplets from dental instruments travel and how far they go. Experts will also look at how long aerosols hang around in the air and examine a number of common dental procedures and methods of controlling aerosols.

A key part of the research will investigate if viruses can be carried in dental aerosols, and if viruses remain infective at a distance from the procedure. This will help experts to understand how to reduce the risk of microbes, like Covid-19, being spread by aerosols during dental treatment.

Student case study

The research led the team to develop a new clinic configuration to allow the safe return of dental students and their patients.

Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences is one the first universities in the country to recommence teaching aerosol-generating procedures to students in person during the pandemic.

Fourth year student Paddy Crawshaw said: “Being a dental student during the pandemic has been a big challenge, but dental students feel lucky to come into University every day and get in-person teaching as it’s a privilege to treat our patients.

“The Dental School has been very supportive since the pandemic began. It is clear that senior clinicians and academics have worked hard behind the scenes to allow us to return to clinical teaching.

“The common goal of delivering first-class treatment for our patients has enhanced the Dental School’s sense of community and this has really helped me through this term.

“I am proud of the way Newcastle Dental School and all of its staff and students have come together in the face of adversity through the Covid-19 pandemic. To know we are one of the first schools in the country offering a full range of student-led treatments for our patients makes me feel lucky to be studying here.

“Due to the extensive research undertaken by the School I have never felt unsafe, whether extracting a tooth or doing a simple examination I know the School’s protocols are allowing me to work safely.”

This content was originally published here.

New Report From Rep. Katie Porter Reveals How Big Pharma Pursues ‘Killer Profits’ at the Expense of Americans’ Health

Rep. Katie Porter on Friday published a damning report revealing the devastating effects of Big Pharma mergers and acquisitions on U.S. healthcare, and recommending steps Congress should take to enact “comprehensive, urgent reform” of an integral part of a broken healthcare system. 

“In 2018, the year that Donald Trump’s tax giveaway to the wealthy went into effect, 12 of the biggest pharmaceutical companies spent more money on stock buybacks than on research and development.”
—Report

The report, entitled Killer Profits: How Big Pharma Takeovers Destroy Innovation and Harm Patients, begins by noting that “in just 10 years, the number of large, international pharmaceutical companies decreased six-fold, from 60 to only 10.”

While pharmaceutical executives often attempt to portray such consolidation as a means to increase operational efficiency, the report states that “digging a level deeper ‘exposes a troubling industry-wide trend of billions of dollars of corporate resources going toward acquiring other pharmaceutical corporations with patent-protected blockbuster drugs instead of putting those resources toward’ discovery of new drugs.”

Merger and acquisition (M&A) deals are often executed to “boost stock prices,” to “stop competitors,” and to “acquire an innovative blockbuster drug with an enormous prospective revenue stream.” 

“Instead of spending on innovation, Big Pharma is hoarding its money for salaries and dividends,” the report says, “all while swallowing smaller companies, thus making the marketplace far less competitive.” 

Today, our office released a bombshell report exposing the devastating effects of Big Pharma’s mergers and acquisitions. Featuring exclusive interviews with former Immunex, and later Amgen employees, our report shows how consolidation curbs innovation at the expense of patients.

— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) January 29, 2021

Our report is clear: Consolidation destroys scientific cultures that once celebrated creativity and transforms them into places that cater to the whims of shortsighted shareholders.

But our investigation also shows how we can chart a new path forward https://t.co/1jxtK9J6rh

— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) January 29, 2021

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The report calls M&As “just the tip of the iceberg of pharmaceutical companies’ anti-competitive, profit-driven behaviors”:

Pharmaceutical companies often claim that lowering the prices of prescription drugs in the United States would devastate innovation. Yet, as prices have skyrocketed over the last few decades, these same companies’ investment in research and development have failed to match this same pace. Instead, they’ve dedicated more and more of their funds to enrich shareholders or to purchase other companies to eliminate competition.

“In 2018, the year that [former President] Donald Trump’s tax giveaway to the wealthy went into effect, 12 of the biggest pharmaceutical companies spent more money on stock buybacks than on research and development,” the report notes.

Some key findings from the report:

“Competition is central to capitalism,” Porter said in a press release introducing the report. “As our report shows, Big Pharma has little incentive to invest in new, critically needed drugs. Instead, pharmaceutical giants are free to devote their resources to acquiring smaller companies that might otherwise force them to compete.”

“Lives are on the line; it’s clear the federal government needs to reform how it evaluates healthcare mergers and patent abuses,” Porter added. 

To that end, Porter’s report recommends the following actions:

“It’s time we reevaluate the standards for approving these mergers,” the report concludes. “It’s time we pass legislation to lower drug prices. And it’s time we rethink the structure of leadership at big pharmaceutical companies. Together, these strategies can help us bring more innovative, and critically needed, cures and treatments to market.”

This content was originally published here.

Lawyer for ‘QAnon shaman’ claims client’s health deteriorating in jail without organic food – POLITICO

Last week, Chansley filed a request for organic food, which he said is all he has eaten for the past eight years, according to court documents. He said the last time he ate was the morning of Jan. 25 and asked for some canned vegetables, canned wild-caught tuna or organic canned soup.

“I will continue to pray thru the pain and do my best not to complain,” Chansley wrote in the request. “I have strayed from my spiritual diet only a few times over the last 8 years with detrimental physical effects. As a spiritual man I am willing to suffer for my beliefs, hold to my convictions, and the weight of their consequences.”

Eric Glover, general counsel for Washington, D.C.,’s Department of Corrections, disputed that Chansley hasn’t eaten in a Tuesday email to Watkins filed in court documents.

At a hearing Friday, a judge urged Chansley’s lawyer to try to work out the issues related to his diet with Glover. Chansley’s request for organic food was denied on Monday, according to the documents, which said his claims had no “religious merit.”

In the filing Wednesday, Watkins called for Chansley to be released before his trial, saying he doesn’t have a criminal history, wasn’t “part of a grand scheme to … overthrow the Government” and that it would remove any issues with Chansley’s “worsening health situation.” Watkins wrote Wednesday that Chansley has also been compliant with the FBI. The judge in the case has said he’d be open to considering bail for him in early March.

The Phoenix man was among the first people indicted by federal prosecutors in wake of the Capitol insurrection that left five people dead. Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, was charged with violating the Federal Anti-Riot Act and obstructing Congress, among other charges. Former President Donald Trump was subsequently impeached for inciting an insurrection. Chansley would also be willing to testify at Trump’s Senate trial next week, Watkins has previously said.

Prosecutors have argued Chansley was “an active participant in” the “violent insurrection,” suggesting charges of sedition or insurrection could be in the works for people involved.

The horns and fur Chansley wore Jan. 6 that made him one of the most recognizable faces of the riots were all part of his “Shaman beliefs,” Watkins wrote in the filing Wednesday.

Watkins also argued in his Wednesday filing that Trump incited the riot by saying “‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore” at a rally before the riot. In an interview on CNN in wake of the riots, Watkins said Chansley “felt like he was answering” Trump’s call and called on Trump to give him a pardon.

“He felt like his voice was, for the first time, being heard,” Watkins said of Chansley. “And what ended up happening, over the course of the lead-up to the election, over the course of the period from the election to Jan. 6 — it was a driving force by a man he hung his hat on, he hitched his wagon to. He loved Trump. Every word, he listens to him.”

This content was originally published here.

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign? A Simple Guide

Getting a gorgeous smile comes at a price, but that doesn’t mean you have to front the bill all on your own. That’s good news if you’re considering Invisalign treatment.

But before you go for your first consultation, there are some things you should understand about Invisalign insurance coverage.

Does insurance cover Invisalign? Keep reading the information below to find out.

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?

The answer to this question is sort of tricky. For the most part, standard dental insurance policies cover routine cleanings and exams. They also cover oral procedures like extractions and root canals.

Invisalign is considered cosmetic dentistry, so it’s not always included in basic dental plans. However, many policies do offer assistance for orthodontic treatment.

Some insurance plans will take care of a percentage of the Invisalign cost. With that said, here are some important things to note:

  1. The Invisalign insurance might have an annual maximum of $1,000 to $1,500.
  2. For some policies, fixing crooked teeth is considered cosmetic. If the aligners are used for that, it may not be covered.
  3. Your Invisalign insurance coverage might only offer one service for orthodontic procedures. For instance, if you used the policy to pay for braces in the past, it may not cover Invisalign. 

Alternative Payment Options

If you don’t have Invisalign Insurance, don’t worry. There are several alternatives that you can use to help pay for your treatment, such as:

Payment Plans

Many orthodontic offices offer payment plans. You’ll generally have to apply through a credit lender that’s partnered with the office.

If you’re approved, the credit lender will give you the full amount or a portion of the Invisalign cost. You’ll be required to pay the amount back in installments.

FSA or HSA

If you have a flexible savings account or a health savings account provided by your employer, you can use it to cover your Invisalign treatment.

With an FSA, you can put a portion aside from each paycheck throughout the year for health expenses.

On the other hand, an HSA is used to help people that have high deductible medical insurance policies. It’s a savings account that’s used for health and dental costs with a limit of $3,400 for single persons and $6,750 for families.

Unfortunately, not all employers offer these plans to their employees.

Care Credit

CareCredit is a card that’s designed to help individuals pay off their out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses. Unlike traditional credit cards, it has special options for financing. However, Care Credit can only be used at certain locations that accept it.

Get the Smile You’ve Always Wanted

Hopefully, this article answered your question of “Does insurance cover Invisalign?”

The basic answer to that question is often yes, but only if your policy covers it. On the bright side, it’s good to know there are payment options available if it doesn’t. 

If this content was helpful, take a look at more of our blog. We cover numerous topics to keep our readers intrigued and educated. Check us out!

The post Does Insurance Cover Invisalign? A Simple Guide appeared first on Mom Blog Society.

This content was originally published here.

Legislator who questioned Black hygiene to lead health panel

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Republican lawmaker and doctor who questioned whether members of “the colored population” were disproportionately contracting the coronavirus because of their hygiene is drawing new criticism from Black lawmakers after his appointment to lead the state Senate Health Committee.

“Could it just be that African Americans – or the colored population — do not wash their hands as well as other groups? Or wear masks? Or do not socially distance themselves?” state Sen. Stephen Huffman asked a Black health expert in June 11 testimony. “Could that just be the explanation of why there’s a higher incidence?”

The comments resulted in calls from Democrats and the ACLU of Ohio for him to resign from the GOP-controlled Senate.

Huffman, of Tipp City, was appointed last week by Senate President Matt Huffman, his cousin, to chair the committee even after he was fired from his job as a Dayton-area emergency room physician for his comments.

In a letter Wednesday, the Ohio Black Legislative Caucus demanded a health committee leader who understands and can respond to the inequities of healthcare in Ohio “without political influence.”

“If the Senate leadership will not replace Sen. Huffman as Chair, then we will expect Sen. Huffman to use his position to improve the health of Ohio’s African-American population by working with OLBC to pass legislation that effectively addresses health disparities in the state of Ohio,” director Tony Bishop said in a news release.

Huffman remains a licensed medical doctor in Ohio.

“Senator Huffman is a medical doctor and highly qualified to chair the Health Committee,” spokesperson John Fortney said Friday in a written statement. “He has a long record of providing healthcare to minority neighborhoods and has joined multiple mission trips at his own expense to treat those from disadvantaged countries.

Fortney added that Huffman apologized at the time “for asking a clumsy and awkwardly worded question.”

“Sincere apologies deserve sincere forgiveness, and not the perpetual politically weaponized judgement of the cancel culture,” he said.”

Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

This content was originally published here.

Organized dentistry expresses concerns regarding the U.S.-Mexico Tourism Improvement Act

Organized dentistry expresses concerns regarding the U.S.-Mexico Tourism Improvement Act

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — Until Mexican programs achieve accreditation through the Commission on Dental Accreditation, U.S. dental schools should not build relationships with Mexican schools.

This was the overarching message of an April 23 letter from the Organized Dentistry Coalition to Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, lead sponsor of HR 951, the United States-Mexico Tourism Improvement Act. If passed, the legislation would expand tourism between the United States and Mexico, including for dental care.

In the letter, the organizations said they believe patients’ dental care when visiting dentists trained in non-accredited Mexican dental schools cannot be guaranteed and urged lawmakers to include this in the legislation. Currently, no Mexican dental schools are accredited through CODA.

“The Commission on Dental Accreditation serves the oral health needs of the public through the development and administration of standards that foster continuous quality improvement of dental and dental-related educational programs,” the organizations wrote. “Accreditation ensures academic quality and public accountability.

“We believe that, until Mexican programs have received CODA accreditation, U.S. dental institutions should not build relationships with Mexican institutions for the purpose of having patients visit Mexican facilities for treatment.”

The organizations also recommended that Congress consider other factors critical to patient safety such as licensure of dentists and facilities following accepted asepsis, infection control and biohazard control protocols when assessing the feasibility of building partnerships among dental institutions between the United States and Mexico.

“These safeguards are critical components to dental care that patients in the United States take for granted. Lack of attention to these details may lead to a false sense of security for patients seeking care outside of the United States,” the letter concluded.

Follow all of the ADA’s advocacy efforts at ADA.org/Advocacy.

This content was originally published here.

Health care worker taken to ER just a few hours after getting second COVID-19 vaccine shot. Four days later he was dead.

An X-ray technologist from Orange, California, fell ill and was taken to an emergency room just a few hours after receiving his second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month — and four days later he was dead, the Orange County Register reported.

What are the details?

Tim Zook, 60, seemed quite hopeful in a Jan. 5 Facebook post, the Register said.

“Never been so excited to get a shot before,” Zook wrote above a photo of a Band-Aid on his arm and his COVID-19 vaccination card, the paper reported. “I am now fully vaccinated after receiving my 2nd Pfizer dose.”

It would turn out to be his final Facebook post.

Just a few hours later, Zook — an X-ray technologist at South Coast Global Medical Center in Santa Ana — had an upset stomach and trouble breathing, the Register said. By 3:30 p.m. his condition worsened so much that his co-workers walked him to the emergency room, the paper added.

“Should I be worried?” his wife, Rochelle, texted him when after receiving the news, the Register said.

“No, absolutely not,” Zook texted back, the paper noted.

“Do you think this is a direct result of the vaccine?” she texted, the Register noted.

“No, no,” he replied, according to the paper. “I’m not sure what. But don’t worry.”

The Register said Zook “passionately urged folks to embrace COVID precautions such as masking up and staying home as ICUs were inundated in December.”

Rapid decline

But Zook’s condition quickly worsened.

There were suspicions of COVID and a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. Zook was put on oxygen, then — just four hours later — a BiPAP machine to help push air into the lungs. Multiple tests came back negative for COVID.

Shortly after midnight on Jan. 7, the hospital called. Zook was in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator to help him breathe. But his blood pressure soon dropped and he was transferred to UC Irvine Medical Center. “On Friday I get a call, ‘His kidneys are failing. He needs to be on dialysis. If not, he could die — but there’s also a chance he might have a heart attack or stroke on dialysis because his blood pressure is so low,’ ” Rochelle Zook said.

By 4 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, Zook had gone “code blue” twice and was snatched back from the brink of death. There was a third code blue in the afternoon. “They said if he went code blue a fourth time, he’d have brain damage and be a vegetable if he survives,” Rochelle Zook said.

Zook died later that day, the paper said.

‘We are not blaming any pharmaceutical company’

“We are not blaming any pharmaceutical company,” Rochelle Zook told the Register. “My husband loved what he did. He worked in hospitals for 36 1/2 years. He believed in vaccines. I’m sure he would take that vaccine again, and he’d want the public to take it. But when someone gets symptoms 2 1/2 hours after a vaccine, that’s a reaction. What else could have happened? We would like the public to know what happened to Tim, so he didn’t die in vain. Severe reactions are rare. In reality, COVID is a much more deadly force than reactions from the potential vaccine itself. The message is, be safe, take the vaccine — but the officials need to do more research. We need to know the cause. The vaccines need to be as safe as possible. Every life matters.”

Zook’s widow also told the paper he had high blood pressure, but that for years it had been controlled with medication. Zook was slightly overweight but healthy, the Register added.

“He had never been hospitalized,” Rochelle Zook told the paper. “He’d get a cold and be over it two days later. The flu, and be over it three days later.”

His death has been reported to the national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, run by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control. The Orange County coroner has said the cause of death is inconclusive for now, and further toxicology testing will take months.

“The family just wants closure,” said Zook’s cousin, Ken Polanco of Los Angeles. ” ‘Inconclusive’ is not closure. The family wants the pharmaceutical companies to do more research — if there’s some sort of DNA that doesn’t work with this vaccine, if episodes like this can be prevented, they need to do what they can to pin that down.” […]

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System — which officials caution is a “passive surveillance system” and represents unverified reports of health events that occur after vaccination — has gathered more than 130 reports of death after vaccine administration thus far in 2021. A total of 1,330 adverse reactions have been reported, while more than 23.5 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered.

Experts caution that drawing a causal line between vaccination and death is often very difficult to do. When millions of people are being vaccinated — more than 13 million have gotten the Pfizer vaccine as of Jan. 26, and more than 10.5 million have received the Moderna vaccine — some would die for any number of unrelated reasons, as a matter of pure statistics.

What did Pfizer have to say?

A Pfizer-BioNTech spokesman told the paper that pharmaceutical company is aware of Zook’s death and is thoroughly reviewing the matter.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved family,” the company said in an emailed statement, the Register reported. “We closely monitor all such events and collect relevant information to share with global regulatory authorities. Based on ongoing safety reviews performed by Pfizer, BioNTech and health authorities, [the vaccine] retains a positive benefit-risk profile for the prevention of COVID-19 infections. Serious adverse events, including deaths that are unrelated to the vaccine, are unfortunately likely to occur at a similar rate as they would in the general population.”

The Orange County coroner said it has an open death investigation for Zook and will be conducting more tests as part of its autopsy protocol, spokeswoman Carrie Braun told the paper, adding that the coroner’s office will use its findings to issue a final determination concerning the cause and manner of death.

“If it’s determined there may be a correlation to the vaccine, we will immediately notify the OC Health Care Agency,” Braun added to the Register.

This content was originally published here.

The year global health went local

We are writing this letter after a year unlike any other in our lifetimes.

Two decades ago, we created a foundation focused on global health because we wanted to use the returns from Microsoft to improve as many lives as possible. Health is the bedrock of any thriving society. If your health is compromised—or if you’re worried about catching a deadly disease—it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. Staying alive and well becomes your priority to the necessary detriment of everything else.

Over the last year, many of us have experienced that reality ourselves for the first time. Almost every decision now comes with a new calculus: How do you minimize your risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19? There are probably some epidemiologists reading this letter, but for most people, we’re guessing that the past year has forced you to reorient your lives around an entirely new vocabulary—one that includes terms like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” and the “R0” of a virus. (And for the epidemiologists reading this, we bet no one is more surprised than you that we now live in a world where your colleague Anthony Fauci has graced the cover of InStyle magazine.)

Bill:
Fans of the movie Contagion might have already known this.

When we wrote our last Annual Letter, the world was just starting to understand how serious a novel coronavirus pandemic could get. Even though our foundation had been concerned about a pandemic scenario for a long time—especially after the Ebola epidemic in West Africa—we were shocked by how drastically COVID-19 has disrupted economies, jobs, education, and well-being around the world.

Only a few weeks after we first heard the word “COVID-19,” we were closing our foundation’s offices and joining billions of people worldwide in adjusting to radically different ways of living. For us, the days became a blur of video meetings, troubling news alerts, and microwaved meals.

Melinda:
Neither of us are decent cooks.
I miss him every day.

But the adjustments the two of us have made are nothing compared to the impact the pandemic has had on others. COVID-19 has cost lives, sickened millions, and thrust the global economy into a devastating recession. One and a half billion children lost time in the classroom, and some may never return. Essential workers are doing impossible jobs at tremendous risk to themselves and their families. Stress and isolation have triggered far-reaching impacts on mental health. And families in every country have had to miss out on so many of life’s most important moments—graduations, weddings, even funerals. (When Bill Sr. died last September, it was made even more painful by the fact we couldn’t all come together to mourn.)

History will probably remember these last couple of months as the most painful point of the entire pandemic. But hope is on the horizon. Although we have a long recovery in front of us, the world has achieved some significant victories against the virus in the form of new tests, treatments, and vaccines. We believe these new tools will soon begin bending the curve in a big way.

The moment we now find ourselves in calls to mind a quote from Winston Churchill. In the fall of 1942, he gave a famous speech marking a military victory that he believed would be a turning point in the war against Nazi Germany. “This is not the end,” he warned. “It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

When it comes to COVID-19, we are optimistic that the end of the beginning is near. We are also realistic about what it’s taken to get here: the largest public health effort in the history of the world—one involving policymakers, researchers, healthcare workers, business leaders, grassroots organizers, religious communities, and so many others working together in new ways.

Melinda:
Many of the parents who took on added caregiving responsibilities when schools closed last March.

That kind of shared effort is important, because in a global crisis like this one, you don’t want companies making decisions driven by a profit motive or governments acting with the narrow goal of protecting only their own citizens. You need a lot of different people and interests coming together in goodwill to benefit all of humanity.

Philanthropy can help facilitate that cooperation. Because our foundation has been working on infectious diseases for decades, we have strong, long-standing relationships with the World Health Organization, experts, governments, and the private sector. And because our foundation is specifically focused on the challenges facing the world’s poorest people, we also understand the importance of ensuring that the world is considering the unique needs of low-income countries, too.

To date, our foundation has invested $1.75 billion in the fight against COVID-19. Most of that funding has gone toward producing and procuring crucial medical supplies. For example, we backed researchers developing new COVID-19 treatments including monoclonal antibodies, and we worked with partners to ensure that these drugs are formulated in a way that’s easy to transport and use in the poorest parts of the world so they benefit people everywhere.

Bill:
These are manufactured antibodies that grab onto a virus and disable it, just as the naturally occurring antibodies in your immune system do.

We’ve also supported efforts to find and distribute safe and effective vaccines against the virus. Over the last two decades, our resources backed the development of 11 vaccines that have been certified as safe and effective, and our partners have been applying the lessons we learned along the way to the development of vaccines against COVID-19.

Melinda:
These include vaccines for pneumonia, cholera, meningitis, rotavirus, typhoid, and Japanese encephalitis—which together have saved millions of lives.

It’s possible that by the time you read this, you or someone you know may have already received a COVID-19 vaccine. The fact that these vaccines are already becoming available is, we think, pretty remarkable—especially considering that COVID-19 was a virtually unknown pathogen at the beginning of 2020 and how rigorous the process is for proving a vaccine’s safety and efficacy. (It’s important that people understand that even though these vaccines were developed on an expedited timeline, they still had to meet strict guidelines before being approved.)

No one country or company could have achieved this alone. Funders around the world pooled resources, competitors shared research findings, and everyone involved had a head start thanks to many years of global investment in technologies that have helped unlock a new era in vaccine development. If the novel coronavirus had emerged in 2009 instead of 2019, the road to a vaccine would have been much longer.

Of course, creating safe and effective vaccines in a laboratory is only the beginning of the story. Because the world needs billions of doses in order to protect everyone threatened by this disease, we helped partners figure out how to manufacture vaccines at the same time as they were being developed (a process that usually happens sequentially).

Bill:
This is why some people were able to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it received FDA approval.

Now, the world has to get those doses out to everyone who needs them—starting with frontline health workers and other high-risk groups. Our foundation has worked with manufacturers and partners to deliver other vaccines cheaply and on a very large scale in the past (including to 822 million kids in low-income countries through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance), and we’re doing the same with COVID-19.

Melinda:
And that women who don’t want to get pregnant continue to have access to contraceptives.

Our foundation and its partners have pivoted to meet the challenges of COVID-19 in other ways as well. When our friend Warren Buffett donated the bulk of his fortune to double our foundation’s resources in 2006, he urged us to stay focused on the issues that have always been central to our mission. Tackling COVID-19 was an essential part of any global health work in 2020, but it hasn’t been our sole focus over the last year. Our colleagues continue to make progress across all of our program areas.

The malaria team has had to rethink how to distribute bed nets in a time when it’s no longer safe to hold an event to give them to a lot of people at once. We’re helping partners understand COVID-19’s impact on pregnant women and babies and making sure that they continue to receive essential health services. Our education partners are helping teachers adjust to a world where their laptop is their classroom. In other words, we remain trained on the same goal we’ve had since our foundation opened its doors: making sure every single person on the planet has the chance to live a healthy and productive life.

A high school teacher in Seoul, Korea, works with her students remotely. (Chung Sung-Jung/Getty Images)
Health workers deliver mosquito nets in Benin. (Yanick Folly/Getty Images)
A high school teacher in Seoul, Korea, works with her students remotely. (Chung Sung-Jung/Getty Images)
Health workers deliver mosquito nets in Benin. (Yanick Folly/Getty Images)
A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment helps a pregnant woman in labor in Ankara, Turkey. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Getty Images)
A young woman talks about contraception at a community center in Nairobi, Kenya. (Alissa Everett/Getty Images)
A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment helps a pregnant woman in labor in Ankara, Turkey. (Ozge Elif Kizil/Getty Images)
A young woman talks about contraception at a community center in Nairobi, Kenya. (Alissa Everett/Getty Images)

If there’s a reason we’re optimistic about life on the other side of the pandemic, it’s this: While the pandemic has forced many people to learn a new vocabulary, it’s also brought new meaning to old terms like “global health.”

In the past, “global health” was rarely used to mean the health of everyone, everywhere. In practice, people in rich countries used this term to refer to the health of people in non-rich countries. A more accurate term probably would have been “developing country health.”

This past year, though, that changed. In 2020, global health went local. The artificial distinctions between rich countries and poor countries collapsed in the face of a virus that had no regard for borders or geography.

We all saw firsthand how quickly a disease you’ve never heard of in a place you may have never been can become a public health emergency right in your own backyard. Viruses like COVID-19 remind us that, for all our differences, everyone in this world is connected biologically by a microscopic network of germs and particles—and that, like it or not, we’re all in this together.

Melinda:
Growing up, I heard a lot about how WWII had changed my family’s life—especially my maternal grandmother’s. She’s one of the many women who entered the workforce to fill roles left open by men fighting overseas.

We hope the experience we’ve all lived through over the last year will lead to a long-term change in the way people think about global health—and help people in rich countries see that investments in global health benefit not only low-income countries but everyone. We were thrilled to see the United States include $4 billion for Gavi in its latest COVID-19 relief package. Investments like these will put all of us in a better position to defeat the next set of global challenges.

Just as World War II was the defining event for our parents’ generation, the coronavirus pandemic we are living through right now will define ours. And just as World War II led to greater cooperation between countries to protect the peace and prioritize the common good, we think that the world has an important opportunity to turn the hard-won lessons of this pandemic into a healthier, more equal future for all.

In the rest of this letter, we write about two areas we see as essential to building that better future: prioritizing equity and getting ready for the next pandemic.

This content was originally published here.

Growing Your Invisalign® Practice from the Inside Out – Oral Health Group

Three Key Principles to Starting One Invisalign Case Every Day

Let me start by asking a simple question – where do Invisalign patients come from?

Expensive marketing campaigns?

Social media posts and fancy Facebook lead-generating ads and sales funnels?

That poster you hung on your wall and those brochures you placed on your front counter in hopes the patients will ask you about it?

If you think these things are going to fill your schedule with patients lining up for Invisalign consults, then I am going to challenge you to think differently.

I want to get you excited about the idea that all the Invisalign patients you could ever want are already inside your practice.  

In a small rural town with a population of only 7000 people, I have been able to achieve and maintain Platinum status since 2017.

In this article I will share with you the 3 Key Principles I used to grow my Invisalign practice from the INSIDE OUT – without any fancy marketing campaigns or rock bottom pricing strategies.  

My Invisalign journey began in 2008 when I completed Level 1 certification, which allowed me to do a handful of cases per year.  That was until 2017 when everything changed. In 2017, I started over 100 cases – with 46 of those cases started in the last 2 months of the year.  And yes – I did this without any external expensive marketing campaigns and no rock bottom pricing. In 2018, I started 167 cases and worked 151 days – over one case for every day I worked, and I’ve never looked back.  So what changed?

Principle #1  

Changing YOUR MIND is the first step

“If it’s been done before it’s probably possible.”

One of my favourite quotes from Zig Ziglar.

Over one weekend in late 2017 after a series of “fortunate” events including attending a minor hockey league game with my son and downloading a chance book to my Kindle, a lightning bolt of inspiration hit me.

I was inspired both by Zig Ziglars’ quote (which appeared in the book I was reading) and by what other dentists I looked up to and admired were achieving.

I was inspired to be a dentist who started one Invisalign case every day.  

Not only did I know Invisalign clear aligners to be a fun part of practice, but I also knew starting a case every day would more easily allow me to reach the financial goals for my practice.

Your mind is powerful and until you really commit and believe you can achieve the unthinkable – like starting an Invisalign case every day – you won’t.

Changing your mind has to be the first step.  That’s all I changed in three days over that one weekend in 2017, and I started 46 cases of Invisalign treatment in the next two months.

I knew I could be a dentist who started one Invisalign case every day because others had done it – and if it’s been done before, it’s probably possible.

I went from thinking “there is no way I can start more Invisalign cases, there just isn’t that much opportunity” (scarcity thinking – which we will get to in a moment!) to believing in myself and my team that I absolutely could do more…and we did!

I know what you are thinking – “Is she serious? Just change my mind and magically all the Invisalign cases will appear?”

Stay with me because yes, over that weekend, I made the mental commitment but at the start of the week was where the rubber hit the road so to speak, and I had to put action to my thoughts.  That’s where principal number two comes in…

Principle #2  

Get Engaged in Your Practice

If you are anything like I was, I loved running back to my office to check social media, my phone, the stock market, read the latest article on the newest bond, or who knows what else, while I was waiting to begin treatment for my patients. And I was a master of hiding from my hygienists –  What an interruption in my already busy day!

Just let me do the dentistry and do not stretch me outside my comfort zone and I’m happy…

Unfortunately, what I didn’t recognize was that by doing that I was missing huge opportunities, and if I wanted to start one case of Invisalign treatment every day, I could no longer afford to be disengaged. I could no longer afford to take my patients and their needs for granted.  But to do that I had to put some effort in.

What do I mean by this?

I put my phone down and scoured every chart of every patient who was in my office today.  I was actively looking for opportunities to talk about Invisalign clear aligners. Who could I talk to today?

Checking email? Forget it. Now I checked all the hygiene charts looking for opportunities!

Surfing the web? Not anymore. I needed to dig deep into all the restorative charts.

What I’m getting at is that opportunities don’t just happen – you create them!

You need to become keenly aware of the outstanding dentistry and opportunities that are in your office TODAY!

I bet you are thinking, “My assistants and hygienists already do a chart audit and tell me about outstanding dentistry.” And you know what? Mine did too!!!  But finding patients to talk to about Invisalign clear aligners is much different.

There is something to be said for YOU – THE DOCTOR – getting intensely engaged with your patients.  Reading your last notes yourself, reviewing your last x-rays or even better – the last photos – and getting yourself mentally prepared for another conversation is very powerful.   Your team will start to notice the shift too – and trust me – they will like it!

Get focused for a revisit of the already diagnosed dentistry, and if you want to start more Invisalign cases, get focused on who you can talk to about Invisalign clear aligners today.  Don’t underestimate the value of being prepared for those conversations.  Preparedness brings confidence.

Once I was prepared, once I knew with a laser focus who I was talking to today and once my team was prepared for me to have those conversations, you would be surprised how often those patients said “YES”!

But the truth is I had to find those opportunities because they weren’t just going to be handed to me on a silver platter.  

I had to put the work in and get engaged. 

We have a specialized set of skills that only we as dentists possess and that we as dentists only get to practice while we are at work! So make hay while the sun shines!!!  Get out of your personal office, get off your phone, turn off the TV, quit making phone calls, stop returning emails, and quit checking Facebook.

Do what only you can do: provide dentistry and get engaged with your team and your patients!  Everything else can wait.

Getting engaged also means (and yes I am gonna say it) you need to have a motivating, impactful, laser focused and empowering morning huddle.

My first day back in the office after that life-altering weekend in late 2017 began with a morning huddle like I had never had before.  And the day ended with four Invisalign case starts and another three on the schedule to start later that week.

To run a great meeting, my suggestion is for you as the doctor to be the happiest, most positive and overly energetic person on your team. You set the tone for that in the morning meeting!  If you come to work tired and unfocused, your team will follow suit. And no, I don’t believe this can be delegated.  You are the leader and you need to lead the charge, especially in times of change and new goals.  To reach new heights, you must be willing to go outside your comfort zone.

I would suggest every doctor needs to meet with their main assistant(s) and head scheduler in the morning. The agenda needs to be crystal clear: you now have a daily goal and intention of starting one Invisalign case every day and you need their help to reach this goal.  Who are you going to talk to today about Invisalign clear aligners and what is the plan if they say YES?

Get your team happy, get them motivated and get them believing in you! End with high fives, fist bumps or some other positive affirmation of the day, and start the day with good energy and clear intentions.

Trust me, there is no better way to start the day than by celebrating an Invisalign case start from yesterday!  

So get out of your personal office, stop hiding, take charge, get excited about the future and see the magic that follows.

Now you might be thinking, “Ok, I can get excited about the goal and start a mindset shift, and I can be more engaged with my practice, but you still didn’t answer the question you began with: where do these Invisalign patients come from?”  This leads me to principle number three.

Principle #3 

Invisalign patients are in your schedule already! (you just need to know how to talk to them)

In order to start more Invisalign cases, you have to believe that diagnosing a malocclusion is just as important as diagnosing a cavity.  Period.  Read that again if you have to.

Until we as dentists understand how to talk to patients about their malocclusions and the health benefits of straight teeth, we are letting a huge opportunity inside our practices pass us by. If the only way you know how to bring up a malocclusion is to ask if your patient has ever thought about straightening their teeth, you are going to hear a lot of “no”s. Why?  Because patients THINK Invisalign clear aligners are about cosmetics (and they aren’t that VAIN! And plus, isn’t that expensive???). It’s your job to help them understand it’s about so much more than that.

Straight teeth are about much more than cosmetics.

Understanding the importance that straight teeth play in improving a patient’s overall oral health was a game changer for me and my team and what allowed us to take our Invisalign practice to the next level.

That patient with crowding and cavities? There is an opportunity to talk about the health benefits of straight teeth.

That patient with crowding and gum disease?  There is an opportunity.

That patient with recession on a rotated canine? That Class 2 patient with wear who needs a nightguard? That patient with crowding who needs an implant?  That patient who has a deep bite, no overjet and daily headaches? The patient who broke the buccal cusp of a tooth in crossbite?

All of these patients are opportunities to talk about the health benefits of straight teeth! And these are the patients we see all day long in our practices.

Teeth that fit together better are easier to clean and last longer. It’s really as simple as that.

Seventy-five percent of the adult population is walking around with a malocclusion just waiting for us to diagnose! If you see eight hygiene patients in one day, six of them have a malocclusion. You only need one to say yes to Invisalign clear aligners today…

One out of six is a 16% case acceptance rate! (I hope this is looking more doable now!)

There is more than enough crooked teeth to go around.  Think abundantly!  Scarcity thinking is believing there are only so many people in your practice who will say yes to straightening their teeth, or that you will somehow run out of patients to talk to about the health benefits of straight teeth. It simply isn’t true.

If DTC orthodontics has taught us anything, it’s that the demand is there, and we just need to be more intentional at understanding the demand and understanding what our patients’ goals are. We have to be more intentional about talking to our patients about it and educating them on the health benefits of straight teeth.

So growing your Invisalign practice does not need to mean expensive marketing plans to attract new patients, or rock bottom prices to compete with DTC aligner brands.

Growing your Invisalign practice from the inside out simply means talking to your existing patients about the health benefits of straight teeth.

And the really good news is if you get intentional about finding the opportunities in your own patient population, those patients already know you, already have a relationship with you and probably most important, already trust you.  These patients are much more likely to say YES and feel good about their decision.

“To get things you’ve never had you must do things you’ve never done.”

This is my all-time favourite quote and through this article, I hope I have given you the nudge you need to go after those things.

About Dr. Terri Pukanich

Dr. Pukanich graduated from the University of Alberta dental School in 2002. She bought her first and only practice in 2003 when she was just 25 years old. Over the last 16 years she successfully grew her practice from a 4 treatment room, 1 doctor office to a 17 treatment room, super GP group practice – all in a small rural town of 7000 people. She is passionate about creating dental work environments that have tremendous impact on patients and team members and where everyone has fun! Along her journey she has worked with the biggest names in dental coaching and has spent over a million dollars on developing her practice. She learned the secrets to implementation and execution of the most effective strategies. She is now CEO and Founder of Dental BossLady where she helps women in dentistry create a profitable and fulfilling practice while having more fun and making more money. She is a Platinum Plus Invisalign provider and a Key Opinion Leader for the American Academy of Clear Aligners.

Invisalign®, the Invisalign logo, and iTero®, among others, are trademarks and/or service marks of Align Technology, Inc. or one of its subsidiaries or affiliated companies and may be registered in the U.S. and/or other countries.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Align Technology, Inc. The author was paid an honorarium by Align Technology, Inc. in connection with writing this article.

This content was originally published here.

Regenerative dentistry could restore damaged teeth

Teeth develop through a complex process in which soft tissue, with connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels, are bonded with three different types of hard tissue into a functional body part. As an explanatory model for this process, scientists often use the mouse incisor, which grows continuously and is renewed throughout the animal’s life.

Using a single-cell RNA sequencing method and genetic tracing, researchers at Karolinska Institutet, the Medical University of Vienna in Austria and Harvard University in the USA have now identified and characterized all cell populations in mouse teeth and in the young growing and adult human teeth.

“From stem cells to the completely differentiated adult cells we were able to decipher the differentiation pathways of odontoblasts, which give rise to dentine — the hard tissue closest to the pulp — and ameloblasts, which give rise to the enamel,” say the study’s last author Igor Adameyko.

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Some of the finds can also explain certain complicated aspects of the immune system in teeth, and others shed new light on the formation of tooth enamel, the hardest tissue in our bodies.

“We hope and believe that our work can form the basis of new approaches to tomorrow’s dentistry. Specifically, it can expedite the fast expanding field of regenerative dentistry, a biological therapy for replacing damaged or lost tissue.”

This content was originally published here.

Health care worker dies after second dose of COVID vaccine, investigations underway

Tim Zook’s last post on Facebook brimmed with optimism. “Never been so excited to get a shot before,” he wrote on Jan. 5, above a photo of the Band-Aid on his arm and his COVID-19 vaccination card. “I am now fully vaccinated after receiving my 2nd Pfizer dose.”

Zook, 60, was an X-ray technologist at South Coast Global Medical Center in Santa Ana. A couple of hours later, he had an upset stomach and trouble breathing. By 3:30 p.m. it was so bad his colleagues at work walked him to the emergency room. “Should I be worried?” his wife, Rochelle, texted when she got the news. “No, absolutely not,” he texted back. “Do you think this is a direct result of the vaccine?” she typed. “No, no,” he said. “I’m not sure what. But don’t worry.”

There were suspicions of COVID and a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. Zook was put on oxygen, then — just four hours later — a BiPAP machine to help push air into the lungs. Multiple tests came back negative for COVID.

Tim Zook’s last Facebook post.

Shortly after midnight on Jan. 7, the hospital called. Zook was in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator to help him breathe. But his blood pressure soon dropped and he was transferred to UC Irvine. “On Friday I get a call, ‘His kidneys are failing. He needs to be on dialysis. If not, he could die — but there’s also a chance he might have a heart attack or stroke on dialysis because his blood pressure is so low,’ ” Rochelle Zook said.

By 4 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, Zook had gone “code blue” twice and was snatched back from the brink of death. There was a third code blue in the afternoon. “They said if he went code blue a fourth time, he’d have brain damage and be a vegetable if he survives,” Rochelle Zook said.

Later that day, Tim Zook died.

Reaction? But no blame

“We are not blaming any pharmaceutical company,” said Rochelle Zook, a resident of Orange. “My husband loved what he did. He worked in hospitals for 36 1/2 years. He believed in vaccines. I’m sure he would take that vaccine again, and he’d want the public to take it.

“But when someone gets symptoms 2 1/2 hours after a vaccine, that’s a reaction. What else could have happened? We would like the public to know what happened to Tim, so he didn’t die in vain. Severe reactions are rare. In reality, COVID is a much more deadly force than reactions from the potential vaccine itself.

“The message is, be safe, take the vaccine — but the officials need to do more research. We need to know the cause. The vaccines need to be as safe as possible. Every life matters.”

Zook had high blood pressure, but that had been controlled with medication for years, she said. He was slightly overweight, but quite healthy. “He had never been hospitalized. He’d get a cold and be over it two days later. The flu, and be over it three days later,” she said.

His death has been reported to the national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, run by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control. The Orange County coroner has labeled the cause of death “inconclusive” for now, and further toxicology testing will take months.

“The family just wants closure,” said Zook’s cousin, Ken Polanco of Los Angeles. ” ‘Inconclusive’ is not closure. The family wants the pharmaceutical companies to do more research — if there’s some sort of DNA that doesn’t work with this vaccine, if episodes like this can be prevented, they need to do what they can to pin that down.”

Other deaths post-vaccine

Zook’s death comes on the heels of a Florida doctor who died on Jan. 3, weeks after getting his first Pfizer shot. Gregory Michael, a 56-year-old obstetrician and gynecologist in Miami Beach, suffered idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a rare immune disorder in which the blood doesn’t clot normally. His death is under investigation.

In California, Placer County officials said a man died shortly after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 21. They did not identify the vaccine or the person, but said he had tested positive for COVID in late December and that the vaccine was not given by the Placer County Public Health Department. Facebook posts say the man was a 56-year-old aide in a senior living facility. That death is under investigation as well.

Tim Zook had to work with COVID patients, and posted this selfie in full gear, urging people to be safe.

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System — which officials caution is a “passive surveillance system” and represents unverified reports of health events that occur after vaccination — has gathered more than 130 reports of death after vaccine administration thus far in 2021. A total of 1,330 adverse reactions have been reported, while more than 23.5 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered.

Experts caution that drawing a causal line between vaccination and death is often very difficult to do. When millions of people are being vaccinated — more than 13 million have gotten the Pfizer vaccine as of Jan. 26, and more than 10.5 million have received the Moderna vaccine — some would die for any number of unrelated reasons, as a matter of pure statistics.

Every year in the United States, more than 2.8 million people die. That averages out to more than 7,800 deaths per day, according to CDC data.

“No prescription drug or biological product, such as a vaccine, is completely free from side effects. Vaccines protect many people from dangerous illnesses, but vaccines, like drugs, can cause side effects, a small percentage of which may be serious,” says the Department of Health and Human Services in its primer on the VAERS data. “About 85-90% of vaccine adverse event reports concern relatively minor events, such as fevers or redness and swelling at the injection site. The remaining reports (less than 15%) describe serious events, such as hospitalizations, life-threatening illnesses, or deaths. The reports of serious events are of greatest concern and receive the most careful scrutiny by VAERS staff.

“It is important to note that for any reported event, no cause and effect relationship has been established. The event may have been related to an underlying disease or condition, to medications being taken concurrently, or may have occurred by chance.”

Pfizer-BioNTech probe

A spokesman for Pfizer-BioNTech said the company is aware of Zook’s death and is thoroughly reviewing the matter.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved family,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We closely monitor all such events and collect relevant information to share with global regulatory authorities. Based on ongoing safety reviews performed by Pfizer, BioNTech and health authorities, (the vaccine) retains a positive benefit-risk profile for the prevention of COVID-19 infections. Serious adverse events, including deaths that are unrelated to the vaccine, are unfortunately likely to occur at a similar rate as they would in the general population.”

The Orange County Coroner has an open death investigation into Zook’s death and will be conducting additional tests within its autopsy protocol, spokeswoman Carrie Braun said. It will use those findings, along with autopsy findings, to make a final determination into the cause and manner of death. “If it’s determined there may be a correlation to the vaccine, we will immediately notify the OC Health Care Agency,” she said.

The FDA said it takes all reports of adverse events related to vaccines seriously, and, along with CDC, “is actively engaged in safety surveillance” of the COVID-19 vaccines that are being administered under emergency use authorizations.

“Any reports of death following the administration of vaccines are promptly and rigorously investigated jointly by FDA and CDC,” it said in an emailed statement. “Such an investigation includes working with health care providers to obtain medical histories and clinical follow-up information.”

Mark Ghaly, secretary of health and human services in California, said the state is looking into these incidents as well. He sends condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones, but stands by the scientific conclusion that the vaccines are safe.

“The details are complex and worthy of further investigation, and that’s what we’re doing now,” Ghaly said on Monday, Jan. 25, on the heels of the Placer death. “Overwhelmingly, though, we’ve seen so many individuals successfully, and without any significant reactions, receive both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.”

Results of the state’s probes will be shared publicly, Ghaly said, along with “lessons learned.” That’s key to continuing the development of confidence in the vaccines “and getting us on the other side of this pandemic,” he said.

This photo of Rochelle and Tim Zook was Zook’s Facebook profile picture.

Caring, generous man

Zook was a man who passionately urged folks to embrace COVID precautions such as masking up and staying home as ICUs were inundated in December. He loved food, posting photos of home-grown zucchinis, thick steaks, sumptuous Sunday breakfasts, wine tasting in Sonoma.

He shared memes urging calm on Election Day, quoting Lincoln saying “We are not enemies, but friends,” and was moved to share the speech President John F. Kennedy never got to deliver: “Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation’s future is at stake. Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause — united in our heritage of the past and our hopes for the future — and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind into new frontiers of peace and abundance.”

Zook was a caring, generous man with deep love for his family, an always-open door and a gift for making others feel comfortable and welcome, friends and family say. Sympathies for his passing have poured in.

“Our deepest condolences are with Tim Zook’s family and loved ones,” said Matt Whaley, CEO of South Coast Global Medical Center, by email. “Tim was a part of our family, too, and we are all grieving his loss.”

Zook and his wife have three grown sons — Aaron, 30, Jared, 26, and Kyle, 24. Zook took a day off work on Monday, Jan. 4 — his last healthy day — to spend with Kyle, who’s fascinated by trains. They went train-spotting.

“They had the most beautiful day together,” Rochelle Zook said.

This content was originally published here.

Concerns grow that the loss of sports is taking a toll on young athletes’ mental health – Portland Press Herald

Portland High senior Danny Tocci is a co-captain on the Deering/Portland ice hockey team, which is unable to gather in-person because Cumberland County has been designated as “yellow.” “I do definitely worry about some of my teammates’ mental health because (playing sports) is all we’ve known,” he says. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Portland High School senior Danny Tocci considers himself a “glass half full person.” So he sees the benefits of virtual meetings with his Portland/Deering ice hockey teammates and coaches as he hopes for some form of a season this winter.

HOW TO GET HELP

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health crisis, call the Maine Crisis Line 24 hours a day at 1-888-568-1112. For more information about mental health services in Maine, visit the website for the state’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

But Tocci said it is getting tougher and tougher to maintain a healthy outlook as the coronavirus pandemic grinds on and he and his teammates are not allowed to gather for any type of in-person athletic activities because they are in one of Maine’s four “yellow” counties.

“It’s saddening in a way and I do definitely worry about some of my teammates’ mental health because (playing sports) is all we’ve known,” said Tocci, a co-captain. “It means so much. It’s a way to release energy, see people and converse. It’s just having something to belong to and a place where you feel comfortable and you can go there and express yourself.”

With high school teams in yellow counties unable to meet for practices or even socially distanced workouts after school, educators and medical professionals are sounding the alarm that, in the effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the mental well-being of student-athletes is increasingly at risk.

“I think for a good percentage of the kids, yes, it is affecting their mental health,” said John Ryan, the certified athletic trainer at South Portland High and president of the Maine Athletic Trainers’ Association. “And for me, it’s not so much being able to play games, it’s being able to get together with their buddies and do something. … For a lot of these kids, being involved in athletics is a driving force for them to go to school. So now you’ve taken that away and they’re sitting at home thinking, ‘Why bother to go to school?’”

On Dec. 18 Cumberland County became the fourth county to be designated yellow in the Maine Department of Education’s color-coded health advisory for schools. Cumberland, along with Androscoggin, Oxford and York counties, will remain yellow at least until Jan. 29, the DOE announced on Friday. And when a county is deemed “yellow” for academic purposes, it means a full-stop “red” for athletics, according to pandemic guidelines set by the Maine Principals’ Association and key state health and education agencies. More than one-third of the state’s high schools – including 17 of the 20 largest schools – are located in those four counties.

Across the state, people like Ryan and Greely Athletic Director David Shapiro have raised concerns. They point to data collected in Wisconsin, Maine and across the country that show high school athletes have become more depressed and anxious, particularly when they are unable to participate in sports. The research also indicates a significant increase in thoughts of self-harm or suicide and an overall decline in quality of life measures.

“I think it’s my job that people have studies of that nature in their hands whenever they make a decision,” Shapiro said. “I’m trying to send it to whomever I can, the Department of Health and Human Services, the governor’s office, Dr. (Nirav) Shah (at the Maine CDC) to make sure information about the mental health of kids is in the forefront.

“I’m deeply concerned about the lasting effects of their current inactivity,” Shapiro added. “We know in a good year, a regular year, there are significant health benefits of just being active. Now you figure all the other stressors that our kids have right now are further compounded by not being able to be active.”

Dean Plante, the athletic director and girls’ basketball coach at Old Orchard Beach High, says “athletics should not be shut down” at schools in counties designated as yellow by the state. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Shapiro and Ryan are not suggesting that schools ignore the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths and return to a pre-pandemic approach. What they and many others want is for the 51 high school programs affected by yellow status to at least be allowed to have small groups gather for simple and physically distanced conditioning.

“Those schools that are yellow and in-person should be able to do skills and drills in my opinion; athletics should not be shut down,” said Dean Plante, the athletic director and girls’ basketball coach at Old Orchard Beach, where students are attending in-person learning four days a week. “Yellow should not be red in that instance. It makes no sense. It’s contradictory to what we’re doing during the school day.”

In-person physical education classes are being held during the school day. Meanwhile, club and youth sports teams in yellow counties have been given the go-ahead to practice and play games. And even though daily case counts have steadily increased across the state, more than 90 schools in green counties began interscholastic competitions on Jan. 11.

So while athletes at Mt. Ararat in Topsham, in Sagadahoc County are able to run, shoot, skate, ski and ride the bus to away games, just across the Androscoggin River in Cumberland County, coaches and players on Brunswick High’s teams are only able to connect via virtual conferences.

“We’re worried all the time about kids being on screens too much and now we’re pushing them there,” said Sam Farrell, the girls’ basketball coach at Brunswick. Farrell contends the pandemic’s effects are discouraging participation. “I’ve seen it with my own program. We have 18 signed up and last year we had 29.”

DATA SHOW RISE IN ANXIETY, DEPRESSION

Since the onset of the pandemic, mental health professionals have warned about the dangers of isolation and loneliness in the general population. As Maine’s daily case rate of COVID-19 started to spike in November, crisis and wellness call centers experienced an increase in service requests.

For many high school athletes, much of their self-worth is tied to their association with sports, said Rob Smith, a clinical sports psychologist in Waltham, Massachusetts.

“It’s an identity. That’s what’s on the line for kids and why it’s so stressful, is that (being an athlete) is how they define themselves,” Smith said, noting that “if you think about what the pandemic has done, it’s created this giant series of losses.”

Isolation and time away from friends and sports were key contributing factors to the Dec. 4 suicide death of Brunswick High sophomore Spencer Smith, 16, his family said.

“The worst thing for kids is to be sitting in their room ruminating about what they lost,” said Dan Gould, the director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University.

High school athletes reported increased feelings of depression and anxiety as early as May, when spring sports were shut down across the country. In a solicited survey of over 3,200 Wisconsin high school athletes, conducted by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, researchers found 62 percent of both females and males reported mild or moderate/severe depression symptoms.

In previous studies of Wisconsin high school athletes, 35 percent of females and only 21 percent of males reported any depression symptoms. The increase in the moderate/severe category was more than three times greater for girls and more than four times greater for boys.

The survey was then expanded to high school athletes across the country, drawing over 13,000 responses, including 102 from Maine (62 girls, 40 boys). While 102 represents a far smaller sample size, the Maine students reported greater levels of depression, including moderate to severe depression, than their peers in Wisconsin. In a separate measure for anxiety, 50 percent of the female respondents from Maine reported moderate to severe anxiety, compared to 43.7 percent in the overall national survey.

“The research is very consistent with what is being seen across the country,” said Ryan, the athletic trainer at South Portland High. “The problem is getting state policy leaders to fully understand that decisions they are making are adversely affecting the kids.”

The researchers repeated the survey in September to compare Wisconsin students playing a fall sport to those who had their fall sport canceled because of the pandemic.

“We found they were twice as likely to be mildly or moderately depressed if they were not playing their fall sport,” said Tim McGuine, a co-author of the original study.

VIRTUAL MEETINGS ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PRACTICES

Virtual team meetings serve one primary purpose, said Eric Curtis, the athletic director at Bonny Eagle High in Standish.

“What I’m trying to get across to my coaches is, honestly, just to make connections with the kids and keep their spirits up,” Curtis said.

Rachel Wall, a senior co-captain of the Freeport High girls’ basketball team, said she and her teammates are working hard to make sure they maintain a positive connection. Freeport girls’ basketball coach Seth Farrington asked Wall and her fellow captains Hannah Groves and Mason Baker-Schlendering to become active leaders in the virtual team meetings. Each captain has a cohort of teammates whom they direct in daily individual workouts.

Rachel Wall, one of the captains of the Freeport High girls’ basketball team, says she and her teammates are working hard to make sure they maintain a positive connection while they are unable to practice. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

“With my group I’ve been trying to make sure they stay active and doing their workouts,” Wall said. “If we do get to have a season and can practice again, it’s super important that we can just start right back. And, I’m also trying to encourage them because just being a student now is really hard.

“We are separated so much of the time. You want them to stay connected and encourage them throughout the week so they don’t feel alone. And a lot do feel that way right now,” Wall added.

Kennebunk girls’ basketball coach Rob Sullivan said virtual meetings shouldn’t be considered a substitute for practices. Rather, they can be effective for team bonding. He tries to meet with his team three or four times a week for 30- to 45-minute sessions broken into several segments. There is some coaching and drill demonstration but there are also trivia contests or word games to lighten the mood.

Like many other coaches, Sullivan wonders why, when it comes to high school sports, “yellow means red.” He’s not advocating a full start-up of cross-town games. Rather, Sullivan says there is great value with relatively little risk for teams in yellow counties to get in the gym.

“I can put 10, 12 kids in a gym with six hoops and they can stay pretty far apart,” Sullivan said. “Part of me would like to do that but there’s another part that would like to wait longer knowing that, when we do start (practicing), we’ll be able to finish a season.”

Others are more adamant that practices need to be allowed – and soon. Plante says he’s already sensed waning interest in virtual meetings, particularly among students drawn to a sport primarily for its social engagement.

“You always have those fringe kids that (play sports) to be part of something and that’s the beauty of education-based sports. It gives kids that sense of belonging,” Plante said. “Now, those on-the-cusp kids are looking around, and if they have the opportunity to bag groceries and make $12 an hour or stare at me on the computer, it’s a tough sell for a lot of kids. And a lot of families.”

“I’m hoping there’s some movement on the yellow designation,” said Farrington, the Freeport girls’ basketball coach. “The only thing it affects is co-curricular” activities because almost all schools are already operating in a hybrid model.

“If our county goes yellow, we should be yellow in sports. Not red. Yellow. Which means we socially distance, wear a mask,” Farrington said. “And I’m not worried about games. I just want to be in the gym, practicing with those kids that wear Freeport jerseys. I think they need each other, they need the coaches. And the coaches need them, too.”

“There’s some things that don’t make sense to us,” Shapiro said. “We can have in-person learning and we’re an education-based activity, why can’t we extend that learning to the gym, or the rink? For that matter, why can’t we do alpine skiing? Or be in a pool, where chlorine kills (the virus)?

“Everything still centers on their mental health and the long-term effects that this may have and we know the antidote: let them play. At the very least practice.”

For that to happen, the Maine Principals’ Association’s guidance, developed in conjunction with officials across the state, would need to be modified. Executive Director Mike Burnham said he has shared a presentation made by McGuine about the Wisconsin research to some of the key agencies in the state.

“All the state agencies are meeting (this) week to talk about winter sports and what’s transpiring now,” Burnham said.

Until changes are made, though, online practice workouts and attempts at team bonding through virtual meetings are likely to continue.

“As for our team, a lot of girls are trying to make the most of the situation we can,” said Freeport’s Wall.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 case numbers remain high in Maine. With the winter high school sports schedule slated to end in late February, time is running out for some teams to have a meaningful season.

“I try to keep positive,” said Tocci, the hockey player at Portland High, “but some kids in our grade, some of the basketball players especially, are saying, ‘We’re never going to get out of it. We’re never going to have a season.’ I try to tell them to stay positive, but there’s no real evidence that everything is going to get better.”

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Ancient History Of Dentistry

    AncientPages.com – If you think going to a dentist is an awful thing, be thankful you didn’t live thousands of years ago. Our ancestors understood the importance of healthy teeth, but the methods and instruments used in those days were far from pleasant.

    Historical evidence proves that dentistry started around the areas of China,
    Egypt, India, Etruscans of Central Italy, Assyrians, and Japan. While exploring and researching mummies, archaeologists have learned a mouthful of information on ancient dentistry.

    The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus Sheds Light on Ancient Egyptian Dentistry

    There is a lot of historical evidence revealing that ancient Egyptians practiced medicine thousands of years ago .

    The Edwin Smith Papyrus is an ancient Egyptian medical text, named after the dealer who bought it in 1862, and the oldest known surgical treatise on trauma. The papyrus was written sometime before 3000 B.C. and it gives instructions on how to heal and treat wounds in the mouth.

    Although there were detailed instructions about curing mouth problems, the evidence and writings within this time lead people to believe that the actual teeth were still considered untreatable. To begin with minor dental work was performed, but later as the knowledge increased doctors were able to carry out more advanced procedures.

    The ancients doctors were familiar with almost all modern dental diseases.

    The earliest signs of dental surgery were between 3000 and 2500 B.C. and usually involved drilling out cavities or pulling teeth. It might be hard to imagine having your teeth drilled into without the comfort of shots and happy gas, but Egyptians by 1550 B.C had prescriptions for dental pain and injuries. Interestingly, through all these years, there has never been any evidence in mummies or writings that mechanical or false teeth were ever used. This has been somewhat of a surprise to scientists as we would expect ancient Egyptians who were rather lavish to replace missing front teeth with artificial teeth.

    Nevertheless, ancient Egyptians have also been credited with the invention of toothpaste. The world’s oldest-known recipe for toothpaste comes from ancient Egypt in fact. When discovered, the Egyptian toothpaste formula formula from the 4th century AD caused a sensation among dentists who described it as an advanced recipe “ahead of its time”.

    Egyptians are believed to have started using a paste to clean their teeth around 5000BC, before toothbrushes were invented. Ancient Greeks and Romans are known to have used toothpastes, and people in China and India first used toothpaste around 500BC.

    Etruscan Civilization Experimented With Golden Teeth

    The Etruscans were a group of agricultural people who evolved into an urban population of craftsmen, traders, and navigators who lived in a network of cities and dominated the area of the Mediterranean around Italy in the 8th and 9th centuries BC. The origins of the Etruscans are lost in prehistory, but the main hypotheses are that they are indigenous, probably stemming from the Villanovan culture, or that they are the result of invasion from the north or the Near East.

    The Etruscan people were very intelligent and always strived to increase their knowledge in a number of areas, such as for example medicine and dentistry. The courage to travel across sea to trade with other civilizations is proof of their industrious and courageous personalities. Archaeological discoveries reveal that their image was important to them and they were the first people were to take basic work in the mouth to a more artistic level. Using the knowledge of dentistry they learned from travel, they began to experiment with filling gold teeth.

    In one preserved mouth, gold bands were wrapped around the teeth and cemented by soldering with heat. Human and animal teeth were used as artificial teeth and held in place by gold bands. Performed around 700 B.C this is the first time in history a form of prosthetics was ever used in the mouth, and would be the only use for many years.

    The Etruscan prostheses were remarkable because they used gold bands which were soldered into rings instead of the gold wires which are seen in other cultures (Egyptians, Phoenicians) of the same time.

    Ancient Greek Dentistry

    Some years ago, a mummy was found with many devastating dental problems. Around 2,100 years ago, at a time when Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of Greek kings, a young wealthy man from Thebes was nearing the end of his life. Rather than age, he may have died from a basic sinus infection caused from a life of painful cavities. The man, whose name is unknown, was in his 20s or early 30s. A modern-day dentist would have a hard time dealing with the young man’s severe condition and one can imagine that the ancient dentist must have felt overwhelmed.

    A 3D reconstruction of the 2,100-year-old mummy’s teeth. They were in horrible shape with “numerous” abscesses and cavities, problems that may have resulted in a sinus infection, possibly fatal.
    Credit: Image courtesy International Journal of Paleopathology.

    Greek dentists struggled to stop and cure his cavities. Linen soaked in medicine was packed in the holes in his teeth in an attempt to relieve the pain. Cloth in the tooth prevented food from entering and festering in the area. Greeks prided themselves in their strength and ability to handle pain. So, when cavities were found in the teeth, Greeks would often deal with the pain rather than have the tooth pulled. Losing a tooth would be a great loss and the pain was a small price to pay, but at the end the ancient dentists failed and the man died.

    When the unknown men died he was mummified, his brain and many of his organs taken out, resin put in and his body wrapped. Curiously, embalmers left his heart inside the body, a sign perhaps of his elite status.

    Dentistry In Ancient China

    The history of dentistry in China is closely aligned with the remarkable developments in Chinese medicine over at least six millennia.

    Rudimentary dental extractions were performed as early as 6000 BC, when the first signs of adornment with human teeth were described. Around 2700 BC ancient Chinese started using used acupuncture to treat pain associated with tooth decay. Doctors in ancient China treated toothaches with arsenic about A.D. 1000. They are also noted for their development of using silver amalgam for filling teeth. The Chinese were particularly advanced in their observation of the oral cavity.

    In an ancient work called the Canon of Medicine, dentistry is discussed.A section of this work is dedicated specifically to mastication and deglutition. The Chinese were also interested in systemic diseases and their connection to oralmanifestations. For example, they recognized that prior to the development of measles, white spots would appear in a person’s oral cavity.  Another significant area of study among Chinese surgeons in Chinese history of dentistry was oral surgery. Scientists have discovered many writings regarding the extraction of teeth and the instruments utilized to perform such tasks.

    The great Sung landscapist Li T’ang depicts a country doctor cauterizing a patient’s
    arm by burning it with the powdered leaves of an aromatic plant. The treatment is
    called Moxibustion , which is widely used along with acupuncture for treatment such as relieving toothache.

    In addition, information has been found in Chinese history of dentistry relating to the abscesses of teeth and other oral structures. The Chinese based many treatments for abscesses on scientific observation. Finally, the Chinese surgeons delved extensively into surgery techniques of the oral cavity..

    There were actually four distinct periods of medical development in China: the Mystical Period; the Golden Period; the Controversial Period; and the Transitional Period. The Golden Period was marked by the appearance of the first textbooks to describe preventive and restorative dental techniques, as well as the first colleges. Dentistry then moved through the dark times of the Controversial Period, when war mongering stymied progress. Lasting until 1800 AD, it came to an end with the domination of Western medicine and dentistry.

    In Mesopotamia Diseases Were Often Blamed On Pre-Existing Spirits And Gods

    Before the advent of the current medical establishment, many ancient cultures had believed that worms were the cause of various illnesses and diseases such as tooth decay known as cavities today.In fact, tooth worms have a long history, first appearing in a Sumerian text around 5,000 BC.

    References to tooth worms can be found in China, Egypt and India long before the belief finally takes root (pun intended) into Western Europe in the 8th century.

    For example, the Chinese believed there were worms in the teeth that caused tooth decay and pain. They had several remedies that they employed successfully to kill these worms.

    The ancient Babylonians had also believed that worms in the form of demons had caused diseases in people.

    In Mesopotamia diseases were blamed on pre-existing spirits and gods. Each spirit was held responsible for only one of what we would call a disease in any one part of the body. So usually “Hand of God X” of the stomach corresponds to what we call a disease of the stomach. A number of diseases simply were identified by names, “bennu” for example.
    Clay tablets contained more than 100,000 cuneiform scripts belonging to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians who lived in Mesopotamia were collected. In 700 BC, Asurbanipal, the Assyrian king, collected these scripts in a library built in Ninova. Among these tablets there were some parts about toothache. The laws of King Hammurabi, which had been responsible for the lack of surgical development, brought social and legal responsibilities to doctors for the first time.

    In Mesopotamia gods and spirits were blamed for diseases.

    Among these rules that reached us today is “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. If the person damaged the tooth of another person of the same social class, then his tooth should be removed. However, if he damaged the tooth of another person of lower social class, he was fined 166 gr of silver to be paid to the other person.

    By examining the surviving medical tablets it is clear that there were two distinct types of professional medical practitioners in ancient Mesopotamia who also treated toothaches.

    The first type of practitioner was the ashipu, in older accounts of Mesopotamian medicine often called a “sorcerer.” One of the most important roles of the ashipu was to diagnose the ailment. In the case of internal diseases, this most often meant that the ashipu determined which god or demon was causing the illness. The ashipu could also attempt to cure the patient by means of charms and spells that were designed to entice away or drive out the spirit causing the disease. The ashipu could also refer the patient to a different type of healer called an asu. He was a specialist in herbal remedies, and in older treatments of Mesopotamian medicine was frequently called “physician” because he dealt in what were often classifiable as empirical applications of medication.

    Dentistry has evolved over time from a rather barbaric practice to a technologically advanced industry. Preventative maintenance such as teeth cleanings help people avoid some of the serious problems that people of the past were faced with when it came to teeth.

    Copyright © AncientPages.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of AncientPages.com

    Expand for references

    References:

    Ancient History Encyclopedia – Etruscan Civilization

    Loevy HT, Kowitz AA. – The dawn of dentistry: dentistry among the Etruscans

    Live Science – Mummy with Mouthful of Cavities Discovered

    Gentle Dental – Ancient Dentistry

    Xu Y1, MacEntee MI. – The roots of dentistry in ancient China

    Dr. Muna –  Chinese history of dentistry

    Smile The Dental Magazine – Dentistry in Ancient Civilizations

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      Introducing LightForce Orthodontics and Its Customized 3D Printed Bracket System

      The LightForce Orthodontics team. L-R: Kelsey Peterson-Fafara, Dr. Alfred Griffin, Craig Sidorchuk, and Dr. Lou Shuman.

      A dental resident walked into a bar full of Harvard graduate students. No, it’s not the beginning of a bad joke, but actually the genesis of venture-backed startup LightForce Orthodontics, which officially launched at this year’s American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Annual Session. The team is making what it calls the world’s first customized 3D printed bracket system for the digital orthodontics field.

      The startup’s founder and CEO, Dr. Alfred Griffin, comes from a long line of dentists, and had just completed a combined dental and PhD program at the Medical University of South Carolina before moving to Boston in 2015 to attend the Harvard School of Dental Medicine for his residency. He wasn’t used to the whiteout conditions of a hard New England winter, and spent a lot of time holed up in his apartment, dreaming up the innovative bracket system.

      Dr. Larry Andrews and A-Company first introduced fully programmed brackets in 1970, and not a lot has changed since then.

      “Standard orthodontic prescriptions are essentially a compromise from the outset,” explained Dr. Griffin in the special edition AAO issue of this year’s Orthodontic Practice US. “They are an “all patients equal” proposition. But no two patients have exactly the same tooth morphology or exactly the same bite. So why would we think they should all have the same ‘ideal’ finish?

      “The concessions with pre-programmed brackets have been imposed by several constraining factors. Two of the primary constraints are inflexible bracket manufacturing technologies and the imprecision of analog treatment planning.”

      It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and takes anywhere from six to twelve months, using injection molding, to create molds for one standard prescription, which is about 20 brackets of different programming and shapes – not a realistic environment for patient-specific customization. So Dr. Griffin turned to 3D printing, which already has many applications in the dental and orthodontics fields, such as creating aligners, molds, implants, dentures, and even braces.

      Most braces are “off the rack,” and even though skilled orthodontists can make this work, Dr. Griffin knew that 3D printing, which is a good fit for custom applications, could be used to make patient-specific braces. So he created a patented system for 3D printed orthodontic treatment brackets, using material nearly identical to injection modeled ceramic brackets but that’s been formulated specifically for 3D printing.

      “Delivering a patient-specific prescription for each case, the LightForce system is unlike anything you’ve ever used,” claims the website. “Each bracket is custom created and 3D-printed, bringing a new level of flexibility and clinical possibilities. This enhances treatment efficiency and minimizes time-consuming adjustments in all phases of treatment.”

      That same snowy winter, Dr. Griffin attended a local happy hour with Harvard graduate students, and after buying a few rounds, explained his idea to the group. Engineer Kelsey Peterson-Fafara immediately recognized the potential, and would soon be employee #1. Not long after LightForce, originally titled Signature Orthodontics, was accepted into the Harvard Innovation Lab accelerator, Dr. Griffin met orthodontist Dr. Lou Shuman, who had been an important member of the executive team for another dental company using 3D printing: Invisalign. He soon asked Dr. Shuman to be the company’s co-founder, and help reach out to the venture capital community.

      LightForce Orthodontics was one of 128 applicants chosen to join the MassChallenge Accelerator program in 2016, and became entrepreneurs-in-residence at the MassChallenge facility, later receiving $50,000 in equity-free financing as one of the 15 winners. The next step was locking down venture capital, but Dr. Griffin didn’t want to work with just anyone – he was looking to change how orthodontics works at a fundamental level, not just for a cash grab. The company’s first major funding came from AM Ventures (AMV), which is dedicated to investing in 3D printing.

      “We wanted a strategic investor — not just someone with money,” Dr. Shuman said. “We wanted expertise in our fundamental technology. AMV was an ideal partner for LightForce.”

      Speaking of expertise, AMV introduced Dr. Griffin and Dr. Shuman to EOS founder and industry pioneer Hans Langer, who believes that LightForce has achieved the two most important components in the future of 3D printing: creating high value customization, and having a market that’s large enough to support it.

      LightForce continued to grow, staying on as Alumni in Residence at MassChallenge through 2017, hiring expert dental software developers, finalizing the bracket design, and receiving FDA clearance for the system. The startup closed its Series A funding round last summer, enjoyed a successful debut at the 2019 AAO Annual Session, and has multiple patients in treatment who wanted to be the first to sport customized, 3D printed braces.

      The brackets can be perfectly contoured to any tooth morphology. The initial system was made to compete with metal brackets, and LightForce is now working on higher-aesthetic options and looking at different materials, as well as perfecting its service and supply chain logistics. It’s a simple three-step digital workflow: scan, create the 3D model, and print. The online interface is intuitive, with cloud-based treatment planning software that allows users to make adjustments directly on the model, before the custom 3D printed appliance is shipped in just 7-10 business days after approval.

      In order to keep up with a changing industry, LightForce’s treatment planning system will keep evolving as necessary. Aligners are becoming more capable, but many orthodontists still use braces for their patients, which is why LightForce is looking at the larger marketplace.

      Dr. Griffin explained, “We don’t want to bring the idea to market and say `here’s how to use it.` We want to bring this to the orthodontist and ask them, ‘What can you do with it?’”

      As direct-to-consumer companies gain popularity, Dr. Griffin wants the startup to acknowledge the expertise of the orthodontic community, and help the field, not just take it over.

      Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

      The post Introducing LightForce Orthodontics and Its Customized 3D Printed Bracket System appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

      This content was originally published here.

      Fauci assures World Health Org. Biden regime is committed to funding abortions

      Big Tech is censoring us. Subscribe to our email list and bookmark LifeSiteNews.com to continue getting our news.  Subscribe now.

      WASHINGTON, D.C., January 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – In comments made to the World Health Organization (WHO) today, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced the Biden regime’s commitment to the promotion of abortion, as well as a new relationship between the United States and the WHO.

      Fauci has been named as Chief Medical Adviser to Joe Biden, who was sworn in as president yesterday, and became Biden’s de facto spokesman to the WHO at the 148th session of the Executive Board of the organization which is currently taking place. Fauci is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who became famous for his constant media appearances during the coronavirus outbreak.

      He made clear that the Biden regime would be very closely aligned with the WHO, noting that Biden had already “signed letters retracting the previous Administration’s announcement to withdraw from the organization.”

      “I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization,” Fauci declared.

      Under Biden’s authority, the U.S will be “fully engaged in advancing global health,” he added, and would “work constructively with partners to strengthen and importantly reform the WHO.”

      However, the newly appointed Chief Medical Adviser also highlighted Biden’s commitment to the promotion of “sexual and reproductive health,” and “reproductive rights,” both of which are common euphemisms for abortion and contraception.

      “And it will be our policy to support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in the United States, as well as globally. To that end, President Biden will be revoking the Mexico City Policy in the coming days, as part of his broader commitment to protect women’s health and advance gender equality at home and around the world.”

      The Mexico City Policy prohibits federal funding of abortion abroad. Under former President Donald Trump, it was expanded into a policy called Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance.

      Biden is very public about his claims of being Catholic, even attending Mass shortly before his inauguration, yet has been very open about his strong support for abortion as well as LGBT ideology. He has called abortion an “essential health service” and wishes to enshrine abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy into federal law.

      Pope Francis extended his congratulations to Biden yesterday, yet did not call mention the issue of abortion in his message.

      In the flurry of executive orders which Biden signed by yesterday evening, he gave permission for gender-confused soldiers to serve openly in the military.

      Aside from committing the U.S. to assist the WHO in funding, and promoting abortion, Fauci repeatedly mentioned the close relationship which would exist between the two going forward. He thanked the WHO for its “role in leading the global public health response to this pandemic,” and assured the organization that that U.S. “intends to fulfill its financial obligations.”

      Trump had defunded the WHO for its botching of the coronavirus response and its close ties to Communist China.

      In a “directive” to be signed by Biden today, Fauci related that the U.S. would “join COVAX and support the ACT-Accelerator to advance multilateral efforts for COVID-19 vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic distribution, equitable access, and research and development.”

      “We will commit to building global health security capacity, expanding pandemic preparedness, and supporting efforts to strengthen health systems around the world and to advance the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added, referring to the U.N.’s 2030 pro-abortion goals.

      Despite advocating for a renewed focus on promoting abortion and contraception, Fauci closed his speech by claiming that the U.S. would work to “improve the health and wellbeing of all people throughout the world.”

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      Joe Biden picks transgender woman for assistant health secretary / LGBTQ Nation

      “Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond,” Biden said in a statement. “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”

      If both are confirmed, Levine will serve under California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra, who has been nominated to the position of secretary of HHS.

      Nominating Levine signals the importance of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic for the Biden administration. As surgeon general of the state of Pennsylvania, she has led the state’s response to the pandemic, at times facing heavy criticism – and straight-up transphobia – from conservatives in her state.

      “Dr. Rachel Levine is a remarkable public servant with the knowledge and experience to help us contain this pandemic, and protect and improve the health and well-being of the American people,” said Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in a statement. “President-elect Biden and I look forward to working with her to meet the unprecedented challenges facing Americans and rebuild our country in a way that lifts everyone up.”

      Her appointment also signals the incoming Biden administration’s commitment to end attacks on LGBTQ health. HHS was at the center of numerous attacks on LGBTQ people during the Trump administration.

      HHS spent the last four years attempting to roll back LGBTQ protections based on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act so that health care providers could more easily discriminate; rolling back anti-LGBTQ discrimination protections for the recipients of HHS grant money, funds that often go to adoption and fostering agencies as well as health care and homelessness programs; redefining “gender” to mean “sex assigned at birth” in order to legally erase transgender identity; scrubbed LGBTQ health care information from its website; and stopped funding HIV/AIDS research that involves fetal tissue, which is necessary for many aspects of HIV/AIDS research.

      While she has been confirmed three times by the GOP-controlled state senate during her tenure at Pennsylvania’s Department of Health, she faced an unprecedented deluge of transphobic attacks this past year as she tried to get Pennsylvanians to wear masks and practice social distancing.

      Last year, an evangelical minister exhorted his followers to “rise up” and “chase” the doctor out of the state. He repeatedly referred to her as “it,” “a man,” and a “freak transvestite.”

      “You are absolutely insane if you let that transvestite freak rule your life,” pastor Rick Wiles screamed. “You’re going to that transvestite freak? Seriously?”

      In July, a Pennsylvania tavern apologized for a transphobic menu item designed to taunt Dr. Levine. And around the same time, a popular Pennsylvania fair, the Bloomsburg Fair, used a Dr. Levine “impersonator” (which was a man in a wig and a dress) in their dunk tank and published a mocking Facebook post about it.

      Leaders of both the fair and tavern apologized, but Dr. Levine still felt it was important to address the transphobia directly at one of her daily briefings.

      “I want to emphasize that while these individuals may think that they are only expressing their displeasure with me, they are in fact hurting the thousands of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians who suffered directly from these current demonstrations of harassment,” she said during her July 28 briefing. “Your actions perpetuate the spirit of intolerance and discrimination against LGBTQ individuals and specifically transgender individuals.”

      This content was originally published here.

      Dentistry: Root canal work not so bad after all — ScienceDaily

      Dr Tallan Chew, postgraduate student, Adelaide Dental School, University of Adelaide co-authored the study.

      “Information about 1096 randomly selected Australian people aged 30-61 was collected through questionnaires, dental records and treatment receipts in 2009. Their self-rated dental health score was checked when they had their dental work and two years later,” she says.

      “Patients who had root canal work reported similar oral health-related quality of life as people who had other types of dental work.

      “The effect of root canal work on patients’ oral health-related quality of life was compared to other kinds of dental work such as tooth extraction, restoration of teeth, repairs to the teeth or gum treatment, preventative treatment and cleaning.”

      Every year millions of root canal treatments are performed globally (more than 22 million in the USA alone), which may have a profound positive effect on the quality of life of patients. A root canal treatment repairs and saves a tooth that is badly decayed or is infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Most people associate having root canal work with a lot of pain and discomfort.

      “There is growing interest in the dental profession to better understand the effect and impact oral diseases and their associated treatment, such as root canal work, have on patients’ quality of life,” says Professor Giampiero Rossi-Fedele, Head of Endodontics at Adelaide Dental School, University of Adelaide who co-authored the study.

      “A biopsychosocial view of health is increasingly replacing a purely biomedical model.

      “Treatment outcomes need to be re-examined from a patient-based perspective using self-reported measures as this more accurately reflects the patients’ perception of treatment outcomes and the effect it has on their overall well-being.

      “Patient-reported treatment outcomes are now the principle driving force behind treatment needs, as opposed to clinician-based treatment outcomes.

      “With this change in emphasis, the perspectives of patients and their relatives are important factors in identifying need for treatment, treatment planning, and determining outcomes from any health care intervention as part of shared decision making,” says Professor Rossi-Fedele.

      This content was originally published here.

      Mental Health Tips for the Holidays | Intuit®: Official Blog

      The holidays are just around the corner and while often considered a joyous season, we know that this year may be especially difficult. When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. 

      We want to help! That’s why we’ve partnered with our Intuit Abilities Network to share some actionable tips to help minimize holiday stress: 

      Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few favorites to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. Find new ways to celebrate together, such as setting up a date for a video call, or exchanging favorite photos from throughout the year.

      Maintain healthy habits. Find ways to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine. Try out some new recipes, keep a glass of water nearby to help you stay hydrated and don’t forget to move your body daily. Whether its enjoying a light walk around your neighborhood or exploring a new park, getting some exercise while enjoying some fresh air can help lift your spirits while mixing up your day.

      Take a breather. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, be sure to take some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may help refresh you enough to handle everything on your to do list. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm. This could include listening to your favorite music, reading a book, meditating, writing down the things you’re most grateful for or even exploring a new hobby.

      Acknowledge your feelings. If you can’t be with loved ones, acknowledge that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. Don’t feel like you have to force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season. 

      Seek help from a professional. You still may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, feeling physically exhausted, unable to sleep, irritable, and/or unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, remember that it’s ok to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. If you or a loved one is experiencing emotional distress, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7 support. Call 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential help. 

      At Intuit, we celebrate diversity and value inclusion. We strive to ensure employees and their families have access to the support they need through comprehensive global benefits programs and initiatives like our Employee Resource Groups. 

      It’s ok to not feel perfect during the holidays. Remember that this time is fleeting and make sure you take the time you need to take care of yourself.

      Share this:

      This content was originally published here.

      How Young Can Kids Get Braces? An Orthodontist Weighs In

      Youve adored your childs goofy grin since forever. Then, those beautiful little baby teeth fall out and in come the permanent ones. If your kids teeth begin to grow in crooked or flaring, you might find yourself thinking about correcting that dental dilemma. So how young can your child get braces if it turns out they might need it not only for a straight smile, but also help the way they might eat and speak.

      “The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children have their first orthodontic consultation at the age of seven, Dr. Erika Faust, an orthodontist at Elite Orthodontics in New York City, tells Romper. By this age, your childs first adult molars have appeared and her permanent bite has been established. So, if there is any deviation from a normal bite we can take steps to correct it early. Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as correcting a thumb-sucking habit or for a patient who might need to learn proper tongue placement while swallowing, reported the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO).

      During an initial visit, there are some things that orthodontists look for to see if getting braces at an early age might be necessary. At the first consultation, we determine if there are any severe bite or alignment issues that need to be immediately addressed, and if so, we begin treatment, says Dr. Faust. In many cases, more moderate orthodontic treatment is recommended and the patient can wait until most baby teeth have come out. That said, an early intervention procedure might be performed prior to getting braces, such as removing a baby tooth, so that a permanent tooth can take its place. Orthodontists also evaluate for proper tooth development and eruption to make sure that all of the permanent teeth are coming in properly. Thats why taking your child to the orthodontist for an initial appointment sooner rather than later can help determine if early intervention methods might be necessary.

      In most cases, braces go on around ages 11-13. At this point, pretty much all of your childs baby teeth will have fallen out and hell have his permanent ones. And thats when you might start seeing superficial issues, like crowding or crooked teeth. But theres a small window when orthodontics will work, and thats mostly due to your child’s age and attitude. Starting treatment later than ages 11-13 risks poorer patient cooperation and the likelihood that treatment wont be finished before important life events like senior pictures, prom, and graduation, explains Dr. Faust. That’s why it’s best for your child to brace himself (ha) and get braces before becoming a full-blown teenager.

      But having straight teeth isnt the only end goal of electing to get braces. Proper orthodontic treatment can allow your child to chew and eat correctly as well as speak more clearly. Jaw discrepancies are corrected much easier and faster in growing children than in adults, says Dr. Faust. Neglecting these issues can result in the need for a much longer time in braces in adolescence, extraction of permanent teeth, and in severe cases, jaw surgery later in life.

      Getting braces is almost a rite of passage in the tween years. While most children should be assessed during their elementary school years, middle school is often when many kids begin orthodontic treatment. And before you know it, your child’s smile will be picture-perfect once again.

      This content was originally published here.

      Unarmed Black Pastor Having Mental Health Episode Is Killed By ‘Aggressive’ Texas Police Officer After Family Called for Wellness Check

      A wellness check for Patrick Warren Sr., a Black pastor, turned fatal Sunday, Jan. 10, when an officer in Killeen, Texas, shot Warren after his family had called 911 to request assistance from a mental health professional. The family was concerned that 52-year-old Warren, who lives with mental health issues, was having an episode, according to civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the family.

      “They noticed their loved one deteriorating, undergoing some sort of psychosis it appeared,” Merritt said in an exclusive interview with ABC25. “They spoke with medical professionals. They wanted to get him some help.”

      According to Merritt, the family was told a mental health deputy was not available so the police department dispatched an officer who has been identified as Reynaldo Contreras instead.

      Merritt said the family described Contreras as “an aggressive officer who’s speaking in an abrasive tone who clearly had an attitude.” Merritt also said Contreras slammed the door on the way out of the family’s home before killing Warren, which is corroborated by video footage from the family’s ring camera.

      The video footage shows Warren, who also was a veteran, coming out of the door with his hands up. Then his behavior seems to become increasingly more erratic. At that point Warren goes offscreen and the family can be seen in distress asking Warren to sit down and begging the officer not to shoot. However, a taser can be heard being deployed off-camera followed by three shots. “No, no I told you don’t use a gun,” a family member screams over and over on the video.

      “When Patrick’s family protested, ‘Don’t shoot,’ an officer fired his first shot into Patrick and redirected his weapon toward Patrick’s wife, Barbara, telling her to get back from Patrick. The officer again trains his weapon on Patrick’s body and continues to fire his weapon, killing him,” a press release from Merritt’s firm states.

      Warren was taken to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center where he later died. Merritt said the family is calling for “the immediate firing and arrest of the officer.” Warren’s son, Patrick Warren Jr., said Warren was “tragically killed by Killeen Police … in front of his family in a nonviolent encounter.”

      Warren Jr. created a GoFundMe campaign to assist with funeral expenses. On it, he noted his father was the “sole provider” for their family and had lost his job due to the coronavirus pandemic. He added his father’s life insurance policy had expired three months prior and that the family would be grateful for any contribution. The campaign had raised over $34,000 at time of publication.

      Warren Jr. also created an Instagram account, Justice For Patrick Warren. It had over 3,000 followers at time of publication.

      Patrick Warren,sr Husband Father and Pastor Was shot and killed by local police in his front yard he was unarmed #BLM #BlackTwitter pic.twitter.com/HhOjzOXuNV

      — Ananda Robinson (@AnandaRobinson3)

      The Killeen Police Department released a statement that said Contreras was dispatched “in reference to a psychiatric call” and when he arrived “he encountered an emotionally distressed man.” They added Contreras initially used his taser but it didn’t work so he “then discharged his duty weapon during the encounter, striking the subject.”

      Dr. Jeremy Berry, professor of Counseling and Psychology and a mental health crisis advocate, said there was a way to deescalate the situation without killing Warren.

      “I’ve been on calls that looked exactly like that, hundreds of them, and I know that there’s a way that that plays out better. I know there is. I’ve seen it. I’ve been involved in it,” Berry told ABC25. “There are other methods to address that situation that might not require someone to lose their life.”

      Activist Shaun King, who said he has gotten involved with helping the Warren family, shared video footage of the encounter on Instagram. He described Warren as “a pastor … beloved father” and “cherished husband.”

      On Twitter, Merritt said Warren Sr. was “killed in his front lawn during a wellness check. Shot 3 times in his chest for being ill.” He also listed eight other Black men who were killed by police for similar reasons.

      Everyone must say #PatrickWarrensr’s name. He was killed in his front lawn during a wellness check. Shot 3 times in his chest for being ill. Just like #DariusTarver#StephenTaylor #DamianDaniels🇺🇸 #EverettPalmerJr🇺🇸#BrandonRoberts #DewayneBowman#AdrianRoberts🇺🇸#toomany pic.twitter.com/Z2pAautKWS

      — S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw)

      Many on social media said Warren’s death was another painful reminder that Black and white Americans face two justice systems.

      “Wow all that restraint the police had with thousands of aggressors in my city but this officer couldn’t handle one man coming towards him,” Instagram user @mealnin_monroe wrote.

      “We saw last week it’s possible for police to not kill aggressive people. Even actually attacking people. But a family calls for HELP for a mental episode and this unarmed man is shot in the chest and dies. Like…..I OBVIOUSLY get it, but I don’t f—ing get it,” user @Nikkilooovesit wrote on Twitter.

      The Killeen Police Department said there is an ongoing investigation being conducted by their Criminal Investigation Division and the Texas Rangers.

      For Merritt, the evidence is clear. “A mental health call should not be a death sentence,” he said.

      This content was originally published here.

      Magic City Dentistry owner Dr. G. Robin Pruitt, Jr. puts FUN in your dental visit

      Sponsored

      Dr. Robin Pruitt. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

      Earlier this year, after realizing that the dental needs of patients were not being met in downtown Birmingham, Dr. Robin Pruitt finding this unacceptable, decided to open up a second office, Magic City Dentistry, on 1st Avenue North between 20th and 21st Street next to the Atomic Lounge. And, this is anything but your typical dentist office!

      Nearly 25 years of experience

      A dentist, doctor, and surgeon, Dr. Pruitt has been practicing dentistry for nearly 25 years at his practice, Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics.

      “I went to undergraduate and dental school at UAB. Immediately after I graduated, I purchased an existing practice from Dr. Joe Schilleci. He was going to stay with me for 7 months, but he stayed a little bit longer, about 19 years,” said Dr. Pruitt with a chuckle.

      UAB School of Dentistry Interim Dean, Dr. Michelle Robinson and Dr. Robin Pruitt

      As owner of Magic City Dentistry, Dr. Pruitt wanted to establish a new dental office downtown that was anything but ordinary. He wanted patients to begin to actually like going to the dentist. He wanted his patients to “EXPERIENCE SOMETHING DIFFERENT”

      “Your average dental office does what I call your basic “bread and butter” dentistry – your fillings, crowns and cleanings,” stated Pruitt. “When it comes to having teeth surgically removed, sedating patients, root canals, implants surgically placed, gum work and major cosmetic dentistry, most dentists refer that out. Most doctors haven’t received the advanced training in dental school needed to proficiently perform these complex procedures.

      What I realized a long time ago is that if you are good at what you do and your patients like you, then they want to stay with you. They don’t want to bounce around and be sent to multiple different doctors. I also learned that in general, no one likes going to the dentist. It’s not a massage day. It’s not a mani-pedi. It’s not a day at the hair salon. So understanding this principle and making the visit to the dentist as enjoyable as possible is what my offices strive for each day as our number one priority.”

      A Broad Practice

      Over the years, Dr. Pruitt broadened his practice learning, training and techniques especially with all of the things they didn’t teach in dental school like taking wisdom teeth out, learning how to sedate patients, training to become an expert in implantology (implant placement), and with cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics such as Botox and dermal fillers.

      “We have patients everyday of the week, male and female, who are in for their regular cleanings and then they stay for a few extra minutes to do Botox,” added Pruitt. “We do a little bit more than just regular dentistry in both my offices. Downtown at Magic City Dentistry and in Vestavia Hills, we do cosmetic dentistry, implant placement, sedation, Zoom whitening, veneers and all types of oral surgery including wisdom teeth. Patients are constantly asking us to change their smile with cosmetic dentistry and Dr. Sollenberger and I do a beautiful job at that”

      Passing down love of dentistry to his children

      What makes Magic City Dentistry and Dr. Pruitt’s practice in Vestavia special is his love of dentistry. His own personal example has led two of his three sons to choose dentistry for their career.

      “I have three sons, 19, 21 and 23 years old. All my sons know, I love what I do career-wise, and never have I said you have got to do this as your profession. But my oldest son Carson is in his 2nd year of dental school. My middle son Chance who is a senior at Auburn, is in the process of interviewing at different dental schools, and hopefully he will be starting dental school in the Fall. My youngest son Cam, who is 19, is starting off as a sophomore at Auburn in business and engineering, but who knows if he’ll end up in dentistry. As my wife says, they all act just like you Robin! I’m not sure if she means that as a compliment. Ha Ha!”

      Dr. Pruitt’s practice in Vestavia Hills is located in The C.A.P. Stone Building on Columbiana Road. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

      “They see their dad loves to do what he does. I don’t come home and complain about my work. I enjoy seeing the patients, I enjoy making a difference in another individuals life, I enjoy my interactions with people everyday and I love wearing a lot of hats everyday.”

      Carson, Kelly, Chance & Cam Pruitt

      Along with his two dental offices, Dr. Pruitt provides consulting to multiple different Dental offices across the state and owns a dental assistant school that trains about 100 dental assistants a year.

      He is a big supporter of the UAB School of Dentistry. He lectures as a volunteer during the school year, and annually hosts along with his wife Kelly, a reception for the school’s Dean, faculty and students at his home. He also regularly travels to Guatemala, to perform much needed dental work and provides oral surgery advanced training to Guatemalan dentists in that country’s impoverished communities.

      Dr. Pruitt and his middle son, Chance last year in Guatemala
      Dr. Pruitt also makes the occasional “house call” when a patient is physically unable to leave their home, to help them out when they are in pain.

      Magic City Dentistry, a Special Vibe

      Dr. Pruitt is especially proud of his Magic City Dentistry office. Built to fit the vibe and feel of the downtown Birmingham scene. The place, with its urbane design, loft appearance and exposed brick walls, looks more like an art gallery than a dental office. In fact, two open house-like events have already been held since July exhibiting the works of local artists John Lytle Wilson and Paul Cordes Wilm.

      Dr. Pruitt, Kelly and Kevin Casey at MCD’s second Art Exhibit last month.
      EXPERIENCE SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!

      Most importantly, Magic City Dentistry offers much needed affordable dental services, in the downtown area.

      Pruitt summed the new office up best, “We Made it FUN!”

      That seems to be the secret of Dr. Pruitt’s success. Having fun, loving what you do and making a difference in other people’s lives.

      Sponsored by:

      The post Magic City Dentistry owner Dr. G. Robin Pruitt, Jr. puts FUN in your dental visit appeared first on Bham Now.

      This content was originally published here.

      Megachurches fined for violating public health orders » Albuquerque Journal

      A social media post on Reddit discussing a Christmas Day service at Legacy Church in Albuquerque. (Source: Reddit)

      They sat close together — hundreds of them — holding candles in the cavernous sanctuary of Legacy Church on Christmas Day, few of them appearing to wear masks.

      Photos and video of that gathering and a Christmas Eve service at Calvary Church have drawn public outrage on social media and on Monday the state Department of Health notified the two churches that they were each being fined $5,000 for violating New Mexico’s public health orders. Those orders, aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, limit occupancy of churches and other public spaces, mandate the wearing of masks and urge social distancing.

      The DOH notice said that in addition to the $5,000 fines, “other remedies against the same conduct” will be taken as allowed by state statute, although these were not detailed.

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      A spokesman for the governor blasted the churches for the “illegal and selfish gatherings,” saying they “will directly contribute to more suffering and illness in our state.”

      But the churches are pushing back.

      Legacy Church, in a statement, accused state officials of trampling on their rights.

      “We have taken the pandemic seriously from the start, and have prudent measures in place. But when governments exceed their constitutional authority and contradict what we are called on by God to do, we answer first to His authority.”

      Calvary’s chief Pastoral Officer, Neil Oritz, explained that the church “experienced a significant attendance on one of the most celebrated and sacred days of our Christian faith.” In response to the large turnout, the church “chose not to break fellowship with any worshiper by requiring them to leave the gathering of their church family.”

      Ortiz maintained that Calvary continued “to urge and provide opportunity for our congregants to maintain safe social distance, wear face coverings, and properly sanitize.”

      Church seating at Calvary, he said, was staggered with every other row cordoned off, indoor overflow rooms and an outdoor screen were provided, and masks were handed out to those who did not have one as they entered.

      Tripp Stelnicki, a spokesman for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, said the parishioners and leaders of the two churches violated both the state’s public health order “and common sense.”

      “They endangered the lives livelihoods and health of not only their parishioners but their entire communities — and given how quickly this virus can spread, potentially our state as a whole.”

      Stelnicki went on to say that while all New Mexicans wish that the pandemic was over, it clearly is not and no pastor “may deem it so.”

      “These church leaders should reflect on the danger they’ve unleashed in their communities,” he said.

      As of Monday, the virus had already infected more than 138,000 state residents and killed 2,380.

      Many people in the community blasted the churches on social media.

      “Albuquerque, here’s our next super-spreader event,” said one person.

      “You should all be ashamed of yourselves,” wrote another. “So many of us are giving up so much to care for each other, only to have people like you throw our efforts away by callously disregarding all public health guidelines (and the law).”

      A few defended the churches, with one person posting, “You understand Jesus is bigger than Covid, right?”

      Ortiz acknowledged that some will disagree with the decisions made by Calvary’s spiritual leaders.

      “We do care about people’s physical health, and we take great precautions,” he said. “… At the same time, we believe that people can be responsible adults and make their own choices about their life and health and that of their families.”

      The large turnout for their Christmas service indicates “the deep conviction many people have that corporate worship is essential and that as long as health considerations are maintained, it is safe and necessary to worship their God.”

      New Mexico has adopted a three-tiered color system to show the infection rate in different counties, with green being the lowest percentage of infections, increasing to yellow and then red, with the highest — which is the current status statewide.

      Under the state’s pandemic public health mandates, as long as New Mexico hovers in the red zone, churches may not have in-person services that exceed 25% of the fire marshal’s rated occupancy for that space.

      In April, Legacy Church filed a lawsuit against then-New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel and the state of New Mexico, maintaining that the public health orders violated the church’s religious freedoms.

      U.S. District Judge James O. Browning in July handed down a ruling in that lawsuit, saying the state has the right to ban large gatherings in houses of worship during a public health crisis, and that the public health orders neither violated the church’s free exercise rights nor its assembly clause rights.

      Further, Browning ruled, that the public health orders “are unrelated to the suppression of speech or religion, serve a compelling state interest, and significantly less restrictive alternatives are not available.”

      This content was originally published here.

      Candid adds connected device to remote orthodontics – MedCity News

      The ScanBox connected device helps to monitor patients who are using aligners virtually.

      The device looks like a virtual-reality headset. But instead of covering people’s eyes, it peers into their mouths.

      A teledentistry startup — Candid — hopes the device can give it an edge in the crowded field of straightening people’s teeth.

      The company is one of several offering clear teeth aligners and treatment plans to match. This year the company has been field-testing a technology called Dental Monitoring that involves handing patients a connected device, called a ScanBox. The device connects to a patient’s smartphone, captures images and sends them to a remote orthodontist. The uploaded images also are scanned using an AI algorithm that can track a patient’s progress, assess their oral hygiene and detect any potential health issues, such as visible cavities or gingival recession.

      Patients are asked to send images every seven to 10 days, more often than they would go for checkups at a traditional orthodontist, said Dr. Lynn Hurst, chief dental officer for Candid, in a phone interview.

      Hurst, who is based in Austin, Texas, had been using an earlier version of the technology in his own practice since 2016. The introduction of the ScanBox has made it easier to use, he said.

      “It’s extremely robust,” Hurst said.

      Based in New York City, Candid was founded in 2017 and features a network of several dozen orthodontists. Some patients may be assessed in one of Candid’s retail studios in major cities like Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego and Seattle. Others come through online channels.

      An orthodontist reviews each patient’s case, determines whether they are eligible for treatment and, if so, comes up with a treatment plan. The aligners are then mailed to patients, who generally must be at least 16 years old and have mild to moderate alignment issues. Orthodontists monitor their treatment.

      Altogether, the program costs about one-third as much as traditional teeth straightening, said Nick Greenfield, Candid’s president and CEO.

      Dental Monitoring will add a couple hundred dollars to the price. But patients using the ScanBox have been more likely to stick to their treatment plans and complete their plans more quickly, Greenfield said in a phone interview. Compliance typically is around 80% range. Patients on Dental Monitoring were 95% compliant, he said. And their treatment time was 27% shorter on average.

      The company evaluated other devices but its orthodontists liked the Dental Monitoring program best. The ScanBox and the program are the products of a company itself called Dental Monitoring.

      “For us it was a really exciting opportunity,” Greenfield said, adding that Candid’s goal is to make care safe, accessible and affordable.

      The global market for clear aligners is valued at roughly $2.2 billion but is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2026, according to a report by Fortune Business Insights. Candid has plenty of company in the market. There are Invisalign clear aligners made by Align Technology Inc. and mail-order provider SmileDirectClub Inc. SmileDirectClub went public this year but has faced criticism, as has remote orthodontics in general. The American Association of Orthodontists has issued a consumer alert on direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies.

      However, Candid executives defended their approach saying that it exceeds the standard of care offered in bricks-and-mortar offices.

      “Not only am I doing what they’re doing in their practices, I’m actually going beyond that,” said Hurst, a co-founder of Candid. He sees patients through the Candid platform and noted that it is designed and implemented by orthodontists themselves.

      “I think that’s extremely critical,” Hurst said. “We’re the experts in that space.”

      Hurst was one of five orthodontists in the Candid network who field-tested the Dental Monitoring program. It was offered first to patients who came in through Candid’s studios, where aides could train patients in using the ScanBox. In early 2020 it will be available to patients online.

      The program also could allow Candid to expand into moderate and moderate-to-severe cases of misaligned teeth, a condition known as malocclusion, Hurst said.

      For now, he said, “We’re just choosing to stay in the shallow end of the pool.”

      Hurst said his practice also has been testing remote services for patients under 16, though it means ensuring parents are on board as well.

      So far Hurst has tested starting treatment of children with in-person consults at a Candid studio and with remote consults via audio-video conference. Those have gone well, he said. The next step is to start treatment entirely online, where a patient uploads information and waits for the orthodontist’s response and treatment plan.

      “Ultimately our patients will tell us, and our parents will tell us, does that make them comfortable,” Hurst said.

      Photo: Candid

      CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story wrongly identified the chief dental officer of Candid. His name is Lynn Hurst and not Nick Hurst. The company is based in New York, not Austin.

      This content was originally published here.

      Andrew Pollack: Our Public Health Officials Have Literally Lied to Us in Order To Kill Us

      Anthony Fauci is a liar.

      We know this because he has told us so.

      Fauci told us that masks don’t work. His exact words were “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” Then he told us that everyone should wear masks. He then explained that he was lying when he said we shouldn’t, apparently in order to preserve masks for medical professionals.

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      Fauci told us that to get to herd immunity, maybe 60 percent of Americans would need to be vaccinated. Then he told us that nearly 90 percent would need to take the vaccine. He then explained that he really thought 90 percent the whole time, but was lying to the American people earlier based on what he thought they could handle.

      Despite these lies, Fauci remains a sort of cultic hero figure to millions of American liberals.

      Some people, I guess, don’t mind being lied to as long as it’s being done for their own good.

      The thinking goes: “Fauci might not be necessarily telling us the truth at any given moment, but he’s surely not just lying in order to maintain a dopamine high from steady CNN hits. No, he has a wide view of the situation, and if he misleads the public with lies it’s really in order to manipulate Americans to think or act in ways that will save the most lives.”

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      And maybe that’s true. I’ve never met the man, and can’t tell you what’s really in his heart. But, unfortunately, I can tell you that our public health officials don’t always lie to us in order to save lives. Sometimes, they lie to us in an effort to kill us.

      That might sound a little crazy. But it’s an entirely fair description of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s original recommendations regarding who to prioritize for vaccination.

      Do you think public health officials have repeatedly lied to the American people?
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      The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Protocols recognized that vaccinating the elderly first would save more lives, but recommended that we should vaccinate essential workers first because – and this is really true – the elderly are disproportionately white so allowing more of them to die would decrease racial disparities.

      Liberal journalist Matt Yglesias pointed out that because the elderly are at such dramatically higher risk, the CDC’s original plan would have led to more deaths of black and brown people.

      The CDC knew that, and recommended it anyway, because it would lead to even more dead white people. As one Ivy League professor put it: “Older populations are whiter. … Instead of giving additional health benefits to those who already had more of them, we can start to level the playing field a bit.”

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      To be clear: By “level the playing field” he means killing people — or at least allowing them to be more likely to die — based on their race.

      As Washington Free Beacon editor Aaron Sibarium pointed out in his in-depth analysis of this controversy, the CDC lied along the way to issuing this recommendation.

      Officials in the Department of Health and Human Services and the president of the American Geriatric society both registered strong objections against plans that would not prioritize the elderly, who were at the most risk.

      The CDC took their statements entirely out of context, and slapped them onto a table in such a way as to make it look like they were both actually against vaccinating the elderly first.

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      As Sibarium wrote, “The CDC committee thus took two statements that championed the interests of the elderly and used them to justify a plan that would disproportionately kill senior citizens.”

      The fact that our public health officials have proven themselves willing to lie in order to promote a plan that would kill more of us ought to shock and appall every American. But it won’t.

      Because, you see, they are “experts.” And the co-chair of Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board commended the CDC for its plan, saying that the experts took “political interference out of the process,” and showed a “grounding in inequity.”

      I can understand people who don’t mind being lied to as long as they believe it’s being done to save more lives. But it has become apparent that millions of American liberals don’t mind being lied to even when it’s being done in an effort to kill their friends and family.

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      It’s a mental illness that I can’t really explain to you and that I certainly don’t know how to treat. But anybody who still holds up people like Anthony Fauci and our public health establishment as heroes really ought to have their head examined.

      The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

      We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

      This content was originally published here.

      iTero Element® Scanner Digital Applications for Comprehensive Dentistry. – Oral Health Group

      The unexpected evolution of oral health.

      Throughout a dental career, it is inevitable to experience moments we wish we could take back, re-do or have another chance. Expressed in words of wisdom offered by Bill Gates, “It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”1 The dental hygienist is a primary educator and advocate of patient oral health; a periodontal therapist focused on keeping the integrity of soft tissue, bone, and teeth. If given the time, tools and opportunity, we can likely recall a few, (if not several) patients we wish we could retreat, spend more time educating or complete a more thorough evaluation.

      The following case demonstrates how traditional data collection for healthy patients can overlook valuable information over time. Kathy is an existing patient of 10 years. She is happy with her smile, and as a young, accomplished adult she does not have any dental concerns. Historically Kathy has minimal restorative dentistry and previous orthodontic treatment with fixed brackets and wires. Although her original orthodontic treatment was nearly 15 years ago, she still maintains a fixed lower lingual wire. Kathy schedules routine preventive dental hygiene appointments that include radiographs as prescribed, periodontal charting and digital imaging in the form of photography and intraoral camera use. Her dental chart sings praises of healthy tissue color and tone with minimal scanty deposits at every visit.

      In 2016, at Kathy’s bi-annual dental hygiene appointment, the dental hygienist of record notes that Kathy has not had any digital photographs taken in 9-years. Annual full-mouth comprehensive periodontal charting and routine bitewing radiographs throughout the 9-years showed little changes to the overall dental hygiene assessment, treatment plan, implementation, and evaluation.

      “Shocked” is an understatement when the dental hygienist viewed the pictures of Kathy’s teeth from 2007 and 2016 side by side (Figures 1,2). Many questions surfaced “Why?”, “How?” and “When?” did this happen?

      Fig. 1

      Fig. 2

      The photographs provided evidence that Kathy’s oral environment had changed. The dental hygienist expressed her concern that Kathy’s teeth were shifting and gums were receding regardless of her fixed orthodontic retainer and good oral self-care habits. Fifty percent of adults between 18-64 years of age present with recession; studies show causes of gingival recession include: trauma, male gender, malpositioned teeth, inflammation, and tobacco consumption.2 Previous notes indicated that orthodontics was suggested at the initial onset of recession however Kathy did not understand the value of treatment as her smile looked fine and she already had braces in the past. The dental hygienist suggests taking an intraoral digital scan with the iTero Element® scanner to do a bite analysis.

      The dental hygienist explains to Kathy that the color map of the Occlusogram allows for easy identification of the size of tooth contact, location, symmetry, and intensity of her bite. It provides an instant, relatable visual to the patient to be able to see areas at risk, create awareness and determine interest for prevention strategies. Today’s patients seek a customized experience. Leveraging technology helps make the complicated and sometimes overwhelming diagnosis more manageable and easier to understand. An iTero Element® scan can be captured and processed within minutes for use as an immediate chairside education tool. Existing patient scans can also be accessed using myiTero.com on an operatory computer with internet access; both formats allow access to the Viewer tool and Occlusogram.

      Let’s look at Kathy’s Occlusogram (Figure 3). With its intuitive visuals, it was easy to explain how the misplaced pressure on the buccal inclines of the maxillary posterior teeth and buccal surfaces of the mandibular posterior teeth (non-working cusps) could contribute to the collapsing of Kathy’s arch forms, increasing horizontal force vectors and placing additional strain along the gum line due to improper axial stimulation. Vertical forces are less harmful because they provide axial stimulation to the teeth and bone while horizontal forces are extremely damaging via torqueing and off-loading.3 We explain to Kathy, that although her bite is fairly evenly distributed across her back teeth, the pressures are too heavy and not ideally positioned. By looking at the occlusal views, Kathy can also appreciate that the overall arch form has changed since completing her initial orthodontic treatment years ago, setting the stage to show Kathy what can be done to minimize the risk for additional recession.

      Fig. 3

      The iTero Element intraoral scanner offers proprietary software to engage and educate patients about their current dental condition and possible outcomes with clear aligner therapy. To help Kathy comprehend and visualize the goals of treatment, we utilize the Invisalign® Outcome Simulator (Figures 4 and 5). By placing a picture of Kathy’s current dentition next to the simulated outcome, she can see the projected changes to correct the lingual inclinations of her posterior teeth significantly reducing the risk for future gum recession and the overall change in the arch form. The dental hygienist invites the doctor to review and re-enforce her findings.

      Fig. 4

      Fig. 5

      With practice and teamwork, the dental hygienist and dentist collaborate to assess and diagnose the malocclusion. These conversations are most impactful when supportive and co-operative relationships exist between the dental hygienist and dentist. The dentist continues the conversation by explaining how utilizing clear aligner therapy to position the teeth and the bite correctly would make a difference in Kathy’s overall health, stability, and longevity of her teeth and gums. Providing orthodontic treatment on the ground of deleterious effect of malocclusion and mal-positioned teeth on periodontal condition is justified.4 Cultivating a collaborative effort between the dental hygienist and dentist builds patient confidence and increases treatment acceptance.

      Kathy underwent 82-weeks* of clear aligner therapy. By up-righting, the posterior sextants the arch form changed from an omega-shape to a broad, wide arch. The first molar width increased from 27mm to 34mm increasing the overall oral volume. The bite forces were redistributed to support good future teeth, bone and gum health by eliminating deleterious horizontal force vectors. These TimeLapse images (Figures 6 and 7) show how despite re-positioning of the teeth, no additional recession resulted. The dental hygienist will be able to utilize future scans to monitor the existing recession and ensure no “surprises” happen again! Best of all, Kathy feels that her smile is more beautiful and confident than ever (Figures 8 and 9).

      Fig. 6

      Fig. 8

      Fig. 9

      In summary, periodontal disease will become more evident once complete records are part of the dental hygiene process of care. Patients must understand their periodontal status to make good health care decisions. When we can perform to the highest standards of our profession, everyone benefits including the patient, the practice, and dental professionals. The periodontal exam is not optional; it is the foundation of how we treat patients today to protect their oral and overall health for the future. However, what is the most valuable records we can accumulate in order to monitor the progression of periodontal disease? With the iTero Element® scanner, dental hygienists can have confidence with data collection and analysis in the form of the Occlusogram, Invisalign® Outcome Simulator and TimeLapse technology to provide exceptional periodontal therapy and recommendations as the oral environment evolves.

      Dr. Dana Colson practices wellness-based dentistry in midtown Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 1977. Dr. Colson holds accreditation in several professional organizations, including the ODA, CDA, IAOMT and HAPA. She is a graduate of both the Pankey Institute and a current Mentor at the Kois Center in Seattle. In 2016, she graduated from Rotman Business School, University of Toronto with a global MBA and an eMBA from St. Gallen, Switzerland. Dr. Colson has authored the book, “Your Mouth: The Gateway to a Healthier You” and has lectured extensively in Canada and internationally on Invisalign, lasers, the mouth body connection, cosmetic dentistry and integration of her unique wellness-based approach to dentistry.

      Ljiljana Hinton RRDH, a clinician of 20+ years, received her Honours Restorative Dental Hygiene degree from George Brown College where she is a part-time Clinical Instructor. Ljiljana has continued studies in periodontics, esthetics and occlusion with the Kois Center, Spear Education, the Dawson Academy and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. She enjoys her role educating internationally as a Lead Clinical Trainer and Faculty Member with Align®. Ljiljana works full-time in a general practice advocating comprehensive dentistry to optimize patient health.

      Footnotes:
      Moore JI. Bill Gates Quotes About Life, Business and Love [Internet]. Everyday Power Blog. Everyday Power Blog; 2019 [cited 2019Feb6].
      Available from: https://everydaypowerblog.com/bill-gates-quotes/
      Kassab MM1, Cohen RE.J Am Dent Assoc. 2003 Feb;134(2):200-5
      McCoy G. “The Etiology of Gingival Erosion”. J Oral Impanto. 1982
      Ngom PI, Diagne F, Benoist HM, Thiam F. “Intraarch and interarch relationships in the anterior teeth and periodontal conditions.” Angle Orthod. 2006 March;76(2)236-42
      * Treatment times may vary depending on case complexity and must be determined by the doctor
      The opinions expressed in this white paper are those of the author(s) and may not reflect those of Align Technology.
      The author was paid an honorarium by Align Technology in connection with this white paper.
      ©2019 Align Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Invisalign, iTero, iTero Element, the iTero logo, among others, are trademarks and/or service marks of Align Technology, Inc.
      or one of its subsidiaries or affiliated companies and may be registered in the U.S. and/or other countries. www.iTero.com | MKT-0003086 Rev A

      This content was originally published here.

      New York State Democrat Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Detain “Disease Carriers” the Governor Deems “Dangerous to the Public Health”

      The New York State Assembly proposed a bill to detain “disease carriers” the Governor deems “dangerous to the public health.”

      The bill was authored by N. Nick Perry, a Democrat member of the New York State Assembly.

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      Bill A416 relates to “the removal of cases, contacts and carriers of communicable diseases that are potentially dangerous to the public health.”

      The Governor would have sweeping powers to indefinitely detain American citizens and put them in internment camps.

      According to the proposed bill, the Governor will also be able to detain people who have come in contact with the “carrier.”

      The only way an individual would be released from detainment is if the “department” determines the person is no longer contagious.

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      Read the text from the proposed bill:

      Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2120-a to read as follows:

      § 2120-A. REMOVAL AND DETENTION OF CASES, CONTACTS AND CARRIERS WHO ARE OR MAY BE A DANGER TO PUBLIC HEALTH; OTHER ORDERS.

      1. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE UTILIZED IN THE EVENT THAT THE GOVERNOR DECLARES A STATE OF HEALTH EMERGENCY DUE TO AN EPIDEMIC OF ANY COMMUNICABLE DISEASE.

      2. UPON DETERMINING BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE HEALTH OF OTHERS IS OR MAY BE ENDANGERED BY A CASE, CONTACT OR CARRIER, OR SUSPECTED CASE, CONTACT OR CARRIER OF CONTAGIOUS DISEASE THAT, IN THE OPINION OF THE GOVERNOR, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER, MAY POSE AN IMMINENT AND SIGNIFICANT THREAT TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH RESULTING IN SEVERE MORBIDITY OR HIGH MORTALITY, THE GOVERNOR OR HIS OR HER DELEGEE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE COMMISSIONER OR THE HEADS OF LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS, MAY ORDER THE REMOVAL AND/OR
      DETENTION OF SUCH A PERSON OR OF A GROUP OF SUCH PERSONS BY ISSUING A SINGLE ORDER, IDENTIFYING SUCH PERSONS EITHER BY NAME OR BY A REASONABLY SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION OF THE INDIVIDUALS OR GROUP BEING DETAINED. SUCH PERSON OR GROUP OF PERSONS SHALL BE DETAINED IN A MEDICAL FACILITY OR OTHER APPROPRIATE FACILITY OR PREMISES DESIGNATED BY THE GOVERNOR OR HIS OR HER DELEGEE AND COMPLYING WITH SUBDIVISION FIVE OF THIS SECTION.

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      3. A PERSON OR GROUP REMOVED OR DETAINED BY ORDER OF THE GOVERNOR OR HIS OR HER DELEGEE PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE DETAINED FOR SUCH PERIOD AND IN SUCH MANNER AS THE DEPARTMENT MAY DIRECT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION.

      Click here to read to entire bill proposed by Democrats in New York.

      This content was originally published here.

      Vaccine rollout hits snag as health workers balk at shots

      The desperately awaited vaccination drive against the coronavirus in the U.S. is running into resistance from an unlikely quarter: Surprising numbers of health care workers who have seen firsthand the death and misery inflicted by COVID-19 are refusing shots.

      It is happening in nursing homes and, to a lesser degree, in hospitals, with employees expressing what experts say are unfounded fears of side effects from vaccines that were developed at record speed. More than three weeks into the campaign, some places are seeing as much as 80% of the staff holding back.

      “I don’t think anyone wants to be a guinea pig,” said Dr. Stephen Noble, a 42-year-old cardiothoracic surgeon in Portland, Oregon, who is postponing getting vaccinated. “At the end of the day, as a man of science, I just want to see what the data show. And give me the full data.”

      “It’s far too low. It’s alarmingly low,” said Neil Pruitt, CEO of PruittHealth, which runs about 100 long-term care homes in the South, where fewer than 3 in 10 workers offered the vaccine so far have accepted it.

      Many medical facilities from Florida to Washington state have boasted of near-universal acceptance of the shots, and workers have proudly plastered pictures of themselves on social media receiving the vaccine. Elsewhere, though, the drive has stumbled.

      While the federal government has released no data on how many people offered the vaccines have taken them, glimpses of resistance have emerged around the country.

      In Illinois, a big divide has opened at state-run veterans homes between residents and staff. The discrepancy was worst at the veterans home in Manteno, where 90% of residents were vaccinated but only 18% of the staff members.

      In rural Ashland, Alabama, about 90 of some 200 workers at Clay County Hospital have yet to agree to get vaccinated, even with the place so overrun with COVID-19 patients that oxygen is running low and beds have been added to the intensive care unit, divided by plastic sheeting.

      The pushback comes amid the most lethal phase in the outbreak yet, with the death toll at more than 350,000, and it could hinder the government’s effort to vaccinate somewhere between 70% and 85% of the U.S. population to achieve “herd immunity.”

      Administrators and public health officials have expressed hope that more health workers will opt to be vaccinated as they see their colleagues take the shots without problems.

      Oregon doctor Noble said he will wait until April or May to get the shots. He said it is vital for public health authorities not to overstate what they know about the vaccines. That is particularly important, he said, for Black people like him who are distrustful of government medical guidance because of past failures and abuses, such as the infamous Tuskegee experiment.

      Medical journals have published extensive data on the vaccines, and the Food and Drug Administration has made its analysis public. But misinformation about the shots has spread wildly online, including falsehoods that they cause fertility problems.

      Stormy Tatom, 30, a hospital ICU nurse in Beaumont, Texas, said she decided against getting vaccinated for now “because of the unknown long-term side effects.”

      “I would say at least half of my coworkers feel the same way,” Tatom said.

      There have been no signs of widespread severe side effects from the vaccines, and scientists say the drugs have been rigorously tested on tens of thousands and vetted by independent experts.

      States have begun turning up the pressure. South Carolina’s governor gave health care workers until Jan. 15 to get a shot or “move to the back of the line.” Georgia’s top health official has allowed some vaccines to be diverted to other front-line workers, including firefighters and police, out of frustration with the slow uptake.

      “There’s vaccine available but it’s literally sitting in freezers,” said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey. “That’s unacceptable. We have lives to save.”

      Nursing homes were among the institutions given priority for the shots because the virus has cut a terrible swath through them. Long-term care residents and staff account for about 38% of the nation’s COVID-19 fatalities.

      In West Virginia, only about 55% of nursing home workers agreed to the shots when they were first offered last month, according to Martin Wright, who leads the West Virginia Health Care Association.

      “It’s a race against social media,” Wright said of battling falsehoods about the vaccines.

      Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said only 40% of the state’s nursing home workers have gotten shots. North Carolina’s top public health official estimated more than half were refusing the vaccine there.

      SavaSeniorCare has offered cash to the 169 long-term care homes in its 20-state network to pay for gift cards, socially distanced parties or other incentives. But so far, data from about a third of its homes shows that 55% of workers have refused the vaccine.

      CVS and Walgreens, which have been contracted by a majority of U.S. nursing homes to administer COVID-19 vaccinations, have not released specifics on the acceptance rate. CVS said that residents have agreed to be immunized at an “encouragingly high” rate but that “initial uptake among staff is low,” partly because of efforts to stagger when employees receive their shots.

      Some facilities have vaccinated workers in stages so that the staff is not sidelined all at once if they suffer minor side effects, which can include fever and aches.

      The hesitation isn’t surprising, given the mixed message from political leaders and misinformation online, said Dr. Wilbur Chen, a professor at the University of Maryland who specializes in the science of vaccines.

      He noted that health care workers represent a broad range of jobs and backgrounds and said they are not necessarily more informed than the general public.

      “They don’t know what to believe either,” Chen said. But he said he expects the hesitancy to subside as more people are vaccinated and public health officials get their message across.

      Some places have already seen turnarounds, such as Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

      “The biggest thing that helped us to gain confidence in our staff was watching other staff members get vaccinated, be OK, walk out of the room, you know, not grow a third ear, and so that really is like an avalanche,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal, chief medical officer. “The first few hundred that we had created another 300 that wanted the vaccine.”

      Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Jake Bleiberg in Dallas; Heather Hollingsworth in Mission, Kansas; Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans; Candice Choi in New York; Kelli Kennedy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; Brian Witte in Annapolis, Maryland; Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, South Carolina; John Seewer in Toledo, Ohio; Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Bryan Anderson in Raleigh, North Carolina.

      This content was originally published here.

      Braces on the Road: How to Travel With Invisalign

      There are a lot of things to consider when hitting the road full time. You have to think about how you will make money, how you will get mail, and what kinds of memberships you’ll invest in to save some money. Adding kids into the mix only adds to the long list of things to consider, and dealing with braces on the road is one of the things that perplexes parents the most.

      One of the best ways to go about straightening your teeth while traveling full time? Invisalign is a fantastic option that more and more travelers are choosing. Are you going to travel full time and worried about your invisible braces?

      Read on to know how to clean Invisalign and how to take care of Invisalign while on the go!

      The foremost important thing is your packing checklist. Here’s an essential checklist for the travel kit on tour with Invisalign.

      1. Travel toothbrush
      2. Floss or floss picks
      3. Pocket-size mouthwash
      4. Retainer remover
      5. Pain reliever (as first aid)
      6. Aligner case
      7. Extra aligners

      Keep Up Your Good Habits!

      You need to wear aligners for at least 22 hours a day. Thus it might seem tedious to remove your aligners while eating out and putting them back again after cleaning. But, it’s important to avoid slips that can hinder your progress.

      Thus it is advised to take out a few minutes for your Invisalign each time you eat or drink anything and enjoy your travels without any worry.

      Now let us check out some useful tips on how to take care of Invisalign during traveling.

      • Everyone on the Invisalign treatment knows that you need to change the set of aligners in a week or fortnight according to the dentist’s instruction. Sometimes you switch to a new set, or you might need to go back to your previous set of aligners. Take them all with you during traveling so that you can change according to your requirement. Consult your orthodontics before leaving for the trip.
      • In case you are taking a flight to your destination, keep your Invisalign with you in your handbag or cabin bag. As you need to wear them for the maximum time of the day, you must keep them within your reach all the time.
      • Heat is not suitable for Invisalign as it can deform its shape. If you are traveling to a tropical or hot region, keep your aligners in a cool place. Keep them in the refrigerator if required. But don’t make the mistake of taking them in your handbag under the sun.
      • The list of avoidable food items, while you are on your retainers, is mentioned as below:
      • Hard bread
      • Popcorn
      • Nuts
      • Pretzels
      • Chewy food
      • Tough Meat
      • Hard Cady
      • Gum
      • Do not forget to remove retainers before eating or drinking anything. You can only have water with your aligners on. And brush your teeth and retainer before putting them on again. If you can’t brush, at least rinse them well.

      Final Word!

      So you see! Braces on the road aren’t even necessary. Instead,  travel with Invisalign. Once you know how to take care of Invisalign it’s a cinch. That said, it is advisable to consult your orthodontics before hitting the road full time.

      Author Bio

      Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – weather is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!

      The post Braces on the Road: How to Travel With Invisalign appeared first on Fulltime Families.

      This content was originally published here.