Week in Review: Respiratory failure after pulled wisdom tooth | Henry Schein settles opioid case | Tracking key numbers

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Do you want to grow your practice and make day-to-day dentistry manageable and profitable? I want to make sure you know about an upcoming webinar that will discuss just that.

The webinar will feature a practice management expert, finance expert, and dentist who runs multiple practice locations. They'll discuss the performance indicators, metrics, and data you need to know to practice profitably, grow to new locations, and better connect with your patients.

The webinar will take place December 15 at 6 p.m. ET. Register now to join us live and ask the panelists your questions. Can't make it? You can still register and get a recording after the event.

Register today!

Now to the news ...

Top story of the week

A healthy 45-year-old man experienced respiratory failure due to a giant life-threatening lung abscess caused by oral bacteria stemming from a wisdom tooth extraction. Our write-up of the case report published in the December issue of Chest was the top story of the week.

The man had good oral hygiene, no history of lung disease, and was treated with antibiotics after the dental operation. The case report highlights the importance of monitoring immunocompetent patients for signs of infection following extractions, the authors wrote.

Henry Schein settles opioid case

Henry Schein has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a case in which the wholesale distributor allegedly improperly distributed hundreds of thousands of painkillers to dentists and other doctors despite red flags of drug abuse, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ claims Henry Schein overlooked signs of drug abuse and diversion, including when distributing pills to a dentist in West Virginia who used the pills to feed his personal addiction, as well as to a physician in Alabama who pleaded guilty to unlawfully dispensing controlled substances.

Special Agent in Charge Todd Scott said the company "played a role in fueling the opioid crisis in several states." Henry Schein has denied any wrongdoing related to the settlement.

4 key numbers

Dentists can reference many key performance indicators to gauge the success of a practice, but only four are key numbers, said Dr. Roger P. Levin is in this week's episode of Dental Practice Made Simple, our video series that features a quick tip for building high-powered, proven systems that lead to practice success.

Levin recommended tracking (1) production, (2) revenue/collections, (3) new patients, and (4) cash. Check out this week's video to learn why he picked those four numbers and when you may need to look at additional metrics. Also, be sure to check the related reading for additional episodes of Dental Practice Made Simple.

Powered vs. manual toothbrushes

Researchers put powered and manual toothbrushes head to head in a new review published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, and the results looked promising for powered brushes.

Power toothbrushes removed more dental plaque than manual ones, the authors found. Also, powered brushes with oscillating-rotating heads (think the Oral-B-type brush head) had an edge on high-frequency sonic-powered toothbrushes.

Football commercial scores big

Last but not least, I recommend taking two minutes out of your day to watch a hilarious ad that puts the spotlight on children's dental health. In the ad, college football standout Josh Paschal, a defensive end for the Kentucky Wildcats, uses his skills to defend children against tooth decay. His antics make sure no sugar-coated lies make it into the dental office.

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