Week in Review: New OSHA standards | Dental therapists gaining traction | Implant adverse events

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Our top story of the week was all about new standards designed to protect healthcare workers from occupational COVID-19 exposure. While most dentists are exempt, some dental practices may have to comply with the new U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards as soon as July 6.

OSHA published the standards as an interim final rule that went into effect immediately. Dental practices in hospital settings or that perform treatment on patients with symptoms of or who have tested positive for COVID-19 must comply with the provisions, noted one expert.

Dental therapists gaining traction

Oregon lawmakers passed a bill to introduce a new class of dental therapists. If the bill is signed by Gov. Kate Brown, dental therapists in the state could perform numerous procedures, including simple extractions, direct restorations, and some crowns.

That wasn't the only news about dental therapy to hit the DrBicuspid.com headlines this week. Associate Editor Melissa Busch covered a talk by the University of Pennsylvania's Leon Levy Dental Medicine Library, in which Dr. Frank Catalanotto praised the dental therapy model: "I started to view dental therapy as a tool just like community water fluoridation and minimally invasive dentistry," he said.

FDA updates information on implants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received an influx of reports on adverse events related to temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and temporomandibular joint implants. The surge in reports triggered the agency to increase engagement with patients diagnosed with TMD and to review postmarket studies.

Aspirated dental crown

Last but not least, a chest x-ray helped identify a 9.5-mm dental crown discovered in the lung of an 81-year-old man admitted to the hospital for meningitis. The case highlights the importance of careful creation, placement, maintenance, and preservation of crowns in elderly patients, the authors of the case report noted.

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