Week in Review: Congrats to the 2023 Cuspies winners | Best and worst states for dental health | New links for oral health, brain health

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Cuspies awards! Our top story of the week named this year's winners across the 14 categories. The people, products, and events that took home a trophy reflect the increasing global and demographic diversity of the profession.

Best and worst states for dental health

People in Wisconsin have a reason to smile, as the Badger State was once again named the U.S. state with the best dental health by personal finance website WalletHub. Wisconsin previously nabbed the No. 1 spot in 2021, 2020, and 2019. Check out our write-up to find out which other states ranked best and worst in the nation.

New links for oral health and brain health

Preliminary research to be presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2023 found that early treatment of poor oral health may lead to significant brain benefits. In a study of 40,000 adults without a history of stroke, people with genetic variants that predispose them to cavities and missing teeth in old age also had higher levels of silent cerebrovascular disease on imaging scans.

What's more, yet another new study reported higher numbers of brain microbleeds in stroke patients who had a more invasive subtype of Streptococcus mutans bacteria that bind to collagen. This particular strain of S. mutans was independently associated with the presence of more than 10 microbleeds in the brains of study patients.

What hygienists need to know about coding

Last but not least, coding expert Estela Vargas broke down the responsibilities of dental hygienists when coding dental claims. She explains why hygienists can still be sued (even if they do not have the authority to diagnose diseases or make treatment plans) and outlined common coding errors on hygiene claims.

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