Week in Review: Hypnotized dental patient | Too much dental debt | Call for CMS to expand Medicare dental coverage

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

A dentist in New York hypnotized a 51-year-old patient to reduce his high blood pressure, clearing him to undergo scheduled restorative treatment. Within minutes of undergoing hypnotherapy, the patient was in a deep trance, and his blood pressure dropped to a level that made it safe for him to undergo restorative care on two teeth. Our top story of the week explains the details of this case report.

In other news, rising healthcare costs have been a concern for many Americans and can often lead to healthcare debt, whether patients are insured or not. A survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals why patients accrue healthcare debt, including dental debt.

In our Business & Industry Community, some legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are requesting that the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) broaden the definition of medically necessary dental coverage, which would expand access to Medicare recipients. Lawmakers contend that the agency not only has the regulatory authority to expand coverage, but if it does, Medicare could save tens of millions of dollars over a decade.

Additionally, patients with autism spectrum disorder may be more susceptible to oral pathology, including caries and gingivitis, bruxism, and more. Also, they may be predisposed to dentoalveolar trauma, according to a study published in the Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Finally, Dr. Alvin Danenberg, who has retired from the private practice of periodontics in Bluffton, SC, discusses bleeding gums and a unique way that may halt the progression of periodontal disease. The answer may surprise you.

Do you know all there is to know about night guards? Well, here is your opportunity. On July 14 at 7 p.m. Eastern time, leaders from Dandy will discuss the pros and cons of more than six types of materials used to make night guards and how to select the right one based on your patient's specific needs. Register to attend our free webinar.

Until next time, enjoy your weekend. Editor-in-Chief Theresa Pablos will be back next week.

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