Minnesota moves closer to midlevel providers; what you need to know about Sjoegren's

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Many in the dental community are focusing their attention on the state of Minnesota these days, and not just because of the nasty winter weather and record cold.

In response to legislation passed last May, a 13-member work group has submitted its proposal for the creation of an oral health practitioner to the state legislature. If the recommendations pass legislative muster, these so-called midlevel dental providers -- aka "superhygienists" -- could soon be performing extractions, restorations, and more all over the Gopher State. Will other states follow suit? Read more.

In clinical news, did you know that the average Sjögren's syndrome patient suffers for seven years before anyone figures out what's wrong? Experts say too many dentists miss the diagnosis completely, and that it's time for the dental community to take a more proactive role in understanding and spotting the disease. Find out more here.

Also on the clinical front, a new Journal of the American Dental Association study concludes that using a commercial refrigerant instead of a topical anesthetic to numb the mouth prior to an injection is a more effective method of pain control. Read more.

Over on the Word of Mouth page, Dr. Helaine Smith says it's time to expand your aesthetic horizons and delve into the wonderful world of onlays and inlays, while Richard Geller argues that e-mail is the best marketing tool a dentist can use -- and he means on a daily basis.

Finally, if you've got a question about how to integrate the latest technologies into your practice, be sure to send them to [email protected]. Our resident tech expert, Marty Jablow, D.M.D., will be happy to answer them -- and if we post your question on the site, you'll receive a $10 gift card from Amazon!

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