DrBicuspid.com Practice Management Insider

Dear Practice Management Insider,

What's the best way to calm kids and anxious patients in the dental chair? Music, aromatherapy, sedatives, nitrous oxide?

Read about a California dentist's secret weapon for soothing patients' frayed nerves in our latest Practice Management Insider Exclusive. Hint: He has his own Facebook page and sometimes snores, but many patients won't undergo dental treatment without him.

In other Practice Management Community news, the case of a California pediatric dentist who was vilified on a Facebook page created by an angry parent following the extraction of his young son's tooth underscores the growing impact of social networking sites on dentists' reputations. Click here to read the parent's complaints and dentist's reaction, here to read what's the dad plans to do next, and here for Facebook's response to the issue.

Meanwhile, the ADA's Commission on Dental Accreditation has decided to set accreditation standards for dental therapist education programs in the U.S. -- although the ADA itself remains "firmly opposed" to anyone other than a dentist diagnosing oral disease or performing surgical or irreversible procedures. Read more.

In a related story, Oregon has a new law allowing health authorities to establish pilot projects for dental therapists and community dental health educators. Click here to see how it will expand the scope of practice for dental hygienists who have a limited access permit.

Elsewhere in the U.S., a $10 million grant for the Marshfield Clinic's new rural dental education facility in Wisconsin may be in jeopardy after state officials said the grant cannot be used for a dental school. Click here to read about the disagreement between state officials and school administrators and what the original bill allowed.

And more women are needed to fill leadership positions in dentistry -- especially given that female enrollment in U.S. dental schools is projected to top 50% in the "very near term," according to Kathleen O'Loughlin, DMD, executive director of the ADA. Read more.

In other news, a new study suggests that dentists can accurately screen patients for diabetes and prediabetes using results from two measures they already routinely assess in clinical work. But it remains to be seen if most dental offices will add this to their practices.

And while cloud computing may not be taking dentistry by storm just yet, it is steadily making its way into the world of practice management software and systems. And there are many reasons dental practices should consider investing in it. Read more.

Finally, be sure to check out Dr. Don Deems' ongoing series, Beyond Practice Management. In his most recent installments, he tackles two key issues: fear of change and accountability.

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