Maine board votes to limit IPDHs; Fla. dental ER visits on the rise

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Despite opposition from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the governor of Maine, the Maine Board of Dental Examiners voted December 16 to restrict what x-rays independent practice dental hygienists (IPDHs) can take during an upcoming pilot project.

As a result, the state dental hygienists' association says it will go back to the FTC and also seek legal avenues in an effort to combat the board's decision. Read more.

In other news, more than 115,000 hospital emergency room (ER) visits in Florida in 2010 were for treatment of conditions considered avoidable with proper preventive and restorative dental care, according to a report released December 15 by the Florida Public Health Institute. That's nearly 10% more than in 2008, and at a cost of almost $90 million.

And the U.S. Supreme Court will not review a California Supreme Court decision that allowed a Los Angeles dental patient to sue a debt collector who gave his family's dental records to credit reporting agencies following a bill dispute with a dentist. Read more.

In clinical research news, multispectral imaging has long been used for space-based analysis of environmental conditions and urban growth. Can this same light-based technology improve the ability to detect oral and skin cancers? A Canadian medical device firm thinks so.

And while many impression materials have antimicrobial properties, dental practitioners may be relying on them to prevent cross-contamination more than they should, according to a new study in Quintessence International.

Finally, resolving conflict is critical to achieving a successful business. In the latest installment of his Beyond Practice Management series, Dr. Don Deems offers a step-by-step approach to implementing effective conflict resolution in a dental office.

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