January 2013
American Dental Association Practice&Thrive
In This Issue

image: ADA Dental Symptom Checker

Dental Symptom Checker, the ADA's Latest Public Resource
To start the new year off, the ADA is revealing its newest resource for the public, ADA® Dental Symptom Checker™, which helps people make better-informed decisions about their oral health. With an intuitive interface, the application allows people to select:

  • Their gender and age
  • What part of their face or mouth symptoms are occurring
  • What type of symptoms they are experiencing
  • Any degree of pain that may be caused by their symptoms

After the various categories have been selected, the ADA Dental Symptom Checker provides a list of possible oral-health conditions. The Symptom Checker is not meant to diagnose or replace the role of the dentist. In fact, many of the conditions emphasize the importance of seeing a dentist or physician a link to the ADA® Find-a-Dentist™ resource is also provided.

The ADA Dental Symptom Checker can be accessed via MouthHealthy.org, or by downloading it for iPhone® and iPad® on the App StoreSM, or Android™ devices on Google Play™. In the ADA's most recent public survey, a dental symptom checker was their most requested resource, and early results support this. The mobile app is beind downloaded hundreds of times each day.

The ADA Dental Symptom Checker is just one of several new public communication initiatives. In the summer of 2012, the ADA released MouthHealthy.org, an award-winning site for the public promoting oral health. Also in 2012, a coalition of more than 35 dental groups, including the ADA, joined the Ad Council in launching a campaign on children's oral health — replete with a website and public service announcements — to encourage children to brush for two minutes, two times a day. These new initiatives help position the ADA as a trusted resource for the public so they can become good stewards of their own oral health.

Read more about the ADA Dental Symptom Checker in ADA News.

Android and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc.

image: prescription drugs7 Signs of Drug Seeking Behavior by Patients
While stereotypes from popular culture might suggest that a drug seeker would be easy to recognize, the truth is that regardless of income, race, gender, or employment status, a potential abuser or "doctor shopper" may be difficult to identify. As a dentist, a health care provider, what is the best way to guard against this behavior?

"You should never prescribe medication for someone who is not a patient-of-record in your practice," says Dr. Harold Crossley, DDS, PhD, who has been a consultant to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) since 1974. "It's better to refer that stranger to an emergency room rather than risk the well-being of the patient and those with whom they come into contact. This action also protects your dental license and your staff. Prescribing controlled medications to someone who is not a patient of record opens up the possibility of abuse or re-sale of those medications."

Of course, patients in your own practice may also abuse or re-sell prescription drugs. The following is a partial list of "red flag" behaviors that Dr. Crossley associates with drug-seeking behavior:

  1. The patient waits until late afternoon or early evening to seek relief for pain that has lasted all day, often on a Friday or before a holiday.
  2. The patient requests a specific drug, rather than requesting relief from symptoms.
  3. The patient refuses to be evaluated.
  4. The patient categorically refuses over-the-counter medications as being ineffective or causing an allergic reaction, instead requesting a controlled substance medication.
  5. The patient states that a previous prescription was lost or stolen, and needs to be replaced.
  6. The patient asserts that his or her insurance company will not pay for a prescription smaller than 50 pills, or that they will not pay for a prescription that cannot be renewed.
  7. The patient becomes manipulative, attempting to use guilt or threats to receive a prescription.

"If you are suspicious that a patient of record is seeking drugs, it is your responsibility to perform an exam that is appropriate for the symptoms the patient describes," Dr. Crossley points out. "As with all patients, carefully document the exam results and the questions you asked. And most importantly, only prescribe medications according to established protocols."

Dr. Harold Crossley will present the CE course Medical and Dental Implications of the Most Prescribed Medications on Saturday, July 20 2013 at the 27th New Dentist Conference in Denver. Learn more at ADA.org/newdentistconf.

image: CDT mobile appNew 2013 CDT Code Check App
New CDT codes are now in effect! Stay plugged in when you're on the go but need access to dental procedure codes with the new 2013 CDT Code Check app for mobile devices. The app offers the convenience of accessing codes from your iPhone, iPad or Android phones and tablets.

Available for $19.99 on the App Store and Google Play, the app contains all the 2013 CDT codes, including 35 new codes and 37 revisions with marked changes. It assists dental professionals who use procedure codes for tasks in developing treatment plans, managing patient charting and submitting insurance claims.

2013 CDT Code Check app includes a complete listing of each code, including category of service, subcategory, procedure code, nomenclature and descriptor. Users can also search by code number or key word.

To purchase the app, visit either the App Store or Google Play and search for CDT Code Check. To learn more about other ADA CDT 2013 products, including the best-selling CDT 2013: Dental Procedure Codes (J933) visit adacatalog.org or call 800.947.4746.

More News From the ADA

image: Prescription WritingOpioid Prescribing and Drug Abuse Webinars
The ADA will continue educating members on prescribing opioid medications and drug abuse through two webinars scheduled this winter:

  • "Opioid Prescribing-Spokane County Dentists" will be held at 2 p.m. CST on Jan. 23. Amy Riffe, an epidemiologist in the community health assessment, planning and evaluation area of the Spokane Regional Health District, will discuss a survey that was conducted in Washington's Spokane County that examined dentists' prescribing practices around opioid medication.
  • "A Statewide Evaluation of Opioid Prescribing Patterns with an Emphasis on Drug Diversion and Substance Abuse" will be presented by Michael O'Neil, professor of pharmacy practice at South College in Knoxville, Tenn., at 2 p.m. CST on Feb. 20.

Those who participate in the Jan. 23 webinar are eligible for one hour of continuing education credit. To register, contact Alison Siwek, manager of dentist health and wellness for the Council on Dental Practice, at siweka@ada.org or 312.440.2622.

The webinars are part of a sub-award the ADA received from the American Academy of Addictive Psychiatry from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, which received a grant to create webinars and training on treating pain and opioid addiction. The center is paying for the Prescriber's Clinical Support System for the Appropriate Use of Opioids in the Treatment of Pain and Opioid-related Addiction, which is a collaborative effort among a handful of medical associations that will provide training and education on the topic.

The ADA will also host the 2013 Conference on Dentist Health and Wellness at its headquarters Sept. 19 – 20. The Conference program will focus on opioid prescribing and abuse prevention, general health issues, stress, burnout, ergonomics and addiction issues. For more information, contact Ms. Siwek.

Develop a Dental Safety Net in Your Community with Avenues to Access
Access to care is a priority for the dental profession and the ADA's Avenues to Access offers a step-by-step roadmap to help a community in developing a dental safety net. Avenues to Access is simple to follow since it is purposely designed for those who lack familiarity with the world of public oral health. While Avenues to Access cannot ultimately decide which path a community should choose, it can serve as a useful tool as communities select the best way in which to meet the needs of their area. Avenues to Access can help interested parties identify the questions that need to be asked, and the answers that are needed in order to move forward in meeting goals.

Avenues to Access consists of a PowerPoint tutorial and a companion print piece that includes a customizable insert for the user to provide local information. Download Avenues to Access today at ADA.org/avenuestoaccess.

Read more in ADA News.

image: Give Kids A Smile LogoFebruary 1 is Give Kids A Smile Day
Plans are currently underway for Give Kids A Smile Day on Feb. 1, 2013. This year's national Give Kids A Smile Day celebration will be held in Louisville, in collaboration with Smile Kentucky!, a signature GKAS program with more than 150 participating local agencies. An estimated 200 dental students, 40 dentists and 100 other community volunteers will give their time and expertise on Feb. 1. More than 4,000 children at 24 local schools have already been screened, and an estimated 300 children will receive comprehensive dental care at the University of Louisville on GKAS Day.

Give Kids A Smile programs are invited to send photographs from local events to the ADA after their event. Photos will be used for archival purposes and some may appear in the ADA News, online on ADA.org or in other ADA publications. Digital photos are preferred. E-mail photos to adanews@ada.org.

For additional information visit the Give Kids A Smile website.

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