Dentist Claims She Contracted HIV at South African Dental Clinic

Many Patients are HIV Positive, But Few Tell Their Dentists

A dentist in South Africa claims she was infected with HIV by a patient during a dental procedure, and she’s asking the government to compensate her.

The government-employed dentist, a Russian-born woman in her 60s, says she was infected during a routine root extraction at the Soshanguve Clinic in 1996.

Though she suspected that the patient was HIV positive, she did not report her puncture wound at that time. She later tested positive for HIV in an insurance exam. Her husband tested negative, and she alleges that the patient is the source of her infection.

When she brought her case to the Compensation Commissioner (CC), her claim was denied. Though the CC did not dispute that she had been injured, they pointed to the lack of any direct evidence. “It will be improper to draw an inference that she was probably infected with HIV as a result of the 1996 incident, without medical evidence relating to his (the patient’s) HIV status,” declared the CC.

But she’s appealing that decision, saying that she was unfamiliar with the CC policy declaring that all incidents must be reported right away.

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Dentist Leaves Drill Bit in Patient’s Sinus

Dentist drill bit left in patient's sinusA Florida woman recently had an inch-long dentist drill bit burr removed from her sinus after nearly a year.

When an oral surgeon removed two decayed teeth from the 35-year-old woman’s mouth, he apparently did not notice that he had lost the drill bit.

The woman experienced pain, sinus infections, dizziness, numbness and other symptoms. Her lawyer claims the oral surgeon dismissed her concerns out of hand. He did not x-ray her, which would have shown the burr.

She ended up at a hospital for treatment. Not knowing she had a piece of metal stuck in her head, doctors there gave her a magnetic scan – which caused the metal to move, causing severe pain. (Luckily, pain was all it caused… the fact is, the magnetic scan could have killed her.)

Eleven months after the drill burr got trapped in her sinus, it was surgically removed. It remains to be seen whether she will have lasting health problems; nickel poisoning is a concern.

Not surprisingly, she hired a lawyer and filed suit. The dentist (no longer practicing at that office) declined to comment.

Read more: Dentist’s drill bit left in head for 11 months, lawsuit says

One Dentist in Three Accepts Medicaid (video)

Two-thirds of dentist respondents do not accept Medicaid payments, this survey found.

General dentists are three times as likely to accept Medicaid as are specialists. In addition, the majority of rural dentists do accept Medicaid, whereas most of their urban and suburban colleagues do not.

“I don’t treat these patients for the money,” said a Rhode Island orthodontist. “I treat them because they are children who need orthodontic care that may influence the rest of their lives. A healthy smile may open the world to them! That’s what we went into this profession for.”

A Minnesota pediatric dentist agreed: “It is an ethical and moral obligation to see these people. It is embarrassing that more of our colleagues do not treat some portion of this population in need.”

“Any dentist would have to be NUTS to accept Medicaid,” offered a Florida dentist. “If you are even suspected of impropriety, say by a disgruntled employee, the Feds can SHUT YOU DOWN. Yes, on suspicion only! They can freeze your assets and shut your practice down. It could be years before you get due process. The risks are truly tremendous. And it’s for a pittance, for pennies on the dollar. I know of one dentist who is in JAIL and lost his license over $8000 in clerical errors over a period of five years! I wouldn’t accept Medicaid if they offered DOUBLE my fees.

Read more: Dentists Avoid Medicaid

Dentists: Is Your Dental Marketing Plan Ready for Google Plus?

Google PlusGoogle+ is in limited field trial and being tested with a small number of users, but it won’t be long before the Google+ project is the next big trend in dental marketing.

You might be thinking it’s just another Facebook.

Google hopes to convince you otherwise.

Google+ intends to set itself apart from Facebook by limiting the type of sharing that happens in Google+ to small groups — like a local photography group, your immediate family or the people you work with directly — instead of how it is on Facebook where what you share is shared with friends, friends-of-friends and the Internet at large.

Google+ users can be selective with how they share information within their social circles.

Rumor has it that once Google+ has worked out their beta launch tweaks for the user-side of Google+, they’ll be introducing brand pages for businesses. Google is promising that the business pages are going to be worth the wait because they will be integrated with both AdWords and Analytics.

Here’s a video Christian Oestlien, one of Google’s product managers created to help explain what’s going on with business identities on Google+:

Some dental practices may want to rush getting on Google+ by setting up a business profile as a personal profile on the user side of Google+. Don’t be tempted to do this. Google has warned that they will be deleting businesses who set themselves up in personal profiles.

Google already terminated the Google+ accounts of Mashable, Ford and Search Engine Land who attempted to create a business presence on Google+.

It’s not a smart dental marketing plan to risk getting banned by Google.

Instead of tempting your online fate with the Gods of Google by trying to launch a business presence, instead begin to prepare for the coming launch of Google+ business pages by making sure you, your employees and your favorite patients are signed up for user profiles as Google+ expands.

You might even consider holding a contest to see who the first dental patient is who receives a Google+ profile and invites you to join their circle.

The point would be to get on to Google+ as a person and begin building your circles so that when you launch your Google+ business page you can ask those in your circle to promote you to their circles and so on, and so on.

What are you thoughts on Google+?  Are you planning to use it?

Dental Insurance and Obama Care: Who’s Right?

Dental Insurance and Obama CareThe National Journal is reporting that the National Association of Dental Plans is spending more than $1 million on a campaign to change a provision in the health care law that they feel will require some people to buy duplicate dental insurance coverage.

Let me repeat…The dental benefits trade organization is spending $1,000,0000 to hire a lobbying firm to convince the Obama administration to fix the provision by the end of 2011.

Is this a good thing? Click here for a 92-page white paper “Road Map” with Delta Dental as a co-sponsor.

The NADP is concerned that, starting in 2014, the almost 44 million people who receive pediatric dental coverage through small business employers will also have to buy coverage through the new health insurance exchanges. It is asking regulators to clarify that their existing coverage meets the law’s requirements.

“Truthfully, this is the No. 1 issue for our industry,” said NADP executive director Evelyn Ireland. “It is the most crucial thing for us to get done.”

NADP wants to ensure that people will be allowed to keep their existing dental insurance coverage under the new health care, a promise President Obama repeatedly made during the heath insurance reform debate.

For a multitude of reasons I have never been a big fan of Delta Dental. However, after reviewing the 92-page white paper I think there may be some merit to this $1,000,000 argument.

Before, I make up my mind, I would like some pro or con feedback from our readers.

Please post your comments below.

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