Monthly Archives: April 2019

More Women Leaders in Dentistry

By the end of 2019, there will be 13 women serving as president of their respective state dental association—the most ever serving at one time in the American Dental Association’s 160-year history.

For her March ADANews article “Changing faces: State dental associations see most women serving as presidents,” writer Kimber Solana interviewed one of the future presidents, Jennifer Enos, about the changes she’s seen regarding women in dentistry during her career.

Enos began working as a dental assistant in 1999, and at that time, the Arizona Dental Association president-elect knew only one female dentist.

“The increase in diversity in our profession is fantastic,” Enos told Solana. “It allows many opportunities for growth and innovation with the varying backgrounds and perspectives.”

Enos has served on the board for 10 years, and for the first five, she was often the only woman in the room.

But now, in 2019, when Enos attends her local dental society’s meetings, she says the male-to-female ratio is almost even.

According to ADA Health Policy Institute data, 49 percent of U.S. dental school graduates in 2017 were women—a 12 percent increase since 1997.

“The increasing number of women pursuing dentistry is shifting the demographic makeup of the dental workforce,” Solana goes on to write in the article. “In 2018, 32 percent of all dentists were women, up from 16 percent in 2001.”

The ADA Health Policy Institute projects that by 2037 female dentists will make up 46 percent of the dental workforcere anticipated to be 58 percent female.

“Dr. Enos said there’s a multitude of reasons why women should pursue leadership roles in organized dentistry, including giving back to the profession through advocacy and improving public health,” Solana writes.

“Truthfully though, I think they should do it to be selfish,” Enos said to Solana. “Seriously, the people you meet — the other amazingly talented, smart and strong women and men who really care — that you get the privilege to develop friendships with are truly the best people to be found anywhere.”

Those joining Enos as presidents of their state dental associations are:

Dr. Kristi M. Soileau, Louisiana Dental Association; Dr. Maria de L. Castellvi Armas, Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Puerto Rico; Dr. Cathy L. Harris, Delaware State Dental Society; Dr. Evis Babo, Georgia Dental Association; Dr. Marlene Shevenell, Maryland State Dental Association; Dr. Janis B. Moriarty, Massachusetts Dental Society; Dr. Margaret Gingrich, Michigan Dental Association; Dr. Barbara B. Mauldin, Mississippi Dental Association; Dr. Lindsey D. Jackson, New Hampshire Dental Society; Dr. Sharon K. Parsons, Ohio Dental Association; Dr. Terryl A. Propper, Tennessee Dental Association; and Dr. Elizabeth C. Reynolds, Virginia Dental Association.

Vaping and Oral Health: Not a Compatible Pair

In 2003, what would become the first commercially successful electronic cigarette was created in Beijing, China by Hon Lik, a 52-year-old pharmacist, inventor and smoker. Lik reportedly created the device as a safer alternative to cigarettes after his father, also a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer.

The use of e-cigarettes, referred to as vaping, works by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol that the user inhales. The liquid in the e-cigarette contains propylene glycol, glycerin, flavorings, water, and nicotine.

Ever since Lik’s product went on the market, smokers have been switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes in an attempt to be healthier.

But is it actually healthier?

In their January Perio-Implant Advisory article “Vaping and oral health: It’s worse than you think,” Scott Froum, DDS, and Alisa Neymark, DDS, write about the dangers of e-cigarette use and the effect it has on oral health. After researching the topic, the two came up with four major dangers posed by vaping.

Danger No. 1: Propylene glycol

Propylene glycol is a viscous, colorless liquid primarily used in the production of polymers and food processing. Because of it’s fairly sweet taste, and can be found in edible items, such as liquid sweetness, ice cream and whipped dairy products.

In the case of e-cigarettes, propylene glycol acts as a carrier for nicotine.

“When used orally, the breakdown products of PG include acetic acid, lactic acid, and propionaldehyde, which are all toxic to enamel and soft tissue,” Froum and Neymark write. “In addition, propylene glycol is a hygroscopic product, which means water molecules in saliva and oral tissue will bond to the PG molecules, leading to tissue desiccation. The result of this is xerostomia, or “dry mouth,” which has been shown to lead to an increase in cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.”

Danger No. 2: Vegetable glycerin and flavorings

Vegetable glycerin and flavorings make up the majority of the e-cigarette’s inhalant. Like propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin is a colorless, viscous, sweet-tasting liquid used in the food industry as a sweetener. It is also used in many medical, pharmaceutical and personal care products. Because it’s 40 percent less sweet than sucrose and not metabolized by cariogenic bacteria, it was previously thought to not cause cavities, but studies have shown the combination of vegetable glycerin and flavorings produce an increase in microbial adhesion to enable and an increase in biofilm formation.

“In addition, a 27% decrease in enamel hardness was demonstrated when flavorings were added to e-liquid as compared to unflavored controls,” they write. “The viscosity of the e-liquid also allowed Streptococcus mutans to adhere to pits and fissures. In other words, e-liquid allows more cavity-causing bacteria to stick to a softer tooth and can lead to rampant decay.”

Danger No. 3: Nicotine

While the percentage of nicotine is much lower in e-cigarettes than in traditional tobacco products, one electronic cartridge–200 to 400 puffs–can equal the nicotine of smoking two to three packs of regular cigarettes. And because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, it affects the gingival blood flow and can have dangerous effects on gum tissue.

“It also affects cytokine production, neutrophil function, and other immune cell function,” Froum and Neymark write. “In addition, nicotine decreases connective tissue turnover. All of this results a much higher chance of developing gum disease and tooth loss.”

Danger No. 4: Lithium batteries

There have been two reported deaths associated with vaping.

In January, a 24-year-old man died after his vape pen exploded and tore his carotid artery, and in May 2018, a 28-year-old Florida mad died when his vape pen exploded, sending projectiles into his head and causing a fire in his house.

“Although these types of sensationalized deaths are rare with e-cigarettes and vaping pens, the explosions of these pens are not,” Froum and Neymark write. “The problem lies within the vape pen and the lithium batteries overheating and exploding. These explosions are usually attributed to improper charging of the device or have been linked to a type of device called a mechanical mod that has no internal safety and can overheat and explode.”

Researchers estimate that there were about 2,035 e-cigarette explosion-related injuries between 2015 and 2017, more than 40 times the initial 195 incidents estimated by the United States government. The injuries caused by these explosions are serious, the pair write, and often lead to disfigurement of oral soft tissue.

Vaping v. Cigarettes

While vaping is thought to be a safer alternative to cigarette smoking. However, Froum and Neymark write, vaping can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, when compared with smoking.

They go on to write that while vaping has helped many people quit smoking, it has also upped their oral health problems. Dentists across the country have seen rampant decay, smooth-surface and interproximal lesions, tooth loss, and cervical enamel demineralization. And, unfortunately, the vaping fad is making its way down to the youth.

“The problem is that vaping is thought to be a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products, and companies are adding flavoring products to attract younger generations,” they write. “According to a 2013–2014 survey, 81% of current youth e-cigarette users cited the availability of appealing flavors as the primary reason for use.”

Froum and Neymark write that middle- and high-school-age children is the group in which e-cigarette use percentage is increasing the most.

“Because of the known dangerous effects of traditional tobacco methods, use among middle and high school students has been steadily decreasing since 2014,” they write. “However, since the introduction of the e-cigarette, that number is now increasing, and it is estimated that one in five high school students may now be using tobacco products. E-cigarette use from 2017 to 2018 increased 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school students.”

With the amount of young vapers now out there, Froum and Neymark think things are about to get worse.

“Because of this, a tidal wave of oral health problems is heading our way.”

How to Spot a Fake Glassdoor Review

Since companies have always been able to call and check a potential employee’s record, it is now good to have the opportunity to check a potential company out. Some past employees may leave negative reviews out of bitterness, while some current employees are pressured into leaving positive reviews. Be wary of large amounts of reviews posted at the same time; such as during layoffs or a company drive. If a review sounds too good to be true, ask a pointed question regarding the concern at your interview. Be a wise judge.

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7 Tips for Engaging Your Employees

Tips to engage your employees include meeting with your employees to determine purpose and long term goals. You should actively listen to what employees have to say and take their ideas into consideration. Consider challenging your employees with additional assignments, such as cross departmental work. Determine if people are disengaged either by surveying or meeting with them to create a solution. Show your employees that you care about them, encourage them to have fun, and celebrate achievements with thanking them.

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Employees Need To Figure Out Their Workstyle

We think about things that we want with our lives in our own personal time, but what do we want in our work life? Do we want to feel comfortable? A good idea might be to start journal writing to determine when you felt your most productive, in what job, who you were working with, and your other colleagues and boss. Think about the opposite of that and what the differences were. Maybe you could make changes to the current job situation, or possibly change jobs.

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