Are Your Dental Loupes Worsening Your Neck Health?

By Dr. Bethany Valachi, PT, DPT, MS, CEAS

Imagine spending $1,500 on new loupes and then developing neck pain—or your existing neck pain worsens. This is an all-too-common problem that I frequently encounter in my dental ergonomic consultations and among my dental students.   On the other hand, I have repeatedly seen well-designed ergonomic loupes that improve or completely resolve neck pain. So how do you know if your loupes are improving or worsening your health?

Of all the criteria for selecting loupes (working distance, frame size, scope position, declination angle, co-axial adjustment), declination angle is the most important ergonomic factor that can make or break your health.

Studies show that working with the neck flexed forward only 20 degrees or more for 70 percent of the working time has been associated with neck pain.  While no loupe systems provide completely neutral head posture (ear-over-shoulder), loupes with a steep declination angle may significantly improve operator working postures in dentistry, thereby lessening risk of musculoskeletal disorders and improving clinician comfort. Therefore, to prevent musculoskeletal injury, loupes should enable you to work with less than 20 degrees of neck flexion.

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The Knowledge Exchange

A major reason for attending any conference is for educational purposes. The Global Oral Health Summit has some of the best and brightest industry speakers, trainers and doctors lined up to guide attendees on their educational journey, but opportunities also exist outside the classroom for people to learn from their peers in the industry.

Carestream Dental calls it the “knowledge exchange;” the concept is similar to The Exchange, the online software users’ community, where attendees/users are can ask questions and learn from each other’s experiences. The Summit offers several spaces for attendees to meet with their colleagues and exchange ideas, tips and tricks and suggestions for how they can take their practices to the next level:

Hackathon

This mass brainstorming session is a collaborative effort with other oral health care professionals to find solutions to the challenges practices face every day. Innovators from MIT will guide participants in problem-solving scenarios to encourage the free flow of ideas and communication about the future of the oral health industry. In particular, the hackathon will address boosting the efficiency of day-to-day operations, enhancing the patient experience and improving their practices. Continue reading

The Benefit of Implementing Planned Time-Outs

By William J. Moorhead, D.M.D.

To some people, “time-out” implies “sporting event.” To others, it means “parenting strategy.”

Time-outs have been used in medicine for several years. In surgery with the surgical team, time-outs verify such areas as:

  • Patient’s name
  • Date of birth
  • Consent form had been signed
  • Drug allergies
  • The kind of surgery being performed

In our practice, we use time-outs as a planned pause before the start of treatment to focus on safety and patient communication. Continue reading

Global Oral Health Summit: The Exchange Central

During a hectic day at a learning event, it’s common for teams to choose a designated spot to meet up and regroup between educational sessions. At the Global Oral Health Summit, that “designated spot” is Exchange Central. It’s more than a place to connect with team members, it’s a central location with software and support resources, local information and fun ways to relax and recharge.

Make a Pit Stop with the Practice Management Pit Crew
Attendees can look under the hood at some of the new and exciting changes coming to Carestream Dental software. The crew of software analysts and designers will be on-hand to showcase the investments and improvements taking place in Carestream Dental’s practice management systems.

Join The Exchange
Attendees can chat with a Community Expert to learn more about The Exchange, Carestream Dental’s free online users community. At The Exchange, users can ask questions, participate in polls and search for handy how-to guidance for navigating their software.

Summit Play
Get crafty with your hands or challenge others to a game of corn hole, giant Jenga or Connect Four in our Summit Play area. Continue reading

How Scripts Can Facilitate Patient Education

By William J. Moorhead, D.M.D.

In years past, when a clinician made a recommendation, the patient almost always accepted the treatment plan and proceeded with the procedure. A lot has changed since then. With the advent of the internet, patients often want time to do their own research before making a treatment decision because they feel the need to look out for their own self interest.

You may already know the concept of co-diagnosis—the term used to describe the process where patients are guided through a self-discovery of their problems. Technology now helps us tremendously in this process, with intraoral cameras and digital photographs and radiographs.

If you take digital photographs early in the examination appointment, you give patients the opportunity to see their actual conditions—and own their problems before the doctor performs the exam. Most patients expect far fewer issues than are actually present. By seeing the evidence firsthand, however, their self discovery improves case acceptance. Continue reading