Dentists Gather in Anaheim for CDA Presents

Southern California is lovely in May, and the California Dental Association (CDA) will gather for CDA Presents, May 12 to May 14, at the Anaheim Convention Center. With 575 companies, more than 130 speakers, and 135,000 square feet to roam, dental professionals will have plenty of opportunities to develop skills, discover innovation, and connect with colleagues.

Each year, CDA representatives scout other dental meetings to recruit the top speakers in the profession. This year’s notables include Tara Aghaloo, DDS, MD, PhD, exploring bone and soft tissue regeneration; Paul Glassman, DDS, MBA, explaining teledentistry; and David Wong, DMD, DMSc, discussing salivary diagnostics Ultrasonic Scaler.

Also, many Dentistry Today authors will be speaking live. Patti DiGangi, RDH, will delve into detection of caries infections before cavitation. Parag Kachalia, DDS, will discuss “Imaging 2.0.” Brian LeSage, DDS, has planned both lectures and workshops on composite restorations water picker. Samuel Low, DDS, MS, MEd, will speak on clinical and management topics at multiple sessions.

Dentistry Today’s longtime Leaders in Continuing Education will be presenting as well. Joseph Massad, DDS, will cover implant and edentulous patients as well as application of the neutral zone in removable and implant prosthodontics in separate lectures. And, Daniel Ward, DDS, will explore anterior restorations and posterior restorations in a pair of individual lectures.

Busy attendees who don’t have time for full morning or afternoon lectures can check out the free hour-long sessions at the Spot. Topics will include “Office Budget 101,” “Secrets to Case Acceptance,” “Cybersecurity and Dentistry,” “Managing Patient Conflicts,” and more. Check the event schedule for speakers and times.

Plus, California dentists know that they have to complete 2.0 continuing education units on infection control and 2.0 units on the California Dental Practice Act each renewal cycle by law for license and permit renewal. CDA Presents will offer sessions on both topics each day, providing plenty of opportunities to stay up to date.

But all work and no play makes for a dull conference. If you want to learn how to pair food and vino, connoisseurs will present a sextet of pairings at the WineFUNdamentals Seminar on Thursday, May 12 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall D Restaurant. Participants can even vote for their favorite and take home a cheat sheet. Admission is $30 vacuum forming machine dental.

Smart Providers Opt Into Medicare

Dental providers are receiving notices from major dental carriers and from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) telling them to enroll as Medicare providers. If these dental providers do not enroll as Medicare providers, their Medicare age patients will not be able to obtain the medications prescribed by them, nor will medically necessary procedures be covered.

Many dental providers have ignored this mandate. Some providers say that they don’t accept Medicare. These providers aren’t paying attention that if they treat patients over the age of 65 or disabled patients, both adult and pediatric, they are treating Medicare patients dental equipment.

The August 1 deadline for dental providers to enroll in or choose to opt out of Medicare is quickly approaching. If you have received a notice from CMS stating that you have written prescriptions for Medicare Part D patients, you should opt in as a provider as soon as possible. Providers who opt in also will be able to bill Medicare for medically necessary procedures as indicated by the primary medical carrier, Medicare.

Providers who choose to opt out will have to notify their patients that they will be subject to paying list price for medication prescribed by them. When opting out, you must have your patients sign a contract stating they agree to pay for certain medically necessary procedures that Medicare or their private plans may cover.

Opting out also means you might not be an in-network provider for some dental plans any longer and risk losing reimbursements as well as patients. If you have an all-cash practice that does not bill insurance, you may want to consider completing an ordering and referring application in case you have to write a prescription for a Medicare patient.How Do I Alleviate The Pain If I Cannot See My Dentist Right for more information.

Today’s dental practices also need to become familiar with the medical billing process. Over the past decade, research has exposed a relationship between oral infection and systemic health conditions, causing dental professionals to look more closely at the link between a patient’s health and overall physical health.

There are several advantages to filing medically related dental services with medical claims, such as more coverage for your patients and higher reimbursement for certain procedures. New standards are in place for many procedures, and dental practices are recognizing the value of filing medical claims for them.

You will see increased case acceptance for those procedures that fall under the guidelines for medical coverage, even from those patients who have dental insurance micro motors australia. Your patients will see billing for medically related dental procedures to their major medical plans as a value-added service.

Lower Face Anatomy

A full command of the anatomy in any area of intended injection vastly decreases the probability of adverse events and greatly increases the injector’s confidence.

The skin of the chin is some of the thickest on the face.2 Dermal thinning, which occurs most rapidly in postmenopausal women,3 may cause the skin of the chin to adopt an orange peel appearance—hence the name “peau d’orange.” This results from hypertonicity of the mentalis muscle that connects to the dermis via dense fibrous septae.

The face contains discrete fat compartments that, with age, experience volume decreases and increases in a nonuniform manner.4

Unlike the muscles of mastication, which have bidirectional boney attachments, the muscles of facial expression are connected to the overlying skin via a layer called the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS). When a facial muscle contracts, the overlying skin moves with it.

Vascular supply to the chin arises from two main branches of the facial artery: the inferior labial artery and the submental artery. Likewise, venous drainage is accomplished via the inferior labial vein and submental vein and ultimately to the jugular vein. Lymphatic drainage of the chin is principally to the ipsilateral submental lymph nodes.

Location of the mental foramen is somewhat variable. Anatomical studies show that in 50% of cases, the mental foramen is immediately buccal to the second bicuspid. In 25% it’s found between the first and second premolar, and in the remaining 25% it’s found posterior to the second premolar. The foramen’s vertical location, even in the senescent mandible, is greater than 8 mm superior to the inferior border of the mandible.5

Age-Related Changes

Aging results from intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors include loss of collagen and volume loss from both fat and bone. Extrinsic factors include smoking, photodamage, and pollution.

Downturned oral commissures imply a loss of lip volume leading to an inferomedial curling of the commissure that dissolves into the marionette line. Presentation is magnified by a greater muscular pull from the depressors than the elevators of the corner of the mouth dental equipment. A common complaint from patients presenting for facial rejuvenation is that their family members tell them they “look sad or annoyed.”

Genetics, loss of fat volume, skeletal remodeling, dermal thinning, and ptotic skin all contribute to marionette lines. Perimental hollows result from fat depletion, dermal thinning, and bony resorption.6

The prejowl sulcus forms a notch bilaterally on the mandibular border, located at the caudal terminus of the marionette lines. This sulcus is due to a combination of soft-tissue atrophy and bony resorption.7

A hyperactive mentalis muscle produces a pebbled and irregularly textured appearance of the chin integument dental handpiece. Sustained hypertonicity creates a permanent labiomental groove that is highly resistant to dermal filler treatment without concomitant treatment with neurotoxin.

Continuous observation and study of average, unattractive, and beautiful faces, both young and old, is the way to master clinical evaluation for diagnosis and treatment of patients seeking facial injectable treatment. The ability of the practitioner to detect details eluding the untrained eye is fundamental to providing clinical excellence. water picker

Make your phone greeting memorable

Next, add great communication processes to your patient interactions. Make your phone greeting memorable. Be consistent in communicating your office policies by scripting in a polite and engaging way—even funny!

For instance, when patients miss an appointment, send them an email or text with a funny theme and picture. Use a cartoon character with a silly expression and caption it with a variation of, “Oh no! I forgot my appointment!” Add a smiley face and invite them to call and reschedule. Be creative!

Also, spend money on your patients. Give away prizes for any celebratory event in their lives. Radical, you say? Remember, it’s about the patient. Don’t worry. You will be rewarded.

I know of practices that give away a car every year to a patient in a drawing. Another practice has purchased and given away cars to people who needed transportation and couldn’t afford it. That is very generous, of course, but the dividends are real and numerous.

Additionally, you can offer more clinical services such as dental sleep medicine and Invisalign. In my 2-doctor practice, we added both and saw our new patient numbers explode. Be the place in your community and neighborhood for complete and comprehensive dentistry dental vacuum forming machine.

Finally, patients are busy people, so be efficient and on time. If a delay comes up, tell them and keep telling them every 10 minutes, otherwise known as the 10-Minute Rule.

We also had what we called “Oops” cards. If we made a mistake on billing or scheduling or if we were running late, we would give the patient a gift card worth about $20 to Starbucks or some other nice place to help smooth out the issue.

Your Turn

These are just a few of the practical things you can do to create this transition. There are hundreds more ideas that will make your practice stand out in the minds of your patients and community dental lab equipment.

But if you see that you are falling short, don’t despair. Just make a plan to start by implementing a few of these ideas and add to them as you grow into it. Yes, it will take some effort and maybe cost you some time and money. But it is well worth the trouble. portable dental unit

Delivering Brand Experiences

Understanding the intent and expectations of your patients is key to creating videos that build brand connections. We have transitioned to a mobile-dominated media age. Consumers expect to be awed and seduced with content that is of great value. While it is important to focus on who your patients are, the greater focus has to be on identifying what they want.

First, find a space that your practice can fill. The big question to ask is what your practice can offer your patients that will meet their needs, wants, and interests. The best way to get this information is by asking your patients.

Create a questionnaire that your staff can hand out to patients while they wait in the office. The questionnaire also can be included in your newsletter. Or, you can engage your patients on social media to gain insight into their needs and questions—and also to know what time of day that they typically look for information. Once you have this data, it becomes easy to create video content that meets your patients’ needs.

Next, create content relevant to your patients’ expectations. Once you have identified how your practice can meet patient expectations, it is time to create relevant and useful content that adds value for your viewers. The great thing about dental content is that you can easily link different topics.

If you create a video about a dental implant procedure, you can inform viewers about after-care. If your topic is tooth extractions, you can create a corresponding video about possible complications that can arise from a wisdom tooth extraction. A search on Google or YouTube can easily show you common questions that searchers ask all the time.

Another way of pulling up ideas for videos is by looking at the comments under already uploaded dental videos. In a lot of cases, the negative comments can give you insight into what is lacking in the video, highlight an area that needs improvement, or even give you an idea about covering a new topic.

After that, optimize your video for all screens water picker. Your patients watch videos over multiple devices, including their smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs. So, your videos need to be viewable on all devices. This calls for a more holistic approach to video marketing.

With YouTube and other video hosting services such as Vimeo, you don’t have to worry about how your video will be displayed since they optimize videos posted there for viewing on any size screen and easy distribution. Practices that post videos elsewhere, though, need to keep a few things in mind:

Ensure your website uses “responsive design” so any videos uploaded there can be viewed easily no matter what size screen the user is viewing it on.
It is best to avoid text, including bulleted lists, since reading text on a smartphone can be very difficult even with responsive sites.
If you’re using a smartphone to create your video, make sure you rotate the phone so the video is shot horizontally.
Ensure your audio quality is as good as your video quality implant machine.
Give your video an edit check before uploading.
Finally, use relevant video ads. Understanding viewer intent or context allows practices to plan messaging that is highly relevant to their patients’ interests. Most patients, particularly millennials, prefer ad-free content. The same holds true for video viewing as well.

YouTube’s skippable ad format, TrueView advertising, gives the viewer the choice to watch an ad or to skip it. Videos feature ads with a “Skip Ad” option. However, if someone chooses to watch your ad, it means your ad is covering an area of relevant interest.

You have a 5-second window before the Skip Ad option shows up turbine air compressor. If you want viewers to watch your ad, then it needs to have a tone, style, and subject that appeals to the viewer. Ads that are humorous, emotional, or calming tend to see better recall and are more successful in creating brand awareness.


Highly relevant and useful videos can help your practice capture audience attention in their moments of need. Today, online videos are not just an entertainment avenue. Consumers are influenced by what they watch. YouTube has a whole generation of stars who have achieved celebrity status thanks to their audiences. The power of video has become extensive and ubiquitous. With careful planning, video can bring with it great potential for attracting new patients to your practice.

Top 5 Social Media Tips for Promoting Your Practice

Social media can be a fantastic way to reach new patients and to keep in contact with existing patients. The best way to market is to go where your target market is located online, as most of your local patients are using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other sites each day to socialize and entertain themselves. What Types Of Braces Are Available? for more information.

As a dental practice it can be challenging to figure out what to post, how frequently you should post, and how to engage your audience when they have so much content to read online. These top 5 proven strategies can help you answer these questions and improve your marketing efforts on social media.


I see so many practices set up their Facebook pages and other social media accounts and then just let them sit and collect dust. To successfully market your practice on social media, you need to post on a regular basis. You cannot post once a month or once a week. You need to post at least a few times a week or even daily. The biggest challenge for most practices is finding or creating enough content to share on their social media accounts. This is why so many social media accounts stagnate.

Quality Photos & Content

Your marketing content should always be a reflection of you, a quality dental practice. If you post low-quality content that doesn’t allow your audience to interact with you online, you’re not getting the most out of your post. Like I said, it’s a hassle to constantly find or even create professional content for your social media marketing.

I recommend hiring a designer to help you with your social media content. Or, you can buy social media kits for your practice dental supplies. Posting quality content to your social networks is essential, because people will look forward to seeing your posts, and they will respond positively to them.


Using humor can be a great strategy to make people remember who you are and create positive feelings towards your dental practice. Good humor always goes viral online, and it can really help you spread the word about your practice. People love to be entertained, and creating humorous posts about your practice or about dentistry can be a terrific way to engage your patients and allow them to build a relationship with you online.


Education builds trust. Most patients don’t know much about oral health. As the doctor, you should constantly focus on educating your patients about certain procedures and how to stay healthy. Using social media to help educate and share interesting facts about dentistry is a huge way to stay in touch with your patients and with potential patients. By consistently posting new and interesting facts about dentistry, you will attract a bigger audience with many potential new patients.

Calls to Action

It’s important to set a goal to try and get new patients out of your marketing efforts. Placing a call to action on each post or image like “Don’t forget to schedule an appointment today” or “Call our office to schedule an appointment” can be a tremendous way to encourage and remind your patients to make an appointment with your office. Most people are busy and forget to make appointments with their dentist portable dental unit. Social media can be a considerable tool to be that extra reminder to call your office and get their teeth cleaned, so make sure you include calls to action in your posts to help your business thrive.


Marketing can be simple if you are consistent and have a solid message and enough content to share online. If you take what you have learned here and apply it to your practice, you will be successful in marketing and growing your audience online. If you need more content for your practice for the back-to-school season, you can download a social media kit and start marketing your practice today!

Master’s Program in Operative Dentistry Launches in Florida

The University of Florida College of Dentistry is launching a new graduate education program in its department of restorative sciences for general dentists who want to earn a master’s degree in operative dentistry dental handpiece. Applications will be accepted through December 16, with the first classes beginning on July 1, 2017.

“This is a 3-year program, and it will be designed to meet the growing need for future educators in operative dentistry,” said Patricia Pereira, DDS, PhD, who will direct the program. “We’re having search committees for faculty, and it’s really complicated to find educators in operative dentistry.”

Operative dentistry addresses the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of defects of the teeth that do not require full coverage restorations for correction. It should result in the restoration of proper tooth form, function, and aesthetics while maintaining the physiologic integrity of the teeth and their relationship with adjacent tissues.

“It’s general dentistry but more focused on aesthetic dentistry and preserving tooth structure,” said Pereira. “Operative dentistry is not a CODA recognized specialty like periodontology or endodontics, but it is in the process of becoming a specialty. Some branches of dentistry recognize operative dentistry as advanced training.”

First-year students in the program will be prepared to see patients while learning how to be educators. Courses in subsequent years will expand upon the basic knowledge of cariology, prevention, advanced operative dentistry, aesthetics, materials science, and urgent patient care.

For example, first-year students will spend 30% of their time in patient care, with the rest of their work divided between didactic courses and teaching preclinical and clinical students. In the later years, 40% of their time will be in patient care, with the remainder split between didactic teaching and research.

“There definitely will be teaching in the clinics and in the preclinical courses in the labs—when those students do their first tooth preparation, for example,” Pereira said. “They also will be presenting seminars for the other master’s students in other programs within the school. Our dental students are going to be more hands-on in terms of clinical and preclinical labs and in the seminars.”

Digital dentistry including CAD/CAM technologies will play a central role in the curriculum too dental instruments. Students will learn how to scan teeth with intraoral cameras, design restorations on the computer, and mill composite ceramic blocks that will best fit their patients. Conventional impressions, Pereira said, are no longer necessary.

“We have at least 10 milling machines at the school. And the clinic where students will be working already has 4 scanners with 4 milling machines,” Pereira said. “Everything here is pretty much digital, and we foresee moving more toward that.”

Looking ahead, Pereira hopes to launch partnerships with different equipment companies to get their products in the hands of her students. That way, these students will get exposure to a variety of tools—and once they’re finished with the program, they may have a preference.

“For example, digital scanner companies can bring in their scanners and students can try all of them. When they leave school, they can decide which one they like best and what they want to buy,” said Pereira. “It’s going to be a good time for companies to start investing in terms of collaboration.”

The program will be small, however, with 3 students admitted each year. That’s because it’s an intense program that requires a lot of manpower on the faculty’s behalf. There also will be an intern program for students who do not want to enter the full master’s program.

It’s a demanding program too scian nebulizer. Students must complete a minimum of 38 credits and carry a 3.0 GPA. Plus, they need to publish their thesis in a peer-reviewed journal and present it at a national or an international meeting—not at an in-house research event.

“If they want to be eligible for an academic career, they have to know how to publish. They have to know how to lecture. They have to know how to teach,” said Pereira. “We’re going to make these students eligible for an academic career or private practice with evidence-based dentistry as a background for them.”

Evidence-based dentistry, integrating clinical expertise with the patient’s needs and preferences and with the most current clinically relevant evidence published in peer-reviewed journals, will be the foundation of the program’s clinical work.

“As long as there’s evidence in the literature showing that something works, and has been retested, and we see that it works, then, yes, it will be the focus of our program, using evidence-based dentistry to treat our patients,” Pereira said.

Prior to joining the University of Florida’s faculty, Pereira spent 12 years teaching, including 6 years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in operative dentistry. She has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has presented many scientific research programs and continuing education courses.

Among other members of the faculty, Pereira will be joined by Saulo Geraldeli, DDS, MS, PhD, associate professor, and Alejandro Delgado, DDS, MS, clinical assistant professor, both with the school’s restorative dental sciences operative division.

“We have a very good body of professors here from different backgrounds. It’s a very cohesive division,” said Pereira. “We’re all very tight together.”

Smoking Increases the Risk of Marginal Bone Loss

Smoking doesn’t just damage respiratory and cardiovascular health. It also impacts the oral cavity, leading to bad breath, tooth discoloration, and, eventually, bone loss, according to Aarhus University in Denmark. After a 10-year study comprising 301 individuals, researchers there found the progression of marginal bone loss to be more pronounced in smokers than in nonsmokers dental curing light.

“Marginal bone loss is the result of marginal periodontitis, which is caused by bacterial accumulation on the teeth, or dental plaque,” said Golnoush Bahrami, DDS, PhD, of the university’s department of dentistry. “Other factors such as genetics and smoking are believed to be contributing factors to marginal periodontitis. Some general conditions such as diabetes also have been linked to the disease.”

The study began with each subject getting a full-mouth radiographic survey that measured the marginal bone level of each tooth in millimeters. The researchers also noted each subject’s age, gender, smoking habits, number of teeth, apical periodontitis, and crowns. The survey and exam were repeated after 5 and 10 years. Only individuals who didn’t report a change in smoking habits during that period were included.

“There are theories that smoking might be an indirect risk factor, meaning that people who smoke might have poorer oral hygiene than nonsmokers. However, recent studies have indicated that smoking could be a direct risk for marginal periodontitis dental supplies. There are many theories on why,” Bahrami said.

“For example, smoking causes contraction of the peripheral blood vessels, which could decrease the blood flow to the marginal bone and gingiva, or that smoking could also alter the microbiological flora in the mouth,” Bahrami said. “Smoking could additionally inhibit the immune system and therefore have negative effects on marginal periodontitis. These are only a few of the theories on why smoking affects marginal periodontitis.”

At baseline, smokers had a statistically significantly more reduced marginal bone level, with an average of 0.9 mm, than nonsmokers. After 10 years, a mean marginal bone loss of greater than 2 mm was statistically significantly more common in smokers than in nonsmokers. Also, a marginal bone loss of one to 2 mm was observed in 29% of the smokers and 19% of the nonsmokers, with marginal bone loss less than or equal to one mm in 69% of smokers and 81% of nonsmokers.

Bahrami indicated that marginal periodontitis also has been linked to diabetes and heart disease, with an intraoral effect of loss of teeth. Furthermore, those who smoked more cigarettes saw more severe effects. Recent studies have indicated that smokeless tobacco products have similar effects dental vibrator. As for electronic cigarettes, Bahrami said, not enough research has been completed yet.

“However, the use of e-cigarettes is not advisable for periodontal patients due to the nicotine content,” Bahrami said.

Due to the role that smoking plays in bone loss and the threat it presents to oral health, dentists can encourage their patients to cut back or quit.

“Motivation and education is the only way, in my opinion. Patients should understand the risks involved and also know that smoking cessation can, in some cases, slow the progression of bone loss to the level of patients who have never smoked,” Bahrami said. “If the patient has heart disease or diabetes, then the need for smoking cessation is even more important. However, those patients are the hardest ones to change the habit, so it’s actually quite difficult.”

Save Lives With Simple Oral Cancer Screenings

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 529,000 new cases of oral (lip, oral cavity, and pharynx) cancer each year worldwide, with mortality rates reaching up to 292,000 deaths each year.1 In the United States, more than 48,000 individuals will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year with more than 9,500 deaths resulting from this disease, killing roughly one person per hour, 24 hours per day.2

Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high due to late-stage diagnosis and intervention. Currently, the vast majority of patients with oral cancer are detected through a visual exam and/or are symptomatic, at which point they are likely late stage. As a result, oral cancer often goes undetected to the point of metastasizing. Early diagnosis of oral cancer results in a cure rate of up to 90%.3

While all adults should be screened for oral cancer annually, those who smoke or use smokeless tobacco and/or consume alcohol excessively are at a higher risk for the disease. Another risk factor is exposure to certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted virus that is contributing to a rise in oral cancer among young adults.

A recent consumer survey on oral cancer showed that while only about a third of those surveyed recall being screened for oral cancer at their last dental checkup, a large majority would like to be screened at every checkup and would like their dental professional to use simple screening tools to assess their risk.

Current Screening Approach

The current standard for screening for oral cancer is a visual/manual oral examination given by the dental or medical professional as part of the annual checkup. This head and neck examination entails bimanual palpation of various external areas of:

The head and neck including the lower jaw, neck, glands, and lymph nodes of this area;
The oral cavity including the tongue, cheeks, floor and roof of the mouth, lips, and back of the throat.
During this examination, screeners look for clinical features of oral lesions that might raise suspicion of potential malignancy, including sharp or distinct margins, a red component (color variation), a non-homogenous white component (surface irregularity), persistent ulceration, and size larger than 1 centimeter. The clinician also should view with suspicion any persistent or progressive lesion of the ventrolateral tongue or the floor of the mouth dental implant machine. If any of these types of areas are present, the exam is followed up with a biopsy for any suspicious lesions.

Although the oral cavity is easily accessible for examination and evaluation, the ability to identify this disease in its earliest stages can be very difficult, as early-stage lesions may often be asymptomatic or mimic other conditions, whereas other lesions may not be readily evident in routine examination. Finding the disease in its earliest stages with this screening method therefore is not easy and has often eluded the medical and dental professions.

While there are several types of adjunctive tools that have attempted to address earlier intervention, to date they have all fallen short of making a significant dent in oral cancer mortality rates.

Light-based system options include spectroscopic and chemiluminescent (light-based aid requiring the use of acid or dye). This type of evaluation requires extensive training; it is labor intensive and time consuming for the dentist or dental professional dental handpiece. There is also an available saliva-based test for use when a lesion has already been detected. However, that test misses the opportunity to test prior to a lesion appearing and does not test for specific tumor-initiating stem cell-associated biomarkers.

Today, there are some innovative new tools being introduced that show promise for earlier detection for oral cancer.

One of these is a new test based on technology that measures an unprecedented combination of CD44 and total protein levels, markers clinically validated to be associated specifically with oral cancer, to aid clinicians in the early detection and intervention of oral cancer by assisting in clinical decision-making. This new, promising technology, which uses a combination of CD44 and total protein, makes it easy for dental professionals to incorporate stem cell-associated biomarker information into clinical practice.

This oral rinse-based test is simple for the dentist or dental professional to administer, as well as for the patient to use dental supplies. Patients swish and gargle an oral solution in their mouth for 10 seconds, the sample is collected in the specimen cup, and then a test cassette is inserted into the specimen cup. Results can be read on the test cassette at 20 minutes.


It is of the utmost importance for dentists and dental professionals to become educated on the proper methods for oral cancer screening. To help save lives, they should also be encouraging their patients to get screened regularly, especially if they are at higher risk. In addition, new technology based on a stem cell-associated biomarker may assist clinical decision-making, thus aiding in the early detection and intervention of oral cancer.

Rising Claims Reflect a Need for Better Oral Cancer Detection

Oral cancer is on the rise. Claim lines with an oral cancer diagnosis increased 61% from 2011 to 2015, according to data from the FAIR Health repository of over 21 billion privately billed medical and dental claims. The greatest increase occurred in throat cancer (malignant neoplasm of the nasopharynx, hypopharynx, and oropharynx) and the second greatest in tongue cancer (malignant neoplasm of the tongue).

Oral cancer is the eighth most commonly occurring cancer in males and has a high death rate. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that approximately 48,330 Americans will get cancer of the oral cavity or pharynx (throat) in 2016 and that approximately 9,570 people will die of the disease.

Oral cancer is much more common among men than women. According to our data, in the period 2011-2015, oral cancer claims occurred nearly 3 times as often in males (74%) as in females (26%). During that period, tongue and throat cancers in particular were more likely to occur in men than women. Men and women were more similar in their chances of developing an oral tumor that was benign but could become cancerous (neoplasm of uncertain behavior—oral) and gum cancer (malignant neoplasm of the gums).

Like most cancers, oral cancer is associated with older age. FAIR Health data showed that, in the period 2011 to 2015, oral cancer claims occurred much more frequently in individuals 46 years of age and older than in younger people. From 2011 to 2015, oral cancer claims increased in the 56- to 65-year-old age group and decreased in people over 65 years old.

Tobacco use in any form is a principal risk factor for oral cancer, according to the ACS dental air compressor. That includes smoked tobacco in the form of cigarettes, cigars and pipes, and smokeless tobacco in the form of chewing tobacco and snuff. Excessive alcohol use and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection also are risk factors. Rising oral cancer rates may be linked to the increased use of smokeless tobacco and increased exposure to HPV.

The ACS reports that the 5-year relative survival rate for people with oral cancer is 63%—that is, the percentage of people who are alive 5 years after an oral cancer diagnosis divided by the percentage expected to be alive based on normal life expectancy in the absence of cancer. That survival rate is lower than the rate for all cancers (69%) dental handpiece. Yet when oral cancer is diagnosed at the local stage, before it has spread elsewhere in the body, 5-year survival is much higher, at 83%. Unfortunately, less than a third of cases are diagnosed at an early stage.

The ADA suggests that dentists perform oral cancer screenings during routine dental checkups, particularly in patients who use tobacco or consume alcohol heavily. But, FAIR Health data in the period 2011-2015 show that adult males—the age and gender group most likely to develop oral cancer—were much less likely than adult females to go to the dentist for preventive examinations and cleanings. The gender gap grows smaller as people age. Among individuals over age 65 years, 47% of men and 53% of women received preventive exams and cleanings dental equipment.

In general, many Americans visit the dentist less frequently than is recommended. According to a national survey commissioned by FAIR Health and conducted by ORC International in 2015, a third of respondents do not see a dentist once or twice a year (see the figure).

In what may be a sign of decreasing attention to dental care, emergency department visits for two CPT1 codes—99284, ED visit, high/urgent severity, and 99285, ED visit, high severity and life-threatening—that are associated with dental diagnoses have been rising in recent years, according to FAIR Health data. That may be a sign that people are postponing dental care until the last minute.

Despite these findings, it appears that more attention is being paid now to oral cancer screenings. According to FAIR Health data, occurrences of codes for two dental procedures associated with oral cancer screenings have been rising in recent years: CDT codes D0431, an adjunctive pre-diagnostic test, and D7287, exfoliative cytological sample collection (obtaining cells for microscopic study).