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Five Best Items to Have During a Pandemic/ How Should You Prepare For a Pandemic /5 Items to Stock up During the Pandemic

The World Health Organization has declared Covid-19 a pandemic. As the total number of cases in the United States exceed 1 million earlier this week, the WHO has set guidelines for the public to prepare themselves for the effect of the pandemic.

  Covid-19, the novel coronavirus that first caused an outbreak in China in 2019  has rapidly infected people around the globe. According to the CDC, the most vulnerable to this viral threat are people over the age of 60 and those with chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. Everyone around the world has been urged to stay at home as much as possible and practice social distancing. The virus can cause symptoms ranging from cough to high fever, shortness of breath, and in some cases, it can be deadly, particularly in those populations most at risk. 

The first thing you need to do and this is most important. You must not panic. Even though the term pandemic can sound scary, it doesn’t mean the world is ending. Depending on the scale of the pandemic, there can be interruptions to supply chains and economic repercussions. We’ve already seen multiple reports of people stocking up on essentials all at the same time, which has left supermarkets out of stock.

If you’re unable to easily purchase supplies  at short notice, it is worth being prepared so that you can be comfortable staying home if you or someone in your family does get sick and needs to remain in isolation. As the Coronavirus continues its rapid spread internationally and across the U.S. many Americans are following public health advice from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention to prepare for the possibility of a lengthy home stay.  

So it’s important to have what you need in order to remain at home for a longer period, possibly weeks. That way experts say you’ll be prepared if you need to decrease contact and socialization in case you get sick, or try to prevent illness if there’s an outbreak of coronavirus in your communiy, but rather than panicking and buying more than you need, it’s about being adequately stocked. Just in case you need to shelter in place, or in case stores have limited supplies for some time.

Read on to know more about the best five items to stock up and how you need to prepare yourself for the pandemic, according to experts.

  • Medications

It’s a better idea to have a month’s supply of any medications you might be taking, than running out of stock and not finding any at the last moment. Keep handy any self-care supplies, including items needed to manage chronic disease like blood glucose test trips for diabetes, etc.

 “Check to ensure you have at least a 30-day supply of your prescription medications, and have other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins,” advises Anthony Tornetta, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross. Also keep a thermometer and medications to reduce fever handy.

  • Stock Food

Make sure you get foods you like and are comfortable preparing. While the focus should be to stock up on things that won’t go bad in storage, such as soup and canned food; avoid purchasing things that you won’t end up consuming.

 “Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items are the best to have on hand. These could be things already in your pantry, such as canned goods or snack bars that can last and be easily stored. If you have an infant, make sure to stock up on extra baby food and formula,” Tornetta adds. “Similarly, if you have pets, make sure you have extra pet food in your home as well.” Make sure you have at least two-week’s worth of these supplies for every person in your household. Just make sure to regularly replace any perishable foods and don’t neglect non-perishable stocks. Eating well supports overall health and can bolster immunity at a time when that’s critical. 

  • Stock Up on Cleaning Supplies


Regular hand-washing is important to prevent the spread of disease including coronavirus. At home, soap and, water are more than sufficient. If for some reason, you eventually need to leave your quarantine, it’s a good idea to have antibacterial wipes and/or hand sanitizer gel. Make sure your hand sanitizer is at least 60% alcohol. Get your hands on alcohol-based sanitizer in the comfort of your home, by clicking here - https://www.nobledentalsupplies.com/hand-sanitizer-gel-70-alcohol-w-aloe-mark3

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Make sure you have all you need to keep your home sanitized. You should have disinfectant sanitizers & tissues, such as Kleenex and paper towels, Gentry suggests. You should also have wipes and diapers and any other supplies you need if you have a baby, he advises.

  • Wearing a Mask

We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (‘asymptomatic’) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (pre-symptomatic’) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity – for example speaking, coughing, or sneezing – even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

  • Plan Ahead

You must plan ahead when it comes to emergency, so as you stock up on goods, make sure you put a plan in place to monitor the spread of the virus in your community and neighborhood. This plan will guide you in case you get sick. Keep yourself up to date with local and international news as well as national updates from the CDC.

How To Do Your Part In Preventing A Second Wave Of Coronavirus


The Director of the CDC, Robert Redfield in an interview with the Washington Post last week, said that the second wave of Coronavirus, a disease caused by the novel coronavirus, could be worse than the current one that shook the world. “There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will be more difficult than the one we just went through,” he said, because it would coincide with the annual flu epidemic, which killed 24,000 to 62,000 people last year alone and caused 18-26 million hospital visits.


Even though several hours later, during Trump’s daily coronavirus press briefing, Redfield was forced to take back his statement saying it is still going to be “more difficult and potentially more complicated, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be worse”.

As of today roughly 80,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus with a vast majority of them happening in the New York, New Jersey area. For a comparison, more than the 47,434 Americans were killed in combat during the Vietnam War. The total number of cases in the United States exceeded 1 million earlier this week. The 1st four months of this crisis will assuredly mean that when we get out of this, we will all be different people in a very different world.

The coronavirus pandemic may have slowed down in many parts of the country because of strict social distancing efforts but we would still hold off on planning any parties, vacations or trips to the office for a while at least. Experts say the virus won’t be a thing of the past anytime soon.

A second round of Covid-19 cases is ‘inevitable’ as soon as fall arrives, says the country’s top infectious disease doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. As people increasingly try to resume regular life and more states ease or lift their stay-at-home orders, he says that he is ‘almost certain’ that the virus will come back, because it is so transmissible and globally spread. According to him Americans could be in for ‘a bad fall and a bad winter’, if the country is ill-prepared.

There are many aspects of the virus that remain unknown for scientists, but older viruses are offering some clues. People are usually infected by 4 common coronaviruses that were 1st identified in the mid-1960s, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and those tend to increase multifold in winter months.

Dr. Greg Poland, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic says that Covid-19 is likely to follow that pattern. If that happens, a second wave of the virus would return just in time for the start of flu season. The flu has been a constant threat to Americans and has been devastating in recent years. The CDC estimates that there were at least 39 million cases of the flu in the US and at least 24,000 deaths during the 2019-2020 seasons. He says that the combination of a second wave of Covid-19 with flu season could create ‘a lot of confusion’ because of their overlap in symptoms and it could also put a heavy strain on the health care system.

It appears that the novel coronavirus is likely to keep spreading for at least another 18 months. There are several possible scenarios for the course of the pandemic, but the worst of them is s second wave of infections just like the 1918 influenza pandemic, according to a report by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Mike Osterholm, CIDRAP Director, co-authored a report released recently that recommended the US prepare for a worst-case scenario. The report includes preparation guidelines for a second big wave of coronavirus infections in the fall and winter.

How to Prevent Second Wave of Coronavirus

According to health experts, the coming months would be a good time to prepare for a potential second outbreak of the virus. 

  • Hospitals and clinics should refurbish their stocks of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and testing supplies. Order your PPE with zero hassles by clicking here - https://www.nobledentalsupplies.com/kleenguard-a70-chemical-spray-protective-yellow-coveralls-12cs-kimberly-clark 
  • People should try to get healthier if possible and continue using face masks for the time being. Gatherings should be kept to no more than 10 people at a time.
  • As cities reopen, local officials should make plans to swiftly reissue stay-at-home orders or other strict social distancing measures in the future, in case it is needed. 
  • Health officials across the country must continue focusing on expanding coronavirus testing, contact tracing and treatment, said Dr. Helen Boucher, Chief of the Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases Division at Tufts University Medical Center. Improving the way health workers handle the coronavirus pandemic will be key, so the country is ‘as prepared as we can be’ when it’s time to face an outbreak of both the coronavirus and the flu. Check out all our discounted medical supplies at https://www.nobledentalsupplies.com/.

While most experts believe that people who have recovered from the virus will have some sort of immunity, Poland says it is unclear how strong that immunity might be, how long it might last and the accuracy of antibody tests is inconsistent. A lot of hope is being placed on the fact that there are no definitive answers yet, because there’s still a lot scientists don’t know. 

Even though the worst is over, the months to come are not going to be ‘good’ but merely ‘less bad’. All in all, we’re probably living with this virus affecting our lives for one to two years, unless there is a breakthrough and really speedy production and distribution of a vaccine. 

Getting Back To Normal And How Dentists Can Start Stocking Up Again/ Tips on Reopening Your Dental Practice Post Coronavirus

As the nation begins to slowly reopen different sectors of the economy, it is important to consider how this “return to practice” will work for the dental industry.

Natasha Lee, DDS, a practicing dentist in San Francisco, was appointed for this effort by the Gov. Gavin Newsom to California’s Economic Recovery Task Force. Dr. Lee is also a member of CDA’s Covid-19 Clinical Care Workgroup and Economic Recovery Workgroup.

 The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the California Department of Public Health in March and Early April, issued guidance that dentists should perform only urgent and emergency care. This guidance was driven by data that demonstrated an alarming rise in community transmission across the country and the need to flatten the Covid-19 curve of infection and death. It was also done in order to protect dental personnel and their patients from the virus. CDA, ADA and most state dental organizations issued recommendations consistent with the federal and respective state authorities regarding how to apply the guidance in serving patients during the crisis.


In addition to enormous advocacy for economic relief, the next critical phase of work is to address recommendations regarding when the profession may resume thorough patient care and what practice changes will be needed to provide that kind of care.

  CDA President Richard Nagy, DDS, and California State Dental Director Jay Kumar, DDS, have established a workgroup composed of dental practitioners, academicians and researchers to help establish the recommendations for this futuristic path.

The workgroup’s return-to-practice guidance will be informed by dental office infection control fundamentals and Covid-19 specific research and advisories. Also, the workgroup is monitoring federal and state advisories and conditions for reopening the economy.

While there are many details that still need evaluation, what is certain is that significant steps must be taken to restart the broader economy and dentistry. Providing frequent close-contact, high-aerosol procedures that are common in dentistry will require meeting several conditions. The two most vital components to this would be the wide availability of rapid testing and sufficient availability of PPE, which is in short supply, as we are all well aware.

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In order to get back to normal, here’s an infection control checklist for reopening the practice after Coronavirus closures.

  • Safe practices

When practices do begin seeing patients on a routine basis, safe practices infection prevention consultant and speaker Jackie Dorst, RDH, BS, doesn’t expect everything will look just the way it did before it was put on pause. “There won’t be one big opening of the gates and saying that everything’s all clear. It’s going to be a gradual thing. Densely populated areas may be a little slower to resume medical and dental services than rural areas that are sparsely populated.” Dorst also believes that waiting rooms will need to be reorganized to limit exposure to both patients and staff.

  The patient ideally should be met at the door, greeted, temperature taken, given a mask, a wellness screening, made to practice hand hygiene before they’re even seated in the operatory. It’s definitely going to require schedule planning and time on the dental team’s part

  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)


Personal protective equipment has always been an important component of infection control efforts at the dental practice. But, in a Covid-19 world, that equipment becomes even more important- along with its proper use and availability. One likely change is the type of PPE worn by staff, Dorst says, and the guidelines surrounding PPE that will become even more stringent.

  From now on, a dental assistant is going to have to wear an N95 respirator mask, with a full-face shield over it, and then an isolation gown, rather than just the clinic jacket or scrubs that they might have worn earlier. 

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  • Equipment maintenance

This downtime has given practices the opportunity to address proper preparation and availability of dental instruments and equipment. Taking stock and getting the input of hygienists and assistants will make sure the office is ready for a full schedule post Coronavirus. Your team will appreciate being heard and the practice will be in great shape when things are in full swing again. Make sure ordering dental supplies in bulk is on the top of your list.


Putting equipment back into use shouldn’t be difficult, but keep in mind it has been sitting unused and unmaintained for weeks. Be sure to properly service the equipment according to manufacturer instructions.

  • Refreshing skills

Now is a great time to brush up on infection control policies and procedures, before patients walk through the door. It’s the perfect time to train on OSHA and Infection Control as well as take on written programs like the Exposure Control Plan. If you already have a process in place for screening for tuberculosis and other aerosol transmissible diseases, then it can be modified to include conditions like Covid-19.


It’s also very important to ensure that the practice has people in their proper safety roles, such as an infection control coordinator or a safety officer. But remember, safety is not just one person’s job, it is everyone’s job. However, a person in charge who oversees the program is extremely beneficial.

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Get Your Home Ready For Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) (What Can I Do To Prevent The Coronavirus Disease At Home?)

SARS-CoV-2 or (Covid-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly emerging novel coronavirus. Most people who get infected with the Covid-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment; however, older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to have complications while contracted with the coronavirus.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to informed yourself about the Covid-19 virus, how it may affect your body, and how it spreads. The best way to protect yourself and others from infection is by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub as often as possible.

The Covid-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice proper etiquette when coughing or sneezing like coughing into your elbow.

Before a Covid-19 outbreak occurs in your community it is important to plan. It’s unknown just how long a Covid-19 outbreak could last in your community. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, public health officials may recommend community actions designed to help keep people healthy and reduce exposures to Covid-19 Local public health officials may make recommendations appropriate to your local situation. Creating household plan can help protect your health and the health of those in your community. In the event of a local outbreak in your community you should create the a household plan that is centered around the needs and daily routine of your household members.

Prevent coronavirus disease at home

  • Talk with those who need to be included in your plan. Meet with household members, other relatives, and friends to discuss what to do if a Covid-19 outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be. This can be done or FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom if you’re unable to meet face to face.
  • Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. There is limited information about who exactly may be at risk for severe complications from Covid-19 illness. From the data that is available for Covid-19 patients, and from the data of related coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, it’s seems that older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions are more at risk for serious complications. Early data suggest older people are more likely to have serious Covid-19 illness. If you or your household members are at an increased risk for Covid-19 complications, please consult with your healthcare provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of Covid-19. The Centers for Diease Control (CDC) is a good source of information to help stay informed.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Talk with your neighbors about emergency planning. If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbors, information, and resources.
  • Identify aid organizations in your community. Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources. Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food, and other essential supplies.
  • Create an emergency contact list. Ensure your household has a current list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
  • Practice good personal health habits and plan for home-based actions.
  • Practice preventive actions daily. Remind everyone in your household the importance of consistency when practicing these habits. It can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:

- Avoid close contact with people who are sick

- Stay home when you are sick, except to receive medical care.

- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue

- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily using regular household detergent and water.

- If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection.

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  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds; especially after going to the bathroom, before you eat, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if possible. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

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  • Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick.

Plan for potential changes at your workplace

  • Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan. Discuss sick-leave policies and telework options for workers who are sick or who need to stay home to care for sick household members. Learn how businesses and employers can plan for and respond to Covid-19.

During a Covid-19 outbreak in your community: ACT

During an outbreak in your community, protect yourself and others by:

- Staying home from work, school, and all activities when you are sick with Covid-19 symptoms, which may include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

- Keep away from others who are sick

- Limit close contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet)

- Put your household plan in  action

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Are Masks Effective Against the Coronavirus Disease? When & How To Use Masks

At the beginning of what officials warned could be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States recorded more than 1,200 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, bringing the total number to 32,000 as of Thursday, April 16th according to NBC’s official tally.

Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is an infectious disease caused by an unknown virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands, avoid touching your face, and coming into close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell.

The novel coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or an object that has the virus on it. We’re going to be highlighting some basics about the effectiveness of facial masks, when they’re necessary, and how to use masks to  to stay safe and avoid spreading the coronavirus.

Do masks work to protect against the coronavirus disease?

Ordinary medical masks cannot protect against the new coronavirus when used alone. Wearing a mask alone will not prevnt the current virus, it’s best to combine other preventive measures as well. The World Health Organization or WHO only recommends the use of masks in specific cases.

If you have cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, you should wear a mask and seek medical care. If you do not have these symptoms, you do not have to wear masks because there is no evidence that they protect people who are not sick.

However, if you are healthy, but you are taking care of a person who may be infected with the new coronavirus, then you should wear a mask whenever you are in the same room with that person. Remember, if you choose to wear a mask, use it and discard it properly. Clean your hands extensively with soap and water or hand sanitizer if you’re unable to access water and soap.

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When and how to wear medical masks to protect against coronavirus

If you do not have any respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, or runny nose, you do not need to wear an ordinary medical mask. Masks alone can give you a false feeling of protection and can even be a source of infection when not used correctly. Masks should only be used by healthcare workers, caretakers, and by people who are sick with symptoms like fever and cough.

Who is at higher risk?

According to the CDC, early information shows that some people are a higher risk of getting very sick from Covid-19. This includes older adults and people of any age who:

- Have serious underlying medical conditions, such as heart, lung, or liver disease; diabetes; moderate to severe asthma; severe obesity; and renal failure.

- Have a weakened immune system, including those who are undergoing or have undergone cancer treatments.

- Pregnant women should also be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness; however, to date data on Covid-19 has not shown an increased risk for women who are pregnant.

- If you are at higher risk for serious illness from Covid-19, it is critical for you to take actions to avoid getting sick.

- Stay home, avoid close contact with others and follow the other steps above

- Call your healthcare provider if you have concerns or ask about obtaining extra necessary medications in case you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.

- Call a medical professional as soon as Covid-19 symptoms start, if you are at higher risk.

How are facemasks effective, you ask?

They’re effective because those who are healthcare workers and caretakers come into close contact with ill individuals, so the healthcare workers are at higher risk of catching Covid-19. Sick people who are being taken care of should wear masks in order to protect others from getting the virus. This is how healthcare workers, caretakers, or individuals who have fever and cough should use the mask:

- Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol based hand rub or soap and water.

- You must inspect the mask for tears and holes.

- You must verify which side is the top. It’s usually where the metal piece is.

- Identify the inside of the mask which is usually the white side.

- Fit the mask on your face and pinch the metal strip/stiff edge so it molds to the shape of your nose.

- Adjust the mask on your face covering your mouth and chin, making sure there are no gaps between your face and mask.

- Do not touch the front of the mask while using it to avoid contamination.

- If you accidently touch it, clean your hands.

How to dispose a mask?

- To take off the mask, remove the elastics from behind, without touching the front and while keeping it away from your face.

- Discard the mask immediately in a closed bin and clean your hands.

- It is important not to re-use a mask and you must replace it with a new one as soon as it gets damp.

Remember, the best way to protect yourself from the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with an alcohol-based rub and soap and water.

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FTC Judge Finds Evidence Large Dental Manufacturers Conspired to Block Dental Buying Groups

Healthy competition is a cornerstone of the American economy. While price is largely a result of supply and demand, everyone should be able to come to the playing field and compete in a free market. Market forces should determine who is competitive and successful and who fails due to poor quality or inflated price tags. But when big businesses collude together to fix prices artificially or block smaller competitors, it is the consumer who suffers. This concept is true for any product, including dental supplies.

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) administrative judge recently found compelling evidence that three large dental manufacturers/suppliers – Benco, Schein, and Patterson – conspired to prevent dental buying groups from accessing legitimate discounting and discouraged them from offering competing products to their customers. Also known as group purchasing organizations (GPOs) or buying clubs, buying groups are composed of independent dental practitioners who collectively negotiate savings on dental supplies. These groups provide small “mom and pop” dentists with the same discount opportunities that large group practices or corporate dental groups enjoy.

The big three companies mentioned above feared the effect this group buying power could have on their profits. Instead of competing honestly for buying groups’ business, Benco, Schein, and Patterson agreed to shut out these buying groups. In other words, they conspired to withhold discounts from buying groups and even collectively refused to negotiate with these groups.

The directive to “blacklist” buying groups came from the highest levels of these powerful companies, and the FTC judge found that they likely violated the antitrust provisions of the Sherman Act. The executives’ actions were egregious, and the evidence was overwhelming. For example, here is an excerpt of an email that Chuck Cohen, the managing director at Benco, sent to other Benco officials when he heard that Patterson was considering offering discounts to the New Mexico Dental Cooperative buying group:

“We don’t recognize buying groups… I’ll reach out to my counterpart at Patterson to let him know what’s going on…”

Cohen sent an email to Paul Guggenheim, the president of Patterson, and Guggenheim responded:

“Thanks for the heads up. I’ll investigate the situation. We feel the same way about these.”

Guggenheim then ordered his vice president of sales to pull out of the New Mexico partnership. These are just small examples of the conspiracy. The emails and phone calls went on and on, with Schein taking part as well. The three companies canceled appearances at buying group trade shows and continued to encourage each other not to work with buying groups.

Fortunately, this unethical and illegal conduct has not gone unanswered. The FTC has denied a motion put forth by Patterson for summary dismissal of the charges, and the case will go to trial.

Although it seems like the big companies will use every dirty trick to stifle competition and keep prices artificially high, some businesses still work for the little guys. While huge outfits like the three companies in the FTC action are beholden to their shareholders and ultra-wealthy executives, Noble Dental Supplies works for the benefit of our customers – no matter how small or large.

We have been in the dental supply industry for 40 years and remain dedicated to providing high-quality products at significantly discounted prices. We built our reputation on personal relationships, and we will never compromise on quality or dependable service.

Whether to Buy or Lease a Dental Office

Risky Dentistry Procedures that Lead to Malpractice Lawsuits

The American Board of Legal Medicine reports that just over 13% of all professional malpractice claims are filed against dentists. From 2004 to 2014, there were more than 32,000 claims of malpractice brought against dentists, resulting in a malpractice payment in nearly 17,000 cases and an adverse action in roughly 13,500 more. These figures are significant enough for all dental professionals to be aware of the most common types of malpractice claims and the riskiest procedures for claims against dentists.

        Remember that to bring a successful case for dental malpractice, an injured patient must satisfy these four elements of negligence:

  • A dentist-patient relationship;

  • The appropriate medical standard of care under the circumstances;

  • A breach in the standard of care that caused harm to the patient; and

  • Injury to the patient.

Without clearly establishing or proving each of these four elements, a patient will not be able to recover damages. Even so, a complication or injury resulting from a dental procedure could mean potential litigation, a blemish on the dentist’s record, and added expense and time away from the practice.

Common Procedures Can Be Risky Procedures

One author’s research of court proceedings shows that some of the most common types of dental malpractice are infections caused by the improper sterilization of equipment, the failure to diagnose and treat periodontal disease, and the misdiagnosis of some other dental condition.

This research lends itself to the contention that many incidents that result in a dental malpractice claim aren’t the most complex or difficult dental procedures, like a dental surgery. For example, one of the most common procedures found to be the source of medical negligence claims against dentists is a complication from a tooth extraction. In many instances, a complication arises in this procedure, the incident is exacerbated by the dentist failing to provide the opportunity for informed consent from the patient, or the absence of proper referral protocols if there’s an injury during the extraction procedure. Let’s look more at tooth extraction and other risky procedures.

Tooth Extraction

Another recent study found that out of nearly 250 cases of dental malpractice, the most common malpractice claim stemmed from a tooth extraction procedure. From those 63 cases, many of the incidents involved infections (23)—all of which necessitated the patient’s hospitalization. In fact, in Dentistry IQ, eight of these cases resulted in the death of the patient. Less severe, but quite serious injuries from tooth extractions included severed lingual nerves, severed inferior alveolar nerves, sinus perforations, fractured mandibles, TMJ injuries, and the extraction of the wrong tooth.

Endodontic Procedures

The second most common alleged negligence was from an endodontic procedure. Infection was the leading injury in claims arising endodontic therapy or root canal therapy. The Dentistry IQ research showed several life-threatening infections, with four fatalities. Of those life-threatening infections, seven were caused by brain abscesses and one was due to osteomyelitis. Four of these eight infections were fatal, and the other four caused irreversible brain damage. Other complications from this type of procedure are instruments left in canals, perforation of the sinuses or nerve damage, as well as air embolisms.

Endodontic procedures made up the second highest number of malpractice claims against general dentists in the Dentistry IQ study. Similar to tooth extraction preparation, teeth requiring endodontic therapy should be examined for possible curved or hooked roots, calcified canals, proximity to nerves and sinuses, and other potential complicating factors. On that note, one more factor in this type of claim was the fact that many of the defendant dentists were general dentists, rather than specialists. Failure to refer the patient to a specialist is also a contributing factor in an injury from an endodontic procedure.

Dental Implants, Crowns, and Bridges

Treatment planning was one of the most common allegations in this type of malpractice claim by patients, along with post-op infection. Again, many of these procedures were performed by general dentists, rather than specialists. Claims for injuries from crown and bridge procedures have a variety of complaints, such as open margins, overhanging restorations, and poor occlusion. Nonetheless, overall the claimants alleged a universal lack of treatment planning in these cases, with all of the defendants being general dentists.

Other Procedures

In addition to the procedures discussed above, these are also some of the more common causes of dental malpractice:

·         The failure to diagnose a condition, such as oral cancer, gingivitis, cavities, periodontal disease, or TMJ;

·         The failure to properly supervise an employee’s actions in a patient’s treatment;

·         Error in the administration of anesthesia;

·         The failure of a technique, like the improper use of formaldehyde-based root canal filling material;

·         The intended dental procedure wasn’t performed;

·         A contra-indicated procedure was performed, e.g., the removal of a healthy tooth by negligently misreading an x-ray or other dental records.

The Riskiest Procedures

As the research bares out, many of the most common dental procedures, such as teeth extractions and endodontic treatment can, in fact be the most susceptible to malpractice claims. Without proper planning and care, these are the riskiest procedures for a dentist to perform. A dentist’s failure to develop and follow a treatment plan and his or her failure to recognize a complication are two components of nearly all of the claims examined. Without these, many patients develop post-surgical infections, which can lead to further injuries.

A smoking history should also be taken, as many of these individuals are more susceptible to infection and complications from procedures. Research showed that a significant number of patients alleging malpractice smoked, resulting in infections that required hospitalization. A major oversight by dentists is the failure to take a history of smoking and to plan treatment accordingly.

        A word of advice is to take an ounce of prevention. Dental malpractice claims are increasing, as the payment ratio for dental claims is significantly higher than that of physician malpractice. Over 41% of dental claims are paid indemnity to patients—10% higher that medical claims resulting in payment. In other words, malpractice claims against dentists are more successful than those against physicians in the past several years. With this in mind, dentists should review their procedures and techniques, especially knowing how to recognize potential complications and guarding against infection, as well as administrative requirements beyond dental treatment, such as the office protocol for obtaining informed consent and treatment planning for every case.

Top 5 Vacation Spots in 2017

Okay, you’ve worked hard all year. Your dental practice can keep running without you for a couple of weeks while you recharge your battery. But where?

 

If you compare vacation lists, you’ll likely find very little in common. They all sound wonderful in one respect or another. This year, our theme is “exotic” and “mythical.” At the following locations, you’ll enter another world, touch a piece of history, or both.

 

Tbilisi, Georgia

If the legend is correct, then Georgians may have invented wine as much as 8,000 years ago. Their quaint capital is rich in heritage, visual appeal and mythical wonder. Georgia was the destination of Jason and his Argonauts when they were out and about to steal the Golden Fleece. At the far, eastern end of the Black Sea and nestled against the Caucasus mountains, Georgia was not only home to the Golden Fleece, but also the golden dragon which guarded it. This was where strong-willed, princess Medea met her future, Greek husband and helped him overcome the challenges posed by her father, the king. Georgia has beaches, mountains with ski lifts for winter fun, and lots more eye appeal in a country known for its grand beauty. Georgians speak a language which has affinities with Basque in northern Spain. In fact, Georgia and Spain once shared the name “Iberia.”

 

San Sebastián, Spain (Basque Country)

Nestled near the border to France, overlooking the Bay of Biscay and not far from the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, San Sebastián provides numerous opportunities to savor this Old World charm and otherworldly beauty. La Concha Bay provides enough visual splendor all by itself, but don’t linger too long. There’s much more to explore in this corner of Europe touched by antiquity. Not far to the north are the caves where modern, Cro Magnon man painted the walls as much as 40,000 years ago. The Basques speak an agglutinative language with vague similarities to Georgian. Seafood is especially good here. Some of the place names may look strange. One of the easiest peculiarities to solve is the “tx” sound, which is just like “ch.” For instance, the town of Getxo, in the Greater Bilbao metropolitan area, is pronounced, “GAY-cho.”

 

Cádiz, Spain

People have lived continuously in Cádiz longer than any other city in Western Europe. This elegant Spanish city started out as a Phoenician outpost as much as 3,100 years ago. Cádiz, in Andalusia, is not far from Gibraltar, to the South, and, across the strait, from Morocco and Africa. A short distance to the North resides the town of Palos de la Frontera, from where Christopher Columbus launched his legendary voyage of discovery in 1492. Besides its charming architecture, the city has a unique connection to the myth of Plato’s Atlantis. This region, once called Gadira, was said to have faced the legendary lost island roughly 11,600 years ago.

 

Bimini, Bahamas

Nothing says “tropical beaches” quite like the Bahamas. At less than a hundred miles east of Miami, Florida, the Bimini Islands, full of relaxing, seaside splendor, attract frequent visits from the mainland. Besides the nightlife, snorkeling and beachcombing, Bimini offers its own unique touch with the past. The “Bimini Road” or “Bimini Wall” was discovered in 1968. This structure, made of natural beach rock, was fashioned in a linear, straight-edged shape nearly a kilometer long. Some experts have compared this to artificial breakwaters built in the Mediterranean and found them to be similar. The first survey of the component beachrock found the stones to have been moved into position, likely by humans, because the orientation of many of the beachrock stones is no longer naturally facing the waves that formed them. Some researchers have speculated that the breakwater was evidence of one of the colonies of Atlantis, mentioned by Plato in his Timaeus and Critias dialogues.

 

Ponta Delgada, Azores

Subtropical splendor with rolling green pastures, immaculate beaches and towering mountains kissed with pristine lakes. We’re talking about the Azores. Portuguese is spoken, here.

 

Ponta Delgada is the largest city in the Azores containing nearly 70,000 people, and possessing nearby Marina Pêro de Teive which handles recreational boating. Twenty kilometers to the northwest stands the Sete Cidades Massif with its Blue and Green Lakes and a serenely breathtaking panorama of meadows and woodlands nestled in an ancient crater. A little over twenty kilometers to the west stands another mountain wonder—Lagoa do Fogo (Lake of Fire).

 

According to researchers R. Cedric Leonard and Rod Martin, Jr., the Azores may have been the tall mountains of Atlantis, mentioned by Plato. The legendary island was said to have stretched from here all the way along the Africa-Eurasia tectonic boundary to face Gadira (Cádiz) in southern Spain.

4 Things Dentists Can Learn from Steve Jobs

Who was Steve Jobs? And what does he have to do with your dental office?

 

Steve Jobs was more than an entrepreneur and business owner. He was an innovator on multiple levels. He not only helped put personal computers in our homes, but expanded on that with the iPad, iPhone and more. His company created both hardware and software and excelled at both. Today, Apple has an amazing 7.4% of the PC hardware market which puts it in 4th place, internationally. What is amazing about this feat is that Apple uses its own, non-windows operating system and its baseline computers are notoriously more expensive than entry-level Windows units. How all this happened is a testament to Steve Jobs and his creative vision.

 

But what does a computer geek have to do with a dental practice? Plenty! In fact, the wisdom of Steve Jobs, and innovators like him, can help just about anyone who is alive. The following list of 4 things are only a few of the dozens of priceless pearls of wisdom which Steve Jobs left to posterity.

 

  1. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

Steve Jobs not only demanded excellence from the people who worked for him, he demanded empathy for the customer. He was able to see what they needed even before they knew they had a need for it. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad were not only innovative, but also intuitive in their design and in the software interface that made them work. Your dental office has an interface. Do your customers know how to use it. Are they comfortable with it? Is there a better way to make it. Put yourself in your patient’s shoes and see your office from their eyes.

 

  1. Have passion for what you do.

Passion keeps you going when all else seems to be going wrong. You have to love what you do. But this “passion” doesn’t have to be something that bites you. Every feeling you have is created by you. You can build passion where once it did not exist. It’s all a matter of finding the fun in what you do. When you find that spark of fun, build on it.

 

  1. Fail forward.

In 1985, Steve Jobs was fired from the company he helped to build. Later, he would remark that his being fired was a good thing. It returned him to the freedom to innovate. It unburdened him to do things he had become cautious not to do. Our time in this world is limited. We need to remain fearless, but wise.

 

“I didn’t see it then,” Jobs told an audience of graduating students at Stanford University, in 2005, “but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

 

  1. Redefine the game.

Every business has competition. The big winners don’t play against their competition at the competitor’s level of the game; instead, those winners redefine the game, leaving the competition in the dust.

 

When Steve Jobs was fired from his own company, he invested $5 million of his own money in a crazy idea called Pixar—the company which produced Toy Story for Disney, and brought animation entertainment to a new level.

 

Bonus Idea: Hire only the best

Steve Jobs believed in giving more “bang for your buck,” as the saying goes. In the spirit of that wisdom, we couldn’t resist in delivering a bonus idea. Jobs could not have done all that he did if he didn’t have a team of the best people surrounding him. He believed in not hiring Bozos—incompetent people who create more work than they accomplish. If you surround yourself with people smarter than yourself, they challenge you to do a better job, and they end up making your business thrive.

 

So, can you use any of these in your dental practice? If you don’t see an immediate applicability, put these ideas on the back burner of your mind and let them simmer awhile. Do it with an attitude Steve Jobs cultivated for himself—expect great things from yourself and from those around you.