This has been a very special year for DOCS Education, as 2019 marked the 20th Anniversary of the company’s launch.
Throughout the year, we profiled some of our most laudable community members, as well as our distinguished instructors, in Incisor.
Our members and faculty serve at the forefront of the dental profession and are the reason why DOCS Education stands as the nation’s leading provider of dental sedation courses. We are honored to have trained more than 25,000 dentists who, in turn, have served over 4.5 million patients safely and effectively.
In this year-end edition of Incisor, as we take the opportunity to reflect on the past year’s dental news and features, we acknowledge the dynamism of our profession, its many accomplishments and advancements, and the challenges we still face.
This year, Incisor was one of ten digital newsletters nationally to receive a 2019 Award of Excellence in the 31st Annual APEX Awards competition. Below, we showcase and update some of the year’s most popular Incisor stories.
In May, Oregon passed a law allowing dentists in the Beaver State to administer medical vaccines to their patients, effective January 1, 2020.
“The idea of dentists providing disease-preventative shots to their patients dates back at least five years,” Phillip T. Marucha, D.M.D., Ph.D., told Incisor. Dr. Marucha, dean of the dental school at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), helped draft the Oregon law.
A report last year identified Oregon as one of 12 states at high risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases due to low vaccination rates. As of May 24, 2019, Oregon had seen 14 cases of measles this year.
Nationwide there have been 1,044 reported cases of the disease, up from 372 in 2018 and 63 in 2010. Moreover, according to the Washington Post, more than 440,000 cases were reported worldwide between January and November 2019.
“Measles is probably the most contagious human disease we know,” the Washington Post reports. “One person can contaminate 18 others, compared to just two in the case of the flu.”
Practicing dentists in Oregon will need about four or five hours of continuing education training before they’ll be allowed to administer vaccinations for measles, HPV, chickenpox, mumps, shingles, and other preventable illnesses.
This fall, students at OHSU became the first dental students in the nation to learn how to vaccinate their patients for disease prevention.
“Dentistry is moving closer to overall health,” Dr. Marucha told Incisor. “This is another step in that direction.”
As we first reported in June, retail pharmacy CVS plans to make SmileDirectClub services available in several hundred of its pharmacy locations. (More than eight in ten Americans live within three miles of a CVS store.)
In September, Walmart—with more than $514.4 billion in fiscal year 2019 revenue—opened a health clinic in Dallas, GA, that offers primary care, dentistry, and counseling services. Walmart says its store offers customers “new ways to save money, while living better—and healthier—lives.” Plans are already underway to open a second Georgia store, and if all goes well, the retailer may roll out the concept throughout the region.
Not to be left behind, Walgreens and Aspen Dental are testing dental clinics in Florida.
DOCS Education has been the global sponsor of the We Believe in Smiles® campaign since its inception in March 2017. Drawing on the talents of award-winning photographer Avital Rotbart and other professionals, WBIS spans the globe in search of radiant, life-affirming smiles.
Each issue of Incisor features a fresh portrait of an individual (or individuals), as well as the story behind the photo. In addition, DOCS Education members can add a slideshow of smiles to their website that is updated every-other-month. These videos are a great way to show your patients how life is better with a smile!
In November, Avital published her first compilation of smile portraits, The Story Behind the Smiles, and the 40-page paperback volume quickly became the #1 New Release on Amazon.com in the photojournalism category.
- Tooth of Crime: Fake Dentists and Their Trail of Deceit
Since we reported on the problem of “Fake Dentists” last May, there has been no shortage of new perpetrators.
In Houston, Carolina Flores-Paz, 36, and Enrique Eduardo Alvarez, 47, were arrested in October for running a busy, unlicensed family practice.
In Oak Brook, Illinois, Dr. James D'Alise faces six criminal charges for operating without a license. According to ABC7 News, several of his patients who dug deep into their pockets to pay for crowns and implants were left unable to eat normally or even smile after his work.
Last month, in Tampa Bay, Jose Emilio Mas-Fernandez was arrested for treating patients in his home, where—according to news reports—there was a dental chair, dental tools, and “piles of medication.”
Mas-Fernandez reportedly promised an undercover detective that he could pull a tooth and provide antibiotics for $150.
- Gronk Remains in the Teeth-Whitening Limelight
Retired (for now at least) New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski continues to serve as a pitchman for the SNOW teeth-whitening system. Although some thought Gronk would come back for this year’s NFL playoffs, he failed to file the proper paperwork by the November 30th deadline. Still only 30 years old, he could return for the 2020 season.
For now, Gronk will continue to serve as a Fox Sports analyst and also as a spokesman for a company that produces a line of cannabidiol-infused topical pain relievers.
- Do Not Ask for Whom The Bell Tolls
The headlines are stark reminders that the only certainty for dentists in life—as for the rest of humanity—is death.
Thirty-four people died in a commercial diving boat fire off the California coast in September. One of them, Dr. Sanjeeri Deopujari, 31, of Stamford, Connecticut, was a dentist at Aspen Dental.
Dr. Clyde Blackman, 70, a dentist in Ventura, California, died in a car crash that injured six other people in early October. Also in October, Dr. Scott Johnson, a dentist in Littleton, Colorado, was shot and killed by police when they responded to a domestic disturbance call.
Death and misfortune are unpredictable, but hundreds of DOCS Education members and other dentists have taken proactive steps to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their practices, should fate deal them a bad hand.
Since 1965, family-owned Eagleston Financial Group—a DOCS Education preferred provider—has been advising dentists and other clients on the necessary steps to protect what they deem to be most important.
- Two New Members of the DOCS Education Team Worth Bragging About
This year DOCS Education was fortunate to add two outstanding new team members: J. Kathleen “Kate” Marcus, our new Regulatory Counsel, and Carol A. Wilson, DMD, a member of our distinguished faculty with special expertise in the techniques and nuances of IV sedation, ACLS, and implantology.
- Gross Dental Videos Are a YouTube Sensation
Since we last checked in on Dr. Ave Have and his video of a “long overdue” teeth cleaning, the four-minute YouTube video has been viewed another 700,000 times, bringing the total view count to 5.34 million.
A fairly foul video of dentists applying braces, posted by a Melbourne, Australia dental practice, has now been seen 13.82 million times, up from 12 million in March.