U.S. Surgeon General Releases Advisory on E-Cigarette Epidemic Among Youth
On Tuesday, December 18, U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Adm. Jerome M. Adams, issued an advisory stressing the importance of protecting children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.
E-cigarette use among youth has skyrocketed in the past year at a rate of epidemic proportions.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration’s National Youth Tobacco Survey, the percentage of high school-age children reporting past 30-day use of e-cigarettes rose by more than 75 percent between 2017 and 2018. Use among middle school-age children also increased nearly 50 percent.
For facts about the risk of e-cigarettes, and how to protect our youth, visit e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov.
The ADA also provides member dentists with knowledge and resources to help patients quit smoking (tobacco and non-tobacco alternatives). Visit mouthhealthy.org for more information.
Is an In-Office Dental Plan Right for your Practice?
Studies have shown that patients with a dental plan are much more likely to seek dental care and accept treatment plans.
Under such a plan, the patient pays the doctor or dental office a fixed amount of money on a monthly or annual basis. In return, the patient generally receives preventive services at no charge, with other procedures offered at a discounted fee.
The ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs has developed a toolkit to help dental practices evaluate whether an in-office dental plan option is right for them.
An on-demand webinar, "Increase Value in your Practice! How? Start your own Dental Plan," is also available to help dentists gain a basic understanding of how in-office dental plans work, how to create a plan for your office, and the advantages/risks of implementing a plan.
Best Practices for Amalgam Separators and Waste Management
We've had some questions from members recently regarding amalgam separators. Dentists are encouraged to follow dental best management practices, set forth by the ADA, for amalgam waste handling and disposal.
The EPA requires amalgam separators to achieve at least a 95% removal efficiency. The EPA final rule on amalgam separators went into effect on July 14, 2017, and the date for compliance is July 14, 2020. Most practicing dentists who discharge wastewater into a publicly owned treatment work (POTW), such as a municipal sewer system, must comply.
Additional highlights and exemptions to the rule can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page at ada.org/recycleamalgam.