Today's Dental News

New e-learning Platform Available for Students

The new e-learning platform ILKUM (an acronym for “Interaktiver Lernzielkatalog der Universitätsmedizin Mainz” or interactive catalogue of learning objectives of Mainz University Medical Center) is a sign of things to come: students of dentistry in 2010 now only need internet access to be able to download case studies with film and image material showing disease patterns and surgical procedures directly to their laptop, iPad, or iPhone.

As Germany’s only e-learning platform, ILKUM is oriented toward the “Profile and Competences for the European Dentist” guidelines issued by the ADEE, the Association for Dental Education in Europe, as the basis for its targeted learning program. The advantage: the tool provides students with a guide structure that ensures they are aware of what is most important in the study of dentistry. Not only that, but ILKUM facilitates extremely rapid access to course-relevant topics and information.

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Eight CU Patients Given Potentially Lethal Dosages of Drugs

University of Colorado dentists unknowingly injected as many as eight patients with a powerful sedative that was five times its usual potency after the drug was mistakenly added to the dental school’s stock in 2008—a mix-up that wasn’t discovered for 13 days, a Denver Post investigation found.

After the error came to light, dental-school administrators decided not to notify any of the patients who received the potentially dangerous levels of midazolam, a generic version of the drug Versed that is commonly used with a painkiller to sedate people undergoing everything from colonoscopies to oral surgeries. The drug depresses a patient’s central nervous system and is the subject of numerous warnings that it can slow or even halt breathing.

Dr. Denise Kassebaum, dean of the CU School of Dental Medicine, said procedures were changed after the incident but also that she did not learn about the mix-up until The Post began asking questions earlier this month.

Read more: Eight CU dental patients given potentially lethal dosages of drug - The Denver Post

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Poor Dental Health In Deprived Children Needs To Be Tackled

Oral health strategies to combat very high levels of tooth decay in children from deprived areas need to start from birth. That’s the conclusion of a large-scale study of the dental health of three-year olds published in the latest edition of the British Dental Journal.

Dental inspections of more than 4,000 children in Greater Glasgow carried out for the study found tooth decay (caries) in at least a quarter of the children examined. Amongst children from deprived areas, the incidence of decay was even higher, with a third of those surveyed exhibiting evidence of caries.

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Private-Equity Firms Get Involved With Dentistry

Private-equity firms could soon be in the dental business.

The firms have been have been submitting bids for two of the largest chains of dental offices, including Aspen Dental and Kool Smiles. The bid for Aspen Dental, which is based in Syracuse, N.Y., could be more than $500 million. The bid for Kool Smiles is separate and could end up being more than the bid for Aspen Dental.

Aspen has around 300 offices. The company is working with the bank Moelis & Co.

Kool Smiles has about $80 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

This kind of sale is unique in the dental profession because most dentists work either by themselves or with one other dentist. It would be new ground for private-equity firms because they have not been involved in dentistry as much as other aspects of healthcare.

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Dental School Teaches Students with Innovative Technology

Students of the University of Maryland Dental School “represent a link, a conduit, to the future,” due to the school’s leadership in teaching digital dentistry, Gary Hack, DDS, said today in Amsterdam at the annual meeting of the Association of Dental Educators in Europe (ADEE), “Digital Dentistry: A Space Odyssey.”

“I believe that the University of Maryland Dental School is one of the most high-tech, digitally advanced dental schools in the world,” said Hack, an associate professor of operative dentistry at the school. He presented a list of technological innovations that have been implemented by Dental School Dean Christian S. Stohler, DMD, and his faculty since completion of the school’s modern building in downtown Baltimore four years ago.

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