The Weekend Read – Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker

A lovely little book from the Harvard Business School Press. Produced in a smaller than usual format it manages to pack into its sixty pages a wealth of information and insights which helps one to ask and answer questions of oneself.

The questions include:51yH1d03xCL._AA160_

  • What are my strengths?
  • How do I perform?
  • What are my values?
  • Where do I belong?
  • What should I contribute?

It’s a great help to planning the second half of your life.

Take a look here.

TGBSL* #8 – Vitamin D Linked To A 50% Reduction In The Incidence Of Dental Caries

Vitamin D Linked To A 50 Percent Reduction In The Incidence Of Dental Caries

From MNT

A new review of existing studies points toward a potential role for vitamin D in helping to prevent dental caries, or tooth decay.

The review, published in the December issue of Nutrition Reviews, encompassed 24 controlled clinical trials, spanning the 1920s to the 1980s, on approximately 3,000 children in several countries. These trials showed that vitamin D was associated with an approximately 50 percent reduction in the incidence of tooth decay.

“My main goal was to summarize the clinical trial database so that we could take a fresh look at this vitamin D question,” said Dr. Philippe Hujoel of the University of Washington, who conducted the review.

While vitamin D’s role in supporting bone health has not been disputed, significant disagreement has historically existed over its role in preventing caries, Hujoel noted. The American Medical Association and the U.S. National Research Council concluded around 1950 that vitamin D was beneficial in managing dental caries. The American Dental Association said otherwise – based on the same evidence. In 1989, the National Research Council, despite new evidence supporting vitamin D’s caries-fighting benefits, called the issue “unresolved.”

Current reviews by the Institute of Medicine, the U.S. Department of Human Health and Service and the American Dental Association draw no conclusions on the vitamin D evidence as it relates to dental caries.

“Such inconsistent conclusions by different organizations do not make much sense from an evidence-based perspective,” Hujoel said. The trials he reviewed increased vitamin D levels in children through the use of supplemental UV radiation or by supplementing the children’s diet with cod-liver oil or other products containing the vitamin.

The clinical trials he reviewed were conducted in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Austria, New Zealand and Sweden. Trials were conducted in institutional settings, schools, medical and dental practices, or hospitals. The subjects were children or young adults between the ages of 2 and 16 years, with a weighted mean age of 10 years.

Hujoel’s findings come as no surprise to researchers familiar with past vitamin D studies. According to Dr. Michael Hollick, professor of medicine at the Boston University Medical Center, “the findings from the University of Washington reaffirm the importance of vitamin D for dental health.” He said that “children who are vitamin D deficient have poor and delayed teeth eruption and are prone to dental caries.”

The vitamin D question takes on greater importance in the light of current public health trends. Vitamin D levels in many populations are decreasing while dental caries levels in young children are increasing.

“Whether this is more than just a coincidence is open to debate,” Hujoel said. “In the meantime, pregnant women or young mothers can do little harm by realizing that vitamin D is essential to their offspring’s health. Vitamin D does lead to teeth and bones that are better mineralized.”

Hujoel added a note of caution to his findings: “One has to be careful with the interpretation of this systematic review. The trials had weaknesses which could have biased the result, and most of the trial participants lived in an era that differs profoundly from today’s environment. ”

Hujoel has joint appointments as a professor in the University of Washington School of Dentistry’s Department of Oral Health Sciences and as an adjunct professor of epidemiology in the UW School of Public Health. His research has concentrated on nutrition with a focus on low-carbohydrate diets, harmful effects of diagnostic radiation, and evidence-based methodology and applications.

His research has also covered sugar substitutes, the use of antibiotics in the treatment of periodontal disease, and cleft lip and cleft palate. He has also studied the link between dental disease and systemic disease, as well as trends in disease prevalence.

*#8 in an occasional series. The Greatest Break Through Since Lunchtime – for explanation.

The Greatest Breakthrough Since Lunchtime #7 – Tooth Tattoo to detect gum disease.

From Dentistry online

28th Nov 2012
US scientists have created a tooth tattoo that they hope will one day detect gum disease by measuring the bacteria in the mouth

The research team, led by Princeton nanoscientist Michael McAlpine and Tufts bioengineers Fiorenzo Omenetto, David Kaplan and Hu Tao, has created a tooth tattoo made of gold, silk and graphite and temporarily attaches to a patient’s tooth.

Gerard Kugel, associate dean for research at Tufts School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, said: ‘A sensor like this could give you a panoramic view of what’s happening over a number of hours or even days. If you could tell when bacteria levels are spiking, you could shape your course of treatment accordingly.’

The sensor’s detection abilities may also detect diseases beyond the mouth because so many indicators of disease appear in the saliva.

Gerard added: ‘The mouth is a window to the rest of the body. You can spot a lot of potential health problems through saliva, and it’s a much less invasive way to do diagnostic tests than drawing blood.’

The sensor itself is made up of three layers: a sheet of gold foil electrodes, a layer of graphite and a layer of engineered peptides. The three-tiered strip is mounted on a single strand of silk to provide support. Once the tattoo is pressed onto the tooth, the silk dissolves and the wirelessly powered sensor is stuck in place.

The research team is now working on ways to reduce the size of the sensor. The group is also looking into constructing the peptides needed to bond with specific strains of bacteria.

Whose cash is it anyway?

A guest blog posting from Susan.

There have many articles doing the rounds recently encouraging dentists in the art of selling treatment plans to patients.  In fact, Alun has an excellent talk ‘Selling Without the S Word’ that has enabled many practitioners to successfully increase the up take of their treatment plans.

A topic that doesn’t seem to be so sexy is bad debts and late payers – often a problem for the receptionist and practice manager.  There are processes and rules for practices to minimise the problem by ensuring it doesn’t arise in the first place – prevention is better than cure.

Start before the enquiry actually becomes a patient – tell them the fees, the methods of payment, the terms of business.  Screen everyone – make it ‘difficult’ to become a patient.

Once they are a patient, don’t bend the rules.

What happens when the rules are broken and who usually does it?

We all know the patient – they have always been a bit unreliable, but they are always so apologetic, really friendly and so complimentary of the practice and the dentist.

So somehow they have charmed their way past the gatekeeper and they have treatment, but wouldn’t you know it: “they have left their wallet at home”, “they’re running late for a business meeting” because “nobody told them the appointment would take this long – I thought it was just the hygienist today”. “Can you pop the bill in the post please”, “Dave the dentist said it would be OK when I saw him at the golf club / Sainsbury’s / the football etc”

Then they vanish, their phone isn’t picked up, emails and letters go unanswered.

When eventually you are able to get hold of them, “they’ve been so busy” – “they’ve a business to run themselves” – “you know how it is” …..  of course, “their wife / secretary should have paid you” – “they didn’t realise you were owed anything now” … and on it goes – “the cheques in the post” – yeah, sure.

What’s worse is they somehow seduce their way back in and afterwards you’re left with another bad debt, failed appointments and a cross feeling that you’ve been conned again.

So make the rules, make sure everyone knows them – dentists, patients, staff – and then stick to them – no matter how the patient flatters you and your practice.

You Can Stop Spreading That Facebook Notice Now – Pogue De-bunks

From Pogue’s Posts NY Times

You Can Stop Spreading That Facebook Notice Now
For the last couple of days, my Facebook timeline, and probably yours, has been filled with repetitions of a peculiar piece of boilerplate text, from all kinds of friends. It goes something like this:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, crafts, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention).

For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version.

Guess what? You’ve been hoaxed.

First, no declaration by you, in a Facebook posting, would make any difference to the legal status of your posts. You’re already protected by copyright law.

Second, there are no “new Facebook guidelines.” Facebook’s policy is this: “You retain the copyright to your content. When you upload your content, you grant us a license to use and display that content.”

Third, there’s no such thing as the Berner Convention. There’s a Berne Convention, which covers literary works.

Fourth, the fact that Facebook is now a publicly traded company has absolutely nothing to do with its copyright or privacy policies. They’re entirely unrelated.

Finally, Facebook itself has issued the following statement: “There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users’ information or the content they post to the site. This is false. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been.”

Snopes, the anti-misinformation site, has already debunked this hoax. So you can stop pasting that meaningless “I hereby declare” status update. Let’s get back to hearing what you had for lunch.

Course Announcement from the Facial Aesthetics Academy

Secondary care burden

Here’s a letter from the current BDJ regarding the rise in hospital admissions for the treatment of dental abscesses. Could it be any coincidence that the “new” dental contract started on April 1st 2006? Step forward the honoured CDO who has just been given the confidence of a grateful government.

British Dental Journal 213, 491 (2012)
Published online: 23 November 2012 | doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.2012.1048

Secondary care burden
S. King(1), A. Kanatas(1) & L. M. Carter(1)

Send your letters to the Editor, British Dental Journal, 64 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8YS e-mail:
Priority will be given to letters less than 500 words long. Authors must sign the letter, which may be edited for reasons of space.
Readers may now comment on letters via the BDJ website ( A ‘Readers’ Comments’ section appears at the end of the full text of each letter online.

Sir, we are writing with concern regarding the continued increase in the number of odontogenic abscesses presenting to secondary care.

Local and national audits have shown a marked increase in patients presenting to secondary care with odontogenic infection since 1999.1, 2

Patient admissions for odontogenic abscesses at Leeds General Infirmary have continued to increase in number since 2006; the number of admissions has increased four fold from 48 in 2006 to 198 in 2011 (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: Odontogenic abscess admissions over time

The distribution of those presenting with odontogenic abscesses pre and post the introduction of the 2006 NHS dental contract is statistically significant, χ2 = 85.86, df = 5, p <0.0001, with this trend continuing to rise.

This rise will only result in more pressure on the already stretched secondary care system, with an increasing workload for Accident and Emergency departments and on emergency theatre facilities.1

Explanations for the continuing increase in admissions are varied and complex. Further work is clearly required to identify the main reasons but difficulty of access to NHS or emergency dental care is still widely described. Reduction in initial operative intervention for dental abscesses in primary dental care is also implicated. These issues are potentially due to changes in remuneration upon introduction of the new contract in 2006 causing a reduction in the amount of NHS treatment carried out by GDPs.3

In this time of austerity and reduction in hospital bed numbers, the avoidable increase in admissions for odontogenic abscesses is causing an ever-increasing demand on already limited resources. This trend shows the importance of enhanced communication between the primary and secondary care settings, and an increase in emergency funding for our GDP colleagues to reduce the burden on secondary care.


  1. Carter L, Starr D. Alarming increase in dental sepsis. Br Dent J 2006; 200: 243. | Article | PubMed |
  2. Thomas S J, Atkinson C, Revington P. Is there an epidemic of admissions for surgical treatment of dental abscesses in the UK? BMJ 2008; 336: 1219–1220. | Article | PubMed |
  3. Carter L M, Layton S. Cervicofacial infection of dental origin presenting to maxillofacial surgery units in the United Kingdom: a national audit. Br Dent J 2009; 206: 73–78. | Article | PubMed | CAS |

1. Leeds

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