Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 08 Flagpresentation 360 200

Introduction: Experiencing end-of-life decisions

Aug. 20, 2015
In this latest issue of RDH eVillage Focus, Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, covers end-of-life decisions, hygienists' struggles with CE, and USA Freedom Day, a way for dental professionals to give back to veterans and their families.

This article originally appeared in RDH eVillage Focus, a newsletter prepared for dental professionals looking for hard-hitting, current information. You can subscribe here.

The last two weeks has been a whirlwind of activity. After a very successful RDH UOR, I came home to catch up but was called away the end of July. My Dad passed away on July 31, after a sudden and brief illness. My experience prompted me to write the last section of this newsletter, dealing with end-of-life decisions. There are two additional articles of interest contributed by other authors.

The National Academy of Medicine
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM), which manages activities formerly administered by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), has launched a new website. The website has information about elected members, initiatives, awards, and other NAM activities. Reports and studies on health and medicine remain activities of the Institute of Medicine, and information on these can be found at the new web address Note that as of July 1, 2016, the IOM’s former website,, will no longer be active.

Most hygienists think state dental boards protect consumers
In other news, a little more than half of dental hygienists believe state dental boards protect consumers, upholding a state’s standards for dentistry, according to a RDH eVillage survey conducted from mid-May to mid-June, and reported by Mark Hartley. (1) The survey also asked licensed oral healthcare professionals questions regarding license renewal and continuing education requirements. To view articles relating to those survey results on license renewal and CE reporting, go to the websites. (2, 3)

Radiographs during pregnancy
In other news, there still seems to be a question about radiographs during pregnancy. According to a new study in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), imaging studies necessary to diagnose traumatic injuries sustained by pregnant women are safe when used properly. (4) Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are not associated with known fetal effects and are considered safe for pregnant patients, according to the researchers. However, computed tomography (CT) of the pelvis results in higher doses of radiation to the fetus, and therefore, greater consideration must be taken. (4) Regarding dental and oral health issues, routine preventive prophylaxes, dental X-rays, and local anesthesia are safe during pregnancy. (5)

Click on the image to download the infographic.

More bad news for soda
Just as Pepsi announces its diet soda will no longer be sweetened with aspartame, using a blend of sucralose instead, there is more bad news about soda. See below. Pepsi already offers a low-calorie option made with stevia, a plant-based sweetener, called Pepsi True.

Each sip of soda doesn't come without health risks to various parts in the body. Photo courtesy of Term Life Insurance (6)

Some say that soda is an addiction. One study showed that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and some harmful changes in lipids, inflammatory factors, and leptin. Artificially sweetened beverage intake was not associated with CHD risk or biomarkers. (7) Other studies show damage to other parts of the body. We know there are oral health effects of sugary drinks, such as dental decay and enamel erosion. (8)

I want to thank all those that contributed to this issue. Enjoy the rest of August!

1. Hartley M. State dental boards: A third of hygienists believe the boards do not 'discourage incompetent' dentistry. DentistryIQ. Published August 10, 2015. Accessed August 19, 2015.
2. Hartley M. Half of hygienists view licensure renewal as a rubber stamp process. DentistryIQ. Published June 23, 2015. Accessed August 19, 2015.
3. Hartley M. Hygienists support CE reporting system, but they are unsure if the public benefits. DentistryIQ. Published July 20, 2015. Accessed August 19, 2015.
4. Matzon JL, Lutsky KF, Ricci EK, Beredjiklian PK. Considerations in the Radiologic Evaluation of the Pregnant Orthopaedic Patient. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2015;23:485-491. DOI: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-14-00274.
5. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Committee Opinion No. 569: Oral health care during pregnancy and through the lifespan. Obstet Gynecol. 2013;122:417–22.
6. Soda Drink Dangers: 8 Ways Soda Negatively Affects Your Health. Medical Daily. Published January 22, 2015. Accessed August 19, 2015.
7. de Koning L, Malik VS, Kellogg MD, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sweetened Beverage Consumption, Incident Coronary Heart Disease, and Biomarkers of Risk in Men. Circulation. 2012;10:1735-1741.
8. Bassiouny MA. Dental erosion due to abuse of illicit drugs and acidic carbonated beverages. Gen Dent. 2013;61:38-44.