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In brief: Disturbing dental school allegations; WHO renames monkeypox

Dec. 5, 2022
Learn about why monkeypox has a different name, a new billing code for dental surgeries, and more.

CMS creates new billing code for dental surgeries

Following an advocacy campaign by several leading dental organizations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has agreed to create a new code G0330 for dental surgeries performed under anesthesia in hospital operating rooms. The new code resulted from an effort driven by the ADA, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to improve access to dental surgeries.

Allegations of racism in the classroom at Chicago dental school

A professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry is alleged to have used “disturbing racist imagery and tropes” while teaching. A letter to the college by US representatives Robin Kelly and Danny Davis and state representative La Shawn Ford states that “Students and alumni of UIC College of Dentistry have expressed to us that racist teachings and the unequal treatment of students has been ongoing for years,” with the university responding that the College of Dentistry is actively working with students and employees to address their concerns and ensure they receive needed support.

WHO renames monkeypox

In an effort to quell “racist and stigmatizing language,” the WHO announced last week it will use the term “mpox” to refer to monkeypox disease. The agency said it consulted with global experts in medicine and science, representatives from government authorities in 45 different nations, and the public before making the decision. The US Health and Human Services secretary said the change “will aid efforts to reach the most impacted communities with a term for the disease that doesn’t act to marginalize individuals from accessing care.”

ICYMI: Study shows link between vaping and caries

It’s been making the rounds in the dental world, but in case you missed it: The first known study specifically to look into the relationship between vaping and an increased risk for dental caries has shown that patients who said they use vaping devices are more likely to have a higher risk of developing cavities. Research from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine analyzed data from some 13,000 patients ages 16 and older who were at Tufts clinics from 2019-2022 and showed that 79% of patients who vape were categorized as having high-caries risk, compared with 60% of the control group.