Ex-dentistry professor sues USC over termination | Daily Trojan






Former professor Jucheng Chen from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry filed a civil case lawsuit against the University Jan. 16 for alleged age discrimination, employer retaliation and wrongful discharge in lieu of public policy, according to a lawsuit obtained by the Daily Trojan.

In the lawsuit, Chen named USC, dentistry school Executive Associate Dean for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs Mahvash Navazesh and Chair of Periodontology, Diagnostic Science and Dental Hygiene Casey Chen as the defendants of the case. Chen is suing the defendants for monetary damages and punitive action regarding his termination.

“We all hope USC would be better, more transparent,” Chen said.

Chen was employed by the University for 20 years and was appointed to the USC Provost’s “Task Force on Teaching Excellence” in March 2016, a year prior to his termination.

Chen alleged that his termination was sparked by an incident in 2017 after he noticed his students’ grades were changed without his approval. His primary role at the time was as a teacher’s assistant, and he was responsible for the grades of 16 freshmen.

“[Chen] believed a hacking mishap was more likely than not since, to his knowledge, his freshman grades had never been changed before and were based off USC’s own grading criteria and procedures,” the lawsuit read.

According to the lawsuit, Chen reported the situation on April 10 to the Office of Academic Affairs as a breach in the University servers, but he was soon notified by the University’s technical department that the course grades had been altered without his own approval.

“[Chen] received startling news from the IT department the next day” the lawsuit read.  “IT confirmed … that the changing of Plaintiff’s grades was intentional and was done at the direction and behest of Associate Dean, Defendant [Mahvash] Navazesh.”

In response to the situation, Chen complained to other faculty and reported the incident, citing a cause of fraud. However, no action was taken thereafter.

Ten days after the complaint was filed, Chen received a termination letter, which he claims was the University’s retaliation to his protected complaint of academic violation.

Navazesh and Chen have denied all accusations, according to the lawsuit.

“When Plaintiff pressed for an explanation regarding the alteration, Defendants Navazeh and Chen could not and/or refused to provide one and wished him well in his future endeavors,” the lawsuit read.

The Daily Trojan reached out to Navazesh and Dr. Casey Chen for comment but was directed to University Media Relations.

“At the request of a number of students, an internal review was conducted of the grades assigned to that portion of the course,” the University wrote in statement to the Daily Trojan. “Based on that review, adjustments were made by a course co-director in a manner that was judged to be a more accurate reflection of the students’ work.”

Though the University maintains that student grades were changed after careful evaluation of the course, Chen alleged that he was wrongfully terminated after reporting the incident.  

“Both Dr. Chen and I care about the integrity of the school … I think it’s very important that when speech of this nature occurs, the victim has the right to tell his narrative and to see justice,” said Chen’s lawyer Kevin Chiang, an alumnus from the Gould School of Law. “Our hope at the end of the day is that Dr. Chen is able to tell his story, let the facts speak for themselves and ultimately to let the judicial system adjudicate this matter in accordance with the law.

The Los Angeles Superior Court has set a jury trial for the case at Stanley Mosk Courthouse. At the time of publication, no trial date had been set. According to University Media Relations, USC is currently not represented by legal counsel.

Chiang said the trial is expected to take anywhere from six months to two years.

“[We] are prepared to litigate the case for however long the process requires,” Chiang said in an email to the Daily Trojan.

This content was originally published here.

“Mercury in Existing Dental Fillings Is No Problem” – International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine

Our thanks to Dr. Alvin Danenberg for letting us crosspost this piece from his blog. View the original here.
 
“Mercury in existing dental fillings is no problem.” Can you believe that statement? I heard it from a prominent dental educator.

I was surprised

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a social “greet and meet” cocktail hour following a dental seminar I was attending. At the reception, I was introduced to the Director of Restorative Dentistry of a major dental school in the US. He was an educated, tenured professor. We chatted about all kinds of things. Eventually the conversation turned to my emphasis on nutrition and how I treat advanced gum disease in my office.

We spoke of toxic substances harming our body and mouth. When the topic came to mercury in existing dental filings, he said, “Amalgams are controversial. Mercury in existing dental fillings is no problem.” He emphasized that there were no studies that showed mercury being released from old amalgams causing damage to human cells. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He continued to tell me that dental students at his university were still trained to place mercury amalgams in teeth.

Wow!

The science

The science clearly shows mercury is toxic to the human body, and free mercury vapor is emitted from existing dental amalgams constantly (HERE. HERE.) Just as lead in the water or in paint is potentially toxic, mercury in dental amalgams sitting in teeth is toxic. Just last week, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Chairman of the World Mercury Project (WMP), announced a $100,000 challenge aimed at putting an end to including mercury, a neurotoxin that is 100 times more poisonous than lead, in vaccines administered in the U.S and globally. As far back as 1998, research was published about toxic mercury in dental fillings.

My thoughts

I didn’t know how to reason with this dental educator. He was in a position to know all the science out there. I could only tell him that I have learned so much from PubMed.gov, which is my go-to source for current knowledge. I then walked away.

My profession is well trained in the repair of broken and diseased teeth. However, some in my profession are not well informed of the medical research that has been published in peer-reviewed journals. Highly trained and competent technical dentists need to be onboard with current medical research in order to provide patients with the best preventive and reparative treatment possible.

Josh Billings (the 19th Century humorist) put it so clearly: “It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so.”
 

This content was originally published here.

Minnesota Board of Dentistry Recommends Only Emergency Procedures Amid COVID-19 Pandemic – Fox21Online

Minnesota Board of Dentistry Recommends Only Emergency Procedures Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Daniel Loban of Loban Dental Speaks Out About the Order from the Minnesota Board of Dentistry

DULUTH, Minn. – Dr. Daniel Loban, the owner of Loban Dental, is speaking out regarding the closure of dental offices unless procedures are for emergency purposes.

“I can tell you my propensity is to help people and putting myself at home and understanding how serious this is kind of draws a line in the sand so I can be a little more proactive in taking steps to keep myself away from other people,” said Loban.

Loban understands this is a difficult time for many people in our community.

He said as the owner of a dental office, he is also working around the clock to figure out steps necessary to protect his small business, including the employees in his office.

“If we were to treat everybody as if they potentially have this virus, we’re vastly unprepared because we typically don’t typically care respiratory devices and goggles,” said Loban.

Loban said he has contacted other dental offices in the region. Many offices are operating with few employees to answer phones and take care of emergency procedures as they come in.

If you’re having a dental issue or have concerns, Loban recommends calling your dentist. He says at this time, they should be able to help your needs and resolve the situation.

Currently, Minnesota health department officials say the state’s 89 confirmed cases as of Thursday represent only “the tip of the iceberg” and they believe there’s widespread transmission across Minnesota.

This content was originally published here.

Cone-beam computed tomography in dentistry and oral surgery

Inka, a five-year-old female jaguar, is placed in the cone beam CT scanner for assessment of dentoalveolar structures.

Computed tomography (CT) has revolutionized our ability to detect subtle hard and soft tissue abnormalities of the maxillofacial region. Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is creating much buzz amongst veterinary dentists when it comes to dental/maxillofacial diagnostic tools.

What is the difference between CBCT and conventional CT? Rather than a collection of thin, closely spaced slices obtained with a fan-shaped beam of conventional CT, CBCT has both an X-ray generator and detector that rotates around the patient, capturing data with a cone-shaped beam. Both modalities can be used to create very helpful 3-D reconstructions of the areas of interest, although CBCT provides increased detail of dentoalveolar structures. One veterinary study compared CBCT’s diagnostic image quality with that of 64-multidetector row CT sagittal slices. Four blinded evaluators compared CBCT and 64-multidetector row CT images. Trabecular bone, enamel, dentin, pulp cavity, periodontal ligament space, lamina dura and “overall impression” were scored. Images captured with CBCT were found to be significantly superior in image quality when compared to images acquired with 64-multidetector CT in all categories.1

Inka, the jaguar

My first experience with CBCT was with a patient from the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pa. Inka is a five-year-old jaguar that fractured a tooth two years prior. Zoo veterinarian Michele Goodman, VMD, felt Inka’s previously fractured right maxillary canine tooth should be reassessed. Two years earlier, the tooth was noted to be fractured and a vital pulp therapy was performed (see my column in the March 2019 of Veterinary Practice News for details on vital pulp therapy procedures). At that time, Inka had a cerebrovascular event perioperatively, which resulted in lasting neurologic issues. Understandably, the zoo’s doctors and staff were concerned about placing Inka under anesthesia again. However, they suspected something might need to be done about that same tooth and possibly others.

With the help of board-certified anesthesiologist Andrea Caniglia, VMD, DACVAA, zoo staff developed a plan to minimize anesthetic complications. The most accessible diagnostic test to assess vitality of the teeth would be intraoral dental radiography. However, in an attempt to save time under anesthesia, I suggested we arrange to have a CBCT scanner on-site. Coupled with the dedication of a company representative equipped with a trailer designed to haul the CBCT, the scanner’s size and mobility allowed for Inka to benefit from this new technology, cage-side.

Another advantage of using CBCT includes its ability to plug into any electrical outlet, along with rapid image generation. One limitation, however, is its decreased ability to assess contrast-enhanced soft tissue structures compared to conventional CT when using intravenous iodinated contrast agents.

Once Inka was sedated, she was placed in the CBCT scanner (Figure 1), and within a few minutes, we were able to assess not only her entire dentition, but also the bones and joints of her head (Figure 2). This allowed for more rapid commencement of treatment and uneventful recovery.

What the studies say

Recent studies from University of California, Davis provide support of widely held assumptions that CBCT offers more detailed information than dental radiography. In small- to medium-sized brachycephalic dogs, when three CBCT software modules were used (i.e. serial CBCT slices and custom cross sections, tridimensional rendering, and reconstructed panoramic views), the diagnostic yield of CBCT was higher than that of dental radiography for assessment of nine of 10 categories, four of which were statistically significant (abnormal eruption, abnormally shaped roots, periodontitis, and tooth resorption). In only one category (loss of tooth integrity) was the diagnostic yield of CBCT lower than dental radiography.2

In a similar study with feline patients, the diagnostic yield of CBCT was higher than that of dental radiography for 13 of 14 categories, four of which were statistically significant (missing teeth, horizontal bone loss, loss of tooth integrity, tooth resorption).3 Both studies concluded CBCT should be considered better suited than dental radiography in diagnosing dentoalveolar lesions.2,3

Will CBCT replace dental radiography in the near future? That’s not likely anytime soon at a general practitioner level, given it’s an expensive piece of equipment. Dental radiography can still provide valuable clinical information in every practice for a reasonable cost. However, more and more specialists are taking the plunge into CBCT. It may not be a tool used on a daily basis, but it’s nice to have available when needed.

John Lewis, VMD, FAVD, DAVDC, practices dentistry and oral surgery at Veterinary Dentistry Specialists and is the founder of Silo Academy Education Center, both located in Chadds Ford, Pa.

References

1 Soukup JW, Drees R, Koenig LJ, Snyder CJ, Hetzel S, Miles CR, Schwarz T. Comparison of the diagnostic image quality of the canine maxillary dentoalveolar structures obtained by cone beam computed tomography and 64-Multidetector Row Computed Tomography. J Vet Dent. 2015; 32(2): 80-86.

2 Döring S, Arzi B, Hatcher DC, Kass PH, Verstraete FJM. Evaluation of the diagnostic yield of dental radiography and cone-beam computed tomography for the identification of dental disorders in small to medium-sized brachycephalic dogs. Am J Vet Res. 2018; 79(1): 62-72.

3 Heney CM, Arzi B, Kass PH, Hatcher DC, Verstraete FJM. The Diagnostic Yield of Dental Radiography and Cone-Beam Computed Tomography for the Identification of Dentoalveolar Lesions in Cats. Front Vet Sci. 2019; 6: 42.

The post Cone-beam computed tomography in dentistry and oral surgery appeared first on Veterinary Practice News.

This content was originally published here.

College of Dentistry Opens Center for Disabled | Washington Square News

NYU College of Dentistry opened an Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities. (Staff Photo by Min Ji Kim)

People with disabilities that inhibit oral health treatment now have access to a new center — opened by the NYU College of Dentistry — that is uniquely tailored to their needs.

The aims to create a safe, welcoming environment to treat some of the nearly . The facility includes an accessible circular front desk, wide corridors for easy access and large bariatric treatment chairs that can accommodate wheelchairs. One of the most innovative technologies used in the center can be found in the multisensory room designed to help anxious patients relax.

Dean of the NYU College of Dentistry Charles N. Bertolami said the dental school has been interested for years in finding a way to provide additional assistance to those with disabilities. Targets for treatment include patients in wheelchairs who cannot get into a dental chair, autistic patients who need special accommodations for scheduling an appointment and those who are negatively affected by noisy and crowded waiting rooms.

“We wanted to design a facility that took all of these things into consideration to expand the quality of service we could offer,” Bertolami said.

This new center marks a big step forward in the treatment of disabled people whose oral health often is neglected as a result of inadequate accommodations and a shortage of equipped medical workers.

Marco Damiani is the CEO of the in New York City, the state’s largest developmental disability advocacy organization. The AHRC was a guiding partner in opening the center and Damiani said it was a necessary improvement to current services.

“There is a significant lack of access to oral health treatment for people with disabilities,” Damiani said. “There’s been a history of people with disabilities having their entire mouths of teeth pulled because they can’t communicate clearly.”

The multisensory room is designed to help anxious patients relax. A projector illuminates the room with lights that change color to hyper-stimulate or hypo-stimulate patients based on their needs. Clinical Director of the Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities Ronald Kosinski said that the room improves the experience for those who may otherwise be uncomfortable in a dental chair.

“We bring patients into [the multisensory room] who may be very hypersensitive, who can’t sit in a dental chair, who never have been to a dental chair and don’t like the dental experience and need decompression,”  Kosinski said.

The dental school collaborated with students from Tandon School of Engineering and Tisch School of the Arts in developing the new facility, something that Kosinski said was one of the most important elements of the process. Tandon students helped with the development of a new virtual reality app that patients can use to take a tour of the center.

“The Tandon students have really been amazing,” Kosinski said. “They’re hitting the ground running. Being able to utilize [another] school at NYU and work with them collaboratively is such a pleasure, and it’s working so well because the level of excitement is leveled by the students.”

While the center is now open, the official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on April 18. Executive Vice Dean for Finance and Administration at the College of Dentistry Michael O’Connor further emphasized the need for the center and said he hopes that it is widely used.

“This is very much an underserved population, and dentists are not comfortable with dealing with this population,” O’Connor said. “[People with disabilities] get poor — if nonexistent — dental care and we are going to welcome as many of them as want to come and make this their home.”

This content was originally published here.

Less Than One Week to Register for Additive Manufacturing Strategies Summit on 3D Printing in Medicine and Dentistry

Without exception, medicine and dentistry affect everyone – and that means that 3D printing affects everyone. The technology is becoming such a part of the medical and dental industries that sooner or later, everyone who has a medical or dental concern find themselves acquainted with 3D printing – whether it’s through a 3D printed implant or prosthetic, a 3D printed surgical guide or medical model, or even a patch of 3D printed skin. To discuss the present and future of 3D printing in the medical and dental industries, last year 3DPrint.com and SmarTech Markets Publishing hosted a new kind of conference – the Additive Manufacturing Strategies Summit, focused exclusively on 3D printing in medicine and dentistry.

A lot can change in a year. New technologies have arisen, existing technologies have been further developed, and many medical and dental procedures have used 3D printing for the first time. So 3DPrint.com and SmarTech are hosting the summit again, taking place next week over three days. From January 29th to 31st, medical and dental professionals, 3D printing experts, and representatives from business, government and academia will gather in Boston to discuss what is happening in 3D printing, medicine and dentistry right now – and what will be happening in both the near and distant future.

This year, there are separate medical and dental tracks, both with speakers and panels to cover every part of the respective industries. Panel topics include 3D printing in veterinary medicine, bioprinting, implants and prosthetics, and more. Last week we listed several of the speakers who are lined up to give presentations and participate in panels. Here are some more:

There are still more experts lined up to speak at the summit; the only issue for attendees will be deciding who to see at what time. There will also be a start-up competition, which is not to be missed, as some of the newest and most exciting organizations in the medical and dental sector will be competing for a $15,000 investment. Registration for the summit is open now, and if you register by January 24th you will get 25% off. There are several options for registration; a Gold passport which gains you entry to everything in the entire conference; a Silver passport which gains you entry to everything except for the workshops on January 29th; or a one-day Seminar pass only, plus several other options you can check out here.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

This content was originally published here.