The Drill, a roundup of news and updates affecting Wisconsin dentists, is emailed to members on Monday afternoons. View archive of past issues here

Monday, Sept. 13, 2021

1| State launches dental workforce study with license renewals
2| CDC updates infection prevention and control guidance

3| WDA joins ADA, other states in opposing Medicare Part B dental benefit
4| MUSoD apparel sale continues through Sunday
5| Harried by the home-buying process? Free member webinar can help
6| ADA plans free webinar on PPO network leasing
7|  From the blog: The WDA Foundation congratulates its 2021 scholarship recipients

8| Upcoming events
1State launches dental workforce study with license renewals

Wisconsin dentists and dental hygienists will notice something extra in the license renewal process this year – workforce questions that could provide valuable information to expand access to oral health care, unlock higher levels of federal funding and strengthen all facets of the profession, including dental practices, schools, and dental and dental hygiene students.
The WDA and the Marquette University School of Dentistry have partnered with the Department of Safety and Professional Services and others on the questions, aimed at generating information about who is practicing dentistry and where in Wisconsin. The goal is to identify parts of the state that currently have dental care access barriers, or could in the future as dental professionals in some communities retire.
Dentists and dental hygienists can answer the study questions when they renew their licenses. If you’ve already renewed, you can return to the study to participate. Before the renewal cycle closes on Sept. 30, DSPS will email a survey link to those who have not yet participated.
Please take the time to answer these important questions. This information is critical, and a response rate of 67% or higher would qualify the state for the highest level of federal support to address access concerns in certain communities and populations.

2CDC updates infection prevention and control guidance

We heard from Wisconsin State Dental Director Dr. Russ Dunkel (Madison) this morning that the CDC has updated its COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance for healthcare settings. These updates do not contain substantial changes in recommended practices; rather, they have primarily been made to streamline and consolidate existing guidance so that it is applicable to multiple settings and scenarios. As part of the update, setting-specific guidance for dental offices has been streamlined and combined into the main IPC guidance for healthcare settings.

The updated Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19) is applicable to all U.S. settings where healthcare is delivered, including dental settings. Dental healthcare personnel (DHCP) should refer to this guidance, which includes a section specific to dental settings, for infection control considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the CDC recommends that DHCP regularly consult with their state and local health departments for current information, recommendations and requirements specific to their jurisdictions, which might change based on level of community transmission in their county.

You can find the latest guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services here (scroll down to “dental healthcare professionals guidance” under “Physical Health & Safety Guidance.”)

We anticipate the ADA will have more information on the CDC updates in the coming days, and we will share additional information as it is available.

3 WDA joins ADA, other states in opposing Medicare Part B dental benefit

At the direction of the Board of Trustees, the WDA has signed on to a letter to Congressional leaders opposing a proposal to expand Medicare Part B to include dental care. The ADA has been extremely active in its opposition to the proposal, lobbying for a separate program that would better serve low-income patients and dentists rather than expanding an existing program centered on physician offices.
You can read the letter here.
The ADA continues to urge all dentists to contact their members of Congress to oppose the proposed legislation. To do so, visit Read more about ADA’s position on the Medicare proposal in these FAQs, and get the latest information from ADA News (9/11).



4| MUSoD apparel sales continues through Sunday

Hey MUSoD grads and students – if you’re itching to buy some new gear, the D2 apparel sale is going on right now. The sale ends Sunday, Sept. 19, so hurry and shop for those fall jackets and winter caps before it’s too late! Proceeds from the sale benefit the D2 class.



5| Harried by the home-buying process? Free member webinar can help

Buying a home can be one of the biggest and most stressful purchases in anyone’s lifetime. Our friends at Laurel Road, the WDA’s endorsed partner for home mortgages, will help you learn what to expect and how to prepare for your home-buying journey in an informative, free webinar at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15. The webinar will cover loan and financing options, creditworthiness and how to budget for common fees encountered during the closing process.


6|  ADA plans free webinar on PPO network leasing

Have you ever had a patient present with an insurance ID card for a plan that you thought you were out-of-network with only to find out later when the explanation of benefits was received that you were actually a network provider for the plan? How can this happen? Can you opt out of participating with a leased plan or network? What fees can be charged when you participate in a leased network? These concerns around network leasing can be a significant source of stress and confusion for many dental practices.

The ADA is planning a free webinar, "Understanding PPO Network Leasing: What you need to know," from Noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28, to provide the answers to these questions and more. You will gain a basic understanding of how PPO network leasing works and you will hear from a large dental PPO leasing organization who will explain PPO leasing and how it may affect a dental practice. You will also hear from an ADA representative who will respond and present ADA viewpoints based on best practices and policy adopted by the ADA’s House of Delegates.


7|  From the blog: The WDA Foundation congratulates its 2021 scholarship recipients

In 2020, the Foundation increased the number and amount of the awards so that resident Wisconsin students were provided the opportunity to compete for a total of $30,000 in scholarships. The scholarships include five Tuition Scholarship Awards valued at $5,000 each and one Alliance Scholarship Award valued at $2,500. Dental hygiene scholarships continued at five Wisconsin technical colleges with one $500 scholarship available at each school.

Read more about the recipients in the newest WDA Insider members-only blog post.


8|  Upcoming events
  • Sept. 21 - WDA BizTalks webinar: Accounting 101, BMO Harris Bank; Register here
  • Oct. 12 - WDA BizTalks webinar: Digital Marketing 101, GroupOne Marketing; Register here
  • Nov. 11 - WDA Annual Continuing Education and Networking event, Brookfield Conference Center; Register here
  • Nov. 12 - 151st Anniversary and Pyramid of Pride Awards dinner celebration, Brookfield Conference Center; Register here
  • Nov. 12 - 13 - WDA House of Delegates, Brookfield Conference Center; Register here

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