February 2020 Newsletter

Program: February 18, 2020

Featured Speaker: Dr. Dean Vafiadis

“Digital Technologies: Aesthetics and Occlusion.”

MCDS President


Dr. Dean Vafiadis received both his Doctorate and Prosthodontic Training at NYU. He is currently the Director of the Full-Mouth Rehabilitation Course and an Associate Professor of Prosthodontics at NYU College of Dentistry. He has lectured nationally and internationally as well as authored numerous publications. He is the founder of the New York Smile Institute in NYC, which is an educational center, full-service laboratory and learning facility as well as a private practice location for a multi-specialty practice for Implant and Aesthetic Dentistry. His primary professional mission is to educate, publish and invent new technologies that will help change the dental profession and patients’ lives. Intra-oral scanning and milling of restorations has been shown to be successful. Maximizing the efficiency of these systems will be demonstrated. From individual restorations to full arch implant restorations, the digital design remains the critical point from clinical chair-side to delivery. Anterior aesthetic restorations, scanning implant scan bodies, and occlusion principles will be discussed. Applying prosthodontic principles to each of these digital work flows allows the clinician to deliver high quality restorations with the best materials available in addition to higher patient satisfaction. Course objectives include: digital work flow for natural teeth and implants, scan body intra-oral scanning, anterior aesthetic implant restorations and digital design for ideal occlusion and aesthetics.

President's Message - Dr. Sanjeev Satwah

MCDS President

Happy 150th birthday, fellow members of the New Jersey Dental Association!
Much has changed in the world since 1870. Then, the global population was roughly 1 billion. Today, it is 7.7 billion. Telephones were not even invented 150 years ago. In 2020, it is estimated that 96 percent of the U.S. population has a cell phone — and both China and India have more than a billion cell phones in use.
In the 150 years since NJDA was founded, seemingly everything has changed except NJDA values. We began, and remain, committed to fellowship, integrity, diversity, service, and leadership.
Founded in 1870, the New Jersey Dental Association is one of New Jersey’s oldest professional associations. Organized on October 25, 1870, as the New Jersey State Dental Society, the NJDA’s beginnings go back to the lecture room of the YMCA in Trenton, NJ. Twenty-seven prominent dentists in the state “called” for other dentists to join them in Trenton for a convention for the purpose of forming the society, and to “devise and adopt such other measures as may be deemed essential to our mutual improvement, and for the elevation of our common profession.” While our mission dates to 1870, the ethos behind those words had already been ingrained by NJDA’s founders.
As the pace of change worldwide continues to accelerate, the need for NJDA leadership is greater than ever. It is one thing to read about leadership projects, quite another to see them in action and to see the grateful faces of members who have benefited from them. NJDA leadership change lives and connect our components. And over the past year, I have seen some amazing NJDA projects in action. I would like to personally thank NJDA President, Dr. Thomas Rossi, for visiting our component last month and for the heartfelt recognition.
By the time our February meeting is here, we will have completed another successful Give Kids a Smile Day, know who won the Super Bowl, and celebrated Valentine’s Day. A lot is happening in the shortest month of the year.

MCDS Board of Trustees Report

January 14, 2020

Attendance: Drs. AniI Ardeshna, Charles Avrurik, Nicholas Diaz, Christopher Fiorentini, Mario Fiorentini, Shweta Gandhi, Richard Kahn, Nima Mir- Madjlessi, Maya Prabhu, Ira Rosen, Sanjeev Satwah, Robert Silverstein, Antoinette Tauk, Mark Vitale, Araceli Ziemba, Stephanie Dowling
Acceptance of 11/12/2019 Minutes - Vote unanimous.
President’s Report - Dr. Sanjeev Satwah.
Nothing to report.
Treasurer’s Report – Dr. Christopher Florentini
See Full Report on page 3.
Educational Coordinator’s Report - Dr. Antoinette Tauk
On 2/8/20, MCDS proudly presents, Dr. Dean Vafiadis lecturing on “Digital Technologies: Aesthetics and Occlusion.” Please note this lecture is scheduled for 90 minutes and we will be starting promptly at 7:30 PM so doctors may need to plan their arrival accordingly.
NJDA Trustee Report – Dr. Amit Vora
Annual Session - Dr. Joseph Basilicato
The Council was charged with handling the 150th Anniversary Celebratory Events which are the Ribbon Cutting on January 15, 2020 at NJDA Headquarters, the NJDA President’s Dinner Dance on June 7th on the private Yacht Atlantica, the Jersey Shore Beach Bash on July 15th and 16th at the Hotel LSI, the family picnic in Mercer County Park sometime in September, and, of course, the Official Anniversary Event which will be held October 25, 2020 at NJDA Headquarters.
Membership - AnnMarie Varga and Bill Cook
Bill Cook reported that there was growth in all the three membership counts that we track - total members, paying members, and active licensed, however, revenue is down. There are 38 fewer full dues members. We have 95 more members that received a discount on their dues compared to 2018. Two demographics that we have been tracking are up - there are 108 more female members and 110 more new dentist members. Mr. Cook reported that recruiting outreach for 2020 is starting earlier than last year. With changes made to ADA dues for 2021, we will need to work on how we are going to approach Active Life members.
Dental Benefits - Dr. Ed Tirpack
Delta Dental will now pay for A1C testing with no co-pay to the patient. Delta will be policing advertisements. The dilemma is that Delta cannot calculate a fee until the discount is revealed, and dental offices cannot calculate a discount until the fee is calculated. If a discount is offered, it must be offered regardless of dental benefit coverage. Delta is still paying delayed claims with interest. We are seeing an uptick in auditing billing. The carriers are asking questions about clinical judgment and recommendations. Call Dr. Joan Monaco at the office for information. Do not ignore the carrier questions. Dr. Tirpack warned dental offices to be diligent about reading correspondence from insurance carriers to be sure that they have not been enrolled in EFT falsely. You should monitor these letters and your staff.
An ‘upgrade for superior treatment’ can be presented to the patient. The patient must agree to complete a form agreeing that they will pay.
Governmental & Public Affairs - Dr. Elisa Velazquez
ADA is working to support Dr. Jeff Van Drew in his congressional district in NJ for next year. Jim Schulz attended the Children in Poverty Program sponsored by the Governor’s wife. Our council and Jim Schultz will give 10 minute talks for webinars for NJDA. These will be similar to a TED talk. Please reach out to Jim Schulz or Elisa Velazquez if you or your component would like us to focus on any specific topics/issues.
Mr. Jim Schulz provided an overview regarding the amalgam watch in the State of Maine and several pro-labor bills which will change the test for individual contractors. 2020 is the start of the new legislature. In addition, we have applied for a Spa Grant from the ADA. Dr. Mark Vitale encouraged members to get young dentists excited about PAC. Both NJDPAC and ADPAC are part of general dentistry; one entity and one cause. Reach out to fellow dentists and encourage them to be a part of PAC. A PAC Retreat is planned for January and the Board will be invited and it will educate all of us about PAC.
President-Elect’s report
Dr. Weiner reported that there was a recent phone conference call with the AMT Trustees to discuss and approve a quarterly rating increase for January 2020. AMT continues to be fiscally sound as a self-funded plan. They have seen significant growth since NJDA and NJBIA have joined the MEWA. Dr. Weiner reported that, after further review, there is no need to change the NJDA Bylaws in regard to filling vacancies in NJDA’s Delegation to the ADA HOD when elected component representatives cannot attend. He and Mr. Meisel, in consultation with Speaker of the House Dr. Tirpack, found that the Bylaws clearly spell out an acceptable protocol.
Vice President’s report
The Board is working on implementing statutory changes and incorporating suggested changes from NJ Cares concerning controlled dangerous substances and prescription monitoring. The Director of NJ Cares is recommending co-prescribing Naloxone to prevent overdose death when prescribing 90 morphine equivalents (3 month supply). Questions and correspondences regarding tele-dentistry: Board does not take a position on billing procedures or monies; Board is currently working on tele-dentistry regulations; the standard of care for an exam is physically performing the exam and manipulating hard and soft tissue. Inquiry was made concerning assignment of a dental specialty number as a dental anesthesiologist, the answer not at this time. Inquiry was made whether dental hygienist and or dental assistant can remove and replace certain dental prosthesis under direct supervision, namely prosthesis on implants such as all on 4. The answer is hygienist and assistants cannot remove screws etc, as this does not fall in the scope of practice for hygienists or dental assistants.
A brief discussion was held concerning the regulations governing CBCT’s and issues that must be addressed to seek relaxation of regulatory requirements.
NJDA Council Reports:
Dental Benefits - Dr. Antoinette Tauk
The Council on Dental Benefits met on 11/6/19 at the NJDA Headquarters. Delta is not meeting with us until 2020 so there may be changes coming in the new year. A motion was made by Dr. Steven Greenbaum to suggest that the NJDA add another full-time employee whose duties can be shared between the Council on Dental Benefits and Governmental Affairs. This will be brought up at a future NJDA budget meeting. Delta Dental sent a letter to a member dentist regarding advertising of a discount fee. The dental office dilemma is that Delta cannot calculate a fee until the discount is revealed, and the dental office cannot calculate a discount until the fee is calculated. Dentists cannot discriminate between insured or non-insured patients; if a discount is offered it must be offered regardless of dental benefit coverage. If you offer an in house plan it cannot be called a discount or insurance plan. It is best to call it a membership plan for legal purposes. All office courtesies must be taken off the full fee to be compliant with the law; there is an advertising regulation in New Jersey and the insurance companies are policing the ads. Our next topic was regarding audits. Carriers are routinely auditing billing, ledgers and claim forms, but are now also asking questions regarding clinical situations. It seems unusual for a benefit company to question a licensed entities clinical judgment and recommendations. Make certain that you are billing accurately for the procedure that was completed. It is a must that if you receive an audit letter from a carrier that you do nothing before calling Joan Monaco first! A patient filed a grievance regarding treatment and the insurance carrier determined it was “substandard treatment” and requested monies be returned to the patient and benefits be returned to carrier. Documentation of all that transpired with a patient is very important. The dental office did not disclose discount to Delta Dental. Dentist did not know staff was not disclosing any discounts. Waiver of co-pay without disclosure is misrepresentation/fraud. Many pretreatment estimates are now showing new language that the predetermination is valid for 60 days. Direct Deposit Warning- offices should be diligent about reading correspondence from insurance carriers. A confirmation letter was sent to dentist from two national carriers confirming their enrollment in EFT but the office had never enrolled. An online bank account was established in practice name complete with voided check but completely unauthorized by the dentist. Monitor letters and your staff! Horizon: Post Payment Audit: more carriers are paying claims without reviewing clinical documentation and then scheduling post payment audits to recoup monies. It is more cost efficient for them. Your documentation needs to support your code submissions to hopefully retain the reimbursement you receive. Dentegra – Executed Financial Responsibility Form: Noted on their EOB that a dental office cannot charge above and beyond for services with PPO patients unless an executed Financial form was obtained prior to treatment.
Legislative Update from Jim Schulz: State of Maine has an “amalgam watch” in place. Every patient that is having amalgam placed must be handed a brochure citing risks. Also discussed BPA may be present in sealants, etc. Our next meeting be will on 2/5/20.
Governmental Affairs (Highlights - Ed.) – Dr. Amit Vora
The meeting was held December 11, 2019.
State Board - Adding Dental Assistant Legislation –
Jim explained the politics of the legislation and the legislative journey. He explained that as a policy implication this was not protecting the public but instead trying to represent a constituency.
State Board of Dentistry Proposed Regulations –
Elisa outlined the intention of the proposed regulations is public protection. Fred Babinowich requested that NJDA staff outline the key points of the rule proposal for its members. Frank requested that the NJDA review the limited teaching certificate provision and the lifting of the CODA requirement for dental education. Concerned this could expand international licenses. Elisa requested that the Council members respond with comments to Art and Jim before the Jan. 17th public comment deadline.
New Business
Elisa shared the news about community water fluoridation material now once again being made public. Jim explained that it will be shared with the NJDA members in the next couple weeks. Staff is building the flow chart for the members to make it easier for them and their staff to access the data. For the first time, this data will show every town and every water line in NJ.
Membership - Dr. Nima Mir-Madjlessi
As of November 18,2019, we are 4583 (+107 from 2018)- full active (-39) and 3rd yr out (-14). There were 909 (+129) more new dentists and 1213 (+117) female dentists. The council will try to reach out to the non-renewal members from 2019. We will try to see what are the main reasons for non renewal. The ADA’s Quarter Year Dues campaign, has led to 148 new members.NJDA staff will fo.llow up to see how many have renewed for 2020.
Monthly online collaborative workshops: The next workshop is scheduled for Dec 19th to discuss CE accreditation. Tripartite part 2(recruitment)is scheduled for Feb 10,2020. All workshops are archived under njda.org/component-workshops.
2021 Dues: The changes to the national dues structure will be implemented for the 2021 dues areas follows: 1.elimination of the $30 graduate duesto $0. 2.Elimination of the %25 discount for life emebers.3. elimination of two discounts for the new graduates A:$0, B:%50, C and D will be eliminated. NJDA will discuss 2021 constituent dues in the next several months.
New Dentists – Dr. Nicholas Diaz
Join your New Dentist colleagues for a casual and fun event at Twenty/20 Taphouse Somerset on Wednesday, January 29, 2020. 7pm-9pm. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres compliments the New Jersey Dental Association’s New Dentist Committee. Registration is REQUIRED to attend. NJDA members will receive a $25 registration reimbursement upon arrival.
Peer Review – Dr. Steve Susskind
There are 2 cases being Mediated at this time. More information to follow when the Mediation continues.
Committee Reports:
Corporate Sponsorship – Dr. Ira Rosen
We will have five corporate sponsors at our general membership meeting on Tuesday, January 21st, for NJDA Officers Night. The sponsors are part of the NJDA Endorsed Business Associates and they include Bank of America, Horizon BC/BS, AXA Advisors, Colgate and Henry Schein. We strongly encourage all of our members to visit the corporate sponsor tables and see what services they have to offer that can help you both professionally and personally. Visit all sponsors, get your cards stamped and enter in the raffle to win one of four $25 VISA gift cards!
MCDS Study Club - Dr. Nima Mirmadjlessi
On November 20,2019 we had a great presentation given by Dr. Hugh Habas: Maximize Your Practice For Optimum Profitability and Economic Freedom. The next study club will be given by the original mentor for the MCDS study club on January 22, 2020, Dr. Ethan Glickman: Vaping, JUULS and E-cigarettes: A Public Health Crisis-Medical and Dental consideration. On February 19, 2020, the study club will be Vito Mazza:1. Controlling Your Accounts Recivable:10 TIPS Improving Cash Flow Management 2. Improving Your Dental Communication and Effective Presentation Skills
The location is JFK Medical Center, MRI Conference Room, 65 James St., Edison NJ O8820. The registration form will be available on our website and our face book page. I would like to remind everyone that this Study Club is a Membership Benefit. I am looking forward to seeing everyone.
Respectfully submitted, Anil Ardeshna -Secretary

Treasurer's Report

Dr. Christopher Fiorentini

As of December 31, 2019

10/31/19 12/31/19 12/31/18
Checking (Provident)
$81,856.66 $106,927.56 $81,851.34
Savings (Provident)
$20,074.20 $20,077.56 $20,057.51
$29,970.82 $0 $14,377.27
$131,901.68 $127,005.12 $116,286.12
10/31/19 through 12/31/19
P & L Statement Checking Account
PayPal Transfer $31,138.42
Corp Spon - Meetings   $6,200.00
Corp Spon - Cont Ed   $7,000.00
Cont. Educ. Inc.   $50.00
TOTAL INCOME $44,388.42
Dinner Meetings $5,870.67
Lecturer Fees $1,000.00
Executive Secretary   $2,118.41
Telephone   $125.36
Executive Committee Dinner $452.17
Continuing Education Exp $1,015.31
Office Supplies   $861.06
Name Badges   $635.91
Newsletter $6,462.24
Memorials and Gifts $216.39
P & L Statement Savings
TOTAL   $3.36
Transfer to Checking   -$29,970.82
OVERALL TOTAL -$4,896.56



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Insurance Claims Problems?

The Board would like to remind you that Claims Resolution Service is available through the NJDA to help you resolve any dental claim issue. Please contact Dr. Joan Monaco at 732-821-9400. This service is provided free to you as a member benefit.

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For Sale

Long established general dental practice in the Southern end of Middlesex County. It is located on a busy corner with a traffic light. The office has 2 operatories, Dentrix software / new computers and Visix x-ray system. This beautifully landscaped commercial property includes an occupied rental apartment above the office, a new roof with solar panels and a fenced in yard with an underground sprinkler system. There is an attached oversized one car garage as well as 5 outdoor patient parking spots. The dental practice and associated real estate must be purchased together. All inquiries should be directed to: Ellen Newman (H) 828-435-0227 (C) 415-328-2049 (please try the home number first) and/or email: myhappydogs@aol.com

Highlights from the January 2020 Meeting


Pictures from the Meeting

NJDA President Dr. Tom Rossi congratulates new Life Member Dr. Charles Bloom.


Pictures from the Meeting

NJDA President Dr. Tom Rossi congratulates new Life Member Dr. Arnold Brown.


Pictures from the Meeting

NJDA President Dr. Tom Rossi congratulates new Life Member Dr. Sheldon Waltuch.


Pictures from the Meeting

Dr. Tom Rossi commends Dr. Daniel Krantz for his service as ADA Delegate from 2008-2019.


Pictures from the Meeting

Dr. Tom Rossi thanks MCDS President Dr. Sanjeev Satwah for his year of service to our component.


Pictures from the Meeting

NJDA Executive Director Art Meisel, Esq. makes us aware of the latest issues affecting us.