Monday, February 19, 2018

FTC Sues Dental Products Distributors for Alleged Conspiracy Not to Provide Discounts to a Customer Segment

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Complaint names nation’s three largest dental suppliers: Benco Dental Supply Company, Henry Schein, Inc. and Patterson Companies, Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against the nation’s three largest dental supply companies, a public version of which will be linked to this news release shortly, alleging that they violated U.S. antitrust laws by conspiring to refuse to provide discounts to or otherwise serve buying groups representing dental practitioners. These buying groups sought lower prices for dental supplies and equipment on behalf of solo and small-group dental practices seeking to gain discounts by aggregating and leveraging the collective purchasing power and bargaining skills of the individual practices. The complaint also alleges an FTC Act Section 5 violation against Benco for inviting a fourth competing distributor to join the conspiracy.

The alleged agreement among Benco, Henry Schein and Patterson deprived independent dentists of the benefits of participating in buying groups that purchase dental supplies from national, full-service distributors. As full-service dental distributors, Benco, Henry Schein and Patterson offer gloves, cements, sterilization products and a range of other consumable supplies, as well as equipment, such as dental chairs and lights. Collectively, the big three control more than 85 percent of all distributor sales of dental products and services nationwide. The U.S. market for dental products is valued at approximately $10 billion. The dental practices that would have benefited from the discounts achieved by these buying groups were small businesses comprised of solo or small groups of dentists.

Benco and Henry Schein allegedly entered into an agreement refusing to provide discounts to or compete for the business of buying groups. The complaint details communications between executives of the two companies evidencing the agreement, as well as attempts to monitor and ensure compliance with the agreement. The complaint also asserts that Patterson joined the agreement. The complaint charges Benco, Henry Schein and Patterson of conspiring in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

The complaint also alleges that on multiple occasions, Benco invited Burkhart Dental Supply – a regional distributor and the fourth largest full-service distributor in the United States – to refuse to provide discounts to buying groups. As a result of this conduct, the complaint separately charges Benco with a Section 5 invitation to collude count.

Based on the agreement among the distributors, the complaint contends that Benco, Henry Schein and Patterson unreasonably restrained price competition for dental products in the United States; distorted prices and undermined the ability of independent dentists to obtain lower prices and discounts for dental products; deprived independent dentists of the benefits of vigorous price and service competition among full-service, national dental distributors; unreasonably reduced output of dental products to dental buying groups; and eliminated or reduced the competitive bidding process for sales to these buying groups. This case reflects the Commission’s ongoing efforts to ensure competition in the healthcare industry.

The Commission vote to issue the administrative complaint was 2-0. The administrative trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 16, 2018.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. A complaint constitutes an allegation, but does not constitute a determination that the law has been violated as alleged.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ultradent Mosaic Composite & Why it Made My Top 5 Test Drives


I love it when companies “get it right,” and Mosaic is one of those products. Ultradentworked on development of their next generation composite for several years, but they refused to bring it to market until they were absolutely convinced that they had exceeded everyone’s expectations. Suffice to say, “Mission accomplished!” Ultradent has succeeded in creating a composite that quickly became one of my favorites.

The thing that immediately struck me was how easy it is to manipulate. The biggest complaint I have about composites in general is that they tend to stick to the instruments we use. Mosaic was specifically designed to overcome that problem and the result is phenomenal. You can move the material around like thick cake icing without stickiness and it stays where you put it, allowing for total control during clinical manipulation.

Mosaic is a great material, no matter which tooth you are repairing. A composite is dependent on its filler particles for both its strength and its esthetics. This material is designed with a very nice balance of fillers so that it fulfills the properties for use anywhere in the mouth. It has exceptional aesthetics for anterior restorations and high compressive strength (486.4mpa) for durable posterior restorations. 

Mosaic comes in 20 shades and, much to the delight of many users, Ultradent has gone back to the traditional shading nomenclature. There are a variety of dentin shades that are slightly translucent and work well in the posterior, while the enamel shades have variable opacity that allows for a single shade in small areas. Of course, for large Class IV fractures, layering can be done utilizing a combination of dentin and enamel shades. 

The shade guide is made of the actual composite you’ll be using for a more accurate shade assessment, and a flexible shade tab holder allows for bending around the patient’s face to compare multiple shades at once.

If you are looking for a new workhorse composite, be sure to check out Mosaic.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

MouthWatch, LLC Debuts its TeleDent™ Referral Engine Starter Kit for Specialists and GPs During the Chicago Midwinter Meeting

I’ve been lucky enough to be working with the TeleDent™ platform for the last couple of months.  I’ve been impressed with both the software and the MouthWatch intraoral camera.  With the Chicago MidWinter meeting rapidly approaching, I thought I’d let you know about a special offer from the company.  If you’re going to be in Chicago (I’ll be there for sure) be sure to stop by the MouthWatch booth #4143 and check out the new TeleDent™ Referral Engine Starter Kit.  I’ve been pretty impressed with what this company is doing and I think you’ll be impressed as well.


Newly-Developed Product Configuration and Special Pricing
Enables Affordable, Out of the Box Clinical Collaboration

Metuchen, NJ – February 6, 2018 – MouthWatch, LLC a leader in intraoral imaging, digital case presentation and teledentistry solutions, will introduce its TeleDent™ Referral Engine Starter Kit at booth #4143 during the 2018 Chicago Midwinter Meeting.

According to MouthWatch CEO Brant Herman, “For this year’s Midwinter Meeting we’ve created a new configuration of our TeleDent™ all-in-one teledentistry platform to enable out of the box clinical collaboration.” The TeleDent Referral Engine Starter Kit includes the following:

• 2 MouthWatch Intraoral Cameras
• 2 Windows 10 Convertible Laptops
• 2 licenses for TeleDent - MouthWatch’s Cloud-Based, HIPAA-Compliant Software
• 2 Online Sessions for Training and Workflow Integration
• Waived Set-Up Fee

During the Chicago Midwinter Meeting, The TeleDent Referral Engine Starter Kit will be priced at $1,999 and include a 1-year hardware warranty. Custom configurations are also available. “This is not a one size fits all solution,” adds Herman. “For example, one provider may already have a computer that they wish to use. Or perhaps collaboration will occur between three or more clinicians in multiple locations. Let us build a TeleDent Referral Engine for you.”
The cost-effectiveness of the TeleDent™ platform make it well-suited for many private practice teledentistry applications. In fact, it can be a catalyst for enhanced collaborative care and increased referrals. Other benefits include improved patient experiences, simplified workflow and easier communication amongst the care team.

Specialist / GP Collaboration – Increased referrals and efficient case collaboration for predictable patient outcomes– especially on complex cases.

Sleep Apnea Dentist / Sleep Medicine Physician Collaboration - Cultivate referral networks with sleep physicians whose patients are seeking a medically-prescribed CPAP alternative.

Oral-Systemic Health Collaboration – Co-management of medically-compromised patients diagnosed with oral disease to reduce systemic disease progression, mitigate risk and achieve an improved state of wellness.

Dentist / Dental Lab Collaboration – Dentists and dental lab operators can
share CBCT images, digital impression files and patient photos to increase case accuracy and ultimately ensure patient satisfaction.

For more information about MouthWatch, visit www., call 877-544-4342 or send an email to You can also download the brochure, “Teledentistry for Private Practice Collaboration” by clicking here.

About MouthWatch, LLC:
Headquartered in Metuchen, New Jersey, MouthWatch, LLC is a leader in intraoral imaging devices, digital case presentation tools and teledentistry solutions. The company is dedicated to finding new ways to constantly improve the dental health experience for both patient and provider.

The founders and management team of MouthWatch have relevant backgrounds and successful track records in dentistry, consumer products and communications. Since 2012, this team has pioneered the integration of digital imagery and communications technology in the field of dentistry. Their cumulative experience makes it possible for the company to take the lead in introducing the benefits of telemedicine to the world of dentistry.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Avalon NeoMTA Plus® Named Top Endodontic Reparative Cement for Fourth Straight Year

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I’ve been a user of NeoMTA plus for well over a year now.  MTA has become a “Go To” product for many practicing clinical dentistry as it allows us to help patients keep their teeth for a lifetime.  Back in the day, MTA was difficult to use as well as extremely expensive.  However, in the last 3 years or so, we have seen several companies bring MTA to market with ease of use and affordable pricing.  One of those companies is Avalon BioMed with their product NeoMTA Plus.  Here’s some new info on the product:

Avalon Biomed, a division of NuSmile Ltd., announced today that its Avalon NeoMTA Plus has been named “Top Product” for the Endodontic Reparative Cement category by THE DENTAL ADVISOR for the fourth consecutive year.

“We’re thrilled to have THE DENTAL ADVISOR’s expert group of clinical advisors bestow this prestigious honor on Avalon NeoMTA Plus four years in a row,” said Mark Binford, Avalon Biomed Senior Vice President. “We pride ourselves on this breakthrough product’s ability to offer endodontists and general dentists a combination of versatility, ease of use, and remarkable affordability they simply can’t get from any other dental bioceramic material.”

NeoMTA Plus is a stain-proof, tricalcium silicate-based bioceramic cement that can be used universally for a wide variety of endodontic treatments including pulp therapy. Priced at roughly one- fifth the price of the best-known MTA brands, NeoMTA Plus is praised for its superior abilities to mix smoothly, place easily, resist washout, set quickly and avoid staining.

THE DENTAL ADVISOR awards, among the most highly coveted honors in the dental industry, were created to recognize quality products and equipment whose superiority is documented through clinical and evidence-based research.

For more information on NeoMTA Plus or other Avalon Biomed products, call (941) 896-9948 or visit


About Avalon Biomed

Avalon Biomed, a wholly owned division of NuSmile Ltd., develops, markets and sells highly differentiated bioceramics for use in restorative dentistry applications. Avalon’s products have a variety of uses in vital pulp therapy and endodontics, from pulpotomy and cavity liners to root-end filling and sealer materials. Dr. Carolyn Primus, a renowned materials scientist and 2016 Dr. Edward B. Shils Award winner, founded Avalon Biomed Inc. in 2011 to develop unique, best-in-class medical devices for dentistry and orthopedics. Avalon products are focused on bioactive, inorganic hydraulic formulas utilizing the latest in materials technology.

NuSmile Ltd., Headquartered in Houston, Texas, NuSmile is a worldwide leader in restorative dentistry products. NuSmile has a passion for quality and innovation and an unmatched dedication to the dental profession and the patients they serve. NuSmile products are offered in over 40 countries around the world.

Monday, February 12, 2018

DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. (“Dentsply Sirona”) (NASDAQ: XRAY) Dentsply Sirona is Pleased to Announce that the Upcoming Q1 Launch of inLab SW 18 will Allow Dentsply Sirona inLab Users the Ability to Mill Digital Dentures Right in-house Using the inLab MC X5 Milling Unit

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Digital dentures continue to develop and evolve.  With the ability to mill or print things to very exact specifications, the ability to create the denture hasn’t been questioned for several years.  The real problem has been the scanning.  As those of us in clinical dentistry know, the oral tissues have some give to them and are not static tissue under load, as bone normally is.  Instead, there is a natural compression to the tissues when they are placed under load and this is why scanning has always been dicey at best.  A traditional analog impression helps capture some of that natural tissue load distortion that then allows for proper fabrication of the denture.  Once an impression has been captured, creating the final denture digitally is a pretty straightforward process.  It’s been the total digital solution to complete removable prosthetics that has eluded the profession.   However, lately we’ve seen some really strong advances in this category and the totally digital denture is now no longer a dream.  One of the market leaders in this area is Dentsply Sirona.  Read on for the latest info on Dentsply Sirona’s advances in the field.


DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. (“Dentsply Sirona”) (NASDAQ: XRAY) Dentsply Sirona is pleased to announce that the upcoming Q1 launch of inLab SW 18 will allow Dentsply Sirona inLab users the ability to mill Digital Dentures right in-house using the inLab MC X5 milling unit.

In addition, following a one-and-a-half-year successful strategic collaboration with AvaDent® Digital Dental Solutions, The Dental Solutions Company® today announced that both DGSHAPE Corporation and imes-icore have joined the Dentsply Sirona Digital Denture team as selected partners.

York, Pennsylvania, February 5, 2018 Dentsply Sirona, The Dental Solutions Company®, today announced several strategic collaborations set to further enhance its Digital Denture solutions. Foremost, with the upcoming Q1 introduction of inLab® SW 18, inLab users will be able to mill Digital Dentures right in-house, while still having the option to outsource to AvaDent®. In addition, starting in Q1 of 2018, both DGShape Corporation and imes-icore have partnered with the Company to provide even more innovative Digital Denture solutions.

Specifically, labs that use inLab MC X5 milling units and/or DGSHAPE, imes-icore will be able to mill Dentsply Sirona Digital Dentures in-house after they are designed by AvaDent.

“These collaborations are an exciting endeavor, and completely synergistic with the Dentsply Sirona vision to deliver innovative dental solutions to improve oral health worldwide,” remarked Tom Leonardi, Dentsply Sirona Group Vice President, Global Prosthetics. “Together we will advance digital denture solutions in the dental lab market, bringing Dentsply Sirona’s market leadership in removable prosthetic materials and CAD/CAM solutions. All collaborations contribute substantially to creating real value for the dental laboratory, the dentist and, ultimately, the patient in the field of digital dentures. In this spirit, it is a pleasure to officially welcome DGSHAPE and imes-icore as our new partners in digital dentures. Both companies are a great complement to our product line, and I believe that these agreements greatly underscore our commitment as a leader in removable prosthetics.”

Kohei Tanabe, President of DGSHAPE Corporation, Hamamatsu-shi, commented, “Our driving force is to fuse human creativity with digital technologies in order to provide simplicity. We are proud to have been chosen by Dentsply Sirona as a selected partner for the effortless production of dental prosthetics. With Dentsply Sirona, the leading company in the dental area, we are embarking on an exciting and promising future technology journey. For our existing and prospective customers this new partnership will expand the power of our products, and the breadth of their services.”

Christoph Stark, Chief Executive Officer of imes-icore, mirrored Tanabe’s sentiments, “Our Company specializes in implementing components to create superior systems in dental technology. In this area, partners are essential for the development of upgrades and applications. The fact that Dentsply Sirona specializes in digital denture solutions for dental labs provides us with a great deal of certainty that, together, we are promoting a promising future technology. We are proud to be a part of this digital revolution.”

Whether users choose to mill in-house or scan and outsource the entire process, Dentsply Sirona Digital Dentures continue to offer flexible solutions and provide superior results.

For more information about Dentsply Sirona Digital Dentures, please visit

About Dentsply Sirona: 
Dentsply Sirona is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, with over a century of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide. Dentsply Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive solutions offering including dental and oral health products as well as other consumable medical devices under a strong portfolio of world-class brands. As The Dental Solutions Company, Dentsply Sirona’s products provide innovative, high-quality and effective solutions to advance patient care and deliver better, safer and faster dental care. Dentsply Sirona’s global headquarters is located in York, Pennsylvania, and the international headquarters is based in Salzburg, Austria. The company’s shares are listed in the United States on NASDAQ under the symbol XRAY. Visit for more information about Dentsply Sirona and its products.

About DGSHAPE Corporation: 
DGSHAPE Corporation was formed in 2017 by Roland DG Corporation as a wholly-owned subsidiary to develop and market the company’s innovative 3D products, including DWX mills and DWP 3D printer for the dental industry, MPX photo impact printers and EGX engravers for the industrial labeling and personalization industries and MDX and monoFab series of desktop milling machines for the rapid prototyping, manufacturing, and hobby industries. The company’s products are distributed worldwide. To learn more about DGSHAPE Corporation, please visit

About imes-icore: 
imes-icore GmbH acts as a one hundred percent subsidiary company of the internationally transacting isel-Group. Founded approximately 30 years ago as “isert-electronics” and remodeled later to “isel-Group”, imes GmbH made a name in the market with completely developed CNC solutions. Faithfully after the slogan of the isel-Group “from components to systems” imes-icore GmbH is responsible for and specializes in the range of CNC machine systems and therefore a promising emphasis of the isel-Group was established.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Dentsply Sirona Announces New Lab Strategic Business Unit

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Dentsply Sirona, the world’s largest and most diversified manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, has established a new Lab Strategic Business Unit (SBU) incorporating the successful Laboratory CAD/CAM business with the renowned Dentsply Sirona Prosthetics material business. The SBU Lab has come into operation as of February 1st, 2018.

York/Salzburg, February 5th 2018. The new SBU combines the strengths of the Prosthetics and Laboratory CAD/CAM businesses offering dental solutions as a one-stop shop. By combining all Lab elements, Dentsply Sirona creates three strategic platforms: Equipment, Fixed and Removable Materials, each continuing to remain in their respective locations. With its focus on integrated solutions, Dentsply Sirona will further connect labs with digitally equipped dentists through the Sirona Connect Portal.

Offering solutions as a one-stop shop
After the successful merger creating Dentsply Sirona, this is a consequential next step to further develop the combined offering of dental solutions in the field of dental labs. Dentsply Sirona’s goal is to combine the best procedures to better serve customers. By announcing the new Lab SBU, Dentsply Sirona once again strengthens its reputation as The Dental Solutions Company and further evolves into the Lab competence center of the industry.

Leveraging strengths
“We are creating one global customer-centric lab business unequalled in terms of competence, equipment and material expertise. No other dental company can match this combined capability like we do”, explains Thomas Leonardi, Group Vice President Dentsply Sirona Lab. “For me and my team this is a natural step, it allows us to build-up a perceptible and significant lab competence focusing on our Lab partners. We have already seen the advantages of such a cooperation in the US business where our US commercial group has already formed and continues to drive our lab sales synergies by offering the full range of products.”
Increased collaboration for better, safer and faster dental care

The new SBU concentrates the entire portfolio for laboratories and enables technicians to handle the entire laboratory workflow with Dentsply Sirona products and solutions. “By bringing our organization closer together, we will encourage more collaboration and the development of better, safer and faster solutions which will truly add value for our lab partners, their dentist customers and ultimately the patient”, Leonardi added.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

February is National Children's Dental Health Month

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National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) began as a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 3, 1941. The American Dental Association held the first national observance of Children’s Dental Health Day on February 8, 1949.  The single day observance became a week-long event in 1955. In 1981, the program was extended to a month-long observance known today as National Children’s Dental Health Month.  Since 1941, the observance has grown from a two-city event into a nationwide program. NCDHM messages reach thousands of people in communities across the country and at numerous armed services bases. Local observances often include displays of posters provided by the ADA, coloring and essay contests, health fairs, free dental screenings, museum exhibits, classroom presentations by dentists and other members of the dental team, and dental office tours

Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. NCDHM messages and materials have reached millions of people in communities across the country.

Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children to get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

If you are looking for ways to promote healthy teeth & gums in your practice, the ADA has a great page full of downloadable pdfs that feature coloring pages, games, and more.  They can be found here and downloaded free of charge.