Monday, May 20, 2019

DMG Donates Toothbrush Testing Machine to UNC’s Adams School

 


This is some pretty cool news.  DMG makes some innovative products and now they’ve made a pretty serious donation to dental research.  The company has agreed to donate a toothbrush simulation machine to the University of North Carolina’s Adams School of Dentistry.  The UNC school has long been well known for its research and has been home to quite a few heavy hitters in the dental research arena.

By utilizing this toothbrush simulator, researchers will be able to study the long term viability of materials since they can now simulate what would take years of brushing to test finish, wear, etc of materials.

Here is all of the info:

DMG is proud to support the University of North Carolina Adams
School of Dentistry with their recent donation of a toothbrush simulation testing machine.

“A critical key to our ability to bring our customers and their patients the most effective and safest materials
possible is to support independent research at such pioneering institutions as UNC’s Adams School of
Dentistry, which is renowned for its dental materials research,” said George Wolfe, President DMG America.

"We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of DMG,” said Scott S. De Rossi, DMD, MBA, dean of the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry. “It is because of contributions like these
that we are able to work toward our ultimate goal of becoming the global model for oral health education, in
care and discovery."
DMG’s goal is to streamline the lives of dental professionals by producing premium quality dental materials
that put their customers in a better position for clinical, operational and financial success. The company’s
commitment to innovation is fostered by its strong collaborative relationships with many partners, including:
  • Dental schools
  • Private educational and research organizations
  • Product testing facilities
  • Leading dental practitioners and influencers
The need for a toothbrush simulation testing machine was first discussed in a meeting between Dr. Taiseer
Sulaiman, Assistant professor, Division Director of Operative Dentistry and Biomaterials, Department of
Restorative Sciences at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry, and Dr. Susanne Effenberger, DMG Head of
Clinical Research, during her spring 2018 tour of the dental school. Discussion topics also included an
educational grant by DMG and two possible in-vitro studies to be conducted by Dr. Sulaiman’s Biomaterials
Laboratory at the school to confirm the quality of the chemical properties of an innovative new DMG material
for use in dental practices. In the fall of 2018, plans for both the educational grant and the donation of the
tooth brush simulator were finalized, and two months later the agreement for the two research projects was
finalized. The tooth brush simulation testing machine was delivered to the school in early 2019.
“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to DMG for their continuous support of research in our
Biomaterials Laboratory at the UNC-CH Adams School of Dentistry,” said Dr. Sulaiman. “Their support allows
us to provide clinicians with guidelines and recommendations that support newly introduced materials.
Maximizing the clinical relevance of in-vitro testing may help bridge some of the gaps that are currently
present. With machines like the toothbrush simulator, we can investigate many properties related to surface
gloss, roughness and color stability. DMG understands the importance of supporting research institutions with
such equipment, and of enabling researchers and clinicians to have a better understanding of dental materials
with the ultimate goal of providing our patients the best care possible.”

For information about DMG and its category-defining products, please visit https://www.dmg-america.com/.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Twitter Releases Data on a Bug Impacting Collection and Sharing of Location Data on iOS Devices

 


Security issues are becoming more and more a part of my reporting here.  Between reporting on HIPAA breaches, encouraging methods to protect your data, and reporting on security issues that can affect you both personally and professionally I’ve been pretty busy as of late.  As the Technology Evangelist, I’ve got a lot of subjects to cover and report to you on and currently it’s more focused on security.

This latest issue is from the team at Twitter.  The company recently announced that they were exposing location data of iOS users to a Third Party that they have some type of business relationship with.  Obviously if your location is being broadcast to someone without your permission, that’s a major invasion of your privacy.  The good news is that this problem affected a fairly small subset of users.  I feel the takeaway here is that sharing your location is something to really think about before doing it.  While there are certainly benefits to sharing your location, there are also serious detriments.  Weigh your decisions carefully!

Here is what Twitter had to say in their announcement:

You trust us to be careful with your data, and because of that, we want to be open with you when we make a mistake. We have discovered that we were inadvertently collecting and sharing iOS location data with one of our trusted partners in certain circumstances.
Specifically, if you used more than one account on Twitter for iOS and opted into using the precise location feature in one account, we may have accidentally collected location data when you were using any other account(s) on that same device for which you had not turned on the precise location feature. 
Separately, we had intended to remove location data from the fields sent to a trusted partner during an advertising process known as real-time bidding. This removal of location did not happen as planned. However, we had implemented technical measures to “fuzz” the data shared so that it was no more precise than zip code or city (5km squared). This location data could not be used to determine an address or to map your precise movements. The partner did not receive data such as your Twitter handle or other unique account IDs that could have compromised your identity on Twitter. This means that for people using Twitter for iOS who we inadvertently collected location information from, we may also have shared that information with a trusted advertising partner.   
We have confirmed with our partner that the location data has not been retained and that it only existed in their systems for a short time, and was then deleted as part of their normal process.
We have fixed this problem and are working hard to make sure it does not happen again. We have also communicated with the people whose accounts were impacted to let them know the bug has been fixed. We invite you to check your privacy settings to make sure you’re only sharing the data you want to with us.
We’re very sorry this happened. We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us and are committed to earning that trust every day.
If you have any questions, you may contact Twitter's Office of Data Protection through this form.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Studies Show Charcoal Toothpastes Do NOT Whiten Teeth

 


JADA (the Journal of the American Dental Association) has performed an analysis on over 100 articles covering charcoal toothpaste.  Their conclusion was that "there was “insufficient clinical and laboratory data” to support charcoal toothpaste’s safety or effectiveness, and warned dentists and patients to “be cautious” in using them."

Also recently the BDJ (British Dental Journal) performed a study that determined charcoal based toothpastes are a “marketing gimmick” with no scientific evidence to support claims they whiten teeth.  One of the study’s co-authors Dr. Joseph Greenwald-Cohen had the following to say:
"When used too often in people with fillings, it can get into them and become difficult to get out," Dr Greenwall-Cohen said.
"Charcoal particles can also get caught up in the gums and irritate them."
He said charcoal toothpastes and powders were more abrasive than regular toothpastes, potentially posing a risk to the enamel and gums.
The charcoal contained in today's toothpastes is usually a fine powder form of treated charcoal, the review says.
Charcoal can be made from materials including nutshells, coconut husks, bamboo and peat, and possibly wood and coal.
Prof Damien Walmsley, from the British Dental Association, said: "Charcoal-based toothpastes offer no silver bullets for anyone seeking a perfect smile, and come with real risks attached.
"So don't believe the hype. Anyone concerned about staining or discoloured teeth that can't be shifted by a change in diet, or improvements to their oral hygiene, should see their dentist."
 

The JADA study can be accessed here and the BDJ study is discussed in this article on the BBC website.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

New Version of Dharma Ransomware Masquerades as ESTV Anti-Virus Attached to a Warning Email

 



In the never ending battle against malware, there is a new variant in the Ransomware realm.  The malware itself, called Dharma, has been around for a while, but what is different this time around is how the payload is delivered.  

Usually with Ransomeware there is some type of user action required to get it installed.  Often it is some type of  phishing email that tricks the user into opening a file which then installs Dharma.  This time the perpetrators have tried something even more nefarious.  The user receives an email that appears to be from a trusted source such as Microsoft and warns the user that their “computer is at risk”.  It makes some type of doom and gloom threat of how you have been infected and the only way to fix it is to download and install a new antivirus software.

The email looks and reads very legit and fools the recipient into downloading and double clicking the file.  What happens next is the antivirus (which is an old version of an actual AV software) begins to install and at the same time the Dharma ransomware is also installing.  Since the user thinks the AV software is making beneficial changes to the computer they don’t think twice about windows opening & closing, etc.  Unfortunately when the process is over, the user is faced with a screen informing them of the Ransomware and the way they can pay to get their data unencrypted.

This a true instance of good social engineering.  They attempt to catch you off guard, provide a very strong threat that must be acted upon immediately, and disguise their tracks with the AV install.  The entire time the user is in actuality doing the bad guys job for them.

The moral to the story is NEVER open a file you are not expecting and always do research about these types of problems by searching Google or another reputable search engine.  Vigilance is important to prevent these types of disasters!

Trendmicro was the company that discovered this new variation.  You can read their blog post about it here.  

Monday, May 13, 2019

MouthWatch CEO Brant Herman Speaking on Teledentistry Opportunities in Private Practice During CDA Presents in Anaheim

 



Brant Herman, the CEO and founder of MouthWatch, LLC a leader in innovative teledentistry solutions, digital case presentation tools and intraoral imaging devices, will be a featured speaker during CDA Presents in Anaheim. MouthWatch will also be exhibiting in booth #2323.

During the lecture, entitled “Teledentistry Opportunities in Private Practice” Herman will provide a brief background on teledentistry technology and legislation, focusing on how the landscape has changed to create exciting opportunities for private practices, ranging from solo practitioners to groups practices. The learning objectives are as follow:

• Explore the teledentistry technology currently available.
• Discuss a range of private practice opportunities incorporating teledentistry.
• Understand how teledentistry can augment their current practice model.

The lecture is being held on Friday, May 17th, from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM in the Spot Hall C, in the Anaheim Convention Center. According to Herman, “The technology of teledentistry is not exclusive to
public health programs, DSOs and consumer-direct clear aligner companies. It can be easily adopted and afforded by private dental practices seeking new ways to grow their businesses.”
During his lecture, Herman will review examples of how his company’s all-in-one teledentistry platform, TeleDent™ 2.0 can be used successfully in a variety of scenarios, including:

• GP/Specialist Referrals & Clinical Collaboration
• DSO Access to Specialists Rotating in Different Locations
• Medical-Dental Collaboration
• Innovative Dental Hygiene Business Models
• Public Health / Private Practice Hybrids
• Pop-Up Dental Clinics

Teledentistry technology is now within reach of the average dental practice to improve the patient experience, simplify workflow and provide easier communication amongst internal and external care team, all of which contribute to the ability to seize upon new business opportunities that previously didn’t exist.”

For more information about MouthWatch, visit www.MouthWatchPro.com, call 877-544-4342 or send an email to info@MouthWatch.com.

About MouthWatch, LLC:
Headquartered in Metuchen, New Jersey, MouthWatch, LLC is a leader in leader in innovative teledentistry solutions, digital case presentation tools and intraoral imaging devices. 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.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Charlatan Posing as Licensed Dentist Now Charged Under RICO Statute

 


You know, it takes all kinds to make up this crazy world and that includes unethical and dangerous buffoons.  

This story revolves around Krista Szewczyk and her husband John.  It seems that Krista was arrested twice within 2 weeks for posing as a dentist.  She performed dental procedures for years without ever having gone to dental school or been certified to practice.  She had a case brought against her in 2013 but since she was married to a deputy sheriff, she was allowed to enter a diversion program. However before even completing the diversion program, she was seeing patients again.

She is accused of (at a minimum) performing extractions, bonding orthodontic brackets, and performing fixed prosthodontic services.  Some of the charges she is currently accused of are:
• 40 counts of practicing dentistry without a license
• 3 counts of unlawful prescription
• 1 count of forgery in the first degree
• 4 counts of insurance fraud

Now the feds are involved and are prosecuting husband and wife using US Federal RICO Statutes.  Here is a bit from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

The woman accused of working as a dentist despite not having a license must now answer to additional charges, along with her husband. On Wednesday, a Paulding County grand jury indicted both Krista and John Szewczyk on charges related to their alleged illegal dental office.

It’s the second indictment in Paulding since August for Krista Szewczyk, who is also charged with practicing dentistry without a license in Cobb County. But it is the first time her husband, a former Paulding sheriff’s deputy, has been criminally charged in the case.
The Szewczyks, who live in Dallas, are accused of racketeering, practicing dentistry without a license, insurance fraud and writing an unlawful prescription in the 56-count indictment obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Neither Krista Szewczyk or John Szewczyk are licensed dentists but owned and operated a business that provided dental services,” the indictment states.
The pair is charged with two counts under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO. RICO is often used by prosecutors to prove that a legal business was being used for illegal means. In the Szewczyk’s case, the dental office was a licensed business. But according to investigators, the two schemed to provide illegal dental services and then billed insurance companies fraudulently. 

If you would like to read AJC’s entire article follow this link.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Ultradent Brings You My Lecture: Day-to-Day Technology That Can Improve Your Practice

 



I *love* technology!  I mean I *really love technology*!!!  It’s a passion, a hobby, and sometimes my mistress.

I’m the kind of guy that when I see a problem the first part of my thought process is “how can this be done better, faster, with lower stress, and a better outcome?”  In both my personal AND professional life, I can usually find that solution by seeing what new ways there are to tackle that problem.  That’s how I became “The Technology Evangelist” and since the late 90’s I’ve been working to make the world, and especially my profession, better through the use of high tech.

I’m very grateful to the good people at Ultradent who sponsor me for some of my lectures.  My next stop on my 2019 Ultradent Tech Tour is San Francisco on June 14th.  The Early Bird registration time is about to expire, but you can still register by following this link.

At this event, held at the Westin St. Francis, I’ll be discussing a variety of topics such as lasers, digital caries detection, handheld drug databases, the science of curing, cone beam computed tomography, sensitivity free restorations, and many others.  I’ll also be discussing the Ultradent products I pick up every day and the reasons that I use them.  This is going to be a really fun lecture because it lets me cover a wide variety of things that I use every day.  I never do this lecture the same way twice because tech keeps changing.

If you are interested in taking your practice to the next level with minimal stress, come spend the day with me on June 14th.  I guarantee you’ll have a good time!