Thursday, September 22, 2016

Back After an Extended (and I mean *Extended*) Break

Sometimes I work, sometimes I work too hard, and sometimes I attack life.  During those attack phases, I grab life with my teeth like an angry Pit Bull and shake it for all its worth.  Unfortunately for me, those attack phases kept getting closer and closer together.  I finally ended up at a point where I was just exhausted from the pace I was keeping.

On advice from my doctors as well as my friends, I took some much needed time off to just see what it's like to live at a 'normal" pace.  Now that I'm rested and recharged, I'm ready to get back after it.

Starting on Monday I will resume my normal blogging schedule of Monday through Thursday posts.  I hope you enjoy what I have to say and will tell your friends about the blog and my column in DPR.  Thanks for your understanding during my sabbatical.  I've missed all of you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

FDA Looks at Banning Powdered Gloves...

Several years ago we went to Nitrile gloves in my office.

We had a staff member with a latex allergy as well as more and more patients marking "latex allergy" on their health histories.

Due to those 2 factors, we just did away with using them in my office.  It seemed a prudent decision at the time, now over 8 years ago.

Today I read from the  Washington Post that the FDA is considering banning powdered gloves completely.

If you are interested in the story, you can read it here.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Nabu Watch Forged Edition

We've gone through an interesting change in fashion trends in the last few years.

It seems like watches really went out of style for a while.  As smart phones penetrated the market more and more with people, especially younger people, relying heavily on them, the lowly watch seemed to be seen as a one trick pony and was redundant tech.  I mean, who needs a watch when your phone gives you the time whenever you touch the power button?

Also, since we are always looking at our phones anyway, and the time is usually seen at the top of the screen, why would I want a watch that I have to make an effort to look at?

I started to notice a lot of bare wrists...

Then the fitness band/tracker craze set in.  Suddenly the same wrists there were bare a few months before were now sporting these new sleek rubber bracelets that not only functioned as watches, but let the user track all kinds of fitness data as well.

Now I had a problem with this new craze.  To me, watches are gadgets.  That means that I've worn a watch for as long as I can remember.  Ever since I've been able to afford more than one, I've worn multiple watches.  I sleep in one, I shower in one, heck the only time I'm not wearing a watch is when I'm taking one off to put on another.  I've grown accustomed to the feeling of a watch on my wrist and when I'm not wearing one, I feel a bit unbalanced.

What does this mean?  In short it means that I wasn't able to embrace the band/tracker craze because no matter how cool they were, they didn't feel like a watch on my arm.  I needed the weight and heft of a watch.

Then, in the last 6 months it seems that several companies begin releasing the "combo" product I'd been waiting for.  A watch footprint with the fitness tracker heart in it.  After looking at several, I settled on the Razer Nabu Watch Forged Edition (pictured above).  It comes in a basic black edition (one of my main demands... if you know me you know my affection for black).  It does all the things you'd expect of a digital watch.  It also does all the things you'd expect of a fitness tracker.

Combine all of the above with a dual LED screen which features one traditional LED green screen and one OLED green screen and you've got a winner in my book.

The device also has an app that connects via Blue Tooth to my iPhone.  The app allows me to control all aspects of the watch from my phone.  By that I mean I can set the alarms (there are 3 of them), set the second time zone, determine if my phone synchs its time function with my iPhone (as someone who travels I can't begin to tell you how wonderful that is), charge the OLED (7 day battery life)from my computer or a USB AC adapter, etc.

Could it do more?  Sure.  I know there are band form factors out there that do more from a fitness standpoint, but none of those have the heavy black form factor that is similar to a Casio G-Shock.  I've had the Razer Nabu Watch for about 2 weeks now  and am very happy with it.  It is a highly recommended product.  Interested in checking one out?  You can follow this link to get all the details.

Razer also has all kinds of incredible products that are designed with a focus on aesthetics and the color black.  Check them out & be prepared to be amazed.  I was.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Antidepressant Use Linked to Dental Implant Failure

Before I entered dental school, I received my undergraduate degree; a BA in Psychology.

As a psych major, I've always had a fascination with why we do what we do and how we got to be the way we are.  Our psychological health can affect all kinds of things that can directly lead to problems in our overall health.  Antidepressant use is linked directly with a diagnosis of clinical depression which can lead to problems with weight, blood pressure, and sleep cycles, just to name a few.

Individuals suffering from clinical depression  can also be linked to lower numbers of oral hygiene/maintenance visits as well as decreased home care.  The previous sentence may be why a pilot study has found an association between antidepressant use and dental implant failure.

Now this is a preliminary study so there may be a lot more here than meets the eye.  It was also a pretty small sample size of just 74.  The study says that none of the implant failures were linked to depression, but in my opinion that's a hard call to make.

Anyway, it's a short & interesting read which you can find here.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hunting Medicaid Fraud...

A short post today because it's all in the story.

Medicaid is *scammed* for $60 billion (that's with a big B) per year.  Stunned by that?  I sure was.

There is a great story on that outlines how one guy is trying to track them down.  It's a great read!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sirona Introduces SICAT Air and OPTISLEEP: the First 3D Solution for the Analysis and Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Charlotte, NC (February 25, 2016) – Sirona Dental Inc., the pioneer of digital dentistry, recently unveiled SICAT Air at this year’s Chicago Midwinter Dental Meeting. Available in the spring of 2016, SICAT Air is a complete digital solution for the appliance-based treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and eliminates the need for conventional impressions and stone models. Moreover, SICAT Air supports treatment compliance by creating an educational experience for OSA patients through the immediate and detailed visualization of obstruction areas.

When integrated with Sirona’s GALILEOS Comfort Plus as well as the ORTHOPHOS SL3D-Ai imaging units, SICAT Air software is also designed to be a communication tool between clinician, patient and specialist. The software provides a superior 3D analysis of the patient’s upper airway with easy and automated segmentation while allowing the clinician to directly visualize and identify constrictions of the upper airway. In addition, the software visualizes and compares improvements in upper airway advancement along with the actual condyle position within the GALILEOS Comfort Plus to allow a more predictable appliance-based treatment of OSA.

An extremely intuitive and user-friendly program, the endoscopy feature of SICAT Air displays immediate visualization of obstruction sites and acts as an ideal patient communication aid. SICAT Air includes a wide variety of display options that provide a comprehensive learning experience for the patient, helping increase compliance through improved patient understanding of obstructive sleep apnea and treatment options. 

For the first time, the patient’s mandibular joints can be taken into consideration when planning for appliance-based therapy through Sirona 3D technologies.  Therefore, the risk for craniomandibular dysfunctions can be greatly minimized. By positioning and thoroughly evaluating the jaw in a protruded position, the clinician is able to plan the appliance-based treatment with OPTISLEEP.* The appliance is fabricated in a completely digital workflow eliminating the need for conventional impressions and stone models. 

OPTISLEEP is a comfortable, non-cumbersome oral appliance resulting in high patient compliance. By keeping the lower jaw in a forward position, OPTISLEEP prevents the airway from collapsing, optimizing sleep patterns and providing a more restful sleep. The two-piece appliance has a thin, durable and stable design, ensuring a comfortable fit while enabling patients to open the mouth normally to drink and speak and to move the mandible laterally as well as in a protrusive manner to provide additional patient comfort.

OPTISLEEP can be ordered directly from the SICAT Air software, and the patient receives an optimally adapted therapeutic appliance.  The OPTISLEEP appliance is designed by a master dental technician in Germany using CEREC and Sirona 3D information and is optimized to fit perfectly into the patient’s mouth with balanced occlusion. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

DENTSPLY International Introduces the CELTRA® DUO Zirconia-Reinforced Lithium Silicate (ZLS) Block

State-of-the-Art Milling Block Provides Exquisite Aesthetics, Exceptional Strength and Freedom of Processing for Complete Clinician Control

York, PA (February 25, 2016) – DENTSPLY International Inc., a worldwide leader in dental products, is pleased to offer the new CELTRA® DUO (ZLS) high-strength glass ceramic milling block. The fully crystalized CELTRA® DUO (ZLS) block contains high glass content and features a zirconia-reinforced lithium silicate microstructure, resulting in an exquisite balance of durability, translucency and opalescence for a beautiful natural-looking restoration. In addition, CELTRA® DUO (ZLS) is the only material that can be processed in two different ways, providing the clinician complete control for each individual restorative case.  

CELTRA® DUO is a threefold functional zirconia-reinforced lithium silicate (ZLS) block indicated for single unit restorations including crowns, inlays, onlays, and veneers. The blocks possess the unique capacity to be processed in two ways – either milled and polished, or milled and fired. This dual pathway component renders complete clinician control in determining the appropriate solution to apply for each individual restorative case. Moreover, CELTRA® DUO (ZLS) can be processed by dry fire, eliminating the need for glaze.

The ZLS microstructure is composed of fine-grained lithium crystallites that contain high glass content and an exceptional balance of opalescence, fluorescence, and translucency, resulting in a natural looking yet exquisite restoration. Additionally, the 10% zirconia reinforces the glass matrix without clouding while yielding high flexural strength properties to provide a robust, easily polished block with detailed margins. CELTRA® DUO (ZLS) can be conveniently utilized with the same milling units used for all-ceramic restorations, including the inLab® MC XL.

“CELTRA DUO was specifically designed to provide doctors and patients with unique benefits that no other block holds,” remarked Dr. Markus Vollmann, DENTSPLY Director of Development and Application Technologies, and creator of CELTRA® DUO (ZLS). “Optimized aesthetics combined with a two-pathway option in one fully crystallized block enables clinicians to place a durable, naturally-shaded, beautiful restoration. With an ultra-fine microstructure, the blocks are milled in a final crystallized state, possessing outstanding polishing properties and allowing the clinician the ability to shade match directly from the milling unit. We have already received remarkable feedback from both clinicians and patients on this revolutionary new restorative solution.”