Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limited Posts This Week

As usual during my holiday break, posts will be intermittent until next Monday January 2, 2017.

In the mean time, you can follow my Twitter Feed right here.  

Although, my Tweets do cross post to my Facebook page, I often engaged in some interesting discussions that only can be found on my Facebook page.

See you all next week!

Monday, December 26, 2016

SiroWorld Discount Pricing Ends December 31

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This special discount expires on Saturday, Dec. 31, so sign up for the Ultimate Dental Meeting today and save big on registration for the entire staff
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Dec. 26, 2016) - There are only days left to register for Dentsply Sirona World 2017 and receive Ultimate Early Bird pricing. Dentsply Sirona, The Dental Solutions Company ™, will host the second annual Ultimate Dental Meeting in Las Vegas at the Venetian and the Palazzo Hotel from Sept. 14-16, 2017. 
Ultimate Early Bird specials include: 
  • Doctor registration for just $1,295 (regularly $1,995).
  • Staff, spouse, guest or technician registration for just $795 (regularly $1,195) plus buy two, get one FREE!
  • Mentors, trainers or SSA registration is just $1,295 (regularly $1,995) plus a complimentary VIP upgrade (a $500 value).
  • And more!
VIP upgrades are available for every registration type for an additional $500 unless otherwise noted. 
The inaugural Ultimate Dental Meeting in Orlando welcomed more than 4,000 attendees and was well-received by the dental community. After the success of SIROWORLD, Dentsply Sirona is anticipating an ever greater number of attendees at the second annual event in Las Vegas. 
Dentsply Sirona World will continue a custom of premium education for all dental professionals, including general practitioners, hygienists, endodontists, orthodontists, front office managers, dental assistants, etc.; boundless opportunities to mingle and network with colleagues; a vast trade show displaying the top technologies and services currently offered in digital dentistry; and extraordinary entertainment that is unmatched by any other dental conference. 
Per tradition, the event will offer 11 educational tracks: business, CEREC®, endodontics, imaging, implantology, office design, orthodontics, periodontics and hygiene, practice management, prosthetics and lab, and restorative. Dentsply Sirona World offers the highest caliber of education for all members of the dental staff, earning the name of the Ultimate Dental Meeting. 
Ring in the New Year with the perfect gift for you and your staff. Register for Dentsply Sirona World today before the Ultimate Early Bird promotion ends. Pricing increases on Jan. 1, 2017. 
For more information on Dentsply Sirona World 2017 and to learn more about registration options, visit www.dentsplysironaworld.com. For questions, contact the event help desk by email at events@dentsplysironaworld.com or by phone at 1.844.462.7476. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

NORAD Tracks Santa Every Christmas Eve

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Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and every year about this time I try to let my readers know about a great service that is provided by NORAD.
 
The government entity NORAD is a combined effort of the US and Canada that “provides aerospace warming, air sovereignty, and defense of North America”.  Basically it tracks anything in the air to make sure it is not a threat to North America and they’ve been doing that since 1958.  However, since they are uniquely qualified to track aircraft, the organization also is uniquely qualified to track Santa!!!
 
To follow Santa on his journey around the world bringing toys to all the boys and girls, go to the NORAD Santa Tracker.  For those truly interested in when Santa will arrive in their area, the trackers have a phone bank setup where they can answer those types of questions for you!  The trackers are real life soldiers who work at NORAD and they volunteer their time every year to provide this service.
 
I personally want to thank all of the folks in the armed forces who donate their time to this worthy cause every year.  Thanks for bringing Christmas joy to so many of us.  I’ve called and spoken with them before and it was a great experience for the kids involved with that call.  I cannot say enough about how grateful I am for all you do!!!
 
 NORA Trackers.jpg
 
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If you would like to read the complete history of how NORAD came to provide this valuable and FREE service to kids and families, Wikipedia has the whole history of the program here.  I’ve got to say it’s a pretty neat read and something that shows how a “happy accident” can bring joy to so many.
 
 
I don’t think they have a phone service like NORAD does, but their tracker is pretty neat. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Track Your Packages... with an Ornament from the United States Postal Service

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Ever wonder where you packages are?  Me too.  I usually sign up for all the text messaging stuff I can get, just so I know when things leave the warehouse, get to the shippers facility, etc.
 
Now comes a great new idea from the United States Postal Service.  The ornament shown above will track your packages for you and let’s you know the status by changing colors.  Blue means sent, Red means delivered, and Green means opened.  Evidently there is some type of RFID tracking chip in the box that can tell this status.  The chip in the box communicates with the ornament.
 
You buy a box from USPS and the ornament is in the box already preset to communicate with the chip inside the box.
 
I haven’t found out how the chip & ornament communicate, but you plug the ornament in either to a string of lights on your tree or an outlet on the wall.  It comes with a stand if you don’t want it on the tree.  Once USPS logs your box to be shipped into their system, the tracking begins.
 
A cool idea, if I understand correctly, this thing will only work once & with one package which seems a bit wasteful to me.
 
As things continue to evolve in the world of “The Internet of Things” I’m sure we’ll continue to see things like this and major improvements on these types of things.  For the record, I’m betting that Amazon has something in their skunkworks that makes this thing look like a TinkerToy, but that’s just me.
 
The ornaments are in limited supply this year, but should be readily available for next year’s holiday season.
 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Super Mario Run is Here!

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For those of you who are avid gamers whether on a mobile platform or not, you probably don’t need a reminder, but for those of you who don’t sleep with a controller in your hand, I thought I’d pass this along.
 
Nintendo has, at long last, released a Super Mario game for mobile platforms.  Super Mario Run is now available in the Apple App Store.
 
Nintendo has been hesitant to create a game using its iconic and best known character until they were sure they could get it right.  The game is controlled by only one button which allows Mario to jump.  Everything else is just skill and timing.
 
A free portion of the game is available and the entire game can be purchased for $9.99.
 
Here We Go!
 
 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Garrison Dental Announces Revv Mini-Polishers

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I’m expecting to receive a trial supply of these in the not too distant future to use in some clinical trials.  I’m impressed that Garrison continues to innovate to make our restorative processes easier.  We are also currently testing their new FitStrips interproximal finishers and have been very impressed so far…



Revv™ Single Patient Mini-Polishers

Garrison’s new Revv™ Single Patient Mini-Polishers provide clinicians with the points and cups necessary to successfully finish and polish composite restorations to a lustrous, durable shine.

This comprehensive kit includes three grits, coarse, medium, and fine, in both the mini-cups and mini-points.   Revv™ is indicated for use on all varieties of composite and all types of restorations.

 

Revv’s single patient use eliminates reprocessing and sterilization saving the clinician time and labor expense.  This also means that the clinician has a fresh, properly shaped polisher for every patient.  Both the points and cups are significantly smaller and are mounted to non-marking tapered medical grade plastic shanks.  Their small size and tapered shank improves clinician visibility and allows access to the smallest anatomical details.

 

The Revv™ diamond impregnated high shine final polisher does not crumble during use and does not require paste to create a beautiful high shine.  Revv™ points and cups are supplied fully assembled further simplifying use.

 

Color coded and conveniently organized, Revv™ Single Patient Mini-Polishers also have a complete selection of refills available.  Contact Garrison Dental Solutions at 888-437-0032 or visit garrisondental.com for more information.

 

For more information call 1-888-437-0032 or visit www.garrisondental.com. 

 

About Garrison Dental Solutions 

 

Garrison Dental Solutions, established in 1996, is a privately held company specializing in the design, development and manufacturing of product solutions to improve the quality and efficiency of dentistry.  The Company is the industry leader in sectional matrix systems and its products are sold globally.  Please visit www.garrisondental.com for more information.

 

Contact: 

Garrison Dental Solutions, LLC 

Jason Phillips - Director of Marketing 

Tel: +1-616-743-3065 

email: jphillips@garrisondental.com

Monday, December 19, 2016

EPA Will Require Dental Offices to Use Amalgam Separators.

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About 5 years ago, heck it might be longer, we took a look at our office and tried to look at ways to make it a bit more environmentally friendly.  There wasn’t a whole lot we could do, but we figured that if everyone does a little it can add up to a lot.  One of the things we decided was to bring in an amalgam separator.
 
Now those of you not involved in dentistry probably don’t know what that is.  Basically, silver amalgam fillings have a small amount of mercury in them.  When those fillings are removed in our office (we have not placed amalgam in over 10 years), that small amount of mercury has the possibility of going down the vacuum system and eventually, potentially, entering the ground water.  In order to prevent that, a device called an Amalgam Separator is used.  In simple terms, it is a filter that removes the mercury from the vacuum system.  On a regular basis, the filter is replaced and the old one is disposed of in a manner that keeps the environment safe.
 
We decided to do this because we felt it was the right thing to do.  However, now comes word from the American Dental Association that the EPA is going to require these units in dental offices starting in 2019.
 
Here is the info, complete with links to the appropriate websites:
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule Dec. 15 requiring dental practices nationwide to install amalgam separators.

"EPA has concluded that requiring dental offices to remove mercury through relatively low-cost and readily available amalgam separators and BMPs makes sense," said EPA in its executive summary of the final rule.

The rule closely follows ADA's own best management practices and incorporates three of those BMPs: one requiring use of separators; two, prohibiting providers from flushing down a drain waste amalgam (such as from traps or filters); and, three, prohibiting the use of bleach or chlorine-containing cleaners that may lead to the dissolution of solid mercury when cleaning chair-side traps and vacuum lines.

The ADA, which has worked with EPA on the rule for several years, commended the EPA for its response to ADA input. The new rule meets the nine principles established by the ADA House of Delegates as a condition for ADA support for a national rule.  

"The ADA believes the Environmental Protection Agency's new federal regulation represents a fair and reasonable approach to the management of dental amalgam waste," said Dr. Gary L. Roberts, ADA president, in a statement. "We believe this new rule — which is a federal standard — is preferable to a patchwork of rules and regulations across various states and localities." 

The rule is effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The date for compliance for most dentists will be three years from now, at the end of 2019. 

Additional highlights of the rule include:
  • Dentists who practice in oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics are exempt from the rule;
  • Dentists who do not place amalgam and only remove amalgam in unplanned or emergency situations (estimated at less than 5 percent of removals) are also exempt;
  • Mobile dental units are exempt;
  • Dentists who already have separators are grandfathered for 10 years.
Although less than one percent of mercury released to the environment from man-made sources comes from dentistry, the ADA has encouraged dental offices to follow its Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste to help reduce discharges of used amalgam into dental office wastewater. In 2007, the Association amended its BMPs to include the use of amalgam separators that comply with ISO Standard 11143, part of the International Organization for Standardization, a worldwide federation of national standards bodies.

The ADA will develop practical resources to aid member dentists with questions they may have regarding compliance. In addition, ADA's Business Resources has partnered with HealthFirst, a vendor that offers ADA member dentists special pricing on an amalgam separator device that will meet the federal regulatory requirements along with recycling services.

For more information, visit ADA.org/RecycleAmalgam.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Missouri Radiation Inspection Surveys

I practice in Missouri and to help my fellow practitioners in the state I am posting a letter I received this week from the Missouri Dental Association regarding radiological inspections.  If you are a Missouri practitioner, please read the following carefully as the MDA has done a wonderful job of explaining the laws and procedures.



This email is in regard to Radiation Inspection Surveys that the Missouri Radiation Control Program (MRCP) requires dentists to have performed on their machines every six years (and annually for CBCT machines).

This is not new information, but a reiteration of information the MDA has shared previously. Additionally, the MRCP alerted all existing facilities of this in December 2012 and periodically since then.

  • The state of Missouri (19 CSR 20-10.050, page 5) actively enforces for all facilities the performance of radiation inspection surveys performed by Qualified Experts.
  • For many years, as a public health service, the MRCP was able to directly employ radiation safety professionals to perform inspections. However, due to changes in priority and lack of staff, as of January 2014 responsibility for providing these inspections has transitioned back to the equipment owners. This transition was originally announced by letter in December 2012. To minimize impact, this transition is taking place incrementally over several years. 
  • Effective January 1, 2014, it became the responsibility of the owner of x-ray machines to provide for both initial and periodic inspection of x-ray machines, and to ensure radiation shielding is adequate, through use of MRCP-approved Qualified Experts (QEs) in radiation safety.


We are sending this information again now because many MDA members will begin receiving notices that their inspection survey is due.

Until now, only dentists who were opening new offices, moving, adding additional operatories/rooms or adding CBCT have had to get surveys since January 1, 2014. Beginning in 2017, all other facilities already in existence on January 1, 2014 will be moved into the rotation by MRCP to receive the survey notices. The implementation is being done incrementally. Existing facilities starting in the rotation in 2017 will be completed over a 6-year implementation period (meaning 1/6 of facilities will be inspected for the next six years, and this amount is divided over 12 months; therefore about 30 dentists/month statewide starting in 2017).

Additionally, you may receive marketing materials from Qualified Experts (those companies who perform the inspections) implying you need to make sure you are in compliance before the end of the year. You should not let these marketing pieces alarm you, especially because your inspection due date may not be for many more months or even years from now. It is the responsibility of the dentist to have the survey performed by the required date, however, QE companies do not know these dates, and if they send marketing materials, it is only to make you aware of their services.

Here is a quick summary of key points that were included in the 2014 Focusarticle. You can read the full article by clicking here (including a full list of CBCT references).

  • Dental facilities with x-ray machines must now hire Qualified Experts (QEs) in radiation safety, approved by the MRCP to perform initial and periodic surveys (inspections).
  • The QE will evaluate radiation safety of the facility, usually to include machine performance, shielding and personnel monitoring. The QE will send evidence of the findings to the MRCP for any necessary follow up.
  • These inspections must be done whenever new facilities open or new x-ray rooms are added, and for existing facilities, prior to the QE due date assigned to your facility by MRCP. Most of these due dates will be from 2017-2022, then every six years thereafter. This due date already has been mailed to your facility. Your facility also will be sent a reminder notice 90 days prior to the due date. Cone Beam CT machines must be inspected annually beginning in 2014.
  • If a new x-ray room is added, in addition to the machine inspection, the facility also must demonstrate that radiation shielding is adequate. This can be done by following a shielding plan evaluation by a Qualified Expert or at the time of an initial inspection on the new room prior to routine clinical usage. Click here to read a 2014 Focus article on Radiation Badges and Shielding.
  • Repairs of existing equipment or replacement of dental equipment in existing rooms do not require a mandatory survey. However, facilities are encouraged to contact their QE to discuss if additional safety testing may be prudent.
  • A QE list is at the MRCP website at http://health.mo.gov/safety/radprotection (see additional comments following). QE survey fees are not set or controlled by MRCP but by private arrangement between QE and facility. Type of equipment, numbers of machines and distance of travel for the QE may all factor into the cost.

Currently, the MDA is determining what it may be able to do to work with the MRCP and QE companies to provide additional assistance and information to members. As our work and information develops we will let all members know.

One action already implemented is that we have worked with the MRCP to provide an even further curated list of QEs, identifying those that most frequently serve dentists; thus decreasing the potential list of those you could call, should your survey be due soon. This list can be accessed at the MDA website Radiation Inspection Surveys FAQ (or access just the PDF list link here).

Related to CBCT inspections, the MDA has CBCT legislation that we’ve been trying to pass for a few years. We feel it is unduly burdensome and are seeking to have CBCT machines moved to the 6-year inspection rotation instead of the annual inspection now required. In the 2016 session, the Senate marooned a few of the bills we hoped to see pass on the last day of session – including the CBCT bill. Therefore, this will again be an MDA legislative priority for 2017. Additionally, the MDA put forth a resolution to the ADA House of Delegates—which was adopted—to have the appropriate ADA agencies review the recommendations for all dental radiographic equipment which will include CBCT.

The MDA will continue to work on this issue to assist members as much as possible and will inform you of any developments. If you have questions, email Melissa Albertson or call 573-634-3436, Ext 103.
 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tortoise Gets New Lease on Life Thanks to 3D Printing



Here's a great technology feel good story.  It seems that Freddy the tortoise was severely injured in a forest fire and lost a huge portion of her shell.

In order to save her, someone had the really great idea of scanning and then 3D printing the shell of a tortoise of similar size.

The printed shell worked like a charm, but it was white and looked pretty odd on the critter so an artist volunteered to paint the material so that it matched what a tortoise in the wild would look like.

Watch the video to see the incredible transformation.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Check Point Discovers that Distribution of Malware can occur Through Images

 
 
 
 
Check Point is an IT security company that provides protection for companies looking to keep bad guys and bad stuff out of their networks.  
 
The company recently discovered a new attack they are calling ImageGate.  This sneaky little attack embeds malware in image and graphics files.  The really awful/sneaky part of this is that it is being found in images on Linked In and Facebook.  The malware forces you to download the image which then infects your computer.  Frequently it is Ransomware that is being installed.
 
Here is the whole story from the Check Point website:
 

Check Point researchers identified a new attack vector, named ImageGate, which embeds malware in image and graphic files. Furthermore, the researchers have discovered the hackers’ method of executing the malicious code within these images through social media applications such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

According to the research, the attackers have built a new capability to embed malicious code into an image file and successfully upload it to the social media website. The attackers exploit a misconfiguration on the social media infrastructure to deliberately force their victims to download the image file. This results in infection of the users’ device as soon as the end-user clicks on the downloaded file.

In the past week, the entire security industry is closely following the massive spread of the Locky ransomware via social media, particularly in its Facebook-based campaign. Check Point researchers strongly believe the new ImageGate technique reveals how this campaign was made possible, a question which has been unanswered until now.

The Check Point researchers uncovered the attack vector which affects major websites and social networks worldwide, including Facebook and LinkedIn. Check Point updated Facebook & LinkedIn of the attack vector early in September.

 

In the case of the Locky ransomware, once users download and open the malicious file they receive – all the files on their personal device are automatically encrypted and they can only gain access to them after the ransom is paid. The industry estimation is that the campaign is still raging and accumulates new victims every day.

As more people spend time on social networking sites, hackers have turned their focus to find a way in to these platforms. Cyber criminals understand these sites are usually ‘white listed’, and for this reason, they are continually searching for new techniques to use social media as hosts for their malicious activities. To protect users against the most advanced threats, Check Point strives to identify where attackers will strike next.

How to stay protected:

Check Point recommends the following preventive measures:

  1. If you have clicked on an image and your browser starts downloading a file, do not open it. Any social media website should display the picture without downloading any file.
  2. Don’t open any image file with unusual extension (such as SVG, JS or HTA).

 

A detailed and technical disclosure of the attack vector will be published by Check Point only after the remediation of the vulnerability in the major affected websites, in order to prevent attackers from taking advantage of this information. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Lifco Acquires US Dental Company Parkell

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Lifco has signed an agreement to acquire the US dental company Parkell. The company manufactures and sells dental consumables and smaller equipment to dentists in the USA as well as internationally.

In 2015, Parkell reported net sales of approximately 29 MUSD. The company will be consolidated in Business Area Dental. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Lifco’s earnings per share from start.

Parkell is located on Long Island, NY in the USA and employs approximately 100 people.

Please visit www.parkell.com for further information about Parkell.

For more information, please contact:

Per Waldemarson, Head of Business Area Dental

Phone +46 70 840 00 63, E-mail per.waldemarson@lifco.se

├ůse Lindskog, Media and investor relations manager
Phone +46 730 244 872, 
E-mail ir@lifco.se

About Lifco

Lifco acquires and develops market-leading niche businesses with the potential to deliver sustainable earnings growth and robust cash flows. The Group has three business areas: Dental, Demolition & Tools and Systems Solutions. Lifco is guided by a clear philosophy centered on long-term growth, a focus on profitability and a strongly decentralised organisation. The Lifco Group comprises 133 companies in 28 countries. In 2015 the Group reported EBITA of SEK 1,186 million on net sales of around SEK 7.9 billion. The EBITA margin was 15.0 per cent. Read more at www.lifco.se

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Study Shows OraCoat® XyliMelts® Oral Adhering Discs Effectively Treat Acid Reflux

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Bellevue, WA (December 1, 2016) – A recent study revealed that OraCoat® XyliMelts® oral-adhering discs greatly reduce symptoms of heartburn in acid reflux sufferers. The double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study conducted by Peter Van der Ven, DMD, PhD; Jeffrey Burgess, DDS, MSD; and Michael Karcher, BA, PhD candidate; was approved by the Western Institutional Review Board and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

 

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, describes a chronic digestive condition in which an accumulation of stomach acid in the esophagus creates symptoms. Acid reflux affects about 30 percent of the population on a weekly basis and is known to contribute to or cause a number of medical and dental problems including heartburn, sore throat, laryngitis, cough, halitosis, and tooth decay. The condition is also associated with sleep disturbance and can have a negative effect on nighttime comfort and overall quality of life.

 

The study aimed to prove if XyliMelts, recently rated by a Clinicians Report® survey as the most effective remedy for alleviating dry mouth could produce similar results in treating patients suffering from acid reflux, which is often managed by prescribed and over-the-counter medications that prevent excessive acid production. XyliMelts are formulated from all-natural ingredients commonly used in foods. As tests prove that salivary stimulants can decrease the perception of nighttime dry mouth, tests also suggest increased saliva can diminish nighttime reflux.

 

Conducted over two weeks, the study analyzed 53 test subjects who provided daily responses to nine questions listing common acid reflux symptoms that might have occurred during the prior night’s sleep. The subjects were separated into two groups, with 26 administered with XyliMelts discs delivered in unmarked packaging, while 27 subjects received the placebo treatment, a water-based gel packaged in an unmarked white tube. Neither the research coordinator nor the subjects were aware which product was being used for data collection.

 

Test results displayed that both the disc and gel reduced the taste of reflux, heartburn sensation, morning hoarseness, perceived reflux severity, and the number of antacids taken during the night. While both groups demonstrated comparable effectiveness in combating most symptoms, XyliMelts exhibited a profoundly higher improvement rate in lessening heartburn intensity than the placebo gel.*

 

Overall, the study supports the use of XyliMelts discs as a supplemental remedy for counteracting symptoms during sleep in acid reflux patients.* The discs were well tolerated by all the subjects involved with no adverse reactions reported.

 

To learn more about XyliMelts and for additional information on other OraCoat brand products, please visit  HYPERLINK "http://www.oracoat.com" www.oracoat.com.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Some Potential Help with Ransomware

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Ransomware is on the rise and statistics are pointing toward healthcare as one of the major targets of the people behind the attacks.
 
I’ve tweeted, blogged, and written an article about it recently.  It has already struck dental offices and more are sure to follow.
 
The best way to combat this problem is with good consistent redundant backups.  To make the backup process as foolproof as possible, I recommend DDSRescue.  I have this system running in my office and sleep better knowing that they are on my side.
 
Recently, I also came across an article that mentioned a website No More Ransom which has information to help you in case you’ve been crippled with ransomware and don’t know where to turn.  Obviously, if you have a good sequential backup, you just restore from it and all is well.  However, if you are already infected these people may be able to help.
 
I haven’t used their services, but the website looks interesting…

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Kerr Launches Harmonize™

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Here is some info on a new composite announced by Kerr at the Greater New York Dental Meeting.


Next generation universal composite creates lifelike, long-lasting restorations.

 

 Kerr is pleased to announce the launch of Harmonize, a next generation universal composite infused with Adaptive Response Technology (ART), a nanoparticle filler network with features that help dentists achieve a lifelike restoration with more ease and simplicity than ever before. It’s the ART in Harmonize that creates enhanced structural integrity to provide exceptional strength, handling and esthetics.

 

Harmonize diffuses and reflects light in a similar way as human enamel, leading to an enhanced chameleon effect for better blending. In addition, the particle size and structure is designed to offer superior gloss retention, and easy polishability compared to leading composites.

 

Harmonize is softer while sculpting, holds its shape without slumping and does so without the stickiness of other composites due to the high loading, spherical shape and rheological modifier of ART.

 

The ART filler system allows for high loading at 81%, plus a unique reinforced nano-scale filler particle network, which leads to better polymerization, more integration with resin, strength and durability.

Harmonize provides everything doctors expect from a universal composite.

 

“Harmonize reflects the type of product innovation we are most proud of at Kerr — a superior product that makes the patient happier and the dentist’s day easier,” said Phil Prentice, Vice President of North America for KaVo Kerr. “Our team is committed to the continuous improvement of even our best products and we think our customers will be thrilled with Harmonize.” 

 

For more information on Harmonize or to speak with a Kerr sales representative, visit kerrdental.com or call 800-KERR123.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Never *Ever* Download an App Outside of Google or Apple's Store

 
Gooligan.jpg
 
Probably the best reason for only downloading from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store is that the apps located therein have been carefully screened by Google and Apple.  That means that the odds of getting any type of malware hidden in your app is pretty slim.
 
However, there are those of us out there that are cheap enough to download and install apps from places other than “the stores” and often times those apps come with a little something extra… malware.  What do expect for free?  I mean, let’s face it, nothing in life is free.  So hackers are creating very pretty looking and enticing apps that just beg you to install them.  Once installed the malware packet is also installed and begins to do all kinds of nefarious things such as steal your data, etc.
 
The most recent example of this is Gooligan and it has recently been estimated that at least 1.3 million Android users are infected.  Not only that, but it continues to infect 13,000 new devices every day.  Once Gooligan is installed on your Android device, it steals authentication tokens that can be used to access data from Google Play, Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, G Suite, Google Drive, and more.  Nice, huh?
 
You’ve read here before about Check Point Software Technologies, a company of which I have become a really big fan.  They have done a lot of work on Gooligan and have also been working with Google on the problem.  Here is what Check Point has to say:
 

“The infection begins when a user downloads and installs a Gooligan-infected app on a vulnerable Android device.”

“Our research team has found infected apps on third-party app stores, but they could also be downloaded by Android users directly by tapping malicious links in phishing attack messages.”

 
So how does Gooligan work?  Here is a graphic that does a great job of explaining it:
 
Gooligan Map.jpg
 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

OCR warns providers to be on the lookout for a fake email

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This was available in the ADA morning huddle newsletter.  The scammers just keep getting better & better…

Washington — The U.S. Office for Civil Rights issued an alert Nov. 28, warning health care providers of a phishing email disguised as an official OCR audit communication.

"It has come to our attention that a phishing email is being circulated on mock Health and Human Services Departmental letterhead under the signature of OCR's director, Jocelyn Samuels," said OCR in the alert. "This email appears to be an official government communication, and targets employees of HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates. 
 
"The email prompts recipients to click a link regarding possible inclusion in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy, Security, and Breach Rules Audit Program," the alert continued. "The link directs individuals to a non-governmental website marketing a firm's cybersecurity services. In no way is this firm associated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Office for Civil Rights."

OCR urged organizations or individuals with questions about official agency communications regarding HIPAA audits to contact the office via email at OSOCRAudit@hhs.gov.

For more information about phishing scams, the Federal Trade Commission website has a resources page here and also has a page with tips for consumers.

The ADA Center for Professional Success also has tips to help ADA member dentists safeguard their practice from hackers.