Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Health Warnings about Charcoal Tooth Whitening

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I’m a basic black kind of guy.  My vehicle is black, we wear black scrubs in the office, heck I even wear black gloves when treating patients.  So naturally, I was intrigued when I got word of a new trend in toothpaste that involved putting charcoal in it.  Many people were claiming, with very little science to back it up, that using toothpaste with charcoal as a main ingredient was the newest and best way to whiten your teeth.
If you happen to be one of those people who think charcoal toothpaste is the answer, you might want to rethink your decision.  As someone who works with teeth 4 days a week and  loves science, I can tell you that charcoal toothpaste isn’t all that it’s supposed to be.
First of all, the idea of a toothpaste is to provide a very, very, VERY mild abrasive that helps remove plaque buildup from your teeth.  The reason for that is to preserve the enamel.  As most folks know, enamel is the hardest substance in the human body.  However, it can be worn away over time with abrasives.  Charcoal is much more abrasive than you need to clean your teeth.  What that means is that the more you scrub your teeth with a charcoal toothpaste, the more enamel you will wear away.  Over a long enough time, you could, theoretically, wear away all the enamel on your teeth.
The second thing you need to know is that teeth are not made of solid enamel.  The under the thin layer of enamel is a material called dentin.  Dentin is a yellowish color.  That means that abrading your enamel away will actually make your teeth look yellow.  There’s nothing like starting out wanting whiter teeth and ending up with just the opposite.  The other factors about dentin is that it is *much* less decay resistant that enamel.  Exposed dentin has a much greater chance of getting a cavity than healthy enamel.  Dentin is also much more sensitive.  Many folks with exposed areas of dentin end up spending money with dental professionals to FIX that problem.
So don’t go spending your hard earned money on something that will actually wear your teeth away and cause other problems.  Stick with tried and true products that have a proven track record.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

F-Secure Brings "F-Secure Sense" to Market to Protect Your IoT

The incredibly smart people at F-Secure have developed a way to help us keep all of our devices… and hence our lives, more secure than ever before.
As technology evolves, we are now seeing more and more Internet connected devices.  These devices such as lights, thermostats, and appliances are part of the “Internet of Things” often abbreviated IoT.  If a device is connected, it can be hacked.  This means that security cameras and even baby monitors can be potentially attacked and taken over by bad guys.
To head off all of these potential problems, F-Secure has created the Sense.  This device works as a router that sits between all of your devices and the Internet.  Normally we’d call this type of device a Firewall, but the Sense functions as much, much more.  The Sense provides:
  • Outside connection blocking
  • Protects devcies when outside your home network
  • WiFi router
  • Browsing protection
  • Antivirus
  • Anti-bot
  • Anti-tracking
  • Behavior-based blocking
  • Device discovery
  • Banking protection (on Windows)
  • IoT security
  • Single app to monitor all connected devices at home
  • Always up to date, secure router
  • Advanced parental controls
  • IoT device reputation based protection
  • Anonymous surfing with VPN
  • Guest WiFi protection

You can purchase it for $199.  For all the details & ordering info, go to the site.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Myths Surrounding Oral Health

I was sent this intriguing info-graphic recently.  I think it contains some pretty interesting info.  Take a look! 
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Monday, August 14, 2017

Project Access recently received $2,500 grant from Delta Dental Foundation to improve oral health in Howard County, Indiana

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From the Kokomo Herald:

Project Access of Howard County, Indiana recently received a grant for $2,500 from the Delta Dental Foundation to help improve oral health in Howard County by providing dentures to those eligible for the program. 

Approximately 15,000 citizens of Howard County, Indiana have no access to affordable healthcare.  Project Access has the ability to help many of those individuals with their healthcare needs.  Unfortunately, limited resources have limited the amount of help available to reach many of those in need.  Project Access will use the funds for oral health to provide dentures to those who otherwise would have no way to treat this need.

Sherry Rahl, Director of Project Access, is excited about the possibilities to help our citizens with this grant.  “Quality of life often depends on oral health, the ability to eat properly, seek employment, and improve self-esteem.”

The Delta Dental Foundation is focused on ensuring that children and adults in Indiana received high-quality oral health education and high-quality dental care.  Through its Brighter Futures initiatives, Delta Dental is committed to improving people’s oral and overall health and well-being through advocacy, education, and philanthropy.

“We are proud to recognize the work being done by Project Access and by selecting it as one of our grant recipients,” said Teri Battaglieri, Director of Delta Dental Foundation.  “By increasing access to dental care, we can improve the dental, and overall health, and well-being of children and adults by preventing serious health issues down the road.”


About the Delta Dental Foundation:

The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as a philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina.  The foundation’s goals are to support education and research for advancement of dental science, and to promote the oral health of the public through education and service activities, particularly for those with special needs.  For more information, visit

This is one of those stories that *should* make you feel good.  After all, who doesn’t like to read about big companies with a heart helping those in need?  It’s a noble thing to do.
My one little concern about this is that the big company in the story is Delta Dental.  They, better than almost anyone else, should know how much different procedures cost.  Because of that they should know that $2500 is like trying to drain a hot tub with a drinking straw.  If they *really* wanted to help the solve the problem, they would provide a much greater donation.  Of course, where does this money come from in the first place?  It comes from undercutting their payments to dentists who are striving every day to FIX the problem.
Now, I would be thrilled if a non-dental company had donated $2500, the part that I find frustrating is that Delta, knowing full well how little this will do, is treating this pittance as if it will solve the entire problem in the area of the donation.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Palmero Announces X-Ray Apron Recycle/Trade-in Program

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Palmero Healthcare, a Hu-Friedy subsidiary, is pleased to announce our latest green initiative, Palmero’s X-Ray Apron Recycling Program.

We are committed to environmental responsibility. It’s a key component of our core values and an extension of our mission to protect patients, clinicians, and the practice to include the environment as well.

Our new eco-friendly and environmentally responsible program rewards participants for supporting greener dentistry! We know that lead aprons have a useful life as their shielding properties wear down gradually. Proper maintenance includes either checking via fluoroscopy or replacing if they show any signs of damage. According to the EPA, recycling lead aprons is the preferred method since it keeps lead out of landfills. Now you can go green with our environmentally friendly X-Ray Apron Recycle/Trade-in Program. All materials will be responsibly disposed of and all lead liners will be properly distributed for processing back to base material.

If you are only looking for a method of responsible disposal we are happy to accommodate, however we hope you will take part in our Trade-In Program and benefit from a complementary apron hanger that will help protect your investment in safety through proper storage.
RECYCLE 1 X-Ray Apron, RECEIVE 1 FREE Apron Hanger 
1.  Purchase a new Palmero x-ray apron.
2.  Collect old or unwanted X-ray apron of any brand
3.  Contact Customer Service for a Return of Authorization Number (RA#) to register for recycling.
4.  Submit invoice with RA# via Fax 203.377.8988 or email Include ship to address, phone, and email.
5.  Ship your old apron with RA# for responsible disposal to:
Palmero Healthcare LLC
Attn: X-Ray Recycle/Trade-In Program
120 Goodwin Place
Stratford, CT 06615
6. Acquire a new x-ray apron hanger, an $18.00 retail value for your participation!
We also released our new 2017 product catalog in conjunction with a newly formatted website. Please visit us at

Palmero Healthcare has been committed to bringing a wide range of infection prevention products such as hospital-level disinfectants, barrier products, and safety products to the dental community since 1957. With quality and reliable dental products, Palmero’s goal is to become the recognized leader in infection prevention and safety products. We take pride in knowing that our legacy will continue to expand and flourish as a Hu-Friedy subsidiary where our MISSION is to provide infection prevention and safety products that protect clinicians, patients, and the practice.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

LED Dental has Acquired Apteryx

Recently LED Dental, the parent company of the Velscope line of oral cancer screening devices, acquired imaging software Apteryx.
The Apteryx company has been around since the early days of the penetration of digital imaging in dentistry and is used and loved by many offices.  I’m not sure of the percentage of market penetration, but they are a mainstay in a lot of offices.  
One of the big advantages of Apteryx is that the software is more or less device agnostic.  By that I mean that the system works really well and supports lots of sensors and intraoral cameras.  This can allow an office to have more than one brand of sensor, intraoral camera, etc and be able to use just one image capturing * viewing software.  Some offices choose to purchase a sensor that does not interface and integrate with their office software and because of that need a program that will work well and work outside of the office software environment.
Here is a little bit about Apteryx from the company itself:

Founded in 1995, Apteryx has created and developed software applications and systems that are leading products in their respective industry segments. The company exceeds the expectations of its customers by creating timely, innovative and cost effective software solutions that improve the profitability of the clients’ businesses.

Current products include OEM imaging applications and extensions for large government, domestic and international dental organizations, Apteryx-branded applications sold through value-added reseller networks and via the company’s online store, source code libraries and other custom applications. The company’s products are written in any of a number of programming languages depending upon the needs of the project.


For information regarding how to purchase Apteryx, visit the LED Dental website.  

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Harp Orthodontic Flossers

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For those who have patients in orthodontic treatment, here’s a nifty little product for you to check out.
Named after their unique shape, Harp Orthodontic Flossers make it much easier for patients to floss while wearing ortho brackets.  The little devices are slim, durable, and easier to use than traditional floss threaders.
Let’s face it, one of the most difficult things we do in dentistry is to convince our patients to floss daily.  CNN recently did a survey that discovered about 30% of adult patients admit to *never* flossing.  When you see that statistic and then pair it with a teenage patient base AND the difficulty that orthodontics bring to the situation, you can see why anything you can do to improve acceptance will make everyone’s lives easier.
Each flosser has nylon thread and can be reused up to one week per Harp.  Per the manufacturer, here are just some of the advantages:
 * One handed
 * Reusable
 * No Threading
 * Quick and Easy
 * Prevents GingivaliHyperplasia
 * Floss without a mirror
 * Braided Nylon Floss     
 * Resistant to breakini

Monday, August 7, 2017

Kulzer creates Inside Sales Team

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Kulzer announced today that it has formed an Inside Sales Team to make it easier than ever for its dental practice and dental laboratory customers to access its innovative products and services. The new team reports to Inside Sales Manager Tamara Adame’.

“Coming on the heels of our creation of the Kulzer Service Organization, our Inside Sales Team further reinforces our commitment to being the most supportive, accommodating and convenient manufacturer for our valued customers to do business with,” says Matt Mulherin, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Kulzer USA & Canada.

There will be one inside sales representative for each of Kulzer’s six sales regions in the U.S. and Canada. All sales generated by the Inside Sales Team will be processed through each customer’s preferred authorized distributor as usual. “Our Inside Sales Team is intended to supplement the efforts of our Kulzer territory reps and our outstanding network of distributors by serving as additional support for our customers,” added Ms. Adame’.

“While our company has always been very customer-focused, that focus has been greatly intensified in the past several months,” said Mr. Mulherin. “Our recent decision to simplify our corporate name to ‘Kulzer’ reflects that enhanced focus. As a result, we have never been better positioned to deliver on our mission: giving a hand to oral health.”

Learn more about Kulzer at


Kulzer, LLC

As one of the world’s leading dental companies, Kulzer has been a reliable partner for all dental professionals for more than 80 years. Whether aesthetic or digital dentistry, tooth preservation, prosthetics or periodontology – Kulzer stands for trusted and innovative dental products. With optimal solutions and services, Kulzer aims to support its customers in restoring their patients’ oral health in a safe, simple and efficient way. For this purpose, 1500 employees work in 26 locations in the field of research, manufacture and marketing.


© 2017 Kulzer, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Kulzer is part of the Mitsui Chemicals Group. The Japanese Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (MCI) based in Tokyo owns 131 affiliates with more than 13,400 employees in 27 countries. Its innovative and functional chemical products are as much in demand in the automotive, electronics and packaging industries as in environmental protection and healthcare.

Up to July 2017, Kulzer operated under the name of Heraeus Kulzer. By changing the name, Kulzer will focus on its strengths that have made it successful: loyal partnerships with users, distributors and universities, and, above all, highest quality materials, innovations and a spectrum of services that is unique in the market. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ivoclar Vivadent Responds to Dentsply Sirona on Being Left Out of Dentsply Sirona World 2017

The business of dentistry can be a funny thing.  Often times, companies can work together for years with mutual benefits and then one little thing can upset whole dynamic.  Such is the situation now between Ivoclar Vivadent and Dentsply Sirona.  For years Ivoclar has been a partner in the CEREC product line by making blocks for the device.  Recently, the company came out with a mill that can allow a doctor to create in-house restorations.  For obvious reasons, the makers of CEREC saw this as competition and suddenly not all was well with the relationship.
Ivoclar Vivadent has released the following announcement:
Dear CEREC® Business Partner,

On June 16, Dentsply Sirona notified us that after eleven years we were no longer welcome to participate in Dentsply Sirona World 2017 because of the introduction of our PrograMill One chairside milling machine.

Despite this development, we would like to assure you that we remain committed to supporting you and all CEREC® doctors with the kind of industry-leading products and support you have grown to expect from Ivoclar Vivadent. We are introducing the Programat® CS4 combination furnace as well as IPS e.max® ZirCAD, the only zirconia esthetic and strong enough to be part of the IPS e.max family. In addition, we will continue to support CEREC owners with world-class education, symposium events, open houses, as well as continued support for training centers in North America.

In closing, Ivoclar Vivadent would like to thank you for helping to make IPS e.max the number one CAD/CAM material in the world! We appreciate the trust you have put in us and look forward to working with you for your continued success.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Using apps to improve efficiency and security in the dental practice



Remember the promise of the 20-hour work week? The idea was that all our “time-saving devices” would make us so efficient that we could accomplish in 20 hours what had previously taken 40. Because of that, we could all work merrily for four hours every day and then spend the rest of our time being waited on by the robots patrolling our homes. 

How’d that work out for ya? I’ve got a Roomba, but other than that, I’m still waiting for my Mr. Roboto major domo.

Instead, what we got was the continuation of the 40-hour work week with the expectation of 80 hours of productivity. Along with that came the concept that because we are all always connected, we should never run late, forget a soccer practice, or open our fridge to find it as empty as Putin’s Suggestion Box.

For a sciety that was supposed to be livin’ la vida loca by this point, what I hear mostly from patients when we discuss time of treatment or other details is how busy everyone seems to be nowadays.

So, with that in mind, this month let’s look at some ways to be more efficient with our time and be more security conscious in the protection of our data.

More from Dr. Flucke: How EHR can improve your practice


I could probably do an entire column on Evernote alone. This app/cloud/website system allows you to catalogue and save practically anything and everything in your life. If you don’t want to lose it, Evernote is the answer to your prayers. It comes in several levels of service but I highly recommend the Premium edition.

This gives you 10GB of uploads per month, and lets you sync all your devices, share notes, having access offline, annotate PDFs, scan and digitize business cards, and a whole lot more. Once the app is installed on your computer, placing anything in Evernote is a simple matter of drag and drop.

Here is a link to the full article on