Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Evaluation of PowSmart Powered Toothbrush - Complete

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For the past month I’ve been using the PowSmart brush every time I brush my teeth.  I figured that if I am going to evaluate something, how much better can a toothbrush be evaluated than in my very own mouth?
 
I’ve got to say that I have come away very impressed with this device.  The first point I’d like to drive home is the battery.  I received the brush about 5 weeks ago, I have used it every time I’ve brushed my teeth, and it is still running from the original charge.  That alone is impressive.  The company tells me that their testing has indicated the battery will run for 90 days at least on a single charge, so I’m excited to see how long mine lasts.
 
It also has 5 brushing modes:
  1. Clean
  2. Sensitive
  3. Gum Care
  4. Whitening
  5. Polish 

These are modes that are similar to other powered brushes currently on the market.  The model I’ve been using is the one pictured above.  It has power button that is slightly raised from the handle surface.  This requires the user to grip the brush just under the button to avoid accidentally turning the brush off during use, but I have not found that to really be an issue at all as I’ve always held brushes close to the end of the handle.

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The device is well built and sturdy.  It feels good in your hand and the brush attaches snugly.  The overall feel is “high quality” with a well designed feel.

The charger cord is a USB interface meaning you can charge your brush with your phone charger, laptop, or any other device that provides power thru USB.  The kit I received did not come with an A/C adapter so you have to provide your own, however the company is considering adding one to future packages.  The USB charger (pictured above) is hardwired into the base and cannot be removed.  I asked about that and found out that the base is waterproof just in case it should get sprayed or knocked into a sink full of water.  I had thought the base would have a USB Micro port, but that would prevent the charger from having this waterproof protection, which I find to be a nice touch.  If your brush charger ever failed, the system would be worthless.  All powered brushes have this feature, that I’m aware of.

The company makes several models and they have the following features:

  • Up to 40,000 vibrations per minute
  • 5 brushing modes
  • 12 week battery life on a single charge
  • 2 charging modes wireless (like most powered rechargeable brushes) and direct charge which allows you to charge on the road
  • Quad pacer that alerts you to brush 30 seconds per quadrant for a total of 2 minutes brushing time

There are 2 types of powered toothbrushes currently on the market.  One is sonic, featuring vibration of the brush, and the other is mechanical, featuring a clockwise/counterclockwise rotation of the brush.  PowSmart uses the sonic tech and has done so very well.  The 40,000 VPM is powerful,  but not overbearing and leaves a nice clean feeling on the teeth.  There are also an assortment of brush heads that have different bristle types to accommodate your brushing style.

The company is currently looking for US distribution and I would think this device would be a hot seller if priced right.  If you are a company looking for a powered toothbrush line to distribute, PowSmart could be a nice line to offer.  The product is definitely ready for prime time.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

NORAD Tracks Santa on 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!!!  I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the brave men and women who are serving our country and keeping the rest of us safe from those who would do us harm.  Your sacrifice is appreciated by me more than words can tell and will always be remembered by me and those I love.
 
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.
 
The good people at Google have also created a Santa Tracker that can be accessed by clicking here.
 
I don’t think they have a phone service like NORAD does, but their tracker is pretty neat. 

Fewer Posts will be Made During Christmas Break

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Every year I try to take a bit of a break between Christmas & New Year’s Day.  We all know that our lives are fast paced with little free time and often we just don’t get the opportunity to look out the window and enjoy the landscape as the bullet train of life whizzes down the rails.  A few years back, I noticed how easy it is to get distracted by all the little things that life throws at us and consequently how easy it is to allow those distractions to take over and keep us from enjoying our lives.
 
Because of that realization, I decided to make a concerted effort to deliberately build into my life some time to “get all the knots out of my rope” as the cowboys used to say.  One of the biggest changes I made was to take time off during the holiday season.  From Christmas Eve to January 2nd I try and dial it back a bit.  I close my practice and spend more time in my home with friends, relatives, and other people I love.  
 
One of the biggest discoveries I’ve made in the past few years is the importance of sleep in our lives.  That is the reason that I have become more and more involved in treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other sleep problems in my practice.  The other thing I’ve learned about how our bodies deal with stress is the importance of relaxation and downtime.  Just as your body requires rest to rebuild after a workout, your mind body require rest to recover from the intensity of serious mental activity.  Armed with that knowledge, I now realize that my previous philosophy of “i’ll sleep/rest when I’m dead” was a truly bad plan.  Now that I know better, I am trying to take much better care of myself.  
 
So, over this Christmas break I will be posting less and resting more.  That way when 2019 starts, I’ll be rested and ready to attack the new year with a strong mind and a strong body.
 
I’ll make a few posts over the break, but not on the Monday through Thursday schedule like normal.
 
I’d advise all of you to relax and rest as well.  As Ferris Buehler so aptly stated, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Glitter Bomb Gets Even with Package Thieves




As a diehard geek, I’m a big fan of Mark Rober.  He is a former NASA engineer who has an incredible talent to DIY amazingly engineered things just for the fun of it.  Up to this point, one of my favorite projects of his is the dartboard that guarantees a bullseye *every time*.

However this Christmas Season, Mark has developed perhaps the best geek Christmas gift ever.  He had a package stolen from his front porch by a couple who seemed to just be strolling through his neighborhood with backpacks that they were filling with boxes that delivery services had left on front porches.

Mark felt some righteous indignation about this and decided to do something about it.  He developed an incredibly well engineered device that sets off a glitter bomb when the package is opened.  Now we all know this type of theft is a legitimate problem that needs to be dealt with.  I’ve even considered leaving a box on my front porch filled with a “present” from my loyal Labrador Retriever.  But Mark’s device has a box of dog poo beat hands down.  Watch the video & tell my honestly if you wouldn’t buy this device and use it if it were available to purchase...

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Security Breach in Twitter Support Forum

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On December 17th, Twitter announced a breach.  Here is the info from the company’s blog:

We have become aware of an issue related to one of our support forms, which is used by account holders to contact Twitter about issues with their account. We began working to resolve the issue on November 15 and it was fixed by November 16. This could be used to discover the country code of people’s phone numbers if they had one associated with their Twitter account, as well as whether or not their account had been locked by Twitter. We lock an account if it appears to be compromised or in violation of the Twitter Rules or our Terms of Service. More on what it means when an account is in a locked state here. Importantly, this issue did not expose full phone numbers or any other personal data. We have directly informed the people we identified as being affected. We are providing this broader notice as it is possible that other account holders we cannot identify were potentially impacted.

Since we became aware of the issue, we have been investigating the origins and background in order to provide you with as much information as possible. During our investigation, we noticed some unusual activity involving the affected customer support form API. Specifically, we observed a large number of inquiries coming from individual IP addresses located in China and Saudi Arabia. While we cannot confirm intent or attribution for certain, it is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actors. We continue to err on the side of full transparency in this area and have updated law enforcement on our findings.

No action is required by account holders and we have resolved the issue. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Twitter’s Data Protection Officer, Damien Kieran, by completing the online form located here. We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us, and are committed to earning that trust every day. We are sorry this happened.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ultradent Announces Dentaltown 2018 Townie Choice Award-Winning Products

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Ultradent Products, Inc., a global manufacturer and distributor of dental materials and equipment, announces its Dentaltown 2018 Townie Choice award-winning products. Ultradent’s 2018 Townie Choice Award winners are: Opalescence® PF tooth whitening system for Best Take-Home Cosmetic Bleaching System, Ultrapak® cord for Best Gingival Retraction Material, and VALO® and VALO® Cordless curing lights for Best LED Curing Light.

 

Of its annual awards, Dentaltown says, “Earlier this year, Dentaltown readers voted in droves for their favorite products, services and equipment—the elements that make their lives more productive, and their staff and patients happier. If you already use their products in your practice, you can feel great knowing that you share your peers’ passion for finding the most effective ways to improve your patients’ experience. And if you’re looking for a better product or service, you can see what other docs have chosen as their raving favorites.”   

 

Mike Simmons, Ultradent’s brand marketing senior manager, says, “Ultradent is truly honored to receive this award for Opalescence PF tooth whitening systems, the VALO curing lights, and our time-tested Ultrapak cord. We strive to bring value to the dentist with our innovative products, and are very proud of our products and equipment and are humbled by the praise and recognition from Townie Voters. Congratulations to all of the winners this year.” 

 

To learn more about Dentaltown’s 2018 Townie Choice Awards, please visit dentaltown.com. To learn more about or to purchase from Ultradent Products, Inc., please call 800.552.5512.

***

About Ultradent Products, Inc.

Ultradent Products, Inc., is a leading developer of high-tech dental materials, devices and instruments worldwide. Ultradent’s mission is to improve the level of dental health care and to make dental procedures more predictable and hassle free. Consistent with its mission, Ultradent works to improve the quality of life and health of individuals through financial and charitable programs. For more information about Ultradent, call 800.552.5512 or visit ultradent.com.

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Academy of Laser Dentistry’s Free Buying Guide is an Unbiased First Step Towards Laser Ownership and Proficiency

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The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), recently published a very detailed Laser Buying Guide. Entitled, “A Comprehensive Buying Guide to Dental Lasers: Making Sense of How and What to Buy for Your Practice,” this valuable resource is now available as a free downloadable PDF document. According to ALD executive director Gail S. Siminovsky, CAE, “We developed this buying guide as the first step in what we know will become a successful journey in laser dentistry. Asking the right questions before making a purchase leads to success for dentist, patient and manufacturer.”

The ALD Buying Guide provides information that the dentist needs to know to purchase the right dental laser for their dental practice. Some of the topics covered in the ALD Buying Guide include:


• The Perfect Laser for Your Practice
• Ergonomics and Usability
• Device Quality
• Features and Accessories
• Level of Training Level of Service
• Manufacturer Considerations
• “Real” Cost Consideration
• Who Offers the Best Training and Support?


“After the dentist purchases the right laser device for their practice needs, the ALD is at-the-ready to provide the ongoing education required to operate that dental laser safely and proficiently,” explains Siminovsky. “This education and training is available during the ALD’s 2019 Annual Conference
April 4th - 6th in Dallas and throughout the year during ongoing lectures, webinars, and online education programs that are all part of the ALD Annual Membership.”

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Update - Snoring Just Might More of a Threat to Women's Health than to Men's

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A new story from HealthDay News discusses a recent study done in Great Britain that shows women who snore show cardiac damage faster than men.
 
The information states:
 

Loud snoring is a hallmark of obstructive sleep apnea, which affects between 3 percent and 7 percent of adults in the United States, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Also characterized by brief periods where breathing stops, often followed by gasping for air, sleep apnea is becoming recognized as a contributor to serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and poor blood sugar metabolism.

Sleep apnea treatment depends on the cause. Treatments include surgery to open narrowed upper airways or using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine while sleeping.

Curta and his colleagues evaluated data from the UK Biobank, which follows the health and well-being of 500,000 volunteers. The researchers looked at data from nearly 4,500 participants who underwent cardiac imaging. These study volunteers were split into three groups: 38 with obstructive sleep apnea; 1,919 who reported snoring; and 2,536 without OSA or snoring.

In both men and women, those with sleep apnea and snoring tended to have larger left ventricles of the heart, meaning the walls were enlarged and the heart was working harder to pump, Curta said.

But when the snoring group was compared to the unaffected group, a more significant difference was found in the size of the left ventricle among women compared to men. These cardiac changes in self-reported snorers suggest earlier heart impairment in women and could point to undiagnosed sleep apnea, he said.

The findings suggest the transition from snoring to obstructive sleep apnea is an evolving process linked to a potentially dangerous enlargement of the left ventricle. But the research did not prove that sleep apnea causes heart changes, only that an association exists between the two.

The full article can be read at HealthDay.

 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Garrison Dental Announces FitStrip IPR System Kit

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FitStrip IPR System Kit


Garrison’s newly devised FitStripTM Interproximal Finishing and Contouring System has been expanded to include a
comprehensive interproximal reduction kit. The new IPR kit provides clinicians with all the diamond abrasive strips and
gauges necessary to quickly and accurately prepare teeth and measure interproximal space for advanced aligner
treatment.


This complete kit includes ten diamond coated abrasive strips (two each of .11mm, .21mm, .30mm, .40mm and .50mm),
two interchangeable handles and stainless-steel IPR gauges.


FitStrip represents the best solution for IPR (interproximal reduction), creating the space needed for minor movement of
teeth when necessary. Working in concert with orthodontic treatments such as Clear CorrectTM, Invisalign®, Six Month
Smiles® and others, the color-coded strips provide the roadmap for achieving the desired IPR quickly, easily and
effectively. No other system provides FitStrip’s level of flexibility and ease of use.


In addition, the original FitStrip kit and new Universal FitStrip kit include both single-sided and double-sided strips. All the
strips feature the unique ability to be adjusted from straight, for contact reduction, to curved, for interproximal contouring,
with a simple twist of the color-coded barrel thereby eliminating clinician hand fatigue. The interchangeable handle easily
attaches to any of the FitStripTM components significantly improving clinician ease of use and patient comfort. The
clinician’s hand stays outside the mouth providing a clear field of view and easier operation.


The FitStripTM is indicated for use in IPR, contact reduction, interproximal finishing and contouring, crown and bridge
cement removal/clean up as well as separating inadvertently bonded teeth.


Color coded and conveniently organized, the FitStripTM Interproximal Finishing and Contouring System also has a complete
selection of refills available. Contact Garrison Dental Solutions at 888-437-0032 or visit garrisondental.com for more
information.


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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ultradent Donates $10,000 to Humanitarian Medical & Dental Education Charity To Kick Off Holiday Season

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Ultradent Products Inc. announced on November 27, 2018, known nationally as “Giving Tuesday,” that it would donate $10,000 toward a Humanitarian Medical and Dental Education Fund started by the Adams, Gladwell, Durham Foundation based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The money will go toward providing professional medical and dental education to underserved populations through online lectures and hands-on training provided to students through virtual reality programs. “We’ve basically created online education with hands-on education via virtual reality technology that allows the students to actually perform procedures as if they were on an actual human, in an actual lab, but via technology,” says Dr. Mark Durham, a prosthodontist and co-founder of the Adams, Gladwell, Durham Foundation. He adds, “The challenge on the planet today is that there is progress in some areas and the lack of progress in others which leads to problems for people—humans just like you and I,” adds Durham. “The solution is scaling education. If we can share this information with a lot of people they can start doing things that have never been done before and really create another renaissance, which would be beautiful for humanity. So what we’re doing is investing in systems and technology that we’re developing that allows us to go into areas of the world and deliver education for a fraction of the cost, with some of the best minds.”

The push to provide education in place of services, they believe, could change the world. “It’s teaching them how to fish, per se, instead of just doing the procedure for them,” added Dr. Nathan Adams, an oral surgeon and co-founder of the foundation.

As for their progress toward the goal of educating as many people as possible, Durham reports, “So far, the foundation has built three surgical modules for around $50,000, which can now be shared to any of the 7 billion people on the earth without us charging any of them a penny to download. This year, because we are getting faster at building modules, our team and our local collaborators have a goal to see eight modules built for the same amount of money. Imagine the amount of people that will receive surgical training with the additional eight modules we build together!”

To learn more about this wonderful cause, or to donate, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/smarty.

Ultradent gladly supports hundreds of humanitarian efforts every year, worldwide. This includes donations toward major disaster relief efforts as well as smaller, individually run humanitarian missions. To learn more about Ultradent’s humanitarian efforts, please visit ultradent.com/company/humanitarian.

Monday, December 10, 2018

My Thoughts Regarding Xorvision DENclarity Monitor

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As a clinician, one of the most important diagnostic tools I have is radiography.  Next to my own eyes, radiographs are the next most important part of my diagnostic armamentarium.


However, x-rays are useless if you are unable to read them.  A doctor can own the best sensor in the world, but if the image is viewed on a suboptimal monitor then diagnostic accuracy is lost.  That’s the reason that doctors should pay close attention to the monitors they use in their practices.


Because the monitor makes such a difference, for the past several years, I’ve been using monitors from Exorvision in my practice.  Their latest effort, the 24” DENclarity is truly a homerun product.


The DENclarity is exclusively designed for use in a dental office.  It has an incredible grayscale and an amazing 1000:1 contrast ratio.  This means that subtle nuances in radiographs are picked up clearly and diagnostic accuracy increases.


The monitor is also sealed and a glass overlay protects the LCD.  This means that the DENclarity can be disinfected by spraying disinfectant directly onto the screen and molding.  The plastic housing of the monitor is strong and resistant to staining or discoloration from solutions.


It also uses a special low voltage power system that greatly increases safety in a healthcare environment.


In addition to its healthcare features, the monitor also supports a wide range of inputs.  HDMI, VGA, Video, Audio, TV Coaxial, USB, and a headphone jack are all present which makes connecting to the DENclarity easy and predictable no matter what input you may need.  It also has a TV tuner allowing the monitor to double as an over the patient entertainment system.


In the world dentistry, it’s imperative to find the right equipment for each situation we face.  I find the DENclarity monitor to be the right choice for my practice. Human beings perceive somewhere around 85% about their environment through the eyes.  For clinical diagnosis, co-diagnosis with the patient, and educating the patient through the sharing of clinical images, I find the DENclarity to be the best way to engage that 85%.  This monitor is highly recommended.  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Allergy Practice Pays $125,000 to Settle Doctor’s Disclosure of Patient Information to a Reporter

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This is posted directly from the Department of Health and Human Services website.  I’ve posted this to remind everyone in healthcare that even though a patient can discuss their Protected Health Information with others, we cannot.  There is a great lesson to be learned here:
 

Allergy Associates of Hartford, P.C. (Allergy Associates), has agreed to pay $125,000 to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and to adopt a corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. Allergy Associates is a health care practice that specializes in treating individuals with allergies, and is comprised of three doctors at four locations across Connecticut.

In February 2015, a patient of Allergy Associates contacted a local television station to speak about a dispute that had occurred between the patient and an Allergy Associates’ doctor. The reporter subsequently contacted the doctor for comment and the doctor impermissibly disclosed the patient’s protected health information to the reporter.

OCR’s investigation found that the doctor’s discussion with the reporter demonstrated a reckless disregard for the patient’s privacy rights and that the disclosure occurred after the doctor was instructed by Allergy Associates’ Privacy Officer to either not respond to the media or respond with “no comment.” Additionally, OCR’s investigation revealed that Allergy Associates failed to take any disciplinary action against the doctor or take any corrective action following the impermissible disclosure to the media.

“When a patient complains about a medical practice, doctors cannot respond by disclosing private patient information to the media,” said OCR Director Roger Severino. “Because egregious disclosures can lead to substantial penalties, covered entities need to pay close attention to HIPAA’s privacy rules, especially when responding to press inquiries.”

In addition to the monetary settlement, Allergy Associates will undertake a corrective action plan that includes two years of monitoring their compliance with the HIPAA Rules. The resolution agreement and corrective action plan may be found on the OCR website at http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/compliance-enforcement/agreements/allergyassociates/index.html

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Mistake by Two Factor Authentication Company Compromises Users vis SMS

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Most of us use 2 factor authentication at least some of the time with some of the websites we work with.  Usually banking, Google, Apple, and others will help prevent data theft through this process.
 
In a nutshell, you log into a site and before you can access your info, the site sends you a text message with a multiple digit “security code” that you must then enter before the website will allow you entry.  Since most of us live and die on our phones nowadays and always have it with us, sending a message to your phone is a pretty good way of ensuring your identity.
 
That is, it’s a pretty good way IF the company providing the security code is practicing good security themselves.  However, a recent case has come to light where just the opposite was happening.
 
It seems that a company called Vovox is one (of many) companies that act as a "gateway” which sends the 2-factor codes to the user’s phone.  The idea, of course, is that the 2-factor process allows for better confirmation that the person requesting access to the site is indeed the individual who needs access.  It’s  another link in the security chain that helps prevent data and identity theft.  Now, thanks to security researcher Sebastien Kaul it has come to light that Vovox had made a critical mistake in safeguarding the data of the individual’s requesting the 2-factor authentication.
 
What Kaul discovered is that Vovox had a database of over 26 million text messages sitting on a server.  The database was not encrypted nor was it password protected.
 
The information contained passwords in plain text, account security codes, package tracking info, medical appointment reminders, and more.
 
The communications were from companies the likes of Google, Microsoft, banks, medical institutions, and others.
 
According to TechCrunch, “Each record was meticulously tagged and detailed, including the recipient’s cell phone number, the message, the Voxox customer who sent the message and the shortcode they used.” 
 
When notified, Vovox promptly removed the database.  The problem here is that even if users provide *perfect* security, we are still at the mercy of people further downstream from us.  Obviously, the best course for anyone to pursue is to remain “security vigilant”, but to also be aware that even with our best efforts, leaks are possible.  A tip of the electron to Sebastien Kaul for discovering this and helping to make sure the info was secured.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Ultradent Introduces the All-New Omni-Matrix™ Disposable Retainer and Matrix

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—Ultradent Products, Inc., is pleased to introduce the all-new Omni-Matrix disposable retainer and matrix, a superior circumferential matrix band solution. Designed to perfectly customize to any preparation, the band’s circumference can be easily adjusted simply by twisting the handle, and the pivoting head allows it to access any quadrant of the mouth. Once the restoration is complete, the Omni-Matrix band easily releases without disturbing the restorative material.

The Omni-Matrix disposable retainer and matrix features an unmatched body design that is ideal for both single and simultaneous restorations. Its innovative shape allows superior procedural visibility and patient comfort, and its ultra-thin burnishable stainless steel adapts to all preparations. Additionally, its unique winged and wingless styles meet individual case needs while its disposable design saves time and money.

To learn more or to purchase the Omni-Matrix disposable retainer and matrix, call 800.552.5512, or visit ultradent.com.

About Ultradent Products, Inc.

Ultradent Products, Inc., is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-tech dental materials, devices, and instruments worldwide. Ultradent’s vision is to improve oral health globally. Ultradent also works to improve the quality of life and health of individuals through financial and charitable programs. For more information about Ultradent, call 800.552.5512 or visit ultradent.com.

Monday, December 3, 2018

New Research Shows that Certain Oral Bacteria that Cause Periodontal Disease may also Cause Esophageal Cancer

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My good friend and co-worker at DPR, Kristen Mott, has written a  good article about a recent discovery that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease (gum disease) may also be linked to esophageal cancer.  While only about 1% of cancers diagnosed in the U.S. each year, it is a terribly debilitating disease.  Also, 1% seems like a small number until you read that it represents 17,290 new cases this year.
 
Here’s a portion of Kristen’s well written article:
 

Oral bacteria has been linked to a wide range of serious medial conditions, including pancreatic cancer, stroke and lung cancer. New research shows that oral bacteria may also be linked to esophageal cancer.

Esophageal cancer makes up about 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 17,290 new esophageal cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2018.

While previous research has shown that periodontal disease caused by certain oral bacteria has been linked to several types of cancer, Jiyoung Ahn, an associate professor in the department of population health and the department of environmental medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York, wanted to investigate the connection between oral microbiota and the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) or esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

According to the study, Ahn and her colleagues collected oral wash samples from 122,000 participants in two large health studies: the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition cohort and the National Cancer Institute Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. According to the research, in 10 years of follow-up, 106 participants developed esophageal cancer.

In a prospective case-control study, the researchers extracted DNA and sequenced oral wash samples, which allowed them to compare the oral microbiomes of the esophageal cancer cases and the cancer-free cases. Certain bacteria types were found to be associated with a higher risk of esophageal cancer, such as the Tannerella forsythia bacteria, which was associated with a 21 percent increased risk of EAC. Another periodontal pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivitis, was associated with a higher risk of ESCC.

However, the researchers also discovered that a few types of oral bacteria were associated with a lower risk of EAC. Bacterial biosynthesis of carotenoids was also associated with protection against esophageal cancer, according to the study. Ahn told Science Daily that certain bacteria may actually have a protective effect, and future research on the topic is required.

The American Dental Association says additional research is needed to examine whether certain bacteria could play a role in preventing esophageal cancer.

For the full text of the article, follow this link to Dental Products Report.  

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Introducing the Next Generation of Colgate Total® Toothpaste

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Advanced Fluoride Formula for Superior Whole Mouth Health

 

Colgate® is excited to introduce the Next Generation of Colgate Total®. New Colgate Total®SF contains a new Stannous Fluoride formula stabilized with Zinc Phosphate that fights plaque-causing bacteria on 100% of mouth surfaces*1 including teeth, tongue, cheeks, and gums, providing the ideal preventive solution for whole mouth health.

Colgate Total®SF effectively fights harmful bacteria while protecting against bacterial repopulation, significantly reducing the overall bacterial load while creating a protective barrier that helps shield against attachment and regrowth. In development for more than a decade, the unique formula of new Colgate Total®SF is the subject of 28 granted patents and 95 pending patent applications.

Offering comprehensive benefits for the whole mouth, the new advanced formula found in new Colgate Total®SF addresses all indications of the original Colgate Total® including plaque, gingivitis, caries, stain removal/whitening, and calculus. Yet new Colgate Total®SF delivers even more benefits than ever before to help patients achieve superior whole mouth health.

Specifically, ongoing clinical testing of new Colgate Total®SF shows superior reductions vs. ordinary non-antibacterial toothpaste in:

• Plaque
• Gingivitis
• Calculus

What’s more, Colgate Total®SF now provides additional new benefits:

• Sensitivity relief
• Enhanced enamel strength
• Odor neutralization

“The advanced fluoride formula of Colgate Total®SF offers significant advantages versus ordinary fluoride toothpaste, and still retains all of the benefits that dental professionals already love about our original Colgate Total,” remarked Dr. Barbara Shearer, Director of Scientific Affairs for Colgate. “Our advanced fluoride formula provides multiple benefits for the whole mouth. These attractive features combined with a great taste make Colgate Total®SF a great tool to empower dental professionals and patients striving to achieve whole mouth heath.”

*Statistically significant greater reduction of cultivable bacteria in saliva and on tongue, teeth, cheeks, and gums with new Colgate TotalSF vs non-antibacterial fluoride toothpaste after 8 weeks, 12 hours after brushing.

Reference: 1. Colgate Clinical Report 20180316BAC

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Dental Breach Notification Sparked by EMR Vendor Refusal

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Here is another interesting piece of information regarding a HIPAA violation.  
 
One of the questions I get when it comes to cloud based practice management systems is “what if I want my data back?  How do I get them to give it to me?"
 
This is a great explanation for that situation because, as it turns out, refusing to give the doctor their data is a violation of HIPAA.  When the office is no longer in control of the data, it is considered a data breach even though the data may be totally secure on an encrypted server run by the vendor.
 
Due to the fact that the office can no longer access the data, it is considered “insecure” and patients must be notified.  The article can be read here.  Most of it is below.  I’d also like to add to this that the company involved here is MOGO.  It is company that has been around for a while so I find this a bit surprising, however users of MOGO may want to be aware of this.  Also, there may be more to this story that I haven’t uncovered.  We have yet to hear MOGO’s side of this...
 
 
 

Florida-based Key Dental Group is notifying some of its patients of a breach, after its electronic medical record vendor refused to return a patient database at the end of its contract.

According to officials, Key Dental received a notification from its EMR vendor MOGO that it would not return the dental group’s EMR database as required at the termination of its end user license agreement. It violates both the EULA and several portions of HIPAA.

As Key Dental can no longer view or monitor the database to ensure the security of patient data, officials have begun to notify patients.

The database contained a wide range of personal data including names, health insurance information, claims data, medical history, lab or test results and Medicare data for those applicable patients. Medicare patients also have their Social Security numbers included in the data.

At the moment, there’s no evidence of a breach or unauthorized access. But officials are notifying patients of the incident and risk, given Key Dental no longer has control over the data.

MOGO did not respond to a request for comment on its reasoning for keeping customer data. DataBreaches.net was able to confirm Key Dental has taken MOGO to court, asking for emergency injunctive relief.

Under HIPAA, a “business associate shall return to covered entity [or, if agreed to by covered entity, destroy] all protected health information received from covered entity, or created, maintained, or received by business associate on behalf of covered entity, that the business associate still maintains in any form.”

“Business associate shall retain no copies of the protected health information,” according to the rule.

While it’s not known whether the business associate has retained the database or destroyed it, Key Dental has accused MOGO of breaching its EULA.

HealthITSecurity.com asked HIPAA attorney Matt Fisher, a Partner of Mirick O’Connell for potential reasoning or cause for MOGO to retain the data, and he explained there’s no obvious one outside of an attempt to obtain payment.

“It is unclear why an EMR or other vendor would attempt to withhold patient data in light of all of the guidance and commentary about access,” Fisher said. “Flaunting the tide of public opinion could be a headline that would tempt Office for Civil Rights to issue a fine or get involved, which would not be helpful for any party involved.”

“However, one potential motivation for withholding data could be to obtain payment of disputed or owed fees,” he added. “Arguably, the data is the biggest leverage that could wielded by the vendor, absent filing a lawsuit. As indicated though, blocking access to data is a risky game to play and one that will draw negative attention.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

National Commission Invites Comments On Application To Recognize Dental Anesthesiology As Specialty

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For years, many in dentistry have been trying to make the discipline of anesthesia a speciality.  This would create the speciality of Dental Anesthesiology & would greatly increase access to care for those who are stricken with dental fear.  It has been estimated that 50% of the population suffers from some type of excess fear of dental treatment and often that fear keeps them from seeking treatment until there is a severe infection or teeth are no longer restorable.  Creating this speciality would greatly help these folks.
 
Over the years I have heard hundreds of times the question “Can’t you just put me to sleep?”  Unfortunately, without extensive training, no we cannot.  This is truly an idea whose time has come.  Here is the lowdown from the ADA News:
 
The National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards is inviting public comment on an application for specialty recognition requesting that dental anesthesiology be recognized as a dental specialty.
    
Written comments on the application, submitted by the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists, are due Jan. 14, 2019.
    
The national commission is inviting public comment for a 60-day period, according to its Application Process for Recognition of a Dental Specialty protocol based on the applicant's compliance with the ADA Requirements for Recognition of Dental Specialties. 
    
Submit comments to Catherine Baumann, director, National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611 or baumannca@ada.org.
    
To review the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists application, visit ADA.org/en/ncrdscb.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Symantec Uncovers Tool used by Lazarus to Carry Out FastCash ATM Attacks

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Here’s an interesting tidbit concerning computer security, or in this case the lack of it, that came to my attention.  It seems that a hacker group that is part of the North Korean government has been stealing tens of millions of dollars from un-secure ATMs around the world.  The group has been given the name “Hidden Cobra” by the United States Government.   What follows here is a very interesting story that was posted by USCERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) regarding the situation as well as details on how financial institutions can prevent this from happening:
 

Systems Affected
Retail Payment Systems
Overview
This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Working with U.S. government partners, DHS, Treasury, and FBI identified malware and other indicators of compromise (IOCs) used by the North Korean government in an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme—referred to by the U.S. Government as “FASTCash.” The U.S. Government refers to malicious cyber activity by the North Korean government as HIDDEN COBRA. For more information on HIDDEN COBRA activity, visit https://www.us-cert.gov/hiddencobra.

FBI has high confidence that HIDDEN COBRA actors are using the IOCs listed in this report to maintain a presence on victims’ networks to enable network exploitation. DHS, FBI, and Treasury are distributing these IOCs to enable network defense and reduce exposure to North Korean government malicious cyber activity.

This TA also includes suggested response actions to the IOCs provided, recommended mitigation techniques, and information on reporting incidents. If users or administrators detect activity associated with the malware families associated with FASTCash, they should immediately flag it, report it to the DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) or the FBI Cyber Watch (CyWatch), and give it the highest priority for enhanced mitigation.

NCCIC conducted analysis on 10 malware samples related to this activity and produced a Malware Analysis Report (MAR). MAR-10201537 – HIDDEN COBRA FASTCash-Related Malware examines the tactics, techniques, and procedures observed in the malware. Visit the MAR-10201537 page for the report and associated IOCs.
Description
Since at least late 2016, HIDDEN COBRA actors have used FASTCash tactics to target banks in Africa and Asia. At the time of this TA’s publication, the U.S. Government has not confirmed any FASTCash incidents affecting institutions within the United States.

FASTCash schemes remotely compromise payment switch application servers within banks to facilitate fraudulent transactions. The U.S. Government assesses that HIDDEN COBRA actors will continue to use FASTCash tactics to target retail payment systems vulnerable to remote exploitation.

According to a trusted partner’s estimation, HIDDEN COBRA actors have stolen tens of millions of dollars. In one incident in 2017, HIDDEN COBRA actors enabled cash to be simultaneously withdrawn from ATMs located in over 30 different countries. In another incident in 2018, HIDDEN COBRA actors enabled cash to be simultaneously withdrawn from ATMs in 23 different countries.  

HIDDEN COBRA actors target the retail payment system infrastructure within banks to enable fraudulent ATM cash withdrawals across national borders. HIDDEN COBRA actors have configured and deployed legitimate scripts on compromised switch application servers in order to intercept and reply to financial request messages with fraudulent but legitimate-looking affirmative response messages. Although the infection vector is unknown, all of the compromised switch application servers were running unsupported IBM Advanced Interactive eXecutive (AIX) operating system versions beyond the end of their service pack support dates; there is no evidence HIDDEN COBRA actors successfully exploited the AIX operating system in these incidents.

HIDDEN COBRA actors exploited the targeted systems by using their knowledge of International Standards Organization (ISO) 8583—the standard for financial transaction messaging—and other tactics. HIDDEN COBRA actors most likely deployed ISO 8583 libraries on the targeted switch application servers. Malicious threat actors use these libraries to help interpret financial request messages and properly construct fraudulent financial response messages.

A review of log files showed HIDDEN COBRA actors making typos and actively correcting errors while configuring the targeted server for unauthorized activity. Based on analysis of the affected systems, analysts believe that the scripts —used by HIDDEN COBRA actors and explained in the Technical Details section below—inspected inbound financial request messages for specific primary account numbers (PANs). The scripts generated fraudulent financial response messages only for the request messages that matched the expected PANs. Most accounts used to initiate the transactions had minimal account activity or zero balances.

Analysts believe HIDDEN COBRA actors blocked transaction messages to stop denial messages from leaving the switch and used a GenerateResponse* function to approve the transactions. These response messages were likely sent for specific PANs matched using CheckPan()verification (see figure 1 for additional details on CheckPan()).

Technical Details
HIDDEN COBRA actors used malicious Windows executable applications, command-line utility applications, and other files in the FASTCash campaign to perform transactions and interact with financial systems, including the switch application server. The initial infection vector used to compromise victim networks is unknown; however, analysts surmise HIDDEN COBRA actors used spear-phishing emails in targeted attacks against bank employees. HIDDEN COBRA actors likely used Windows-based malware to explore a bank’s network to identify the payment switch application server. Although these threat actors used different malware in each known incident, static analysis of malware samples indicates similarities in malware capabilities and functionalities.

HIDDEN COBRA actors likely used legitimate credentials to move laterally through a bank’s network and to illicitly access the switch application server. This pattern suggests compromised systems within a bank’s network were used to access and compromise the targeted payment switch application server.

Although some of the files used by HIDDEN COBRA actors were legitimate, and not inherently malicious, it is likely that HIDDEN COBRA actors used these legitimate files for malicious purposes. See MAR-10201537 for details on the files used. Malware samples obtained for analysis included AIX executable files intended for a proprietary UNIX operating system developed by IBM. The IBM AIX executable files were designed to conduct code injection and inject a library into a currently running process. One of the sample AIX executables obtained provides export functions, which allows an application to perform transactions on financial systems using the ISO 8583 standard.

Upon successful compromise of a bank’s payment switch application server, HIDDEN COBRA actors likely deployed legitimate scripts—using command-line utility applications on the payment switch application server—to enable fraudulent behavior by the system in response to what would otherwise be normal payment switch application server activity. Figure 1 depicts the pattern of fraudulent behavior. The scripts alter the expected behavior of the server by targeting the business process, rather than exploiting a technical process. 

During analysis of log files associated with known FASTCash incidents, analysts identified the following commonalities:

Execution of .so (shared object) commands using the following pattern: /tmp/.ICE-unix/e <PID> /tmp.ICE-unix/<filename>m.so <argument>The process identifier, filename, and argument varied between targeted institutions. The tmp directory typically contains the X Window System session information.
Execution of the script which contained a similar, but slightly different, command: ./sun <PID>/tmp/.ICE-unix/engine.so  <argument>The file is named sun and runs out of the /tmp/.ICE-unix directory.
Additionally, both commands use either the inject (mode 0) or eject (mode 1) argument with the following ISO 8583 libraries:

m.so [with argument “0” or “1”]
m1.so [with argument “0” or “1”]
m2.so [with argument “0” or “1”]
m3.so [with argument “0” or “1”]
Detection and Response
NCCIC recommends administrators review bash history logs of all users with root privileges. Administrators can find commands entered by users in the bash history logs; these would indicate the execution of scripts on the switch application server. Administrators should log and monitor all commands.

The U.S. Government recommends that network administrators review MAR-10201537 for IOCs related to the HIDDEN COBRA FASTCash campaign, identify whether any of the provided IOCs fall within their organization’s network, and—if found—take necessary measures to remove the malware.
Impact
A successful network intrusion can have severe impacts, particularly if the compromise becomes public. Possible impacts to the affected organization include

Temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information,
Disruption to regular operations,
Financial costs to restore systems and files, and
Potential harm to an organization’s reputation.
Solution
Mitigation Recommendations for Institutions with Retail Payment Systems
Require Chip and Personal Identification Number Cryptogram Validation

Implement chip and Personal Identification Number (PIN) requirements for debit cards.
Validate card-generated authorization request cryptograms.
Use issuer-generated authorization response cryptograms for response messages.
Require card-generated authorization response cryptogram validation to verify legitimate response messages. 
Isolate Payment System Infrastructure

Require two-factor authentication before any user can access the switch application server.
Verify that perimeter security controls prevent internet hosts from accessing the private network infrastructure servicing your payment switch application server.
Verify that perimeter security controls prevent all hosts outside of authorized endpoints from accessing your system.
Logically Segregate Operating Environments

Use firewalls to divide operating environments into enclaves.
Use Access Control Lists (ACLs) to permit or deny specific traffic from flowing between those enclaves.
Give special considerations to enclaves holding sensitive information (e.g., card management systems) from enclaves requiring internet connectivity (e.g., email).
Encrypt Data in Transit

Secure all links to payment system engines with a certificate-based mechanism, such as mutual transport layer security, for all traffic external or internal to the organization.
Limit the number of certificates used on the production server, and restrict access to those certificates.
Monitor for Anomalous Behavior as Part of Layered Security

Configure the switch application server to log transactions. Routinely audit transactions and system logs.
Develop a baseline of expected software, users, and logons. Monitor switch application servers for unusual software installations, updates, account changes, or other activity outside of expected behavior.
Develop a baseline of expected transaction participants, amounts, frequency, and timing. Monitor and flag anomalous transactions for suspected fraudulent activity.
Recommendations for Organizations with ATM or Point-of-Sale Devices

Implement chip and PIN requirements for debit cards.
Require and verify message authentication codes on issuer financial request response messages.
Perform authorization response cryptogram validation for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa transactions.
Mitigation Recommendations for All Organizations
NCCIC encourages users and administrators to use the following best practices to strengthen the security posture of their organization’s systems:

Maintain up-to-date antivirus signatures and engines.
Keep operating system patches up-to-date.
Disable file and printer sharing services. If these services are required, use strong passwords or Active Directory authentication.
Restrict users’ ability (i.e., permissions) to install and run unwanted software applications. Do not add users to the local administrators group unless required.
Enforce a strong password policy and require regular password changes.
Exercise caution when opening email attachments, even if the attachment is expected and the sender appears to be known.
Enable a personal firewall on organization workstations, and configure it to deny unsolicited connection requests.
Disable unnecessary services on organization workstations and servers.
Scan for and remove suspicious email attachments; ensure the scanned attachment is its “true file type” (i.e., the extension matches the file header).
Monitor users’ web browsing habits; restrict access to sites with content that could pose cybersecurity risks.
Exercise caution when using removable media (e.g., USB thumb drives, external drives, CDs).
Scan all software downloaded from the internet before executing.
Maintain situational awareness of the latest cybersecurity threats.
Implement appropriate ACLs.
For additional information on malware incident prevention and handling, see the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-83: Guide to Malware Incident Prevention and Handling for Desktops and Laptops.[1]

Response to Unauthorized Network Access
Contact DHS or your local FBI office immediately. To report an intrusion and request resources for incident response or technical assistance, contact NCCIC at (NCCICCustomerService@hq.dhs.gov or 888-282-0870), FBI through a local field office, or the FBI’s Cyber Division (CyWatch@fbi.gov or 855-292-3937).

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Owandy Radiology’s I-Max 3D wall-Mounted, Panoramic Digital Radiography Unit Receives FDA 510 (k) Clearance

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I’ve just received some breaking news for those of you who will be at the Greater New York meeting this week.  Make sure to stop by the Owandy booth and check this out!
 
 
The Lightest, Smallest and Most Affordable 3-D Panoramic System on the Market will be Ready-to-Order During GNYDM
 

Middlebury, CT  – Owandy Radiology Inc., a global leader in the manufacture of dental radiology hardware and imaging software recently received FDA 510 (k) Clearance for its innovative 3-D wall-mounted panoramic digital radiography unit. The company will be showcasing the I-Max 3D during the upcoming Greater New York Dental Meeting in booth #5125.

When it comes to owning a 3-D panoramic digital radiography unit, cost and physical space are the most common obstacles for many dentists. The I-Max 3D effectively addresses both issues, which is why it is selling briskly in many other parts of the world.

According to Owandy company spokesperson, Boris Loyez, “Thanks to our recent FDA clearance, 3-D panoramic digital radiography is now well within the reach of most American dental practices who were previously tight on space and budget.”

The I-Max 3D provides the perfect balance of price and performance. For example:

• The sleek and light-weight I-Max 3-D is only 145 lbs. and is shipped fully-assembled in one box. It can be easily wall-mounted by one technician.

• Comes equipped with a cone beam flat panel which delivers high-definition image quality.

• Automatic Layers Integration System (ALI-S) ensures exceptional image quality and automatically selects the best images.

• Multiple FOV’s (Fields of View): 4 volume sizes to choose from :12x10 cm ideal for implantology-full mouth and condyle, 9x9cm for a full mouth, 9x5 cm for a full arch.

 • Endodontics Recommended: With its small 5x5cm volume coupled with an excellent resolution of 87μm.

• 24 Programs (including adult and child versions): Enable a full range of examinations required by today’s dental practice.

• Includes an intuitive, user-friendly Human Machine Interface (HMI) with automatically-integrated imaging tools and image-enhancing filters.

• CAD/CAM Ready: Equipped with QuickVision 3-D software for comprehensive case planning and can share .STL files from a dental lab or a digital scanner.

• Face Features Scan: You can import .PLY or .OBJ files into your 3D software and associate the corresponding 3D volume.

• Implant surgical guides included.

Since GNYDM is the final major dental meeting of the year, this may be the last chance for dental practice owners to take advantage of the Section 179 tax deduction when they purchase any Owandy Radiology unit. Owandy is also offering the following promotions:

• I-Max 3-D Wall-Mounted & 2D Pan unit: Regular Price $59,900 / GNYDM Price $49,900

• Free iPhone Xs with the purchase of any Owandy 3D unit

For more information about the I-Max 3-D wall-mounted panoramic digital radiography unit, visit www.owandy.com , call 203-745-0575 or e-mail at sales@owandyus.com
Distributors inquiries are always welcome.

About Owandy Radiology, Inc.:

Headquartered in France, and serving North America from Middlebury, Connecticut, Owandy Radiology is a global leader in the manufacture of dental radiology hardware and imaging software. Its products are distributed through dental dealers all over USA, and in 50 countries world-wide, on every continent.

Monday, November 19, 2018

CELLERANT INVITES INNOVATORS TO SUBMIT FOR THE 2019 BEST OF CLASS AWARD

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I’m proud to be a part of Cellerant Consulting Group as well as being able to vote on the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.  For over 10 years now, Cellerant has been voting on the Best of Class and  providing awards to the true innovators in the dental space.  We work hard to be constantly on the lookout for the best products available.  We’re relentless in our pursuit of finding new or existing technologies that need to be brought to the attention of the profession.  It’s a job that the entire panel truly loves and no one takes lightly.

Our voting meeting, held each year late at night during the Chicago Mid-Winter Meeting is often contentious between the panelists, but we all are so truly passionate about the award that we want to make sure that only the best survive our evaluation and voting process.

For any company or individual that has a product they would like to have considered, now is the time.  The last paragraph of this post has all the pertinent information on how to contact us.




Dentistry’s Premier Award Announces an Additional Submission Process for Dental Industry Companies

WASHINGTON, D.C.,  — Now entering its second decade, the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards are getting their own upgrade. The awards’ sponsor, Cellerant Consulting Group, has introduced an additional process for dental companies to nominate their innovative products and services for consideration.

Created in 2009 by Dr. Lou Shuman, the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards recognize and honor products and services that lead the way in dentistry. “Staying abreast of technology is a significant undertaking and an important responsibility,” says Dr. Shuman. “The Best of Class now occupies a unique and highly visible role in the dental community as an unbiased guide for important practice purchase decisions. Adding the open submission process to our existing year-round panel research will ensure that the Best of Class deliberations remain comprehensive.”

The awards process is currently based on the year-long research and evaluation efforts of its panel of dental technology experts. For the 2019 award, dental industry manufacturers and service providers can now nominate their technologies for consideration at www.cellerantconsulting.com. The simple process involves completing the Best of Class submission form online.

“With new technologies coming at a faster pace than ever, the open submission process assures that our panel will have maximum exposure to the most innovative products in dentistry,” said Dr. John Flucke.

For this year, the submission window will be open from November 2018 through February 1, 2019. The Best of Class panel members — Dr. Paul Feuerstein, Dr. John Flucke, Dr. Marty Jablow, Dr. Maragliano-Muniz, Dr. Chris Salierno, and Dr. Lou Shuman — have been evaluating technologies throughout the award year and will be voting at the 2019 Chicago Midwinter Meeting. In the fall, the winning technologies will be on display at the American Dental Association Annual Meeting. They are then recognized at an official VIP reception and awards ceremony.

About the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards
The Best of Class Technology Awards were launched in 2009 as a new concept to provide an unbiased, non-profit assessment of available technologies in the dental space. Through print and digital media coverage, the Best of Class message reaches the community of 150,000 dentists through multiple touch points — both print and online — educating them about the products. Honoree participation in the Technology Expo at the American Dental Association’s Annual Meeting offers face-to-face interaction with the companies as well as technology-centered education provided by members of the panel.

About Cellerant Consulting Group
Founded and led by CEO Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, Cellerant provides strategic dental market insights, clinical expertise, implementation resources and support to accelerate growth for client dental companies. Cellerant services include new concept incubation, clinical product evaluation, product development, continuing education program development and CE sponsorship, strategic branding and marketing, online marketing, lead generation and dental media relations management. As an orthodontist and former owner of a 10-doctor multi-specialty private group practice, Dr. Shuman guides clients to offer products that engage dental customers and provide sustained differentiation. Cellerant operates under a unique model that merges leading voices in clinical product evaluation and strategic partner companies to provide a menu of services from one easily accessible network.

For more information about the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards, visit www.cellerantconsulting.com or email info@cellerantconsulting.com.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Academy of Laser Dentistry Partners Again with the Greater New York Dental Meeting to Provide Unbiased Laser Training

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3 Essential Sessions Will Provide a Glimpse of What’s Ahead
at the ALD’s Annual Meeting in April


 – For the 11th consecutive year, the Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) will carry on its mission of providing unbiased, non-commercial laser education and training with three hands-on sessions during the upcoming Greater New York Dental Meeting.

According to ALD executive director Gail Siminovsky, “We’re pleased to announce that the, ALD is continuing its tradition of sponsoring several objective CE programs, taught by some of the world’s most prominent laser dentistry experts; Dr. Lawrence A. Kotlow, Dr. John Graeber and Dr. Samuel B. Low.” Here are the highly-informative ALD-supported programs scheduled for this year’s GNYDM:

• #4350: Lasers, the New Norm for Pediatric Dentistry: Merging Medicine and Dentistry / Dr. Lawrence A. Kotlow / 11/26/2018 / 9:00 am -12:00 PM / 3 CEUs

Today’s pediatric dental practice is treating children as early as a few days after birth to teenagers for a variety of problems due to Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) such as lip, cheek and tongue ties which can interfere with many newborn and infant developmental conditions.

Oral surgery for infants can safely and quickly be completed in the dental office using lasers with little or no complications. This discussion includes the use of lasers for the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of soft tissue surgeries for infants, toddlers and older children as well as for treating traumatic injuries and will provide the following takeaways: • How TOTs can affect many of the body’s systems
• How the tongue is really an organ rather than just a simple muscle
• How to treat various oral soft tissue procedures
For more information and registration details, visit http://bit.ly/2Cni16d.

#5420: Diode Laser Basic Competency Course / Dr. John Graeber - 11/27/17
From 9:00 am – 5:00 pm / 6 CEUs

This full-day program provides a detailed and focused basic competency in the use of diode lasers - one of the most popular dental wavelengths. Clinical techniques for dentists and hygienists will be reviewed including: basic troughing, laser sculpting in smile design, frenectomies, and the minimally invasive laser protocol in periodontal treatment.

Techniques in low level laser therapy will be reviewed in wound healing and cellular regeneration. Attendees must demonstrate clinical simulation on pig jaws and must pass a written exam to achieve the coveted Academy of Laser Dentistry Basic Competency Letter of Completion. 

This full-day course and workshop with cover the following key areas:

• Basic scientific principles in how lasers interact with dental tissues
• How to use a diode laser safely to avoid complications
• Various tissue biotypes and fine tune diode laser settings

The ALD Laser Basic Competency Letter of Completion is included with successful course completion. This course serves as fulfilling the prerequisite for Standard Proficiency Certification with the ALD.
For more information and registration details, visit http://bit.ly/2RWUDBK.

• #43460: Periodontal Therapy and Managing Peri-Implant Diseases from Lasers to Air Technologies / Dr. Samuel B. Low - 11/26/2018 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm / 3 CEUs

Perplexed by the elusive inflamed dental implant? Confused by the various treatment/management strategies? The introduction of the dental implant to the overall management of the patient is at an all-time high and so is the standard of care.

However, recent data demonstrates that inflammation associated with the implant is commonplace and can result in loss of the implant. The entire dental team requires successful systems and tools in place to enhance the longevity towards implant health.

This session will focus on systems utilizing safe laser wavelengths and innovative technologies to manage both mucositis to bone loss implantitis to help retain implants.

Attendees will learn the following:

• How enhance your diagnostic skills for implantitis versus mucositis and how to script patient explanations to turn into a positive interaction
• Which laser wavelengths are indicated for the respective implant surface 
• Why to consider laser techniques in detoxification/decontamination

For more information and registration details, visit http://bit.ly/2ykoYlS.

“These three information-packed sessions are just a small sample of the caliber and quantity of objective learning opportunities that await dentists and their teams at ALD’s Annual Meeting which is being held in Dallas from April 4-6th 2019,” explains Siminovsky.

The upcoming meeting’s focus is “The Laser-Systemic Connection: Lighting the Way to a Healthier Mouth and Body. “We’re very excited about next year’s theme,” explains Siminovsky. “For decades, ALD members were the unsung heroes of oral-systemic health. First by applying laser technology to treat periodontal disease and more recently, by applying light therapy to help patients suffering from the oral mucositis side-effects of chemotherapy as well as TMJ and sleep apnea and other medical conditions will all be included in the learning and discussion topics.”

Registration for ALD 2019 is now open. Make reservations for your entire dental team by visiting http://bit.ly/2JPhAXp.

About the Academy of Laser Dentistry

The Academy of Laser Dentistry is the only independent and unbiased non-profit association devoted to laser dentistry and includes clinicians, academicians and researchers in all laser wavelengths. The Academy is devoted to clinical education, research, and the development of standards and guidelines for the safe and effective use of dental laser technology. ALD was founded in 1993, with the merging of the International Academy of Laser Dentistry, the North American Academy of Laser Dentistry and the American Academy of Laser Dentistry. For more information, visit www.LaserDentistry.org.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Check out the PowSmart Toothbrush at the U.S. Private Label Trade Show this Week in Chicago

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A smart new powered toothbrush system is coming to market.  From the company PowSmart Technology Co., Ltd.  The company was created 14 years ago and they worked with lots of brands you may have heard of such as Incipio, Lidl, Homedics, Pearl, and Joy Factory.
 
Now the company has set it sights on the powered toothbrush market here in the U.S. with their Sonic Electric Toothbrush line featuring models PTR-C3-6.
 
They have the following features:
  • Up to 40,000 vibrations per minute
  • 5 brushing modes
  • 12 week battery life on a single charge
  • 2 charging modes wireless (like most powered rechargeable brushes) and direct charge which allows you to charge on the road
  • Quad pacer that alerts you to brush 30 seconds per quadrant for a total of 2 minutes brushing time

The devices also come in a variety of colors including white, pink, and my favorite… black.

I’m always on the lookout for a new, affordable brush to recommend to my patients.  If you happen to be in the Chicago area this week, PowSmart is exhibiting at the Private Label Trade Show.  

Their sonic toothbrush was selected by the PLMA show as the premium product to display in their Idea Supermarket which is the “Highly Recommended Product Display Hall) and is the only one selected in the toothbrush/electric toothbrush category.

I you are planning on being the PLMA show this week, be sure to stop by and check them out!¬

 

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program Will Replace the Tricare Retiree Dental Program Later this Year - Eligible Members MUST Sign Up

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According to the ADA News, the Tricare program will be transitioning to the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program.  The plan will begin coverage on January 1, 2019.  Information regarding enrollment and webinars that explain the enrollment process can be found via this link.  
 
The important thing for those affected is that you must enroll during open season if you'd like FEDVIP dental and/or vision coverage in 2019.
 
Here is all the info courtesy of the American Dental Association:
 

Participants may begin enrolling in the federal program Nov. 12 through Dec. 10 for coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2019.

Delta Dental previously administered the program. The move from Delta Dental to a federal plan resulted from  the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which mandated giving military retirees access to a vision plan that was not previously available to them in Tricare.

Under the new plan, retired uniformed service members and their families who are eligible for the Tricare Retiree Dental Program will be eligible to enroll in dental coverage under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program. 

The federal plan will give enrollees the option of choosing from six national plans: Aetna Dental, Delta Dental, FEP BlueDental, GEHA, MetLife and United Concordia Dental, and four regional plans: Dominion Dental, EmblemHealth, Humana and Triple-S Salud. 

For dentists who receive questions from patients, Delta Dental is urging them to have patients select a FEDVIP dental plan in order to continue their dental benefits. The switch is not automatic: Patients must sign up during the open enrollment period.

Tricare is also encouraging patients to use its online comparison tool for figuring out which plan works best for them. The comparison tool can be found here. By entering specific ZIP codes, patients will receive estimates on what to expect from coverage costs.

"Many dental offices may be treating patients who are retired from the military and using the Tricare dental plan," said Dr. Steven Snyder, chair, ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs. "Following enrollment in the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Plan, their benefits may be significantly different. Offices should have a conversation about the patients' needs and their new benefits along with explaining the office's financial policies. Experiences that offices have with the national carriers already participating in the federal plan may give them a sense of what to expect in terms of processing policies and documentation requirements for claims for these patients."

For more information, including enrollment tips and scheduled webinars on enrollment, visit the Tricare page here.

 

Monday, November 12, 2018

FDA alerts patients and health care professionals that some EpiPen auto-injectors may not readily slide out of carrier tube

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For those of you with EpiPens in your office medical emergency kit and also for those of you with loved ones that have severe allergies, here is a recent release by the FDA.
FDA is alerting patients, caregivers and health care professionals that the labels attached to some EpiPen 0.3mg and EpiPen Jr 0.15mg auto-injectors, and the authorized generic versions, may block access to the auto-injector and prevent the ability to easily access the product.
In a letter to health care professionals from Pfizer, the manufacturer of the Mylan EpiPen, the label sticker on the auto-injector unit may have been improperly applied, causing resistance when removing it from the carrier tube. The carrier tube is the immediate package in which the auto-injector is contained. In some cases, the patient or caregiver may not be able to quickly remove the epinephrine auto-injector from the carrier tube.
The auto-injector device and the epinephrine it delivers are not affected by this issue and can be used as prescribed. It is vital for lifesaving products to work as designed in an emergency situation, and patients and caregivers should inspect their epinephrine auto-injector prior to needing it to ensure they can quickly access the product.
The letter also describes how to inspect potentially affected products and explains that patients should contact Mylan Customer Relations at 800-796-9526 if an auto-injector does not slide out easily from the carrier tube ORthe label is not fully adhered to the auto-injector. Pharmacists should inspect the products before dispensing them to patients to ensure quick access to the auto-injector and should not dispense any product which does not easily slide out of its carrier tube.   
FDA is not aware of any adverse event reports associated with improperly applied EpiPen or EpiPen Jr auto-injectors, or their authorized generics label. As stated on the product label, consumers should always seek emergency medical help right away after using their epinephrine auto-injector.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Learn About Orthodontics and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Las Vegas March 2019

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We are at an exciting time in dentistry.  The problems related to OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) are becoming more well known and better understood.  
 
I find it fascinating that as knowledge of any subject increases, we often find out that treatments that were considered “scientific breakthroughs” and “state of the art” can sometimes be realized to create new problems or actually make some situations worse.  During the late 1800s morphine addiction was a serious problem and some well respected scientific minds favored treated those addicted to morphine with cocaine.  Obviously this didn’t work out too well, but it was a popular idea for a few years.  Medical history is full of examples like this.
 
There have also been some similar situations in orthodontics over the years.  Even into the early 80s, it was very common to do what is referred to as “4 bicuspid extraction”.  This was a treatment where, to decrease crowding, 4 permanent teeth (usually first bicuspids) were extracted to create room and then the anterior teeth were moved backward to fill the space.  This made straightening the teeth pretty easy, but at the time no one seemed to consider the option of keeping all the teeth moving the anterior teeth forward to increase arch length.
 
The other option was to use “headgear” which is an extra oral appliance that attached to the molars and had an elastic strap that went behind the patient’s neck.  This moved the molars in a posterior direction, creating space in front of them.
 
What we have learned since then, is that all of this “distalization” actually caused the airway to become more constricted.  When you think about it logically, it makes sense.  You have a finite space in the patient and as you move things backward, the tube that is the airway becomes pushed back and compresses against the spine.  This causes the airway to become more narrow which decreases the volume of air that can pass through it.  Think of this in terms of breathing through a drinking straw.  A straw with a large diameter is easy to breath through, but a very narrow straw makes it very difficult.
 
To the rescue comes Dr. William Hang.  Here is his bio:
 

A traditionally trained orthodontist, early in his career Dr Hang saw serious limitations in esthetics and function with the orthodontics he had been taught. Having rejected retraction - in all of its obvious and not so obvious forms - he learned and developed innovative techniques to protect and enhance the airway while enhancing esthetics and function.

Patients from more than 25 states and several foreign countries have come to Dr. Hang for non-retractive orthodontics &/or resolution of their E.R.R.S.™ (Extraction Retraction Regret Syndrome™). In his presentation Dr. Hang will outline these nonretractive techniques as well as give a step-by-step protocol to reopen extraction spaces which often eliminates symptoms such as TMJ pain, facial pain, sunken lips, and SDB/OSA.

 

Dr. Hang has spoken on orthodontics, facial esthetics and airway locally, nationally, and internationally. He was awarded the AAPMD Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 for his contribution to the field of airway orthodontics.

Dr. Hang is presenting a seminar on methods and treatment that can provide great aesthetic results while also protecting or opening the airway.  

The seminar is being held at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas on march 22-23, 2019.

If you are interested in attending, here is a link to the website.  

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What NFL Retirees Need to Know About Sleep Apnea and the Concussion Settlement

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As a board member of the Foundation for Airway Health, helping patients sleep better and not suffer with sleep apnea has become a passion of mine.  Recently I was approached by the Advocacy for Fairness in Sports.  This is a group that provides lots of information to former players regarding the NFL concussion lawsuit and settlement.  The NFL is a multi-billion dollar business run by multi-billionaire owners who are fighting with everything they have to prevent having to pay for the poor health suffered by former players to do the physical trauma they endured while playing.
 
The latest tactic NFL lawyers are using is to claim that players who suffer from sleep apnea are experiencing mental problems not due to all the head trauma they endured while playing, but because they are not wearing their CPAP devices.  The science behind this is dicey at best, but that doesn’t mean a lawyer cannot argue it.
 
So… the group asked if I could write an explanation to help players be able to verify their proper CPAP usage.  Here’s what they published:
 
Word has it that current NFL strategies to disqualify players from the concussion settlement can involve blaming the symptoms and effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The NFL seems to be approaching this from the perspective of saying that OSA can mimic the same symptoms and problems of repeated concussive head trauma.

The best way for this to be dealt with is to use a CPAP that tracks usage and then sends it to a secure website that is run by the manufacturer.

While manufacturers and devices vary in the amount of data they can create, at a minimum tracking the amount of time the CPAP is used is crucial.  Some machines will track pressure, mask fit, AHI, and time worn, among other statistics.

Some CPAPs will store usage data in the machine itself, while others can connect to the user’s phone via Bluetooth.  While both of these options are better than no tracking data at all, I feel that using an impartial storage system from the manufacturer will help head off potential arguments that data could have been altered.

CPAP units such as the Philips Respironics Dreamstation connect to the manufacturer via a built in cellular transmitter and send the data directly to the Philips servers.  This data can be accessed by your doctor and, if authorized, your insurer.

This uploaded data allows your doctor to review your nightly statistics to better understand your condition.  Reviewing the data can allow the doctor to make changes to the CPAP to better treat your condition and help you get more restful sleep.

Your health insurance company may request access to this data to prove that you are using the machine as instructed and therefore help you pay for your CPAP supplies.

Obviously with doctors and insurers relying on this data, this aids in verification that you are using your device as prescribed which should proved that OSA is not the cause of your problems.

As an aside to this if, despite CPAP usage your numbers show you are still being deprived of oxygen while you sleep, you should consult a dentist who treats sleep apnea.  Often mouthpieces can be created and worn while you sleep to correct airway problems.  Some patients wear only these specialized mouthpieces without a CPAP while more difficult cases require a mouthpiece and a CPAP.

If you have questions about your CPAP and recording data, ask your doctor or check the company’s website.  It’s important for these records to be kept to help protect you.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Dr. Flucke for providing this valuable information to instruct players with sleep apnea as how to best preserved their rights in the NFL Concussion Settlement, as the NFL has been questioning dementia diagnoses of players with this condition and blaming impaired memory and function on the sleep apnea as opposed to concussive hits in football play. Some players have been required to provide proof of using a CPAP and Dr. Flucke has provided great instruction in this regard.  You can follow him on Twitter @jflucke .