Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Kulzer names John Vitale President, North America

South Bend, IN/1.23.2018. Kulzer announced that it has appointed John Vitale as President, North America. Mr. Vitale will report to Marc Berendes, Chief Sales Officer at Kulzer.

Mr. Vitale joins Kulzer with over 20 years of sales, marketing and operations experience in the dental, consumer, and military sectors at such companies as Procter & Gamble, Nobel Biocare, Keystone Dental, Cocoon Inc., and GLO Science.

“We are very pleased to welcome John to Kulzer. His demonstrated record of leadership excellence and achieving results by building winning organizations, forging strong distributor partnerships, and accelerating new product commercialization is a great fit for the Kulzer LLC team.” said Mr. Berendes. “His firm belief that people are a company’s greatest asset and source of innovation, and that creating an employee- and customer-centric culture drives success, will be vital to John’s leadership of our business in the United States and Canada.”

For more information about Kulzer or its products, please visit 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.

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.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

ADA Announces CHIP Extension and Freeze of Medical Device Excise Tax

As a proud member of the American Dental Association, I often email my folks in the house & senate regarding laws and rulings that affect my beloved profession.  Advocacy works and by working together we can definitely change things for the better.  No one knows better what impacts the profession of dentistry better than those who practice it.  Here is a note i received recently that shows how the ADA and our grassroots efforts can make a difference!¬

Thank you advocates!

As a result of your grassroots outreach, as well as advocacy efforts from ADA, and numerous other stakeholders, Congress has reauthorized the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years and has also suspended the medical device tax for two years. These provisions where included as part of the stopgap spending bill that will keep the government running until Feb. 8.
The bill provides $21.5 billion for fiscal year 2018 for CHIP, increasing to $25.9 billion by fiscal year 2023.

Through our grassroots efforts and direct advocacy we supported the repeal of the medical device excise tax. This tax, which was imposed in 2013 under the Affordable Care Act, was frozen in 2015 and briefly reinstated on Jan. 1. The 2.3 percent tax on the sale of medical devices is now delayed for 2018 and 2019. The tax includes restorative materials, instruments, impression materials and equipment.

The fight is not over.

With your help in the coming weeks we will continue to push Congress to ensure funding for community health centers and the National Health Service Corps.

Thank you for all you do.
Dr. David Watson
ADPAC Grassroots Chair

Monday, January 29, 2018


SALT LAKE CITY — CAO Group, Inc. (CAO) has filed patent infringement lawsuits in the United States District Court for the State of Utah and in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against Biolase, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOL).

CAO will open stayed case in Utah Federal Court and file amendment for infringement of reexamined U.S. Patent 7,485,116 C1 against Biolase’s EPIC and ezlase product lines. The original U.S. Patent 7,485,116 was vigorously challenged through inter partes reexamination by Biolase after CAO filed its complaint in 2012. CAO received the reexamination certificate in July 2017, affirming the patentability of four claims added to the patent during the reexamination.

CAO also filed a patent infringement complaint in California Federal Court, identifying Biolase’s infringement of claims in CAO’s U.S. Patents 8,337,097, 8,834,457, 8,961,040, and 8,967,883 by its EPIC, iLase, and ezlase® product lines.

CAO is seeking for past damages, injunction relief, enhanced damages for willful infringement, and legal cost in both cases.

“Biolase, Inc. knows of CAO’s patents, failed the challenge of CAO’s key patent through reexamine in US patent and trademark office, and continues to infringe CAO’s patents by marketing and selling infringing diode laser products. All of Biolase’s diode laser products are covered by CAO’s issued patents. CAO will vigorously defend its technology to protect its investment and licensed manufacturers.” said Densen Cao, PhD, President of CAO. “Our teachings in diode laser systems have been widely adopted by the industry, have benefited practitioners, and have made dental/medical uses of diode lasers Easier, Faster, and Better.”

CAO pioneered modern diode laser systems and developed technologies to enable the wide use of diode lasers in dental, medical, and veterinary fields. CAO shipped its first modern diode laser products with its distribution partner more than a decade ago. As of today, CAO is a market leader in diode laser manufacturing and has been granted multiple U.S. and international patents relating to diode laser systems, including fiber management, disposable tips, wireless footswitch control, battery operation, touchscreen laser control, multiple wavelength emission, and many other features. CAO also has pending patent applications relating to the field of diode laser systems for medical, dental, and veterinary applications.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Complying with the New EPA Rule on Amalgam and Amalgam Waste: A clinician Reference Guide

The following article first appeared in Dental Economics and appears here with their permission.

ON JULY 14, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule regarding the handling, recycling, and disposal of amalgam. The EPA issued the rule under the Clean Water Act, and it applies to discharges of amalgam pollutants into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) by dental practices. This article will discuss key aspects of the rule that will impact dental practices.

Amalgam waste contains mercury, a persistent, bioaccumulative pollutant with neurotoxic effects on humans. The mercury in dental amalgam is a highly concentrated form that is easy to collect and recycle. Dental offices are the main source of mercury discharges to POTWs.1

Under the EPA’s new regulations, dentists who place or remove amalgam must collect and recycle the waste generated. The regulations emphasize compliance, documentation, and enforcement.

In some states, previous mandatory programs emphasized only equipment purchases, did not provide for inspection of offices, or mandate enforcement. However, the EPA’s new rule is more stringent. It demands proper recycling and documentation. It also establishes inspection mechanisms for offices suspected of noncompliance.

The rule applies to anyone who either places or removes amalgam in these settings: permanent and temporary dental offices, hospitals, schools, clinics, mobile units, and facilities owned by federal, state, or local governments.

The rule also requires the installation, maintenance, monitoring, and recycling of an amalgam separator, in addition to compliance with American Dental Association (ADA) Best Management Practices (BMPs) regarding the recycling of "scrap amalgam." This includes excess mix or carvings, empty capsules from precapsulated alloy, extracted teeth containing amalgam, in-line disposable traps, and vacuum traps from wet-vac systems.2

Amalgam separators must conform to the following standards:
• 2008 ISO 11143–certified to operate at a minimum of 99% efficiency
• Inspected at least monthly for proper operation
• Properly sized to incorporate all wastewater passing through it
• Canisters, cartridges, and other collecting units changed when full, as recommended by the manufacturer or annually—whichever comes first
• Maintained so unprocessed wastewater is not allowed to bypass the system and enter a drain3

In the list above, it is worth emphasizing that equipment changes must be made at least annually.

In regard to scrap amalgam handling, collection, and recycling, the following standards must be met:
• All items considered to be "scrap amalgam," as defined by ADA BMPs, must be properly recycled in containers both designed and designated for this purpose. These wastes must never be commingled with regular trash or biohazardous (red bag) waste.
• Only nonchlorinated line cleaners in the pH range of 6.0 to 8.0 may be used.4

Monitoring and enforcement will be conducted by local POTWs. Dentists will be categorized as Dental Industrial Users (DIUs), a less stringent category than Significant Industrial Users (SIUs).5 To maintain DIU status, an office must certify, among other things, that it has done the following:

• Installed and properly maintained, inspected, and recycled an amalgam separator that meets the 2008 ISO 11143 certification standard
• Adhered to all BMPs and recycled all scrap amalgam
• Maintained a written log of amalgam separator inspections, which were conducted at least monthly, as well as all notes related to that unit’s servicing
• Recycled all canisters, cartridges, or separator units at least annually6

Failure to comply may result in loss of DIU status and reversion of the dental office to the more intensive inspections of an SIU.

Baseline reports must be filed within 180 days of the effective date of the rule in order to establish a DIU status. These reports contain a significant amount of information about the practice, including the names of all dentists practicing there, along with their dental license numbers. Other documentation, including 90-day compliance and periodic-monitoring reports, will also need to be filed going forward.7

All reports listed above, along with service, maintenance, and inspection logs, plus dates of canister or cartridge changes, must be kept on file for at least three years.

The EPA calculated costs based on the number of treatment chairs in various configurations, from one chair up to seven or more chairs. When calculating a simple average across all groups, the initial cost to purchase and install an amalgam separator was approximately $1,172.50 per office. This does not include scrap amalgam recycling. The average annualized recurring cost to maintain and recycle the amalgam separator, based on only one recycling per year, was $588.75.8

References are available in the online version of this article. Visit and search the title of this article.

i. Data contained in tables on these pages were combined and simple averages were created across all categories of chair configurations. The numbers presented in this article represent those averages.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Air Techniques Brings New Products and CE Sponsored Courses to the Yankee Dental Congress

If you are planning on attending the Yankee Dental Congress this weekend, here is some news from Air Techniques:
Air Techniques, Inc., a leading innovator and manufacturer of dental equipment will be showcasing a new Interproximal camera head called “Proxi” for their CamX Triton HD camera, along with Mojave LT3 dry vacuum system and ScanX Intraoral View, their latest digital radiography system. All three products will be on display at Air Techniques’ newly designed booth 1220, 600. In addition to these exciting new products, Air Techniques is also sponsoring two different Product Navigator Live CE courses taking place on Friday and Saturday.

The new Proxi head for the CamX Triton HD is the third interchangeable head that will be offered for this camera system. CamX Triton HD currently has an intraoral Cam head and Spectra caries detection head. The new Proxi head enables practitioners to reliably detect interproximal caries. All three CamX Triton HD heads easily change amongst one another.

Air Techniques’ latest technological achievement for their high-quality line of dental vacuum systems is the Mojave LT 3. Designed to replace conventional liquid ring pumps and to be completely 100% water-free, the compact LT ditches the collection tank for a motor driven air/water separator.
The ScanX Intraoral View digital radiography system enables the intuitive, efficient and time-saving digitization of PSPs for all intraoral formats, sizes 0-4. Its large touchscreen, easy-to-use interface, and multiple slots for simultaneous scanning contribute to this. Thanks to WiFi, the device is exceptionally flexible.

Along with exciting booth happenings, Air Techniques is also sponsoring two different Product Navigator Live CE courses during the Yankee Dental Congress. The first course, “Pearls Live: Enhanced Diagnosis and Treatment with Intraoral Technology” takes place on Friday, January 26 and will be presented by Josh Austin, DDS, from 10 AM to 12 PM. The second Air Techniques sponsored CE course, “Pearls Live: Updates in Preventive Materials” will be presented by Pamela Maragliano–Muniz, DMD, and takes place on Saturday, January 27, from 10 AM to 12 PM. Both CE courses will earn attendees 2 CE credits.

Visit Air Techniques at the Yankee Dental Congress, booth 1220, 600. To register for Product Navigator Live CE courses, visit For more information on Air Techniques, please visit Become a fan of Air Techniques on Facebook and follow the company on Twitter and Instagram. To learn more about HHA please visit

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How Texting Improves Healthcare Outcomes



Texting outcomes.png
Here is an interesting article that recently appeared on the Rhinogram blog.  Give it a read to see how patient interactions via text can improve clinical outcomes.

Dr. Keith Dressler, orthodontist and founder of Rhinogram, regularly uses text messaging to help patients break their thumbsucking habit.He shows parents a simple method, and invites them to text a picture later, showing the patient using that method. Dr. Dressler will text back encouragement, and for his patients, that extra step has made a world of difference.

“Texting with them let’s me stay connected to my patients throughout the process,” says Dr. Dressler. “It improves outcomes and forms long-lasting relationships.”

Texting to improve health is not new.  As far back as 2009, a New York Times article reported on a study that showed improved adherence among young liver transplant patients through text messaging. Over a year, researchers sent text messages to 41 pediatric liver transplant patients, reminding them to take their medications throughout the day. Because of these text reminders, the teenagers were more likely to take their medicine than before doing the study.  

Texting has become ingrained in our lives.  As of 2017, 22 billion texts were sent everyday worldwide. Because we are all so busy, many people find that texting is just more convenient than a phone call. And because of this, texting is the next logical step in helping professionals in the dental and medical fields improve patient outcomes, faster.

22 billion texts are sent worldwide each day.

There are other examples.  Oxford University headed up a study that found text messaging reminders to patients can help reduce their blood pressure. Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that text messaging can shorten patient recovery times, which is good for the patient and the hospital.  Patients that exhibit poor health choices—such as not taking prescribed medications, eating an unhealthy diet, and not exercising lead to preventable conditions—make up as much as 75% of the healthcare costs in the United States, according to the Department of Health & Human Services.

Texting with your patients can help change this behavior.

Through personalized, tailored messages (yes, they can even be templates) that remind them of the tasks they need to do, such as taking medication, or appointment reminders, you can help your patients keep better track of their care in a much less time-consuming way, leaving you more time to get all the other stuff done around the office. Plus, you’re offering a way for patients to have two-way conversations if they have questions or concerns, which helps them feel more at-ease, knowing they can text you at any time (within limits, of course!) without committing to a long phone call.

Also, a text provides a visual reminder throughout the day, rather than a one-and-done phone call that will most likely go to voicemail. Voicemails are easily forgotten about. Text messages tend to be more visible.
Texting can also improve overall patient engagement and encourage them to be more involved with their treatment plans. It also gives patients the flexibility to interact the way they feel most comfortable, which can provide trust and loyalty, making it more likely they will seek regular preventative care and treatment for chronic conditions.

If you’re looking for more information about how texting might be a good fit for your practice, check out, or feel free to text us at 423.800.7644 with questions.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Pain of Being in Dentistry and the ADA's 2015 Survey on Well Being

ADA Logo.jpg
Until the late 1960s, dentists treated patients while standing up.  However, “stand up dentistry” was well known to cause knee problems, varicose veins in the legs, and a host of other maladies.  So in the late 1960s training shifted to teaching dentists how to treat patients from a sitting position.  Now, about 50 years later, the profession is seeing dentists experiencing a different set of health problems because of the sitting posture.
When you discuss the work related injuries that practicing dentistry can cause, most people (including myself when I had just graduated) will think of repetitive stress type injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.  While these injuries do occur, they don’t occur in near the frequency that others do.  As I got into my 40’s I noticed an interesting trend.  Many of the older dentists I had become friends with starting to complain of the aches and pains that come with age AND with the practice of dentistry.  The amazing thing to me was that very few of them had problems with their hands or wrists.  No, these doctors were having troubles with neck and back issues.  Many of them reduced their office hours, some were forced to retire and collect from their disability insurance.
I was stunned to learn from a physical therapist that over 60% of dentists who are forced to declare disability do so because of neck and back issues.
As The Technology Evangelist, I have a couple of suggestions to help with this.  The first is using high quality magnification as this helps you maintain a good clinical posture without forcing you to lean and stress your  neck and/or back.  The other is to use an LED light mounted onto your magnification.  This allows for a highly lit field that is easier to see which requires less leaning and you will never have to reach up and move a track light again.
In 2015, the ADA did a survey on the health problems dentists encounter and it is interesting reading.  There is an article about it in the ADA News and if you would like to read or download the complete survey, you can access it in pdf format with this link.  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Beyes Launching its Advanced, High-Speed AirLight M800X Air-Driven Handpiece During Chicago Midwinter Meeting

Beyes Collage.jpg

Beyes Dental Canada, the largest Canadian dental handpiece manufacturer with a tradition of revolutionizing the dental industry with groundbreaking advancements in precision dental instruments, will be showcasing its new AirLight M800X handpiece at booth #813 during the 2018 Chicago Midwinter Meeting.

According to company spokesperson Martins Ozolins, DDS, “The M800X is the latest addition to the revolutionary AirLight handpiece line which is known for its high efficiency, built-in micro generator that powers the LED without requiring a connection to a fiber optic system in the dental delivery unit.” 

Like all Beyes AirLight handpieces, the M800X enables clinicians to have a clearer illuminated operative field. The Direct-LED is also brighter and has a larger light pattern than traditional power optic systems. The well-designed and precisely-manufactured AirLight M800X also provides extraordinary torque to ensure the accurate and powerful cutting that dentists need.

New features specific to the AirLight M800X include the following:

IS Technology: Provides instant stop capability which eliminates backflow and noise when ceasing operation.

X Ball Bearings: Lasts up to four times longer than traditional ball bearings, thanks to Beye’s newly-engineered ball bearings with special caging material.

Quatro Spray: Ensures superior visibility and cooling with four specially-positioned ports. • Direct-LED+: Delivers the best direct illumination available, which is powered by Beyes’ signature built-in generator.

Built-in Generator: Eliminates the need for being tethered to a delivery unit’s fiber optic system.

Micro-Tex: Improves grip and reduces slipping during operation, which increases patient safety.

25W Torque: Provides best cutting power to minimize stalling and increase efficiency

25 Months Warranty: Expands coverage to more than double the standard 12-month warranty.

The AirLight M800X handpiece will be demonstrated throughout the Chicago Midwinter Meeting at booth #813. For more information, visit or send an email to

About Beyes

Beyes, the Toronto-based company is Canada’s fastest-growing dental company thanks to its loyal customers, yet Beyes is the largest Canadian dental handpieces manufacturer.
Beyes combines the expertise of highly-skilled people with its well-established manufacturing chain and advanced quality-control systems to provide the dental community with groundbreaking advancements for precision dental instruments.

All Beyes products are manufactured in strict compliance with Health Canada regulations. Moreover, manufacturing facility is ISO 13485 certified under Canadian Medical Devices Conformity Assessment System (CMDCAS) ensuring superior products quality that meet and exceed user expectations.
The Beyes team is dedicated to providing flawless experience to its customers, at all levels assuring that our products and service not only meet but exceed current and future demands.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Master the Art of Direct Resin Bonding at 
The Center for Esthetic Excellence this Spring


Join Dr. Jason Smithson for his popular “Day-to-Day Direct Composite Resins” class at the Center for Esthetic Excellence in downtown Chicago on March 22-24, 2018. Dr. Smithson is an international lecturer with a large following as well as being a widely published author on adhesive and esthetic dentistry in both the UK and abroad. This class will teach the General Dental Practitioner about everyday direct composite resin restorations in the anterior and posterior dentition, plus much, much more and will also include a large hands-on segment. Join Dr. Smithson in this fun and interactive class that will add value to your practice.
For more information, call Erika Heier and REGISTER TODAY at 800-837-2321 or visit us online at

Dr. Corky Willhite’s “Traditional Bonding: The Formula for Solving Complex Cases with Composite” is a signature class at the Center for Esthetic Excellence and is being presented March 16-18, 2018. Dr. Willhite was the creator of this original technique requiring little or no prep for most cases. You will learn useful step-by-step techniques and cover the rationale for using composite -- especially for complex cases. Dr. Willhite is an exceptional teacher of composite dentistry with an approachable and very personal teaching style. Join us to learn about this extremely practical new option.
For more information, call Erika Heier and REGISTER TODAY at 800-837-2321 or visit us online at

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ever Notice Those Curvy Wingtips on Planes? NASA Invented Those

A bit of a geeky post for today, but hey, if you’ve hung around here long enough you know that I live for this kind of stuff.
I was reading an article recently on the NASA website and I fell down the rabbit hold into the invention of “winglets”.  Those are those little pieces on the wing of airliners that look sort of like vertical stabilizers.  Many years ago, a plane enthusiast friend of mine had told me there were used for fuel economy.  He was pretty knowledgeable so I let it go at that.
Then I stumbled across that NASA  sight and got a chance to read the entire history of winglets.  It’s a fascinating read and I highly recommend it.  However, if you just want some of the cool highlights, I can provide them here.
  • They are indeed for fuel economy
  • The diminish induced drag by 20 percent and improve the overall aircraft lift-drag ratio by 6 to 9 percent
  • Southwest Airline’s use of the technology on their 737-700 fleet saves the company 100,000 gallons of fuel each year
  • Winglets offer between 4-6% fuel savings
  • Because less fuel is burned, emissions go down as well
  • Winglets provide up to a 6 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and an 8 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide as well
  • In 2010 it was estimated the winglets had saved 2 billion gallons of jet fuel and reduced emission of 21.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions

That’s pretty incredible stuff for a little vertical tip on the wing!  There is a lot to be learned from this.  I mean, who would look at one of these things and then immediately decide they were complete and utter game changers in so many ways?  For me, it’s the perfect example of why I’m a skeptic but always willing to change my mind if you can produce validated science.

A big thank you to NASA and a big thank you to the winglet inventor aeronautical engineer Richard Whitcomb!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Dentistry Ranked #1 in Best Health Care Jobs for 2018

Dental Caducesus.png
Every year U.S. News & World Report publishes a list of the best jobs in America in a number of categories.  I am happy and proud to report here that for 2018 Dentistry has been ranked #1 in Best Health Care Jobs.  Of course I’m biased, but I could not agree more.  
Dentistry is an exciting profession that rapidly advances and requires constant attention to stay on the leading edge.  It’s also truly great for extroverts like myself as I love helping people and getting to know them.  That, for me, is the best part of my profession.  I won’t lie, it does have some down days, but those are pretty rare for me.  Most days I can’t wait to get to the office and start helping people.
When I graduated in the late 80’s there was a definite saturation in the dental market and schools were actually closing or cutting class sizes.  Now class sizes are again up and new schools are being built.
Here’s one paragraph from the U.S. News website:
The need for professionals to examine our teeth, and fill and – gulp – refill our cavities isn't fading. And because more people want cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening, the demand for dentists is growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of 17.5 percent between 2016 and 2026, with 23,200 new openings. A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance boost dentist to a top position on our list of Best Jobs.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Academy of Laser Dentistry Now Accepting Applications for 2018 Research Grants

ALD Collage.jpg

The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) the only independent and unbiased non-profit association dedicated to improving patient care with the proper use of laser technology, is now accepting applications for the Dr. Eugene M. Seidner Research Grants Program.

Named in the memory of Dr. Seidner, a laser dentistry pioneer who also served as ALD president 1996-1997, recipients will be honored during the ALD’s 25th Anniversary Conference & Exhibition, April 26-28th at the Caribe Royale Orlando, Florida.

According to ALD executive director Gail Siminovsky, CAE, “We established the scholarship in Dr. Seidner’s honor in 2004. In 2012, we reached our $100,000 fundraising goal, and now in 2018 ALD is excited to introduce research grants to the Seidner opportunities. The grant is intended to strengthen the Academy of Laser Dentistry’s mission of fostering a positive impact on dental laser education and research.”

Research Grant Details

The Dr. Eugene M. Seidner Research Grant was founded to promote the advancement of dental laser technology education and clinical research. Up to three grant awards totaling up to $20,000.00 may be awarded annually to individuals to promote basic and applied clinical research for the use of lasers in dentistry.

To be considered, the project must broadly assess the role of lasers of dentistry, irrespective of whether the technology is used for surgical, diagnostic, antimicrobial, photo biomodulation, photodynamic therapy, imaging, or biomaterials applications. Research proposals on competing designs or devices are not encouraged.

Primary applicants or at least one team member must be member(s) of the Academy of Laser Dentistry
for the past 3 years prior to application. Full details and applications may be downloaded or received by contacting the Academy of Laser Dentistry. Completed applications must be received by ALD by the end March 1, 2018 for consideration for the 2018 annual conference. Click here for complete details and to download an application.

Institutional Relationships

The award is made to the sponsoring academic institution on the behalf of the awardee. The institution must have the environment and general resources suitable for conducting research as stated in the application. What’s more, a letter of support from the dean or director of the institution must be enclosed with the application. The investigator is directly responsible to the sponsoring institution for the proper conduct of the project and management of the funds. Click here to download details and an application.

Donations Welcome

Voluntary donations from ALD members and others in the dental profession, have funded the Dr. Seidner Scholarship program and to date, 26 dental students from around the world have traveled to the ALD annual session to present their work and benefit from ALD membership, ALD conference attendance and in receiving Standard Proficiency Dental Laser Education and certification. Click here download more information and a contribution form.

About the Academy of Laser Dentistry

The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) 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

About ALD2018:

ALD’s upcoming annual meeting (ALD2018) promises to be the Academy’s biggest annual event to date. This year’s theme is “Innovation, Illumination, Imagination – Celebrating Laser Dentistry 25 Years and Beyond.” ALD2018 will take place from April 26-28th at the Caribe Royale Orlando, Florida. For more information and to register, visit

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is About to Change Mobile Video...

For years now I’ve been flying and creating video with my DJI drone.  The experience of being able to fly and create video has allowed me to create some pretty amazing things.  I’m a bonafide camera bug and I love taking photos, but as the tech world has expanded, it seems that a something has been left out.  
Just a few years ago, everyone needed a small portable digital camera.  I know that for years, I carried a small Canon Elf with me so that I could take pictures and video everywhere I went.  I loved the size which is 95.2 x 54.3 x 22.1 mm and it only weighs 127 g.  Back then, of course, video wasn’t as nearly as big a deal.  The resolution of most cameras was poor (even worse when it was in a phone) and slow Internet speeds meant uploading a video took an incredibly long time.  Hence, we didn’t use a lot of video for our everyday existence.  It was just too cumbersome.  However, in 2008 the iPhone came along and that same year, we saw a 27% decrease in the sales of handheld digital cameras.
Fast forward to 2017 (now 2018) and you’ll admit we’ve seen an exponential growth in both video viewing as well as video creation.  That’s because our phones can now shoot incredibly high resolution video and upload it at screaming connection speeds.  Yet with all of these incredible advancements in our smartphones, we are still suffering with herky-jerky video that looks pretty much to be what it is… someone holding a phone and trying to use it as a video camera.  But now, thanks to the smart people at DJI, those days are over.
DJI has taken some of the technology they’ve created and used in their drone video systems and used it to completely remake their Osmo Mobile platform into the Osmo Mobile 2.  This device connects via Bluetooth to your phone to turn it into an incredibly stable and user friendly handheld video system.  The price?  A frighteningly affordable $129 US.  It’s not available yet, but it should be available from the Apple website on January 23 and from the DJI website in early February.  Guess what just got added to my wish list?
For all the info, visit the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 page at and if you want to learn everything there is to know about the device, take a look at the review by Joshua Goldman at  

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Align Technology to Discontinue Acceptance of Digital Scan Submissions From 3Shape TRIOS Scanners in the United States

Align Logo.jpg
A few years back, Align purchased the Cadent iTero system.  This allowed Align to move into a totally digital workflow by using iTero digital scans to create Invisalign clear orthodontic appliances.  Over the last couple of years, Align has begun to accept scans from other digital scanning companies.  However, now comes word that Align will no longer be accepting scans from Trios scanners after January 31, 2018.  Here are all of the details:

3Shape Infringing Conduct and Resulting Litigation Results in Termination of Invisalign Interoperability Contract

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - December 20, 2017) - Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALGN) announced today that due to 3Shape's infringing conduct and the resulting litigation against Shape A/S of Copenhagen, Denmark and 3Shape Inc. of Warren N.J. (collectively "3Shape."), the company terminated its Invisalign interoperability contract with 3Shape and will no longer be able to accept digital scans for new Invisalign treatment and/or retention cases from TRIOS scanners in the United States, effective January 31*, 2018. Doctors who need to submit additional TRIOS scans for an existing Invisalign case (for refinement or additional aligners) will still be able to do so.

Because the current lawsuits involve only U.S. patents, this litigation does not affect non-U.S. Invisalign customers. As a result, we will continue to accept digital scans for new Invisalign treatment and/or retention cases from TRIOS scanners outside of the U.S.

"We understand that the termination of interoperability and discontinuance of accepting digital scans for Invisalign treatment and/or retention cases through TRIOS scanners will inconvenience our customers and we wish it could have been avoided. We have reached out to affected practices and are working to help minimize any disruption," said Roger E. George, vice president, legal affairs and general counsel for Align Technology. "The last thing we want is to impact our customers and their practices. However, Align will not allow competitors to copy our products and their features or infringe our patents, nor can we continue to accept scans from US-based TRIOS scanners that infringe our patents. We will vigorously defend our intellectual property, whether it relates to clear aligners, dental scanners, or digital dentistry more broadly."

Align believes in open systems and will continue to work with other intraoral scanning companies who are interested in developing interoperability with Invisalign treatment and are willing to respect Align's intellectual property. We have defined a qualification process for scan quality and accuracy to ensure a specific scanning technology can adequately replace PVS impressions in Invisalign case submissions. Align's own iTero scanner, the Sirona Cerec Omnicam and 3M True Definition scanner are all qualified for the Invisalign workflow.

On November 14, Align Technology filed six patent infringement lawsuits asserting 26 patents against 3Shape asserting that 3Shape's TRIOS intraoral scanning system and Dental System software infringe Align patents. Align filed two Section 337 complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that 3Shape violates U.S. trade laws by selling for importation and importing its infringing TRIOS intraoral scanning system and Dental System software. Align's ITC complaints seek cease and desist orders and exclusion orders prohibiting the importation of 3Shape's TRIOS scanning system and Dental System software products into the U.S. Align also filed four separate complaints in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware alleging patent infringement by 3Shape's TRIOS intraoral scanning system and Dental System software. On December 13, 2017, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) voted to institute two investigations of alleged patent infringement by 3Shape. We expect that within the next two months, the assigned administrative law judges will set target dates for completing the investigations.

* In response to feedback received from dental organizations and customers and Align's desire to minimize customer and patient inconvenience, Align has extended the cut-off date for accepting TRIOS scans until January 31, 2018, from January 17 as originally communicated.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Is Technology Expensive?

Old cameras.jpg
I’m sometimes asked shy I’m such a believer in technology when it costs so much.  Wouldn’t the doctor be better off just putting the dollars in their pocket or spending the money on marketing?
As an example I list the picture above.  This is a picture I snapped recently from my own office.  The photo shows 2 Spectra Caries Detection Devices and 2 Polaris Intraoral Cameras.  Retail price of these devices in total is probably around $17,000 US.  These 4 devices are all about 10 years old and the reason they are shown here is that they no longer work.  That’s not a reflection on the manufacturer, Air Techniques, that a simple factor of age and use.
Is that a lot of money, yes it is.  However, how I see them not as an expenditure, but as an investment.  These devices worked hard for 10 years helping to better educate and to provide better diagnoses for my patients.  Simply put, I feel that spending that money was absolutely the right thing to do.
I would much rather have referrals from good communications and advanced diagnosis with my patients than anything that can be gleaned via a slick marketing program.  Oh and yes, these devices have already been replaced.  I now have newer versions of these devices in service and being used every day.
We are visual creatures and being able to communicate visually with our patients is one of the best things we can do.  Informed patients make better decisions and that allows doctors to provide better care.  It’s really a very simple equation.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The top 10 developments in dental technology in 2017

Tooth Tech.png
We’ve put together a lot of really great articles at DPR in the last year.  For this post, I thought I’d share one of our Top 10 Lists.
When we visited the topic of the latest advancements in dentistry for Digital Esthetics earlier this year, the conclusion was that the industry was in a bit of a lull.

Maybe “lull” is the wrong word. Maybe, instead of a flow of technology, the industry was now in the ebb. 

It was a time to take stock of what was available and figure out what pieces to incorporate into the workflow and what pieces could wait. It was a time for professionals to get a solid command of the tools in their arsenal, a time when they were becoming acquainted with their technologies rather than being introduced.

For the full article head on over to DPR.  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

My Top 5 Test Drives of 2017

Tech header.jpg


Top Five Test Drives for 2017

Wow, time sure flies when you are having fun!  Oh, and what could be more fun at this time of year then to discuss technology?  I personally cannot think of anything better.  Especially for this issue as it’s time once again for the Technology Evangelist’s Top 5 Test Drives.

Every year I get to evaluate lots of gear.  Sometimes I see game changers and sometimes I see things that I’m not so impressed by.  However, all the products I look at receive a fair and equitable review.  Clinical products receive a fair amount of bench testing before ever being used in the mouth while non-clinical products get put through their paces as suggested by the manufacturer and then I start pushing them to see how far I can go before something goes wrong.

One thing I want you to remember is these aren’t the only great products I’ve seen this year, but they are the Five Best.  OK, now let’s get started.

For the rest of this article, head on over to Dental Products Report.  

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Starting the New Year with a Good Lesson on Scams

Scam Scrabble.jpeg
In the highspeed high-tech world we live in, it’s easy to get sometimes fooled into releasing some info that you really shouldn’t have.  Almost everyone I know has fallen for some type of scam.  Some have been tiny and others have cost folks a few dollars.  Fortunately, I’ve never know anyone to fall for a serious loss of money or a complete ransacking of their identity, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.  Heck, I just recently read an article that said the infamous “Nigerian Prince Scam” is still bilking over trusting people out of millions of dollars.
That article led me down the scam rabbit hole and I thought I’d share a link to something I enjoyed.  You know, the problem with scams is as soon as we get one figured out, there is another one coming down the pipe.  It’s an unfortunate game of cat and mouse that we play against the less honest individuals among us.  It’s a constant series of adjustments & counter adjustments.  Unfortunately it’s the way the world works and, at least for now, we’re stuck in this cycle.
Anyway, my reading ended taking me back to USA Today where they have a very good article about 5 scams that are out there, but maybe you haven’t heard of yet.  I found this article pretty enlightening and I thought you would enjoy it too.  The real takeaway here is that you cannot be too careful.  As the old adage goes “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you!”