Wednesday, February 28, 2018

NuSmile Launches I Love My NuSmile Program

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HOUSTON, TEXAS, February 21, 2018—NuSmile Ltd., the worldwide leader in pediatric esthetic restorative dentistry, announced today the launch of its I Love My NuSmile program. The centerpiece of the program is the new I Love My NuSmile website that not only helps parents understand the best restorative dental options available for their children, but also provides a locator feature that makes it easy to find expert providers with nearby dental practices that offer NuSmile’s market-leading esthetic pediatric crowns. Dentists will be able to register for the locator beginning March 1, 2018. Once registered, they will work with a NuSmile team member to personalize their contact information, upload a photo and write their own practice description. The website is expected to be announced to the public in April 2018 through several forms of digital and print media.

“Unfortunately, parents of children affected by early childhood caries are often unaware of esthetic treatment options for their child,” said Diane Johnson Krueger, NuSmile founder and CEO. “That’s why we’ve decided to make it easier than ever for parents to learn more about esthetic restorative solutions, and to locate children’s dentists nearby who offer them.” She added, “Children whose decayed teeth are plainly visible are often subjected to teasing and even bullying, which can inflict severe emotional pain to both the child and the parents. Having to wear ‘silver’ crowns or fillings can be equally traumatic. Also, inferior quality esthetic crowns that are less durable than NuSmile ZR or Signature crowns increase the likelihood of retreatment, which no parent wants. No child or parent should have to go through that kind of embarrassment or emotional stress.”

According to Mike Loessberg, NuSmile Director of Sales, North America, the experience available to parents who visit www.ILoveMyNuSmile.com will be unlike that provided on any other pediatric crown website. “This special website has been created expressly to help parents quickly grasp the pros and cons with photographs showing treatment outcomes of various restorative options for their child.” He added, “They’ll also learn why NuSmile’s ZR zirconia crowns and Signature pre-veneered crowns are the world’s most popular esthetic pediatric crowns, and why these crowns are consistently shown in clinical evaluations and dentist polls to be number one in durability, esthetics and fit.”

As Mr. Loessberg pointed out, “This consumer-focused approach has been incredibly successful in the orthodontic clear aligner market, and we see no reason why it won’t also be a huge success with parents who are looking to find the best restorative treatment options for their child.”

Ms. Krueger predicted that dentists will love I Love My NuSmile as much as parents will. “We’re going to make a significant investment in advertising that draws parents to the I Love My NuSmile website, where our dentist locator will point them toward nearby dental practices that offer our state- of-the-art crowns and related products. This program is a powerful tool to help some of the best
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children’s dentists connect with even more of the patients who really need them. We couldn’t think of a better way to honor our customers and the incredible work they are doing,” she said.

For more information about this new program, please visit www.ILoveMyNuSmile.com. For more information about NuSmile, please visit www.nusmile.com

About NuSmile

Founded in 1991 in Houston, Texas by Diane Johnson Krueger, NuSmile is the worldwide leader in pediatric esthetic restorative dentistry. Shortly after its founding, the company invented its first esthetic pediatric crown; more than 4 million have been used in restorations in the 25 years since. The company’s current offerings include the NuSmile ZR Zirconia crown system, featuring Try-In crowns to prevent saliva/blood contamination and NuSmile BioCem® BioActive Cement for exceptional bond strength and handling; NuSmile Signature Pre- veneered crowns; NuSmile SSC Pre-contoured crowns; and NuSmile NeoMTA® pulp therapy medicament. NuSmile prides itself on its passion for customer care, its unwavering commitment to research and education, and its unmatched support for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the International Association of Pediatric Dentistry (IAPD), the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry/Académie Canadienne de Dentisterie Pédiatrique (CAPD/ACPD) and several other organizations dedicated to the dental care of children and the dentists who serve them.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The other side of the opioid epidemic — we're people in severe pain

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Over the last few years, we’ve all been inundated with horror stories and sad tales dealing with the “opioid epidemic”.  However, one thing that has been tragically overlooked in all of this is the fact that there are fellow human beings out there with legitimate needs for pain management.  Like any type of socio-political subject, this one has many twists and turns.  As you attempt to cutoff the supply to the abusers, you also cut the supply to those in legitimate need.  Or, even worse, those with legitimate needs are classified as abusers.  I find it a bit ironic that as the prescribing of opiates and opioids has decreased, the import and distribution of heroin has increased and the price of heroin has dropped.  The sad fact is that as legitimate pain suffers are cut off from their meds, some, in dire desperation, will turn to heroin.  That’s because, despite its horrors, heroin is a decent pain reliever.
 
Or… let’s take this argument to an absurd extreme.  Suppose that somehow, someway, insulin is suddenly a chemical that could be used to create a horrible substance like meth.  Would anyone support eliminating the prescribing of insulin because there might be some bad stuff that could be done with it?  
 
Now, let me make myself clear.  I completely and totally support responsible prescribing.  What happened in the early 2000s with pill mills was a disgrace to anyone who is a doctor.  However, we definitely want to make sure that, in our rush to fight an “epidemic” we do not damage those who were the original benefiters of those very same drugs.
 
With all of that in mind, please read the following editorial that appeared on The Hill.  The author, Kate Nicholson, is a civil rights attorney, a nationally-recognized expert in the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a chronic pain survivor.  She has written an incredible article here about the part of pain meds that very few are talking about nowadays…
 
 

When I went into the office one Saturday afternoon in August 1994, I planned to spend a few hours finishing a brief that was due in federal court Monday morning.

At the time, I was an attorney for the justice department.  After 30 minutes of working at my desk, my back started to burn; it felt as if acid were eating my spine. In rapid succession, my muscles seized and threw me from my chair. I landed on the floor, stunned, as my body seared with pain.

What I didn’t know then was that the pain would persist, and that I would be unable to sit, stand, or walk unassisted for almost twenty years. Nor could I have imagined that I would take opioids.

Opioids fill the news with a steady stream of stories of lives lost from overdose and abuse. What we rarely hear is the other side — opioids are also the most powerful pain medication we have. For me, they were life-restoring.

Appropriate pain management that included prescription opioids lifted me from the desperate circumstances of being bedridden and unable to sleep for months at a time to someone who negotiated major settlement agreements. I argued important cases in federal court, and supervised thousands of matters in U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country. 

I still could not sit or stand — I negotiated via video-teleconference, argued from a reclining lawn chair, and managed cases from a jerry-rigged, platform bed — but I could and did work and function.

Pain patients today are not so fortunate.  In our effort to thwart the genuine problem of drug overdoses, we are taking life-sustaining medicine away from suffering people.

Long-term, legitimate pain patients who have relied on opioid analgesics can no longer fill their prescriptions in the many states that set maximum dosage and supply limits, often of three to seven days.

Even in states that contain exceptions for long-term pain care, insurance companies and pharmacy policies use such laws as a reason to deny coverage or fills. Pain patients are being denied treatment and involuntarily tapered off of opioid medications, even if they’ve never shown any risks of abuse.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, which sponsored one of the first systematic efforts to discontinue opioid treatment, recently issued an abstract reporting that the results were not fewer overdose deaths but increased suicide mortality.

While there is no question that looser prescribing of opioids in the 1990s and early 2000s contributed to the overdose crisis, illegal fentanyl and heroin drive overdoses today, not new prescriptions.  

The prescribing of opioids has dropped every year since 2012 and is at 10 year low — and yet drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed. Meanwhile, our public policy looks backward in time, intruding on the doctor patient relationship and burdening patient care.

The Attorney General recently responded to the concerns of pain patients by telling them to “take a few Bufferin or something and go to bed.”  

His comment shows an astonishing misunderstanding of a condition whose quality of life index (QLI) is akin to that of late-stage cancer. Fifty million Americans suffer from severe or persistent pain, which twenty-five times more than those who misuse opioids.

Chronic pain is also the primary cause of disability in the US, and it costs the economy half a trillion dollars every year.

There is an important but often glossed over distinction between using medication for a health condition in a way that restores function, enabling work and participation in family life, and misusing a substance in a manner that destroys function.

Most people who take opioids for pain do not abuse them: studies show risk for addiction in such patients varying between .07 and 8 percent. And, when opioids are prescribed properly with screening and follow through care, the risk of addiction goes down significantly.

The substantial majority of people who have misused prescription opioids never received them in a healthcare setting; they obtained them from medicine cabinets, family and friends, or bought on the street.

Like many pain patients, I initially resisted taking opioids. I exhausted every other possible treatment first.

Because my condition resulted from a surgery when a doctor severed nerve plexuses in my spine, I tried infusions, nerve blocks and even a repeat surgery. I did physical therapy, acupuncture, and biofeedback. But nothing abated the pain.  

Treatment with opioids and integrative care allowed me to maintain a job, a sense of purpose, and community until I found my way to healing.  Mine is a story rarely told of someone who took opioid analgesics for years and went off them without incident when the pain remitted.  Given the environment today, such stories may well become extinct.

Kate Nicholson is a civil rights attorney, a nationally-recognized expert in the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a chronic pain survivor. She is writing a book about pain, and recently gave a TEDx talk on the subject.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Darby Dental Supply Expands Capital Equipment Offerings with Complete Air Techniques Line

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Darby Dental Supply, one of the nation’s largest distributors of dental supplies and services, recently expanded its equipment portfolio to include the full line of Air Techniques products. This addition is the latest advancement in Darby’s aim to partner with leading manufacturers and suppliers to strengthen its position as a single-source solution for supplies, services, and capital equipment.

Darby launched its capital equipment division in 2009 and has been continuously focused on expanding its product lines and services to become a leading resource in capital equipment. 
In 2016, Darby announced an exclusive partnership with equipment repair leader Dental Fix Rx, allowing Darby to expand its customer offerings to include nationwide equipment service, installation, and repair. The partnership will now allow Darby customers to receive expert installation on all Air Techniques equipment.

“Darby is constantly striving to provide our customers with everything they need for their practice,” remarked Scott Walsh, VP of Sales, Darby Dental Supply. “This latest expansion with Air Techniques solidifies Darby as a key player in the capital equipment arena.”

Partnering with industry-leading manufacturers like Air Techniques strengthens Darby’s ability to meet increased customer demand for fully integrated solutions. In addition to its recent capital equipment expansion, the Company also invested in a new user-optimized website and mobile app, expanded its specialty product offerings, and debuted Darby TechForce®, the Company’s new technology services division.

About Darby Dental Supply, LLC

Darby Dental Supply, LLC, is one of the largest dental distributors in the United States, shipping
over one million orders each year. Headquartered in Jericho, NY, the Company was founded in
1948 and has seven sales offices and three fully automated distribution centers strategically
positioned across the country. With over 45,000 products in stock, Darby services the general
practitioner as well as numerous specialties. In addition to Darby’s supply vertical, the Company
also hosts a technology services division (Darby TechForce®), a capital equipment division,
equipment repair services (through an exclusive partnership with Dental Fix Rx), and a full line
of private label products. For more information about Darby, please visit www.darby.com.

About Air Techniques, Inc.


For over 55 years, Air Techniques, Inc. has exceeded their customers’ expectations by delivering innovative, high quality products that advance the standard of dental care. With breakthrough solutions in Digital Imaging – delivering uncompromising image quality for precise patient diagnosis; Utility Equipment – best-in-class infrastructure that keeps dental practices operating at peak performance; and Infection Prevention Products – providing exceptional patient care while protecting the clinical staff, Air Techniques ensures today’s dental professionals are “Equipped for Life”® earning trust through ingenuity, innovation, and stellar service. For further information about Air Techniques, please visit www.airtechniques.com.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Introducing Amabrush: the World’s First Fully Automatic Hands-Free Toothbrush

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Simultaneously and Thoroughly Cleans all Teeth in Just Ten Seconds!

 Amabrush, the world’s first fully automatic toothbrush, was officially launched in the US market at this year’s Chicago Midwinter dental meeting. Amabrush is a revolutionary hands-free toothbrush that simultaneously brushes all teeth in a mere ten seconds. Simply press a single button and the innovative Amabrush technology works to effectively and efficiently clean all teeth and gums, practically eliminating the extra time, and human error often experienced with traditional brushing methods.
Amabrush was first conceptualized in 2015 by a team of engineers and healthcare professional visionaries whose goal was to simplify the tooth brushing routine. The creators brought Amabrush to Kickstarter in July of 2017 and were fully funded within one hour.
“We all know that we need to brush our teeth. Whether we’re skipping brushing, not brushing long enough, or not brushing correctly, many of us simply don’t get our teeth as clean as they should be. Amabrush aims to change all that,” remarked Amabrush Founder and CEO, Marvin Musialek. “At first people are always a bit skeptical about whether Amabrush is too good to be true but proof of efficacy is clearly revealed in the ongoing positive results of our constant clinical testing, as well as consistent feedback received from completely amazed and 
satisfied users.”
Multiple rows of soft antibacterial Amabrush bristles are directed in a 45° angle against the 
gumline, simulating the widely recommended Bass method of brushing. With an amplitude of 9.5G, Amabrush creates a variety of vibrations that oscillate with different resonant frequencies to gently yet effectively clean each quadrant of the mouth. Subtle vibrations oscillate the bristles, effectively removing plaque and bacteria on the teeth as well as along the gumline. Unlike nylon bristles, soft Amabrush bristles gently rub as opposed to scratch surfaces, further eliminating any risk of damage to the teeth and gums.
Amabrush is comprised of three components:
• Anti-Bacterial Mouthpiece – The one-size-fits-all mouthpiece is made of a flexible antibacterial silicone material that wards off 99% of bacterial agents found in between bristles. Strategically arranged soft 3D bristles are gentle enough to prevent enamel and gum damage yet strong enough to thoroughly clean both teeth and gums. Built-in micro-channels are made to transport an ideal amount of specially formulated Amabrush toothpaste. The Amabrush mouthpiece is cleaned using traditional rinsing methods as you would with regular toothbrushes.
• Handpiece – The Amabrush handpiece magnetically connects to the mouthpiece. The handpiece acts as the dispenser for Amabrush toothpaste capsules, and also houses the exclusive Amabrush tooth brushing technology. The handpiece comes with a built-in low-energy wireless charging module (Qi standard), and is equipped with Bluetooth® as well as an Amabrush App. A fully charged battery lasts for approximately one month.
• Toothpaste Capsules – Amabrush toothpaste capsules are simply placed into the handpiece and a built-in mechanism foams and automatically delivers the ideal amount of toothpaste to the mouthpiece each and every time. The FDA-approved toothpaste is specially formulated for the system. Amabrush toothpaste is available in whitening, sensitive, and extra fresh. A single toothpaste capsule lasts for up to a month.
Amabrush is simple to use:
Step 1 – Attach the handpiece to the mouthpiece
Step 2 – Insert the mouthpiece into the mouth and bite down
Step 3 – Push the button on the handpiece to dispense the toothpaste foam
Step 4 – Wait ten seconds
Step 5 – Spit and rinse
“Although ten seconds may not sound like much, keep in mind that each tooth is actually being cleaned for that duration,” remarked Dr. Hady Haririan, Amabrush Advisor and dentist. “Brushing with a traditional toothbrush may last longer but you aren’t brushing all of your teeth at once. Adults have 32 teeth and each tooth has three surfaces. If you brush for 120 seconds, each surface gets brushed for just 1.25 seconds. Amabrush cleans all of your teeth’s surfaces for ten whole seconds. This means that every tooth surface gets brushed eight times longer, while the total tooth brushing duration is twelve times faster.”
All Amabrush units come equipped with a sound and light indicator to provide various alerts and information including current battery status, finished tooth brushing sessions, and operational errors. Users can further personalize Amabrush by setting various vibration modes (such as gum massage and burst mode), configure cleaning time, and much more!
All Amabrush units can be equipped with a carry case for on-the-go use. What's more, an Amabrush tongue cleaner is also available to keep the tongue smooth and clean, as well as a UV sanitation station that sterilizes up to two mouthpieces with ultraviolet light (185nm).
Amabrush is currently available at www.amabrush.com, and the Company is presently working to further expand its availability to dental professionals and consumers through additional convenient sales channels.
For more information about Amabrush, please visit www.amabrush.com.
About the Amabrush Team
The Amabrush team has a strong background in healthcare, product design, and mechanical engineering. Founder Marvin Musialek developed the first Amabrush prototype in 2015. Together with Martin Forstenpointner, a mechanical engineer, and Alexander Stummer, a biomedical engineer, Amabrush was gradually brought to fruition. Advised by Dr. Hady Haririan, a periodontist and member of the Medical University of Dentistry in Vienna and Austrian Society of Periodontology, the team tirelessly tested Amabrush to bring it to the successful oral health aid that it is today. The Amabrush team continues to work closely with medical universities, dentists, and beta testers to consistently evolve its effectiveness and efficiency as a superior oral health aid for optimum oral health. Amabrush is fully supported and funded by the Austrian government, private institutions, and the European Commission. For more information about Amabrush, please visit www.amabrush.com.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Interim Estimates of 2017–18 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness — United States, February 2018

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Here is some interesting info courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  It seems that with this year’s intense and difficult flu season, the success of the flu vaccine has been a bit limited.  The vaccine overall is “only 36 percent effective”.  However, there’s a lot more data on the vaccine than just that.  Read on for info from the CDC:
 

In the United States, annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months (1). During each influenza season since 2004–05, CDC has estimated the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine to prevent laboratory-confirmed influenza associated with medically attended acute respiratory illness (ARI). This report uses data from 4,562 children and adults enrolled in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network (U.S. Flu VE Network) during November 2, 2017–February 3, 2018. During this period, overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness (VE) against influenza A and influenza B virus infection associated with medically attended ARI was 36% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 27%–44%). Most (69%) influenza infections were caused by A(H3N2) viruses. VE was estimated to be 25% (CI = 13% to 36%) against illness caused by influenza A(H3N2) virus, 67% (CI = 54%–76%) against A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses, and 42% (CI = 25%–56%) against influenza B viruses. These early VE estimates underscore the need for ongoing influenza prevention and treatment measures. CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination because the vaccine can still prevent some infections with currently circulating influenza viruses, which are expected to continue circulating for several weeks. Even with current vaccine effectiveness estimates, vaccination will still prevent influenza illness, including thousands of hospitalizations and deaths. Persons aged ≥6 months who have not yet been vaccinated this season should be vaccinated.

Methods used by the U.S. Flu VE Network have been published previously (2). At five study sites,* patients aged ≥6 months seeking outpatient medical care for an ARI with cough within 7 days of illness onset were enrolled. Study enrollment began after local surveillance identified increasing weekly influenza activity or one or more laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza per week for 2 consecutive weeks. Patients were eligible for enrollment if they 1) were aged ≥6 months on September 1, 2017, and thus were eligible for vaccination; 2) reported an ARI with cough with onset ≤7 days earlier; and 3) had not been treated with influenza antiviral medication (e.g., oseltamivir) during this illness. After obtaining informed consent from patients or from parents or guardians for their children, participants or their proxies were interviewed to collect demographic data, information on general and current health status and symptoms, and 2017–18 influenza vaccination status. Nasal and oropharyngeal swabs (or nasal swabs alone for children aged <2 years) were collected to obtain respiratory specimens; nasal and oropharyngeal swabs were placed together in a single cryovial with viral transport medium. Specimens were tested at U.S. Flu VE Network laboratories using CDC’s real-time reverse transcription polymerase–chain reaction (rRT-PCR) protocol for detection and identification of influenza viruses. Participants (including children aged <9 years, who require 2 vaccine doses during their first vaccination season) were considered vaccinated if they received ≥1 dose of any seasonal influenza vaccine ≥14 days before illness onset, according to medical records and registries (at the Wisconsin site); medical records and self-report (at the Washington site); or self-report only (at the Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas sites). VE against all influenza virus types combined and against viruses by type/subtype was estimated as 100% x (1 – odds ratio).† Estimates were adjusted for study site, age group, sex, race/ethnicity, self-rated general health, number of days from illness onset to enrollment, and week of illness (3-week intervals) using logistic regression. Interim VE estimates for the 2017–18 season were based on patients enrolled through February 3, 2018.

Among the 4,562 children and adults with ARI enrolled at the five study sites from November 2, 2017, through February 3, 2018, a total of 1,712 (38%) tested positive for influenza virus by rRT-PCR, including 1,392 (81%) influenza A viruses and 323 (19%) influenza B viruses (Table 1). Among 1,340 subtyped influenza A viruses, 1,143 (85%) were A(H3N2) viruses and 208 (16%) were A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses. Most (98%) influenza B viruses belonged to the B/Yamagata lineage. The proportion of patients with influenza differed by study site, sex, age group, race/ethnicity, self-rated health status, and interval from illness onset to enrollment (Table 1). The percentage of patients who were vaccinated ranged from 45% to 59% among study sites and differed by sex, age group, race/ethnicity, and self-rated health status.

Among ARI patient participants, 43% of those with influenza had received the 2017–18 seasonal influenza vaccine, compared with 53% of influenza-negative participants (Table 2). After adjusting for study site, age group, sex, race/ethnicity, self-rated general health, number of days from illness onset to enrollment, and week of illness onset (3-week intervals), VE against medically attended ARI caused by all influenza virus types combined was 36% (CI = 27%–44%). VE for all ages was 25% (CI = 13% to 36%) against medically attended ARI caused by A(H3N2) virus infection, 67% (CI = 54%–76%) against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection, and 42% (CI = 25%–56%) against influenza B virus infection. VE point estimates against medically attended influenza for all virus types varied by age group; statistically significant protection against medically attended influenza was found among children aged 6 months through 8 years (VE = 59%; CI = 44%–69%) and adults aged 18–49 years (VE = 33%; CI = 16%–47%), whereas no statistically significant protection was observed in other age groups.

As of February 3, 2018, a total of 257 influenza A(H3N2) viruses from U.S. Flu VE Network participants had been characterized by CDC; 240 (93%) belonged to either genetic group 3C.2a (226 viruses) or the related subgroup 3C.2a1 (14), whereas 17 (7%) belonged to group 3C.3a. Genetic group 3C.2a includes the A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 reference virus representing the A(H3N2) component of the 2017–18 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccines (3).
 
Discussion
Early and widespread influenza activity during the 2017–18 influenza season provided the opportunity to estimate interim VE against several circulating influenza viruses, including the predominant A(H3N2) virus. These interim estimates reflect ongoing challenges with the A(H3N2) vaccine component since the 2011–12 season. The interim estimate of 25% VE against A(H3N2) viruses this season indicates that vaccination provided some protection, in contrast to recently reported, nonsignificant interim estimates of 17% from Canada and 10% from Australia (4,5) and is similar to final (32%) VE estimates in the United States against A(H3N2) viruses during 2016–17§ (6). However, among children aged 6 months through 8 years, the interim estimates against any influenza and A(H3N2) virus infection were higher; the risk for A(H3N2) associated medically-attended influenza illness was reduced by more than half (59%) among vaccinated children. Also, with interim VE estimates of 67% and 42% against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and B viruses, respectively, vaccination provided substantial protection against circulating A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses, as well as moderate protection against influenza B viruses predominantly belonging to the B/Yamagata lineage, the second influenza type B component included in quadrivalent vaccines. CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination while influenza viruses are circulating in the community; several more weeks of influenza activity are likely. Influenza vaccination has prevented thousands of hospitalizations during previous seasons when influenza A(H3N2) viruses were predominant, including during the 2014–15 season when interim VE estimates were similar to those reported here. Appropriate use of influenza antiviral medications for treatment of severely ill persons or persons at high risk for complications from influenza who develop influenza symptoms is important, especially among older adults, who currently have the highest hospitalization rates (3).

VE estimates against A(H3N2) viruses have been lower than estimates against A(H1N1)pdm09 and B viruses for several years (7). Although there is no definitive evidence for antigenic drift of viruses circulating this season compared with cell culture–propagated reference viruses representing the A(H3N2) vaccine component (3), challenges with antigenic characterization of recent A(H3N2) viruses, many of which could not be characterized using traditional hemagglutination inhibition assays, have required the use of additional virus neutralization assays to assess antigenic characteristics. Multiple factors might be contributing to the reported VE against A(H3N2) viruses this season. Immune responses to vaccination differ by age and previous infection or vaccination history and can affect vaccine protection; higher VE against A(H3N2) viruses among young children suggests that vaccination might provide better protection against circulating A(H3N2) viruses to this age group. Also, genetic changes in the vaccine virus hemagglutinin protein that arise during passage in eggs might result in a vaccine immune response that is less effective against circulating viruses (8,9). Human serologic data indicate decreased inhibition of circulating cell culture–propagated A(H3N2) viruses compared with egg-propagated viruses among persons vaccinated with egg-based vaccines.¶ Additional studies are needed to assess whether VE against circulating A(H3N2) viruses varies by vaccine type, including comparisons between egg-based and non–egg-based vaccines. CDC will continue to monitor VE through the remainder of the season and is investigating these factors. In addition, many efforts are under way to improve selection and development of candidate vaccine viruses that are optimal for vaccine production and provide protection against a majority of circulating viruses.

These interim VE estimates underscore the need for influenza antiviral treatment for any patient with suspected or confirmed influenza who is hospitalized, has severe or progressive illness, or is at high risk for complications from influenza, regardless of vaccination status or results of rapid, point-of-care influenza diagnostic tests.** CDC recommends antiviral medications as an adjunct to vaccination, and their potential public health benefit is increased in the context of low VE. A CDC health update issued December 27, 2017, regarding treatment with antiviral medications is available at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00409.asp. Clinicians should be aware that influenza activity is widespread, and influenza should be considered as a possible diagnosis in all patients with acute respiratory illness.

The findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations. First, vaccination status included self-report at four of five sites. End-of-season VE estimates based on updated documentation of vaccination status might differ from interim estimates. Second, information from medical records and immunization registries is needed to evaluate VE by vaccine type and for fully vaccinated versus partially vaccinated children, as well as to evaluate the effects of previous season vaccination and timing of vaccination; end-of-season analysis of VE by vaccine type and effects of partial or previous season vaccination is planned. Third, an observational study design has greater potential for confounding and bias relative to randomized clinical trials. However, the test-negative design is widely used in VE studies and has been used by the U.S. Flu VE Network to estimate VE for previous influenza seasons. Finally, small sample sizes in some age groups resulted in wide confidence intervals, and end-of-season VE estimates could change as additional patient data become available or if there is a change in circulating viruses late in the season. It is also important to note that the VE estimates in this report are limited to the prevention of outpatient medical visits rather than more severe illness outcomes, such as hospitalization or death; data from studies measuring VE against more severe outcomes will be available at a later date.

Annual monitoring of VE supports ongoing efforts to improve influenza vaccines. Although more effective vaccines are needed, vaccination prevents a substantial burden of influenza-related illness annually. During the 2014–15 season, when VE against medically attended illness caused by any influenza virus was less than 20%, vaccination was estimated to prevent 11,000–144,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations and 300–4,000 influenza-associated deaths (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/2014-15.htm). Small increases in VE can substantially affect the number of hospitalizations prevented during a severe season (10). Although interim estimates suggest that vaccination has prevented some influenza-related illness this season, influenza vaccines with improved effectiveness are needed to substantially reduce the incidence of disease.
 
Acknowledgments
Jennifer K. Meece, Jennifer P. King, Madalyn Palmquist, Lynn Ivacic, Carla Rottscheit, Sarah Kopitzke, Jacklyn Salzwedel, Deanna Cole, Trish Aldrich, Jennifer Anderson, Elizabeth Armagost, Cory Arnold, Marya Theresa Balinghasay, Kaleigh Bettinger Terry Foss, Dyan Friemoth, Wayne Frome, Keith Gilge, Sherri Guzinski, Tara Johnson, Julie Karl, Diane Kohnhorst, Tamara Kronenwetter Koepel, Karen McGreevey, Nidhi Mehta, Vicki Moon, Lisa Ott, Maisie Pettinger, Rebecca Pilsner, DeeAnn Polacek, Martha Presson, Emily Redmond, Megan Sauer, Eleanor Stockheimer, Patrick Stockwell, Sandy Strey, Julie Zierer, Tom Dalcher, Gregg Greenwald, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Marshfield, Wisconsin; Joshua G. Petrie, Lois E. Lamerato, Ryan E. Malosh, E.J. McSpadden, Hannah Segaloff, Caroline K. Cheng, Rachel Truscon, Emileigh Johnson, Anne Kaniclides, Elizabeth Alleman, Sarah Bauer, Michelle Groesbeck, Emerson Bouldin, Christoph Baker, Kimberly Berke, Mackenzie Smith, Niharika Rajesh, Kristyn Brundidge, Neha Hafeez, Jayla Jackson, Ian Anastasia, Gabriel Kadoo, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan; G.K. Balasubramani, Todd M. Bear, Heather Eng, Samantha Ford, Edward Garofolo, Robert Hickey, Philip Iozzi, Monika Johnson, Donald B. Middleton, Krissy K. Moehling, Jonathan M. Raviotta, Evelyn C. Reis, Bret Rosenblum, Sean Saul, Theresa Sax, Michael Susick, Joe Suyama, Leonard F. Urbanski, John V. Williams, University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Michael Smith, Chandni Raiyani, Lydia Clipper, Teresa Ponder, Todd Crumbaker, Mary Kylberg, Martha Zayed, Melissa Zdroik, Kimberley Walker, Marcus Volz, Arundhati Rao, Robert Fader, Lea Mallett, Hania Wehbe-Janek, Madhava Beeram, Michael Reis, Jennifer Thomas, Jaime Walkowiak, Jeremy Ray, Renee Day, Deborah Price, Jennifer Fox, Robert Probe, Baylor Scott & White Health, Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, Temple, Texas; Erika Kiniry, Stacie Wellwood, C. Hallie Phillips, Suzie Park, Lawrence Madziwa, Matt Nguyen, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle, Washington; Erin Burns, Rebecca Garten, Thomas Stark, Shoshona Le, Juliana DaSilva, Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC.
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Conflict of Interest
No conflicts of interest were reported.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Academy of Laser Dentistry’s Upcoming Annual Meeting Features an Abundance of Dental Team Training

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If you are looking to expand your laser skills or if you are a new comer to lasers and are looking to learn as much as possible before using them, the Academy of Laser Dentistry meeting is a great place to be.  Here’s info on what this year’s meeting has to offer:

 

Coral Springs, FL – February 19, 2018 – The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), is emphasizing a team approach to laser dentistry during ALD 2018, Dentistry’s Laser Meeting. The event is taking place from April 26-28th at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida.

According to ALD’s executive director, Gail Siminovsky, “Laser dentistry delivers better patient outcomes when the entire dental team is well-trained on the many applications, specific techniques and sensible safety procedures related to this technology. That’s why in Orlando, there’s a strong focus on team training.” Here are some examples of ALD 2018’s team-friendly program:

Keynote: “Tongue Tied: A Story Not Silenced by Oral Cancer” presented by Eva Grayzel, Six Step Screening

Roundtable Discussion: “Straight Talk on Diode Lasers: Scientific and Practical Rationale for Clinical Dentistry” moderated by Georgios Romanos, PhD, DDS. Periodontology, Stony Brook University
“The more the dental team knows about laser technology and the business of dentistry, the better the health of your patients and practice, explains Siminovsky, “The ALD supports our valuable auxiliary team members with outstanding presenters and topics.”


Lecture: “What to Say to Get the Pay- Coding, Billing, Scripting,” presented by Karen S. Parker, RDH, BSDH

Lecture: “Laser Use During Implant Care,” presented by Heather Angers, RDH

Lecture: “Photobiomodulation: Applications and Results,” presented by Mary Lynn Smith, RDH, Associate in Applied Science

Lecture: “Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment Planning,” presented by Mary Lynn Smith, RDH

Workshop: “Give 'Em a Hand: Hygiene Hands-On,” presented by Angie Wallace, RDH and Jeanette Miranda, RDH

Workshop: The Team Approach to Laser Use - Lasers and the Dental Assistant, presented by Angie Wallace, RDH and Jeanette Miranda, RDH

“Today’s successful practice marketing requires the entire dental team to be practice ambassadors on social media, in the office and in the community,” says Siminovsky. “That’s why we’ve included marketing-oriented courses appropriate for the entire team.”

Lecture: “Growing Your Patient Base Through Effective Digital Marketing” presented by Corey Auger, Crystal Clear Digital Marketing

Lecture: “OMG! I Got A Bad Review. What Do I Do?” presented by Leonard Tau, DMD. PCDE


Lecture: “Why Your Staff is Your Most Important Asset” presented by Corey Auger, Crystal Clear Digital Marketing
For detailed and up to date information about ALD 2018, including courses, exhibitors, social events and registration, click here.

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 www.LaserDentistry.org.

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

http://www.laserdentistry.org/index.cfm/conference.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

RecordLinc Launches Patient-To-Patient Online Dentist Referral Software I LUV MY DENTIST

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Today, after months of successful beta testing, RecordLinc, a dental practice management software company, announces the official launch of “I LUV MY DENTIST”, the newest addition to their suite of automation products. This web-based software gives patients a simple way to submit word of mouth referrals using email, texting, and social media platforms. The fully automated system seamlessly integrates with the most popular practice management systems and requires no team training. Once “I LUV MY DENTIST” is installed, it operates on autopilot, inviting top patients to refer friends to dental practices by sharing contact information. “70% of patients say they chose their dentist based on a word of mouth referral and we make it easy to increase word of mouth referrals,” said Travis Rodgers, CEO of RecordLinc.
 
Another feature of “I LUV MY DENTIST” is the addition of positive testimonials listed directly on the dental office website. “When your existing patients like and trust you, they’re your strongest advocates,” said Rodgers. “To celebrate the launch, we are sharing the ‘LUV’ with our customers.  For a limited time, we’ll waive the startup fee, offer 50% off the monthly service cost, and 100% of the proceeds this week will go to the DonateDentist non-profit.”
 
More on the Valentine’s Day Offer, visit http://www.LuvDentist.com/vday/
 
To learn more about “I Luv My Dentist” and how it can make it easier for your patients to refer, visit www.LuvDentist.com. 
 
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Monday, February 19, 2018

FTC Sues Dental Products Distributors for Alleged Conspiracy Not to Provide Discounts to a Customer Segment

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Complaint names nation’s three largest dental suppliers: Benco Dental Supply Company, Henry Schein, Inc. and Patterson Companies, Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against the nation’s three largest dental supply companies, a public version of which will be linked to this news release shortly, alleging that they violated U.S. antitrust laws by conspiring to refuse to provide discounts to or otherwise serve buying groups representing dental practitioners. These buying groups sought lower prices for dental supplies and equipment on behalf of solo and small-group dental practices seeking to gain discounts by aggregating and leveraging the collective purchasing power and bargaining skills of the individual practices. The complaint also alleges an FTC Act Section 5 violation against Benco for inviting a fourth competing distributor to join the conspiracy.

The alleged agreement among Benco, Henry Schein and Patterson deprived independent dentists of the benefits of participating in buying groups that purchase dental supplies from national, full-service distributors. As full-service dental distributors, Benco, Henry Schein and Patterson offer gloves, cements, sterilization products and a range of other consumable supplies, as well as equipment, such as dental chairs and lights. Collectively, the big three control more than 85 percent of all distributor sales of dental products and services nationwide. The U.S. market for dental products is valued at approximately $10 billion. The dental practices that would have benefited from the discounts achieved by these buying groups were small businesses comprised of solo or small groups of dentists.

Benco and Henry Schein allegedly entered into an agreement refusing to provide discounts to or compete for the business of buying groups. The complaint details communications between executives of the two companies evidencing the agreement, as well as attempts to monitor and ensure compliance with the agreement. The complaint also asserts that Patterson joined the agreement. The complaint charges Benco, Henry Schein and Patterson of conspiring in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

The complaint also alleges that on multiple occasions, Benco invited Burkhart Dental Supply – a regional distributor and the fourth largest full-service distributor in the United States – to refuse to provide discounts to buying groups. As a result of this conduct, the complaint separately charges Benco with a Section 5 invitation to collude count.

Based on the agreement among the distributors, the complaint contends that Benco, Henry Schein and Patterson unreasonably restrained price competition for dental products in the United States; distorted prices and undermined the ability of independent dentists to obtain lower prices and discounts for dental products; deprived independent dentists of the benefits of vigorous price and service competition among full-service, national dental distributors; unreasonably reduced output of dental products to dental buying groups; and eliminated or reduced the competitive bidding process for sales to these buying groups. This case reflects the Commission’s ongoing efforts to ensure competition in the healthcare industry.

The Commission vote to issue the administrative complaint was 2-0. The administrative trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 16, 2018.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. A complaint constitutes an allegation, but does not constitute a determination that the law has been violated as alleged.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ultradent Mosaic Composite & Why it Made My Top 5 Test Drives

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I love it when companies “get it right,” and Mosaic is one of those products. Ultradentworked on development of their next generation composite for several years, but they refused to bring it to market until they were absolutely convinced that they had exceeded everyone’s expectations. Suffice to say, “Mission accomplished!” Ultradent has succeeded in creating a composite that quickly became one of my favorites.

The thing that immediately struck me was how easy it is to manipulate. The biggest complaint I have about composites in general is that they tend to stick to the instruments we use. Mosaic was specifically designed to overcome that problem and the result is phenomenal. You can move the material around like thick cake icing without stickiness and it stays where you put it, allowing for total control during clinical manipulation.

Mosaic is a great material, no matter which tooth you are repairing. A composite is dependent on its filler particles for both its strength and its esthetics. This material is designed with a very nice balance of fillers so that it fulfills the properties for use anywhere in the mouth. It has exceptional aesthetics for anterior restorations and high compressive strength (486.4mpa) for durable posterior restorations. 

Mosaic comes in 20 shades and, much to the delight of many users, Ultradent has gone back to the traditional shading nomenclature. There are a variety of dentin shades that are slightly translucent and work well in the posterior, while the enamel shades have variable opacity that allows for a single shade in small areas. Of course, for large Class IV fractures, layering can be done utilizing a combination of dentin and enamel shades. 

The shade guide is made of the actual composite you’ll be using for a more accurate shade assessment, and a flexible shade tab holder allows for bending around the patient’s face to compare multiple shades at once.

If you are looking for a new workhorse composite, be sure to check out Mosaic.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

MouthWatch, LLC Debuts its TeleDent™ Referral Engine Starter Kit for Specialists and GPs During the Chicago Midwinter Meeting

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I’ve been lucky enough to be working with the TeleDent™ platform for the last couple of months.  I’ve been impressed with both the software and the MouthWatch intraoral camera.  With the Chicago MidWinter meeting rapidly approaching, I thought I’d let you know about a special offer from the company.  If you’re going to be in Chicago (I’ll be there for sure) be sure to stop by the MouthWatch booth #4143 and check out the new TeleDent™ Referral Engine Starter Kit.  I’ve been pretty impressed with what this company is doing and I think you’ll be impressed as well.

 

Newly-Developed Product Configuration and Special Pricing
Enables Affordable, Out of the Box Clinical Collaboration

Metuchen, NJ – February 6, 2018 – MouthWatch, LLC a leader in intraoral imaging, digital case presentation and teledentistry solutions, will introduce its TeleDent™ Referral Engine Starter Kit at booth #4143 during the 2018 Chicago Midwinter Meeting.

According to MouthWatch CEO Brant Herman, “For this year’s Midwinter Meeting we’ve created a new configuration of our TeleDent™ all-in-one teledentistry platform to enable out of the box clinical collaboration.” The TeleDent Referral Engine Starter Kit includes the following:

• 2 MouthWatch Intraoral Cameras
• 2 Windows 10 Convertible Laptops
• 2 licenses for TeleDent - MouthWatch’s Cloud-Based, HIPAA-Compliant Software
• 2 Online Sessions for Training and Workflow Integration
• Waived Set-Up Fee

During the Chicago Midwinter Meeting, The TeleDent Referral Engine Starter Kit will be priced at $1,999 and include a 1-year hardware warranty. Custom configurations are also available. “This is not a one size fits all solution,” adds Herman. “For example, one provider may already have a computer that they wish to use. Or perhaps collaboration will occur between three or more clinicians in multiple locations. Let us build a TeleDent Referral Engine for you.”
-more-
The cost-effectiveness of the TeleDent™ platform make it well-suited for many private practice teledentistry applications. In fact, it can be a catalyst for enhanced collaborative care and increased referrals. Other benefits include improved patient experiences, simplified workflow and easier communication amongst the care team.

Specialist / GP Collaboration – Increased referrals and efficient case collaboration for predictable patient outcomes– especially on complex cases.

Sleep Apnea Dentist / Sleep Medicine Physician Collaboration - Cultivate referral networks with sleep physicians whose patients are seeking a medically-prescribed CPAP alternative.

Oral-Systemic Health Collaboration – Co-management of medically-compromised patients diagnosed with oral disease to reduce systemic disease progression, mitigate risk and achieve an improved state of wellness.

Dentist / Dental Lab Collaboration – Dentists and dental lab operators can
share CBCT images, digital impression files and patient photos to increase case accuracy and ultimately ensure patient satisfaction.

For more information about MouthWatch, visit www. MouthWatch.com, call 877-544-4342 or send an email to Info@MouthWatch.com. You can also download the brochure, “Teledentistry for Private Practice Collaboration” by clicking here.

About MouthWatch, LLC:
Headquartered in Metuchen, New Jersey, MouthWatch, LLC is a leader in intraoral imaging devices, digital case presentation tools and teledentistry solutions. The company is dedicated to finding new ways to constantly improve the dental health experience for both patient and provider.

The founders and management team of MouthWatch have relevant backgrounds and successful track records in dentistry, consumer products and communications. Since 2012, this team has pioneered the integration of digital imagery and communications technology in the field of dentistry. Their cumulative experience makes it possible for the company to take the lead in introducing the benefits of telemedicine to the world of dentistry.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Avalon NeoMTA Plus® Named Top Endodontic Reparative Cement for Fourth Straight Year

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I’ve been a user of NeoMTA plus for well over a year now.  MTA has become a “Go To” product for many practicing clinical dentistry as it allows us to help patients keep their teeth for a lifetime.  Back in the day, MTA was difficult to use as well as extremely expensive.  However, in the last 3 years or so, we have seen several companies bring MTA to market with ease of use and affordable pricing.  One of those companies is Avalon BioMed with their product NeoMTA Plus.  Here’s some new info on the product:

Avalon Biomed, a division of NuSmile Ltd., announced today that its Avalon NeoMTA Plus has been named “Top Product” for the Endodontic Reparative Cement category by THE DENTAL ADVISOR for the fourth consecutive year.

“We’re thrilled to have THE DENTAL ADVISOR’s expert group of clinical advisors bestow this prestigious honor on Avalon NeoMTA Plus four years in a row,” said Mark Binford, Avalon Biomed Senior Vice President. “We pride ourselves on this breakthrough product’s ability to offer endodontists and general dentists a combination of versatility, ease of use, and remarkable affordability they simply can’t get from any other dental bioceramic material.”

NeoMTA Plus is a stain-proof, tricalcium silicate-based bioceramic cement that can be used universally for a wide variety of endodontic treatments including pulp therapy. Priced at roughly one- fifth the price of the best-known MTA brands, NeoMTA Plus is praised for its superior abilities to mix smoothly, place easily, resist washout, set quickly and avoid staining.

THE DENTAL ADVISOR awards, among the most highly coveted honors in the dental industry, were created to recognize quality products and equipment whose superiority is documented through clinical and evidence-based research.

For more information on NeoMTA Plus or other Avalon Biomed products, call (941) 896-9948 or visit www.avalonbiomed.com.

#####

About Avalon Biomed

Avalon Biomed, a wholly owned division of NuSmile Ltd., develops, markets and sells highly differentiated bioceramics for use in restorative dentistry applications. Avalon’s products have a variety of uses in vital pulp therapy and endodontics, from pulpotomy and cavity liners to root-end filling and sealer materials. Dr. Carolyn Primus, a renowned materials scientist and 2016 Dr. Edward B. Shils Award winner, founded Avalon Biomed Inc. in 2011 to develop unique, best-in-class medical devices for dentistry and orthopedics. Avalon products are focused on bioactive, inorganic hydraulic formulas utilizing the latest in materials technology.

NuSmile Ltd., Headquartered in Houston, Texas, NuSmile is a worldwide leader in restorative dentistry products. NuSmile has a passion for quality and innovation and an unmatched dedication to the dental profession and the patients they serve. NuSmile products are offered in over 40 countries around the world.

Monday, February 12, 2018

DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. (“Dentsply Sirona”) (NASDAQ: XRAY) Dentsply Sirona is Pleased to Announce that the Upcoming Q1 Launch of inLab SW 18 will Allow Dentsply Sirona inLab Users the Ability to Mill Digital Dentures Right in-house Using the inLab MC X5 Milling Unit

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Digital dentures continue to develop and evolve.  With the ability to mill or print things to very exact specifications, the ability to create the denture hasn’t been questioned for several years.  The real problem has been the scanning.  As those of us in clinical dentistry know, the oral tissues have some give to them and are not static tissue under load, as bone normally is.  Instead, there is a natural compression to the tissues when they are placed under load and this is why scanning has always been dicey at best.  A traditional analog impression helps capture some of that natural tissue load distortion that then allows for proper fabrication of the denture.  Once an impression has been captured, creating the final denture digitally is a pretty straightforward process.  It’s been the total digital solution to complete removable prosthetics that has eluded the profession.   However, lately we’ve seen some really strong advances in this category and the totally digital denture is now no longer a dream.  One of the market leaders in this area is Dentsply Sirona.  Read on for the latest info on Dentsply Sirona’s advances in the field.

 

DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. (“Dentsply Sirona”) (NASDAQ: XRAY) Dentsply Sirona is pleased to announce that the upcoming Q1 launch of inLab SW 18 will allow Dentsply Sirona inLab users the ability to mill Digital Dentures right in-house using the inLab MC X5 milling unit.

In addition, following a one-and-a-half-year successful strategic collaboration with AvaDent® Digital Dental Solutions, The Dental Solutions Company® today announced that both DGSHAPE Corporation and imes-icore have joined the Dentsply Sirona Digital Denture team as selected partners.

York, Pennsylvania, February 5, 2018 Dentsply Sirona, The Dental Solutions Company®, today announced several strategic collaborations set to further enhance its Digital Denture solutions. Foremost, with the upcoming Q1 introduction of inLab® SW 18, inLab users will be able to mill Digital Dentures right in-house, while still having the option to outsource to AvaDent®. In addition, starting in Q1 of 2018, both DGShape Corporation and imes-icore have partnered with the Company to provide even more innovative Digital Denture solutions.

Specifically, labs that use inLab MC X5 milling units and/or DGSHAPE, imes-icore will be able to mill Dentsply Sirona Digital Dentures in-house after they are designed by AvaDent.

“These collaborations are an exciting endeavor, and completely synergistic with the Dentsply Sirona vision to deliver innovative dental solutions to improve oral health worldwide,” remarked Tom Leonardi, Dentsply Sirona Group Vice President, Global Prosthetics. “Together we will advance digital denture solutions in the dental lab market, bringing Dentsply Sirona’s market leadership in removable prosthetic materials and CAD/CAM solutions. All collaborations contribute substantially to creating real value for the dental laboratory, the dentist and, ultimately, the patient in the field of digital dentures. In this spirit, it is a pleasure to officially welcome DGSHAPE and imes-icore as our new partners in digital dentures. Both companies are a great complement to our product line, and I believe that these agreements greatly underscore our commitment as a leader in removable prosthetics.”

Kohei Tanabe, President of DGSHAPE Corporation, Hamamatsu-shi, commented, “Our driving force is to fuse human creativity with digital technologies in order to provide simplicity. We are proud to have been chosen by Dentsply Sirona as a selected partner for the effortless production of dental prosthetics. With Dentsply Sirona, the leading company in the dental area, we are embarking on an exciting and promising future technology journey. For our existing and prospective customers this new partnership will expand the power of our products, and the breadth of their services.”

Christoph Stark, Chief Executive Officer of imes-icore, mirrored Tanabe’s sentiments, “Our Company specializes in implementing components to create superior systems in dental technology. In this area, partners are essential for the development of upgrades and applications. The fact that Dentsply Sirona specializes in digital denture solutions for dental labs provides us with a great deal of certainty that, together, we are promoting a promising future technology. We are proud to be a part of this digital revolution.”

Whether users choose to mill in-house or scan and outsource the entire process, Dentsply Sirona Digital Dentures continue to offer flexible solutions and provide superior results.

For more information about Dentsply Sirona Digital Dentures, please visit dentsplysirona.com/digitaldentures.

About Dentsply Sirona: 
Dentsply Sirona is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, with over a century of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide. Dentsply Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive solutions offering including dental and oral health products as well as other consumable medical devices under a strong portfolio of world-class brands. As The Dental Solutions Company, Dentsply Sirona’s products provide innovative, high-quality and effective solutions to advance patient care and deliver better, safer and faster dental care. Dentsply Sirona’s global headquarters is located in York, Pennsylvania, and the international headquarters is based in Salzburg, Austria. The company’s shares are listed in the United States on NASDAQ under the symbol XRAY. Visit www.dentsplysirona.com for more information about Dentsply Sirona and its products.

About DGSHAPE Corporation: 
DGSHAPE Corporation was formed in 2017 by Roland DG Corporation as a wholly-owned subsidiary to develop and market the company’s innovative 3D products, including DWX mills and DWP 3D printer for the dental industry, MPX photo impact printers and EGX engravers for the industrial labeling and personalization industries and MDX and monoFab series of desktop milling machines for the rapid prototyping, manufacturing, and hobby industries. The company’s products are distributed worldwide. To learn more about DGSHAPE Corporation, please visit www.dgshape.com.

About imes-icore: 
imes-icore GmbH acts as a one hundred percent subsidiary company of the internationally transacting isel-Group. Founded approximately 30 years ago as “isert-electronics” and remodeled later to “isel-Group”, imes GmbH made a name in the market with completely developed CNC solutions. Faithfully after the slogan of the isel-Group “from components to systems” imes-icore GmbH is responsible for and specializes in the range of CNC machine systems and therefore a promising emphasis of the isel-Group was established.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Dentsply Sirona Announces New Lab Strategic Business Unit

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Dentsply Sirona, the world’s largest and most diversified manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, has established a new Lab Strategic Business Unit (SBU) incorporating the successful Laboratory CAD/CAM business with the renowned Dentsply Sirona Prosthetics material business. The SBU Lab has come into operation as of February 1st, 2018.

York/Salzburg, February 5th 2018. The new SBU combines the strengths of the Prosthetics and Laboratory CAD/CAM businesses offering dental solutions as a one-stop shop. By combining all Lab elements, Dentsply Sirona creates three strategic platforms: Equipment, Fixed and Removable Materials, each continuing to remain in their respective locations. With its focus on integrated solutions, Dentsply Sirona will further connect labs with digitally equipped dentists through the Sirona Connect Portal.

Offering solutions as a one-stop shop
After the successful merger creating Dentsply Sirona, this is a consequential next step to further develop the combined offering of dental solutions in the field of dental labs. Dentsply Sirona’s goal is to combine the best procedures to better serve customers. By announcing the new Lab SBU, Dentsply Sirona once again strengthens its reputation as The Dental Solutions Company and further evolves into the Lab competence center of the industry.

Leveraging strengths
“We are creating one global customer-centric lab business unequalled in terms of competence, equipment and material expertise. No other dental company can match this combined capability like we do”, explains Thomas Leonardi, Group Vice President Dentsply Sirona Lab. “For me and my team this is a natural step, it allows us to build-up a perceptible and significant lab competence focusing on our Lab partners. We have already seen the advantages of such a cooperation in the US business where our US commercial group has already formed and continues to drive our lab sales synergies by offering the full range of products.”
Increased collaboration for better, safer and faster dental care

The new SBU concentrates the entire portfolio for laboratories and enables technicians to handle the entire laboratory workflow with Dentsply Sirona products and solutions. “By bringing our organization closer together, we will encourage more collaboration and the development of better, safer and faster solutions which will truly add value for our lab partners, their dentist customers and ultimately the patient”, Leonardi added.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

February is National Children's Dental Health Month

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National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) began as a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 3, 1941. The American Dental Association held the first national observance of Children’s Dental Health Day on February 8, 1949.  The single day observance became a week-long event in 1955. In 1981, the program was extended to a month-long observance known today as National Children’s Dental Health Month.  Since 1941, the observance has grown from a two-city event into a nationwide program. NCDHM messages reach thousands of people in communities across the country and at numerous armed services bases. Local observances often include displays of posters provided by the ADA, coloring and essay contests, health fairs, free dental screenings, museum exhibits, classroom presentations by dentists and other members of the dental team, and dental office tours

Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. NCDHM messages and materials have reached millions of people in communities across the country.

Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children to get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

If you are looking for ways to promote healthy teeth & gums in your practice, the ADA has a great page full of downloadable pdfs that feature coloring pages, games, and more.  They can be found here and downloaded free of charge.  

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ultradent Products Inc. Celebrates 40th Anniversary

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Over the time I have been in practice I have had a chance to work with some truly get people and some truly great companies.  Ultradent is one of those I’m proud to associate with.  I use a ton of their products on a daily basis and I also get to do lectures with them.  This is a company of high integrity, great values, and great people.  Dr. Dan Fischer has built an organization that truly wants to help the patient and I salute them for that.  If you are not an Ultradent customer, I feel you should be.  It’s just that simple.

Congrats to all of the good folks at Ultradent on reaching the 40 Year Anniversary Milestone!

 

SOUTH JORDAN, UT, February 1, 2018 – This year, Ultradent Products, Inc., a family-owned, international dental supply and manufacturing company, celebrates 40 years in the dental industry. Ultradent began as a family-run, grassroots small business that, throughout four decades, has become a worldwide leader in its field—known for its innovative dental products, rock-solid core values, and family-friendly, people-centered business culture.

Of this milestone, Dr. Dan Fischer, founder and CEO of Ultradent Products, says, “Looking back on the last 40 years, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the sacrifice and hard work put in my so many people—whether it be my own family, our fabulous Ultradent employees, or the leaders in dentistry who championed us from the beginning and along the way in this wonderful endeavor. The time has truly flown by, and it’s amazing to look back on the progress we’ve made since our humble beginnings at the kitchen table of my home.” He adds, “I often say that companies are not made of concrete, glass, and steel. They’re made of people, and people serving people is what business is all about. I believe that is one of the key ingredients to Ultradent’s success over the last 40 years.”

Ultradent began 40 years ago with a simple idea by Dr. Fischer, then a young dentist who had recently graduated from Loma Linda University. He wanted to create a product that would act as a solution to a common problem dentists everywhere face—achieving predictable, rapid, and profound hemostasis in the mouth. He knew that if he could come up with a product that met that criteria, he would not only save dentists time and money by allowing them to work more efficiently, but that it would also allow dentists to produce higher quality, more accurate impressions.

Dr. Fischer began experimenting with different chemistries after-hours at his small dental practice in Salt Lake City, and by 1978, he had invented and patented Ultradent’s first product, Astringedent® hemostatic, a groundbreaking feat in tissue management. That same year, he founded Ultradent Products, Inc., as a vehicle to market and sell his invention.

Astringedent hemostatic’s wild success set the pace for a succession of products that today includes a wide range of innovative dental materials and equipment. In fact, since 1978, Ultradent Products has gone from one offering, Astringedent hemostatic, to offering over 1,600 dental products worldwide.
As business grew rapidly, Ultradent also expanded from its first headquarters, a 40-foot x 60-foot metal hay barn on Dr. Fischer’s property, to its South Jordan headquarters, which encompasses over 460,000 square feet. This doesn’t include its numerous offices and subsidiaries throughout the world in Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America.

Ultradent is also a proud USA-manufacturer. The company researches, designs, manufactures, packages, and ships 95% of what it sells in its South Jordan facility. It also exports 70% of its products beyond U.S. borders to over 100 countries throughout the world. Of this practice, Dr. Fischer says, “We believe in staying in touch with our products. The more one outsources, the more one delegates shipping, or production, or R&D to other parts of the world, the more one loses touch with what has made them who they are.”

Ultradent’s hallmark products include its expanded line of tissue management products, which still includes Astringedent hemostatic, and its world renowned, industry-leading line of tooth whitening products, Opalescence® Whitening Systems. Ultradent’s product family also includes the multiple-award winning VALO® and VALO® Grand curing lights, Ultra-Etch® etchant, and its recently introduced dual-wave soft tissue diode Gemini® laser.

Beyond the dental community, Ultradent supports and donates products to humanitarian efforts both locally, nationally, and internationally, including the Crown Council and Sealants for Smiles. Ultradent also founded and sponsors its own 501c3 non-profit organization, the Diversity Foundation, a progressive outreach program committed to preventing hate crimes and intolerance. The foundation is currently helping support over 50 students in their efforts to pursue higher education at the college and graduate level.

To learn more about Ultradent’s 40 year anniversary, please visit ultradent.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.

 

 

 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

ADA and CVS Announce Three-Year Oral Health Initiative

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From the ADA News:
 

The Association announced Jan. 22 it is collaborating with CVS Pharmacy in a three-year initiative that gives the ADA a continuous in-store and digital presence to help put millions of dental patients on a path to better overall health.

A core component of the initiative is to give premium placement and promotion of dental care products — from mouth rinses, toothbrushes, toothpastes, floss/interdental cleaners and sugar-free gum — that have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Consumers visiting a CVS store will also be provided with credible oral health information and encouraged to visit the dentist through the ADA’s Find-A-Dentist online resource. CVS has 7,900 retail locations nationwide.

“We are committed to making it easier for our customers to find the right products and expertise to help manage all of their health and wellness needs," said Maly Bernstein, vice president of beauty and personal care at CVS Pharmacy. "Our partnership with ADA ensures that our customers have unparalleled access to the best oral health resources, expertise and assortment of products.”

Over the next three years, a series of programs will be rolled out in CVS stores, in print and online. This roll out begins with a full-page ad in the Jan. 28 CVS circular that will announce the collaboration to customers. In March, store signage promoting oral health information and ADA Seal products will go on display in the oral health aisle and other areas of the store; and seasonally-themed programs to connect oral health with specific seasons, holidays and health awareness months will start this summer. Additional programs will also be developed in conjunction with oral health manufacturers.

“Combining efforts to reach patients and customers with credible information about the quality of over-the-counter dental health products is exciting news,” said Dr. Joseph P. Crowley, ADA president. “The ADA is a trusted source for information concerning oral health and oral health products. CVS is a company that has taken seriously its role to improve the overall health of their customer and client base.”

 


In addition, the CVS/ADA collaboration will include signage that highlights the ADA Find-A-Dentist online search tool, which allows potential patients to easily find an ADA dentist in their area.

Consumer dental products that earn the Seal have undergone ADA scrutiny, with extensive review of data from clinical and/or laboratory studies to ensure the company's therapeutic claims are legitimate. The ADA Seal program requirements are consistent with current ADA and American National Standards Institute-approved standards.

“This collaboration provides the ADA with a huge platform to send a message about the value of oral health in their overall health, a combined mission for both the ADA and CVS,” Dr. Crowley said.

In September 2017, the ADA applauded CVS Pharmacy’s announcement that it was stepping up company-wide efforts to battle the opioid epidemic, including safe drug disposal, utilization management of pain medications and funding for treatment and recovery programs.