Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ultradent Pledges $25,000 for Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael Relief Efforts

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Ultradent Pledges $25,000 for Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael Relief Efforts

and Announces Special Discount Program to Help Affected Dentists Rebuild Practices

It’s always great to see and work with a company that strives to always do the right thing.  That is just one of the reasons I’m a big supporter of Ultradent.  Their company motto is “Improving Oral Health Globally” and believe me when I say “they mean it!”


Here is the latest announcement from Ultradent regarding helping those trying to recover from the recent hurricanes:

In response to the catastrophic devastation caused by Hurricane Florence and the most recent damage caused by Hurricane Michael, Ultradent Products, Inc., has pledged $25,000 to All Hands and Hearts Smart Response. These funds will be used to aid in the rescue, relief, and rebuilding efforts of those affected by the storms.

In addition to these donations, Ultradent is offering to help dentists whose practices have been damaged by these hurricanes. Ultradent has offered any dentist whose office has sustained substantial physical damage by Hurricanes Florence or Michael $500 worth of free consumable product, plus 40% off all consumable products and 15% off all equipment purchases exceeding the initial $500 on that order. Through this offer, Ultradent hopes to provide some aid in the rebuilding efforts of the dental community.

Ultradent’s president, Dirk Jeffs, says, “Care is an important core value at Ultradent, and we want to extend a helping hand and show our care for the people who have been affected by these devastating storms.”

Ultradent has a strong culture of giving. The company contributed to relief efforts associated with the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Typhoon Haiyan, the earthquakes in Haiti and Ecuador, and Hurricanes Sandy, Harvey, and Irma. Additionally, Ultradent has donated more than 1.6 million pounds of food over the past 10 years to the Utah Food Bank. Ultradent also contributes to various national and international dental humanitarian missions. To find out more about Ultradent’s disaster relief efforts, please visit www.ultradent.com/relief.



About Ultradent Products, Inc.

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

Monday, October 22, 2018

Impressions from America's Dental Meeting ADA Hawaii 2018

In case you’ve all been worried about me… like I know that would happen… I’ve spent the last few days in Honolulu at the 2018 American Dental Association meeting.
Now before you all hit the comments section with jokes about how hard I must have worked, let me tell you.  I honestly did work!  In fact, considering how far some folks had to travel, the meeting was very well attended.  Sometimes when a meeting is in an exotic tropical location, folks spend more time on the beach than at the meeting.  this time, however, I spoke with lots of dentists who had traveled for some down time, but were serious about attending both lectures and the exhibits.
AS most of you know, I am part of the Cellerant Best of Class that selects products every year that we feel are truly “Best of Class”.  We also have an area on the exhibit floor for the panel members to lecture to attendees and it also allows the attendees to be able to interact with the winning products.  Because of that setup (which we do at every ADA meeting), we get a tremendous opportunity to speak with doctors.
What I discovered is that dentistry is thriving again.  Since the economy tanked in the late 00’s, experts have been analyzing data on a yearly basis and determining that dentistry was “flat”; basically not shrinking but also not growing.  What I learned in Honolulu is that the “flat” trend is over and the “up trend’ has begun.  Our Cellerant Best of Class lecture area was continually busy every day and every course was sold out.
Doctors are excited about dentistry and are planning and purchasing accordingly.  I had 5 different events during the 3 day meeting that allowed me to interact with the doctors in attendance and I can tell you, those crowds were enthusiastic about our future.
To back that up, the vendors I spoke with also reported good visibility with good sales.  I did not get a chance to hear actual attendance numbers, but all indications point to a very exciting future for our profession.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Anthem to Pay Record $16 Million for HIPAA Violations Exposing 79 Million Patient Records

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Anthem has agreed to a fine by the Department of Health and Human Services that is the largest fine ever paid for exposing patient Protected Health Information.  The fine is 16 million dollars.
The company states it is unaware of any illegal action that has happened due to the breach, but that might be difficult to prove.  The company is the second largest health insurer in the United States and currently insures 40 million people as well as selling individual and employer coverage in places such as California and New York.
The payment is in lieu of any and all civil penalties that the Department of Health and Human Services might have imposed.
The sad and embarrassing part of this story is that the breach was facilitated by a spear-phishing attack that convinced Anthem employees to divulge usernames and passwords.  Having that information then allowed the bad guys to eventually get System Administrator privileges.  This, in turn, let them run rampant through the system.
The data breach was discovered in 2015 which always makes you wonder who else has had a breach we have yet to learn about…

Monday, October 15, 2018

Evaluation of the Goby Electric Toothbrush

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I’ve been tinkering with and using the Goby powered toothbrush for several months now and I have to say I’ve come away impressed.
Quite honestly, I feel I owe the folks at Goby an apology.  I had expected a device that was less expensive than major brands and would show it… but I was wrong.
The device feels solid in your hands and is well made.  I’ve used it for a few months now and it still looks and performs as if it had just come out of the box.  Those that know me know I *love* the color black and the black brush they sent me hasn’t faded, scratched, skuffed, or weathered in the lather and toothpaste.
By eliminating the big retail sales distribution chain, they’ve been able to keep their costs low which also being able to keep the quality high.  The device has a 2 minute timer broken down into 30 second segments.  This lets you know you’ve brushed one quadrant long enough and it’s time to move on to the next one.  After 2 minutes, it shuts itself off automatically.
It is an oscillating brush head that I’ve found to be the right size to fit everywhere in my mouth… even those areas that can be hard to reach.
The charger is USB and comes with an AC adapter.  You can plug it into any outlet OR the USB port on your laptop.  The charger is also very small and can even be taken apart for trips.  The stand that charges the device is composed of 2 parts.  The part that actually holds your brush and keeps it vertical and a small “paddle” or “slab” that fits into the stand and provides the charge.  This “paddle” can be removed from the stand during travel.  How does it charge the brush?  There is a small magnet in the “paddle” that attaches it to the right spot on the back/bottom of the handle and allows the brush to charge. I find that to be genius.
I’m also impressed with the cost of the brush heads.  Most companies charge well over $10 for one and some can be more than $15.  Goby brush heads are $6 apiece.  You can buy them from their website, or you can go on auto shipment and receive a package every 2 months.  That’s a great way to know you are keeping your brush young and flexible so it can do its job.  Doing auto shipment is the best way to go.
When you consider that you can get all of this for a $50 payment, I’m impressed.  I’m advising patients who are on a budget to get a Goby and save themselves some dollars in the process.  If you’ve always wanted an electric toothbrush but the cost has kept you away, take a look at the Goby.
This product is highly recommended!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

FDA Approves Expanded use of Gardasil 9 to Include Individuals 27 Through 45 Years Old

The leading cause of oral and pharyngeal cancer in the US is HPV 16 which is a strain of the Human Papilloma Virus (hence HPV).  Because of that simple fact, for years now, experts have been advocating for inoculation of both girls and boys with Gardasil with is the HPV vaccine.  Now the FDA has approved the use of Gardasil to the age range of 27 to 45 years old.  Read on for the info from FDA…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a supplemental application for Gardasil 9 (Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant) expanding the approved use of the vaccine to include women and men aged 27 through 45 years. Gardasil 9 prevents certain cancers and diseases caused by the nine HPV types covered by the vaccine.

“Today’s approval represents an important opportunity to help prevent HPV-related diseases and cancers in a broader age range,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. ”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that HPV vaccination prior to becoming infected with the HPV types covered by the vaccine has the potential to prevent more than 90 percent of these cancers, or 31,200 cases every year, from ever developing.”

According to the CDC, every year about 14 million Americans become infected with HPV; about 12,000 women are diagnosed with and about 4,000 women die from cervical cancer caused by certain HPV viruses. Additionally, HPV viruses are associated with several other forms of cancer affecting men and women.

Gardasil, a vaccine approved by the FDA in 2006 to prevent certain cancers and diseases caused by four HPV types, is no longer distributed in the U.S. In 2014, the FDA approved Gardasil 9, which covers the same four HPV types as Gardasil, as well as an additional five HPV types. Gardasil 9 was approved for use in males and females aged 9 through 26 years.

The effectiveness of Gardasil is relevant to Gardasil 9 since the vaccines are manufactured similarly and cover four of the same HPV types. In a study in approximately 3,200 women 27 through 45 years of age, followed for an average of 3.5 years, Gardasil was 88 percent effective in the prevention of a combined endpoint of persistent infection, genital warts, vulvar and vaginal precancerous lesions, cervical precancerous lesions, and cervical cancer related to HPV types covered by the vaccine. The FDA’s approval of Gardasil 9 in women 27 through 45 years of age is based on these results and new data on long term follow-up from this study.

Effectiveness of Gardasil 9 in men 27 through 45 years of age is inferred from the data described above in women 27 through 45 years of age, as well as efficacy data from Gardasil in younger men (16 through 26 years of age) and immunogenicity data from a clinical trial in which 150 men, 27 through 45 years of age, received a 3-dose regimen of Gardasil over 6 months.

The safety of Gardasil 9 was evaluated in about a total of 13,000 males and females. The most commonly reported adverse reactions were injection site pain, swelling, redness and headaches.

The FDA granted the Gardasil 9 application priority review status. This program facilitates and expedites the review of medical products that address a serious or life-threatening condition. 
The FDA granted approval of this supplement to the Gardasil 9 Biologics License Application to Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp. a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

FAQ Regarding the EPA Ruling on Mandatory Amalgam Separators in Dentistry

EPA developed these FAQs based on the Dental Office Category Rule at 40 CFR Part 441. Dental facilities may be subject to additional or more stringent state or local requirements than those in the rule.

Who must comply with this rule?

The vast majority of dental facilities that discharge wastewater into a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) (e.g., municipal sewage system) are subject to this rule (“dental dischargers”). However, there are some exceptions.

Dental dischargers that do not place dental amalgam, and do not remove dental amalgam except in limited emergency or unplanned, unanticipated circumstances are exempt from any further requirements as long as they certify as such in a one-time compliance report to their Control Authority.

Dental dischargers that exclusively practice one or more of the following specialties are not subject to any of the rule’s requirements, including submission of a one-time compliance report to their Control Authority:

• Oral pathology
• Oral and maxillofacial radiology • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
• Orthodontics
• Periodontics
• Prosthodontics

Additionally, mobile units are not subject to any of the rule’s requirements, including submission of a one-time compliance report to their Control Authority. A mobile unit is a specialized mobile self-contained van, trailer, or equipment used in providing dentistry services at multiple locations.

Dental facilities that do not discharge their amalgam process wastewater into a POTW are also not subject to any of the rule’s requirements, including submission of a one-time compliance report to their Control Authority. For example, dental facilities that discharge amalgam process wastewater into a septic system are not subject to this rule.

To determine if the EPA rule applies to your facility, see § 441.10 (Applicability).

What are the basic requirements of the rule?

The requirements for dental dischargers subject to the rule are detailed in the rule. Here, they are summarized as follows:

Ensure the removal of dental amalgam solids from all amalgam process wastewater via amalgam separator(s) or equivalent device(s) that meet the standard of the final rule. See § 441.30(a)(1-2) for an existing source and § 441.40 for a new source.
Implementation of two best management practices. See § 441.30(b) for an existing source and § 441.40 for a new source.
Comply with reporting requirements. See § 441.50(a).
Maintain and make available for inspection certain records documenting compliance. See § 441.50(b).

What are the compliance deadlines?

Dental dischargers (under any ownership) that were discharging into POTWs prior to July 14, 2017 (“existing sources”), must be in compliance with the standards by July 14, 2020, and submit a one-time compliance report certifying such by October 12, 2020.

Dental dischargers whose first discharge to a POTW occurs after July 14, 2017 (“new sources”) must be in compliance with the standards immediately and submit a one-time compliance report certifying such within 90 days after first discharge to a POTW.

If the dental discharger transfers ownership, what are the deadlines for a new owner to submit a one-time compliance report?

If an “existing source” dental discharger transfers ownership, the new owner must submit a new one-time compliance report to the Control Authority by October 12, 2020, or if the transfer occurs after July 15, 2020, no later than 90 days after the transfer. If a “new source” dental discharger transfers ownership, the new owner must submit a new one-time compliance report to the Control Authority no later than 90 days after the transfer.

Does this rule require standards for the type of amalgam separator I install?

Yes. For an existing source see § 441.30(a)(1-2). For a new source, see § 441.40.

Do I have to replace my existing separator?

It depends. § 441.30(a)(1)(iii) of the rule allows dental dischargers that had installed and were using an amalgam separator prior to June 14, 2017 to continue to use it until June 14, 2027 if it is functioning properly and does not need to be replaced. This is referred to as a “grandfathering” provision or clause. The facility must still file a one-time compliance report certifying such by October 12, 2020. If the amalgam separator meets the standards of the rule, see § 441.30(a)(1-2), the grandfathering provision need not apply.

If a dental discharger covered by the grandfather clause transfers ownership, the new owner may continue using the grandfathered separator until June 14, 2027 if it is functioning properly and does not need to be replaced. The new owner must still file the one-time compliance report.

What are the correct dates that are relevant to the grandfathering provision in § 441.30(a)(1)(iii)?

In the original Federal Register publication of the final rule, there was a typographical error in one of the dates in the grandfathering provision. The corrected version of the provision is: “A dental discharger subject to this part that operates an amalgam separator that was installed at a dental facility prior to June 14, 2017, satisfies
the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section until the existing separator is replaced as described in paragraph (a)(1)(v) of this section or until June 14, 2027, whichever is sooner.” (emphasis added)

I have a wastewater retaining tank technology that collects all amalgam process wastewater and my dental facility does not discharge any amalgam process wastewater to a POTW. Am I exempt from the Dental Office Category Rule?

Yes. See § 441.10(e). As long as the dental facility does not discharge any amalgam process wastewater from the tank or otherwise, it is not subject to any of the rule’s requirements, including submission of a one-time compliance report to their Control Authority.

My dental facility has a technology that removes amalgam from wastewater as efficiently as an amalgam separator, but it is a different type of device, and therefore does not qualify to meet the ISO standard for amalgam separators. Does this device satisfy the requirements of this rule?
The rule includes a provision at § 441.30(a)(2) that allows the performance standard of the rule to be met with the use of an amalgam-removing technology other than an amalgam separator (i.e., equivalent device). EPA included this provision to allow use of amalgam removal devices that are equivalent to amalgam separators in several respects (e.g. the percentage of removal of mass of solids) but that may not fall under the amalgam separator classification. The equivalent device is required to meet the same requirements and removal efficiencies, as specified in § 441.30(a)(1-2) or § 441.40.

Does this rule have record keeping requirements for dental dischargers?

Yes. See § 441.50.

Does this rule have inspection or maintenance requirements for dental dischargers?

Yes. See § 441.30.

What information must be in my one-time compliance report?

See § 441.50. A sample one-time compliance report that includes the information required by the rule may be found at www.epa.gov/eg/dental-effluent-guidelines.

• Note to dental dischargers: Please contact your Control Authority to ensure that you have obtained the correct form from your Control Authority. In addition, you may be subject to additional reporting requirements in accordance with state and local law.

Where should dental dischargers send their one-time compliance report? Who is my “Control Authority?”

Dentists should obtain and send their one-time compliance report to their pretreatment Control Authority. Your Control Authority is either a local wastewater utility, a state environmental agency, or a U.S. EPA Regional Office.

If your dental facility is in Alabama, Connecticut, Mississippi, Nebraska or Vermont: your Control Authority is your state agency. Contact information for each state is available at www.epa.gov/npdes/contact-us-national-pretreatment-program (select the “State Agency Contacts” tab).
For dentists in all other states: contact your U.S. EPA Regional Office, your local wastewater utility, or your state agency Pretreatment Coordinator to identify your Control Authority. Pretreatment contact information for EPA headquarters, EPA Regions, and state agencies is available at www.epa.gov/npdes/contact-us-national-pretreatment-program (select the appropriate tab).

My practice is in compliance with the standards in the rule and has submitted a one-time compliance report. It is now changing ownership. Do I or the new owner need to submit a new one-time compliance report?
Yes. If a dental discharger transfers ownership of the facility, then the new owner must submit a new one-time compliance report to the Control Authority. See above for compliance deadlines and § 441.50(a)(4).

Is there a website where I can submit my one-time compliance report electronically?

Check with your Control Authority.

Does the final rule prohibit the use of oxidizing or acidic cleaners in dental unit water lines, chair-side traps, and vacuum lines?

Yes. The clause that follows (“including but not limited to...”) is not an exhaustive list of oxidizing or acidic cleaners or qualities that make a cleaner oxidizing or acidic. For example, a cleaner that is oxidizing would be prohibited even if its pH is between 6 and 8.

Does the prohibition on the use of oxidizing or acidic cleaners in dental unit water lines apply to cleaners used in the water supply lines that connect to items such as handpieces, ultrasonic scalers or air/water syringes?

No. The purpose of the best management practice (BMP) specified in § 441.30(b)(2) is to prohibit the use of cleaners that solubilize mercury from dental amalgam in the wastewater lines in a dental facility. In developing the rule, EPA did not evaluate the use of cleaning products that may be used in dental equipment that is connected to water supply lines such as handpieces, ultrasonic scalers, or air/water syringes. While de minimus amounts of such products may eventually be indirectly discharged through a wastewater line in a dental facility, the prohibition in § 441.30(b)(2) was not intended to prohibit dental unit water line cleaning products when those products are used in water supply lines to ensure the safety of the water that dentists place in their patient's mouth.

Is the amalgam collected in the separator considered a hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)?

Yes. The amalgam collected in a separator is likely to be a hazardous waste under RCRA due to the mercury and silver content of the amalgam. However, dental offices producing less than 100 kg of hazardous waste/month AND less than 1 kg of acute hazardous waste per month are considered “Very Small Quantity Generators” (VSQGs are regulated under § 262.14) and are exempt from most RCRA requirements for the disposal of their hazardous waste (Note that VSQGs were formerly called “conditionally exempt small quantity generators” (CESQGs) but were renamed in November 2016). EPA generally does not expect dental offices collecting amalgam waste to be above the VSQG threshold.

A generator must count all of the hazardous waste it generates in a calendar month, not just the amount of amalgam, to determine what RCRA generator category is appropriate. If you believe you may qualify as a “Small Quantity Generator” (dental office that produces 100-1000 kg of hazardous waste per month AND less than 1 kg acute hazardous waste per month) or a “Large Quantity Generator” (dental office generates more than 1000 kg of hazardous waste per month OR more than 1 kg of acute hazardous waste per month), please contact your state hazardous waste authority to understand your requirements for the management of hazardous waste. Links to state environmental agencies are on EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/links-hazardous-waste-programs-and-us-state-environmental-agencies

What about state and local requirements?

The EPA rule is a floor (i.e. a minimum requirement), not a ceiling, for regulating discharges of dental office wastewater to POTWs. There may be additional requirements under state or local law that go beyond those in EPA’s Dental Office Category Rule.

Where can I find more information?

The Federal Register notice for the rule, along with other information, can be found on EPA’s Effluent Guidelines website at www.epa.gov/eg/dental-effluent-guidelines.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

How New Technology will impact Treatment Planning

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As a writer, every once in a while you get lucky.  You happen to find a subject that strikes home with your audience and it takes off better than you might have initially expected.  That has happened to me recently with an article I wrote on high tech treatment planning.  I’ve received some nice public and private comments on the article.  For me its a tremendous honor.  As the Technology Evangelist, I look upon my job as being the person who points out the great advantages new products and ideas bring to us.  That’s it in a fairly complete description.  So, of course, whenever I get feedback I’m incredibly honored by that.
Here’s the article…

One of the true game changers in our profession as of late has been the development of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). That combined with the market penetration of digital radiography, which is now well over 50 percent, has created an environment of visual co-diagnosis that has dramatically changed the way we communicate with patients and the way we diagnose.

I’m a huge supporter of visually-based technologies for the simple reason that human beings rely heavily on their sense of sight. Whether it’s computer images, photos or working under high magnification, the ability to see well gives you the ability to “do” well.

Combining multiple factors of visually-based practice systems allows for greater efficiency of treatment and greater predictability of outcomes.

For the past two or three years, I’ve been encouraging development of integration between cone beam scans and the file sets created by chairside digital impression systems. I’d be thrilled to see a continually updated patient where an initial 3D scan is taken and then updated with data from the digital impression system whenever a new chairside scan is done. Imagine keeping a 3D digital record of your patients that’s constantly updated to reflect their current situation. That would be incredible!

However, another new process has caught my eye as of late. Many of you have probably heard of VR, or virtual reality. The idea is to wear goggles that create a “virtual world” where it feels like you’re actually inside a video game. VR looks to be one of the next big things in the gaming world, for real estate tours, and potentially for education and tourism. However, short of perhaps patient education, VR doesn’t have much of a potential in the dental industry for the foreseeable future.

While VR my not have dental applications on the immediate horizon, a technology referred to as AR just may hold promise. AR stands for “augmented reality” and is defined by whatis.com as “The integration of digital information with the user's environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.”

Let’s stop and consider that for a moment. Imagine the possibility (as I mentioned above) of the merged cone beam and digital impression files. Now, let’s imagine that you’re prepping for a bridge on teeth #4-6. You prep the teeth, scan the case with the acquisition unit and then merge the clinical scan with the cone beam data. At this point the doctor can don the AR goggles that are loaded with your patient’s digital 3D data, and when you look at the patient, you’ll actually see the 3D rendering “on the patient.” This allows you to check for proper clearance and proper draw.


For the full article, you can finish reading at Dental Products Report.  

Monday, October 8, 2018

NuSmile SummitSet for February 15-16, 2019

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Unprecedented CE event targets pediatric dentists, general dentists and their teams


NuSmile Ltd., the worldwide leader in pediatric esthetic restorative dentistry, announced today that the second annual NuSmile Summit will be held February 15-16, 2019 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. The event’s format allows doctors and their team members to create their own schedule by choosing the specific courses that best meet their individual needs. Attendees will receive up to 16 continuing education credits from a combination of hands-on and lecture courses taught by several of the world’s most respected pediatric dentistry experts.

“When we conceived the NuSmile Summit over two years ago, our vision was a simple one: to create the premier continuing education event in pediatric dentistry,” said Diane Johnson Krueger, NuSmile founder and CEO. “The response we got from attendees of last year’s inaugural event told us we were on the right track, leading us to add a whole new Dental Team Member Curriculum. We’re convinced that this year’s Summit will be the finest event of its kind ever held.”

“We’re very excited to invite dental team members to attend our Summit courses and learn from the distinguished experts we’ve been able to assemble to lead them,” said Mike Loessberg, NuSmile Director of Sales, U.S. and Canada. “We’re especially proud our ‘Progressive Esthetics’ hands-on workshop, which provides everything doctors and their teams need to know about pediatric esthetic crown treatment.” According to Mr. Loessberg, workshop topics include treatment planning and the Express Prep technique, as well as high-yield, detail- oriented tips and tricks around proper cementation of pediatric zirconia and pre-veneered crowns.

Throughout the course of the Summit, doctors and their staffs will be able to choose from an unmatched array of course options:

Doctor curriculum (up to 16 CE credits)

“Esthetic Primary Crowns and Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF): A Perfect Match” (LaRee Johnson,DDS, MS)
“Radiographic Findings in Pediatric Diseases” (Shailesh Kottal, DDS)
“Managing Those Hair Pulling Out, Drive You to Drink, Make You Want to Scream Situations in

Pediatric Dentistry (Bill Waggoner, DDS, MS)
“New Approaches to Pediatric Pulp Therapy” (Jessica Lee, DDS, MPH, PhD)
“Pedonomics and Pedometrics” (Roger G. Sanger, DDS, MSD)
“Managed Care Insurance and Pediatric Dentistry – Opportunities or Problems?” (Dr. Sanger)
“Advanced Zirconia Treatment Cases” (David Evans, DMD / David Salar, DMD / Eric Ellis, DMD)
Dental team curriculum (up to 14 CE credits)
• “Infection Control – Do You Know the Nitty Gritty?” (Rhea Haugseth, DMD)

“Parents – Are Yours Backseat Drivers?” (Dr. Haugseth)
“Know it, Show it and Sell it – Getting Parents to Say Yes” (Dr. Haugseth)
“Telling your Story on Facebook and Instagram” (Scott Childress)
“Big Bad Fluoride – Why the Controversy?” (Stacey Zaikoski, DDS)
“Behavior Guidance for the Pediatric Dental Team” (Dr. Zaikoski)

Hands-on workshop (full day)
• “Progressive Esthetics” (David Salar, DMD; David Evans, DMD; Eric Ellis, DMD)

The event’s keynote speaker will again be Gary Zelesky, who will speak on the theme, “Developing Passionate Leadership, Leading Passionate Lives.” Mr. Zelesky’s presentation at last year’s NuSmile Summit helped convince Twana Duncan, DDS of Antlers, OK to bring her 14-person staff to the 2019 Summit. “I found his speech to be so inspirational that I immediately thought, if my team could hear this, we would definitely be having a lot more positivity in our morning planning meetings,” said Dr. Duncan. “Also, we have a lot of new staff members, and they need to be able to talk knowledgeably to our parents and explain things like why we’re recommending a zirconia crown even though it might not be covered by the patient’s insurance. I also knew that my staff would feel comfortable asking questions in the Summit environment.”

The 2019 NuSmile Summit will again take place at the luxurious Grand Wyndham Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida, named the “#1 Beach in the U.S.” by Trip Advisor. To take full advantage of this beautiful location, Summit attendees will have the option of participating in several fun activities, including Friday morning yoga on the beach, a Friday afternoon beach party, a Friday sunset reception at the pool, a Saturday morning 3K run, and a Saturday afternoon beach/pool party.

NuSmile will be awarding three residents scholarships to attend the 2019 NuSmile Summit. The scholarship includes registration, Thursday & Friday night hotel accommodations, breakfast & lunch for Friday and Saturday, as well as all of the extra curricular events scheduled for the weekend.

Doctors and their teams may pre-register for the event by calling 800-346-5133 or visiting nusmile.com.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Patterson Eaglesoft To Remove Integration with DemandForce and Sesame Communications...


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Are you an Eaglesoft user? Do you love the integration the program provides? Are you currently using DemandForce or Sesame Communications in your practice? If so, get ready to miss that integration you’re so happy to have. Patterson recently made the decision to eliminate the connections between Eaglesoft and those two products.


In mid to late summer, Patterson Dental, owner of Eaglesoft, sent a letter to its users that also utilize DemandForce and Sesame. The letter stated:

Eaglesoft has elected to terminate its current interface agreements with Internet Brands, effective October 31, 2018. At that time, any interface between Eaglesoft and Internet Brands’ products, including Demandforce and Sesame Communications, including any data exchanged between these products and Eaglesoft will no longer be permitted.

In dentistry—no matter who you are, whether you work in a small office or corporate office, or what aspect of care you provide—you have one job: Supporting the patient. Everyone in dentistry has one employer: The patient. Everyone in dentistry *should have one focus and that focus should be the patient*. We all work for the patient. They are at the center of what we do and the sole person we are responsible to.

As a dentist running my own practice, I’m frustrated by the ways this decision by Patterson hampers my ability to support my patients. As a journalist, I felt the need to run down the story and report on what I found.

I have a big problem with corporate speak that spins profit and share holder value as noble under the charade of being more “helping the doctor better serve the patient.” That talking point hasn’t been rolled out yet, but it underscores the primary problem I have with this decision: Eliminating the doctor’s choices in this way does not better serve the patient.

Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of tech companies try to use proprietary systems to force users to stay with their platform. The lack of choice is touted as a good thing. However, I think that in almost any situation competition is a good thing. It creates an environment where people try their very best because if they don’t, someone else most assuredly will—and the customers will follow. I worry that eliminating the ability of the customer to migrate to your competitors, allows companies to rest on their laurels and not prioritize improvement or innovation in the same way. The opposite of this is open source integration, when you let everyone compete and the best products win. The sudden market for digital impression scanners and mills is a great example of this. You can buy the scanner you like best and if you want to mill, you can buy the mill you like best. The spurs competition, which creates better products, which ultimately benefits the patients. That’s what I’m in favor of!

In the case of Patterson’s decision, it is important to acknowledge that DemandForce and Sesame *did* enter into an agreement with Henry Schein, one of Patterson’s main competitors. I can understand if Patterson had concern about how this dual access could be compromising. That’s would be a decent enough argument—if they’d offered it or any explanation—but it still hurts the dental offices caught in the middle, which means it hurts the patients of those offices. So, my question remains: How does this help the patient? If you are worried about security, write better code, but don’t use your customers and their patients in some corporate game of chicken.

This isn’t the first time Eaglesoft considered a move like this. A few years back there was an issue with Gendex and Patterson attempted to eliminate its integration. It wasn’t too long before good IT people figured out how to address the concern without cutting ties. The company never apologized and tried to cover it up with corporate speak on how it was actually a good thing. Once again, I’m at a loss as to how the patient benefited from the doctor being unable to take x-rays with his or her existing system.

I have no idea what the affected dental offices will do this time around. This very well may cost them money as they have to reconfigure how they do business due to Patterson’s choices. There may be broken contract fees or yearly charges that are already paid. There may be new setup fees or they may be locked into services that they don’t want to use or contracts that they must sign and pay for, but now have no choice. There has been no word from Patterson or Eaglesoft to address these concerns, which adds insult to injury and just isn’t a great way of doing business.

Before I wrote this article, I wanted to make sure I had the full story, so I contacted Eaglesoft in my capacity as Technology Editor and Chief Dental Editor of Dental Products Report. They confirmed that this was, in fact, moving forward. When I asked if they had a position, this is what they had to say:

Internet Brands, the parent company of Demandforce and Sesame Communications, announced the completion of an agreement to combine its dental products, including Demandforce and Sesame Communications, into a joint venture with a directly competing practice management software company. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a separation of our agreement with them. Patterson offers competitive alternatives available in Eaglesoft, including RevenueWell, Solutionreach, and others and Patterson will continue to look for ways to expand our portfolio of solutions available to Eaglesoft customers.

They “will continue to look for ways to expand our portfolio of solutions available to Eaglesoft customers.” Until they don’t. When they have a reason to cut off those “expanded portfolio of solutions,” they will. The past tells us this will happen because they’ve already done it twice.

I am an Eaglesoft user in my practice, but I am not a customer of DemandForce or Sesame. Henry Schein, Patterson’s competitor, owns Dentrix and Dentrix is a sponsor of this blog. With all those disclaimers in mind, I want to explain to you why this post was so important for me to write. Quite honestly, I’m fed up with my profession being held hostage by these types of situations.

I’m fortunate to have a platform to voice my concerns and I’m taking this opportunity to speak up for my fellow colleagues in private practice. I’d like to think I am giving a voice for those whose only choice will be to complain to their local Patterson sales representative (and that representative has a snowball’s chance in the Sahara of getting the word to *anyone* at the top of the corporate ladder who really needs to hear this.)

I’m open to a response from Patterson on this and will be happy to post is verbatim here if they choose to reach out to me.



What DemandForce provides:

Automate Appointment Reminders
Call Tracking
Reactivate Lost Patients
Manage Online Reviews
Enhance Your Practice Listings
Sesame Communications

What Sesame provides:

Patient Communications
Web Design
Search Engine Optimization
Pay per Click advertising
Social Media & your online Social Media presence
Integration with Health Grades

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Convergent Dental Announces The Next Generation of Solea®

Convergent Dental Logo.jpg
On Monday, I had a chance to chat with Solea founder Michael Cataldo.  We spent some time discussing the newest edition of the company’s Solea CO2 laser.  I’ve known Mike for several years, pretty much since Solea came on the market.  He is a smart individual who is driven to make a better laser platform for dentistry.  The new Solea is detailed below.  I think you’ll be impressed…
New, Smaller Solea Cuts Faster, Smoother and 99.2% Anesthesia-Free 
Convergent Dental Inc., developers of Solea®, the industry-leading CO2 all-tissue dental laser, is pleased to announce The Next Generation of Solea. The latest advancements provide unprecedented performance, significant software upgrades, improved ergonomics, increased accessibility and a smaller footprint.

“This new generation of Solea provides a quantum leap in performance at every level. Most importantly it enables dentists to do virtually 100% of cavity preps anesthesia-free,” remarked Convergent Dental CEO Michael Cataldo. “In addition, Solea now cuts faster and smoother so dentists get more done in less time with an even better patient experience.”

Solea earned its reputation for enabling dramatic practice growth and reduced stress for dentists and patients by taking anesthesia, bleeding, sutures, and discomfort out of the dental experience. Before the launch of this new platform, Solea dentists reported doing 4 – 6 more procedures per day while feeling like they were doing less work. With this new generation, Solea dentists will benefit from even more growth while enjoying an even more relaxing work day. Better still, it all comes in a smaller package that is even easier to use.

Unprecedented Clinical Performance - Statistics collected from over 1,000 procedures in early use of the new Solea platform include:

  • Improved anesthesia-free performance - nearly 100% of cavity preps were completed without anesthesia and without discomfort. 
  • Faster hard tissue cutting by 31% compared to the previous platform.
  • 10% smoother surface finishes providing better margins and reduced prep time.
  • Faster soft tissue cutting with minimal to no bleeding.
  • Smaller Footprint - Solea is 15% slimmer, making it easier to move around the office and operatory.
  • Enhanced Software – User-customizable options, user-specific profiles and faster start-up.
Enhanced Ergonomics - A lighter, more maneuverable handpiece with improved rotation and a wider range of motion.

Improved Remote Access – A 4G LTE mobile data connection has been added along with the existing Wi-Fi capability, improving Solea’s accessibility for software updates and remote service and support.

Actual results: 99.2% of 833 cavities and 132 soft tissue procedures treated successfully without local anesthesia in early use.

For further information about Solea, please visit www.convergentdental.com or call 844.GOSOLEA.

About Convergent Dental, Inc.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

ADA Presents HIPAA Security Risk Analysis Webinar

ADA Logo.jpg
As I preach here on a regular basis, you cannot be too concerned about your data security.  It is imperative that all offices make rock solid sure that they are prepared from a full on security standpoint.  There area also the nuances of HIPAA that must be learned and followed.  To help with this, the ADA is putting on a HIPAA Security Risk Analysis Webinar  that will help doctors understand this situation better.

About this event
This webinar is intended for Dental Practice Team Leaders with HIPAA Security Official responsibilities in their job roles. 

The webinar will discuss how to comply with the HIPAA Security Rule's Risk Analysis requirement using a qualitative risk analysis methodology. It will also cover some reasonable risk mitigation strategies and suggest resources for further study. 

While the webinar can serve as part of a covered dental practice's HIPAA training, it is not intended as a replacement for an ongoing, tailored, well-documented workforce training program.


About the presenters
Patrick Cannady

Patrick is a Manager at the ADA's Department of Dental Informatics and holds a Master of Science in Health Care Informatics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security certification from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). He is a primary contact and member resource for HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification resources. He also serves as the ADA representative to the X12 electronic transaction standards development organization and as a co-chair to Workgroup on Electronic Data Interchange Dentistry Sub Workgroup. Patrick is an acknowledged expert on Privacy and Security requirements and frequently advises state and local society leadership.

Jean P. Narcisi

Jean P. Narcisi is the Director of Dental Informatics for the American Dental Association (ADA) and her primary responsibilities include the management and coordination of the internal and external activities related to the areas of electronic data interchange (EDI); electronic health record and vocabulary standards; the use of technology in dentistry; and federal and state administrative simplification activities. She is an ADA representative to the Dental Clinical Reference Group at SNOMED and was appointed as an expert by the ANSI-Accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the ISO/Technical Committee 215 (Health Informatics).

If you would like to be a part of this webinar, follow this link.  

Monday, October 1, 2018

Darby Dental Supply Announces Rebranding to Reflect Expansion of Services

New Darby Logo.png

Darby Dental Supply has unveiled a new logo and tagline as part of an extensive rebranding initiative.  As an outward-facing symbol of the company’s evolution into a full-service supply and services provider, the rebranding consists of five key transformations: a new, modern logo, packaging redesign for Darby’s 4000+ Darby Brand products, a new advertising campaign, an updated look and features upgrade for the company’s ecommerce site and app, and a revamp of all branded assets.

The new brand identity is a reflection of the company’s recent transformation into a full service supplier. One of the fastest growing dental suppliers in the United States, Darby has invested in a number of growth initiatives in the last three years, including the addition of a capital equipment division; a surgical division; expanded Darby Brand offerings; an exclusive partnership with Dental Fix Rx to provide on-site equipment service; and Darby TechForce, the company’s new technology services arm. Most recently, Darby acquired the dental supply division of West Coast-based distributor SmartPractice, secured a new, larger lease for its Coral Springs, FL location adjacent to I-95 in Deerfield Beach, and is currently in the process of expanding its state-of-the-art Reno, Nevada warehouse to double in size.

The company’s new tagline, “Where Supplies Meet Solutions” represents Darby’s robust portfolio of offerings and its commitment to providing meaningful solutions to dental practices of all sizes and specialties.

“Our ever-changing industry landscape requires a more modern, solutions-focused way of operating,” remarked Michael Caputo, president of Darby Dental Supply. “Our transformation has been continuous over the last few years, and it is time that our outward image reflect our internal growth and commitment to our customers.”

Darby’s new advertising campaign will debut throughout September, followed by the launch of the updated website and mobile app, both which have been redesigned to reflect Darby’s new look. The company also plans to unveil new packaging for its extensive Darby Brand line of products throughout 2019.    

About Darby Dental Supply

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 50,000 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, a surgical division, equipment repair services (through an exclusive partnership with Dental Fix RX), and a full line of private label products.