Thursday, July 18, 2019

DryShield Evaluation Starting Soon


I’m excited to let you know that in the not too distant future (as in the next week) the team and I will start an evaluation of the DryShield isolation system.

I’m excited to be able to do this and to provide to all os you my evaluation of DryShield… especially since ewe’ve been doing a pretty vigorous test and evaluation of the Isolite system.  The 2 products are pretty much direct competitors and it will be nice to be able to report back to all of you on the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Anyone who practices knows what it’s like to battle and to attain proper isolation of the field.  Today’s materials, especially bonded ones, require a very organized field that allows the operator to directly control how much moisture is present and how much water/moisture is used.  The long term success of a restoration can be directly affected by moisture.  Water, saliva, blood, and crevicular fluid can ALL create havoc for an operator.  These things *must* be controlled.

I’m also a big fan of competition in any given field.  Competition drives innovation which can create incredible advances on products.  Here is what DryShield has to say about their product, direct from the company website:

DryShield performs all of the tasks of a high-suction evacuator, bite block, tongue shield and oral pathway protector in one easy-to-use device. It’s an intelligent breakthrough in isolation that brings unmatched levels of ease and comfort to doctors and patients alike.
Installing DryShield is quick and easy, transporting your dental office into the future in seconds.
DryShield Pediatric Starter Kit boasts the ground-breaking, U.S. and worldwide patent-pending, autoclavable mouthpiece. DryShield mouthpieces are engineered to be fully autoclavable.
Turn your practice into a 100% DryShield Pediatric practice. Feel the freedom to use DryShield on ALL pediatric patients and procedures. Maximize the full potential of DryShield.
• DryShield Isolation System
• Portable Operatory Kit
• Y Connector Kit
• Cleaning Brush
• Autoclavable Mouthpiece X-Pedo (4-pack)
• Autoclavable Mouthpiece Pedo (4-pack)
• Autoclavable Mouthpiece Small (4-pack)
• Autoclavable Mouthpiece Medium (4-pack)

The kit is on its way to my office and should be arriving in the next day or 2.  Once it arrives, my assistant Nicky will be doing the install (I love it when I can turn her loose on a project and *know* it will be done right) and then we’ll get right down to putting DryShield through its clinical paces.

We’ll be using it in a variety of situations and for a variety of procedures.  If you’re interested to find out how it’s going before I post my final evaluation, you can get info on my Twitter feed (@jflucke) or though my Facebook feed or from my Instagram page.  I’ll be updating the social media feeds on Dryshield as I go through my evaluation.  Of course, I’ll also be updating those feeds on any personal or technology ramblings on a regular basis.  Be sure to stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019



Caries detection has become *much* more than just evaluating how “sticky” a pit or fissure feels with a dental explorer.  In fact, the explorer itself is a pretty poor tool for detecting carious lesions in teeth that are not exhibiting obvious cavitated lesions.  Because of that I have pretty much done away with sharp explorer diagnosis when doing clinical exams.  The most predictable and reliable diagnostic devices currently available use some type of digital imaging with light waves that penetrate the intact structure and reveal lesions that are hidden under what appears to be healthy enamel.

Of those devices, The Canary System provides very accurate and reproducible results.  Here is some news about the device that is pretty much  “hot off the digital press”:

The Canary System is sufficiently sensitive to detect early white spot lesions according to a study presented at
the International Association for Dental Research in Vancouver, Canada by Dr. Clif Carey, University of Colorado
Anschutz Medical Campus, School of Dental Medicine. By detecting early white spot lesions, The Canary System
gives an early warning of caries or tooth decay activity allowing for early intervention to preserve the integrity of
the tooth.

Caries or tooth decay will typically start as a white spot. These white spots may appear on various tooth
surfaces and are an indication that destruction of the crystal structure of the tooth has started below the tooth
surface. As the decay process advances, the white spot may not
change in appearance but the underlying tooth structure is being
slowly disrupted and/or destroyed. Waiting for a cavity to
develop is not really the appropriate approach to treatment.
The study also concluded that “The larger Canary Number scale
allows for greater sensitivity in the detection and classification of
the severity of the white spot lesion and is better than a visual

“The Canary System provides dentists with the ability to detect
and monitor tooth decay on all tooth surfaces, beneath the edges
of fillings, crowns and bridges and underneath sealants. X‐Rays
can only aid clinicians to diagnose decay on the sides or
interproximal areas of teeth once the decay is well advance into
the tooth”, said Dr. Stephen Abrams, co‐founder of Quantum
Dental Technologies. “Visual detection provides very little information on what is occurring beneath the tooth surface. Early detection of tooth decay, before it is seen visually or on an x‐ray means that dentists can treat problems before the decay has destroyed large amounts of vital tooth structure.”
The Canary System, with its unique crystal structure diagnostics, can quantify, image, monitor and record
changes in the structure of enamel, dentin and cementum. It can detect caries beneath opaque sealants, around
the margins of restorations, around orthodontic brackets and beneath interproximal, occlusal and smooth
surfaces. The Canary Cloud enables dentists to view and manage this data and track Canary usage in the office.
The Canary Patient report provides the patient with information on the examination and engages them in their
oral health care.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Homeland Security Issues Warning of GE Medical Device Flaw


One of my very worst fears is the hacking of healthcare devices.  It’s not just because I happen to be IN healthcare mind you; it’s that lives potentially hang in the balance.  A couple of years ago, back in 2017 there was a virus or worm that was unleashed on Ukraine called NotPetya.  This malicious piece of software suddenly began replicating and spread across Europe.  It caused massive destruction including wreaking havoc on the British healthcare system.  I’ve never seen any evidence, but there could very well have been some deaths due to the effects of this thing in hospitals in the UK.

However, even before the nightmare of NotPetya I have had concerns about nefarious parties hacking into medical devices and either turning them off or changing critical parameters.  Now comes word from the Department of Homeland Security that a vulnerability exists in the following GE Aestiva and Aespire Anesthesia Machines:
  • GE Aestiva  and Aespire Versions 7100
  • GE Aestiva  and Aespire Versions 7900

Here is part of the notice from DHS:

A vulnerability exists where serial devices are connected via an added unsecured terminal server to a TCP/IP network configuration, which could allow an attacker to remotely modify device configuration and silence alarms.
GE Healthcare recommends organizations use secure terminal servers when connecting GE Healthcare anesthesia device serial ports to TCP/IP networks. Secure terminal servers provide robust security features, including strong encryption, VPN, authentication of users, network controls, logging, audit capability, and secure device configuration and management options.
GE Healthcare recommends that organizations utilize best practices for terminal servers that include governance, management, and secure deployment measures such as network segmentation, VLANs, and device isolation to enhance existing security measures.
GE Healthcare plans to provide updates and additional security information about this vulnerability for affected users at the following location:
NCCIC recommends users take defensive measures to minimize the risk of exploitation of this vulnerability. Specifically, users should:
Minimize network exposure for all medical devices and/or systems.
Locate medical devices behind firewalls and isolate them where possible.
Restrict system access to authorized personnel only and follow a least privilege approach.
Apply defense-in-depth strategies.
Disable any unnecessary accounts, protocols and services.
Where additional information is needed, refer to existing cybersecurity in medical device guidance issued by the FDA at the following location:
NCCIC reminds organizations to perform proper impact analysis and risk assessment prior to deploying defensive measures.
NCCIC also provides a section for control systems security recommended practices on the ICS-CERT web page. Several recommended practices are available for reading and download, including Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-in-Depth Strategies.
Additional mitigation guidance and recommended practices are publicly available on the ICS-CERT website in the Technical Information Paper, ICS-TIP-12-146-01B--Targeted Cyber Intrusion Detection and Mitigation Strategies.
Organizations observing any suspected malicious activity should follow their established internal procedures and report their findings to NCCIC for tracking and correlation against other incidents.
No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability.

The good news is the last line above.  No known public exploits have yet been discovered.  However, I’m afraid this is a situation we’ll be seeing more of in the future.  For the full rundown on this exploit, follow this link.

Monday, July 15, 2019

ADA Files Complaint about SmileDirectClub withFederal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection


For those of you who didn’t hear or see the announcement, on Thursday July 11th the American Dental Association announced that they have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection regarding the business pratices of Smile Direct Club.  The press release does a better job of describing the situation than I can so I’ll let you read it direct from the ADA.

The ADA is a strong advocate for the public and the profession. We are also strong advocates on the issue of direct to consumer orthodontic aligners.  For that reason, the ADA has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against SmileDirectClub, L.L.C. (SDC).
In compiling its citizen petition with the Food and Drug Administration, the ADA identified a number of advertising and marketing claims of SmileDirectClub. The ADA believes these are false and misleading, and constitute substantive deceptive acts under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.”
Therefore, on June 27, the American Dental Association (ADA) sent a complaint letter to the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection citing the following practices of SmileDirectClub that the ADA believes to be deceptive:Informing customers they have recourse against SDC via arbitration when, in the same document, SDC hides a “small print” provision obligating the customer to waive any and all rights the customer “or any third party” may have against SDC;
Encouraging consumers to become customers by telling them individually and directly that SDC aligners will correct their overbite, underbite, and crossbite conditions or their “extreme” malocclusion, and then, when customers complain, SDC invokes other SDC documents that state its aligners cannot treat bite conditions at all and can only treat mild to moderate teeth misalignment, not “extreme” misalignment; and,
Claiming that SDC customers receive the same level of dental/orthodontic care as actual dental patients when actually SDC and its “affiliated dentists” provide virtually no care and, contrary to its prominent and repeated claims, SDC does not use teledentistry.
The ADA considers it our duty on behalf of the public to make the regulatory agencies aware of concerns with direct to consumer orthodontics.
We will continue to keep you apprised of developments.

Jeffrey M. Cole, D.D.S., M.B.A.
American Dental Association

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Isolite 3 Evaluation Complete


For over a month now we’ve been using and evaluating the Isolite 3 from Zyris and I have to admit that I have come away very impressed.

For those of you who may not be completely knowledgable about the system, the Isolite 3 is a retraction, vacuum, and illumination device.  It provides a bite block, tongue, and cheek retraction in a disposable mouthpiece.  The system is connected to the office vacuum pump.  The mouthpiece has several holes that provide incredible removal of water and saliva leaving a dry well isolated field in which to work.  The non-disposable part of the system has 2 high intensity LEDs.  One of the LEDs is bright white from illumination of the field while the other is orange and works as illumination while performing procedures with light sensitive materials such as composites.  It allows the field to be brightly defined without worry of premature photo polymerization.

We have used it in a variety of clinical situations.  It makes things remarkably easy.  Whether it’s for operative or fixed prosthetics, the device makes treatment *much* easier to perform.  By retracting all tissues, lighting the field, and keeping the field dry the Isolite has been a welcome addition to the armamentarium.  One of the really great things about the parent company Zyris is their commitment to educating offices on proper usage.  The staff went thought a very detailed live online training utilizing 2 way video that allowed the trainer to show us the proper way to place the device and then she watched the staff place it on each other and offered suggestions.  when the training was complete we all walked away with a high degree of confidence.

In clinical usage I can assure you that the training paid off.  Without training, the Isolite learning curve would have been much greater.  Instead, it was placed and we were off to work.  The device made me more efficient and helped free up the assistant as well.

After each procedure where it was used I took time to talk to the patient and get their honest evaluation.  In all of the procedures, only 1 person said they would prefer to have treatment without it.  All the others stated it was comfortable and they loved being able to close on the bite block.  Many also commented on the fact that the vacuum system also worked extremely well and that they preferred it over the standard way.

If you are looking for a way to increase you efficiency while also making patients more comfortable I feel you should check out the Isolite 3 by Zyris.  This product is highly recommended.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Beware of Scammers Impersonating the Drug Enforcement Agency


This post is a warning for fellow practitioners.  As everyone knows, prescribing and laws that govern it have been undergoing a lot of scrutiny lately.  This is especially true in regards to prescribing of any type of pain control medication.  Due to the over prescribing of some renegade pill mills, there is a much greater focus on those of us authorized to prescribe these medications.

The last thing a law abiding doctor wants is to receive contact from a government agency… especially one that has the potential to remove prescribing privileges or begin felony prosecution.

However, the bad guys are also well aware of this.  They are fully aware that contact from the DEA is bound to strike fear into the hearts of prescribers.  Because of that, nefarious parties are  now contacting practices and they are impersonating the DEA and threatening aggressive legal action unless a large fine is paid immediately over the phone.  Do not fall for this scam!

Here is the lowdown on this scam direct from the DEA:

The Drug Enforcement Administration urges its DEA-registered practitioners and members of the public to be cautious of telephone calls from criminals posing as DEA or other law enforcement personnel threatening arrest and prosecution for supposed violations of federal drug laws or involvement in drug-trafficking activities.

DEA continues to receive reports from practitioners and the general public, alike, indicating that they have received calls threatening legal action if an exorbitant fine is not paid immediately over the phone. The callers typically identify themselves as DEA personnel and instruct their victims to pay the "fine" via wire transfer to avoid arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment.

The reported scam tactics are continually changing, but often share many of the following characteristics:
Callers use fake names and badge numbers or, alternatively, names of well-known DEA senior officials.
The tone of calls is urgent and aggressive; callers refuse to speak or leave a message with anyone other than the person for whom they are calling.
Callers threaten arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment, and in the case of medical practitioners, revocation of their DEA numbers.
Callers demand thousands of dollars via wire transfer or, in some instances, in the form of untraceable gift cards taken over the phone.
Callers falsify the number on caller ID to appear as a legitimate DEA phone number.
Callers will often ask for personal information, such as social security number or date of birth.
When calling a medical practitioner, callers often reference National Provider Identifier numbers and/or state license numbers. They also might claim that patients are making accusations against the practitioner.

It’s important to underscore that DEA personnel will never contact practitioners or members of the public by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment. DEA will not request any personal or sensitive information over the phone. Notification of a legitimate investigation or legal action is made via official letter or in person.

Impersonating a federal agent is a violation of federal law.

Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person purporting to be a DEA special agent or other law enforcement official seeking money should refuse the demand and report the threat using the online form or by calling 877-792-2873. Reporting scam calls will greatly assist DEA in investigating and stopping this criminal activity. Any urgent concerns or questions, including inquiring about legitimate investigations, should be directed to the local DEA field division.

To report scam activity online, visit the DEA Diversion on line reporting page.

For contact information for DEA field divisions, visit the domestic division page on  

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Malware and Ransomware Now Being Spread by "Affiliate Programs"


As if the entire problem with data theft and Ransomware isn’t bad enough, now comes word that the creators of these programs are working to create networks of individuals who can help spread the codes and to help infect more unwary users and businesses.. for profit.

The information comes from one of my favorite places to read and learn about cyber security, Krebs On Security.  Brian Krebs is a journalist and a relentless researcher of anything having to do with computer security.  He is at the forefront of reporting in this space and even has the respect of the hackers he researches and tries to warn the world about. 

Recently I was reading a story that Brian had posted about the GandCrab Ransomware.  He has discovered that the individuals who created the program began to distribute it as “ransomware as service”.  In a nutshell this means the hackers delivered the code to others who then designed SPAM operations to generate installs of GandCrab.  For doing this, the spammers received a commission on every ransom that was paid.  This allowed the program’s designers to concentrate on creating better and more toxic versions of the malware while leaving the expansion and spamming to other parties.

Utilizing this method allowed GandCrab to proliferate at an amazing rate.  So much so that “In one year, people who worked with us have earned over US $2 billion,” says a statement by the Internet voice of the Gandcrab creators.  This quote was part of a much larger statement by the GandCrab creators who spoke out to announce their retirement from the ransomware industry.

Another part of the statement reads:

“We ourselves have earned over US $150 million in one year. This money has been successfully cashed out and invested in various legal projects, both online and offline ones. It has been a pleasure to work with you. But, like we said, all things come to an end. We are getting a well-deserved retirement. We are a living proof that you can do evil and get off scot-free. We have proved that one can make a lifetime of money in one year. We have proved that you can become number one by general admission, not in your own conceit.”

The frightening part of this to me is that successful business practices are quickly copied and implemented by competitors.  Rest assured that other creators of malware are reading this and adjusting accordingly.  The fight against “malware as service” is going to get a lot more difficult.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Charcoal Toothpaste: Even Tech Websites Say the Risks Outweigh the Potential Benefits


I’ve been reporting and commenting on this subject for a while now… even as recently as May of this year.  The straight up truth is that charcoal toothpastes are a fad.  There is very little science to back up the claims being made.

It seems that every year or so some new “miracle” product comes along that touts the possibility of amazing things.  Weight loss, better complexion, growing hair, you name it.  The last 1 or 2 years, one of these “miracle products” has been toothpaste with activated charcoal.  My article from May emphasizes that these do NOT whiten teeth.

Recently I came across an article on that discusses this subject in some pretty good depth.  Personally I love Cnet .com because they have really great tech writers and they cover almost the entire tech spectrum.  If you have a passion for technology like I do, it’s a great place to bookmark and browse.  So while I was perusing articles the other day, I came across a great article that discusses claims and facts about charcoal toothpastes.

The author, Amanda Capritto, even goes so far as to call it “Internet elixir” which I think fits rather well with this topic.  Here are a few other things she has to say:

Because of its super absorbent properties, activated charcoal is thought to detoxify your mouth and super-clean your teeth by latching onto bacteria, tartar, food residue and stains, and stripping them all from your mouth.
The supposed result? A cleaner mouth and brighter, whiter teeth.
Keep in mind that the evidence on charcoal toothpaste itself is limited -- even called insufficient by some scientists-- so no one can yet definitely claim that charcoal toothpaste whitens or cleans your teeth better than any other toothpaste. In fact, one study compared activated charcoal toothpaste to other toothpastes and found that the charcoal brand performed no better than the others.
There's plenty of anecdotal claims that charcoal toothpaste prevents cavities or otherwise promotes better oral health, but again, there's no sound scientific evidence to support those claims. 

This is a really well done article by someone with no ax to grind and no financial incentive to agree or disagree with this entire subject.  If you would like to read the entire article (which I recommend), head on over to Cnet and check it out.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day!


As an American I cannot be more grateful to live in the United States of America.  While I realize there are a lot of nice places on Earth with freedoms similar to ours, I’m grateful to be living where I am.

Today, I’d like to make a special post to those who give of themselves to keep us safe.  I recently finished a book titled The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden by Anthony Summers.  It is a terrific read if you have any interest in the history of that tragic event.  It’s well written and covers the story from multiple angles.  It is *highly recommended* if you like this sort of thing.

One of my big takeaways from the book is the incredible and almost incomprehensible bravery of those who ran into the buildings while anyone with a shred of self preservation was running out of the buildings.  We often salute those who are serving or have served in the military and rightfully so.  Often folks will talk about veterans and first responders and I have to admit that while I appreciated the efforts of all of those covered by the description of “first responders” I didn’t really think that much about it.  After reading this book, I’ve got a whole new appreciation for what they do.

Lots of first responders died on 9-11 and many many more passed of injuries sustained, including breathing all of the dust and pollutants.  Many of them realized that they were breathing poison… and went into the fray anyway.  Some died in the collapse.  Some even died by being hit by victims who jumped from the burning towers.

This post is totally inadequate to indicate just how grateful I am and how humbled I am by the incredible sacrifices of ALL the people who put their lives on the line every day.  God Bless all of you and the most heartfelt “thank you” I can muster.  You are all truly heroes.  Thank you for your service.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Over Half of Medical Devices Operate Utilizing Systems that will Soon be Insecure


Healthcare systems are incredibly technology dependent.  Now, as we are moving more and more into IoT (Internet of Things) with tons of connected devices,  that dependency is growing exponentially.

However, a problem lurks in all of this tech in the healthcare sphere and that problem is security.  A recent evaluation from Forescout shows how vulnerable the current state of healthcare truly is.  Forescout uses Device Cloud "a repository of host and network information for more than 8 million devices. For this study, researchers limited Device Cloud analysis to 75 healthcare deployments with over 1.5 million devices”.  This has allowed the company to get a pretty good overall feel of what is happening in the industry.

What they found is that the healthcare sector is utilizing a huge number of devices that either operate on old, insecure legacy software or do not have adequate security to protect from unwanted attacks.

For the medical networks examined, they determined
The most common devices on medical networks are still traditional computing devices (53 percent) followed by IoT devices (39 percent), including VoIP phones, network printers, tablets and smart TVs. OT systems, including medical devices, critical care systems, building automation systems, facilities, utilities and physical security, comprise eight percent of the devices on medical networks.
Within the OT device category, the three most common connected medical devices found were patient tracking and identification systems (38 percent), infusion pumps (32 percent) and patient monitors (12 percent). Considering the growing number of vulnerabilities in OT environments, we can see an increase in the attack surface in healthcare environments.

The potential security issues arise when you consider that 71% of the Windows devices are currently using some version that Microsoft is planning to no longer support as of January 14, 2020.  When they are no longer supported, those systems will no longer be receiving security updates to patch them from vulnerabilities.  Obviously it would be impossible to update all of those systems to a current operating system.  Many healthcare systems would cease to function properly if their OS were updated.

That leaves a bit of a security mess.  With attacks in the healthcare sector increasing at an almost exponential rate, keeping systems secure is critical.  For all the info on the Forescout analysis, click here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

ZOLL Creates AutoPulse Resuscitation System

Here is an incredible device that is definitely going to save lives.  About 15 years ago, the AED (automated external defibrillator) hit the market.  Those incredible devices, when attached correctly to the patient, can monitor the heart rhythm and apply a needed electric shock to bring a heart in V-fib back into a normal sinus rhythm.

Now comes another device which I think will quickly become just as common place as the AED.  The device is the ZOLL AutoPulse Resuscitation System.  Here is what the website has to say:

High-quality CPR Without Interruption
The AutoPulse® Resuscitation System provides high-quality automated CPR to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Easy to use and battery operated, AutoPulse squeezes the patient’s entire chest to improve blood flow to the heart and brain.1,2,3 The only device of its kind, AutoPulse automatically sizes to the patient, and has shown improved outcomes in numerous clinical trials.4,5
Designed for Patient Movement and Transport
When the AutoPulse Resuscitation System’s stabilizing board is placed on a soft stretcher, rescuers can continue providing high-quality CPR down steep stairwells, around sharp corners, or even in a cramped elevator. Compared with manual CPR, AutoPulse has been shown to reduce interruptions in compressions during transport by more than 85%.6 The AutoPulse Resuscitation System is made for Resuscitation on the Move™.

The idea is that this system will perform CPR properly for a much longer time than a human rescuer can provide.  CPR training, since its inception, has relied on the skill and the memory of the provider.  Unfortunately many who end up performing CPR are individuals with minimal medical training and in the confusion and panic of the moment often don’t provide CPR correctly.  The AutoPulse can hopefully help eliminate that problem from the treatment loop.

I can imagine that it won’t be too terribly long before these devcies begin appearing in public places right next to the AED.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Transillumination from Different Angles


Transillumination is a pretty cool and handy thing in dentistry.   In its most basic explanation, transillumination is passing photons through a substance (in this case tooth structure) and being able to examine the tooth from the other side.  The idea being that the light is reflected and refracted by variations in the structure.  For instance, shining a light from the buccal surface and observing from the lingual surface can reveal dark areas indicative of decay between the teeth.  

It can also show cracks, fractures, decay in pits and fissures, as well as other pathologies of teeth.  Personally I find the use of transillumination to be very helpful.  While it is NOT a replacement for routine radiographs (x-rays) it can aid in diagnosis for cases where radiographic images are not completely definitive or in situations such as a pregnant patient.  It can also be extremely helpful in situations of pain from cracked teeth or from injuries sustained from some type of traumatic impact.

There are a lot of transillumination devices that are readily available to purchase in dentistry.  All of them work well.  Probably the best known currently is the Kavo CariVu (called the DiagnoCam outside the US… no idea why).  The CariVu uses transillumination via near infrared energy and combines the transillumination with a camera lens that takes a picture of the tooth, allowing you to record what you see.  You can rotate the device around the tooth in "live" mode to get views from multiple angles and then freeze the image if you want to save it.  The near infrared energy is invisible to the human eye, but captured by the CCD in the device.  This wavelength of light is easily disrupted by changes in tooth structure (more so than visible light) which helps improve the accuracy.

However, what if you are working on a very tight budget?  Is there a way to utilize the advantages of this technology without having to make a major capital investment?  In some ways, yes it’s possible.  There are some curing lights on the market that have small “snap on” type attachments for the curing head that focus and create a small aperture for the light to shine through.  Usually these attachments are designed for “spot cure” situations such as bonding on veneers or other indirect restorative prosthetics.  A spot cure lens allows the user to cure just a small amount of the luting material, which holds the restoration firmly in place, while leaving the remaining material soft and easily removed from the margins.  Once the margins have been addressed, the spot cure lens is removed and the entire restoration is polymerized into place.

However, these spot cure attachments can also be used to focus a small amount of the curing light into the interproximal areas of teeth to transilluminate the area.  The only drawback to this method is that most curing lights are very intense, emitting photons in the range of 1000mw/cm2.  Lights of this intensity and in the 400-500 nm range can cause eye damage over the span of a career in dentistry.  To prevent that, the observer should wear orange eye protective glasses.

There is a company that offers a nice alternative to this.  The DentLight company has created the Fusion 5 curing light.  One of the genius parts of its design is the ability to swap the LED head.  There is a head for composite curing (blue), a head for oral cancer detection (violet), and a head for transillumination (white).  All the head sizes are the same, meaning that the spot cure attachment for the curing head will also snap onto the transillumination head.  Since the transillumination head is white LEDs there is no danger to the users eyes and the spot cure attachment focuses the light in a small spot size directly into the area needing evaluation.

The nice thing about this particular device is that it is multifaceted.  Rather than needing to purchase multiple devices for different uses/procedures, you can purchase one device with multiple uses.  This means less cash outlay and, perhaps even more importantly, fewer devices to keep track of, maintain, etc.  Swapping the different LED heads is simple and easy.  The curing light portion is also incredibly bright providing for good depth of cure, but that is a post for another day.

Finally I wanted to tell you about a little known device that can also help with transillumination.  As a tech nerd, I love American Science & Surplus.  The company has all kinds of interesting and affordable products and devices.  I love to browse the site just to see what wild and unusual things they have for sale.  It’s like a giant garage sale for gear heads at this site & most of the products are really easy on the wallet.

The other day I was browsing the site and lo and behold what did I find?  A device called a “Fiber Optic LED Bore Light”.  Basically the device is a small bright LED flashlight with an attachment that fits over the end which focuses the light into a small, clear acrylic fiber optic tip.  The device is sold as a way to look into hard to reach areas, but to me it looked like a nice little transilluminator.  Considering the price is $4.95 US I thought getting one was a no-brainer.  If it doesn’t work?  I’m out $5.

It turns out the little device works pretty darn well.  You can wrap it in a sheath used for your curing light so that there is no worry about cross contamination.  So if you are looking for a way to do transillumination and you are on a tight budget, this might be for you.  The best part is that for the price you can afford to have one in every treatment area too.  If you happen to get one, leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear what you think about it.  Actually I’d love to hear your thoughts on anything that I discuss here, so feel free to leave a comment.

Now also remember, all you can do with this is light up teeth.  There is no curing, no cancer screening, no ability take pictures, etc.  However for $4.95 it's not a bad little gadget.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Grays Harbor Community Hospital Forced to Initiate Protocol for Downtime of Electronic Health Record


As Technology Evangelist but also as a huge Nirvana fan, I was immediately drawn to this story.  It deals with Grays Harbor Community Hospital in the small town of Aberdeen, Washington.  For those of you not steeped in the lore of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic were both born and raised in Aberdeen.  Nirvana frontman Cobain was actually born the this hospital.

So this post deals with a couple of things I’m fond of which are Nirvana and Technology.

It seems that there have been some issues with Grays Harbor Community.  For reasons that have not been released to the public, the medical records systems in use are not communicating with one another.  The hospital itself is run by one Electronic Health Record system (EHR), while the Harbor Medical Group rural health and speciality clinics are run by a separate system.  Basically any information entered into the hospital’s EHR system are not being communicated to the Harbor Medical Group system.  Obviously this has the potential to create some serious bottlenecks or potential for errors.

As an example, the hospital is stating that lab work run on a blood sample is readily available in the hospital, but doctors outside the hospital have no way to access that data.

The situation has become serious enough that the administrative arm of the system has voluntarily entered into the EHR downtime protocol.  This move has forced clinicians and support staff to begin using paper health records when interacting with patients.  This has created a system where communication of things such as the lab results mentioned above are being given to offices via phone calls instead of secure HIPAA compliant electronic means.

This is one of the potential problems of dealing with technology, but the IT professionals are hard at work on a solution that they hope to implement this week.  This is also a good reason for keeping all IT systems under one provider.  Over the years I’ve warned against having one database for images, one for charting, one for 3D, etc.  For small entities such as dental offices this greatly simplifies IT issues as well as simplifying backup processes as well.  I’d much rather backup one database with all of my information than ensure I’ve got 3 or 4 all backed up securely with no corruption.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What is the Point of the Stickers, Anyway?


Sometimes life just throws things at you and you have too vent.  This post is about one of those things.

I recently had to upgrade my DDS Rescue system.  It’s a tremendous office backup system that uses both a local device that provides *constant* backups as well as a cloud component that stores a HIPAA secure backup of all my data in the cloud.  It really is the best of both worlds and I highly recommend using this service.  

As you can well imagine, we create a LOT of digital data in the office and my older DDS Rescue device was starting to fill up.  We simply had too much data and the hard drives in the smaller device were maxed out.

In order to fix the problem, the good folks at DDS Rescue sent me a new device.  While we continued to use our old device the company took our data from the cloud and copied it onto 2 brand spanking new hard drives.  The idea was,  instead of starting a backup from scratch which takes a while, we would simply put in hard drives that only needed to backup a few days of data.  That way things would quickly be back to normal.  The old system would continue to do the back-ups while the new system was catching up.  Once they were both mirror images of each other, we could disconnect the old system from the network and let the new system take its place.  That sounds easy right?

Actually is *was* easy.  However there were a few tense moments yesterday when the box with the hard drives arrived.  As you can see from the  pictures above, the concept of “Fragile” just didn’t seem to apply to this box.

The good news is that the drives suffered no damage.  We plugged them into the new DDS Rescue device and all was well.  However, it could have been a pain if the drives had been damaged.  Then we would have had to create all the data on new drives, ship the new ones in, and start all over.

So my point is, what good did the stickers do here?  Obviously this is not due to DDS Rescue, but instead, the responsibility rests on the shipping folks.  All I really want was just a little note attached saying “sorry, we messed up” or something like that.  I’m not that hard to get along with.  But just sending the box on through the system looking like that with “Fragile” all over it?  Seriously?

Thanks for letting me vent…  Back to more interesting topics tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

More Oral-Systemic Connection Evidence? Mouth Bacteria Found in Stroke Victim Brain Clots


I recently came across some truly interesting info and stats regarding the interconnection of the mouth, the organisms found there, and the impact they have on the rest of the body.  This area has come to be known as the “oral-systemic connection” with experts and researchers discovering more and greater links.

Now a Finnish research group has found that the brains of people who have had strokes have bacteria commonly found in the mouth inside the clots that caused the stroke.  The group has been investigating this possible link for over 10 years and have now published their findings in the May 23 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association.  

The investigators examined the blockages of 75 patients who had suffered an ischemic stroke.  They discovered that 63 of the 75 patients (84%) had bacterial DNA in their clot.Among those, 59 had a stain of streptococci commonly in the mouth that can cause infections if they are released into the bloodstream.  These bacteria are the ones that can cause endocarditis which is a serious infection of the heart, including its valves, muscle, and lining.

This study is the "first to show common presence of [this] bacterial DNA in ischemic stroke patients,” according to the lead author of the study.

Obviously inflamed gum tissues can lead to bleeding which then can result in bacteria from the mouth entering the bloodstream.  It now appears possible that this bacterial loading of the bloodstream could very well contribute to the accumulation of plaque buildups in the walls of blood vessels.  This causes blood vessels to narrow which can lead to high blood pressure or, more seriously, can narrow the vessels to the point that the tissues they feed become starved of oxygen and nutrients which can lead to tissue death.  Narrowing and blockage of vessels in the heart is what causes a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or in the brain an ischemic stroke (which are around 87% of all strokes).

The data indicates this is one more link to the “oral-systemic connection” and could very well mean that healthier mouth and gums leads to overall greater health of the cardiovascular system.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Academy of Laser Dentistry Kicks-Off Webinar Series with “Dentistry’s New Secret Weapon: Photobiomodulation - Low Level Lasers”


The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), the only independent and unbiased non-profit association dedicated to improving patient care with the proper use of laser technology, will be kicking-off a new CE webinar series under the theme, “Where Clinical Efficiency Meets Business Success.”
According to ALD Executive Director, Gail Siminovsky, CAE, “For more than 25 years, the ALD has been dedicated to providing its members with the tools they need for achieving clinical and business success in laser dentistry. Our new webinar series is the latest example. What’s more, these presentations will be available on-demand for convenient ALD member access throughout the world.”

The ALD CE Webinar Series is free to members, but non-members will be able to participate for $50.00 per session and receive 1 CEU. “We believe having the ability to access all our webinars as many times as you want is a valuable benefit of being an ALD member,” explains Siminovsky.
The ALD CE Webinar Series will kick-off on July 24th from 7-8 pm EDT with “Dentistry’s New Secret Weapon: Photobiomodulation - Low Level Lasers.” This session will demonstrate how the power of low-level lasers can be used to heal tissue quickly and reduce pain without the use of opioids.

The presenter, internationally-renown PBM expert Dr. Gerry Ross will also explain the underlying science behind PBM, proper PBM dosage, which lasers on the market are designed for PBM and the revenue-building benefits of adopting PBM in your practice.

Other webinars currently planned for the ALD CE Webinar Series include the following*:
• August: Advances in Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment
• September: Biofilm Control as an Adjunct to Soft Tissue Laser Treatment
• October: Improving Implant Outcomes with Laser Surgery
• November: Using Lasers Effectively for Treating Periodontal Disease
• December: Year-End & New Year Financial Planning Considerations
• January: The Laser-Equipped Hygienist
• February: Successfully Treating Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) with Lasers
• March: Asset Protection, Tax Savings and Lawsuit Prevention
* Final schedule subject to change. Presenters to be announced on the ALD CE Webinar Series web page.

To reserve your spot for the July 24th webinar “Dentistry’s New Secret Weapon: Low Lever Lasers,” click here: be sure to visit this page frequently for the latest confirmed webinar dates, times, topics and presenters.

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

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Cosmedent Continuing Education Course Fall 2019


Dr. Buddy Mopper will be presenting “The 3-P’s of Composite Bonding: Potential, Predictability and Profitability” at a new location, The University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago on September 27, 2019.

Dr. Mopper is one of the pioneers of direct resin bonding who has taught thousands of clinicians how to successfully incorporate direct resin bonding into their practices. In this 7 CE-credit course, you will understand how to utilize bonding in ways you never expected.

Join this class and discover how to treat more patients chairside. Learn all the composite dentistry that you may be missing in your practice and how doing more of it can benefit you financially and professionally. This full-day lecture will teach you how to make long-lasting, seamless and invisible restorations of all types. Learn an in-depth direct approach technique for Class III, Class IV, Class V, diastema closure, direct resin veneer, masking dark teeth, incisal reinforcement, repairs and more. From simple techniques to advanced techniques, this course covers it all.

Call Erika at 800-837-2321 or visit to register. Hurry, seating is limited, and this lecture will fill-up fast!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

FDA Grapples with Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning


It’s an interesting time to be alive, no doubt about it.  And it is *especially* an interesting time to be practicing in the healthcare arena.

The world is seeing an incredible increase in systems that are using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to take human beings out of the loop and increase the efficiency that computers bring to many processes that require pattern recognition.  For more than a year I’ve been working with a company called Parallel Dots that is working on a system called Dentistry A.I. that is bringing computer processing power to the realm of helping to read radiographs (x-rays).

The problem with these types of systems is to make sure they truly work as promised and that is the job of the FDA.  The federal agency reviews data and studies submitted by manufacturers and determines the safety and efficacy of them.  However, programs that learn and constantly change/update themselves are way different than a device used, for example, to deliver medications to a patient.

Due to this difference, the FDA is looking at ways to evaluate these new devices and programs that promise to greatly enhance and speed up diagnostics and other parts of the healthcare system.  Recently the FDA put a post on their website where the agency outlined some ideas on how they plan to approve these types of devices and systems.  The post states, in part, that:

Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies have the potential to transform health care by deriving new and important insights from the vast amount of data generated during the delivery of health care every day. Medical device manufacturers are using these technologies to innovate their products to better assist health care providers and improve patient care. The FDA is considering a total product lifecycle-based regulatory framework for these technologies that would allow for modifications to be made from real-world learning and adaptation, while still ensuring that the safety and effectiveness of the software as a medical device is maintained.

The thoughts and points outlined in the post are interesting and forward thinking.  If you would like to read the entire post, follow this link.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

What You Need to Know about Infection Control in a Digital World


At Dental Products Report, we often devote an issue to a certain topic and cover that topic from a variety of angles.  One of the recent topics we covered was infection control.  

Obviously in any healthcare environment, infection control is a key component.  However, with practices becoming more and more digital entities, I thought it was important to take a look at infection control in digital systems.  Here’s what I came up with:

In the years I’ve been in dentistry, we’ve seen phenomenal changes in infection control, both in hardware, delivery, materials, techniques and practically anything else that comes  into contact with the patient’s body.
As strange as it may seem to many of you reading this, there are a good number of doctors currently practicing who can remember providing treatment without wearing gloves.
The knowledge base that scientists and government organizations had should have been much more concerned about infection control and cross contamination in the late ‘70s and early '80s. Unfortunately, it took the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic to bring the focus of the CDC and OSHA to bear on both patient and employee safety. While there had been limited attempts to decrease possibilities of cross-contamination before, a serious threat created an incredible focus of resources on the problems.
Looking back on the idea of Universal Precautions with the hindsight of 30 years makes the practice obvious. However, at the time there was actually pushback from some individuals who thought loss of tactile sensation by using gloves would usher in a wave of subpar dentistry. Of course, those concerns seem almost silly now, but I can assure you, at the time those concerns were heard frequently.
Refocusing our concerns
As the Technology Evangelist, I’m now attempting to turn the profession’s eyes, ears and concerns in the direction of a different type of infection control. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began discussing the costs of healthcare as a percentage of GNP. The government was anticipating that by the year 2030, healthcare could potentially be 30 percent of the U.S. GNP. The concern? That any country spending that much on the health of its citizens can’t compete in the global economy.
That’s the reason there has been such a focus on the electronic health record (EHR) and other ways to increase the efficiency of healthcare delivery. The hope is that by increasing efficiency, costs can be decreased.
However, with the focus on using technology to increase efficiency, very few have stopped to consider the potential problems of digital security, or as I like to refer to it, “Digital Infection Control Engineering (DICE).”

You can’t get there from here
A brief history lesson is in order to put things in perspective. As the world became connected through the internet, organized crime saw huge potential profits through the use of spam email. There were many scams used, but the one that generated the most profits (and hence became the most popular with criminals) was the “online pharmacy.”
The fall of the Soviet Union left things highly unregulated as well as unmonitored. Many criminal enterprises sprung up in this “Wild West” environment driven by the desire for huge amounts of untaxed income.
They created tsunamis of spam that advertised “Canadian” pharmacies that sold medications below the prices available in America. Unknowing U.S. citizens, many of them senior citizens looking to save money on their prescriptions, ordered. They thought they were dealing with legitimate pharmacies, but instead, the drugs were manufactured in areas with little or no quality control. Russian criminals made obscene profits while patients were paying for medications that were not always 100 percent of what they were expecting.
The rest of the article can be found here…

Monday, June 17, 2019

Something that Could Reduce Opiate Necessity after Surgery or just a ‘Cool’ New Product?


A colleague just made me aware of this new product that looks really interesting and is used after surgery to reduce swelling and might just minimize dependency on pain killers. The new product is called Denta-Cool and is currently being used in the medical field for cancer patients after Chemo treatment with great results.  It’s a pretty simple concept - an icy mouthpiece you use after oral surgery. They have some kind of patented technology that makes it work. I’m going to evaluate it and let you know what I think.

There’s limited research on cryotherapy. Here’s what we know.

The first available report of oral cryotherapy is the use of ice to ease toothache, published in 1988. However, in the last decade, several individual research studies have reported the benefits of oral cryotherapy in treating dental conditions.
• A study in 2010 reported that the use of ice popsicles reduced discomfort and self-mutilation in children after dental treatment
A study in 2016 on 75 teeth undergoing single-visit root canal treatment showed that irrigation with cold (2–4 °C) saline after root canal treatment resulted in significantly lesser pain
• A similar study in 2017 reported pain reduction in root canal treatment of teeth with vital pulps
• A study in 2015 on extracted teeth found that a five-minute irrigation of 20 teeth with cold (2.5 °C) saline resulted in a 10 °C temperature reduction of root surfaces for four minutes
• In 2013, a study on 86 teeth reported the reduction of bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis) in root canals due to irrigation with a cryogenic fluid
• In addition, oral cryotherapy was shown to be a potentially useful treatment for inflammatory conditions of the mouth such as specific types of gingival hyperplasia. In this study, liquid nitrogen was sprayed directly onto the tooth surface after xylocaine administration. Six sessions each consisting of four 20–30-second applications followed by 30-second thawing were used and found to be effective

If you’ve every sprained your ankle or been stung by a bee, common sense tells us that cold therapy will reduce swelling. So, it stands to reason 30 minutes of cryotherapy will have some effect - the jury is still  out on how much it helps. But the game-changer is if it works well enough to reduce or even eliminate opioids which is a hot topic right now.

You can check it out here and get a free sample to see if it works for your patients. I’ve ordered one and will let you know my findings down the road.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Ultradent’s VALO™ Curing Light and Gemini™ 810 + 980 Diode LaserWin 2019 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards


About 20 years ago I was approached by a friend, Dr. Lou Shuman, who at that time was president of the Pride Institute.  A huge percentage of Pride clients were asking their consultants to help them evaluate and determine the best high tech tools to invest in.  These practices understood the direction the profession was going in.  They wanted to ride the high tech wave into the land of efficiency and higher profitability, but they also wanted to be sure they were investing their resources in the right directions *and* the right vendors.  They were asking Pride to help provide guidance for this journey.

Lou reached out to me with a terrific idea.  He envisioned putting a panel of dentistry’s preeminent tech leaders together and having them discuss and vote on what they considered to be the “Best of Class”.  That way doctors could have access to an unbiased panel of experts who would provide a yearly update on their opinions of what tech was truly the best, most innovative, and most game changing for the practice looking for leading edge products and techniques.

Since the group’s inception all those years ago, we have spent countless hours researching the best options our profession has to choose from.  This is a job that we take very seriously and we work incredibly hard to create the and cull the list that becomes the “Best of Class” awards for each calendar year.  Now that the winners for 2019 have been announced, you’ll be seeing lots of information about the winning products and the braintrusts that form the companies behind those products.  As a Cellerant member, this is my favorite time of year.

Many companies manage to put one product into the list on occasion, but it is the best of the best that manage to get 2 products there.  It’s even MORE rare for that to happen more than one year in a row. That’s why I’m so impressed with the success of Ultradent.Their VALO curing light is truly the best of the best (a many multi-year winner) and their Gemini Laser has one 2 years in a row.  Read on for information on these amazing devices and then call your Ultradent rep and order them!  These are truly game changers for your practice!

Ultradent Products, Inc., is pleased to announce that the Gemini  810 + 980 diode laser and the VALO curing light family—which includes the VALO and VALO Grand corded and cordless curing lights—have been selected as 2019 winners of the Cellerant “Best of Class” Technology Award. This is the VALO curing light’s sixth win and the Gemini laser’s third win. Now in its 11th year, the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award recognizes manufacturers and service providers for their innovations and is one of the most prestigious dental industry honors.

“We are entering a new era in dentistry—one that will change how we diagnose, treat, and manage our patients and practices,” said Dr. Lou Shuman, CEO of Cellerant and founder of the Best of Class Technology Awards. “This was a breakthrough year in product and services technologies. The panel spent hundreds of hours in close discussion reviewing and analyzing the corporate landscape. Pay close attention to our winners as they are truly leading the way to provide you what is best in today’s contemporary practice.”

Of the Best of Class Honors, Ultradent’s global brand manager of equipment, Oliver Brown, said, “The VALO curing light family (VALO and VALO Grand) continues to be a wonderful culmination of brilliant clinical direction that has led to unsurpassed durability and incredible engineering, all in a sleek design. The precision that goes into every aspect of each VALO curing light is proof of the quality and care we strive to provide for our customers with products made for dentists by dentists. The Gemini 810 + 980 diode laser is another product that demonstrates our continued commitment to cutting edge innovation in the products we sell. We’re very grateful for the praise and recognition for both products from the highly respected Best of Class voters and the amazing Cellerant Consultant Group. It is truly an honor.”

Each year, Best of Class winners are chosen by a panel comprised of leading voices in dental technology who come together to discuss, debate, and decide which products merit recognition. “If there isn’t a clear winner in a category, then we don’t select one,” said Chris Salierno, DDS, Cellerant Best of Class panel member. “This award is about letting the public know when a company has raised the bar.” John Flucke, DDS, another Cellerant panel member added, “Our goal is to help the doctor make the best decisions for their office, which, in the end, benefits the patients that we all serve. I’m honored to be able to help my peers with the decision-making process and help them wade through a plethora of high-tech products that can change offices and lives for the better.”

The 2019 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award is selected by a panel of the most prominent technology leaders in the industry: Paul Feurstein, DMD, technology editor for Dentistry Today, John Flucke, DDS, technology editor for Dental Products Report, Marty Jablow, DMD, known as American’s technology coach, Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, editor-in-chief of Inside Dental Hygiene, Chris Salierno, DDS, editor-in-chief of Dental Economics, and Lou Shuman, DMD, BAGS, founder and creator of the Best of Class Technology Award.

About Ultradent Products, Inc.

Ultradent Products, Inc., is a leading global developer and manufacturer of high-tech dental materials, devices, and instruments. Founded in 1978 as a family-owned company, Ultradent’s vision remains to continue to improve oral health globally by creating better dental products that set new industry standards. Ultradent also aims to improve quality of live and the health of individuals through financial and charitable programs.

About The Cellerant “Best of Class” Technology Awards

Since the inaugural presentation in 2009, the Best of Class Technology Awards have grown to occupy a unique space in dentistry by creating awareness in the community of manufacturers that are driving the discussion as to how practices will operate now and in the future.

The selection process relies on an expert panel of dentists recognized as thought leaders and educators. It includes Dr. Paul Feuerstein, Dr. John Flucke, Dr. Marty Jablow, Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, Dr. Chris Salierno, and Dr. Lou Shuman. Over the course of each year, the panel members seek out and conduct research on potentially practice-changing technologies, with deliberations on nominees and final voting taking place in February. Panelists are precluded from voting in any category where they have consulting relationships. The entire selection process is conducted and managed on a not-for-profit basis.
For more information on the Cellerant Best of Class Awards and the 2019 Award Winners, go to
About Cellerant Consulting Group
Founded and led by CEO Dr. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, Cellerant provides strategic dental market insights, clinical expertise, implementation resources and support to accelerate growth for client dental companies. Cellerant services include new concept incubation, clinical product evaluation, product development, continuing education program development and CE sponsorship, strategic branding and marketing, online marketing, content marketing, and dental media relations management. As an orthodontist and former owner of a 10-doctor multi-specialty private group practice, Dr. Shuman guides clients to offer products that engage dental customers and provide sustained differentiation. Cellerant operates under a unique model that merges leading voices in clinical product evaluation and strategic partner companies to provide a menu of services from one easily accessible network.
Press Contact for Cellerant
Lauren Burns Krzyzostaniak
Executive Consultant
Cellerant Consulting Group
Phone: 800.884.5707x107

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Congratulations to Patient Prism - A Cellerant Best of Class Technology Winner!


As a member of the Cellerant panel I can tell you that we take the responsibility of the voting very, very seriously.  That’s why I’m proud to say that Patient Prism was a first time winner this year.  The company has a unique product that I feel can benefit *any* practice whether it is just starting or a mature practice simply wanting to provide better coaching and profitability.

Give their info here a read.  I think you’ll be impressed.  I certainly was.

Patient Prism announced today it won a 2019 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award, one of the most prestigious awards in dentistry.
Patient Prism is a patented call-tracking and call-coaching program that analyzes every new patient phone call, identifies individuals who end the call without booking, and provides rapid call analysis and effective training designed to win back that potential patient – all within one hour.
“As dentists, many of us spend a significant amount of money on advertising to generate new patients to secure practice growth. What we may not know is that we may be losing potential clients even though they took the next step to call the office,” said Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, a Cellerant Best of Class panel member. “Patient Prism helps to limit lost clientele and will help to create an effective calling experience with your office. It’s a must for most offices.”
“We are entering a new era in dentistry — one that will change how we diagnose, treat, and manage our patients and practices," said Dr. Lou Shuman, CEO of Cellerant and founder of the Best of Class Technology Awards. "This was a breakthrough year in product and services technologies. The panel spent hundreds of hours in close discussion reviewing and analyzing the corporate landscape. Pay close attention to our winners as they are truly leading the way to provide you what is best in today's contemporary practice.”
The 2019 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award is selected by a panel of the most prominent technology leaders in dentistry: Paul Feuerstein, DMD, technology editor for Dentistry Today, John Flucke, DDS, technology editor for Dental Products Report, Marty Jablow, DMD, known as America’s technology coach, Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, editor-in-chief of Inside Dental Hygiene, Chris Salierno, DDS, editor-in-chief of Dental Economics, and Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, founder and creator of the Best of Class Technology Award.
“We set out to solve a problem that affects almost every dental practice: how to turn more callers into booked appointments. It’s an honor to receive this recognition and we look forward to accepting the award at the American Dental Association FDI World Dental Congress in San Francisco,” said Amol Nirgudkar, CEO of Patient Prism.
About Patient Prism
Patient Prism is a call-tracking and call-coaching software designed exclusively for dental offices to improve new patient call conversions and increase dental office revenue. Its patented solutions provide business analytics, coaching tips, and actionable data for improving staff performance, call conversions, and recovered revenue. For more information, visit or call (800) 381-3638.
About the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award
Since the inaugural presentation in 2009, the Best of Class Technology Awards have grown to occupy a unique space in dentistry by creating awareness in the community of manufacturers that are driving the discussion as to how practices will operate now and in the future.
The selection process relies on an expert panel of dentists recognized as thought leaders and educators. It includes Dr. Paul Feuerstein, Dr. John Flucke, Dr. Marty Jablow, Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, Dr. Chris Salierno, and Dr. Lou Shuman. Over the course of each year, the panel members seek out and conduct research on potentially practice-changing technologies, with deliberations on nominees and final voting taking place in February. Panelists are precluded from voting in any category where they have consulting relationships. The entire selection process is conducted and managed on a not-for-profit basis.
For more information on the Cellerant Best of Class Awards and the 2019 Award Winners, go to
About Cellerant Consulting Group
Founded and led by CEO Dr. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, Cellerant provides strategic dental market insights, clinical expertise, implementation resources and support to accelerate growth for client dental companies. Cellerant services include new concept incubation, clinical product evaluation, product development, continuing education program development and CE sponsorship, strategic branding and marketing, online marketing, content marketing and dental media relations management. As an orthodontist and former owner of a 10-doctor multi-specialty private group practice, Dr. Shuman guides clients to offer products that engage dental customers and provide sustained differentiation. Cellerant operates under a unique model that merges leading voices in clinical product evaluation and strategic partner companies to provide a menu of services from one easily accessible network.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Thommen Medical USA Announces Leadership Changes To Drive New Market Position


Thommen Medical USA (, a leading Swiss manufacturer of dental implant solutions, announces that it has a new leadership team. These changes come at a critical time in the industry, setting the company up for future success and continued growth.

Scott Root has been appointed to the position of President. Mr. Root brings over 25 years of experience in building and leading organizations in the dental and medical device industries including several leading dental implant companies. He was a founder of Straumann USA where he spent 15 years helping transform the business into the second largest dental implant company in the industry. He also spent many years as President of Astra Tech North America, then Dentsply Implants North America following their acquisition. Most recently, he led APAC for Nobel Biocare and was the Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand. Mr. Root is excited to return to the United States and lead the team especially at this time with unlimited potential and a competitive environment that is in transition.

“In an environment where the primary implant companies have become large and bureaucratic, attempting to cover all areas of dentistry, Thommen is dedicated to being an expert in implant dentistry by providing one comprehensive implant system and respecting the human reality that people work with people. We believe in supporting our partners with a boutique experience, one that utilizes our 30-year heritage of Swiss precision craftsmanship, innovative design, personalized service and overall elegant simplicity,” stated Root. He continued, “We believe that we have the best untold story in the industry and now is the perfect time to share it. Thommen has evolved over the past 30 years and because of the unique size of our company and outside-in approach, we can offer customers a truly unique, personal experience.”

The company announced additional executive additions and changes affecting the finance, sales and marketing departments.

Joe Galea has joined as Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance and Operations.  Mr. Galea has over 30 years of experience in finance, accounting and operations.  He has led the finance departments of divisions at Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses. Mr. Galea was most recently the Corporate Controller of a durable medical equipment company in the Cleveland area, where he led finance, accounting, human resources and supply chain.

Edward Reilly has joined as Vice President of Sales. Mr. Reilly has over 15 years of sales management experience and 20 years of expertise in the dental industry. He has led successful sales teams at Dentsply Sirona Implants, Henry Schein and CAD BLU. Mr. Reilly has consistently exceeded quotas and successfully managed and led various sales teams throughout his career.
Kristina Donehew has joined the company as Vice President of Marketing. Mrs. Donehew has over 15 years of strategic, multi-faceted marketing experience with expertise in the dental industry. She has led marketing initiatives and teams with large and small companies, including Carbon, Straumann, Dentsply Sirona and Danaher.

Todd Fridrich, CDT, FNBC will continue in his role as Vice President of Product Management and Education. Mr. Fridrich has over 30 years of industry expertise and nearly 14 at the company. He has served as an instructor for the Graduate Prosthodontics Program at the University of Iowa as well as the Continuum on Implant Dentistry at the University of Florida.  He is immediate past President of the American Prosthodontic Society and has served on the editorial review board for The Journal of Prosthodontics and the Journal of Dental Technology.

About Thommen Medical
Thommen Medical is a Swiss designer and manufacturer of dental implant systems with a unique reputation for Swiss precision, innovation and functional design. We develop high quality solutions to satisfy our customers' high standards for safety, esthetics and sophistication. Thommen Medical’s global headquarters is located in Grenchen, Switzerland. Thommen Medical USA is located in Cleveland, Ohio.