Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Cosmedent’s new CEE|Virtual

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Cosmedent’s new CEE|Virtual provides dentists online access to video recordings of some of the Center for Esthetic Excellence’s most popular courses. Experience viewing actual courses filmed live and viewed on-demand from the comfort of your home or office. Learn from some of the world’s top clinicians how to build your skills with composite, plus receive CE credits. These comprehensive courses are packed full of useful information that you can use immediately in your practice. Visit www.CEEVirtual.com to begin your virtual composite education.
 
 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Suni Medical Imaging Seems to be AWOL - Here's What I Know

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Hey Suni, remember all of those customers?  You know, all of those doctors who PAID you for your equipment and software?  How about *THE PATIENTS*  of those doctors?  Do you remember them?  Obviously not.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, everyone in dentistry or healthcare in general works for the patient.  The patient is the one that is the end result of everything we do and we owe them the very, very best efforts we can give them.  Suni, it seems, has forgotten that.

Now, I will say that perhaps things are different than they appear.  Perhaps there is something going on we are all unaware of and Suni will suddenly come forward with an explanation of why they seem to have vanished.  I certainly hope so because there are a lot of patients and doctors depending on them.

Here’s the story:  The publication I write for, Dental Products Report, came forward on January 8th, 2019 with the following statement:

As of the beginning of the new year, the on-going operations of Suni Medical Imaging — the brand name for Apteryx’s XrayVision imaging software — has come under question.  

In an effort to clarify the situation, Apteryx released the following statement on January 8th, 2019: 

“It has been rumored that as of January 1, Suni has discontinued operations. Since learning of this news last week, we have reached out to Suni leadership to clarify the situation without a response. In the interest of getting the facts straight, we will continue our efforts to contact Suni directly. However, we feel an immediate obligation to reassure Suni customers that their software and support needs will continue to be met by Apteryx.”

So Apteryx is doing whatever they can to support their Suni clients, but they are not getting any replies or backups from Suni Medical Imaging.

Also from DPR:

Given that the company does not have direct access to all customers, Suni Medical Imaging customers are invited to call Apteryx at (877) 278-3799, or email support@apteryx.com, for any immediate support needs and to register for on-going support. 

Customers can also visit www.ledapteryx.com/suni for more contact methods. 

“As Suni/ XrayVision customers, please rest assured that you are well positioned to make whatever transitions may be required. Dr. Suni and Prof. Suni, like all Apteryx XrayVision products, are designed as an “open” system meaning that you have plug and play interoperability with other open hardware and software solutions,” says Apteryx officials.

To see the original story, follow this link to DPR.  

Thursday, January 10, 2019

20 Year Old Arrested in Hack that Resulted in Germany's Largest Data Breach

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In an amazing story, a 20 year old German man, with limited computer experience, managed to find and distribute a huge amount of data on public figures such as journalists and politicians last month.
 

Known on Twitter by the name "G0d," the suspect published private data about German politicians, journalists, and celebrities on Twitter, under the username @_0rbit.

Telephone numbers, private chats, and letters, some credit card data, addresses and copies of identity cards of victims were all exposed in what believed to be one of the country's biggest data breaches in the history.

Unlike as initially feared, early evidence suggests no involvement of foreign intelligence or activists for far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), who was not targeted by the attacker, in the incident.

Besides German politicians, the intrusive hack attacks also affected well-known actor Til Schweiger, two renowned German comedians, Jan Boehmermann and Christian Ehring, as well as dozens of journalists from ZDF and ARD–public-funded German media outlets.

Germany is still in the process of removing the exposed data from the Internet, but there are no signs that any information was released that would be considered politically explosive or increase security risks.

Jai Vijayan has a great piece with lots of details that you can find here.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Dentistry Ranked #4 in U.S. News & World Report "Top 25 Jobs for 2019"

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Dentistry is a great profession for those who love it.  The combination of communication, helping people, and solving sometimes complicated problems are just a few of the reasons I love what I do.
 
It seems that whenever I see some sort of list of great jobs, jobs with great satisfaction, or whatever, dentistry is always ranked pretty highly.  The latest Top 25 Jobs from U.S. News and World Report is just one more example of this.  Here’s what they have to say:
 

Dentists identify and treat problems concerning a patient's mouth, gums and teeth. Their duties include extracting teeth, fitting dentures and filling cavities. Some choose to specialize in areas that range from treating serious oral problems and diseases to straightening teeth and performing oral surgeries. They are assisted by dental hygienists, who complete a patient's teeth cleaning, and by dental assistants, who usually help with recordkeeping and instrument sterilization.

Many people dread the dentist. When they open wide, they're afraid what the dentist will find. Yet another cavity? Or even worse – will it be time for a root canal? Will the dentist embarrass them about their flossing frequency or their coffee drinking? Will they push procedures that patients don't want? 

According to Ada S. Cooper, a consumer adviser for the American Dental Association and dentist with a private practice in New York City, these concerns are why establishing trust is so important. "Patients have to know that dentists are doing what's best for them," Cooper says. And they can do this by being honest, ethical and compassionate – three qualities Cooper looks for when she is hiring at her practice. She also highlights the importance of good communication skills.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 19.4 percent employment growth for dentists between 2016 and 2026. In that period, an estimated 25,700 jobs should open up.

For the full listing follow this link.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Obama health law sign-ups lagging for 2019

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Some interesting info regarding the Affordable Care Act that I’ve scrounged together.
 
With open enrollment now over, the government says sign-ups for coverage under former President Barack Obama’s health care law are lagging when compared with last year.

Figures released recently by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that about 3.2 million people have signed up so far for subsidized private insurance, compared with about 3.6 million at the same time last year. Open enrollment ended December 15.

Health law supporters are concerned. The number of new customers is down nearly 18 percent.

Many Democrats blame the Trump administration for the slippage, but independent experts say there may be other reasons, too. In a strong economy people are more likely to find jobs with coverage.

Most of the estimated 10 million currently enrolled will have their coverage renewed automatically.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Treating Periodontal Disease may help Control Type 2 Diabetes

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According to a recently published article by Reuters, there is a potential benefit for sufferers of Type 2 Diabetes to have their periodontal disease treated and kept under control.
 
For years now, those of us in medical fields have pushed for greater understanding of the connections between the mouth and the rest of the body.  Many patients think that because you see a different provider for Diabetes and your mouth, that the 2 areas really aren’t related that much.
 
However, the mouth is the main entrance to the body for all types of things and the health of it can greatly affect the health of every other body part.  For instance, if your hands bled when you washed them, many folks would be seeking medical treatment asap, yet bleeding gums (a definitive sign of infection) rarely causes the same concerns for patients.
 
Here’s the info from Reuters:
 

Treating chronic gum inflammation might help people with diabetes control their disease, a recent study suggests.

The 264 study participants all had type 2 diabetes and periodontitis, a chronic bacterial infection of the gums that causes ongoing inflammation and is a major cause of tooth loss for adults.

“While more research is needed to explore the exact mechanisms” by which treating gum disease can help people with diabetes, “a reduction of systemic inflammation . . . is the most plausible link,” study leader Francesco D’Aiuto told Reuters Health by email.

Over the course of a year, patients who got intensive periodontal treatment from dentists saw improvements not just in their blood glucose levels but in the health of their kidneys and blood vessels, too.

Type 2 diabetes, the kind linked to obesity and lack of exercise, is a major cause of disability and premature death, mainly from vascular and renal complications, the researchers write in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Periodontitis often coexists with diabetes.

Half of the patients in the study were randomly assigned to receive intensive treatment of their gum disease. The remaining patients didn’t get this treatment, but if their gum disease got worse during the year, they received prompt specialist care and were withdrawn from the study.

In the intensive treatment arm, patients got an initial session of whole mouth scaling. Two months later, patients with good oral hygiene and particularly severe gum disease had periodontal surgical therapy. Patients with suboptimum oral hygiene or without severe gum disease at two months continued to receive regular scaling of the root surfaces until completion of the study.

Researchers estimated average blood sugar levels by measuring HbA1c, a protein on red blood cells that indicates blood sugar levels over a period of two to three months. With diabetes, keeping HbA1c test results below seven percent is generally considered to be good blood sugar control.

At the start, the average HbA1c was 8.1 percent in both groups. After 12 months, the HbA1c level averaged 0.6 percent lower in the group that got intensive gum disease treatments.

Two markers of kidney health also improved in the intensive treatment group: blood levels of a substance called creatinine, and the amount of blood that passes through waste filters in the kidneys called glomeruli.

A marker of artery health called flow-mediated dilation also improved in this group.

Not surprisingly, oral health was better in the intensive treatment group, too.

It’s possible, the authors admit, that the findings could be partly attributed to the effects of medicines patients were taking. Still, they suggest, oral health improvement in this population may represent an important therapeutic opportunity.

Researchers estimated average blood sugar levels by measuring HbA1c, a protein on red blood cells that indicates blood sugar levels over a period of two to three months. With diabetes, keeping HbA1c test results below seven percent is generally considered to be good blood sugar control.

At the start, the average HbA1c was 8.1 percent in both groups. After 12 months, the HbA1c level averaged 0.6 percent lower in the group that got intensive gum disease treatments.

Two markers of kidney health also improved in the intensive treatment group: blood levels of a substance called creatinine, and the amount of blood that passes through waste filters in the kidneys called glomeruli.

A marker of artery health called flow-mediated dilation also improved in this group.

Not surprisingly, oral health was better in the intensive treatment group, too.

It’s possible, the authors admit, that the findings could be partly attributed to the effects of medicines patients were taking. Still, they suggest, oral health improvement in this population may represent an important therapeutic opportunity.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

FDA Warns Against Use of Teething Necklaces, Bracelets, and Other Jewelry Marketed for Relieving Teething Pain or Providing Sensory Stimulation: FDA Safety Communication

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Here is a recent alert for parents of infants that are teething.  This is important info and should be read by all new and recent parents.
 

Audience
Parents or caregivers of infants with teething pain.
Parents or caregivers of individuals with special needs, such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who use necklaces and bracelets to provide sensory stimulation or redirect chewing.
Health care providers who interact with these caregivers who use or may consider using necklaces and bracelets marketed for relieving teething pain or providing sensory stimulation.

Medical Specialties
All primary care specialties including general pediatrics, pediatric dentistry, family medicine, general internal medicine, family and pediatric nurse practitioners.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, developmental and behavioral specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, general nursing and certified nursing assistants.

Product
Teething jewelry includes necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry that can be worn by either an adult or child, and is often marketed to relieve an infant’s teething pain. The beads of the jewelry may be made with various materials such as amber, wood, marble, or silicone. Jewelry marketed for teething pain is not the same as teething rings or teethers, which are made of hard plastic or rubber, and are not worn by an adult or child.

Teething jewelry may also be used by people with special needs, such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to provide sensory stimulation or redirect chewing on clothes or body parts.

Purpose
The FDA is alerting parents, caregivers, and health care providers that necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry marketed for relieving teething pain should not be used with infants or to provide sensory stimulation to persons with special needs, such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Such use could lead to strangulation, choking, serious injuries, or death. The safety and effectiveness of teething jewelry to treat teething pain and/or provide sensory stimulation have not been established.

Summary of Problem and Scope
The FDA has received reports of death and serious injuries to infants and children, including strangulation and choking, caused by necklaces and bracelets often marketed for relieving teething pain. Parents and other caregivers may use these products to help relieve teething pain or to provide sensory stimulation in people with special needs. The risks of using teething jewelry include choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth, and infection. Choking may occur if the jewelry breaks and small beads or the whole piece of jewelry enter the child’s throat or airway.

The FDA received a report of a 7-month old child who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under parental supervision and was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Strangulation can happen if a necklace is wrapped too tightly around the child’s neck or if the necklace catches on an object such as a crib. The FDA received a report of an 18-month old child who was strangled to death by his amber teething necklace during a nap. Other concerns include potential injury to the mouth or infection if a piece of the jewelry irritates or pierces the child’s gums.

Recommendations for Parents and Caregivers

  • Do not use necklaces, bracelets, or any other jewelry marketed for relieving teething pain. The use of these products can lead to serious injuries including strangulation or choking.
  • Be aware that the use of jewelry marketed for relieving teething pain or provide sensory stimulation to people with special needs can lead to serious injuries including strangulation or choking.
  • Review the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for treating teething pain .
  • Talk to your doctor about alternative ways you can reduce teething pain such as:gently rubbing or massaging the gums with a clean finger
  • giving the teething child a teething ring made of firm rubberMake sure the teething ring is not frozen. If the object is too hard, it can hurt the child’s gums. Parents and caregivers should supervise the child during use.
  • Avoid teething creams and benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions, and lozenges for mouth and gum pain in infants and children younger than 2 years. Benzocaine and other local anesthetics can cause methemoglobinemia, a serious condition in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood is reduced. This condition is life-threatening and can result in death.

Recommendations for Health Care Providers

  • Talk to parents or caregivers about safe ways to reduce teething pain , including the benefits and risks of available treatment options.
  • Discourage use of necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry marketed for relieving teething pain. 
  • Discourage use of necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry for providing sensory stimulation to people with special needs

FDA Actions
The FDA is closely monitoring adverse event reports associated with teething jewelry and is committed to protecting public health and assuring the safety of children and others. The FDA will update this communication if significant new information becomes available.

Reporting Problems to the FDA
If you experience an injury or adverse event when using teething jewelry, the FDA encourages you to file a voluntary report by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online at MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program. Please include the following information in your reports:

  • Device Name (Brand Name)
  • Manufacturer’s Name
  • Details of Adverse Event and Medical and/or Surgical Interventions (if applicable)

Prompt reporting of adverse events can help the FDA identify and better understand the risks related to the use of medical devices.

Additional Resources
American Dental Association- Teething Recommendations
FDA Safety Communication- Risk of serious and potentially fatal blood disorder prompts FDA action on oral over-the-counter benzocaine products used for teething and mouth pain and prescription local anesthetics
American Academy of Pediatrics Alert- Amber Teething Necklaces: A Caution for Parents
American Academy of Pediatrics- Sensory Integration Therapy
Consumer Update: Safely Soothing Teething Pain and Sensory Needs in Babies and Older Children

Contact Information
If you have questions about this communication, please contact the Division of Industry and Consumer Education (DICE) at DICE@FDA.HHS.GOV, 800-638-2041 or 301-796-7100.