Thursday, January 20, 2022

Woobamboo Announces Toothbrush Heads for Sonicare Toothbrushes

 


The world is going more and more to goods with sustainability.  I find it pretty amazing how many companies are figuring out how and then creating goods that for decades have been non-recyclable, now sustainable.

Take the ever popular toothbrush.  Everyone needs one and we tend to go through several every year.  That simple fact is amazing.  I mean, toothbrushes are incredibly important to, not only oral health, but overall health in general.  The mouth is connected to the body, after all, and oral health problems can have system wide effects.

The problem is all of that plastic.   Toothbrushes are not easily recyclable... at least not until Woobamboo came along.  The company has been selling toothbrushes and floss that are recyclable for a while now.  They make the handles out of bamboo, which grows quickly and breaks down easily.  It's a great idea.

Now, the company is bringing to market a brush for Sonicare powered toothbrushes.  Powered brushes are becoming more and more popular which means they are becoming major players in the toothbrush industry.  As more people move away from manual brushes, there becomes a market for sustainable sonic brush heads.

There is a nice write up on the product over at my writing home Dental Products Report and I highly suggest you give it a read.  Then, head over to Woobamboo and give their sustainable brushes a try!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Academy of General Dentistry Announces Total of Donations to Fight Oral & Pharyngeal Cancer

 


As a dentist, one of the diseases that I am passionate about is the fight against oral & pharyngeal cancer.  It is a horrible disease that often leaves victims scarred and or disfigured after treatment.  Usually that is because the disease is not detected in its earliest stages when it can be more conservatively treated.

As an example, rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen had a portion of his tongue removed in the early 2000s due to cancer.  It was caught early and many people where not aware of the surgery.  Unfortunately that frequently is not the case.

One of the many sad things about this disease is that around 36,000 U.S. residents will be diagnosed with a form of it this year.  The other incredible statistic is that roughly one person every hour dies of the disease.  Oral & pharyngeal cancer kills more Americans than cervical cancer every year.

There is also the fact that the disease is striking younger people much more frequently.  The human papilloma virus 16 (HPV 16), the same virus that causes cervical cancer is affecting both genders and at a much younger age.  People in their 20s are now being told they have cancer which is a tragedy.  

Because of all of these things, I try and screen the best I can when doing patient examinations.  Anything that I can o to prevent someone from enduring the brunt of this disease is time well spent as far as I am concerned.  

That's why I was happy to read about the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) raising funds to help battle the disease.  Here is the info I recently received:

The AGD Foundation is excited to announce that thanks to the support of generous members and corporations, they raised over $192,310 in 2021, which includes over $85,130 from the Annual Appeal campaign alone.

 Your support makes the following initiatives possible:

Developing easily accessible oral and oropharyngeal cancer resources for dentists, physicians, and more.

Hosting free annual oral cancer screening events.

Expanding our grant program, which financially supports AGD constituencies and other organizations’ oral/oropharyngeal cancer awareness and early detection programs.

 Thank you for showing, yet again, that our profession can make a difference in the fight against oral and oropharyngeal cancer. You inspire us everyday. 

 Sincerely,

The AGD Foundation Board of Directors

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

MouthWatch Announces Special One Time Pricing until Thursday January 20th


I've been a fan of MouthWatch intraoral cameras ever since they came on the market a few years ago.  The company has even managed to make my annual Top 5 Test Drive article twice.


They sell an amazingly good intraoral camera for an incredibly reasonable price.  Before MouthWatch, I was paying around $3500 for intraoral cameras.  That's not a small amount when you factor in that my office has 7 operatories.

MouthWatch cameras can be purchased for $299 and the price drops if you buy 2 or more at once.  These cameras provide incredible images AND they don't crush your budget.  In fact, I actually keep some cameras in stock in case something goes wrong with one.  I would have never tied up $3500 for a "just in case" scenario for a camera.  However, with MouthWatch I can easily keep 2 or 3 cameras in my inventory in case one of the 7 in use has a problem.

Now the company has announced that until Thursday January 20th you can take an additional $150 off orders of $1000 or more.  There is no discount code or anything special to do.  Simply go to the webpage and place your order.

I'm a big believer in MouthWatch.  We use them everyday and they are critical to our standard operating procedures.  If you are looking for a great intraoral camera, give them a try!

Here is the link for you to find out more...  

Monday, January 17, 2022

FDA Warns of Higher Risk of Dental Problems from Use of Buprenorphine a Drug Used for Opioid Addiction

 


One of the biggest problems with addiction to opioids and opiates, is the simple fact that once the body is used to a regular supply of the chemicals in this family, the body rebels when those chemicals are not available.  The common term for that condition is withdrawal and depending on the drug being used and the amount of time it has been used for, withdrawal can be uncomfortable on the low end and intolerable on the other.

That little fact is one of the biggest reasons people stay addicted.  Simply stated, even those individuals who want to stop cannot tolerate the pain and other symptoms that are part of withdrawal.  I am no expert on addiction or withdrawal, but I did learn a bit about the situation in my undergraduate studies in psychology and I know that the high end of withdrawal can be excruciating.  That means for many people dependent on the drugs, alleviating the pain of withdrawal with an intake of opioids is a much better solution than suffering.

The agony of withdrawal is what keeps many continuing the path of drug abuse.

In 2002, a drug was approved by the FDA to help with this pain.  It is called buprenorphine and when taken it can greatly curve the pain and cravings that come with addiction.  It has helped countless numbers of individuals to get their lives back and for many people it has helped provide a path out of the hell that is addiction.

Now comes word that some forms of buprenorphine can cause dental problems which are sometimes severe.  There are multiple forms of the medication, but the problems stem from tablets and films that are placed in the mouth under the tongue and dissolve, thereby delivering the medication through absorption through the sublingual route.

Buprenorphine can also be delivered by injection and transdermal patches.  Both of those types are not related to dental problems.

If you are a patient using one of the dental related products, make sure to make an appointment with your provider and explain your situation to them.  Dentists are more than happy to help folks in recovery.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Interesting Information on the Spread of the Omicron Variant

 As most of us now know, the Omicron variant is much more infectious than other forms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  We've seen it rapidly spread from its early detection in South Africa across the globe in a matter of weeks.

I remember reading about it when it first appeared.  There was some initial speculation (not a lot was known about it in the very beginning of its detection) that it was more easily spread than other variants.  I thought "if that's the case, sealing countries off from South Africa won't help because it will have already spread".  That was clearly the case.  Omicron spread like no other variant and has created a virtual tsunami of infections around the world.

Now comes science to tell us just *how* much this one has spread.  A study found on MedRxiv states the following:  These findings strongly suggest that Omicron has a much higher rate of asymptomatic carriage than other VOC and this high prevalence of asymptomatic infection is likely a major factor in the widespread, rapid dissemination of the variant globally, even among populations with high prior rates of SARS-COV-2 infection.

That study found that asymptomatic spread of Beta and Delta variants was about 2.6% while Omicron comes in at 16%.  That is a huge increase of carriage!  

It definitely pays to mask up and if possible, upgrade your everyday mask wear to a N-95 grade.  While nothing is 100% effective, with the amount of spread before the onset of symptoms you could be walking through a veritable "cloud" of virus particles from people who at that moment feel perfectly fine, but are shedding virus like crazy.

For the page containing this study, here is the link.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

MouthWatch Announces Four Winners of its 2021 “Teledentistry Innovation Awards”

 


MouthWatch, LLC a leader in innovative teledentistry solutions and digital imaging devices, recently honored four pioneering teledentistry practitioners and programs  by naming them as winners of the fifth annual Teledentistry Innovation Awards, affectionately known as the “Tellies”. 

According to MouthWatch, LLC CEO and founder Brant Herman, “During the past year of recovery, we’ve seen a tremendous uptick in teledentistry innovation and adoption. Each of this year’s Tellie winners represent diverse types of teledentistry programs, but all are focused on improving access to care and patient outcomes.”   

The purpose of the Tellie Awards is two-fold:

Recognize individual, forward-thinking dental providers who improving the state of oral and systemic health across the nation by actively using teledentistry.

Highlight the many ways that teledentistry is being successfully implemented across a broad spectrum of dental care including public health, private practice, and organizational settings. 

The 2021 Teledentistry Innovation Awards winners were named in the following categories: Dental Education, Dentist/Specialist, Dental Hygiene, and Oral Health Program (non-profit or business). Here are the four Tellie Awards winners:  

Winner Name and Organization: Dr. Shibani Sahni / Harvard School of Dental Medicine

Award Category: Dental Education  

During the COVID pandemic, The Harvard School of Dental Medicine experienced a disruption in the treatment it provided to special needs school children and its on-site student curriculum. During the downtime, HSDM launched a teledentistry pilot program to establish continuity to its special need’s dental care program and to also expand the teaching modality for its students. The pilot was successful on both fronts and is in the process of being expanded. 

 Winner Name and Organization: Dr. Kwame Watson/Kare Mobile, Founder / Kare Mobile 

Award Category: Dentist/Specialist

Dr. Watson pioneered the use of teledentistry to make mobile concierge dentistry more efficient, productive, and profitable. For four years Kare Mobile has been providing residents of the Louisville, KY area with patient centered, comprehensive mobile dentistry. In recent years, Kare Mobile has been expanding by offering mobile dentistry franchises across the county by establishing itself as the only Dental Support Organization (DSO) dedicated to mobile, concierge dentistry. The company gives back via its Non-Profit program, “On-Demand Kare'' which provides grants to providers who agree to serve in underserved communities and also funds treatment for uninsured procedures required by those experiencing financial hardship.

Winner Name and Organization: Michelle Vacha, RDH, BS /Community Dental Health 

Award Category: Dental Hygiene

Michelle founded Community Dental Health (CDH) to increase access to care to underserved populations by sending hygienists into schools, nursing homes and rural communities in Colorado and to connect oral healthcare to overall healthcare. CDH hygienists perform exams using intraoral photos and x-rays and share with a dentist via teledentistry to provide the patient with a diagnosis and treatment plan. Currently CDH employs four hygienists, four dentists and several dental assistants, denture technicians, and supporting administrative staff. This teledentistry-powered program provides $1.5-million worth of oral care services each year. 

Winner Name and Organization: Yogita Thakur, Chief Dental Officer /Ravenswood Dental Health Center

Award Category: Oral Health Program (non-profit of business) 

In a 2012, a grant from San Mateo F5 and a partnership with The Arthur A. Dugoni Pacific School of Dentistry enabled Ravenswood Dental Health Center to pilot a teledentistry program called Virtual Dental Home. The program was based on the asynchronous (store and forward) principles of telehealth.

“We thank all the winners for participating in the 2021 Teledentistry Innovation Awards and for recognizing the full potential of teledentistry," said Herman. 

To watch interviews of all of this year’s Teledentistry Innovation Awards, visit http://mwtch.co/2021.  Nominations for next year’s Tellie Awards are currently being accepted online at http://teledentistryinnovationawards.com. Self-nominations are welcome.

About MouthWatch, LLC:  

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

In recent years, the company received the following significant awards and accolades: The 2020 and 2021 Cellerant Best of Class Award  for TeleDent™, the provider-focused, patient-friendly teledentistry platform. In 2021, TeleDent also won Dentistry Today’s  Top 100 Products, Reader’s Choice Top 25, and Top Aesthetic and Restorative Products awards. The MouthWatch Intraoral Camera won Dentaltown Magazine’s Dental Townie Choice Award™ in 2021 and 2021 as well as Dentistry Today Magazine’s Top 100 Products Award in 2020. 

What’s more, the company’s latest product, The MouthWatch Plus+ HD intraoral camera, introduced in September of 2021, has already won a Dental Products Report Top 5 Editor’s Choice Award and  a Dentistry Today Reader’s Choice Top 25 Innovative Products Award. 

The company was also included in the 2020 and 2021 Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies as well as The Financial Times Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies 2021 List and The 2021 Inc. Best in Business List. 

For more information, visit www.MouthWatch.com.


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Dr. Jeff Dalin to Receive ADA 2022 Humanitarian Award



Let's give some credit to where credit is due.  Early in my "second career" of teaching, testing, writing, etc I met an incredibly nice guy from St. Louis named Jeff Dalin.  A fellow dentist, I met Jeff at a meeting where someone introduced us thinking that two Midwestern guys would probably get along well.

Back then, Dr. Dalin had recently launched an idea for helping children in need of dental care.  He called the program "Give Kids a Smile".   It was founded on the idea of taking one day out of the year and using that day to treat as many children as possible, free of charge.

That idea was quickly picked up by the American Dental Association and soon, with their backing, GKAS became a national day in dental offices to help kids whose families could not normally afford dental care.

I'm proud to say the Dr. Dalin's idea pretty much exploded across the country as offices joined in.  In the Kansas City area the local dental association coordinated care in large offices where many of us would go to screen, triage, and then treat these kids so desperately in need of care.  

I have no idea how much free dentistry has been provided by GKAS, but I'm sure it is now, after 20 years, multiple millions of dollars.  And when you think of it, many of those kids from the early days of the program are now old enough to have kids of their own.

So hats off to my friend Dr. Jeff Dalin.  What started out as just an idea in his noggin has now changed to lives of countless children AND adults.  He's a great humanitarian and a giver.  I can think of no one more deserving of the ADA 2022 Humanitarian Award.  Congratulations my friend... you have changed the world and helped make it a better place of tens of thousands of people.