Tuesday, July 23, 2024

SICAT and Vatech America Create A Powerful Alliance for Streamlined Dental Workflows


              Image courtesy of Vatech                                       

The proliferation of tech in both society and especially in dentistry progresses at an astounding pace.  Often a revolutionary shift happens, something new is developed, and the immediate reflex in the industry is to copy or replicate whatever it is.  With that in mind, I love to see collaboration.  Rather than replicate and compete, I feel it's often better to take two originals and put them together.  The result is frequently that sum is stronger than the individual parts.  That''s why today I'm enthusiastic about the collaboration between SICAT and Vatech.

The dental industry is constantly evolving, with advancements in technology leading to more precise and efficient treatment methods. A recent collaboration between SICAT and Vatech America promises to be a provide so great benefits for dental professionals.

Leaders Unite: SICAT's Software Meets Vatech's Hardware

SICAT, a leading software company renowned for its user-friendly implant planning and surgical guide applications (SICAT Suite), has joined forces with Vatech America, a prominent innovator in dental equipment, particularly 3D CBCT imaging systems. This strategic partnership integrates SICAT's powerful software suite directly with Vatech's Ez3D-i™ 3D imaging software.

This integration offers significant advantages for dentists:

  • Streamlined Workflow: Having SICAT Suite readily accessible within the familiar Ez3D-i™ environment eliminates the need to switch between separate software programs. This translates to a more efficient workflow, saving valuable time during treatment planning.  No one likes multiple clicks to get a task accomplished.  By integrating directly into the Vatech systems, this makes things much more simple.
  • Enhanced Treatment Planning: The seamless integration allows for a more precise and predictable implant planning process. Dentists can leverage SICAT's advanced features, including Implant, Endo, and Airway modules, directly within the 3D imaging data from Vatech's CBCT scans.
  • Precision Surgical Guides: SICAT's software allows for the creation of highly accurate surgical guides directly from the CBCT data. This translates to a more minimally invasive and predictable surgical experience for both the dentist and the patient.  Guided surgery makes implant surgery more predictable and easier to perform
  • Improved Patient Care: Ultimately, this powerful combination of software and hardware empowers dentists to provide their patients with exceptional care. The streamlined workflow and enhanced treatment planning capabilities can lead to more better outcomes and potentially shorter treatment times.

A Look Ahead: The Future of Dental Technology

The partnership between SICAT and Vatech America represents a significant step forward in dental technology. By combining their expertise in software and hardware, they are paving the way for a more efficient, predictable, and patient-centered dental experience. As both companies continue to innovate, we can expect even more exciting advancements in the future.

Personally, I love the fact that two companies that make good products have joined forces to create a better outcome for patients.  We are starting to accumulate massive amounts of data as the profession moves to totally digital workflows and having powerful options that work well together are better for everyone involved.

Monday, July 22, 2024

Be Eco-Friendly and Get Rewarded with Hu-Friedy's Environdent Program!

 We all want to help the environment.  That's one of the reasons I'm happy to announce that the HuFriedy Envirodent™ has returned.  The program was paused for a while, but I'm excited to tell you that... it's back!

Looking for a way to declutter your dental instruments and help the environment at the same time? Look no further than Hu-Friedy's Environdent program! This free program allows you to recycle your old scalers, ultrasonic inserts, and surgical instruments, regardless of the brand.

Recycle and Reap the Rewards:

Not only are you doing your part for the environment by keeping dental instruments out of landfills, but you're also rewarded for your participation! Here's how it works:

Recycle 12 instruments and get 1 FREE Hu-Friedy instrument of your choice!

Recycle throughout the year – up to 60 instruments and receive up to 5 free instruments!

Choose from a variety of instruments, including popular scaler designs.

Enjoy exclusive promotions throughout the year as a participating member.

Easy to Participate:

The Environdent program is simple and convenient. Just visit the Hu-Friedy website or contact their customer service representatives to learn more and request a prepaid shipping label. Box up your old instruments and send them in – it's that easy!

Sustainable Dentistry:

By participating in Hu-Friedy's Environdent program, you're contributing to a more sustainable dental practice. You're reducing waste, conserving resources, and ensuring proper disposal of dental instruments.

Ready to get started? Head over to the Hu-Friedy website or contact them today to learn more about Environdent and be a part of a greener dentistry!

To learn more about the program, follow this link.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

New National Poll Shows Overwhelming Bipartisan Support for Medicare Dental Coverage


Here's some pretty interesting info I received from CareQuest Institute for Oral Health®.  Access to care is always a hot topic, no matter what healthcare discipline you happen to discuss.  It's unfortunate truth that no matter how good our healthcare system gets, there will always be unfortunate individuals that will struggle to pay for that care.  Many of those folks are forced to simply do without.  This leads to a loss of quality of life.  It would be great to solve that problem or, at a minimum, at least try to reduce that problem as much as possible.  With that in mind, I was excited to see the following information:

9 in 10 Voters Favor Adding Dental Coverage to Medicare; Survey also Finds Broad Support for Medicaid Adult Dental Benefits and Better Coverage for Veterans

July 16, 2024 (Boston, MA) – A new national poll shows that the vast majority of voters across the political spectrum favor adding dental coverage to Medicare. The results of the poll, commissioned by CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® and the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network (OPEN), show that more than 9 in 10 national voters (92%) support adding a dental benefit to Medicare.

 “These poll results show that people all across our nation understand just how important oral health is to overall health,” said Melissa Burroughs, director of public policy at CareQuest Institute. “No one in this country should have to choose between getting the care they need and putting food on the table. As candidates consider their health care platforms this year, the informed ones will make Medicare dental coverage a top priority.”

Half of all Medicare enrollees don’t have dental coverage, meaning nearly 24 million older Americans lack access to this essential form of health care. Approximately the same number of Medicare enrollees haven’t visited a dentist in 12 months, which has profound implications for the health and well-being of older adults.

The poll revealed that 85% of respondents who voted for Trump in both 2016 and 2020 and 99% of those who voted for the Democrat candidate in those two elections would like to see a dental benefit added to Medicare. When ranking health care topics they find “most important,” voters rank adding dental coverage to Medicare just as highly as abortion and even higher than the future of the Affordable Care Act. Dental care also ranked the highest on the list of services that voters would like to see added to Medicaid.

Additionally, separate polling showed broad support for dental coverage in Medicare in key states for the 2024 presidential election: in Michigan, 91% of voters support it; in Ohio, 92%; and in Pennsylvania, 93%. 

The poll also revealed that 91% of voters want expanded coverage to include dental services for veterans. Additionally, 74% of voters support adding adult dental benefits to Medicaid at the state or federal level.  

The national polling was conducted by Marketing for Change Co. from May 29 – June 4, 2024, using a representative sample of 1,000 registered voters nationwide from the YouGov online panel. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%. Marketing for Change also conducted separate polling in Michigan (n=765), Ohio (n=761) and Pennsylvania (n=760) using the Centiment online panel between May 30 and June 13. The margin of error for those surveys was between +/- 3.54% and +/-3.55%.

About CareQuest Institute for Oral Health®      

CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® is a national nonprofit championing a more equitable future where every person can reach their full potential through excellent health. We do this through our work in philanthropy, analytics and data insights, health transformation, policy and advocacy, and education as well as our leadership in dental benefits and innovation advancements. We collaborate with thought leaders, health care providers, patients, and local, state, and federal stakeholders, to accelerate oral health care transformation and create a system designed for everyone. To learn more, visit carequest.org and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. 

 About the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network (OPEN) 

OPEN, an initiative of CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, is a diverse network of individuals and entities who are taking on America’s oral health challenges so that everyone has a chance to thrive. OPEN members use their unique experiences, knowledge, and skills to lead network activities every year, creating collective energy that is driving large-scale change.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Heading to Pigeon Forge, TN this Friday & Saturday!


This Friday & Saturday (July 19-20) I'll be in Pigeon Forge, TN with two of my very best friends.  Dr. Marty Jablow, Dr. Paul Feuerstein, and I are heading to Tennessee to do a 1 1/2 day lecture on tech advancements in dentistry.

Over the years, the 3 of us have done a lot of these events.  It all started back in Montreal in the early 2000s where we were just hanging out together.  I happened to say, "You know, I'll bet if you put the three of us together in a room, there probably isn't a dental tech question that one of us couldn't answer."  From that little spark of inspiration grew the concept of 3 lecturers all working together to bring info to the profession.  The really funny part of that is that I don't think we've ever gotten a question that one of us couldn't answer.

Doing presentations is actually hard work, both for the speaker *and* the attendees.  Listening to one single person for a day or two can be tough on the audience.  It's easy to let you mind drift after listening to the same voice for an extended period of time.  The great part about three people is there is constant variety.  Different voices, different styles, different topics, different information.  We've found that audiences really enjoy it.

The three of us don't always agree, plus we are NOT above interrupting each other... or occasionally harassing each other.  It's always a good time.

So if you happen to be a dentist in the area who follows this blog, try and make the event.  We'd love to see you there and meet you.  Or if you're interested in having "The Three Amigos" put on event for your study club, drop a comment here and I'll see what we can do to make that happen.  We're always happy for an excuse to get together and if we can help educate our peers, those good times are even better!

Monday, July 15, 2024

Nominations are now Open for the 2024 MouthWatch TeleDentistry Innovation Awards

Dental professionals and business leaders invited to nominate teledentistry and virtual dental care pioneers for recognition at the 7th annual “Tellie” Awards in NYC

MouthWatch, LLC, a leader in developing digital technology solutions that drive success for dental professionals, improve oral health care, and enhance the overall patient experience, has opened nominations for its 7th annual Teledentistry Innovation Awards.  These unique awards, known as “The Tellies,” recognize a broad spectrum of individuals, programs, and organizations, utilizing teledentistry and virtual dental care applications to expand access to care, improve oral health and ultimately enhance overall health and well-being. 

“Tellie award winners have mastered the use of teledentistry to improve oral health,” said Brant Herman, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, MouthWatch and Dentistry, One. “We look forward to honoring these dental pioneers for their innovative role in driving the future of virtual care and the success of the teledentistry programs they have implemented to enhance patient engagement and expand reach into the communities they serve.”

The five Tellie nomination categories represent a wide variety of teledentistry applications:  

  • Dentists & Specialists using teledentistry/virtual care in ways that have improved patient journeys and/or clinical workflows.
  • Hygienists implementing teledentistry to expand access to care and improve patient care in any setting, public or private.
  • Oral Health Programs, including organizations, public health programs, DSOs and other care delivery settings that use teledentistry/virtual care to transform and enhance clinical care and the patient experience.
  • Educational Institutions, such as dental/hygiene schools, universities and other education settings that integrate teledentistry into the curriculum or services they provide.
  • Industry Innovators, including any person or organization innovating in the dental space where teledentistry/virtual care plays a key role.

2024 Tellie Award winners will each receive: 

  • A cash grant of $1,000.00.
  • An invitation to be honored at the 2024 Tellie Awards ceremony event in New York City.
  • Recognition of their business, practice, or program in a nationally distributed press release, social media posts, and as a special feature story for publication.

“Every year the Tellie Awards become more exciting as the nominations reflect technology advances and the application of teledentistry for improved access to care and patient outcomes becomes more sophisticated – including use of teledentistry to digitally bridge dental and medical care,” added Herman. 

Nominations are open until October 1, 2024. Self-nominations are welcome and can be submitted on The Tellie Award website, teledentistryinnovationawards.com. Tellie Award winners will be announced during the 2024 Greater New York Dental Meeting taking place November 29 - December 4, 2024. The location and time of the invitation-only Tellie Awards event will be announced separately. Learn about previous Tellie Awards winners here.

About MouthWatch, LLC 

MouthWatch, LLC, is a leader in developing digital technology solutions that drive success for dental professionals, improve oral health care, and enhance the overall patient experience.

Headquartered in Metuchen, New Jersey, MouthWatch is widely known for its intraoral cameras that help engage patients in treatment planning through high-quality, affordable imaging technology, and its TeleDent teledentistry software that provides practices and organizations with a teledentistry option to engage patients with providers remotely.  

MouthWatch recently launched Dentistry.One, a virtual-first dental care network that addresses the expectations of today’s modern healthcare consumers, the need for greater efficiency in healthcare, and the proven connection between good oral health and total health. Dentistry.One features dental consultations available anytime, from anywhere, personalized care coordination, and oral health coaching for prioritizing oral health. 

MouthWatch hardware and software is in use at over 42,000 practices, over 30 leading Dental Service Organizations (DSOs), and over 100 dental schools. The company has been recognized three times in the Inc. 5000.

For more information, visit mouthwatch.com. or dentistry.one.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

HuFriedy Group HVE Mirror Connect


I love the concept of 'better mousetraps'.  The ideas that come from improving an existing situation are frequently amazing.  In fact, I recently wrote an article in Dental Products Report about the AdDent company and their outside the box products and ideas.  

However, today's post is from one of the most well known and quality focused instrument companies in the industry.  HuFriedy Group has pretty much become synonymous with high quality hand instruments (among other things).  As most people in the profession know, the company makes incredible products for both doctors and hygienists.  Today's post is about a handy little gadget that can make a hygienist's life a lot easier.

It's called the HVE Mirror Connect.  The idea is a good one, in my opinion.  It allows the hygienist to connect the HVE line to a dental mirror.  This means that you can get vision, retraction, *and* suction all from one device.

It integrates with the #5 double-sided mouth mirrors that HuFriedy sells.  We love those double-sided mirrors and use them almost exclusively in our hygiene department.

I haven't had a chance to use this device... yet.  I've put in a request to the company and I'm hoping to get some samples to try.   My plan is to get them into the hands of our hygiene team to get their opinions and I would like to try it myself.  Obviously once I get a chance to test, I'll post on my clinical experience here.

The only question I have on this is regarding the weight and pull of the HVE hose.  That, of course, is going to depend on the length of the hose and its flexibility.  However, that could be overcome by keeping the hose in the hanger on the unit and only getting enough length to work.  I'm sure you could also figure out a way to deal with that buy using some type of support like 3M Command Hook or something similar.

HuFriedy is offering a free sample of the HVE Mirror Connect, so if you are interested, here is the link to the sample request page.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Orascoptic 5.0X Ergo Magnification Brings High Mag to Declination


In the last few years dentistry has seen several companies bring a new type of magnification design to market.  These scopes (loupes) are different than the traditional style of "straight" telescopes.  This new style has been call 'declination' scopes as the magnification system 'declines' or has a bend in the telescope.  As you can see in the image above, the scopes point down toward the patient.

The idea behind them is that because the magnification points down, it allows the operator to sit more upright.  The profession has a well documented history of neck and back injury due to the clinical posture of the operator.

Before I started using magnification in the late 1990s, I was often twisted up like a pretzel as I tried to get adequate vision of the operative field.  Once I started using mag, I found my posture improved dramatically.  In basic terms, because the system had a fixed focal length, I needed to stay in better posture to keep things in focus.  There was a very brief learning curve, but once I adapted my job actually became noticeably easier.

The concept behind 'declination' scopes is that they can get the operator to sit even *more* upright than using standard straight telescopes.  The one thing that has been lacking, to my knowledge, has been high magnification.  The declination models that I have seen up to this point have been in the 2.5-3.5x range.  Now, Orascoptic has announced the HDL Ergo 5.0x which brings 5.0x to the line.  I do most of my dentistry at 5.0-5.5x (and occasionally 6.0x) so I felt that this was something the profession needed.

I have not personally worked with this level of magnification in a declination set up, but I have experience with 3.5x.  My experience found that after so long with straight scopes there was a learning curve for me as I got up to speed.  As I usually do with new things, I worked on the bench with them for a bit.  I tinkered with Dentaforms and learned where my hands were in relation to the field of view.  I didn't think the learning curve was too steep.  After about an hour I tried them on a simple one surface restoration and didn't have any problems.

For some doctors that are very used to straight scopes, there may not be a tremendous reason to switch to declination scopes, but many people are now starting with this design in school and have never known any other way.  Up until now, my only concern has been that declination scopes have only been available in lower magnification levels.  That problem is now a thing of the past.

For those younger doctors who have only used declination setups and anyone experiencing neck or back problems, this should be something on your radar.  It might be the solution you are looking for.

If you would like more information on the HDL Ergo 5.0x follow this link.