Monday, September 20, 2021

Invisalign Partners with Ultradent for Whitening in Clear Aligners


As a long time fan and sometime consultant for Ultradent, I have always been a user of their Opalescence whitening system.  I've also seen Ultradent from the inside and I can gladly say that the company and their culture is incredible and one of the only such companies I am aware.  The founder, Dr. Dan Fisher, has created a corporate culture based on "do the right thing".  We could use a lot more of that in this world.  The following info was announced last week by Ultradent and Align...

Align Technology, a leading global medical device company that designs, manufactures, and sells the Invisalign system of clear aligners, iTero intraoral scanners, and exocad CAD/CAM software for digital orthodontics and restorative dentistry, today announced an exclusive supply and distribution agreement with Ultradent Products Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-tech dental materials, devices, and instruments worldwide.

As part of the multi-year agreement, Align will offer Invisalign trained doctors an exclusive professional whitening system with the leading Opalescence PF whitening formula from Ultradent, optimized for use with Invisalign clear aligners and Vivera retainers. The system will carry the co-branded name of ‘Invisalign Professional Whitening System – powered by Opalescence’ and will offer the same great whitening outcomes and streamlined practice experience dental professionals expect from the Opalescence PF product during active tooth movement with Invisalign aligners, as well as during passive retention using Vivera retainers. The Invisalign Professional Whitening System will be commercially available globally in 2022.

“A brighter, whiter smile is an important part of the Invisalign patient journey. In fact, a survey of North American Invisalign practices (1) shows that half of their patients ask for teeth whitening during or after they complete Invisalign treatment,” said Raj Pudipeddi, Align Technology chief product and marketing officer, and SVP and managing director of the Asia Pacific Region. “We believe that by providing an all-in-one solution that combines a leading teeth-whitening system with the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, we enable Invisalign trained doctors to enhance their patients’ treatment experience with a seamless workflow that also enables practice efficiency and growth. We’re very excited to partner with Ultradent to offer the first professional whitening system optimized for use with Invisalign clear aligners and Vivera retainers. Invisalign system trained doctors can use Opalescence PF for in-office teeth whitening treatment and for doctor supervised at-home whitening.”

“We’re honored to partner with Align to make the top professional teeth whitening products available to more clinicians and patients around the world,” said Ultradent President and CEO Dirk Jeffs. “Providing Align with teeth whitening products, ideal for use with Invisalign aligners and Vivera retainers, is a considerable step toward our mission of improving oral health globally and we look forward to pursuing this mission together.”

“Many of my patients would like whiter teeth as well as a straighter smile,” said Dr. Brian Amy, an orthodontist and Align Faculty member practicing in Oklahoma City. “The new Invisalign Professional Whitening System allows me to provide both simultaneously using the brands I trust.”

“After testing this system in my practice, I can confirm that the Invisalign Professional Whitening System is easy to administer and offers a great patient experience by combining whitening with Invisalign aligners or Vivera retainers,” said Dr. Jennifer Bell, a restorative and cosmetic dentist and Align GP Advisory Board Member practicing in Holly Springs, North Carolina. “The simple ordering mechanism minimizes burden on my practice to store and manage whitening products, while providing the brighter, whiter smiles we have come to expect from the Opalescence PF product.”  

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Apples Big Announcements

  Apple usually has a couple of events every year to announce either new products or improvements to existing product lines.  There was a virtual event yesterday and, true to their tradition, they announced quite a few things.  Over the years it has become the event where they announce the new iPhones.

Which brings me to a quick comment.  Did you know that any 14 year old today does not remember a time without iPhones?  I find that practically hard to believe, but it's true.  Dang I feel old!

Now on to the announcements:

  • iPhone 13 Pro:  the fastest chip in any phone, a greatly improved camera that includes macro photography (the camera can focus at just 2cm, which is a bit less than an inch).  There are a ton more camera features as well.  The screen is pretty amazing with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz.  It is also OLED and is 25% brighter in the outdoors.  The processor is the A15 Bionic which has a 5-core GPU.  Apple is also touting greatly increased battery life.  All the details here
  • Watch Series 7:  Largest display in the device's history and up to 33% faster charging (I especially love that - what is a watch good for if its on the charger).  The screen is always on which isn't a new feature (its been around for a couple of versions, but I still love it).  A built in official soft QWERTY keyboard.   50% thicker front crystal to improve durability.  Improved ECG with a measurement of SPO2.  Dream Machine which is a new sleep tracking function.  For years I've used a 3rd party app for this, but this new one looks promising.  All the details here
  • iPad:  A13 Bionic Chip, True Tone software that adjusts the display to the color temperature of the viewing light (this is pretty slick).  A 12MP Ultra Wide camera.  Some models are 5G compatible for those who need an always on connection.  There is also an available Apple Pencil and a thin Smart Keyboard for those who don't want to type of the screen.  All the details here 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Dental Care and Dental Equipment See Strong Growth from Pandemic Lows

 Last year was a poor year for dentistry.  In order to try and preserve PPE and also to help slow the spread of Covid-19, dentistry was shut down for most of the spring.  my practice closed on March 18th and didn't reopen until May 18th.  I was in the office, working without an assistant and handling emergencies 2 mornings a week, but that was all that was done.

Basically dental offices were closed for around 60 days.  Then we saw that reflection in the fall as all of the patients who were not seen in the spring had not scheduled their second cleaning and exam for the year so the fall was a bit lean for the profession as well.

After all of that, it is nice to see some good news.  According to an article on, patients are returning to dental offices again.  This increase in patient visits also means that sales for dental suppliers are increasing as well.  As we all know, economies affect lots of pieces.  With the shut down of dental offices, supplies were not purchased either.  Also, repair technicians did not have much to do as no offices were needing repairs.

According to Patterson CEO Mark Walchirk, "We are at or near pre-pandemic growth rates."  That's some really great news for the industry.

For the full article, follow this link.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

My VOCO VisCalor Bulk Webinar is now On Demand

For almost a year now I've been using VOCO's VisCalor Bulk composite and I continue to be impressed with it.  I get a chance to use a lot of composites (and test quite a few as well) and this material continues to be one of my "go to" products.

Here's an example from today.  I was doing a MO composite on tooth #2.  The proximal box area was fairly wide and deep.  I wanted to make sure I got a good contact and I find it easier to do that if I don't have to place multiple layers.

My assistant Nicky said to me, "You're going to use VisCalor, right?"  When I replied in the affirmative she laughed and said, "Why did I even bother to ask?"

I truly continue to be impressed with the material and I think you will be as well.

Earlier this year, I did a webinar for VOCO about VisCalor Bulk.  It is now available on demand.  Follow the link if you'd like to learn more about why I love this composite!

It is *highly* recommended!


Monday, September 13, 2021

Arkansas State Dental Association Meeting this Friday

 This Friday, September 17th, I'll be doing the Keynote lecture at the Arkansas State Dental Meeting in Little Rock.  The meeting is calling it Dental Technology for the Ages and I'm pretty honored by that.

I'll be doing a full day lecture starting at 8:30 Friday morning.  If you are a dentist in the state of Arkansas, I'd be thrilled to have you come by.  If you are in a surrounding state and want to learn about what's new and what the future of our profession looks like, make it a point to be there.

I haven't had a lot of interaction with live audiences since Covid came along and I am really energized to be able to interact with my peers again.  I've always said that I probably get more out of these events than the attendees.  I love to learn and I always get so much to take back home.  I greatly appreciate it.

So this Friday, come to Little Rock for a day full of Tech stuff and some fun.  I feel we've all missed interpersonal interactions over these last 18 months or so... I know I sure have.  I am *really* looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

MouthWatch Publishes Important Whitepaper - “How Teledentistry is Delivering ROI and Driving Post-Pandemic Practice Success”


MouthWatch, LLC, a leader in innovative teledentistry solutions, digital case presentation tools and intraoral imaging devices, recently published a highly informative and timely whitepaper entitled, “How Teledentistry is Delivering ROI and Driving Post-Pandemic Practice Success”

Written by CDC consultant, infectious disease expert, and teledentistry advocate Margaret Scarlett, DMD, the white paper explains the value of teledentistry beyond emergency care and specifically demonstrates how it can be used to deliver tangible ROI in everyday practice.

According to MouthWatch CEO and founder, Brant Herman, “Teledentistry proved itself to be a safe, reliable, and effective means to remain connected to patients during dentistry’s pandemic-induced shut-down. The latest whitepaper from Dr. Scarlett makes a strong business case for continuing and expanding the use of teledentistry to drive practice growth and also for remaining prepared for future emergencies.”

The white paper provides in-depth insight on how to derive optimal ROI from teledentistry, and is organized by the following main topics:

Why Teledentistry is Critical for Rapid Practice Recovery

Lessons Learned from a Pandemic

Advantages of Teledentistry for Practice Business Management

A Better Way to Track Referrals and Patient Status 

Making In-Patient Care More Efficient

How to Measure Teledentistry’s Return on Investment

"Teledentistry is being adopted rapidly, as a modern way to serve patients virtually. Coupled with in-patient care, teledentistry can provide the winning edge for today's practice, maximizing in-patient care, while staying connected,"  said Dr. Scarlett.

“How Teledentistry is Delivering ROI and Driving Post-Pandemic Practice Success” is available as a free download at: For more information on MouthWatch TeleDent, visit

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 2020, the company received the following awards and accolades: The 2020 Cellerant Best of Class Award for TeleDent™, the provider-focused, patient-friendly teledentistry platform. TeleDent also won Dentistry Today’s  2020 Top Innovative Products Award  and Dentistry Today’s 2020 Reader’s Choice Award. The affordable / high quality MouthWatch Intraoral Camera was honored with the Dentistry Today Top 100 Products Award. MouthWatch was also ranked #1303 in the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies. For more information, visit

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Planmeca Oy Announces Intended Acquisition of KaVo Treatment Unit & Instrument Business

Here's an interesting bit of news from a press release of September 7th.  Planmeca Oy is a company with a strong presence in the dental market.  Envista is a behemoth in the industry with ownership of several companies within the dental space.  I have always referred to Kavo as "the Lamborghini of the Dental Market" and Planmeca has always had reputation for quality and innovation as well.  It will be interesting to see where this leads...

The acquisition will complement Planmeca’s extensive product portfolio and enhance the growth and competitiveness of both companies, allowing them to offer the best possible modern digital workflow to dental professionals around the world. KaVo Treatment Unit & Instruments is a renowned manufacturer and supplier of dental care units and instruments with a strong worldwide brand presence.  

Both companies will continue to operate as independent businesses, while future synergies will be sought in products, technology innovations and distribution network. 

“This partnership will make us a very strong player in the dental field. I believe our companies are a great match – we share the same standards and passion for high technology, quality and innovation, and for offering a complete digital workflow for our customers. We also share similar company cultures with a strong family business heritage. Caring for our employees and focusing on our customers have always been important values for us both,” says Heikki Kyöstilä, the owner, founder and CEO of Planmeca Group. 

“We have always had great admiration for KaVo as a premium brand. This partnership will allow us to provide exceptional value to both our customers and distributors. Our mission is to become the world’s leading provider of digital dental solutions,” states Tuomas Lokki, Senior Vice President of Planmeca Group. 

The transaction is expected to close at the end of 2021. A 51 per cent stake of the KaVo Treatment Unit and Instrument business will be acquired by Planmeca Oy, and the remaining 49 per cent by Heikki Kyöstilä as a private individual. After acquisition completion, Planmeca Group will employ a total of 4,500 people worldwide.

Established in 1971, Planmeca Oy is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.