Monday, November 29, 2021

MouthWatch Demonstrates How TeleDent™ Connects Patients Across All Healthcare Touchpoints to Dental Care


 


One of the things I've learned over the past couple of years... I've had some relative end up in skilled nursing facilities.  There is not a great deal of attention, at least in the facilities that I have visited in the last 2-3 years, on oral health or dental care.

That situation is only going to get worse in the next few years because of the incredible progress we've seen in our medical care.  Folks are living longer than ever before and because of that, there is going to be a much increased need for dental care in those facilities.  We are constantly discovering ways to include the lifespan of our population.  That is a wonderful blessing for many, but we have not been as able to increase ways to deal with dental problems in that population.  How are we going to be able to examine and diagnose problems in a patient population that may not be able to physically enter a dental office?

The other thing I've learned... and we have ALL learned, is that there are certain times where we NEED to be physically separated from others.  What if a patient that is Covid-19 positive has sudden swelling from a large carious lesion?

The above two examples are the reason why dentistry already needs, and will continue to need and improve upon the concept of remote communication and triage.

One of my favorites in the remote dental space is Teledent.  As a member of the Cellerant Best of Class voting panel, I've been part of us voting Teledent as the Best of Class winner for two years in a row.  Part of the reason for that is the company's focus on innovation and improvement year after year.  During the Greater New York Dental Meeting that started on Sunday, the company has announced even more innovation.

Here is what the company has to say:

 MouthWatch, LLC a leader in innovative teledentistry solutions, will be highlighting its enhanced TeleDent platform which continues to connect individual practices and multi-location dental groups to innovative opportunities for improving dental care delivery. 

Dental decision makers can learn more about how teledentistry is making convenient access to care a reality in sustainable, profitable ways. MouthWatch will be demonstrating these new enhancements during the Greater New York Dental Meeting at booth #3121.

According to MouthWatch Founder and CEO Brant Herman, “The latest TeleDent enhancements were designed to encourage frequent, convenient, and visually enriched communication between providers and patients and ultimately persuade patients to be more actively engaged in improving their oral health, no matter where they might be.” 

The latest TeleDent™ enhancements can deliver the following benefits:

Deploy across multiple locations and a variety of dental and medical environments
• Improve patient retention

Attract new patients 

Increase patient value  

Boost operatory efficiency and production

Enhance care plan acceptance

Minimize operatory use for consultations

Reactivate lapsed patients and delayed treatment plans

Share dental care communications with allied healthcare providers

TeleDent delivers all the benefits of a sophisticated, scalable telehealth platform to a dental care environment. For more information, visit https://www.mouthwatch.com/teledent-software/

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. For more information, visit www.MouthWatch.com.




Soft Tissue Crown Lengthening Utilizing a Diode Laser

For over 20 years I have been working with lasers in my practice.  Over those years, I have used every wavelength available to dentistry in a variety of procedures.  Lasers are truly nothing short of amazing and even though I have used them for an incredible number of different applications, I am sometimes still amazed at what they can accomplish.  Today I'd like to discuss one of the best applications for soft tissue lasers in dentistry.

The concept of soft tissue crown lengthening can give patients an incredible smile with noticeable results from an aesthetic standpoint while leaving no trace of the fact that a laser was used.  Creating symmetrical gingival contours in the aesthetic zone can be difficult to accomplish with most standard modalities, but with a diode laser it is fast, easy, and predictable.  Here is something I've put together that helps explain things:


Diode lasers offer a tremendous advantage in soft tissue crown lengthening than traditional modalities. Before lasers became affordable tools for soft tissue surgery, frequently the only other options were either electrosurgery or scalpel.

The electrosurgery unit was affordable and fast, but it provided much less predictability in results. Thermal damage from the unit was the main problem. Tissue that has been burned shrinks upon healing as the device creates an area of necrosis. This leads to uneven and asymmetrical results that are not in line with cosmetic principles.

Similar problems exist with the scalpel option. Tissue that is cut under strict sterile surgical conditions, even with the best of hands, can heal unevenly. This tendency to heal unevenly can necessitate the need for “touch up” surgery to create a more even healing and appearance.

When one cannot comfortably predict where the tissue will be when it has healed, true cosmetic results are impossible to achieve.

Into this realm steps the diode laser. Lasers can provide outstanding cosmetic results without postoperative pain or touch up surgeries.

Properly used at low power, a diode laser can create an aesthetic result that leaves the healed tissue in the exact same position in 3 weeks, that it was the day of the procedure. Using low power, a diode laser can “melt’ tissue during cosmetic recontouring. This eliminates thermal damage and tissue shrinkage due to overheating.

Prior to diode lasers, cosmetic crown lengthening or cosmetic recontouring required significant healing time to not only allow the tissue to recover, but also to factor in the possible need for touchup surgeries.

However, with a diode laser, the operator can use the laser, then prep and impress on the same day knowing that on the day of delivery the tissue will be in the exact same position it was on the day of the procedure. This saves an incredible amount of time. No patient wants to wait longer to receive their new smile, yet no doctor wants to prep if they cannot predict where the gingival margin will be in three weeks.

The diode laser provides fast and predictable results that benefit both the patient and the practitioner.


Thursday, November 25, 2021

What I Am Thankful For...

 Every year here in the U.S. we have a holiday we refer to as Thanksgiving.  It is a day where we take time to think about how fortunate we are and how grateful we are for everything we have.

So I thought I would sit down and put fingers to keyboard and let all of you, who are gracious enough to read these ramblings, understand what it is that I am grateful for this year.


  • I'm thankful for my best friend... she knows who she is.
  • I'm thankful for mom & dad.  The love of a parent for their child is everlasting and cannot be described.  When you know, you know.  I went through some really tough times in my younger years and they were there... always.
  • I'm thankful for my patients.  You put your trust in me every time you see my face.. or at least *what* you can see of it.  I am so grateful for that trust and I will *never* take that trust for granted.
  • I'm thankful for the Team at my office.  I've wanted to do this since I was 3 years old and I couldn't do it without you!  We spend more time together than we do with our families and I am proud to call you all part of my extended family.  You make me happy every day as I walk into the office.
  • I'm thankful for the companies I get to work with in my consulting business.  It is such an honor to help put my DNA into products and procedures that will change the lives of patients.
  • I'm thankful for the crew that provides care for my dad.  He was there for me and now I must be there for him and thanks to all of you, I know that his golden years are full of smiles and truly caring help.
  • I'm thankful for the women and men who protect us and serve us.  Those who get up every morning knowing that they have agreed to, if necessary, lay down their lives or put themselves in harm's way to keep the rest of us safe and healthy.  It's impossible to list all of those careers, but people in the armed forces, first responders, security analysts, law enforcement, and emergency medicine professionals are some of the ones that come to mind.
  • I'm thankful for baseball and my beloved Kansas City Royals.  I great distraction when life is just too serious and too stressful.  No matter how far I may travel, there is always a baseball with me... somewhere near by.  I never really could get the hang of playing the game very well, but that doesn't mean I don't get incredible joy from watching others.
  • I'm thankful for Z-Cat, the ginger tabby who curls up next to me at night and helps with my materials experiments and video shoots.  I never thought I would be "a cat guy" until he came along.  Now those soft orange paws help to lower my stress levels when I need it most.
  • Last, but certainly not least, I'm grateful to God.  I am the luckiest man I know.  I've worked hard and I've had some good breaks come my way, but I believe there is a power in the universe that is stronger than anything else.  I believe that there are no coincidences.  I believe that there is an essence in the universe that loves us all.  I also believe that we are supposed to take care of one another and love each another... not hate each other.  Love always wins.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

SprintRay Announces Global Distribution Partnership with Nobel Biocare

I've been using SprintRay printers in my office for as long as I've been 3D printing and they are workhorse pieces of hardware in my practice.  They are durable, fast, and accurate.  We use them all the time and I have nothing but good things to say about them.  

Now comes word that they have begun working with Nobel Biocare.  Read on for the details: 


SprintRay Inc., an industry leader in digital dentistry and 3D printing solutions, today announced a partnership with Nobel Biocare, a world leader in the field of innovative implant-based patient solutions for tooth replacement. As part of the partnership, Nobel Biocare will become an authorized distributor of all of SprintRay's innovative 3D printing technology.

"SprintRay is excited to introduce our industry leading, end-to-end 3D printing solution to Nobel Biocare's extensive global network of dental professionals," said SprintRay's Chief Growth Officer, John Cox. "This partnership extends SprintRay's reach and penetration into implant dentistry – one of the industry's fastest growing segments."

Together, SprintRay and Nobel Biocare will deliver best-in-class implant workflow solutions to patients around the world. The combination of Nobel Biocare's innovative implant solutions, combined with SprintRay's frictionless 3D printing technology, will result in reduced implant delivery times, same-day placement of implants and highly accurate guided surgery templates. While historically, traditional dental implant procedures take months to complete, through Sprint Ray and Nobel Biocare's collaboration, patients can receive same-day, chairside care through 3D printed surgical guides and immediate implant restorations.

"Nobel Biocare has a philosophy of continuous innovation, driven by patient need," said Patrik Eriksson, Nobel Biocare's president. "We are proud to partner with SprintRay and to distribute their 3D printing technology, which can drastically reduce time to teeth."

"Practicing dentists have always had to manage the competing interests of speed versus accuracy and quality," said Dr. Kenneth Parrish, DMD, PhD. "As the only 3D printing manufacturer dedicated to dental applications, SprintRay understands the challenges faced in day-to-day practice. Time consuming emergency work-ins to your schedule can now be replaced by the touch of a button to easily and cost effectively create and deliver a replacement restoration, saving chair time and eliminating patient frustration."

SprintRay's recently launched ProCure 2, the most advance curing system available today that reduces curing times to five minutes, will be offered as part of the partnership. The ProCure 2 enables same-day placement of dental implants and allows for Nobel Biocare's All-on-4® restorations to take place in one appointment.


Monday, November 22, 2021

Message from the ADA President


In an effort to keep people informed of what is going on in the world of the American Dental Association, I've decided to use today's post to highlight the first notification that I've received from the new ADA president, Dr. Cesar Sabates.  As regular readers will remember, Cesar and I go way, way back.  In fact we go all the way back to the days of our training when he and I were dental students together back in the 80s at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry.  I'm really proud of my friend and I proudly share his letter with all of you.



Dear Colleagues:

As we near the season of celebration and thanksgiving, I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to you, ADA, for demonstrating the power of resilience over the last 20 months. The reason dentistry has weathered the storm of the pandemic is because of what I believe sets our profession apart—an ability to harness a sense of community and shared purpose to withstand even the harshest of challenges.

This sense of community and shared purpose has long defined what I consider our dental family. Like you, I saw it come to life in the darkest days of the pandemic, when the ADA rallied to keep the dental profession moving ahead when others were at a standstill. I’ve also experienced it personally—in the decades-long relationships I’ve built with patients, in the ways my colleagues have shown up for me in the most harrowing moments of my life and career, and in how I have seen my peers connect and care for each other.

As we remain hopeful about the pandemic gradually nearing its end, the ADA is emerging into a new day guided by a fresh outlook on what it means to be the leading advocate for oral health. And in my term as the ADA’s 158th president, I want to ensure that we always carry with us the unity, support, and connection that has seen us through. I believe we can foster an ADA that supports, empowers, and embraces all dentists, no matter who they are and where they are in their career journeys. What we have before us is an opportunity to build dentistry’s new day together.

Strengthening our community is both an interpersonal endeavor and a transformative one in which members’ perspectives shape how we engage and the resources we provide. The most recent example of this is the new ADA.org, which was designed based on feedback from hundreds of our dentist colleagues. ADA.org is now streamlined to put your unique interests and areas of focus at the center of every visit, whether it’s on your computer, tablet, or phone. It’s one component of our Association’s multi-year effort to modernize your experience as an ADA member, with the overall goal of powering your success.

Moving the ADA into its new day means many things right now: Meeting the demands of a changing digital environment, navigating an evolving pandemic journey, and also welcoming a new leader to the ADA team.

This week, Dr. Raymond Cohlmia, longtime ADA member and most recently the dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, began his tenure as the Association’s ninth executive director. We welcome Dr. Cohlmia, and we celebrate Dr. Kathy O’Loughlin, who has retired after 12 years in the role.

As seasons change, we reflect on what has passed and look forward to what’s to come. But for me, there is one constant: gratitude. There’s much to be grateful for, and this year, ADA family, I am especially grateful for you.

Happy holidays!


Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Blue Light Hazard: How Worried Should Dentists Be?

 I'll be the first to admit that I have had a really blessed career.  Over the years my adventures as "Technology Evangelist" have taken me in some interesting directions, taken me to some interesting places, and given me the opportunity to meet some incredibly smart & interesting people.  Today's post is sort of based on one of those people that I've been lucky enough to meet.  

I read not too long ago that medical knowledge doubles every 18 months and I'm inclined to agree with that.  With all of the research and technology at our disposal these days, research and knowledge is advancing at a blistering pace.

Because of that blistering pace, it is really nigh impossible to adequately keep up by relying on our own knowledge and/or our own ability to digest the appropriate literature and comprehend it adequately.  I know from personal experience that there are times when I must read something 2 or 3 times and then take time for the information to "gel" in my mind before I feel it is properly locked in and that I properly comprehend that information.

What this means for our learning and understanding process is that we cannot be all knowing... even in a limited subject.  Instead the world of information development has evolved to a point where we, as information consumers, need to find a person with a massive amount of "deep dive" information that we can rely on.  

Let's use dental composites and the science of adhesive dentistry as an example.  Most dentists have a pretty good idea of the overall science of what transpires when a composite restoration is bonded into or onto tooth structure.  However, there are things that are happening on a microscopic level that require a much more detailed examination to learn and the person who has done the "deep dive" into that aspect of adhesive dentistry is a dentist and researcher by the name of Richard Price.

Richard is one of those people who, as the old saying goes, has probably forgotten more on adhesive dentistry than many of us will ever know.  Last week, he reached out to me to tell me about a presentation he had given at the 2021 IADR meeting.  The lecture was given by Dr. Price and Dr. Jack Ferracane.  Dr. Ferracane is also a friend and someone I highly respect.

For quite some time there has been a debate in the field as to whether the light that is emitted from a dental during light might be dangerous to the eyes and this video covers that topic.

This lecture is about 18.5 minutes long and is definitely worth your time to view.  Rather than putting a viewing window in this post, I think it is just easier to provide with a link to the YouTube video itself.  Click here and make sure you have something available to take notes with.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

New Product Announcement from Ivoclar Vivadent - The VivaScan Intraoral Scanner

 

I am a *huge* fan of digital impressions.  So much so in fact that my office has 2 scanners that we use all the time.  Our scanning became such a big part of what we do that having just one was slowing us down a bit.

Now we've got a new scanner on the market and it comes from a company that carries a lot of weight in the industry.  

Ivoclar Vivadent has announced the VivaScan intraoral scanner.  I don't have any personal hands-on experience with the device, but the company has provided some information about it.  

The device is plug and play which means you can easily move it from operatory to operatory by simply unplugging one cable.  It also has 2 different sized tips - normal and small making scans easier is smaller mouths.

It is also easy to integrate the system with Ivoclar Cloud which stores the files and can also send them to the dental lab of choice and the files are in an open format making them easy to access by whoever needs them.

No word on price as of yet.  Stay tuned!