Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ultradent Announces Dentaltown 2017 Townie Choice Award-Winning Products

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eUltradent Products, Inc., a global manufacturer and distributor of dental materials and equipment, announces its Dentaltown 2017 Townie Choice award-winning products. Of its annual awards, Dentaltown says, “Earlier this year, Dentaltown readers voted in droves for their favorite products, services, and equipment—the elements that make their lives easier, their practices more productive, and their staff and patients happier. Herein, we present the winners, the reigning champions and the new victors alike.”

Ultradent’s 2017 Townie Choice Award winners: Opalescence® PF tooth whitening systems for Best Take-Home Cosmetic Bleaching System, Opalescence® Boost whitening for Best In-Office Cosmetic Bleaching System, Opalescence® Whitening Toothpaste for Best Whitening Toothpaste, UltraCal® XS paste for Best Canal Treatment Medicaments, Seek® and Sable™ Seek® caries indicator for Best Caries Indicator, Ultra-Etch® etchant for Best Etch, Ultrapak® cord for Best Gingival Retraction Material, ViscoStat® and ViscoStat® Clear hemostatics for Best Hemostatic Agent, VALO® and VALO® Cordless curing lights for Best LED Curing Light.

Sean Kennedy, Ultradent’s brand marketing senior manager, says, “We are very excited for our products to be among the winners of the Townie Choice awards again this year. Providing the highest quality products to our customers and patients has always been our top priority, and it’s wonderful to hear that clinicians recognize and appreciate our efforts. We want to extend a huge thank you to the Townie community for their reviews and feedback. They continuously drive us to develop products that exceed their expectation and we hope to continue doing so in the many years to come. Congratulations to all of the winners this year.”

About Ultradent Products, Inc.
Ultradent Products, Inc. is a leading developer of high-tech dental materials, devices and instruments worldwide. Ultradent’s mission is to improve the level of dental health care and to make dental procedures more predictable and hassle free. Consistent with its mission, Ultradent works to improve the quality of life and health of individuals through financial and charitable programs. For more information about Ultradent, call 800.552.5512 or visit

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Canary System® Can Detect Caries Under the Intact Margins of Amalgam Restorations

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Diagnosis of caries (dental decay) is getting much more sophisticated with the continuing invention and market penetration of digital diagnostic devices.  One of these devices, the Canary system out of Canada has just released the following study from The Open Dental Journal:
The Open Dentistry Journal has just published a study entitled “In Vitro Detection of Caries Around Amalgam Restorations using Four Different Modalities” 

This paper concluded that The Canary System® can detect caries under the intact margins of amalgam restorations more accurately than Spectra, DIAGNOdent and visual examination. 

 Finding caries beneath amalgam margins is a challenging clinical problem because of the nature of the material.  Typically, older amalgam restorations may cause marginal staining but, visually these margins may appear intact and sound.  This study found that visual examination could not detect caries. 

Amalgam is dense, radiopaque and reflects light from its surface.  The glow or fluorescence from the amalgam prevented Spectra from detecting any marginal caries.  DIAGNOdent was also unable to consistently differentiate sound from carious tissue at various distances from the amalgam margins.  It was only able to detect 45% to 75% of the caries depending upon the handpiece’s distance from the amalgam margin.  However, The Canary System was able to detect 95% of the lesions around the amalgam margins. 

The Canary System can detect and monitor tooth decay beneath the edges of fillings, crowns and bridges; one of the most common clinical conditions that leads to the failure of these restorations.  When an amalgam is placed, x-rays can only detect tooth decay in certain limited areas and not along its visible margins”, said Dr. Stephen Abrams, co-founder of Quantum Dental Technologies.  “Early detection of tooth decay, before it is seen on an x-ray or detected with visual inspection means that dentists can treat problems before the decay has destroyed large amounts of vital tooth structure compromising the tooth’s structural integrity.” 

 The Canary System, with its unique crystal structure diagnostics, can, quantify, image, monitor and record changes in the structure of enamel, dentin and cementum. It can detect caries beneath opaque sealants, around the margins of restorations, around orthodontic brackets and beneath interproximal, occlusal and smooth surfaces. The Canary Cloud enables dentists to view and manage this data and track Canary usage in the office.

Visit or email  or to request additional information.  The study can be accessed at this link.  

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

VOCO Brings 3D Industrial Printer to Market


3D printing in healthcare is growing by leaps and bounds.  The makers of subtractive milling technologies know it and are working hard on 3D printing solutions and other standalone printer companies or working on solutions as well.

Currently we don’t have a system widely available to can produce permanent restorations, but we are closing in on that rapidly.  Sooner as opposed to later we will have printable aesthetic materials.  Printable lithium disilicate anyone?

However, until printable restorative dentistry goes mainstream, we can still be thrilled by 3D printing in the realm of dental lab work.  VOCO, a company that has a wonderful line of products for dental practices has now announced their 3D printer to the profession.  Here’s what the company has to say about the device which comes in models Solflex 650, Solflex 350, and Solflex 170:

An increasing number of dentists and dental technicians already rely on the digitalisation of their workflow. By integrating 3D printing technology, the in-lab manufacturing can be accelerated, quality and precision improved and costs minimized.

The SolFlex 3D printers give you an easy access to additive manufacturing technology. With 3D printing technology, you benefit from the efficiency advantages of digital designs throughout the production stage. By combining scans with subsequent design and final 3D printing, the manufacture of models and splints for orthodontic dentistry can be achieved quickly and accurately.

SolFlex 650
Base area: 400 × 400 mm
Build area: 128 × 120 mm
(6 exposure areas)
Max. build height: 130 mm
Layer thickness: 25 - 200 μm
Building capacity: up to 24 splints
Building speed: up to 56 mm/h, depending on layer thickness material
Pixel size: 50 μm***
Precision: 25 μm

SolFlex 350
Base area: 400 × 400 mm
Build area: 64 × 120 mm
(3 exposure areas)
Max. build height: 130 mm
Layer thickness: 25 - 200 μm
Building capacity: up to 12 splints
Building speed: up to 56 mm/h, depending on layer thickness material
Pixel size: 50 μm***
Precision: 25 μm

SolFlex 170
Base area: 296 × 318 mm
Build area: 56 × 89 mm
(1 exposure area)
Max. build height: 120 mm
Layer thickness: 25 - 200 μm
Building capacity: up to 6 splints
Building speed: up to 56 mm/h, depending on layer thickness material
Pixel size: 70 μm***
Precision: 35 μm

Monday, December 18, 2017

Orascoptic OmniOptic Performing Beyond Expectations

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One of the products I’ve been working with lately is the OmniOptic magnification system from Orascoptic.  This is an interesting idea for magnification.  The system is a frame and a portion of the telescope built-in.  The picture below provides a nice explanation.
Omnioptic 2.JPG
The black ‘rings’ in the lenses in the picture above are set to the user’s unique inter pupillary distance and any prescription vision correction is built into them.  Creating that custom part of the glasses is where the most expensive part of the scopes lies.  These rings contain a magnet… and this is where the genius part of this comes into play.  The doctor can then pick and choose what degree of magnification they desire and purchase only the ones they want.  Each of the magnification attachments shown above (the silver and black parts at the bottom of the picture) also contain magnets and they “snap” into place inside the black rings on the frame.
These snap in scopes are available in 2.5x, 3.5x, 4.5x, and 5.5x.  The doctor only purchases the ones they want.  If you are just starting with magnification I advise you start out lower (2.5x or 3.5x) and then once you get past the learning curve, there may be clinical situations where you want greater visibility.  The doctor can then purchase only the scopes needed and snap them in when a case indicates.  I have all four levels of magnification.  I find I am doing hygiene checks at 2.5x or 3.5x and doing the majority of my treatment at 4.5x.  However for anterior esthetics I find the 5.5x to be a must for properly finishing margins.  The frames are incredibly comfortable and swapping out the telescopes is very easy.
For years (about 20 now) I’ve been working with some type of surgical telescopes (BTW, they ARE surgical telescopes, they are NOT loupes… don’t get me started).  I started out at 2.5x and have continued to upgrade over the years until now I am routinely working at 4x or 5x. That was before the arrival in my office of my OmniOptix.  The reason for that is 2 years ago I upgraded my magnification to the Orascoptic EyeZoom (pictured below).  The EyeZoom is a single set of surgical telescopes that are adjustable with 3.0x 4.0x, and 5.0x.  The user simply rotates the barrel of the scopes and they lock into place at the desired level of magnification.
The one drawback to the EyeZoom is that you bear the weight of the 5.0x telescopes even when you are working at 3.0x.  Some doctors won’t mind this, while others would prefer only wearing heavier scopes when it is necessary.
eyezoom 1.jpg
That’s why I’m excited that Orascoptic is now giving doctors a choice.  You now can work at the level of mag you want AND at the weight you want.  Both products offer outstanding visibility and are built to handle the rigors of taking them on and off multiple times a day.  Both products are highly recommended and I cannot personally tell you which is my favorite.  My best advice would be to contact Orascoptic and give yourself a chance to try both versions and see which feels better for you.  You can even get these built using the XV-1 frames (pictured below) that feature a built-in light with no cords.  The choice is up to you!  Both of these products are highly recommended!!!  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Garrison Composi-Tight® 3D Fusion® Evaluation Complete

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For over a month now, I’ve been working with the newest sectional matrix system from Garrison.
The system, which Garrison calls the Composi-Tight® 3D Fusion® is a complete and well thought out restorative system.  It has performed extremely well in a variety of clinical situations.
It consists of different rings (Short, Tall, and Wide Prep).  The rings, as pictured above, have strong gripping silicone covers over the tines.  These silicone grippers (Garrison calls them Ultra-Grip™ retention extensions) are pointed, which allows the ring to better conform the band to the prep as well as providing good pressure to open the contact area.  There is also a notch on the gingival surface that allows the ring to “straddle” the wedge so that the wedge stays in place and does the job it is designed to do.  They also are curved in an occlusal-cervical direction to better engage the anatomical curvature of the tooth.  This allows them to truly lock into place and grip the tooth and band with firm and stable pressure.  You can see this curvature in the photo below.
Companies have tried several different versions of silicone wedges over the years and all the designs have worked better than the original wooden wedge, but Garrison has come up with a unique and well thought out idea, the “feather wedge”.  I have to admit that when I first saw them, I thought they would perform poorly… but I was wrong.  The small projections on these wedges allow them to effectively seal the band against the cervical of the prep.  They are also remarkably easy to place and, once placed, stay firmly between the teeth.  They come in four sizes as shown below:
3D Fusion Wedges.jpg
The system also comes with Ring Placement Forceps which are extremely sturdy and feature a Garrison logo open stop.  These forceps are made of stainless steel, which makes them incredibly strong and able to provide a significant amount of strength when opening rings.  Many of the forceps I’ve used over the years are not made of stainless steel and flex when opening the ring.  The flexure means less pressure is applied to the ring which translates into a ring that will not open as far.  These forceps might just be the best ones I’ve ever used in restorative dentistry.  They are designed to work with other types of rings so if you happen to use more than one system in your office the assistant is not forced to find the exact forceps that works with whatever ring system is being laid out.  This “one size fits all” design helps streamline organization and operative setups.
My hands require a large glove and both of my assistants wear small gloves.  However, we all felt that the forceps fit our hands well.  I can say with confidence that no matter your hand size, you will find these forceps comfortable and easy to use.
FXP01 full with ring.jpg
After a month of usage, I’ve found the Composi-Tight® 3D Fusion® to be reliable for any Class II restoration.  I have had NO open contacts, minimal flash, and very nice contours.  I’ve had no rings slip off teeth and the rings are easy to place.  I’m especially impressed with the wedges, especially since at first glance I was not sure how well they would work.
My overall impressions are that this is a first rate product for anyone looking to improve their Class II restorations.  This product is highly recommended!!!
For more information or to order the kit, here is a link to the product page on the Garrison website.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Periodontitis Appears to be Linked to Breast Cancer

We’re continuing to see more and more links between diseases of the oral cavity and different types of cancers is several parts of the body.  Pathogens found in the mouth have easy access to the rest of the body.  Lately there have been studies showing links to esophageal cancer.
A recent study done at the State University of New York at Buffalo examined data pertaining to periodontal disease and the incidence of cancer in postmenopausal women.  The results are intriguing, to say the least:

Background: Periodontal pathogens have been isolated from precancerous and cancerous lesions and also shown to promote a procarcinogenic microenvironment. Few studies have examined periodontal disease as a risk factor for total cancer, and none have focused on older women. We examined whether periodontal disease is associated with incident cancer among postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.

Methods: Our prospective cohort study comprised 65,869 women, ages 54 to 86 years. Periodontal disease information was obtained via self-report questionnaires administered between 1999 and 2003, whereas ascertainment of cancer outcomes occurred through September 2013, with a maximum follow-up period of 15 years. Physician-adjudicated incident total cancers were the main outcomes and site-specific cancers were secondary outcomes. HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression. All analyses were conducted two-sided.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 8.32 years, 7,149 cancers were identified. Periodontal disease history was associated with increased total cancer risk (multivariable-adjusted HR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.08–1.20); findings were similar in analyses limited to 34,097 never-smokers (HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04–1.22). Associations were observed for breast (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03–1.23), lung (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.14–1.51), esophagus (HR, 3.28; 95% CI, 1.64–6.53), gallbladder (HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.01–2.95), and melanoma skin (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.02–1.48) cancers. Stomach cancer was borderline (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 0.94–2.67).

Conclusions: Periodontal disease increases risk of total cancer among older women, irrespective of smoking, and certain anatomic sites appear to be vulnerable.

Impact: Our findings support the need for further understanding of the effect of periodontal disease on cancer outcomes. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(8); 1255–65. ©2017 AACR.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Make Your Restorative Dentistry Easier & Better with Addent's Calset

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When it comes to restorative dentistry, most of us are always on the hunt for ways to improve our techniques and to also improve our clinical results.
Every once in a while, we get lucky and something comes along that helps with both of those things.  However, when that “something” is also super affordable, that’s the dental win-win-win trifecta.  The Calset composite warmer from Addent is one of those products.
The Calset is a device that warms the composite.  It plugs into an AC outlet and gently warms the composite to one of three temperatures.  The user selects whether the temperature is 98°F, 130°F, or (my preferred setting) 155°F.  The device can hold a composite dispenser with a compule loaded in it as well as 4 other compules, composite syringes & instruments.
There have been plenty of studies done over the years that show warm composite provides a better cure with better polymerization for stronger restorations & even better depth of cure.  Warm composite also has a more workable consistency which means easier placement and easier adaptation to the preparation.
Here is what the company has to say:
The Calset Composite Warmer increases the flow of composites up to 68%. The reason this is so important is that it makes the composite so much easier to work with. Now a heavily filled material can be used on posterior teeth with no compromise to the strength of the restoration.
By warming composite, the properties change in a positive way. Once the composite has been warmed to 130°F or 140°F, and the composite is cured immediately after placement, a greater depth of cure is experienced in the same amount of curing time, hence a much stronger restoration.
When the composite is warmed, it becomes more flowable. By becoming more flowable, the composite has much better adaptation to the tooth structure, which decreases microleakage significantly. When a flowable is used prior to composite placement, the shrinkage is much greater since the resin is very thin and there is very little filler. When composite is warmed, you are still using a heavily filled material, therefore the shrinkage is much less.
The price?  The unit pictured above is $520.  There are also several different variations and models to choose from.  I’ve been using the Calset in my office for about 10 years and absolutely love it.  It’s one of those devices that just makes you life easier and your clinical results better.
Addent also makes other great products which I’ll review from time to time.

Monday, December 11, 2017

ADA Working to Help Dentists Meet End of Year CE Requirements

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Sometimes life just gets too busy.  You know how it is.  Suddenly the end of the year approaches and you realize that for whatever reason, you’re lacking on the number of hours of continuing education you need to fulfill licensure requirements.  
If that is something that is causing you angst as we head into the holiday season, fear not!  The ADA is coming to your rescue.
That rescue consists of an awesome discount on online CE that you can watch at your leisure and earn those needed CE credits.  You can take any course between now and December 31, 2017 and get a 30 percent discount!  That’s a heck of a deal for CE from people like Dr. Stanley Malamed, Dr. Ray Padilla, Dr. Steve Carsten and others.  Heck you might just find a couple of courses by me in there.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Oral Microbiome Composition Reflects Prospective Risk for Esophageal Cancers

As more and more links are beginning to be found between the bugs found causing disease in the oral cavity and the bugs that cause disease in the rest of the body, more and more we’re beginning to understand the interconnection of the body.
Now comes word of a potential link between periodontal pathogen Tannerella forsythia and a higher risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma.  The abstract from the American Association for Cancer Research is as follows:


Bacteria may play a role in esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), although evidence is limited to cross-sectional studies. In this study, we examined the relationship of oral microbiota with EAC and ESCC risk in a prospective study nested in two cohorts. Oral bacteria were assessed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing in prediagnostic mouthwash samples from n = 81/160 EAC and n = 25/50 ESCC cases/matched controls. Findings were largely consistent across both cohorts. Metagenome content was predicted using PiCRUST. We examined associations between centered log-ratio transformed taxon or functional pathway abundances and risk using conditional logistic regression adjusting for BMI, smoking, and alcohol. We found the periodontal pathogen Tannerella forsythia to be associated with higher risk of EAC. Furthermore, we found that depletion of the commensal genus Neisseria and the species Streptococcus pneumoniae was associated with lower EAC risk. Bacterial biosynthesis of carotenoids was also associated with protection against EAC. Finally, the abundance of the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis trended with higher risk of ESCC. Overall, our findings have potential implications for the early detection and prevention of EAC and ESCC. Cancer Res; 77(23); 6777–87. ©2017 AACR.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

TIO Networks Announces Data Breach Exposing Records of 1.6 Million Customers

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PayPal recently acquired the company TIO Networks to use as their payment processor.  The purchase price was $238 million and now it looks like that purchase may have come with an expected surprise… a data breach. 
The good news is that PayPal has not done any type of integration between their data and that of TIO which means that if you have a PayPal account, that info was not involved.
As I continue to stress, if this can happen to companies that are working constantly to prevent these types of breaches, everyone needs to be as vigilant as possible to keep their data and the data of their business secure.
Here is what the company has to say:

TIO Networks Provides Update on Suspension of Operations

SAN JOSE, Calif. – December 1, 2017 – PayPal Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: PYPL) today announced an update on the suspension of operations of TIO Networks (TIO), a publicly traded payment processor PayPal acquired in July 2017. A review of TIO’s network has identified a potential compromise of personally identifiable information for approximately 1.6 million customers. The PayPal platform is not impacted in any way, as the TIO systems are completely separate from the PayPal network, and PayPal’s customers’ data remains secure.

As announced on November 10, PayPal suspended the operations of TIO to protect customer data as part of an ongoing investigation of security vulnerabilities of the TIO platform. This ongoing investigation has identified evidence of unauthorized access to TIO’s network, including locations that stored personal information of some of TIO’s customers and customers of TIO billers. As a result, PayPal is taking steps to protect affected customers.

TIO has also begun working with the companies it services to notify potentially affected individuals, and PayPal is working with a consumer credit reporting agency to provide free credit monitoring memberships. Individuals who are affected will be contacted directly and receive instructions to sign up for monitoring.

More information has been posted at

About PayPal

Fueled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, PayPal (Nasdaq: PYPL) is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Our open digital payments platform gives PayPal’s 218 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid. Available in more than 200 markets around the world, the PayPal platform, including Braintree, Venmo and Xoom, enables consumers and merchants to receive money in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds in 56 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies. For more information on PayPal, visit For PayPal financial information, visit

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

AliveCor Merges the EKG with the Apple Watch Through KardiaBand

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Here’s an interesting bit of info from the healthcare sector.  As FitBit & other platforms begin to see sales level off, the idea of portable healthcare updates are still popular with consumers.
To that end, AliveCor has announced the KardiaBand.  The company had previously released the Kardia which is an EKG monitor that connects wirelessly to your smartphone.  The KardaBand moves that same technology to the band of your Apple Watch for even easier access.
497923-kardia-band.jpeg           KardiaBand.jpg
Both devices are pictured above.  They are FDA approved and have show some serious benefits for patients suffering with AFib.  To learn about the devices, check out the company website.  
The press release on the Kardia platform gives a pretty good indication of the benefits it provides:

New Research Confirms Significance of AliveCor’s 30 Second EKG

App Based, FDA-cleared, EKG technology substantiated by top researchers to detect possible Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), including those in previously undiagnosed cases; Breakthrough for population suffering from AFib without knowing it.

September 6, 2017 – Mountain View, CA – AliveCor, the leader in FDA-cleared personal electrocardiogram (EKG) technology, today announced the results of four clinical research presentations that demonstrate AliveCor’s hyper-fast, 30 second, digital EKG can positively impact and potentially even save the lives of millions of people around the world who suffer from Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). As a medtech leader, AliveCor uses advanced artificial intelligence, mobile, cloud, and micro-electrode technology to change the dynamic in cardiac care. AliveCor empowers patients worldwide to proactively manage heart health and provide the potential to vastly improve the quality of care in the fight against heart disease. AliveCor’s Kardia Mobile enables patients and their care teams to easily, quickly, and inexpensively detect and manage possible AFib, the single leading cause of stroke and heart failure. “Over 35 million people around the world unknowingly suffer from Atrial Fibrillation,” said AliveCor CEO Vic Gundotra. “AFib is widely understood to be the leading predictor of stroke and heart failure. AliveCor’s app based digital EKG enables patients to conveniently and precisely detect AFib and to deliver clinical grade EKGs to their health care providers.”
Key Kardia Mobile-focused findings from the 2017 European Society of Cardiology Congress In Barcelona include:

  • Patients using Kardia Mobile had a 4X increase in AFib Detection: Professor Julian Halcox of Swansea University Hospital in Wales presented The REHEARSE-AF Study at ESC with simultaneous publication in Circulation, The Journal of the American Heart Association. This randomized study provided AliveCor Kardia units to 500 seniors, who used them to record two EKGs per week for a year and compared the results to 500 seniors who received conventional care from their General Practitioner. At the end of the year, the Kardia group had a 4-fold increase in AFib diagnosis compared to the control group, thereby enabling the initiation of potentially life-saving anticoagulant therapy.
  • Cleveland clinic study shows Kardia Mobile AFib detection accuracy similar to that of physicians. Dr. Khaldoun Tarakji from the Cleveland Clinic presented the iREAD Study which evaluated the accuracy of the AliveCor automatic AFib algorithm versus expert cardiology over-read of both the Kardia recordings and 12-lead EKGs. Dr. Tarakji found that the Kardia algorithm in 52 patients had a 96.6% sensitivity and a 94% specificity compared to a cardiology over-read of the simultaneous 12-lead EKGs for the diagnosis of AFib. Additionally, over 93% of the patients found the Kardia to be easy to use and that it “lessened AFib-diagnosis anxiety.”
  • Kardia Mobile is able to detect more patients with AFib that were previously undiagnosed: Dr. Bryan Yan of The Chinese University of Hong Kong presented research of over 12,000 patients 65 and older. He found that at each 30-second EKG using Kardia Mobile, his team was able to identify more and more patients with previously undiagnosed AFib. This result demonstrates the empirical value of convenient, inexpensive self-screening using Kardia Mobile.
  • Patients find Kardia Mobile easy to use: Dr. Ngai Yin Chan of Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong presented the AFinder Study which used community volunteers to perform opportunistic screening for AFib using AliveCor’s Kardia Mobile in over 10,000 Hong Kong citizens age 50 and older. 244 participants were found to have AFib, with 74 of those previously undiagnosed. This study validates, that using Kardia Mobile, that volunteer senior citizens who were not medical professionals could perform medical screening of their peers with successful identification of a serious medical condition.

AliveCor’s FDA-cleared Kardia Mobile continues to be the most clinically-validated EKG solution on the market and is currently recommended by physicians at top cardiovascular health systems in the U.S. For more information:

About AliveCor
AliveCor, Inc. is pioneering the creation of FDA-cleared machine learning techniques to enable proactive heart care and is recognized around the world for transforming cardiac care. The FDA-cleared Kardia Mobile is the most clinically validated mobile EKG solution on the market and is recommended by leading cardiologists and used by people worldwide for accurate EKG recordings. This simple-to-use mobile device and app-based service provides instant analysis for detecting atrial fibrillation (AF) and normal sinus rhythm in an EKG. Kardia Pro is the first AI-enabled platform for doctors to monitor patients for the early detection of atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia that leads to a five times greater risk of stroke. AliveCor was recognized by Fast Company as one of 2017’s most innovative companies in health (#3). AliveCor is a privately-held company headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information, please visit

Monday, December 4, 2017

An Interesting Case of Wasted Healthcare Dollars

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Recently I was reading an article on  The article stated a mother was offered the chance to have her 5 year old daughter’s ears pierced while she was under general anesthesia for another procedure.  The mom thought that was a nice offer by the surgeon and agreed, only to receive a bill for $1877 from the hospital for the procedure which was not covered by insurance.
From the article:

Only months later did O’Neill discover her cost for this extracurricular work: $1,877.86 for “operating room services” related to the ear piercing — a fee her insurer was unwilling to pay.

At first, O’Neill assumed the bill was a mistake. Her daughter hadn’t needed her ears pierced, and O’Neill would never have agreed to it if she’d known the cost. She complained in phone calls and in writing.

The hospital wouldn’t budge. In fact, O’Neill said it dug in, telling her to pay up or it would send the bill to collections. The situation was “absurd,” she said.

“There are a lot of things we’d pay extra for a doctor to do,” she said. “This is not one of them.”

Kelley and the hospital declined to comment to ProPublica about the ear piercing.

Surgical ear piercings are rare, according to the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit that maintains a database of commercial health insurance claims. The institute could only find a few dozen possible cases a year in its vast cache of billing data. But O’Neill’s case is a vivid example of health care waste known as overuse.

Now I will be the first to admit that overcharges occur in hospitals routinely.  The part of the whole article that I found mildly amusing is… the procedure the 5 year old was in for?  A simple lingual frenectomy.  Now perhaps there is more to the story as far as management goes.  Perhaps the child is very frightened & difficult to control without general.  Perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye.  However, if this was a routine lingual frenectomy, that could have been done in my office with a few drops of local, no bleeding, no scalpel, no sutures, no post-op pain.  I would have done this with a laser.  I do it all the time.  So, in my opinion, the entire reason the child was in the hospital could have potentially been not necessary… potentially.  I don’t know all the facts.

However, if you are considering a similar procedure for your child, consult a dentist before going to a hospital.