Thursday, July 9, 2020

Dentsply Sirona’s Comprehensive Clinical Education Program Results in Strong Attendance Worldwide – Three Times hHgher than Pre-Pandemic

 

 

 

Dentsply Sirona is recognized as one of the largest providers of comprehensive clinical education programs in the dental industry. Education and training are core to the mission of Dentsply Sirona’s Academy, with the goal of providing dentists, team members and dental technicians with training on dental procedures, latest dental technology as well as inspiration to develop themselves and their practices. In 2019, more than 470,000 dental professionals participated in nearly 15,000 courses organized by the Dentsply Sirona Academy and supported by leading clinical experts and organizations. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dentsply Sirona Academy team quickly transitioned from in-person courses to webinars and on-demand learning and provided timely education and support during this global health crisis.

 

Charlotte/Bensheim, July 7, 2020. The statistics prove it: Dentsply Sirona has its finger on the pulse of important educational topics in dentistry. In 2019, more than 470,000 dental professionals in 97 countries participated in one or more courses. More than three-fourths of participants were dentists, four percent were hygienists, and nearly 20,000 were dental technicians. Also, the number of participating students grew to more than 41,000. Altogether, they took part in almost 15,000 courses, including live lectures, product trainings, train-the-trainer sessions, self-instructional courses, webinars and hands-on workshops.

 

COVID-19: A catalyst for digital dentistry and education

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many traditional workflows and procedures in dental practices are currently being evaluated, largely due to the enhanced hygiene requirements brought by the pandemic. The digital workflow and single visit dentistry are becoming increasingly important as it enables more contactless work processes and communication and can limit the number of office visits needed for dental treatment. While dentists may have been hesitant to go digital in the past, they can see the value of adopting digital solutions in their offices.

 

Thanks to its many years of leadership and innovation in digital dentistry, Dentsply Sirona offers the state-of-the art digital solutions for a wide range of dental procedures, perfectly adapted to the current needs of dentists and dental technicians. And since the introduction of the Primescan intraoral scanner, the interest in digital dentistry has increased noticeably in the market. Dentsply Sirona has organized comprehensive Clinical Education programs and resources specifically designed to support customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Like many other aspects of the dental industry, in-person clinical education and workshops were no longer possible during the COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the world, so many dental professionals have been using the time to improve their knowledge about various dental fields including infection prevention, endodontics, and implant dentistry using the Dentsply Sirona online courses. Since the start of the corona pandemic, more than 377,000 people around the globe registered for 636 Dentsply Sirona Academy live webinars over a ten-week period. Enrollment and completion of the on-demand courses are also rising – with almost 10,764 new program enrollees in the last couple of months. Attendance peaked in late April and has steadily declined since then, as dental professionals turned their attention back to resuming dental services. Even so, Dentsply Sirona's pace of educational offerings remains strong. Webinars are settling in at a “new normal” of up to 48 webinars/week, three times higher than pre-pandemic. And the On-Demand library now contains 154 courses.

 

The program’s three key course topics remain the same: endodontics, implant dentistry and restorative dentistry, and there is still steady interest in CAD/CAM, preventive dentistry and ultrasonic instrumentation and imaging. However, there is a noticeable spike in program participants for classes on hygiene, infection prevention, risk minimization, and practical implementation during the COVID-19 crisis.

 

More information about webinars and on-demand courses is available on Dentsply Sirona Website:https://www.dentsplysirona.com/education

 

Dentsply Sirona: Staying ahead of challenges

 

"The past few months have not been easy. Dealing with the pandemic, the massive reduction in the number of treatments in the practice has been an enormous challenge," summarizes Dr. Lori Trost, dentist from Red Bud, Illinois, USA. "I was able to make good use of the time for further training and was particularly grateful for the very early information on infection prevention when establishing new practice protocols in the webinars and on-demand courses offered by Dentsply Sirona".

 

“The dental profession is globally respected for its commitment to the prevention of oral diseases and to patient safety. Similarly, the profession is recognized for its willingness to adapt to challenging situations, including disease outbreaks, in order to support the public’s health and well-being. I am glad that we have faced the current pandemic together with our customers. We have focused our attention on providing them with helpful clinical resources, including a comprehensive webinar offering and on-demand courses,” explains Dr. Terri Dolan, Chief Clinical Officer of Dentsply Sirona. “Supporting the dental profession and the safe delivery of dental services remains a primary focus of these seminars. We see the use of educational technologies as a great way to support our customers, introduce new clinical concepts, and explain procedures and solutions. Providing these educational opportunities, paired with our leading materials and technologies, is key to empowering dental professionals and improving dental care and oral health.”

 

In developing and providing courses, Dentsply Sirona actively collaborates with clinical and technical experts in all aspects of dentistry. Curricula are developed in collaboration with universities and dental schools, as well as professional dental organizations, to support dental professionals around the world.

 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Dentsply Sirona and the ADA Collaborate to Address Practice Recovery and Patient Safety

 

 

 

Dental professionals can now communicate with confidence and
focus on patient safety concerns using new, free resources.

 

As part of Dentsply Sirona’s continued pledge to create healthy practices for healthy smiles and drive practice recovery, the Dental Solutions CompanyTM has teamed up with the American Dental Association (ADA) to provide ADA members access to free patient communication resources based on the ADA’s Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit.

Recognizing that patient safety and oral health education are top priorities in a world full of “new normals,” these digital resources, found in the ADA’s Patient Return Resource Center, are designed to support dental professionals in empowering their patients during this unprecedented time. No need to stress if you’re using the right language to reassure patients; let the toolkit do the talking for you.

 The Patient Return Resource Center includes:

  • Patient Prep Visual Guide
  • Customizable Social Posts
  • Text Scripts
  • Customizable Email Templates
  • Patient FAQs
  • Printable in-office signage


Dentsply Sirona will provide practices with information about how to access these resources, as well as a Safety Window Cling.


“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, patients are looking at their own well-being differently – and may have questions when resuming their dental visits. It is important that we do not lose sight of their needs and concerns as part of our rebound and recovery efforts,” Dentsply Sirona VP Chief Clinical Officer Terri Dolan said.

 No matter where a practice is in recovery, these resources are specifically designed to meet all dentists’ current and future needs and will continue to be updated in the coming weeks.


Accessing the Patient Return Resource Center is easy, fast and free for ADA members! Simply head to dentsplysirona.com/patienttoolkit to be guided to the ADA resource center at ada.org/patienttoolkit. Start communicating with confidence and accelerate your practice recovery today.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

CDC Removes 15 Minute Wait Recommendation

 

 

 

From my cohorts at Dental Products Report, comes this brief update on CDC guidelines pertaining to the “15 minute wait”.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed its recommendation that dental care personnel wait 15 minutes after completion of clinical care and exit each patient without suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to begin to clean and disinfect room surfaces.

 

This recommendation has been removed to align with the CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Healthcare Settings. The update was announced on June 17 on the CDC’s website.

 

Additionally, the time period recommended for patients to inform the dental clinic if they develop symptoms or are diagnosed with COVID-19 following a dental appointment has been changed to 2 days to align with the CDC’s Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure Guidance. 

 

The 15-minute wait was originally included in the CDC’s Guidance for Dental Settings on May 19, which provides interim infection prevention and control considerations for dental settings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Javier Quirós’ two day virtual course – Become a Cosmetic Dentist with Composite Resin Veneers

 

 

 

On July 24-25, Dr. Javier Quirós will present his two-day live virtual course, Become a Cosmetic Dentist with Composite Resin Veneers. In this exciting virtual course, you will be able to watch and interact with Dr. Quirós as he creates a simple esthetic veneer. Plus, you will learn how he is able to create eight anterior composite veneers in just one appointment! In addition, we have designed a virtual course kit so that you can follow alongside each exercise using the same model and materials as Dr. Quirós. You will learn how to create beautiful and long-lasting smiles with composite in just one appointment. Register today at ceechicago.com.


To register for the course, follow this link.  

Monday, July 6, 2020

Nationwide Survey of Over 275 Consumers Reveals Seeing their Dentist after COVID-19 Lockdown is More Important than Getting a Haircut

 

 

 

Back in the middle ages, it used to be that there were “barber surgeons”.  These craftsmen were the ones who provided all medical care, both dentistry and general medicine and surgery, and barbers grooming services.  At some point physicians and surgeons split off to form their own profession and dentistry followed not long thereafter.  That little piece of trivia is sort of an ironic point when compared to today’s post.

 

At the end of last week, I received the results of an interesting survey from Lanmark360.  The folks at Lanmark360 have been around the dental space for quite a while and they know a lot about the industry and basically what makes it tick.  I read the information with a high level of interest.  Lanmark360 is a company that I listen to for reliable information that you may not be able to get anywhere else.  I found what they had to say “interesting” to say the least.

 

While many individuals still approach dental treatment with a certain degree of apprehension, I feel that the profession has done a remarkable job in the last two decades of emerging from being a profession thought of as a “necessary evil” by many to being an essential piece of many people’s overall plan for improved general health.  The information from Lanmark360 bears that out...

 

The survey results also identify key drivers and barriers that impact their decisions
to resume dental care visits

 

Lanmark360, a full-service healthcare agency with deep experience in the dental space announces the immediate availability of key consumer insights regarding their desire to see their dentists for a checkup as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in their state or local municipality.


As indicated by the survey results, consumer sentiment, perceptions and attitudes are quite positive with respect to their willingness to rapidly return to dental practices. When asked, “Is being able to return to the dentist more or less important than other things?”, respondents ranked seeing their dentist as more important than getting their hair cut, pet grooming and going to restaurants.


“We found that over half of the respondents fell behind on their dental care due to canceled appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic,” states Howard Klein, Lanmark360 President. “However, 10% intend to see their dentists immediately once their dentist’s office has reopened, and a full 50% intend to return to their dentist for a routine cleaning within three months.”
The majority of respondents surveyed also indicate a preference for single-visit dentistry, and more than 50% believe practice safety protocols are extremely important.


Many other important insights are highlighted in the full survey results report, including crucial information that dentists can leverage to help ensure patients feel safe upon their return to the dental office, as well as how patients prefer to be contacted by their dentist’s office once they reopen and what information they expect to receive.
To download the full report, visit https://lanmark360.com/research/Lanmark360-Dental-Patients-COVID-19-Survey-Results.pdf

Thursday, July 2, 2020

3M Unveils New 24-Minute In-House Sterilization Monitoring Solution

 

 

If you are like me, you’re always trying to find a more efficient way of doing things in your office.  3M has developed a pretty impressive system for testing the accuracy of sterilizers that can be done in the office AND in 24 minutes.  Read on for the details...

 

Designed with patient safety in mind, dentists now have more incentive
to bring monitoring in-house

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, biological
indicators, or spore tests, are the most accepted method for monitoring the sterilization
process, and are recommended, at minimum, on a weekly basis. These tests monitor the killing
of a large population of resistant microorganisms and provide assurance to a dental practice
that their sterilization cycle parameters have been met. In its current state, biological indicator
testing of sterilizers in dental offices, via in-office monitoring or mail-in service, can take
anywhere from 24 hours to one week for results to be obtained. During that wait time, a
malfunctioning sterilizer could be used to process instruments used on patients. With the new
3MTM AttestTM Mini Auto-reader 490M, sterilization monitoring results are now available in just
24 minutes. Dental teams will no longer have extensive waits for results and will now know that
their sterilizer cycle parameters have been met.


“Routine monitoring using super rapid biological indicator technology can help reduce the risk
of patient exposure to contaminated dental instruments,” said Eric Wenzel, Director, 3M Oral
Care Solutions Division. “And, the compact size and competitive price of the AttestTM Mini Auto-
reader makes in-office monitoring not just possible but practical for dental offices.”


For over 30 years, 3M has been a global leader in providing biological indicator
sterilization assurance solutions to hospitals worldwide. Now with the small, easy-to-use AttestTM Mini Auto-reader, dental practices can access the same rapid 24-minute sterilization
monitoring speed used in hospitals to better serve patients. The Auto-reader is designed to
incubate and read 3MTM AttestTM Super Rapid Readout Biological Indicators 1491 and 1492V for
a final fluorescent result in 24 minutes.

To learn more about the 3MTM AttestTM Mini Auto-reader 490M, please visit: go.3M.com/490M.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

FBI Warns of Fraudulent COVID-19 Antibody Tests

 

 

 

Recently, it seems that my posts have been dealing with Covid-19 situations, but instead of science I’m seeing security issues.  I guess you can chalk it up to the fact that no matter what, crooks will be crooks.

 

It seems the idea, besides making money from the fake tests, is to also steal personal information from those who are duped into taking one of the tests.

 

Preying on the fears of others, scammers are using all kinds of different mediums to cast their nets as widely as possible.  Fake antibody tests are being marketed through social media, email, websites, telemarketing, and other sources.  The idea is to frighten individuals into thinking they need to buy the tests to either keep themselves or the ones they love, safe.  There are also some schemes that pressure the victim by telling them they are required to take the test by the federal government.

 

The victim pays for the test and provides all of their personal information, then the scammers provide either false test results (since the tests don’t actually work) or provide no results at all.

 

Here is the info from the FBI:

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning the public about potential fraud schemes related to antibody tests for COVID-19.

Scammers are marketing fraudulent and/or unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests, potentially providing false results. In addition, fraudsters are seeking to obtain individuals’ personal information (names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc.) and personal health information, including Medicare and/or private health insurance information, which can be used in future medical insurance or identity theft schemes.

In response to the vast number of COVID-19 cases, and in an effort to return to a normal economy as soon as possible, researchers have been encouraged to devise testing methods that can be quickly and easily deployed to test large numbers of individuals for COVID-19 antibodies. However, not all COVID-19 antibody tests have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and their efficacy has not been determined.

The FBI warns the public to be aware of the following potential indicators of fraudulent activity:

Claims of FDA approval for antibody testing that cannot be verified
Advertisements for antibody testing through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources
Marketers offering “free” COVID-19 antibody tests or providing incentives for undergoing testing
Individuals contacting you in person, phone, or email to tell you the government or government officials require you to take a COVID-19 antibody test
Practitioners offering to perform antibody tests for cash
The FBI recommends:

Checking the FDA’s website (fda.gov) for an updated list of approved antibody tests and testing companies
Consulting your primary care physician before undergoing any at-home antibody tests
Using a known laboratory approved by your health insurance company to provide the antibody testing
Not sharing your personal or health information to anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals
Checking your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly reporting any errors to your health insurance provider
Following guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted medical professionals
If you believe you have been the victim of a COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or justice.gov/disastercomplaintform, or the FBI (ic3.gov, tips.fbi.gov, or 1-800-CALL-FBI).

For accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit:

coronavirus.gov
cdc.gov/coronavirus
usa.gov/coronavirus
fbi.gov/coronavirus
justice.gov/coronavirus

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Fraudulent Face Mask Flyers and Cards are NOT Sanctioned or Legitimate

 

 

 

In case you haven’t been following the latest pandemic info, we are starting to see a rebound in infections of Covid-19.  

 

This shouldn’t be a surprise.  As people in the U.S. begin to get out and about again, some individuals are bound to somehow come in contact with the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Covid-19.  The idea of the initial lockdown was to help prevent the U.S. healthcare system from being overwhelmed and also to help decrease the contact between individuals that started the contagious cascade in the first place.

 

Now that the country is opening back up, a spike in cases is not something that isn’t unexpected.  However, there is also hope that over the past 3 months individuals have become more conscious and concerned of infection control practices such as using masks and frequent 20 second hand washing.  Yet for some reason, some have twisted this infection control into a political issue.  It seems that wearing masks is seen by some as an infringement on their rights as citizens.

 

While I’m not going to get into the politics of this issue here, suffice it to say that some have gone so far as to attempt to avoid wearing masks through fraudulent flyers and cards that appear to be created by the federal government.  These are completely fraudulent and can be purchased online in boxes of 500 for $49.99 which is about the cost of 500 business cards.

 

If you are confronted with someone presenting one of these cards, know that they are not real and that you cannot be prosecuted for requiring face masks in your business.

 

The United States Department of Justice has a website dealing with this.

 

There is also a great article about this available to read on the New York Times website.  

Monday, June 29, 2020

FDA advises consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem

 

 

 

There are several types of alcohol in the world.  Ethanol is what is found in liquors.  Isopropyl alcohol is what is found in “rubbing alcohol” and hand sanitizers.  There is also a type called methanol, which can be extremely dangerous if consumed.  A recent warning from the FDA has been announced dealing with a hand sanitizer that is made with methanol instead of isopropanol.  Here is the information from the FDA:

 

FDA advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)
FDA tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel contains 81 percent (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contains 28 percent (v/v) methanol. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects.

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning.

On June 17, 2020, FDA contacted Eskbiochem to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer products from the market due to the risks associated with methanol poisoning. To date, the company has not taken action to remove these potentially dangerous products from the market. Therefore, FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain.

FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.

FDA remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers. Additionally, the agency is concerned with false and misleading claims for hand sanitizers, for example that they can provide prolonged protection such as 24-hours against viruses including COVID-19, since there is no evidence to support these claims.

To date, FDA is not aware of any reports of adverse events associated with these hand sanitizer products. FDA encourages health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:

Complete and submit the report online; or
Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Petnet Goes Offline and Then Goes Silent - A Lesson of Connected Devices


 

 

 

I love tech and I’d be willing to bet that if you are a regular reader of this blog, then you are too.  I love gadgets and tinkering with them.  Sometimes they break and honestly some of my best times have been hacking broken devices and getting them running again and/or back online again.

 

However, sometimes new and exciting tech comes back to bite you and instead of a cool device, you end with a brick or a boat anchor.  That’s the risk of living on the cutting edge or the bleeding edge of technology.  Often times if faced with 2 manufacturers of similar devices, my buying choices factor in how long both companies have been in existence and their long term viability.  If a company cannot provide to sustain itself long term, the necessary infrastructure to support or update the tech won’t be there when you need it to be.  It’s unfortunate that you have to factor those kinds of things into the equations, but sometimes it is just flat out necessary.  If the device service fails to work, you’ve paid for basically nothing.

 

This is one of those unfortunate stories.  Petnet *was* a company that had a pretty cool idea and product.  It was an Internet connected pet feeder.  Obviously with the schedules some of us are forced to deal with, we can’t always be home when it’s time to feed our furry friends.  The idea behind the Petnet system was that you could setup a feeding schedule OR you could provide an unscheduled snack from an app or your phone.

 

The idea was pretty simple, but was a good one.  It sure beats having to impose on family, friends, or neighbors to go to your place and sprinkle kibbles in the bowl.  Something like that could, factoring in travel time, take 30 minutes or so out of someone’s day just to help a friend out… and may well not have been just a one time favor.

 

The bad part of things like this is what do you do when the system fails you?  Starting in March, Petnet owners began to realize that their feeders were NOT feeding their pets.  Some found out by notices from the company, but some owners only found out when their pets began to pitch a fit and bug the owners for food.

 

The real tragedy is that the company went out of business, but it did so quietly.  Many owners didn’t even know.  They just realized their systems stopped working and never worked again.  The devices relied on communication with a server to tell them when to feed the pets.  Why this function wasn’t simply loaded into the device itself is a mystery to me.  It wouldn’t be that hard to have the feeding schedule simply be local data, it seems.  When the server connection was lost, the devices bricked.

 

So now a group of people who paid around $150 for a smart pet feeder system are now left holding the bag.   This is the part of technology that has risks.

 

Ars Technika has a great story on this whole debacle.  If you are in the least bit intrigued by my overview here, head over to the Art website and read the entire tale…  

Monday, June 22, 2020

Why You Shouldn't Trust Your Backup Strategy to Others

 

 

 

I’ll never forget a discussion I had years ago with a doctor who rather fancied himself a “big time operator”.  When I asked him what his backup strategy was, he rolled his eyes and waved his hand at me dismissively.  “Oh, please.  That’s the girl up fronts job to deal with."

 

I never spoke with him again and I don’t know whatever became of him, but I can tell you he was just one electronic hiccup from a disaster.  If he had suffered a data loss incident, he was totally at the control of “that girl up front”.

 

Knowing everything about your backup strategy’s increased importance since that conversation, and it continues to increase.  At the time I spoke with that uninformed and insensitive individual, the most critical thing about business data was the ability to do billing and manage your accounts receivable.  Today not only face the AR issue, but also issues that deal with data security, HIPAA, and identity theft.  

 

I got to thinking about this as I was reading this article from KrebsonSecurity.  It seems that an employee at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was smart enough to devise a system where he broke into a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center human resource database.  Normally a healthcare facility works hard to ensure the safety of *patient*  data so that it cannot be stolen by scammers.  However, in this case Justin Sean Johnson decided to steal data from the UPMC HR department.  While this is speculation on my part, I’m thinking perhaps the security focus on employee records might not have been as great when it came to security as it would be for patient data.

 

UPMC is a huge healthcare system that that generates 21 billion dollars in revenue and has a base of more than 40 hospitals.  The amount of employee data had to be massive for an organization of that size.

 

Johnson took the stolen data and then sold it on the dark web to groups that then used it for financial fraud.  The scammers used the info, including employee W-2 forms, to file false tax returns for employees which created over 1.7 million dollars in undeserved tax refunds.

 

While Johnson was not an employee of the UPMC itself, his knowledge allowed him access to information he should not have had.  This whole idea got me to thinking about how many practice owners simply turn over their data to an employee with blind trust that they will do the right thing.  Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen.  Statistics indicate that 1 in 4 practices will be embezzled from.  Utilizing data to make money frequently doesn’t even leave a paper trail like embezzlement does.

 

Getting back to my original premise of this post… there is a great deal of value in the data of even a small healthcare practice.  By not knowing the backup protocols, not performing the backups yourself, and/or not knowing where backups are stored leaves the practice owner at the mercy of whoever holds these keys.  Simply copying data to a jump drive and selling it can bring a huge amount of income into the pockets of an unscrupulous employee.

 

Simply giving someone the keys to your summer home and then never checking the home to see its condition is a really bad idea.  Giving someone the keys to your data and never checking on them is even worse.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Cano Health Advises Patients of Potential Data Security Issue

 

 

 

Cano Health, LLC, a leading population health management company and operator of primary care medical centers in Florida, is advising its patients of a privacy event that may have compromised certain personal information.

 

The company recently learned on April 13, 2020 that three employee email accounts were accessed by an unknown perpetrator, and that messages from these accounts may have been forwarded to an outside email account without its knowledge. Upon discovery, Cano Health immediately secured the email accounts and thoroughly investigated the incident. Based on its investigation, Cano Health cannot confirm that any emails were accessed by the unknown perpetrator, but because some emails contained documents or messages with personal information, it is notifying all potentially affected individuals out of an abundance of caution.

 

Cano Health’s investigation was unable to determine an exact date, but it believes the unauthorized access may have occurred between May 18, 2018 and April 13, 2020. The information in the compromised email accounts during that time included patient names, dates of birth, contact information, healthcare information, insurance information, social security numbers, government identification numbers and/or financial account numbers.

 

“We take the protection of our patients’ information very seriously and sincerely apologize for any concern or inconvenience this incident has caused or may cause to anyone who has been affected,” said Dr. Marlow Hernandez-Cano, Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to continuously updating our information security to guard against new and emerging threats.”

 

Cano Health will continue working with its IT professionals to identify additional measures it can take to further strengthen security. In addition, the company has notified law enforcement and will cooperate with any investigation.

 

Individuals potentially affected by the incident are being provided written notification from Cano Health. It recommends that they regularly review and monitor their personal information, accounts, and benefits statements and provides steps to correct information, if so needed. Individuals may also file a report with law enforcement, their state attorney general, and/or the Federal Trade Commission. As an added precaution to help patients whose financial information may have been affected, Cano Health is offering complimentary credit monitoring services at no cost.

 

Those who believe they may have been affected by this incident may call Cano Health at 305.767.2429 for more information. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. PT. (9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. ET).

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

DentaQuest Selects MouthWatch Platform to Expand Teledentistry Capabilities in Alabama, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington

 

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 DentaQuest, the nation’s leading oral health organization, is working with MouthWatch, a leader in innovative patient-friendly, clinician-focused teledentistry solutions, to provide the TeleDent teledentistry platform to more than 70 DentaQuest managed or affiliated dental practices in Alabama, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.


The TeleDent platform will enable DentaQuest-affiliated dentists to conduct both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (store and forward) teledentistry encounters with patients, including video and messaging interactions and sharing of files and photos.

“Teledentistry has been essential for dentists during the COVID-19 pandemic. It enables them to connect with patients for emergency triage and consulting encounters, greatly reducing strain on hospital emergency rooms and dental practices,” said Todd Cruse, President, DentaQuest Care Group. “We also believe teledentistry will be an increasingly important part of oral health in the future, facilitating improved access for those in underserved communities and accelerating medical-dental integration.”

According to MouthWatch founder and CEO Brant Herman, “MouthWatch and DentaQuest are dedicated to providing dentists and patients with improved access to dental care by delivering user-friendly technology that will become an integral part of oral health both during and after the pandemic. Working together, we will deliver more effective and convenient dental care to a greater number of patients.”

About DentaQuest
DentaQuest is a purpose-driven oral health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through Preventistry® – our all-in approach to better care, expanded access, value-based financing, and innovative solutions. We manage dental and vision benefits for 27+ million Americans and provide direct patient care through our network of more than 80 oral health centers in 6 states. We provide outcomes-based, cost-effective dental solutions for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals nationwide. And, we've invested more than $200 million in grants and programs to achieve measurably healthier communities across the country. By advancing prevention-focused oral health, we will achieve better overall health for everyone. Learn more at www.DentaQuest.com and follow us on Twitter @DentaQuest, Facebook www.facebook.com/DentaQuest, Instagram @Inside_DentaQuest, and LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/DentaQuest.

About MouthWatch
MouthWatch, LLC is a leader in innovative patient-friendly, clinician-focused 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. For more information, visit www.MouthWatch.com. Follow MouthWatch on Facebook www.facebook.com/MouthWatch, Twitter @MouthWatchPro, Instagram @MouthWatch and Linkedin www.linkedin.com/company/mouthwatch-llc.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Apteryx Imaging Inc. to be Acquired by Planet DDS, a Portfolio Company of Level Equity


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Apteryx Imaging Inc. ("Apteryx" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has entered into an arrangement agreement (the "Arrangement Agreement") with PDDS Buyer, LLC ("Planet DDS"), a portfolio company of Level Equity Management, LLC ("Level Equity"), pursuant to which a Planet DDS subsidiary will acquire 100% of the Company's outstanding common and preferred shares (collectively, the "Shares") for CAD$0.65 per Share (the "Consideration") in an all-cash transaction (the "Transaction"). The price per share implies an aggregate equity value for Apteryx of approximately CAD$39.0 million.

"We believe this transaction represents an excellent outcome for Company shareholders," said Avi Naider, Apteryx Executive Chairman of the board of directors. He added, "Planet DDS has been a growing and valuable distribution partner for the Company's XVWeb software platform for several years. After a thorough review by an independent special committee of our board of directors, whose mandate was to review our strategic options, capital needs, capital structure and future strategic direction of the Company, we concluded that the combination with Planet DDS would provide the capital, management and clarity of focus to optimize the growth and performance of Apteryx and offers compelling value for our shareholders."

"Planet DDS has been our most productive cloud partner and instrumental in our overall growth," stated Apteryx CEO Dr. David Gane. "Our combined cloud software offerings are highly synergistic with proven market appeal and acceptance, especially among Dental Support Organization practices. I look forward to working with Eric and the Planet DDS team and participating in their future success."


 "We've built a very special relationship with Apteryx over the past decade," commented Planet DDS  CEO Eric Giesecke. "One of our first and most important partners, Apteryx is the gold standard in dental imaging. Their value proposition to the growing DSO market mirrors that of our best-in-class cloud-based practice management software, Denticon. We're excited to welcome the team at Apteryx to the Planet DDS family, and to further enhance the unique value proposition for our customers."

Transaction Value Highlights for Apteryx Shareholders

The Company believes this is a highly attractive transaction for Apteryx shareholders:

• Premium valuation: The Consideration represents premia of 105.6% and 89.5%, respectively, to
the volume weighted average price of Apteryx common shares on the TSX Venture Exchange
("TSXV") for the ten trading days and twelve months prior to the date of this announcement.

All-Cash Transaction delivers immediate liquidity and value certainty: The Consideration is all-
cash, resulting in immediate liquidity and value certainty to Apteryx shareholders.

Superior Alternative: The Consideration offered to shareholders under the Transaction is more
favorable than the value that might be realized through pursuing the Company's current business
plan in light of the inherent risks and uncertainties associated with the business operations,
assets, financial condition and prospects of the Company should it continue as a stand-alone
publicly-traded entity.

Significant Cash Obligations: The maturity of the outstanding preferred shares in September
2023, as well as the ongoing cumulative quarterly dividend payment obligations of the preferred
shares, combined with the requirements to prudently invest in systems, security, infrastructure,
research & development and technology, including artificial intelligence applications, may
represent a significant use of cash over the next 40 months. These and other working capital
obligations constrain the Company's ability to otherwise provide an attractive return to
shareholders.

Transaction Details

The Transaction will be carried out by means of a court-approved statutory plan of arrangement (the
"Arrangement") governed by the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia), pursuant to which a Planet DDS subsidiary will acquire all of the issued and outstanding Shares of Apteryx.

A special committee of independent directors (the "Special Committee") was established by Apteryx's board of directors (the "Apteryx Board") in order to review and consider terms and conditions of the Transaction. The Special Committee and the Apteryx Board obtained a fairness opinion from Can accord Genuity Corp. ("Canaccord") (the "Fairness Opinion") to the effect that, subject to the assumptions, qualifications and limitations contained therein, as at June 12, 2020, the Consideration to be received by Apteryx common shareholders pursuant to the Arrangement Agreement is fair, from a financial point of view, to the Apteryx common shareholders. The Apteryx Board has unanimously determined, based on among other things, the unanimous recommendation of the Special Committee and the Fairness Opinion, that the Arrangement is in the best interests of the Company and is fair to Apteryx securityholders and will unanimously recommend that Apteryx securityholders vote in favor of the Arrangement at a meeting of securityholders (the “Meeting”).

The Transaction is subject to the approval of: (i) 662/3% of the votes cast by the holders of Apteryx's
common shares present in person or represented by proxy; and (ii) 662/3% of the votes cast by the holders of Apteryx's common shares, preferred shares and other securities present in person or represented by proxy, voting together as a single class. Directors, executive officers and other shareholders of Apteryx holding in aggregate approximately 41.45% of the issued and outstanding Shares of Apteryx have entered into voting and support agreements (the "Voting Agreements") pursuant to which they have agreed to vote their Shares in favor of the Arrangement.

The Transaction is expected to close shortly following the Meeting, subject to receipt of required
securityholder, court and other approvals and satisfaction of other closing conditions.

The Arrangement Agreement includes representations, warranties and covenants typical of a transaction of this nature, along with customary non-solicitation covenants and right to match and fiduciary-out provisions. In addition, Apteryx has agreed to pay a termination fee of CAD$2.34 million if the Arrangement Agreement is terminated in certain specific circumstances, including if Apteryx enters into an agreement with respect to a superior proposal or if the Apteryx Board or Special Committee withdraws its recommendation with respect to the Arrangement.

Further information regarding the Transaction will be included in a management information circular (the "Circular"), which will be mailed to Apteryx shareholders in advance of the Meeting. Copies of the Arrangement Agreement, form of Voting Agreement and Circular will be filed on Apteryx's SEDAR profile and will be available for viewing at www.sedar.com.

Advisors and Counsel

The Special Committee of Apteryx has engaged Canaccord as its exclusive financial advisor and Farris LLP as its legal advisor in connection with the Transaction. Planet DDS has engaged Stikeman Elliott LLP as its Canadian legal advisors and Goodwin Procter LLP as its US legal advisors in connection with the Transaction. Apteryx shareholders should consult their own tax and investment advisors with respect to the Transaction.

For more information about Apteryx, its products and services, please visit www.apteryx.com or call 877-278-3799.

About Apteryx Imaging Inc.

Apteryx has provided dentists and oral health specialists with advanced diagnostic imaging software and device technologies for over 20 years. Apteryx's proprietary technologies include XrayVision, XVWeb and XrayVision DCV imaging software solutions, the VELscope Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment and TUXEDO Intraoral Sensors.

Backed by an experienced leadership team and dedicated to a higher level of service and support, Apteryx is committed to providing dental practitioners with the best technology available by identifying and adding leading products to its growing portfolio. The Company is currently listed on the TSXV under the symbol XRAY, the OTCQB under the symbol APTEF, as well as the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol XRAY.

About Planet DDS and Level Equity

Planet DDS is the largest independent provider of cloud-native practice management software to the
dental industry. The company's flagship product, Denticon, is the only proven, time-tested software
offering that was built from the ground up for multi-location groups in the cloud. Denticon has the largest footprint among emerging and established dental groups of any cloud software provider, allowing clients to break free from the constraints of desktop software with a comprehensive solution that includes the tools needed to standardize, centralize, and grow. All while reducing IT cost and enhancing security. Learn more about Denticon at www.planetdds.com. Planet DDS is a portfolio company of Level Equity.

Level Equity is a growth equity firm focused on providing capital to rapidly growing software and internet companies. The firm has raised over $1.7 billion across a series of long term committed investment partnerships with offices in New York, NY and San Francisco, CA. For more information about Level Equity, visit www.levelequity.com.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains statements which, to the extent that they are not recitations of historical fact, may constitute forward-looking information under applicable Canadian securities legislation that involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements or information may include statements regarding the Company's future plans, objectives, delivery performance, revenues, or the company's underlying assumptions. The words "may", "would", "could", "will", "likely", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "plan", "forecast", "project", "estimate" and "believe" or other similar words and phrases may identify forward-looking statements or information. Persons reading this press release are cautioned that such statements or information are only predictions, and that the Company's actual future results or performance may be materially different. Some of the specific forward-looking information referred to in this press release includes, but is not limited to: the Transaction and the terms thereof; the expected timeline and date of completion of the Transaction; the ability of the parties to receive Apteryx shareholder approval; and the ability of the parties to satisfy, in a timely manner, the other conditions to the closing of the Transaction. There can be no assurance that the Transaction will be completed or that it will be completed on the terms and conditions contemplated in this press release. The Transaction could be modified or terminated in accordance with its terms.

Forward-looking information is based on a number of key expectations and assumptions made by the
Company including, without limitation: the Transaction will be completed on the terms currently
contemplated; the Transaction will be completed in accordance with the timing currently expected
without any undue or expected delay; all conditions to the completion to the Transaction will be satisfied or waived in due course and the Arrangement Agreement will not be terminated prior to the completion of the Transaction; assumptions and expectations related to premiums to the trading price of Apteryx; and other expectations and assumptions concerning the Transaction. Although the forward-looking information contained in this press release is based on what Apteryx's management believes to be reasonable assumptions, Apteryx cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with such information.

Forward-looking information is provided for the purpose of presenting information about management's current expectations and plans relating to the future and readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking information involves significant risks and uncertainties and should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results as actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking information. Those risks and uncertainties include, among other things: the Transaction may not be completed on the terms, or in accordance with the timing, currently contemplated, or at all; the Company has incurred expenses in connection with the Transaction and will be required to pay for those expenses regardless of whether or not the Transaction is completed; Apteryx and Planet DDS may not be successful in satisfying the conditions to the Transaction, including failing to obtain Apteryx shareholder approval; the possibility that the Apteryx Board could receive and approve a superior acquisition proposal; the possibility of litigation relating to the Transaction; significant Transaction costs or unknown liabilities; the possibility of adverse reactions or changes in business relationships resulting from the announcement or completion of the Transaction; the failure to realize the expected benefits of the Transaction; and other risks inherent to the Company's business and/or factors beyond its control which could have a material adverse effect on the Company or the ability to consummate the Transaction.

Additional information about risks and uncertainties are described in the Company's reports filed on
SEDAR, including its financial report and annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2019.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Modifying Ear Savers for the Staff

 


Since the pandemic struck, obviously mask usage has skyrocketed.  For years, I had used a tie on surgical mask, mainly because I could not find an “ear loop” style mask that fit.

My problem wasn’t the mask itself, it was the darn ear loops.  For some reason, I guess my head is just a tad bigger than average (in actuality it might be *more* than just a tad) but after wearing a traditional ear loop mask for a few hours I began to feel my ears being pulled forward.  Then the pain would start.  Those little loops would start to dig in behind my ears and before long it was miserable.  So I gave up on them and went to tie-on masks.

It was only 2 years or so ago that I found an ear loop style that I could actually wear all day.  It took me a while to adjust to the slightly different feel of the 2 designs, but it wasn’t that long before I felt right at home in them.

So how does this tie in to making “ear savers” for the staff?

Well, once returned from the quarantine, we made lots of changes to our PPE.  One of the things we did was place  Level 3 surgical ear loop masks over our KN-95s.  It was both an effort to increase protection of the staff and also to help stretch our KN-95 supply a bit since they are in remarkably short supply.  However, this  put a “double ear loop” around the ears, plus it made the outer  one a bit tighter.  Soon sore ears were becoming a common problem.

While home during the quarantine, I spent a fair amount of time studying and learning about 3D printing.  I’d been tinkering in the field for a while, but I figured I could put the downtime to good use by becoming more proficient.  As I explored online, I came across the term “ear saver” which I hadn’t even heard of until then.  It seems that with almost everyone suddenly wearing ear loop style masks, the problem was pretty common.

The Ear Saver, as seen in the photo above, is sort of a headband with hooks.  The ear loops of the mask are attached to the hooks and it completely eliminates ear pain since the ears aren’t even used to hold the mask in place.  I wish I could say I’d thought of it, but I honestly don’t even know who did.

Once the problem showed up in my office, I begin producing them on my 3D printer at home and the staff has been grateful.  

Lately I’ve had requests for ones that are a touch longer and the great thing about 3D printing is that you can simply go into your design software and tell it to increase the size of your project “x” percent and all the calculations are made automatically.  Now I’m currently producing them 20% longer than the originals and I didn’t even need to make any design changes other than typing in a couple of numbers.

If you have access to a 3D printer and you have anyone with ears sore from the loops, simply search on Google.  There are a bunch of .stl files to be found.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

WatchOS 6.2.6 Battery Drain - Fix!

 


After my earlier post of problems with severe battery drain on my Apple Watch after upgrading to WatchOS 6.2.6, I wanted to share the info with you on what fixed my problem.

As Apple Watch owners probably know, the watch uses Bluetooth to communicate with its paired iPhone.  Some of you may be using your watch in the mode where it connects to the cellular network, but most users seem to go through the phone.

Now, for some reason which has yet to be determined, the watch is burning through battery through its wireless connection to the phone and perhaps a WiFi network you have it connected to.  The radio chip in devices can, if not configured correctly by the software, expend tremendous amounts of energy maintaining its connection.  This is exactly what appears to be the problem with the current WatchOS.

The remedy which I tried and seems to work is to:
  1. Put Watch in airplane mode (swipe up on the main screen & select the airplane icon)
  2. Push the crown of the watch from the main screen and tap on the ‘Settings’ icon
  3. Disable Bluetooth (even though the phone is in Airplane mode, for some reason, Bluetooth stays on)
  4. Take Watch *out* of Airplane mode (swipe up on the main screen & deselect the airplane icon)
  5. Restart Watch (hold the button down below the crown)

Those 5 steps AND charging the watch back to 100% seems to have fixed the battery drain problem.  Prior to this, MyWatch was burning through what seemed like about 20% of the battery per hour.  Since performing the steps above, all is well.  If you are having similar problems give it a try!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Celebrating the Next Generation of Dental Professionals: Dentsply Sirona and the AADR Honor Talented Students with the 2020 SCADA Awards

 


Unfortunately for me, I'm closer to the end of my career than the beginning.  One of my goals is to try and leave the profession in a better state when I leave than it was when I came in.  Hopefully that will prove to be the case.  However, one thing I can be sure of is that the profession is in good hands with the young dentists that are getting ready to enter the profession.  Take a look below at some of the smart subjects younger dentists are tackling and winning awards for.  You'll be impressed!



Dentsply Sirona and the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) congratulate the winners of the 2020 Student Competition for Advancing Dental Research and its Application Awards (SCADA) program. Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the traditional competition and awards ceremony at this year’s IADR/AADR/CADR General Session & Exhibition had to be suspended, and students participated in a virtual research competition.

Charlotte/Bensheim. The 61st annual SCADA program was held under special circumstances. Despite COVID-19 restricting public events, US dental students were invited to participate in the research competition virtually.

All US dental schools were invited to nominate a student to participate in the research competition in one of two categories – Clinical Science and Public Health Research and Basic and Translational Science. The participants submitted a complete portfolio for review to an international panel of judges, including an electronic copy of his/her research poster, a slide presentation, and a video of their oral presentation. Research projects were submitted by 51 student clinicians and seven outstanding award winners were selected.

A program dedicated to research and international networking SCADA was initiated in 1959, and Dentsply Sirona and the American Dental Association have continued this tradition as co-sponsors of this leading dental student research competition. The SCADA program includes a Global and a US Student Clinician Research competition and an annual Awards Program. The competition and award program have gained widespread recognition, and it has engaged more than 8,500 young dental professionals from 28 countries since its inception.

SCADA is dedicated to two main goals. First, the program aims to strengthen the field of dental research by supporting young professionals in their research careers. Moreover, it offers a unique opportunity for students to network with clinicians and scientists from all over the world as they look to develop their skills and advance their careers. While the networking opportunity was curtailed, students interacted virtually and had the opportunity to showcase their work and gain valuable skills as they developed and virtually presented their research.

SCADA advances science and improves global oral health
“Dentsply Sirona is proud to support the talented next generation of dental leaders at the beginning of their careers. The competition entries are so impressive with their high level of research and the students’ professionalism. SCADA is dedicated to advancing science and enriching the professional development of dental students. This mirrors Dentsply Sirona’s purpose to empower dental professional and improve oral health worldwide. We are thrilled to support these future dental leaders in collaboration with the AADR, and we look forward to partnering with these dentists throughout their professional lives”, says Dr. Teresa A. Dolan, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer with Dentsply Sirona. “Congratulations to all participants in this year’s SCADA program who made a significant commitment to developing and presenting their research projects virtually. They quickly adapted to challenging circumstances and did an amazing job preparing their virtual research presentations!”

In Category 1 – Clinical Science and Public Health Research – first place was awarded to Patrick E. Donnelly, University of Pittsburgh, for his research on Acellular Hydrogel Regenerates Vascularized Tissue in Root Canal Therapy. Second place was awarded to Kathryn Teruya, University of Missouri – Kansas City, for her research on Changes in Dental Student Empathy During Training. Third place was awarded to Taylor Robertson, University of Detroit Mercy, for research on Spectral analysis of one-shade nanofilled resin composites under different lights.

In Category 2 – Basic and Translational Science – first place was awarded to Tanner Godfrey, University of Alabama at Birmingham, for his research on BAF45A Mediated Chromatin Landscaping Controls Bone Formation. Tied in the second place, Blake LaTendresse, Creighton University, was awarded for his research on Testing Immunogenic Peptides Against Candida Albicans, together with Eric Mullins, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for his research on Comparative Expression Of Exosome-Derived Dental Pulp Stem Cell (DPSC) MicroRNAs. Third place was awarded to Madison Aungst, University of Colorado, for her research on A Flow Cytometer Protocol for Quantifying Microbes in Dental Waterlines.

The student participants were grateful for the opportunity to continue with the competition, despite the need to cancel the annual in-person research meeting. “Thank you for moving forward with the virtual competition. It would have been nice to all be together, but I think the virtual presentation was a lot of fun!” said Patrick Donnelly. Student Clinician Eric Mullins shared a similar sentiment, “Thank you so much for this opportunity. I was disappointed when it was announced that the [AADR] conference in DC was cancelled, so it was good news to hear the SCADA competition would continue online. This was a great event, and I'm glad I was able to participate.”

Four additional awards beyond the SCADA competition
The SCADA Board of Directors also presented five awards recognizing leaders in dental research and academics. SCADA provides fellowship funding to promote continued scholarship and help support graduate education. Two post-doctoral students were awarded Henry M. Thornton SCADA Fellowships: Dr. Nisarg Patel, University of California, San Francisco and Dr. Lauren Katz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In collaboration with the American Dental Association, SCADA also awarded ADA Foundation/Dentsply Sirona Research Award for Dual Degree Candidates to Dr. Joy Kirkpatrick, DMD/PhD candidate at the Medical University of South Carolina.

The SCADA Board of Directors also supports and acknowledges leaders for their commitment to the advancement of dentistry with two additional awards. Dr. Pandu Gangula from Meharry Medical College received the Burton C. Borgelt / SCADA Faculty Advisor Award. Dr. Rada Sumareva, a private practice periodontists and long-serving SCADA judge, was honored with the Alan J. Davis / SCADA Achievement Award. Dr. Yoko Ishida-Okumura from the Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences in Japan was recognized for her service on the SCADA Board of Directors.

More information about SCADA and other awards granted: http://www.scadaresearch.org

Overview: 2020 winners of the SCADA Competition and awards
SCADA Competition Winners Category I: Clinical Science and Public Health Research    
1st Prize: Patrick E. Donnelly, University of Pittsburgh
2nd Prize: Kathryn Teruya, University of Detroit Marcy
3rd Prize: Taylor Robertson, West Virginia University

SCADA Competition Winners Category II: Basic and Translational Science Research
1st Prize: Tanner Godfrey, University of Alabama at Birmingham
2nd Prize (tie): Blake LaTendresse, Creighton University
2nd Prize (tie): Eric Mullins, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
3rd Prize: Madison Aungst, University of Colorado

Henry M. Thornton SCADA Fellowship Award
Dr. Nisarg Patel, University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Lauren Katz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Burton C. Borgelt / SCADA Faculty Advisor Award
Dr. Pandu Gangula, Meharry Medical College

Alan J. Davis / SCADA Achievement Award
Dr. Rada Sumareva, private practice /COO Ziphycare

ADA Foundation/Dentsply Sirona Research Award for Dual Degree Candidates
Dr. Joy Kirkpatrick, Medical University of South Carolina

SCADA Past President Award
Dr. Yoko Ishida-Okumura, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Japan

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Beware of WatchOS 6.2.6 Battery Drain




A short post today, but an important one for those of you with Apple Watches.  

Even though I’m pretty much diehard geek, I held off on getting an Apple Watch until Version 4 came out.  Being a gadget lover, I have always had a thing for watches and I didn’t like the idea of limiting myself to just one watch for all occasions.

However, my opinion changed as more and more of my friends bought them and I began to see all the advantages of practically having an iPhone on your wrist.  I bought mine last June and after a year, I’m thoroughly hooked.  I use the watch constantly... even in my office to set reminders, timers, you name it.

Also being a bit of a security geek, whenever a company issues a new OS update nowadays, they almost always contain security upgrades.  That means you have less chance of security issues if you keep your devices up to date.

So when WatchOS 6.2.6 became available, I downloaded it right away.  I used to wait to see if there were bugs that needed to be squashed, but now I feel that the security outweighs the potential for bug problems.

Until now, that is.  The 6.2.6 update has caused problems for myself and a fair number of other Watch owners due to a rapidly draining battery.  Add to that the fact that it also seems to take forever to charge it back to 100% and this becomes a major flaw that needs pretty quick fixing.

There are multiple reports from users of batteries getting critically low in just a few hours as opposed to many users that could frequently go 2 days between charges.

I’m currently researching and working on trying to find a fix, but until that happens I cannot advise readers to upgrade.  The idea of the watch is to make you more productive.  Many of us use the watch for all kinds of things throughout our days and have become dependent on it.  Until the battery issue is rectified, the more you use the watch (and even if you don’t) your battery goes downhill quickly.

Be warned.  Do not upgrade at this point in time!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Through the looking glass, into the unknown



To start the week, thought you all might enjoy reading my latest article that appears in the June issue of Dental Products Report...  

For now, we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face.” With all apologies to St. Paul, truer words might never have been spoken. As regular readers of this column will know, I love to talk about change in our profession and all the excitement that normally comes with it. Yet, as much as it pains me to say this, sometimes change is not exciting; sometimes it’s scary. This appears to be one of those times.
We are suddenly seeing massive changes in our profession to keep our patients, our teams, and ourselves as secure as possible from SARS-CoV-2.
Probably the perfect solution to this would be to simply press “pause” on dentistry and wait for the science to catch up. Unfortunately, the problems our patients trust us to deal with couldn’t care less and won’t wait for the science to catch up. They will continue to wreak havoc on our patients until we can return and get things back under control.
My office did not reopen until May 18, which meant I had not done an elective procedure for almost 60 days. During the pandemic shut down, I treated emergencies only for that time and had chosen to work alone in an effort to decrease the number of potential exposures and to conserve PPE. I couldn’t even remember how long it had been since I had worked without an assistant. Amazingly enough, I didn’t struggle nearly as much as I had anticipated. Granted, I was only seeing emergencies and only treating as little as possible to get the situation stabilized, but it also made me appreciate how important my dental assistants are to the equation. There is a reason it’s referred to as a “team”—something every doctor needs to remember.
Into the Great Unknown
Now here comes the tricky part. Dentistry is an evidence-based scientific profession, and it tends to attract people who want to see proof. In Dental Products Reports’ recent Technology and Materials Survey, 54.09 percent of respondents classified themselves in the category, “I’m a researcher. I need to see clinical studies, hands-on demos, etc.” That’s a good thing. Our patients definitely do not want someone who is just “winging it.” But that’s the crux of the problem we are currently facing in our profession. We just don’t have enough scientific information to be able to act with steadfast assurance.
As I type this, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has not updated its recommendations for dental treatment since April 27. The American Dental Association has requested that the CDC update its guidance for dental personnel returning to work, but that information appears to be slow in arriving. The current CDC guidelines still encourage the postponement of elective dental procedures, but at least 28 states are now reopening. That means 28 states have cleared dental offices to open again and begin seeing patients for elective procedures. (Editor’s Note: The CDC finally released updated recommendations for dental settings on May 19.)
While I understand the science is lagging in the battle against COVID-19, at some point the specialists in infectious disease and epidemiology will have to take their best shot at this. I cannot say with any degree of certainty, but it’s certainly starting to look like everyone is so concerned about making the wrong recommendations, that no one will make a recommendation at all.
Because of that, we are approaching three weeks of some offices performing elective procedures and being forced to use a “best guess” scenario.
Place Your Bets
As we all either proceed with treating or proceed with getting ready to treat, the question I am hearing the most among dentists is, “What are you doing for infection control?”
That simple question is an indication of the difficult position we, as doctors, find ourselves in during this pandemic. I was in dental school when Universal Precautions went into effect. That’s obviously been a while, but I don’t remember there being much confusion regarding the changes that were being made.
On the other hand, the current situation is rife with questions. So, what do we do? First of all, let me say so that everyone knows, I am not an infectious disease expert. I’m going to throw out a few ideas here. I’m doing this as an effort to get us all thinking—look upon it as a discussion we might have at a meeting in the bar after dinner.
Masks are certainly going to be a major priority. I’d be willing to bet that most of us now know more about masks than we ever expected in our career. N95s are the best option, but you don’t need to be in healthcare to know they are in short supply. There are other versions available from countries outside the U.S., such as the KN95 from China, which are supposed to be identical to the U.S. N95.
However, with the demand for respirators has come dishonesty. It’s now become known that some masks sold as KN95 are counterfeit. The U.S. had originally approved 80 overseas companies to provide N95-equivalent masks, but then had to prohibit 65 of those companies from selling masks for medical use. This happened after the federal agencies testing these masks had known of the failures for three weeks. When I found out about this I was outraged, and I feel you should be as well. Heaven only knows how many of those masks were used in that three-week span and how many of our medical colleagues had their lives put at risk because of it.
Many offices plan to ration these high filtration masks until the supply chain stabilizes. This is done by using one high filtration mask per day and then covering it during use with a separate Level 3 mask. The Level 3 masks can be changed as needed throughout the day. At the end of the day the N95 (or KN95) is placed inside of a paper bag and allowed to sit for 5 days. After the five-day span, the CDC considers them ready to wear again.
Gowns have also become a sought-after item. Whether disposable or reusable is up to the office, but “gowning up” will become a part of standard operating procedures for the foreseeable future. These should be waterproof and should protect underlying garments as much as possible. Some disposable gown manufacturers switched over to making masks due to demand, which has now created a disposable gown shortage.
    "We are going to have to be even more vigilant about our inventory control. Running out of critical PPE could stop treatment in its tracks.”
Hair bonnets have been discussed a lot and no one seems to have a really good answer as to whether or not they are needed. The normal “gauze” types certainly won’t prevent virus penetration, but some individuals feel better with them during treatment. Perhaps the best option for those who desire to cover their hair are the good old fashioned shower caps. These are basically a thicker ply plastic bag with elastic. While these would keep viruses out, they will also be very warm for those who choose to wear them.
Face shields are also a popular option. While the CDC is currently advising either safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield, many are choosing to wear glasses and a face shield. The problem with face shields is that most are not very compatible with magnification. More than 80 percent of doctors are currently wearing some type of magnification and fitting a plastic shield over almost all of them is difficult if not impossible. Adding to the problem is the fact that most wearing magnification also have a light attached to the glasses. This makes the mask even more difficult to fit, while also creating reflection problems as the light bounces off the mask and reflects back into the user’s eyes.
And That Isn’t All
Then let’s add in the temperature factor. All of this PPE is going to surround us with non-breathable materials. Viruses cannot get in, but the tradeoff is that heat cannot escape. We are going to get very hot. Spending hours wrapped in layers of insulating materials is no one’s idea of a good time.
Plus, we are going to have to be even more vigilant about our inventory control. Running out of critical PPE could stop treatment in its tracks, meaning we’ll have to be hyper aware of inventory levels. Also, because the supply chain is so out of sync, we can’t just pick up the phone and place an order with the expectation it will arrive in a day or two. We’ll have to scour all available supply channels in an attempt to find items that are in stock and purchase before those items are sold out. This is going to require a careful balancing act that we’ve never had to perform before.
Wrapping Up
Is this going to be difficult? Absolutely. However, we’ll get through it. Dentistry may not have faced this kind of challenge before, but we’ve faced challenges in the past and we prevailed. I’m no happier about the current situation than any of you, but as my grandfather used to say, “Son, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” Here’s to doing what is NOT easy. See you on the other side.