Thursday, July 30, 2020

Dentsply Sirona World 2020 Moves to a Localized In-Person and Global Virtual Programs




An interesting addendum to yesterday's post, which was regarding the announcement that Dentsply Sirona has chosen not to be at the IDS meeting in Cologne in March 2021.

Now comes word that their annual U.S. extravaganza Dentsply Sirona World is moving to a virtual platform for 2020.  Here are all the details...


In addition to a robust general session, numerous opportunities for networking and always-expected exceptional entertainment, the new program will feature dynamic industry speakers in real time and on-demand, with a varied range of engaging course topics, making it an expanded individual and personalized training event for all attendees.


Dentsply Sirona, the world's largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, announced today that Dentsply Sirona World 2020 will be reimagined into dynamic localized in-person and globally-available virtual events.  The new formats - certain to delight attendees - will offer expanded opportunities for earning CE credit and feature the best and brightest speakers in dentistry presenting engaging educational sessions across 12 unique tracks.  The in-person program originally scheduled October 1-3, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV will be postponed to a later date.

"The current circumstances prevent an event the size and quality of Dentsply Sirona World to take place in person," said Senior Vice President Eric Bruno.  "Though we are postponing the event in Las Vegas, the localized in-person programs and the new expanded virtual event will be packed with the same great content expected of The Ultimate Dental Meeting presented in a new, innovative forum.  We are taking a stand that dentistry is essential and that digital dentistry is the future, so we are doubling down on our digital efforts for Dentsply Sirona World and complementing those with localized in-person programming in collaboration with our industry partners."

At its core, Dentsply Sirona World is a celebration of dentistry combining incredible professional development courses, ample opportunities to connect and network with thousands of dental professionals and class entertainment in an exciting, inspiring atmosphere.  the online event will feature a full program with a general session and cutting-edge breakouts tailored to individual needs, with introductory to expert-level courses ranging from specialities such as implantology, to laboratory courses, to hygiene topics.

The Dentsply Sirona World 2020 localized in-person programs and virtual event will bring an exceptional experience to attendees, with our continued commitment for delivering health smiles through healthy practices: added Bruno.  "The virtual and local in-person programs will allow attendees to interact with our speaker, products and latest technologies in an entirely new way while continuing to shape the future of dentistry."

The specific dates and more details of the localized in-person programs and the virtual Dentsply Sirona World event will be announced in the coming weeks.

Everyone already registered for Dentsply Sirona World 2020 receives registration for the virtual program; no action is required on registered attendees' part to register for the virtual program.  Current registrations for the in-person Dentsply Sirona World 2020 will automatically transfer to the new in-person 2021 date when it i announced.  Additional details regarding the virtual event will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

For updates and announcements regarding the virtual Dentsply Sirona World program, visit www.dentsplysironaworld.com often.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Dentsply Sirona will not take part in the International Dental Show (IDS) in March 2021




Taking into account all the different factors for its customers and employees and following intensive discussions, Dentsply Sirona has decided the Company will not attend the International Dental Show (IDS), scheduled to be held from March 9th to 13th, 2021 in Cologne, Germany. This also applies to Dentsply Sirona brands VDW, MIS and Zhermack.

 

Charlotte/Bensheim, July 28th, 2020. Current estimates indicate that the expected restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2021 will almost certainly not allow the proximity and depth of consultation that Dentsply Sirona and its customers know and value.

 

In particular, this environment would mean that customer meetings, interactions and consultations would not have their usual quality. Dentsply Sirona also believes that travel conditions will result in significantly fewer national and, especially, international visitors attending the IDS. The company puts the safety of its customers and employees first when making these types of decisions.

 

Walter Petersohn, Chief Commercial Officer at Dentsply Sirona, says, "It was a difficult decision to make, but much of what makes the IDS and its unique dynamics what they are, will not be possible in March 2021 because of the conditions we expect due to COVID-19. We would not be able to provide our customers and visitors with their usual experience at the show at this time. The same applies to the quality that they expect of Dentsply Sirona. We trust that the situation will change in due course, and we already look forward to taking part in the next IDS."

 


 

 

ABOUT DENTSPLY SIRONA

Dentsply Sirona is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, with over a century of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide. Dentsply Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive solutions offering including dental and oral health products as well as other consumable medical devices under a strong portfolio of world class brands. Dentsply Sirona’s products provide innovative, high-quality and effective solutions to advance patient care and deliver better and safer dental care. Dentsply Sirona’s headquarter is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company’s shares are listed in the United States on NASDAQ under the symbol XRAY. Visit www.dentsplysirona.com for more information about Dentsply Sirona and its products.

 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Clinical Evaluation of Apex Dental Materials PinkWave Curing Light is Beginning

 

 

 

As regular readers know, I spend a fair amount of my time working with different products that are new to the market.  Sometimes they are prototypes that are in the early design stages, sometimes they are devices that are close to heading to the market, and finally some are boxed up and ready to go.  Doing clinical evaluations is one of the things I love most about my job as “Technology Evangelist”.

 

Recently I received a product to evaluate that is from Apex Dental Materials.  The company has been around since 1998 is heavily involved with the work of Dr. John Kanca.  They manufacture and sell a variety of dental products that fall into the category of “bonded materials.  However, the product I received to evaluate is not a material, it’s a curing light designed to set those bonded materials.  (Disclaimer, I happen to be friends with Dr. Kanca, but I will not let that friendship impact this evaluation).

 

The device is called PinkWave and it comes at the idea of light curing dental materials, from a little bit different angle.

 

For several years, dentistry relied on a photoinitiator called camphorquinone in our composites.  It’s a material that worked so well, that it is still used in almost every light cured material on the market.  When exposed to a certain color (or wavelength) of light, the chemical causes a photo polymerization reaction that causes the composite to harden.  Basically a composite with camphorquinone (abbreviated CPQ in the literature) is set with an LED array that creates light at a wavelength of 450 nanometers.  CPQ reacts at 450 nm +/- 30 nm.  That is why, in the early 2000s, when the blue LED was created, curing lights suddenly went from large devices with expensive and short lifespan halogen bulbs, to compact LED devices.

 

The only drawback with CPQ is that it tends to have a slightly yellowish color which can potentially affect the shade of the restorative material.  Due to that fact, some companies have created proprietary photoinitiators that don’t exhibit this.  These proprietary photoinitiators require a different wavelength of light to set them.  This is why many lights now come with LEDs of varying wavelengths that are referred to as “broadband curing lights”.  

 

Now we are seeing a new development in the realm of curing lights with the PinkWave.  This device not only provides the “broadband curing” aspect but also has TWO other wavelengths as well.  The extra 2 are a red and a near infrared that is invisible to the human eye.

 

I’m excited to see what the PinkWave can do.  I’m going to be performing some bench tests as well as some clinical applications.  I’ll report back on what I discovered when I’m done.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Technology Titan Garmin Knocked Offline by Ransomware

 

 

 

Despite the best efforts of security teams… even in hugely successful tech companies, disaster can strike.  The headquarters of Garmin is in the greater Kansas City area, so this story strikes near and dear to my heart.  

 

Near the end of last week (July 23), the company was hit with a massive service interruption that took almost all of their IT systems offline.  At first Garmin blamed the outage on systems maintenance.  I suppose that’s not necessarily an untruth since, if you are trying to recover from malware, it IS system maintenance.  Then word began to leak that the outage was caused by the WastedLocker ransomware.

 

This particular brand of Ransomware has been attributed by several security companies as coming from Evil Corp.  They are also rumored to be the group behind creating and distributing Bit Paymer and Dridex.  The name “Evil Corp” seems to be an homage to the huge conglomerate in the show Mr. Robot.  However, *this* Evil Corp is the real deal as detailed in this post from one of my favorite security sites “Krebs on Security”.  

 

It seems that the criminals at Evil Corp  are asking for $10 million to decrypt the Garmin files.  This has caused serious problems for Garmin as rumor has it that the company has closed assembly lines in Taiwan and that servers have been shut down across the globe in an attempt to stem the tide of the infection.

 

A simple Google search on “Garmin Ransomware” will bring up a huge list of sites. Of course it does’t take very long when crippling a company before paying $10 million is the lesser of 2 evils (pardon the pun).

 

This is just one more lesson in cyber security for all of us!

 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Could a Vaccine be On the Horizon, Effective, and Affordable?




The answer to the question in the title, just might be "yes" if all goes as planned.  On July 21, 2020 an agreement was signed between the U.S. Federal Government and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to purchase a vaccine.

The agreement is between The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), The Department of Defense (DoD), and Pfizer.  The pharmaceutical company has agree to provide 100,000,000 (that's 100 million) doses of their Covid-19 vaccine.  In return, HHS and DoD have agreed to pay $1,950,000,000 (that's 1.95 billion dollars) for those doses.  To save you from doing the math, that breaks down to $19.50 per dose.

The *most impressive part* is the announcement that the Federal Government will make these vaccine doses available to the public for free!

According to CNN:
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a press release that the US government is collecting different vaccines through the Operation Warp Speed program in order to have at least one effective Covid-19 vaccine available to Americans. According to the World Health Organization, two dozen Covid-19 vaccines are in clinical trials around the world.

Here is all the info from HHS:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense (DoD) today announced an agreement with U.S.-based Pfizer Inc. for large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States following the vaccine’s successful manufacture and approval. The agreement also allows the U.S. government to acquire an additional 500 million doses.

The federal government will own the 100 million doses of vaccine initially produced as a result of this agreement, and Pfizer will deliver the doses in the United States if the product receives Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or licensure from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as outlined in FDA guidance, after completing demonstration of safety and efficacy in a large Phase 3 clinical trial.

By entering into this agreement now, a safe and effective vaccine can be shipped quickly if FDA grants EUA or licensure. This approach helps meet the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed goal to begin delivering 300 million of doses of safe and effective vaccine to the American people by the end of the year.

“Through Operation Warp Speed, we are assembling a portfolio of vaccines to increase the odds that the American people will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Depending on success in clinical trials, today’s agreement will enable the delivery of approximately 100 million doses of vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.”

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, collaborated with the DoD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and Army Contracting Command, to provide $1.95 billion for the production and nationwide delivery of the first 100 million doses of the vaccine after EUA or licensure, with the ability to acquire up to an additional 500 million doses.

Subject to technical success and EUA or licensure, the company would begin nationwide delivery of these vaccine doses to locations at the U.S. government’s direction beginning in the fourth quarter of 2020. The vaccine would be available to the American people at no cost. As is customary with government-purchased vaccines, healthcare professionals could charge insurers for the cost of administering the vaccine.

Pfizer is collaborating with BioNTech, a German biotechnology company, to develop COVID-19 investigational vaccines without U.S. government financial support. Phase 1/2 clinical trials are underway for the investigational vaccines in the United States and Germany.

About Operation Warp Speed (OWS):

OWS aims to begin delivery of 300 million doses of an FDA authorized, safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 by the end of the year as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. OWS is a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, engaging with private firms and other federal agencies, and coordinating among existing HHS-wide efforts, including the NIH’s Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership, NIH’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative, and work by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

About HHS, ASPR, and BARDA:

HHS works to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans, providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. The mission of ASPR is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. Within ASPR, BARDA invests in the innovation, advanced research and development, acquisition, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products needed to combat health security threats. To date, 55 BARDA-supported products have achieved FDA approval, licensure or clearance. To learn more about federal support for the nationwide COVID-19 response, visit coronavirus.gov.

About the JPEO-CBRND:

The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) protects the Joint Force by providing medical countermeasures and defense equipment against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. As an effective DoD acquisition program, the JPEO-CBRND’s vision is a resilient Joint Force enabled to fight and win unencumbered by a CBRN environment; championed by innovative, agile, results-oriented acquisition professionals. The Joint Project Manager for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Medical (JPM CBRN Medical) facilitates the advanced development and acquisition of medical solutions to combat CBRN and emerging threats. JPM CBRN Medical works with JPEO-CBRND’s Joint Project Lead for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense - Enabling Biotechnologies to provide new and improved medical countermeasures to enable a single treatment for many threats, rapid medical countermeasure responses, genomic sequencing and the capability to diagnose CBRN threats before the onset of symptoms. To learn more about JPEO-CBRND’s COVID-19 response, visit https://www.jpeocbrnd.osd.mil/coronavirus exit disclaimer icon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

OrthoFX Launches a Better Clear Aligner Experience for Dental Professionals and Patients



Practice Friendly Financial Model and Pipeline of Innovations Drive a New Vision for Clear Aligner Treatment


OrthoFX, a high-tech startup that partners tightly with dentists and orthodontists, today unveiled a host of new clear aligner technologies coupled with its unique practice financial model. In addition to advancements in clear aligner materials and remote treatment solutions, OrthoFX eliminates lab bills while accelerating and simplifying payment for treatment.

The company is led by orthodontic industry veterans many of whom were senior executives at Invisalign during its hypergrowth phase. “We started OrthoFX with the premise that a high-quality patient experience must involve care delivered by a doctor” said Ren Menon, OrthoFX CEO. Unlike “Do It Yourself” clear aligner industry newcomers that minimize clinician-patient interaction, OrthoFX partners with practitioners with every patient receiving professional consultation and follow up treatment.

OrthoFX aligners are formulated with FXTetraTM technology combining a proprietary plastic formulation and an elastomeric middle layer to provide ideal forces for tooth movement along with superior patient comfort, stain resistance, and clarity. The company also announced FXOnTrack, a smart platform which enables virtual consultations, remote treatment monitoring, concierge support from the OrthoFX clinical team, and sensor-based wear-time tracking.

Just as unique as the technology, is OrthoFX’s financial model which eliminates the lab bill associated with traditional clear aligner companies and pays the clinician within days of starting a case. “We have always believed our simplified financial approach would become preferred to paying upfront lab bills” said Menon. In addition to expediting treatment fees the company supports practices with billing services, financing and collections, insurance processing, and extensive marketing to bring new patients into the office. Menon goes on “as practices open up and seek to re-establish growth and cashflow, we anticipate heightened interest and accelerated migration to our clear aligner platform.”

About OrthoFX

OrthoFX was founded to provide a better clear aligner experience to orthodontic patients and dental professionals that provide treatment. We are the modern approach to clear aligner therapy driven by cutting-edge technology, the industry’s most innovative service model, and strong new patient marketing support, all delivered under doctor supervision. Leveraging technology at every level from advanced plastics to virtual consultation and remote monitoring, OrthoFX clear aligner treatment is more efficient, affordable, and accessible without compromising on the quality and safety that comes with professional personalized care.

To learn how to become an OrthoFX providing practice visit www.orthofx.com/doctors.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Intra-Oral Rash May be Indication of Covid-19 Infection



A limited study recently completed indicates the potential for a rash, referred to as "oral enanthem" to be possibly linked to Covid-19 infection.

As more and more scientists and medical doctors study the disease, more information is being uncovered daily.  One of the many things that have been learned is that Covid-19 is not just a virus that affects the respiratory system.  Many recovering patients are suffering from problems with multiple organ systems.

Also, symptoms that indicate infection have broadened.  As most know now, a loss of taste or smell is a symptom that can be directly linked to Covid-19.

Here is a short version of what was published in the medical journal JAMA Dermatology:


Recalcati1 recently reported skin manifestations in 18 patients in Italy with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, or coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), describing “erythematous rash,” “widespread urticaria,” and “chickenpox-like vesicles.” Additional reports have described other rashes, including petechial and purpuric changes,2 transient livedo reticularis,3 and acro-ischemic lesions.4 Whether these manifestations are directly related to COVID-19 remains unclear, since both viral infections and adverse drug reactions are frequent causes of exanthems. An important clue to distinguish between both entities is the presence of enanthem (oral cavity lesions).5 However, owing to safety concerns, many patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 do not have their oral cavity examined. Herein we describe variants of enanthem in a series of patients with COVID-19.

Methods

We included 21 consecutive patients from a tertiary care hospital who had skin rash and COVID-19, confirmed by real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction from a nasopharyngeal swab, and who required dermatology consultation from March 30 to April 8, 2020. The oral cavities of patients presenting with skin rash were systematically examined. Enanthems were classified into 4 categories: petechial, macular, macular with petechiae, or erythematovesicular.5 This study was approved by the institutional review board of Ramon y Cajal University Hospital in Madrid. Accordingly, informed consent was obtained verbally from all patients before examination, and they have been deidentified through omission of individual age and sex.

Results

Of 21 patients with COVID-19 and skin rash, 6 patients (29%) had enanthem. The age range of these patients was between 40 and 69 years, and 4 of the 6 (66%) were women. The morphology of the skin rash was papulovesicular, purpuric periflexural, and erythema multiforme–like in 1, 2, and 3 patients, respectively. The clinical and histologic findings of the erythema multiforme–like exanthem have been reported elsewhere.6 No enanthem was observed in patients with urticarial or typical maculopapular rashes. The enanthem was macular in 1 patient, petechial in 2 patients, and macular with petechiae in 3 patients, and was located in the palate in all patients (Figure). No patient presented with an erythemato-vesicular enanthem. The mean (range) time between the onset of COVID-19 symptoms and the appearance of mucocutaneous lesions was 12.3 days (range, −2 to 24 days). Interestingly, this latency was shorter in patients with petechial enanthem compared with those with a macular lesion with petechiae appearance. Drug intake and laboratory findings were not associated with any enanthem type (Table).

Discussion

The etiological diagnosis of exanthems can be challenging for dermatologists. Some useful clues are the rash morphology, the associated symptoms, and the presence of enanthem.5 Pustular morphology and dusky lesions are suggestive of drug etiology, while petechial or vesicular pattern, involvement of buttocks or acral sites, and enanthem suggest an infectious etiology, especially viral.5 In a large series of patients with atypical exanthems,5 only 9% of patients with enanthem had a drug reaction, whereas 88% had an infectious etiology, most frequently viral. Enanthems may present with petechiae, macules, papules, or vesicles in the mouth. Erythemato-vesicular and petechial patterns were most commonly associated with viral infections, the latter being more frequent in adults.5 This is consistent with the present series, in which 5 patients (83%) had petechiae as a main component of the enanthem. Furthermore, the 2 patients with a pure petechial enanthem developed these lesions 2 days before and 2 days after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, making association with the drug intake unlikely.

This work describes preliminary observations and is limited by the small number of cases and the absence of a control group. Despite the increasing reports of skin rashes in patients with COVID-19, establishing an etiological diagnosis is challenging. However, the presence of enanthem is a strong clue that suggests a viral etiology rather than a drug reaction, especially when a petechial pattern is observed.

Monday, July 20, 2020

ADA Announces 2020 Meeting is Going Virtual!!!



Bringing the dental community together while we’re apart

The ADA and FDA are pleased to announce the ADA FDC Virtual Connect Conference Oct 15–17, a live and on-demand experience like no other dental meeting before. With this virtual meeting, attendees can interact in real-time with speakers and other dental professionals—or catch up later on with on-demand access.

We are creating plans for an innovative Virtual Exhibit Hall, and we hope you will want to be a part of it, too! The hall will have flexible options for exhibitors and will be easy for attendees to visit. There will also be a limited number of advertising and sponsorship opportunities to further engage with attendees. More information will be shared soon at ADA.org/meeting.

Refund Response Deadline—July 17
If you have not selected a credit or refund for exhibit money paid for the canceled in-person ADA FDC 2020 meeting, please do so today. All responses must be received by July 17, 2020. After this date, any company that has not responded will receive a credit for the 2021 meeting. Contact Rhonda King with your selection.

Exhibit Space Refunds for ADA FDC 2020
All refunds will take 4–6 weeks from the response deadline of July 17. Several processes must be completed before refunds can be issued. If you paid for exhibit space with a credit card, your refund will be posted to the credit card used for payment. If you paid by check, ACH or wire transfer, your refund will be issued by the payment method used.

Orlando Hotel Reservations 2020
All registration and hotel reservations made through Experient Inc. have been automatically canceled. No further action is required. If you booked hotel reservations outside the ADA hotel block, you are responsible for canceling your reservation.

General Contractor (Freeman) – Online Services
Exhibitors are responsible for canceling orders placed directly through the service contractors. Please reference the online exhibitor services manual for contact information.

Save the Date for ADA 2021
October 1115, 2021
Exhibit Hall, October 1113
Mandalay Bay
Las Vegas, Nevada

Exciting changes are coming to the ADA Annual Meeting in 2021—you won’t want to miss it! Renewals for exhibit space will begin in January 2021. The 2021 floor plan, prospectus and details about how to secure your exhibit space will be shared in November 2020.


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Decontamination Methods for Reuse of Filtering Facepiece Respirators

 

 

 

In the continuing battle against Covid-19, one of the most critical components for healthcare workers is keeping themselves safe.  If there is not a way to prevent infection of front line healthcare workers that are actually dealing every day with patients that are confirmed positive with the disease, soon those workers will be infected themselves.  This creates a slippery slope problem because the those workers become patients who have the potential to infect more frontline workers.  The scary conclusion is that eventually there very well might not be any knowledgeable healthcare workers left to help others and then the entire system implodes.

 

That’s why it’s so critically important for healthcare workers to be protected with proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Without N-95 masks, face shields, goggles, water resistant gowns, head coverings, and possibly shoe coverings, the risk of infection is high.  This is especially true of N-95 masks.  Covid-19 is a virus that enters the host’s body principally through the nose and mouth and also potentially through the eyes.  That’s why high filtration masks are so important… but they are also in short supply.  The supply chain for these types of items is severely compromised right now and because of that many hospitals are having trouble getting an adequate supply of N-95 masks.

 

This has created a need for a way to decontaminate these articles which allows for them to be used more than once safely.  Here is a recent study on the subject.  For the page with the article, follow this link.  

 

Importance  The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has proven to be highly infectious, putting health care professionals around the world at increased risk. Furthermore, there are widespread shortages of necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for these individuals. Filtering facepiece respirators, such as the N95 respirator, intended for single use, can be reused in times of need. We explore the evidence for decontamination or sterilization of N95 respirators for health care systems seeking to conserve PPE while maintaining the health of their workforce.

Observations  The filtration properties and fit of N95 respirators must be preserved to function adequately over multiple uses. Studies have shown that chemical sterilization using soap and water, alcohols, and bleach render the respirator nonfunctional. Decontamination with microwave heat and high dry heat also result in degradation of respirator material. UV light, steam, low-dry heat, and commercial sterilization methods with ethylene oxide or vaporized hydrogen peroxide appear to be viable options for successful decontamination. Furthermore, since the surface viability of the novel coronavirus is presumed to be 72 hours, rotating N95 respirator use and allowing time decontamination of the respirators is also a reasonable option. We describe a protocol and best practice recommendations for redoffing decontaminated N95 and rotating N95 respirator use.

Conclusions and Relevance  COVID-19 presents a high risk for health care professionals, particularly otolaryngologists, owing to the nature of viral transmission, including possible airborne transmission and high viral load in the upper respiratory tract. Proper PPE is effective when used correctly, but in times of scarce resources, institutions may turn to alternative methods of preserving and reusing filtering facepiece respirators. Based on studies conducted on the decontamination of N95 respirators after prior outbreaks, there are several options for institutions to consider for both immediate and large-scale implementation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

ADA and Other Groups Send Letter to Congress Requesting Investment in Public Health

 


 

 

As if it's not readily apparent enough, the catastrophe that is Covid-19 caught the world flat footed.  For years an educated, and occasionally vocal, minority had been warning of the fears of a rapidly spreading infectious disease that *might* occur at any moment.

 

The problems with these types or warnings are many.  Which disease?  Where will it come from?  How will it spread?  How widespread will it be?  How many fatalities?  It is difficult to state with any degree of certainty the answers to *any* of these questions, let alone all of them.  Preparing for disasters is difficult AND expensive.  Trying to see the future and then spend money on a “maybe” problem is hard to justify when there are other problems that can be easily seen that demand funding to help stop.  

 

So… the world did nothing.  And when SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the illness called Covid-19 hit, no one had spent money on a plan or anything that could be used to help stop the spread.  The thing about all this is, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Now, the American Dental Association along with many other groups are hoping to encourage the United States Congress to spend money to help prevent future, and potentially more lethal, pandemics when they occur in the future.  And trust me… they WILL occur again.

Here is what the letter had to say:

 

As Congress undertakes the next iteration of legislation to speed the response to the COVID-19
pandemic, the undersigned organizations urge you to include a significant, long-term investment
in public health infrastructure. This investment is critical to support the public health system as it
rebuilds from the COVID-19 response, but also to strengthen it before the next pandemic hits
and avoid the loss of life and social and economic disruption we are facing today. The
importance of strong, predictable federal investment in this system is even more vital now as the
economic impacts of the pandemic are felt nationwide. State and local governmental budgets,
and therefore public health budgets, are likely to be devastated. This will leave our nation even
more vulnerable to emerging health risks. By building the core public health infrastructure of
states, localities, tribal governments and territories, as well as the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), the nation will be better prepared for the next threat.


Our groups recommend $4.5 billion in additional annual funding for CDC, state, local,
tribal and territorial core public health infrastructure to pay for such essential activities as
disease surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity, all-hazards preparedness and
response; policy development and support; communications; community partnership
development; and organizational competencies.


For too long, the nation has neglected basic public health capacity. More than 56,000 local Public Health departments are still dependent on archaic methods of tracking diseases, including phone, health jobs were eliminated between 2008 and 2017—nearly one quarter of the workforce.

 Health departments are still dependent on archaic methods of tracking diseases, including phone, fax, and paper.  CDC’s funding remains just above level with FY2008, when adjusting for inflation, and funding specific to state and local public health preparedness has been cut from  $939 million in FY2003 to $675 million in FY2020. That means there has been little room to modernize, retain skilled workforce, and address emerging threats. In fact, only 51 percent of the U.S. population is served by a comprehensive public health system, and the estimated gap infunding foundational public health capabilities is about $13 per person per year, yielding the requested $4.5 billion.


The COVID-19 pandemic is illustrating in the direst terms the consequences of underfunding public health. The delays in diagnostic testing are hampering communities’ ability to suppress the virus. Public health departments are attempting to conduct statewide situational awareness and management of medical supply shortages. The response is personnel-heavy – investigating cases, managing supplies and volunteers, conducting risk communications, coordinating with governmental and healthcare partners, and planning for the next phase of response.


The U.S. has followed a pattern of underfunding of vital public health services, followed by a crisis,a quick infusion of cash,and then dwindling investments overtime. This pattern is placing American lives at risk. We must think not just of the short-term needs of this pandemic, but the long-term readiness of our nation. We applaud Congress for taking quick action to provide funding for the initial response, including for the state and local public health response. However, short-term, supplemental funding does not allow public health to recruit and retain the expert workforce needed for protecting the nation against emerging threats. We urge you to do act now to prevent and prepare for the next pandemic.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

FDA Sends Warning Letters to 5 Companies Selling Fraudulent Covid-19 Products

 

 

 

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, it seems that some groups will do anything possible to make a profit from the fear and suffering of others.  To help prevent these companies from taking the money of unsuspecting consumers, the FDA has cracked down on them.

 

Here is the info direct from the FDA:

 

As part of the FDA’s effort to protect consumers, the agency issued warning letters to five companies for selling fraudulent COVID-19 products. There are currently no FDA-approved products to prevent or treat COVID-19. Consumers concerned about COVID-19 should consult with their health care provider. The five companies that received warning letters include:

  • SinoTradition.com, which offers traditional Chinese medicine products, including "Lianhua Qingwen Capsules" and "Qing Fei Pai Du Tang," for sale in the United States with false or misleading claims that the products can mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people.
  • Butterfly Expressions, LLC, which offers blessed waters, essential oils, hand sanitizers, homeopathic products, and tinctures for sale in the United States with false or misleading claims that the products can mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people.
  • Lotus Herbal Supplements, which offers traditional Chinese medicine products, including “Lianhua Qingwen Capsules,” for sale in the United States with false or misleading claims that the products can mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people.
  • Lianhuaqingwencaps.com, offers traditional Chinese medicine products, including “Lianhua Qingwen,” for sale in the United States with false or misleading claims that the products can mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people.
  • Shen Clinic, LLC, which offers traditional Chinese medicine products, including “SHUANG HUANG LIAN,” for sale in the United States with false or misleading claims that the products can mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Aegis PPE VacStation is Now Under Clinical Evaluation

The onset of Covid-19 has placed dentistry directly on the frontlines of the battle against the disease.  The virus travels through aerosols and with dental professionals working around 18 inches from the patient's oral cavity, keeping everyone safe is a high priority.

To that end, there have been a lot of products enter the market that are designed to help remove aerosols from the air.

One of those is the Aegis VacStation.  We just received one recently and will be putting it through the paces in a clinical environment.  I'll be reporting back shortly on my impressions.

From the company website:

This multi-filtration unit removes aerosols and up to 99.97% of all airborne particulates and pathogens (down to 0.3µm size), decreasing the potential spread of infections and diseases. Features a flexible tube that is easy to maneuver and promotes less noise than alternative units that use sharp bends which hinders airflow.

Reduces the level of Influenza A strain H1N1**

This product meets U.S. HEPA filtration requirements

Unit is ideal for standard room air purification.

Features:

  • Removes airborne particulates and pathogens

     Provides up to 99.97% filtration at a 0.3µm particle size
     Three-stage filtration system

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