Thursday, October 29, 2020

Restorative Revolutions: Transforming Dentistry Through Materials, Techniques, and Technologies


Have you ever wished you had a crystal ball?  Better yet, have you ever wanted to peer into the future and actually see the future???  Now at long last you finally can!

The smart minds at Dental Products Report (the BEST dental publication in the industry) has put together an incredible education event that is coming up a week from Friday.  On Friday November 6th it kicks off at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time.

This event is virtual.  You can watch it and learn from the comfort of your home office... or your home sofa, if that's what you'd like!  

It's an all day event that will deliver an incredible amount of information.

Topics covered include:

  • Resin Materials that get the Job Done
  • Self Adhesive Composite
  • The Power of Katana Chairside Zirconia Block
  • How 3D Printing Benefits the Restorative Practice
  • Tooth Preparation Disinfection: A Game Changer

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A Rotary Tool Set at a Bargain Price!


In my never-ending quest across the Internet to find some interesting things, sometimes I stumble across things that seem too good to be true.  Honestly, sometimes they are "too good to be true", but other times I find things that are pretty amazing.  The bad news?  Often times I waste some hard earned cash, but when you hit a home run... well there's no better feeling.

This post is one of those posts about a winner.  If you are a dentist or a hobbyist that likes to make artsy-craftsy kind of things, this is something you'll be interested in.  Dentistry requires things that are sometimes tiny and unfortunately that can only be sold to a limited market.  This means that the markup on dental items can be significant simply because there is not a huge demand for those products.   Unfortunately there are about 150,000 dentists in the U.S. and not all of them are going to buy a specifica product.  That means the markup has to be significant.

However, sometimes you can find something that is from a different market that can be used in a dental setting.  As you can see by the picture above, this is a great toolkit for dental lab work.  There are lots of applications such as removable prosthetics and model work that require these kind of lab tools.

I remember once seeing a catalogue of dental lab gear where an acrylic bur was something like $27.50  That's a pretty steep price for something designed to trim plastic.

The kit above has been in my office for about 6 months and has certainly proven itself over that time.  It has 227 pieces.  Here is what the retailer has to say:

What do rotary tools have in common with fashionistas? Yes, it really is all about accessorizing. This set includes (20) shading bands, (10) fiberglass cut-off wheels, (21) assorted grinding stones, (3) polishing wheels, (45) woolen wheels and points, (36) silicone cut-off wheels, (60) sanding discs, (6) brushes, (5) diamond burrs, (8) high-speed steel burrs and drills, (3) mandrels and some polishing paste, all have a 1/8" shaft and come in a dandy wooden case. Case measures approximately 12-3/8" x 5-3/8" x 1-3/4". Check out our best selling rotary tool here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Structure CAD - CAD/CAM Composite for Long-term Temporary Crown & Bridges


You can always count on Voco to create great products.  I happen to be a big fan for a lot of reasons, but one of them is because it's a great "outside the box" kind of company.  Structur CAD is another one of those products.  For situations such as full mouth rehabilitations or other times when a doctor needs a truly "long term" provisional.  Now you have an incredibly strong and durable material for those long term cases that you can create in your in-office milling system.  If you are one of those doctors, you need to give this a try!

Structur CAD, VOCO’s strong and esthetic composite CAD/CAM blocks and discs that enable practitioners to mill temporary crown and bridges quickly and reliably.  Ideal for both short- and long-term temporary restorations for up to three years.

Structur CAD has outstanding edge stability after milling. Polishing is quick and easy, and its fluorescence is similar to that of natural teeth, making for a natural-looking and toothlike esthetic restoration. CAD/CAM-produced temporary restorations are precise, easy to reproduce, repairable and can be customized with conventional composites.

Cementation can be customized to fit the patient’s particular situation – either with temporary cement or by using an adhesive for longer wearing periods, and there is no need for use of an MMA primer. Structur CAD does not need to be fired or glazed and is available in shades A1, A2 and A3 as a size 40L block and as a disc with a thickness of 20 mm (diameter 98.4 mm).

VOCO America Inc.


Monday, October 26, 2020

PinkWave Jeopardy is Coming on Tuesday Evening!

On October 27th, at 7:00pm Central Daylight time I'll be participating in a fun and informative webinar from Vista-Apex.

Rather than your ordinary every day webinar, the smart mids at Vista-Apex decided to spice things up a little.  The format is going to be a take on everybody's favorite game show Jeopardy.

Join  Dr. Chad Duplantis, Dr. Troy Schmedding, Dr. Joshua Austin, myself, and host Dr. Mike DiTolla as we navigate a discussion about how to improve composite restorations and restorative dentistry.

This is looking like it will be a super fun event.. and it's FREE!

 We'll be discussing:

  • Current Curing Techniques​​​​​​​, There have been few advancements in composite curing over the years, what are the limitations? Find out here!

  • The Importance of Expanded Wavelengths​​​​​​​, New technologies allow you to cure more efficiently, with less composite shrinkage and sensitivity. Ouch!

  • Full Coverage Curing & Transillumination, How you can become more efficient in curing and diagnosing.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

OrthoFx Evaluation is Starting... and Why Competition is Good!!!


Everyone wants to look better and a better smile is part of that equation.  Time after time, surveys (both scientific and simple word of mouth) have shown that the number ONE thing people use to judge attractiveness of other human beings is their smile.  Straight, white teeth are a huge part of your appearance and in today's environment having those straight white teeth is almost a right of passage from adolescence to adulthood.

And the *true* right of passage is pretty much related to a treatment plan that involves orthodontics.  From about the 1950s to the late 1990s, that meant utilizing the local orthodontist to get your kids teeth perfectly straight.

What changed in the late 1990s?  That's when the world of tooth moving changed with the invention of Invisalign.  Let's face it, almost everyone wanted straight teeth, but before Invisalign the only real option was those really ugly brackets and wires.  However, someone had the radical (and simple) idea of using plastic material to force the teeth to move instead of pressure from wires and rubber bands.  Hello clear aligners!

Suddenly in the early 2000s Invisalign roared across the plane of the dental marketplace and became a juggernaut.  It created a demand for "clear braces".  That demand had existed prior to Invisalign but there really hadn't been a way to accomplish straightening teeth without brackets and wires.  

Utilizing a space age plastic, Invisalign changed everything.  Suddenly the idea of "clear braces" or "invisible braces" was reality.  The company was incredibly successful and patients were incredibly happy.  It was a match made in heaven.

And this match lasted until a couple of years ago when the Invisalign patents expired.  At that point competition began to arrive on the market.  I've watched this market with a great deal of interest since the patents expired.  I've been an Invisalign provider for quite a few years, but as those of you who know me best understand, I'm always looking for the next great thing.  Just because there has been a super awesome thing invented doesn't mean it will always occupy first place.  Rotary desktop phone anyone?   You get my point.

That's why I'm now exploring and starting to work with OrthoFx.  This is a company that was started by three former executives who helped bring Invisalign to market and moved it to the top.

Like any big company (and Align Technologies, the parent of Invisalign is a *very* big company), these three really smart individuals saw the parts of Invisalign that needed fixing.  They took their knowledge of the company and the business model and said, "It would be SO much better if it was just done *like this*".

OrthoFx is Invisalign for the next twenty years.  By that I mean this:  Invisalign became a very big company very quickly and while very successful, there were things that needed to be changed and fixed.  Unfortunately big companies do not change very quickly so changes weren't implemented.  For instance, did you know that they are *still* using the same plastic formula for their aligners that they were using 20 years ago?  I didn't think so.  When you think about how much progress has been made in science in the last 20 years, it's almost stunning that no change was made.

OrthoFx has an incredibly high tech and space age material that is darn near clear... as close to clear as you can get.  And that is just one of the advancements.

I'm going to be using OrthoFx for the foreseeable future and then reporting to you about it, right here.  You'll get the full enchilada of the plusses and minuses here on the blog.

There is a ton more info available and a ton more reasons why I've decided to make the jump to OrthoFx and I'll be talking about them over the next several months.

In the meantime, if you'd like to learn more or better yet, join me on my journey, check out OrthoFx right here.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Researchers May Have Discovered Mechanism Connecting Periodontal Disease, Other Inflammatory Conditions


We believe this is the mechanism by which oral hygiene can impact vulnerability to unrelated secondary health challenges

Researchers at the University of Toronto recently published findings that are interesting, to say the least.  The scientists have published research that shows the impact of neutrophils on the inflammatory process.

When the body is fighting an infection, I tremendous number of processes are part of the process.  The body goes through a complicated "cascade" of chemicals that work to trigger the responses of cells that are used to fight infections.

One of these cells is the neutrophil.  When the body is fighting periodontal disease, it releases a large number of neutrophils to help kill the assaulting bacteria return the infected tissue back to a "normal state".  However, not all of these neutrophils are used to fight off the infection.  Like everything in life, a few too many are created.  Sort of an anti-infective surplus inventory, as you will.

However, these neutrophils are supercharged to kill invading bacteria and so they go zooming around the circulatory system primed and ready to attack something.  Unfortunately what they have been discovered to do is attack things that might not necessarily need that attacking done.

It's a fascinating read.  Be sure and give it a look!  

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Ultradent Releases "Umbrella" - An Incredible Lip and Cheek Retractor for Dentistry


I've been fortunate enough to have seen this product under development for about 3 years now.  One of the things I really love about Ultradent is that they don't bring a product to market until they are absolutely sure it is as good as they can get it.  Most companies wouldn't have that attitude about a retractor, but Ultradent has that attitude about *everything* they manufacture and sell.  That's just one of the many reasons I'm a big fan of the company.

Usually in situations like this, I would put the product through clinical testing before singing its praises.  However, if seen this one evolve.  I even have a prototype they gave me which I put in my own mouth whenever I have dental treatment.  I'm that big a believer in the product.

If you are in the profession, you may roll your eyes when someone gets this excited about a cheek and lip retractor, but I think that's only because you haven't used it yet.  When I say "game changer" and *highly recommended*, I *mean* it for this product.

Here is what Ultradent has to say:

The Umbrella retractor is a lip, cheek, and tongue retractor that provides clear access to all areas of the mouth while prioritizing patient comfort. Rather than pulling or stretching the lips, it gently and naturally keeps a patient’s mouth open thanks to its durable, yet flexible, spring-like design. The Umbrella retractor prevents triggering the gag reflex for most patients and helps channel saliva for efficient evacuation. Its innovative tongue guard also allows the tongue to comfortably remain away from the working area. It is easy to place and features anatomically positioned bumpers for you to rest a hand without causing pain to the patient. These benefits combine to make the procedure easier, and provide a better overall experience for both clinician and patient.

The spring-like action of the Umbrella soft tissue retractor allows the patient to comfortably and effortlessly keep their mouth open for the duration of a procedure. After easy placement, it will naturally prop open a patient's mouth without uncomfortably pulling or stretching their lips and allows them to relax their jaw to reduce muscle fatigue. Perfect for gaggers or anxious patients, the Umbrella retractor keeps the tongue up and out of the way. It also opens the space between the teeth, lips, and cheeks in a way that encourages saliva to accumulate away from the dentition—thus improving access for HVE.

My best advice is to give it a try.  You will be amazed!  Once again I'll repeat, it is *highly recommended*.

Monday, October 19, 2020

350 Million Customer Records and Voicemails Exposed in Databas


Data, data, and more data.  It seems that no matter what form it takes, businesses are keeping more and more info about us.  That's not always a bad thing... as long as it is secure.  However VOIP provider Broadvoice was keeping digital records of customers as well as customer voicemails and storing them online without any security at all... not even a password was needed to access the data.

This mistake, exposed 350 million customers to potential fraud and identity theft.  Why the company felt the need to store all of these voicemails is beyond me, but in a bit of defense of Broadvoice, the information was from a company that they had acquired a few years ago.  That means they may not have even been aware of the potential for a breach, but legally they are still responsible.

According to Comparitech, one of their security specialists found the database on October 1 and by October 4 it had been locked down and secured.  Kudos to Broadvoice for moving so quickly, but no one has any idea if anyone else managed to find the info prior to the October 1 discovery and notification.

Some of the records involved were for healthcare and included PHI while others were from financial institutions.

For the full story, follow this link...  

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The ADA FDC Virtual Connect Conference is this Weekend!!!


The ADA FDC Virtual Connect Conference, Oct. 15–17, is a live and on-demand experience packed with new features and engaging activities designed to make the most of the virtual environment. ADA FDC 2020 will integrate our members’ professional and personal growth needs with their daily lives. How they engage in the virtual conference is up to them. Attendees can enjoy live events with others and interact with speakers. Or, if they have a busy day, attendees can catch up later with on-demand access and still be in-the-know about the latest in dentistry. 

Here are some top reasons to attend the ADA FDC Virtual Connect Conference: 

  1. Convenience and flexibility—Enjoy from your personal space, the local café, or the office—on your own time! And best of all … most sessions remain available on demand through Dec. 31, 2020. Browse our Virtual Exhibit Hall 24/7 featuring the 2020 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award winners.
  2. Amazing Content—Learn from the top thought leaders in dentistry:
    • Frank Spear, DDS, MSD
    • Lee Ann Brady, DMD
    • Gary DeWood, DDS, MS
    • Jose-Luis Ruiz, DDS
    • Technology Thought Leaders
      • Paul Feuerstein, DMD
      • John Flucke, DDS
      • Marty Jablow, DMD
      • Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD
      • Chris Salierno, DDS
      • Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS
  1. Camaraderie
    • Get with like-minded people at our Community Meet-ups. Enjoy beer tasting, wine tasting and a book club.
    • Enjoy a concert by multiplatinum, five-time Grammy award winning group Lady A.
    • Play games like trivia and earn points/win prizes.
    • Join the virtual 5K and run, walk or cycle for Give Kids a Smile.
    • Participate in morning wellness programs.
  1. Great Value 
    • For less than $200, ADA members get all the available CE, networking events, and speaker sessions. 
    • We are investing in the future by giving students, grad students, and dental team students a rate of just $19!
      • Members $199
      • Non Member & Other Allied Health Professional $299
      • Team & Guest $119
      • Student, Grad Student, Dental Team Student $19

For your convenience, here is a schedule of events:


4–5:30 p.m. Staffed Exhibit Hall

5:30–6:15 p.m. Evening Opening Session

6:15–7:15 p.m. Virtual Concert with Lady A


7 a.m. Virtual Exhibit Hall opens

7–8 a.m. Morning Wellness Activities

9 a.m.–Noon CE Sessions

Noon–2 p.m. Staffed Exhibit Hall

2–4 p.m. Speaker Chats

2–4:30 p.m. Afternoon Workshops

4–5:30 p.m. Staffed Exhibit Hall

5:30–6 p.m. Evening Session

6:30–7:30 p.m. Community Meet-ups-Wine tasting, beer tasting, book club


7 a.m. Virtual Exhibit Hall opens

7–8 a.m. Morning Wellness Activities

9 a.m.–Noon CE Sessions

Noon–2 p.m. Staffed Exhibit Hall

2–4 p.m. Speaker Chats

2–5:30 p.m. Afternoon Workshops

4–5:30 p.m. Staffed Exhibit Hall

5:30–6 p.m. Evening Closing Session

6:30–7:30 p.m. Live Trivia

ADA FDC Virtual Connect Conference will be the premier digital event in the industry, and we’re not done yet—we have a big announcement coming during the Evening Opening Session on Thursday night!

Please let us know if you need more information or have any questions. You can also visit for more details.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Universal Battery Charger EASTSHINE S2 LCD Display Speedy Smart Charger for Rechargeable Batteries


Our lives in the dental office are becoming more and more dependent on batteries.  I've complained more than once about how the profession is struggling with what I call "countertop real estate" as we accumulate more and more high tech hardware, but are forced to function on countertops that are the same size they were in the 70s.  We flat out need more space to store all of the hardware we are using on an almost every case basis.  

Along with the the lack of counter space we are dealing with, many of us are also dealing with a lack of electrical outlets as well.  Thankfully  a lot of companies are now creating devices that are battery powered.  That cuts down on clutter, cords, and allows the team to put the hardware in the area where it is easiest to use and not "closest to the outlet" which is frequently a necessary situation.

However, along with the usage of batteries, also comes the problem of keeping them charged.  Unfortunately if a product has replaceable batteries, the device comes with a battery charger as well.  While I welcome having the needed charging equipment, there also comes the unfortunate aspect of "charger clutter" as the chargers all need a home and/or storage.  I've also seen some chargers knocked off a counter (due to clutter) and disintegrate upon impact with the floor.  Now the office needs a new charger or their batter operated device is worthless.

How do we solve the problem of so many batteries and so many chargers?  The picture at the top of this post is one way I've started battling this.  The charger in the picture is a device that is designed to charge multiple types of batteries.  In fact it can charge Ni-MH, Ni-Cd, AA, AAA, Li-Ion, LiFePO4, IMR, 10440, 14500, 16340, 18650, RCR123, 26650, 18500, and 17670 re-chargeables.

The great thing about this is that I have one charger that does several jobs.  That means "counter clutter" drops considerably.  The device also charges batteries quickly so there isn't as much downtime if I have limited amounts of batteries.  It's a smart charger so it adjusts its charging to whatever battery is in it which means the best charge in the best time.  All of this for $19.95!

It be purchased at Amazon.

One other suggestion I'd make is to take any batteries that you feel you don't have enough of and take them to a local battery store.  Often times device batteries are off the shelf parts and are readily available without paying excessive prices from the manufacturer.  That means your devices have more batteries to run on without spending yourself into debt on the batteries.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

COVID-19 Is Now the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.


The title of this post says it all.  While many have politicized the disease, creating the term "anti-masker", the numbers in this epidemic tell a tale that science proves.

A recent article in Scientific American bears reading by everyone, whether you are in healthcare or not.  Covid-19 has killed scores of Americans and we are doing very little to stop it.

In fact, rather than me rambling on here about the disease and the numbers, it's a whole lot easier to simply supply a link and encourage all of you to read the article.

Numbers do not lie, numbers are not political...

Monday, October 12, 2020

Ransomware Victims Who Pay May be Vulnerable to Fines from the Federal Government




The scourge of Ransomware seems to be everywhere in healthcare these days.  Of course it’s not just a healthcare problem either.  A couple of months ago GPS giant Garmin Industries had almost their entire system knocked offline by a Ransomware attack that made headlines all over the world.


This entire subject matter is a fascinating game of cat and mouse (unless you are unlucky enough to be involved), with companies trying to avoid paying ransoms while the criminals try and force their hand through escalations.  Many perpetrators are now not only demanding a ransom, but are threatening to reveal confidential data online.


One of the newer ploys now in play involves the copying and removal of data before encryption.  Once the criminals gain access to the network, they copy and offload critical and confidential data.  They then unleash the Ransomware which encrypts the compromised computer’s hard drive.  In a worst case scenario the criminals have the ability for the Ransomware to hopscotch across the network encrypting every hard drive that is connected.  Then the victim is told that not only is their data encrypted, but that they must pay up within X hours or your data is gone PLUS they will release the confidential data on the web for all to see.


Obviously there can be a great amount of pressure to pay the ransom in a scenario such as that… especially in healthcare where HIPAA violations and the resultant fines loom large.  It used to be that a good backup could bring a business back without having to worry about paying the ransom, but the release of confidential data takes this to whole new level.


But now… adding to all of the above stress and “worst case scenarios”, comes the possibility of being caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.  It seems that if the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned the Ransomware perpetrators, paying the ransom can actually expose the victim to federal penalties.  New guidance states "a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction may be held civilly liable even if it did not know or have reason to know it was engaging in a transaction with a person that is prohibited under sanctions laws and regulations administered by OFAC. "


Basically the translation is that even if you don’t know you are breaking the law, you can be held liable.  I’m not sure where HIPAA and releasing other confidential information falls within this, but it’s hardly equitable for a victim to continue to be victimized from both sides fo the equation.  The Treasury Department Advisory Position can be read here.  

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Apteryx Imaging Enters Government-Funded International Consortium Agreement with Trestle GmbH to Develop Artificial Intelligence Software Applications for Dentistry


We are seeing an incredible amount of work with artificial intelligence in dentistry, especially in the analysis of radiographs.  Over the past couple of years, I've worked with several companies that are working on projects that will allow for the faster and potentially more accurate reading of x-rays by dental personnel.  Now comes this announcement from one of the industry leaders, Apteryx.

Apteryx Imaging Inc., a subsidiary of Planet DDS, is pleased to announce that it has recently entered into an agreement with German-based Trestle GmbH, (Trestle) to co-develop a set of software modules using AI and Deep Machine Learning (DML) designed to address critically important, common diagnostic use cases in the dental imaging space. Intended users of the applications are all players in the dental ecosystem, including, device manufacturers and operators, radiologists and other imaging specialists, medical and dental care professionals, laboratories, insurance companies, research institutes, academia, analytics providers and patients alike.

Dr. David Gane, CEO of Apteryx Imaging, stated, “Apteryx is excited to contribute our dental domain management expertise, custom software development team, support, sales and marketing services along with de-identified image data to this project. The resources we provide complement Trestle’s AI, data science and project management expertise talents in the development of our go-forward AI software strategy.”

This development initiative, which will be conducted with financial contributions from both the Government of Canada’s NRC IRAP Program and the Government of Germany’s ZIM innovation program, is currently scheduled to conclude on May 31, 2021.

The CEO of Trestle, Thomas Gustinis, commented, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Apteryx and Planet DDS on a journey that promises to revolutionize dentistry. With the consolidation of dental practices mirroring health care industry trends, the need for standardization, automation and improved quality by way of reduced variability and lower costs has never been greater. Through our partnership, we are confident that our joint expertise will bring a suite of tools that will empower dental organizations to realize the future of their industry.”

For more information on Apteryx Imaging, please visit

About Apteryx Imaging Inc.

Apteryx Imaging, a subsidiary of Planet DDS, 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. For more information about Apteryx, its productsand services, please visit or call 877-278-3799.

About Planet DDS

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 Planet DDS is a portfolio company of Level Equity Management, LLC.

About Trestle GmbH

Trestle is a German-based consulting company with experience in digital transformation that utilizes artificial intelligence to ideate, design and deploy unique solutions that empower innovators to create the future of their industry. Their platform design and development employs machine learning engineers, software developers and project management resources with the capabilities, core technology and know-how to provide its customers with AI software functionality in a wide variety of industries. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Cell-Site Simulators/IMSI Catchers and Your HIPAA Protected Data


When you call another office to discuss a patient with another treating doctor, you don't need to worry about HIPAA violations occurring.  That's because the telephone is considered to be a secure mode of communication.  We don't have party lines anymore that allow anyone to listen in and the only way someone can legally listen to a conversation is with a court issued warrant.

However on your mobile phone, things can be very different.  Now your mobile phone is supposed to be treated legally like a landline phone, but that isn't always the case in the current environment.  That's because of devices known as "Cell Site Simulators" or "IMSI Catchers".

In a perfect world, your cell phone connects to a tower near you that has the strongest signal between its transmitter and your phone.  The phone then connects and sets up a secure line of communication.  I emphasize that's the way it is supposed to happen.  The truth can sometimes be quite different.

In today's current environment law enforcement agencies can deploy "Cell Site Simulators" or "IMSI Catchers".  These are devices that "spoof" a normal cell phone tower.  What happens is your phone, thinking the IMSI Catcher is a regular cell phone tower, connects to the Catcher just as it would the tower.  In reality, the Catcher is a different story.

Imagine shipping something in a box to your mom.  You drop the box off at the UPS store and you have it all stored.  The package is picked up by UPS, taken to your destination, and delivered to your mom.  She opens it and takes out whatever it is you sent.  That''s how things work with "normal" cell phone calls.

With Catchers, here's what happens.  You drop the box off at the UPS store, after you leave the store and before it is picked up by UPS, someone opens the box, removes the contents, examines them, makes notes or takes pictures, and then puts everything back and reseals the box.  This box is then picked up by UPS and delivered to your mom.  Neither you  nor you mother have any idea that someone else opened the box and examined and recorded all of its contents.

Catchers are deployed by law enforcement.  They spoof themselves as cell phone towers and when your phone connects, they record everything your phone does.  They also pass the signal along so that your call or text message or whatever goes on through and no one is the wiser.  Whoever is in range of the Catcher has their phone connect to it.  The device does not discriminate, it does not need a warrant.  It allows a third party to completely record everything your phone does, tracks your location, everything.  All without a warrant.

I have a lot of concerns about these devices.  Obviously having literally *everything* you say or do on your phone recorded screams of a violation of our constitutional rights, but how about HIPAA?  Can you truly discuss a patient on a call that just may be being recorded for posterity?

That's something everyone in healthcare should ponder.  We should also be asking our law enforcement agencies exactly why they are doing this and how can it be legal?

There is a great article on this subject that you can read on the website of the Electronic Freedom Foundation.  I think it is required reading.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

New Social Media Campaign Helps Drive Patients Back to their Dentists


“Posts for My Patients” is a free resource that offers dental practices instant content for their social platforms 

The Dental Trade Alliance, in partnership with Lanmark360, a full-service healthcare agency, have created an engaging social media campaign designed to help patients return to their dental practices. 

The campaign, designed for dental practices to display on  a variety of social media platforms, was developed based on the findings of a recent nationwide patient survey. Many dental patients indicated a willingness—and desire—to return for routine care. 

“We found over half of the respondents had fallen behind on their dental care due to canceled appointments,” says Howard Klein, Lanmark360 President. “Over 50% of respondents say they intend to return to their dentist for a routine cleaning within the next three months.” 

The social media campaign, which includes short videos and suggested posts, reminds patients that it’s time to come back: “If you’re ready, we’re ready.”

“Now that COVID-19 quarantine restrictions are easing up throughout the US, more dental practices are once again open for business,” says Gregory Chavez, CEO of the Dental Trade Alliance. “This social media campaign is a simple and effective way for dentists to remind patients that it’s time to make an appointment.” 


To learn more about the campaign and download the free content, go to 

About the Dental Trade Alliance

The Dental Trade Alliance is an association of dental companies providing equipment, materials and services to oral care professionals. Member companies include distributors, dental laboratories and manufacturers located in the United States, Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit

About Lanmark360

Lanmark360 is a full-service dental and healthcare agency specializing in strategic, creative and media services including market research, digital campaigns and social media. For more information, visit

Monday, October 5, 2020

Colgate® to Go Direct with Patient Product Recommendations

Introducing Colgate Professional Direct: A New Way to Make Convenient Product Recommendations a Reality for Patients 

A global leader in oral care, Colgate® is excited to introduce a new technology platform called Colgate Professional Direct (CPD), a website for dental professionals to make recommendations at the click of a button and send discounted Colgate products right to patients’ homes.

“There has always been a need for a service that promotes patient compliance and supports the patient in implementing the recommended treatment plan,” said Patrick Casey, Marketing Director at Colgate-Palmolive. “As the dental community perseveres through the COVID-19 climate and patients start to get back on track with oral hygiene, Colgate Professional Direct can be that service for professionals, as well as a valuable tool overall for dental practices.”

With Colgate Professional Direct, it only takes a little friendly advice and the push of a button to help patients to elevate their oral health. All dental professionals have to do is access the website from a computer, tablet or smartphone and create a profile. Then they can choose products and send the recommendations directly to their patients via text or email. Patients then click a link to the CPD cart and easily check out. The best part: when patients buy through CPD, products are priced at a discount (versus retail).

The website will also provide access to the latest Colgate products, such as the new hum by Colgate smart rechargeable electric toothbrush. This new brand of smart toothbrush offers patented connected technology at an accessible price, guiding users to brush better by making it simple to track the frequency, duration and coverage of an individual's unique brushing style and to get personalized recommendations on how to improve.

“Colgate strives to make dental professionals’ jobs easier and their patients’ lives better through trusted and high-quality oral care products, with this project we are inviting Dental professionals to champion a lifetime of healthy smiles” said Flávia Palone Aldarvis Bacarin, Brand Manager at Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals. “We are so excited about Colgate Professional Direct because it allows us to do both!

Patients benefit from having access to Colgate’s wide range of discounted specialty products; professionals benefit from eliminating in-office inventory management and sales processing, in addition to being able to communicate more effectively with patients and better monitor their oral care routines.”

Dental professionals who use CPD in their practices will have another reason to smile when they learn how they can choose to accept 10% of the sales amount or redirect these funds (in whole or in part) to support the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® program.

Go Direct with new Colgate Professional Direct today! Register now at and start making fast, easy and convenient hygiene recommendations a reality for your patients!


Colgate-Palmolive is a leading global consumer products company, focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition. With more than 34,000 people and its products sold in over 200 countries and territories, Colgate is known for household names such as Colgate, Palmolive, Elmex, Tom’s of Maine, Hello, Sorriso, Speed Stick, Lady Speed Stick, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sanex, Filorga, EltaMD, PCA Skin, Ajax, Axion, Fabuloso, Soupline and Suavitel, as well as Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet. 

The Company is also recognized for its leadership and innovation in promoting environmental sustainability and community well-being, including its achievements in saving water, reducing waste, promoting recyclability and improving the oral health of children through its Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program, which has reached more than one billion children since 1991. 

For more information about Colgate’s global business and how the Company is building a future to smile about, visit

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Alzheimer’s Disease Neuropathology in the Hippocampus and Brainstem of People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea


For years now there has been increasing speculation of a link between Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Alzheimer's Disease.  Now it appears that there is clinical proof.  A recent study published in the journal Sleep shows links.  For a way to access the full story follow this link.  

Here is the abstract:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) involves intermittent cessations of breathing during sleep. People with OSA can experience memory deficits and have reduced hippocampal volume; these features are also characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), where they are accompanied by neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques in the hippocampus and brainstem. We have recently shown reduced hippocampal volume to be related to OSA severity, and although OSA may be a risk factor for AD, the hippocampus and brainstems of clinically-verified OSA cases have not yet been examined for NFTs and Aβ plaques. The present study used quantitative immunohistochemistry to investigate post-mortem hippocampi of 34 people with OSA (18 females, 16 males; mean age 67 years) and brainstems of 24 people with OSA for the presence of NFTs and Aβ plaques. OSA severity was a significant predictor of Aβ plaque burden in the hippocampus after controlling for age, sex, BMI and CPAP use. OSA severity also predicted NFT burden in the hippocampus, but not after controlling for age. Although 71% of brainstems contained NFTs and 21% contained Aβ plaques, their burdens were not correlated with OSA severity. These results indicate that OSA accounts for some of the ‘cognitively normal’ individuals who have been found to have substantial Aβ burdens, and are currently considered to be at a prodromal stage of AD.