Thursday, September 30, 2021

Infinix by Nobio now Undergoing Clinical Testing


It's a funny thing about composites.  There are continual efforts put into new generations of the materials, but most of them are small, incremental changes.  Those kinds of things are nice, but they don't really shake up the product category, let alone the industry at large.

The good news is that everyone once in a while a new product arrives that is a true showstopper.  

A showstopper might very well be what we have here.  

Statistics show that composite restorations fail because of decay at the tooth-restoration interface (the margin).  Composite restorations offer many advantages, but recurrent decay is one of the material's weaknesses.  Currently the best way to prevent that marginal breakdown is accomplished by home care (brushing and flossing) and professional cleaning and fluoride application.

Now... what if the composite material itself killed the bacteria at the tooth-restoration interface?  That is the promise of Nobio's material called Infinix.  

The material contains a molecule that is quaternary ammonium bonded to silica-based filler particles.  These molecules are mixed into the composite as it is manufactured, meaning it is throughout the material.  This molecule actually microscopically punctures the bacterial cell membrane which kills the bacteria that cause decay.

The Quaternary Ammonium Silica (QASi) is "part" of the composite.  It doesn't wear out or get "used up".  It is there for as long as the composite is there.

Nobio has received FDA clearance to sell their material.

I have been lucky enough to have been asked to evaluate the material in a clinical environment.  I'll be placing Infinix restorations and will report back here to let you know my results and experiences.  Stay tuned...

For all the info on Infinix and Nobio, check out the company website.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Lowdown on the Vaccination Rate in the Nation and Per State

 A really short post today only because the story isn't really here in my writing, but at a website that is kept by the Washington Post.

I'm a subscriber to the WaPo and I try and take a few minutes each day to give it a look see and gauge anything interesting that might catch my eye.

Today my post is all about this link.  The paper has a really incredible page that can be customized via drop down menus to give you tons of info about vaccinations.  Not only do you get aggregate information about the U.S. as a whole, but you can also tailor it to your state or states you have interest in.  For instance, in my world I like to see numbers for not only Missouri (when I practice) but also Kanas since Kansas City is spilt down the middle by the Missouri-Kansas state line.

So head over to the Washington Post and peruse their page on vaccinations rates.  It's interesting and sometimes fascinating reading...

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Dentsply Sirona Announces a Comprehensive Restage of its Implant Business


·         With a digital base, historical product strength and signature workflows supported by ongoing education and training, Dentsply Sirona is launching DS Implants, harmonizing successful brands like Simplant, OSSIX, Atlantis and MIS.

·         Three completely connected, seamless signature workflows will take full advantage of digital dentistry for excellent outcomes and patient satisfaction.

·         DS Implants presents DS PrimeTaper, a self-tapping implant with a tapered design that can be inserted safely and easily with a unique double thread, enabling long-term bone stability.

Charlotte, September 24, 2021. Today, Dentsply Sirona introduces a comprehensive restage of its Implants business, including three signature workflows to provide dental professionals with a completely new way of practicing implantology and solutions from scan to crown that outperform expectations in efficiency, accuracy, esthetics, longevity and simplicity.

·         The Single Tooth Signature Workflow enables customers to do more and better, faster, simpler, freeing up time to see more patients.

·         The Partial Multiple Tooth Replacement Signature Workflow solves a signature patient case with three posterior teeth missing to be restored with a three-unit bridge on two implants for more confidence for the clinician and more comfort for the patient.

·         The Full Arch Signature Workflow addresses a signature patient case with an edentulous maxilla. The workflow offers a restoration with a fix bridge on four implants with immediate temporization.

With a complete ecosystem of digital solutions and products – including well-known brands like Simplant, OSSIX, Axeos, Primescan, Atlantis and MIS – Dentsply Sirona is streamlining implant treatments for practice growth and consistent patient satisfaction.

Comfort with new products based on well-known procedures

Additionally, Dentsply Sirona Implants presents DS PrimeTaper, a self-tapping implant with a tapered design that can be inserted safely and easily. This enables long-term bone stability. The double thread allows the implant to be inserted quickly and safely. A simple drilling protocol, with only a few different drills, supports the workflow.

Dentsply Sirona worked closely with the global implant key opinion leader community, and they have already started gaining experience with the product. Their reactions have been very positive:

Dr. Dan Butterman, dentist from Centennial, Colorado (USA), emphasizes the importance of a seamless workflow. “DS PrimeTaper represents the next step in implant dentistry. The digital-driven workflow results in higher accuracy, repeatability of processes, and time savings.” Butterman adds, "My patients have better things to do than spending time in my office. Thanks to clearly defined processes and digital solutions, I can offer safer and faster treatment options which my patients appreciate. That's what efficiency is all about!"

Dr. Martin Wanendeya, dentist from the United Kingdom, notes "DS PrimeTaper as a part of an integrated concept is different from what we knew before. In addition to reducing chair time and simplifying collaboration with my laboratory, Primescan for Atlantis suprastructures ensures aesthetic predictability and a perfect fit.”

Seamless concept for transforming digital implant dentistry

“Dentsply Sirona is about intelligent concepts that work intuitively and improve the predictability of treatment,” said Dr. Terri Dolan, Chief Clinical Officer at Dentsply Sirona. “Our goal is to enable clinicians, including both specialists and general practitioners, to focus on what they do best – creating healthy and beautiful smiles. We are confident that we are building a winning future in the area of implant solutions focused on the needs of  our implant customers and their patients. Our connected and seamless concept for transforming digital implant dentistry is a first, essential step in this direction. Our vision for digital implant dentistry will be supported by a global clinical education program focused on end-to-end digital implant workflow solutions to achieve clinic, technical and practice excellence. The extensive curriculum is designed to build clinicians’ digital implant skills according to their level of experience and personal learning preferences. These include online education and personalized learning, as well as more than 50 state-of-the art Dentsply Sirona Academy education centers around the world.”

Start of clinical and registry study at Dentsply Sirona World

In cooperation with the McGuire Institute (iMc), two levels of evidence will be covered: The basis is provided by a prospective, multicenter, clinical study evaluating the complete digital workflow including 10 private practice investigators and their referrals for a five-year follow-up.

In addition, an ambitious registry study has been initiated aiming to involve more than 500 clinicians, placing over 2.500 implants for long-term follow-up. The beauty of a registry study is to obtain long-term clinical data without being prescriptive or having a specific endpoint. Therefore, it’s a powerful tool to create scientific evidence and market insights from the daily use of the product by the clinician. Both the clinical trial and the registry will collect “Real World Evidence” which is now recognized by the FDA as being the standard in collecting data and is meaningful to clinicians and patients alike.

 Due to different approval and registration times, not all technologies and products are immediately available in all countries

Monday, September 27, 2021

Intraoral Scanners Continue Market Penetration - Now in 50% or Practices


As I mentioned last week, I recently had the opportunity to speak to the Arkansas State Dental Association about the latest and greatest in dental tech.  One of the subjects we spent some time on digital impression systems/intraoral scanners.  This category of devices has seen some incredible growth in the last 5 years and is rapidly becoming the preferred platform for taking dental impressions.

Now comes some solid info that shows this device category is growing even faster than many of us have anticipated.  A couple of years ago we did a survey at Dental Products Report on several aspects of the profession.  Back then I recall the market penetration of digital impression systems was 32.8% from the respondents.

Now comes a report from the ADA Clinical Evaluators Panel which appeared in the Augusts issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association that indicates their respondents using an intraoral scanner is at 53%.  That's a pretty phenomenal number in my opinion.  Of course there is the for sure possibility that because it is a survey of the ADA Clinical Evaluators (ACE) Panel, those replying to the survey may be more inclined to embrace and deploy technology than an average bell shaped curve of dentists.

There are 968 members of the ACE Panel, of whom 369 responded.  Once again... there may be a potential skewing of the results with perhaps respondents being more inclined to respond IF they were users.

My pointing these things out is not to cast skepticism on the numbers, but simply to give you some things to consider.  However, I am very impressed with the growth of this category of tech users.  I've been saying for longer than 5 years that this tech category will continue to grow until analog impression materials and techniques are used only on rare occasions and special clinical situations.

The best part about the survey for me was this: 70% of respondents said the top reason they began using digital impressions is to improve clinical efficiency.  I am thrilled to hear that as no one wants *any* medical procedure to take longer.  Making things run more smoothly while also providing a better clinical outcome is the best thing about digital impressions in my opinion.  That's one of the reasons my office is now using TWO iTero scanners in our 3 doctor practice.

If you would like to see the entire survey follow this link.  

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Ransomware Key Kept Secret by FBI

 As you all know, Ransomware is a tremendous problem right now.  Healthcare is one of the primary targets of these cyber criminals and besides the stress, expense, lost revenue, and other huge problems it creates, there is also the possibility of HIPAA violations as well.

Most small businesses (and I include private practice entities as a small business) cannot survive paying a huge ransom and then also be able to pay for the IT services needed to recover from Ransomware.  

Now imagine if you were hit by this type of strike and then you later find out you could have gotten all of your data back FOR FREE, except for the fact that someone hid the free key from you.

That is precisely what the FBI did to perhaps thousands of business affected by the recent breach of the Kaseya software this summer.

In my office I use Emsisoft for my antivirus software and I follow the company closely in the news.  Emsisoft has been very helpful in the Ransomware space by, when possible, providing free decryption keys to affected companies. 

Because I monitor and read news stories that mention Emsisoft and also because I am concerned about the overall security sector in healthcare, I spend a good deal of time reading about Ransomware.  Today's post deals with why the FBI would have a decryption key and keep it secret from the victims.  Read this story from the Washington Post for all of the details.  

Now, I understand there are 2 sides to every story and that I am sure the FBI felt they were doing the right thing in this case.  However, as a small business owner who could be a victim in some type of cyber attack or theft I tend to lean to the side of the affected businesses.  The article is a pretty interesting read...

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

ADA Survey Determines Some Interesting Percentages in Business Pandemic Recovery

 As a lifelong member of the American Dental Association, I've learned to appreciate the hard work the organization puts in and I've also learned that many of the services they provide happen behind the scenes where they aren't always readily visible.

One of those things that I'm grateful for is the ADA Health Policy Institute (HPI).  From the organization's website, here is there description of what the HPI provides:  

The Health Policy Institute (HPI) aims to be a thought leader and trusted source for critical policy knowledge related to the U.S. dental care system. HPI achieves this by generating, synthesizing, and disseminating innovative research on a variety of topics that are relevant to policy makers, health care advocates, and providers. The key issues that HPI focuses on include health policy reform, access to dental care, the dental workforce, dental care utilization and benefits, dental education, and oral health outcomes. HPI also offers credible, personalized consulting services using its data to provide clients with in-depth insights into the dental economic landscape.

Basically the HPI is a think tank that is composed of smart people that can see the trends in the numbers.  They can then use those insights to help provide critical information on economic and trends that could have an impact on the profession.

During my time practicing, I've received a few surveys to fill out, but I never really thought that much about the whole process or where that information was going.  I also never really gave much thought to what meaning could be derived from the numbers generated by the responses.

However, my thoughts on this changed dramatically during the spring of 2020.  As the pandemic began to take hold, the HPI began to routinely send surveys to track the profession.  The amount of data that was gathered allowed the ADA to make some pretty good predictions of where the profession was and where it was headed.

One of the interesting data points that has come out of all of these surveys recently is the outlook of doctors regarding the recovery of the profession.  Current survey data shows that 74.2% of general practitioners are either "somewhat confident" or "very confident" in the recovery of their practice in the remaining months of 2021.  Considering the pandemic and the effects it has had on the economy as a whole, I for one am optimistic about the profession when I see survey numbers like this.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Thanks to the Arkansas State Dental Association


On Friday September 17th, I had the good fortune of spending the day in front of members of the Arkansas State Dental Association in Little Rock, AR.

Amazingly, despite all the travels of my career, I had never had the good fortune to see Little Rock before and I was mightily impressed with by a beautiful small city with some of the friendliest people anywhere. Little Rock is split down the middle by the Arkansas river, creating a north side and a south side.  The bridges spanning the river were gorgeous, especially the Broadway Bridge with its amazing contemporary design.

The meeting was held at the Marriott downtown which is more or less on the south boarder of the river and offered some tremendous views.

I was truly honored to be asked to be the Keynote Speaker for the meeting and I had a great time doing a six hour lecture.  The group had wanted an up date on the newest and most engaging clinical technologies in the morning and in the afternoon we focused on 3D technologies such as CBCT, 5 axis milling, and 3D printing.  The meeting had a focus on the importance of 3D in practice and how the profession is continuing to incorporate 3D technologies into everyday procedures.  

Their half day Saturday session featured Dr. Larry George who works with Green Dental Lab which is one of the largest labs in that part of the world and has a tremendous focus on 3D technologies.

I wanted to make this post as a way of saying a tremendous "Thank You" to the group.  I had a *great* time at the meeting and was honored to be there.  The people in Arkansas are truly some of the very nicest people you will ever meet and they certainly showed me great hospitality!  The meeting was incredibly organized and well run.

My big thanks to Executive Director Billy Tarpley and the Continuing Education Chairman Dr. Werner Schneider for their incredibly hard work in putting the event together.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Invisalign Partners with Ultradent for Whitening in Clear Aligners


As a long time fan and sometime consultant for Ultradent, I have always been a user of their Opalescence whitening system.  I've also seen Ultradent from the inside and I can gladly say that the company and their culture is incredible and one of the only such companies I am aware.  The founder, Dr. Dan Fisher, has created a corporate culture based on "do the right thing".  We could use a lot more of that in this world.  The following info was announced last week by Ultradent and Align...

Align Technology, a leading global medical device company that designs, manufactures, and sells the Invisalign system of clear aligners, iTero intraoral scanners, and exocad CAD/CAM software for digital orthodontics and restorative dentistry, today announced an exclusive supply and distribution agreement with Ultradent Products Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-tech dental materials, devices, and instruments worldwide.

As part of the multi-year agreement, Align will offer Invisalign trained doctors an exclusive professional whitening system with the leading Opalescence PF whitening formula from Ultradent, optimized for use with Invisalign clear aligners and Vivera retainers. The system will carry the co-branded name of ‘Invisalign Professional Whitening System – powered by Opalescence’ and will offer the same great whitening outcomes and streamlined practice experience dental professionals expect from the Opalescence PF product during active tooth movement with Invisalign aligners, as well as during passive retention using Vivera retainers. The Invisalign Professional Whitening System will be commercially available globally in 2022.

“A brighter, whiter smile is an important part of the Invisalign patient journey. In fact, a survey of North American Invisalign practices (1) shows that half of their patients ask for teeth whitening during or after they complete Invisalign treatment,” said Raj Pudipeddi, Align Technology chief product and marketing officer, and SVP and managing director of the Asia Pacific Region. “We believe that by providing an all-in-one solution that combines a leading teeth-whitening system with the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, we enable Invisalign trained doctors to enhance their patients’ treatment experience with a seamless workflow that also enables practice efficiency and growth. We’re very excited to partner with Ultradent to offer the first professional whitening system optimized for use with Invisalign clear aligners and Vivera retainers. Invisalign system trained doctors can use Opalescence PF for in-office teeth whitening treatment and for doctor supervised at-home whitening.”

“We’re honored to partner with Align to make the top professional teeth whitening products available to more clinicians and patients around the world,” said Ultradent President and CEO Dirk Jeffs. “Providing Align with teeth whitening products, ideal for use with Invisalign aligners and Vivera retainers, is a considerable step toward our mission of improving oral health globally and we look forward to pursuing this mission together.”

“Many of my patients would like whiter teeth as well as a straighter smile,” said Dr. Brian Amy, an orthodontist and Align Faculty member practicing in Oklahoma City. “The new Invisalign Professional Whitening System allows me to provide both simultaneously using the brands I trust.”

“After testing this system in my practice, I can confirm that the Invisalign Professional Whitening System is easy to administer and offers a great patient experience by combining whitening with Invisalign aligners or Vivera retainers,” said Dr. Jennifer Bell, a restorative and cosmetic dentist and Align GP Advisory Board Member practicing in Holly Springs, North Carolina. “The simple ordering mechanism minimizes burden on my practice to store and manage whitening products, while providing the brighter, whiter smiles we have come to expect from the Opalescence PF product.”  

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Apples Big Announcements

  Apple usually has a couple of events every year to announce either new products or improvements to existing product lines.  There was a virtual event yesterday and, true to their tradition, they announced quite a few things.  Over the years it has become the event where they announce the new iPhones.

Which brings me to a quick comment.  Did you know that any 14 year old today does not remember a time without iPhones?  I find that practically hard to believe, but it's true.  Dang I feel old!

Now on to the announcements:

  • iPhone 13 Pro:  the fastest chip in any phone, a greatly improved camera that includes macro photography (the camera can focus at just 2cm, which is a bit less than an inch).  There are a ton more camera features as well.  The screen is pretty amazing with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz.  It is also OLED and is 25% brighter in the outdoors.  The processor is the A15 Bionic which has a 5-core GPU.  Apple is also touting greatly increased battery life.  All the details here
  • Watch Series 7:  Largest display in the device's history and up to 33% faster charging (I especially love that - what is a watch good for if its on the charger).  The screen is always on which isn't a new feature (its been around for a couple of versions, but I still love it).  A built in official soft QWERTY keyboard.   50% thicker front crystal to improve durability.  Improved ECG with a measurement of SPO2.  Dream Machine which is a new sleep tracking function.  For years I've used a 3rd party app for this, but this new one looks promising.  All the details here
  • iPad:  A13 Bionic Chip, True Tone software that adjusts the display to the color temperature of the viewing light (this is pretty slick).  A 12MP Ultra Wide camera.  Some models are 5G compatible for those who need an always on connection.  There is also an available Apple Pencil and a thin Smart Keyboard for those who don't want to type of the screen.  All the details here 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Dental Care and Dental Equipment See Strong Growth from Pandemic Lows

 Last year was a poor year for dentistry.  In order to try and preserve PPE and also to help slow the spread of Covid-19, dentistry was shut down for most of the spring.  my practice closed on March 18th and didn't reopen until May 18th.  I was in the office, working without an assistant and handling emergencies 2 mornings a week, but that was all that was done.

Basically dental offices were closed for around 60 days.  Then we saw that reflection in the fall as all of the patients who were not seen in the spring had not scheduled their second cleaning and exam for the year so the fall was a bit lean for the profession as well.

After all of that, it is nice to see some good news.  According to an article on, patients are returning to dental offices again.  This increase in patient visits also means that sales for dental suppliers are increasing as well.  As we all know, economies affect lots of pieces.  With the shut down of dental offices, supplies were not purchased either.  Also, repair technicians did not have much to do as no offices were needing repairs.

According to Patterson CEO Mark Walchirk, "We are at or near pre-pandemic growth rates."  That's some really great news for the industry.

For the full article, follow this link.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

My VOCO VisCalor Bulk Webinar is now On Demand

For almost a year now I've been using VOCO's VisCalor Bulk composite and I continue to be impressed with it.  I get a chance to use a lot of composites (and test quite a few as well) and this material continues to be one of my "go to" products.

Here's an example from today.  I was doing a MO composite on tooth #2.  The proximal box area was fairly wide and deep.  I wanted to make sure I got a good contact and I find it easier to do that if I don't have to place multiple layers.

My assistant Nicky said to me, "You're going to use VisCalor, right?"  When I replied in the affirmative she laughed and said, "Why did I even bother to ask?"

I truly continue to be impressed with the material and I think you will be as well.

Earlier this year, I did a webinar for VOCO about VisCalor Bulk.  It is now available on demand.  Follow the link if you'd like to learn more about why I love this composite!

It is *highly* recommended!


Monday, September 13, 2021

Arkansas State Dental Association Meeting this Friday

 This Friday, September 17th, I'll be doing the Keynote lecture at the Arkansas State Dental Meeting in Little Rock.  The meeting is calling it Dental Technology for the Ages and I'm pretty honored by that.

I'll be doing a full day lecture starting at 8:30 Friday morning.  If you are a dentist in the state of Arkansas, I'd be thrilled to have you come by.  If you are in a surrounding state and want to learn about what's new and what the future of our profession looks like, make it a point to be there.

I haven't had a lot of interaction with live audiences since Covid came along and I am really energized to be able to interact with my peers again.  I've always said that I probably get more out of these events than the attendees.  I love to learn and I always get so much to take back home.  I greatly appreciate it.

So this Friday, come to Little Rock for a day full of Tech stuff and some fun.  I feel we've all missed interpersonal interactions over these last 18 months or so... I know I sure have.  I am *really* looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

MouthWatch Publishes Important Whitepaper - “How Teledentistry is Delivering ROI and Driving Post-Pandemic Practice Success”


MouthWatch, LLC, a leader in innovative teledentistry solutions, digital case presentation tools and intraoral imaging devices, recently published a highly informative and timely whitepaper entitled, “How Teledentistry is Delivering ROI and Driving Post-Pandemic Practice Success”

Written by CDC consultant, infectious disease expert, and teledentistry advocate Margaret Scarlett, DMD, the white paper explains the value of teledentistry beyond emergency care and specifically demonstrates how it can be used to deliver tangible ROI in everyday practice.

According to MouthWatch CEO and founder, Brant Herman, “Teledentistry proved itself to be a safe, reliable, and effective means to remain connected to patients during dentistry’s pandemic-induced shut-down. The latest whitepaper from Dr. Scarlett makes a strong business case for continuing and expanding the use of teledentistry to drive practice growth and also for remaining prepared for future emergencies.”

The white paper provides in-depth insight on how to derive optimal ROI from teledentistry, and is organized by the following main topics:

Why Teledentistry is Critical for Rapid Practice Recovery

Lessons Learned from a Pandemic

Advantages of Teledentistry for Practice Business Management

A Better Way to Track Referrals and Patient Status 

Making In-Patient Care More Efficient

How to Measure Teledentistry’s Return on Investment

"Teledentistry is being adopted rapidly, as a modern way to serve patients virtually. Coupled with in-patient care, teledentistry can provide the winning edge for today's practice, maximizing in-patient care, while staying connected,"  said Dr. Scarlett.

“How Teledentistry is Delivering ROI and Driving Post-Pandemic Practice Success” is available as a free download at: For more information on MouthWatch TeleDent, visit

About MouthWatch, LLC:

Headquartered in Metuchen, New Jersey, MouthWatch, LLC is a leader in innovative teledentistry solutions, digital case presentation tools and intraoral imaging devices. The company is dedicated to finding new ways to constantly improve the dental health experience for both patient and provider.

In 2020, the company received the following awards and accolades: The 2020 Cellerant Best of Class Award for TeleDent™, the provider-focused, patient-friendly teledentistry platform. TeleDent also won Dentistry Today’s  2020 Top Innovative Products Award  and Dentistry Today’s 2020 Reader’s Choice Award. The affordable / high quality MouthWatch Intraoral Camera was honored with the Dentistry Today Top 100 Products Award. MouthWatch was also ranked #1303 in the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies. For more information, visit

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Planmeca Oy Announces Intended Acquisition of KaVo Treatment Unit & Instrument Business

Here's an interesting bit of news from a press release of September 7th.  Planmeca Oy is a company with a strong presence in the dental market.  Envista is a behemoth in the industry with ownership of several companies within the dental space.  I have always referred to Kavo as "the Lamborghini of the Dental Market" and Planmeca has always had reputation for quality and innovation as well.  It will be interesting to see where this leads...

The acquisition will complement Planmeca’s extensive product portfolio and enhance the growth and competitiveness of both companies, allowing them to offer the best possible modern digital workflow to dental professionals around the world. KaVo Treatment Unit & Instruments is a renowned manufacturer and supplier of dental care units and instruments with a strong worldwide brand presence.  

Both companies will continue to operate as independent businesses, while future synergies will be sought in products, technology innovations and distribution network. 

“This partnership will make us a very strong player in the dental field. I believe our companies are a great match – we share the same standards and passion for high technology, quality and innovation, and for offering a complete digital workflow for our customers. We also share similar company cultures with a strong family business heritage. Caring for our employees and focusing on our customers have always been important values for us both,” says Heikki Kyöstilä, the owner, founder and CEO of Planmeca Group. 

“We have always had great admiration for KaVo as a premium brand. This partnership will allow us to provide exceptional value to both our customers and distributors. Our mission is to become the world’s leading provider of digital dental solutions,” states Tuomas Lokki, Senior Vice President of Planmeca Group. 

The transaction is expected to close at the end of 2021. A 51 per cent stake of the KaVo Treatment Unit and Instrument business will be acquired by Planmeca Oy, and the remaining 49 per cent by Heikki Kyöstilä as a private individual. After acquisition completion, Planmeca Group will employ a total of 4,500 people worldwide.

Established in 1971, Planmeca Oy is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Diagnocat Brings Artificial Intelligence to Dental 3D Imaging


Over the past few years we've seen A.I. make some impressive inroads in our world.  The funny thing about it is we often don't even see it.  Google and Apple have both done an amazing job of creating A.I. engines that can help you find that particular photo you are looking for.

Here's an experiment for you to try.  If you have a favorite pet, go to your images on your phone and in the search box, simply type in the type of animal it is.  Like "dog" or "cat".  Within seconds you should have every photo you've ever taken of that type of animal.  Not just  *your* dog mind you, but every dog or every cat in your images.  It's amazing and really cool.

The great thing about this is, say you're looking for pics of your cousin's wedding last year and you don't want to scroll through the other 3000 pics you've taken since then.  Just type in 'bride" and every picture of a bride will show up.  It's fast and a heck of a lot easier than endless scrolling.

It hasn't gotten nearly as much attention, or use for that matter, but over that same amount of time companies have been working on using A.I. for dental images as well.  Practically every company in dentistry that deals with imaging is working on some type of A.I. analysis to help locate disease and pathology.  These systems are Cloud based and harness the input from users to learn and become more accurate.

I've been fortunate enough to work with some of these programs and it is a tremendous adjunct to have the system indicating areas of concern for you.  A.I. provides an unbiased opinion and can help the doctor make better decisions.

One of the systems that I feel shows promise is one called Diagnocat.  This system will analyze 2D and 3D images and then offer feedback based on what it analyzes in the images.  While the analysis itself is pretty amazing as a component, what I really find amazing is the analysis of 3D CBCT images.

The DICOM data set is uploaded to the Diagnocat server (it is setup HIPAA compliant) and the A.I. algorithm generates a report with a panoramic format.  Under that image is a dental chart that colors each tooth according to what is discovered - healthy, unhealthy, and previously treated.  The diagnostic findings that are generated by the A.I. engine have 98% accuracy according to the company.

It even makes treatment recommendations such as "#3, Crown, caries at margin" which the doctor can evaluate clinically and then propose treatment as the see fit.

It's an incredible 'unblinking eye' that looks at everything submitted and then makes recommendations.  It is, of course, up to the doctor to make the final treatment decisions.  Software does not treat patients, doctors treat patients.

Whether you have 2D or 3D imaging doesn't matter.  Diagnocat can help make your diagnosis better.  The company offers the service for a monthly fee.  If you are interested in A.I., this is something to take a close look at.  I especially think it is important for doctors implementing complicated treatment plans who need to make sure every possible situation is evaluated.

Find out more at 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Enjoy Labor Day!

 Here in the US, it is Labor Day.  It's the national holiday that sort of spells the official end of summer and the beginning of the school year.  Pools begin to close and many families and friends gather for a last hurrah of socializing before the cooler weather begins.

There are lots of outdoor activities, grilling, and general socializing.  The 3 big warm weather weekends here in the states are 1. Memorial Day, 2. Fourth of July, and 3. Labor Day.

Enjoy your long weekend and I'll be back to posting tomorrow.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Philips Respironics Recalls Certain Continuous and Non-Continuous Ventilators, including CPAP and BiPAP, Due to Risk of Exposure to Debris and Chemicals

 For many people who have suffered with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) for years, the only treatment that was originally advised was a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) device.  However, since the early days of sleep medicine there have been tremendous advances made in both diagnosis and treatment of OSA.

That's great news for individuals who suffer with OSA because it used to be entire diagnosis and treatment protocol was a great example of "when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem resembles a nail".  By that I mean that if you had the symptoms of OSA, the solution was automatically a CPAP.

The problem with that is that CPAPs are uncomfortable for most users and many try them, only to leave them on the nightstand or in the closet where they are never used.  Statistical surveys indicate that over 60% of people that are advised to wear a CPAP stop wearing it do to comfort issues.  That, of course, means that the CPAP device is only used by 40% of people who own them.  Any treatment that has a 60% failure rate deserves to be analyzed to see how that situation can be improved.

For many OSA patients, the best option can be an oral appliance.  This situation is now even more of an issue as there has been an FDA recall on many CPAP devices that are manufactured by Philips Respironics.

According to the FDA: 

"Philips Respironics, Inc., is recalling its Continuous and Non-Continuous Ventilators due to the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam, which is used to reduce sound and vibration in these affected devices, which may break down and potentially enter the device’s air pathway. If this occurs, black debris from the foam or certain chemicals released into the device’s air pathway may be inhaled or swallowed by the person using the device. The exposure to debris or chemicals could cause serious adverse events in patients such as irritation (skin, eye, and respiratory tract), inflammation, headache, asthma, hypersensitivity, nausea/vomiting, adverse effects to other organs (e.g., kidneys and liver) and toxic carcinogenic effects."

So... in addition to the comfort issue we now have a potential health issue as well.  One of the reasons that I am so passionate about OSA and its treatment is that I'm not only in dentistry, I'm also one of the millions of patients who deal with OSA in my own life.   When I discovered I was afflicted with the sleep disorder and began treatment, I could not believe the change it made in my life.

I was originally prescribed a CPAP and then went to an oral appliance which I use in combination with my CPAP.  When I learned of the recall I explored my options only to learn that there is an incredibly long waiting list to receive a new machine.  OSA can be life threatening and I am disappointed to learn that life saving devices have a long waiting list.

The reason for this post is to encourage those of you who are using one of the recalled CPAP devices to contact your dental office to see if they can help.  More and more dental professionals are learning how to treat OSA and there may very well be a solution for you that does not involve a CPAP.

I really enjoy treating OSA in my practice as I know the benefits it can bring.  I'm a living testament to that!

If you would like to learn more about the FDA Recall and the devices involved, here is a link to the FDA website that contains lots of info and more links to even more information.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Immunity Derived from Covid-19 Infection is Much Greater That What is Achieved from Vaccination

 A study that appeared last week on the medRxiv website has some interesting information. 

Basically what the study found was that individuals who have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus have greater immunity than individuals that received a vaccine.

We can call this guardedly optimistic information for those who have been infected and recovered.  It *seems* that this might potentially make them less susceptible to a reinfection in the future.

One thing worth noting here.  The data here is pretty fresh.  That means that the study methods and all other aspects have not been peer reviewed, which is an important part of the scientific process.  The authors themselves state "It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice."

If you would like to review the information for yourself, follow this link.