Monday, September 26, 2022

Futudent proCam is Worthy of the Investment

 

Behold the Futudent proCam.  This *tiny* camera can be mounted on the doctor's glasses or the track light (if the doctor is using one), or even on a pole mount in the ceiling.  It shoots in 4K resolution and can provide a constant "eye in the sky" POV for procedures.  It allows the patient to see the doctor's perspective which helps the patient better understand their problems along with the actual clinical situation.

One thing I have found as a doctor who believes whole heartedly in communication, is that the visual aspect of communication is incredibly important.  Having good documentation can give support of treatment recommendations and outcomes.  

Human beings are incredibly visual creatures and because of that, having visual records can help prove a point.   Whether it is for record keeping purposes or to provide amazing "over the shoulder POV" communication with your patients, Futudent cameras are an amazing high tech way of doing just that.

I have been  a big believer in  their cameras for several years now.  I love to be able to use the images or video to show other doctors clinical things I am teaching, but some patients really get a charge out of being able to see exactly what I am seeing on a monitor... while we treat them.  Futudent cameras do a terrific job of allowing us to do that!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Submit Your Questions for DEXIS Days!

 


Next Thursday evening, I'll be doing a Question and Answer Session as part of "DEXIS Days".

I'd like to take this opportunity to request that if you have any questions on imaging, please send them in and I will make sure to get to them.

This particular web broadcast is going to be really free form and conversational.  It's your opportunity to get the answers to any burning questions you may have.  As an attendee at a meeting I would sometimes go to learn one or 2 particular points and sometimes. the speaker could only cover one of them

This event is an attempt to eliminate that aspect of things because all I'll be doing is having a conversation about imaging and answering YOUR questions!

If you have something you would like covered, please send it to jflucke@yahoo.com  I will do my best to cover every question that is submitted to either myself or the good people at DEXIS.

Thank you!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The End is Near! Chief of WHO States End of Pandemic is 'in sight'

 Well that took long enough, didn't it?  Seriously, we have been battling Covid-19 since the later weeks of 2019 and we will continue to battle for a bit longer it appears.  The SARS-CoV-2 virus is responsible for the deaths of almost 6.5 million people.  Those folks are parents, children, wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, you name it.  This has been an incredibly frightening and sorrowful time in human history.  Personally I am glad to see the optimism that perhaps we can begin to put this behind us.

According to the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,"We are not there yet, but the end is in sight."  However, he also added in the same statement, "Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap the rewards of all our hard work."

This virus has been affecting our lives for almost 3 years straight and we will continue to deal with it for the foreseeable future, perhaps forever as it mutates and occasionally changes to elude vaccines.  In fact some professionals, myself included, are seeing a world where a yearly vaccine is simply part of our lives... just like the yearly flu shot.

In the early days, there was massive fear as the virulent virus spread like wild fire and caused massive amounts of death.  The virus caused a worldwide lockdown and isolation of almost everyone on the planet.  That triggered  problems in the supply chain that were unthinkable before.  It's been a very difficult 3 years and we aren't over it yet.

However, *maybe* we are seeing a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.  That would be a Godsend for all of us.

Head over to Reuters.com to read the full article.  It definitely feels uplifting to me. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

dntl bar Introduces AI to New York Dentistry with Pearl Partnership

 


Patients visiting any of the rapidly growing DSO’s New York City locations will now receive AI-augmented care, including supplemental x-ray review from Pearl’s FDA-cleared comprehensive disease detection AI software

Pearl, the leader in dental AI solutions, and dntl bar, an NYC-based dental service organization (DSO) committed to offering the convenient and quality dental care that patients want, today announced a partnership to offer Pearl’s Second Opinion® and Practice Intelligence® AI solutions in dntl bar’s locations across New York City. The partnership will enable dntl bar’s offices to achieve the highest level of clinical performance while elevating the patient experience with AI-backed care from the chairside dental software cleared by the FDA to read radiographs and assist in the detection of numerous forms of disease and other dental conditions.

“For our patients, consistency in diagnoses and clinical care is expected, just the same as they expect high-quality, white glove service at each of our dntl bar locations,” said dntl bar co-founder and chief dental officer, Dr. Ben Chami. “Our partnership with Pearl to offer the company’s FDA-cleared AI platform takes us one large step closer to being able to provide more clinical consistency between our dentists and less variability, which is a huge win for our patients.”

“We can never get all dentists to the 50-yard line in terms of diagnoses and care, but Pearl will help us get diagnoses between the 40-yard lines,” added dntl bar president and CEO, Dr. Roshan Parikh. “Pearl’s AI ensures a more standardized clinical experience for our patients.”

Pearl brings transparency and objectivity to dentistry by applying computer vision to read dental x-rays with expert accuracy, improving consistency in radiologic interpretation and streamlining practice management through practitioner performance and patient health insights.

“In partnership with dntl bar, we are furthering our commitment to helping dentists deliver a higher standard of patient care,” said Ophir Tanz, founder and CEO of Pearl. “Our work with an innovative, patient-focused DSO is yet another step toward broadening the reach of AI in dentistry and introducing patients and providers to its benefits and capabilities. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with dntl bar as they continue to grow.”

About Pearl
Pearl is shaping the future of dental care by delivering dental AI and computer vision solutions that advance efficiency, accuracy, transparency, and patient care. Founded in 2019 by Ophir Tanz, Pearl is backed by Craft Ventures and other leading venture capital firms. For more information or to request a demonstration, please visit https://www.hellopearl.com.
 
About dntl bar
Founded in 2019, dntl bar is an emerging New York-based DSO that offers patients a tech-enabled dental experience that emphasizes convenience and hospitality, being open 7 days a week, in 5 different neighborhoods across Manhattan.

dntl bar has a team of New York City’s finest clinicians to provide their patients with a full range of dental services including teeth cleanings, clear aligners, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, root canals, emergency services, and more.

With most insurances accepted, transparent pricing, patient-first settings, and being open 7 days a week, dntl bar aims to provide convenient & quality dental care in a luxurious, contemporary atmosphere.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Leading Dental Industry Consultants Dr. Margaret Scarlett and Michael Ventriello Form Dental Transformation Partners


 

I've known Mike Ventriello for close to two decades now.  When we met he was working for an advertising agency that had quite a few dental clients.  Eventually he decided to start his own agency and founded Ventriello Communications, LLC.  Mike is a terrific individual who always seems to have a smile on his face as well as be intensely interested in music... as am I.  So, over the years our relationship has grown from working on projects together into a great personal friendship.

So it is with great happiness that I give you today's post about Michael's latest endeavor, Dental Transformation Partners.  One of my many hats in the industry is serving as one of the Chief Development Officers for Cellerant Consulting and that means just maybe Michael and I will have even more projects to discuss or work together on.

Way to go my friend!  Here is the press release:

Atlanta, GA  – September 13, 2022 – Two of dentistry’s leading advocates for driving disruption from approval to adoption, Dr. Margaret Scarlett, president of Scarlett Consulting International, and Michael Ventriello, owner, and founder of Ventriello Communications LLC, have forged a strategic working alliance named Dental Transformation Partners (DTP). Within the framework of this alliance, Dr. Scarlett will serve as the Chief Science and Technology Officer and Michael will be the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.

The mission of DTP is to help launch the next generation of innovations that will transform dentistry and to ensure that oral health is recognized as a critical component of overall health by healthcare systems, providers, and patients. 

According to Dr. Scarlett, “This is the most exciting time for significant change in dentistry since the late 1980s. DTP’s ideal clients will be companies launching new digital and biotech technologies that can be implemented at scale to prevent, diagnose, and treat a wide range of oral diseases.  

 DTP’s scope of services can range from assisting with prelaunch FDA approval to creating integrated strategic sales and marketing programs to accelerate adoption and drive revenue. This is made possible by the complimentary skill sets of Scarlett and Ventriello which enable Dental Transformation Partners to deliver an unparalleled combination of clinical, research, communications, and marketing prowess.

Dr. Scarlett and Michael Ventriello have worked in just about every dental product and technology category that has either changed the practice of dentistry or is currently transforming the dental industry. “Dr. Scarlett and I have been collaborating off and on for almost 20 years,” explained Ventriello. “Since the COVID outbreak, we found ourselves working together more frequently within relevant product categories such as teledentistry, air purification and  periodontal therapy. We agreed that with all the innovation occurring in dentistry, such as diagnostics and artificial intelligence, we should combine our skills on a more consistent basis to help emerging companies and systems go to market. The result is Dental Transformation Partners.”

For more details about Dental Transformation Partners, visit www.DentalTransformationPartners.com, send an email to Info@DentalTransformationPartners.com and follow DTP on LinkedIn  https://www.linkedin.com/company/dental-transformation-partners/. 

 About Margaret Scarlett, DDS:

Dr. Scarlett is a practicing dentist and an infectious and chronic disease expert. Author of CDC's first infection control guidance in 1986, Dr. Scarlett leads Scarlett Consulting International which specializes in helping companies and organizations improve overall health and oral health outcomes through data. She is the former editor of the Woman’s Dental Journal, started Medscape Dentistry and Oral Health, and is also the author of countless industry journal articles and scientific whitepapers. In addition, Dr. Scarlett is a sought-after speaker and webinar presenter. Among her many areas of expertise are dental technology (hardware & software), infection control, digital workflows, regulatory, oral-systemic links, dental education, materials, and more.

About Michael Ventriello: 

Michael is an award-winning copywriter, former journalist, and accomplished public relations and marketing strategist. For more than twenty years, Michael has been focused on dental industry marketing and public relations, working to advance product adoption by the profession for many leading dental technology companies. In 2012, Michael founded a virtual marketing, advertising and public relations agency, Ventriello Communications, launching innovative products into the dental industry. Michael is also an author and industry pundit whose articles and guest columns about public relations, dental technology and marketing have appeared in many of the leading print and online dental trade journals.



Wednesday, September 14, 2022

CDHA Response to Today’s PM Announcement on the Canada Dental Benefit


Wendy Stewart, CDHA’s President has issued the following statement in a response to today’s announcement by Prime Minister Trudeau, that the government is moving forward on dental care by providing direct, tax-free payments to qualifying families who earn $90,000 or less, to pay for dental visits for children under 12, starting December, for a 2-year period, retroactive to October 1, 2022.

 This latest announcement validates many issues and concerns faced by people in Canada when it comes to affordability and access to oral health care. In CDHA’s engagement with practising dental hygienists across Canada, we have heard clearly that delivering direct supports to vulnerable Canadians within a national model will make a meaningful difference as development of a comprehensive program continues with full implementation in the coming years.

 CDHA notes that specific details about the dental expenses that will be covered for eligible families with kids under 12 were not addressed in today’s announcement, such as the specific services and the specific oral health care providers who will be eligible to provide and be paid for services in connection with the benefit.

 As an interim measure, CDHA supports timely help for people who need it. “It’s important that the ultimate impact improves access to preventive dental hygiene services and professional oral care to help maintain good oral and overall health,” added Stewart. While the government continues to work out the eventual permanent details of the program, CDHA remains committed to working in partnership with government and experts to ensure access to a range of oral health services and supports.

CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 30,000 dental hygienists in Canada, directly representing 21,000 individual members, including students. Since 1963, CDHA has worked to advance the profession and promote the importance of oral health. Dental hygiene is the sixth-largest regulated health profession in Canada, with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent dental hygiene practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit dentalhygienecanada.ca

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Candid reloads leadership team with industry giants, significantly enhances its clinical capabilities




 This fall, high-growth clear aligner challenger Candid is stacking its leadership team, with dental giants Dr. Lou Shuman coming on as Executive Consultant and Chief Development Officer and Dr. Brian Gray as Chief Dental Officer. They join Dr. Ben Miraglia DDS, VP of GP Clinical Education at Candid Academy as major leadership additions. Under the guidance of the new leadership team, Candid will be releasing a host of new features and enhancements vaulting the Orthodontics as a Service company ahead of many of its competitors.

After shuttering its direct-to-consumer clear aligner business in December 2021 and pivoting into a full provider-based model, Candid has grown its provider base over 500% in 2022.

New Executive Consultant and Chief Development Officer Lou Shuman DMD, CAGS is the CEO and founder of Cellerant Consulting and an expert in growing dental technology companies. He was immediately attracted to Candid’s tech-first Orthodontics as a Service model of partnership and support.

“Candid’s innovations, technology partnerships, and delivery of a total support model is exactly what general practitioners need right now and orthodontists will benefit by in the near future,” says Shuman. “Candid’s commitment to state-of-the-art technology as witnessed by their new massive fabrication facility, superb management team, and focus on aligner quality, already make Candid a great choice for dentists, and our planned clinical upgrades will soon make that choice even easier.”

Known for having trained nearly 30,000 dentists in clear aligner therapy over the last two decades, new Chief Dental Officer Dr. Brian Gray thinks Candid is uniquely positioned to meet the general practitioner where they are.

“I’m joining Candid because it feels like a new era in clear aligners,” says Gray. “As a clinical evaluator, I’ve tried nearly every clear aligner product out there. Candid has unlocked the convenience and predictability that clinicians have been after for years by empowering dentists with the deep clinical knowledge to protect their reputations while giving patients the safe, effective treatment they need.”

Candid rounds out its leadership upgrade with a host of new Candid Academy Faculty members, with Drs. Tom Shannon and Geoffrey Skinner joining visionaries like Drs. Ben Miraglia, Kalli Hale, and Craig Spodak. Dr. Miraglia has played a pivotal role in upgrading Candid’s Rx and through his teaching and advocacy continues to attract top clinicians to Candid Academy.

For CEO Nick Greenfield, Candid is on the road to becoming the practitioner’s choice for clear aligners.

“We’re on a similar trajectory to a company like Tesla,” says Greenfield. “Amazing product, top-flight tech, and outstanding design, but early Teslas could only go 100 miles on a charge. This massive tech enhancement means Candid can now take partner practices so much farther—with even more exciting developments on the horizon.”

Dr. Gray concurs that Candid’s expert-led Orthodontics as a Service model is poised to grab significant market share.

“I see so much in the works that I can’t wait to share with my patients and colleagues,” says Gray. “Candid has developed a number of game-changing product enhancements and techniques that lead the clear aligner segment into a new era. I see it as Ortho 3.0, and am excited to be part of this transformational change in dental health care.”

Dr. Shuman sees even more growth for Candid on the horizon.

“Sitting in a room with Candid leadership reminded me of my work with clear aligners 20 years ago,” he says, “young, brilliant visionaries coming together to create a technique poised to transform the market.”

Monday, September 12, 2022

iTero Used to Scan Coral Along Great Barrier Reef

  I came across a pretty fascinating article recently.  It seems a marine researcher was at a dental visit recently and the team used the iTero Elements 5D Flex to scan her teeth.  Dr. Kate Quigley was highly impressed with the digital 3D scanner and it generated a great idea... she thought that the iTero system might be a great way to also scan coral.  

Dr. Quigley is a Senior Research Scientist at the Minderoo Foundation and she spends a lot of time measuring coral.  She figured that since coral are mainly composed of calcium and teeth are also heavily composed of calcium,  a scanner that works well on teeth should also work pretty well with coral.

Of course, those of us in dentistry that use intraoral scanners understand that it is not just hard tissues that can be scanned, but also soft tissue such as the gums surrounding the teeth as well as the palate, but that isn't the point here.  The point is that the iTero system could certainly scan coral... it's just a matter of the software that drives the system.

Dr. Quigley was already heavily engaged in evaluating coral, but it is difficult to measure them without hurting the small living organisms.  During her Ph D work it would take 1/2 a day to do a scan.  Using the iTero cuts the scanning time 99%.

The full article is pretty interesting.  A lot of innovation comes to a field from another discipline and this is a great example of this.  Head over the Phys.org for the full article with all the details.  

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Leading Oral Health Innovation Conference Announces Startup Competition Finalists

 The Forsyth Institute has announced the startup competition finalists for Forsyth dentech 2022, a leading oral health investment forum. Now in its second year, Forsyth dentech brings together global leaders in venture capital, industry, and research to discuss the role of innovation in public oral health. It is the only conference where startups can pitch their ideas to all the players in the oral health innovation ecosystem at the same time.

   “The $140 billion-dollar oral health space is often overlooked,” said Forsyth’s CEO, Dr. Wenyuan Shi. “Despite the huge medical importance and vast investment opportunities, big investment forums like the JP Morgan meetings or BIO conference don’t feature oral health companies. Dentech is working to address this imbalance, which is what makes this conference so unique and important. The advent of new technologies and the success of companies like Straumann or Align Technology show this is an untapped market primed for growth.”

Forsyth dentech 2022 received over 70 applications from startup companies hoping to capture the attention of investors like CareCapital, Prime Rock, and Revere Partners, who will attend the conference. Last year 8 of the 18 startups selected to compete during the event raised over $32 million collectively.

Given the volume of applications, the Forsyth dentech 2022 startup competition will feature an impressive lineup of 30 companies from all over the world. Their technologies range from new oral health products and dental materials to the use of artificial intelligence in designing treatment plans. Companies include Truthbrush and Mussel Polymers as well as European startups Relu and Augmedit. These companies are in various stages of the startup process.

In addition to the start-up competition, Forsyth dentech 2022 also features a CEO Panel with 8 senior executives from companies like Sherlock Biosciences, CareStream, Colgate, and Flare Capital. The second day closes with 4 special topic panel discussions from global leaders in oral health.

“The mouth is the gateway to the body. Yet as important as oral health is for overall health, it is always overshadowed by medicine” Dr. Shi said. He sees the Forsyth Institute as the right leader to establish the ecosystem and overcome this challenge. In addition to developing an incubator in-house and creating Forsyth dentech, Forsyth is now working to establish an innovation VC Fund to promote oral health technology even further.

People around the world may attend Forsyth dentech 2022 by registering at the conference website.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Henry Schein Acquires Midway Dental Supply

 Henry Schein is the world's largest dental supply company and they continue to just keep getting bigger.  The company recently purchased a much smaller dental supplier in Michigan.  Midway Dental has been around since the 1980s and grew to a pretty good size for a regional dental supply company.  While I think competition is good, I'm also sure that this acquisition made some dreams come true for the Midway Dental management team.  Info from the public press release is below...


Henry Schein, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC), the world’s largest provider of health care solutions to office-based dental and medical practitioners, today announced the acquisition of Midway Dental Supply, a full-service dental distributor serving dental offices and dental laboratories across the Midwestern United States.

Henry Schein acquired 100% of Midway Dental, which was founded in 1987 by the late Roger Abigt, and is headquartered in Livonia, Michigan. This transaction is expected to be modestly dilutive to Henry Schein’s earnings per share in fiscal year 2022 and increasingly accretive thereafter. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Midway Dental’s sales from 2021 were approximately $110 million, including nearly $20 million in sales of personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 related products. Midway Dental offers a comprehensive portfolio of dental consumable merchandise, equipment, services, and education products to nearly 7,000 customers, which will be immediately consolidated into Henry Schein’s U.S. Dental business. The integration of Midway Dental’s sales and service team with Henry Schein’s network of trusted advisors will further advance the Company’s efforts to deliver customized solutions and technology-driven products and services to help our dental customers meet the needs of patients.

“Over the past 35 years, Midway Dental has earned an excellent reputation within the industry, grounded by a strong commitment to customer service and industry leadership that is aligned with Henry Schein’s values-based culture and high-touch, full-service business model,” said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein. “Midway Dental’s vision to establish a nationwide footprint aligns with Henry Schein’s commitment to provide the products and services customers can rely on to work more efficiently and deliver high-quality patient care more effectively.”

Led by CEO Steven Kizy, Midway Dental has approximately 200 employees, including 55 sales representatives and 50 service technicians. Mr. Kizy will join Henry Schein as Vice President, Strategic Development-U.S. Dental.

“As part of Henry Schein, Midway Dental will have access to new capabilities, including an expanded portfolio of solutions to serve our customers even better while offering our staff exciting new career possibilities,” added Mr. Kizy. “More specifically, Midway Dental’s customers will benefit from the vast array of Henry Schein branded products as well as the latest digital technologies that are modernizing dental practices. We are delighted to be joining forces with the world’s leading provider of dental products and services.”


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Parkell TurboSensor Ultrasonic Scaler is a Winner!

One of the best things about my job(s) is getting to test and tinker.  I love getting my hands on and testing (sometimes breaking) the latest and greatest things on the market.  I've been lucky enough to be able to do this for years and over the last couple of years, I've been combining my work with Dental Products Report with product testing.  We call them "Test Drives" and they let me combine testing with a written piece and a video that go along with that testing.

I've just completed a Test Drive and I'd like to make today's post about that experience.  The team and I have been putting the TurboSensor ultrasonic scaler through some rigorous paces lately. 

If you've been in dentistry, even for a little while, you're probably familiar with the name Parkell.  The company started in 1948 and you don't survive in dentistry that long unless you make some pretty good products

Ultrasonic scalers are pretty much the heart and soul of a modern dental hygiene department.  It is a piece of equipment that you really cannot do without.  However, the market today has a couple of drawbacks.  Number one is price.  Ultrasonic units tend to be expensive.  Number two is size.  Many of the units on the market today are pretty large.

Parkell has done a great job of dealing with both of these issues.  As far as price, Parkell has carved a very nice place in the market with quality products at reasonable prices.  The company makes good products that they stand behind.  If you are looking to make a purchase and not dip into your retirement account to do so, Parkell should be someone you are familiar with.  They sell direct to the dentist to try and keep prices as low as possible and they stand behind what the sell.

As far as the size of the unit, it is 1.5 inches high, 5.5 inches wide, and 7.5 inches in depth.  Suffice it to say the unit is pretty small.  I find this a tremendous advantage as we keep adding hardware to our clinical armamentarium, but we don't keep adding counter space along with it.  We are running out of p laces to put things and Parkell did a good job of designing a unit that is small but still powerful.

The unit automatically senses which ultrasonic insert is placed into the handpiece and adjusts itself accordingly.  It also has a "turbo" feature which I like.  If the clinician happens to come across a tenacious area of calculus, a hard press on the foot control causes the unit to automatically increase in power.  Once the debris is removed, stepping back off the controller reverts back to the power it was set to originally.  It's a nice feature that means the user does not have to turn away to dial the power up and then turn away again to dial the power back down.

It also has autoclavable handpieces to help decrease cross-contamination.  The handpiece itself has a nice ergonomic design that feels good in all the hands I had use it... including mine.  

My hygiene team has been very happy with the TurboSensor unit.  If you are in the market for an ultrasonic scaler that will fit your budget, give this unit a look see.  I think you'll like it.

Here is a link to the device page on the Parkell site.  


 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

If You Have an iPhone or iPad, Update to Apple iOS 15.6.1 NOW!!!

 This patch has been available for a week or two so this isn't immediate breaking news, but it is still critically important enough for me to make this post.

The latest update to the mobile software Apple iOS 15.6.1 needs to be downloaded and installed ASAP.  The update fixes a couple of really serious security holes that bad guys are exploiting in the wild.

Unfortunately, until you update hackers have the ability to basically jail break your phone.  This would give criminals full access to everything on your device.  That means passwords, banking info, all of your data.

So *please* perform the update.  I know some of you like to wait a bit and make sure there are no problems that come with an update, but this one is critical.  If you would like to learn more, there is a great post on the Sophos website about it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Down But Not Out...

 Believe it or not, dentistry can really take its toll on you physically.  Since most of my regular readers are from the profession, I know that you understand what I'm talking about.  For the non-dentists out there, just take my word for it.

Spending multiple hours per day in a static posture while performing precision procedures really does beat you up from a physical standpoint.

Anyway, enough with the lecture about the woes of my chosen profession.  My point here is that I injured my back over the weekend and it is taking me a while to bounce back.  Due to that, my blog is going to take a week off from posting as I recover and try to still see patients.  It's just that moving much more slowly doesn't give me as much free time as I normally have.

I'll be back in full force next week!  For those of you in the United States, have an incredible Labor Day 
Weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Carestream Takes Next Step to Implement Previously Announced Recapitalization

 Files Voluntary Chapter 11 Petitions and Prepackaged Plan of Reorganization; Company Expects to Complete Court-Supervised Process in 35-45 Days

Carestream to Continue Operating and Serving Customers as Normal


What follows below is a press release.  It seems that Carestream has continued to fall on hard times.  Back in the day this was Kodak's medical division.  They sold more medical grade film than anyone else on the planet, but they refused to adapt when the digital came along.  As many companies do, they clung to their old way of making money using the idea of "we've always done it this way" and change swept over them like an avalanche.

After you read the press release below, you should read a short but great article from Bloomberg.com on this situation. 


Press Release

Carestream Health (“Carestream” or the “Company”) announced it is taking the planned next step to implement the previously announced recapitalization process with its lenders by voluntarily filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The Company’s lenders have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a “prepackaged” restructuring plan, which contemplates implementing the agreed recapitalization that has been filed with the Court. The recapitalization contemplated by the prepackaged plan will eliminate approximately $470 million of debt, representing a total debt reduction of $250 million more than the Company’s previously announced recapitalization agreement. This process will significantly strengthen Carestream’s balance sheet and position the Company for continued success.

Carestream expects to continue operating normally throughout the court-supervised process and remains focused on serving its customers and working with suppliers on normal terms. With the overwhelming support of its lenders, the Company expects to move through this process on an expedited basis and complete the recapitalization in approximately 35-45 days. Certain of the Company’s existing lenders have committed to provide a $80 million debtor-in-possession financing facility to reinforce the Company’s liquidity and fund the costs of the process. Carestream entities outside the United States are not part of the Chapter 11 process and are operating as normal.

“We are commencing the final stage of our recapitalization process, which will significantly enhance our ability to navigate a dynamic market,” said David C. Westgate, Chairman, President and CEO of Carestream. “Since announcing our recapitalization process in April, our lenders have remained overwhelmingly supportive, and we have worked constructively with them to complete the transaction. As our talks evolved, we determined the best course of action was to implement the agreement through an expedited court-supervised process. With a clear path to completion, we expect to emerge from this process as a stronger partner to our customers, with significantly reduced debt and new owners who also continue to believe in the future of Carestream.”

Mr. Westgate continued, “Carestream has strong market opportunities ahead. I am confident in the strength of our core business and our ability to maintain market leadership moving forward. I would like to thank our customers and partners for their unwavering support. I also want to thank our talented team across the globe, whose commitment to serving our customers has been steadfast throughout this process.”

Carestream has filed customary motions with the Court seeking authorization to support its operations during this process. The Company expects suppliers to be unimpaired by this process and intends to pay suppliers in full for goods and services provided before, on or after the Chapter 11 filing date.

Additional information is available by calling Carestream’s Restructuring Hotline, at 877-709-4750 (toll-free in the U.S.) or 424-236-7230 (for calls originating outside the U.S.). Court documents and additional information about the court-supervised process are available on a website administered by Carestream’s claims agent, KCC, at www.kccllc.net/Carestream.


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Complete Specialty Solutions Completes Funding Round and Launches Stream Dental Software Platform

 Industry First In-House Specialty Software Platform for DSOs & Traveling Specialists


Complete Specialty Solutions (CSS), the nation’s leading in-house specialty solutions provider to DSOs, today announced the commercial launch of its proprietary software platform Stream Dental for managing the complex operational workflow associated with in-house specialty services. “We are honored to launch the Stream Dental platform in partnership with leading regional and national DSOs and a network of experienced specialists,” said Santosh Patel, president of CSS. The company has a long history of operating specialty services reaching over 200 offices through its large specialist network. Recognizing the accelerating trends of DSOs seeking to bring specialty services in-house along with specialists seeking alternatives to the burdens of practice ownership, CSS is launching the industry’s first comprehensive software solution to elevate in-house specialty performance with a focus on growth, compliance, patient experience, and specialist engagement.

The Stream platform was originally created in 2019 as an internal solution to digitize and hardwire best practice workflows and communications within the CSS network of 200+ practices where CSS operates all aspects of in-house specialty services as a fully managed solution. “Based on the experience and insights from providing over 20,000 cases across all major specialties, we’ve been able to develop a unique platform for managing workflow and optimizing results from specialty services programs. We look forward to sharing these capabilities with DSOs and traveling specialists across the country,” said Patel.


Key capabilities of the Stream platform include:

Enhanced referral capture and tracking with CRM capabilities

Multi-channel, specialty-specific patient engagement 

Specialist apps for enhanced planning and clinical collaboration

Robust enterprise analytics and decision support

Comprehensive safety, risk management and compliance support across clinical ops & HIPAA 

Supports both in-house and external specialty referral workflows

MB2 Dental – Justin Puckett, President 

“Great specialty tech platform that provides immediate growth and operations improvement.  The CSS team is deeply committed to building the best-in-class tech for all aspects of in-house specialty.  This was a no-brainer.”

Dental Care Alliance – Jennifer Goodwin, Regional Manager

"The technology and dashboards Complete Specialty Solutions has designed have made the referral process and scheduling specialty procedures turnkey. It's simple and quick for all team members. No paper or sticky notes to get lost.  All referrals in one place!"  

CSS is also announcing a funding round led by Indicator Ventures, BP Capital, and Old Three Hundred Capital. The company will use the funding to bring Stream Dental to more DSOs and specialists across North America. The funding will also enable CSS to expand its product offering and enhance its customer experience for dental practices, specialists, and patients. “Complete Specialty Solutions is a game changer for the dental industry,” Said Baiyin Murphy, general partner at Indicator Ventures. “They have a keen understanding of the operational rigor it takes to bring specialty services closer to the dental offices and patients leading to better outcomes and profits. Their approach is a triple-win for specialists, dental offices, and patients alike.”

“We’re very excited to launch the industry’s first and only SaaS platform focused on elevating in-house specialty performance, which can often represent up to half of a DSOs overall revenue,” said Omar Alvi, CEO of CSS. “Through our years of experience operating all aspects of in-house specialty services, we’ve identified the most significant pain points and opportunities and are now bringing these capabilities to all DSOs and traveling specialists across the country. We’re committed to investing heavily in the ongoing expansion of our software capabilities to deliver increasing benefits to DSOs, specialists, and patients.”

About Complete Specialty Solutions (CSS)

Based in Houston, TX, CSS is the nation’s leading provider of fully managed specialty services for DSOs, powered by Stream Dental, its proprietary technology platform that digitizes and hardwires critical workflows and communications required to maximize the specialty services opportunity. CSS provides a turn-key solution that immediately expands clinical capabilities with enhanced quality of service, while increasing revenue and profits with zero up-front investment. For more information, visit www.completespecialty.com.



Tuesday, August 23, 2022

ONDIEM AND ADAA ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP

 

As staffing costs rise, onDiem drills down to improve bottom lines


onDiem is excited to announce a strategic partnership with the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA). This collaborative partnership will have a significant impact across the entire dental echo system. At the core of this partnership is a mutual commitment to support dental assistants in thriving in their careers by providing access to resources, continuing education, and career development opportunities.

This partnership will also aid practices in navigating dentistry's nuanced and unprecedented staffing challenges. onDiem and the ADAA will work together to make onDiem's Digital ID the trusted, single source of verification and credentialing to ensure safety and compliance across the industry. onDiem's Digital ID streamlines navigating individual state boards for requirements and certifications for dental assistants— reducing risk and human resources.

“ADAA and its members are excited and happy to be forging a collaborative relationship with onDiem and its staff,” says Susan Camizzi, President of ADAA. She adds, “We look forward to working with the group to further assist and support dental assistants nationwide in their careers and education as an integral and very important part of the dental team.”

“onDiem’s mission is caring for those who care for others; this ethos aligns perfectly with the ADAA’s mission of advancing the careers of dental assistants— and their profession overall— in matters of education, professional activities, and credentialing,” states Joe Fogg, CEO onDiem.

About onDiem Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 2017, onDiem's staffing platform connects dental practices and dental professionals in all 50 states to meet real-time staffing needs. onDiem distinguishes itself from other staffing platforms by offering employees, not contractors for temporary shifts. They eliminate the burden of staffing compliance, so practices can focus on maximizing production and revenue. onDiem dental professionals enjoy healthcare benefits, employer-paid taxes, and insurance coverage, along with the ability to set their own work schedule and hourly rates. With a free account, dental professionals can look for temporary and permanent job opportunities, and practices can create posts for new temp shifts, search for professionals in their area, and communicate with candidates directly. Today the platform serves over 32,000 dental professionals and over 13,000 dental practices.

About ADAA The American Dental Assistants Association is the oldest, largest group representing professional dental assistants. Established over 90 years ago, the ADAA provides continuing education to dental assistants through home study courses, professional journals, and local, state, and national meetings with educational agendas. It encourages education, registration, and certification for dental assisting professionals while providing a network of personal services for its members. Services such as insurance programs, salary and other surveys, and travel and leisure services.

In most areas, the ADAA is served by the state association and often a local component as well. Membership in the ADAA provides membership in all these-national, state, and local.


Thursday, August 18, 2022

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser Available in Corded *and* Cordless Models

 




I'm really excited about this product.  Philips has been a tremendously popular brand in oral healthcare for decades.  As Tech Editor and Chief Dental Editor for Dental Products Report, I've been fortunate to be able to use and evaluate many powered brushes over the years.  

In the last 5-10 years, the dental profession has begun to really embrace the oral irrigator.  For years there were concerns that using water or some other liquid under pressure to clean between the teeth would not provide as good an effect as floss.  However, now studies have proven that just isn't true.

Because oral irrigators have gained widespread acceptance in the profession, we have seen a large increase in the number of both manufacturers as well as more model choices from those manufacturers.  Choice is good!  I love having options with the devices I use and I truly believe that my patients want choices as well.  We routinely recommend oral irrigators to our patients. 

Since around March of this year (2022) I have been using and evaluating the newest top of the line tooth brush and oral irrigator from Philips Sonicare.  My evaluation of the 9900 Prestige sonic toothbrush was postage a while back, but I have also been working with the Philips Sonicare Power Flosser as well.

We all *know* that we should floss.  We all know it contributes to better oral health and that better oral health directly relates to better *overall health*.  However, humans are funny creatures.  Just because we *know* something is good for us doesn't mean we always do it.

Flossing can be difficult.  Sometimes it requires coordination someone just doesn't have.  Sometimes people have hands that are difficult to maneuver in our mouths for flossing (I happen to be one of those people).  Ever since I was a student and learned about the Butler Flossmate, I've used one.  The problem is, not everyone wants to or *will* floss.

How do you solve that problem?  With the Sonicare Power Flosser!  The unit, in an in-vitro study, 180% more effective for healthier gums than manual floss.  I have been incredibly impressed with the unit.  I am especially impressed with the Quad Stream technology pictured below...

This nozzle breaks the water or other liquid into 4 wide streams that really provide a thorough clean.  I love how my teeth feel after I've used the Power Flosser.  The unit I've been using the the countertop design. 

The device has 2 flossing modes, Clean and Deep Clean while each of those modes has 10 adjustable intensities.  The unit also comes with 2 different nozzles.  There is a Standard Nozzle that provides a single stream.  This is the nozzle that most people think of when they think of an oral irrigator.  The unit also comes with the previously mentioned Quad Stream nozzle.

I have found that I prefer the Quad Stream nozzle on setting 7.  I have quite a few crowns in my own mouth and I prefer that setup which makes my mouth feel "squeaky clean" after using.  This unit also comes with a 550ml reservoir which is about 18.6 oz.  I found that I usually use one reservoir for the upper and another for the lower.  Now, I'd like to state that I'm a dentist so I am probably a little more "overboard" on the cleaning aspect.  Most people could probably get by on just one 550ml.  I also use the unit prior to brushing with the Prestige 9900 as I like to get anything from between my teeth prior to brushing.

Some people have voiced concerns to me that irrigators can be messy.  I don't feel that is true.  I use my unit with my head over the sink and my face turned down.  Basically my face looking into the sink.  That way as the water leaves my mouth it drips directly into the sink.  Also, any overspray (which is minimal) goes in the sink as well.  The handle that actually goes into your mouth has an on/off switch which you can toggle back and forth so that you never have the unit running when it is outside the mouth.

Recently, Philips has released the Power Flosser Cordless.  If you are concerned about mess or overspray, then be concerned no more.  I advise patients that are concerned about making a mess to simply step into the shower and use the cordless unit.  Heck,  your shower is made to get wet!  The cordless unit has a 250ml reservoir and a USB charger.  It also has 2 modes with each having 3 intensities.

I've been very impressed with my Power Flosser and I recommend it to my patients.  If you give it a try I'm sure you'll be as impressed as I am.  This product is *highly recommended*! 



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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Russia Using Dolphins to Help Protect Black Sea Fleet

 Today's post is a short one, but that's because the *real* story is from the link below.

With all of the news and suffering coming out of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I happen to stumble on this story.  It was published in April, but the info is still really interesting.  The Russian navy is using dolphins to help protect their fleet in the Black Sea.

I happen to know someone who worked with the U.S. Navy for a while in a similar program.  These are not very secret programs, but the two powers have trained dolphins to patrol around ships and look for underwater threats such as divers or other similar under water threats.

With their ability to detect things in the water, paired with their intelligence,  dolphins are well equipped to detect threats and engage threats if necessary.

It's interesting to see the dolphin cages in these photos...  Here is the link.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

More Financial Rumblings from the Dentsply Sirona Accounting Debacle

 

As regular readers will know, I've been following with interest the problems associated with 'accounting irregularities' in the previous Dentsply Sirona administration.   

The company has now announced that their former Chief Accounting Officer, Ranjit Chadha, will be terminated effective on September 2, 2022.


Here is the info that was filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commision as of August 9, 2022:


Item 5.02 Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

On August 4, 2022, DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. (the “Company”) and Ranjit S. Chadha, the Company’s Chief Accounting Officer, mutually agreed upon the separation of Mr. Chadha from the Company, effective September 2, 2022 (the “Termination Date”). From August 4, 2022, until the Termination Date, Mr. Chadha will be an inactive employee but is expected to remain available for executive transition requests.

On August 9, 2022, the Company hired Richard M. Wagner to serve as its Chief Accounting Officer, as well as the principal accounting officer for purposes of the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which appointment will be effective August 15, 2022. From August 4, 2022 until Mr. Wagner’s start date, the Company’s interim Chief Financial Officer, Barbara W. Bodem, will serve in the additional role of principal accounting officer.

Mr. Wagner, age 54, is joining the Company from his position as Chief Accounting Officer, Vice President and Corporate Controller of Hillrom Holdings, Inc., a position he held since 2018. Previously, he was Vice President and Controller, Lighting, at Cree, Inc. from 2017 to 2018. Prior to Cree, Inc., Mr. Wagner served as Vice President and Corporate Controller of DENTSPLY International Inc. from 2011 through and following the Company’s merger with Sirona Dental Systems, Inc. until 2017. Mr. Wagner is a Certified Public Accountant. He received his B.S. in Accounting from Penn State University.

Pursuant to his employment letter, Mr. Wagner will be paid an annual base salary of $400,000 and a one-time sign-on bonus of $100,000 (subject to repayment under certain circumstances). He will also receive an initial grant of restricted stock units (“RSUs”) with a grant date fair value of $150,000, vesting over a period of three years after the date of grant at the rate of one-third per year.

Mr. Wagner will also be eligible for (i) a target annual bonus of 40% of his base salary (on a pro-rated basis for 2022) as part of and subject to the conditions of the Company’s Annual Incentive Plan, and (ii) an annual equity award with an expected grant date fair value of $240,000 (on a pro-rated basis for 2022) in the following components: (a) 25% in the form of stock options vesting one-third per year over a three-year period, (b) 25% in the form of RSUs vesting one-third per year over a three-year period, and (c) 50% in the form of performance restricted stock units (“PRSUs”) with vesting based on achievement of the performance metrics and cliff vesting simultaneously with the PRSUs granted to other members of executive management. Additionally, Mr. Wagner is eligible to participate in the Company’s benefits programs offered to executive employees.

Mr. Wagner does not have any family relationship with any director or executive officer of the Company, or person nominated or chosen by the Company to become a director or executive officer, and he has no direct or indirect material interest in any transaction required to be disclosed pursuant to Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Join Me for a Discussion of Soft Tissue Lasers in Dentistry


 Join me tomorrow evening at 6:30 Central time for a discussion of soft tissue lasers and what they can do for your practice.

The program is sponsored by AMD and is certified for one hour of continuing education credit.


If you'd like to register, here is the link.  

Thursday, August 11, 2022

DEXIS Imaging Launches DEXIS Days Month-Long Series of No-Cost Virtual Educational Events

 DEXIS Days are coming!  I'm honored to be included as part of an All Star group of professionals that will be providing educational events throughout September.  Here are all the details you need to be part of it!


Leading innovator of dental imaging technologies, sensors, and Cone Beam CT systems, DEXIS Solutions announces the launch of DEXIS Days, slated for the month of September 2022. A transformational virtual experience, DEXIS Days connects dental professionals to weekly no-cost webinars and presentations focused on thought leadership, Continuing Education, and training across a broad spectrum of digital dental technologies as well as practice strategies.

Between September 6 and September 30, 2022, doctors and staff will have the opportunity to attend multiple weekly webinars covering a wide range of topics for building a digital workflow and driving practice success. Topics will include intraoral scanning, intraoral x-ray, CBCT, treatment planning, AI-assisted diagnosis and treatment, in-practice 3D printing, and more.

Led by experienced dental professionals and subject-matter experts, DEXIS Days webinars will deliver actionable insights and value for practitioners seeking to advance their knowledge, proficiency and confidence with the latest digital dental technology and to more fully realize the advantages of an integrated, efficient digital workflow.

“DEXIS has a long history of dental imaging expertise and innovation,” explains JC Kyrillos, President at DEXIS solutions. “In developing our solutions, we’ve always listened to the input and needs of the practices and doctors who use them. We’re also committed to sharing expertise and best practices with the dental community, through training, thought leadership, and Continuing Education opportunities. DEXIS Days is an extension of that commitment.”

Offered through convenient virtual webinars and presentations, DEXIS Days will delve into subject matter most relevant to today’s practices, including:

• Easing the transition to digital dentistry

• Developing an efficient implant workflow

• Incorporating CBCT into any practice

• Practice radiation safety

• Retaining and engaging staff

• Leveraging Assisted Intelligence, software advancements, and navigated surgery

• Using 3D imaging for diagnosis, treatment planning and case presentation

• And more

Among the lineup of presenters are highly respected and renowned dental professionals who are leaders in their areas of expertise, including Dr. Chris Salierno, DDS, Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, Dr. Katya Archmbault, DMD, Dr. Martin Jablow, DMD, Dr John Flucke, DDS, and others.

“In planning the curriculum for DEXIS Days, we incorporated feedback from practices and carefully considered the topics that would be of most value to them,” says Brian Gooch, VP – Global Product Management and Marketing at DEXIS solutions. “Whether they attend some or all of the webinars, dental professionals will emerge from their DEXIS Days experience with learning, insight, guidance and resources they can use right away to advance their practice and patient outcomes.”

To learn more about DEXIS Days, view the complete curriculum, and register, click here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

AI Upgrades to Owandy’s QuickVision 3D Software Now Guide The Placement of More Than 100 Dental Implant Brands


 Owandy Radiology Inc., a global leader in the manufacture of dental radiology hardware and imaging software, recently upgraded the capabilities of its comprehensive  QuickVision 3D Implant Planning Software to include sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) functions and the expansion of its substantial dental implant library.

QuickVision 3D: Now Powered by AI

According Owandy company spokesperson, Boris Loyez,  “We’ve implemented new features into QuickVision 3D software with the help of our internally-developed AI platform, which enables the auto-matching of a *.dicom and a *.STL file to easily create customized surgical guides. Now more than ever, QuickVision 3D software is a perfect match with the Owandy I-Max 3D compact wall-mounted cone beam unit, and the combination of our hardware and software truly makes the I-Max 3D a game-changer within the cone beam industry.”

100 Dental Implant Libraries and Counting

In addition to adding advanced AI capabilities, Owandy has been aggressively expanding the number of implant manufacturer libraries in QuickVision 3D Implant Planning Software which now includes most of the leading brands such as Bicon, BioHorizons, Camlog, Dentsply-Sirona, Nobel Biocare, Ritter, Straumann, Sweden & Martina, Zimmer Biomet, and more.

“Owandy’s new intuitive AI platform, extensive implant library, and open architecture enables QuickVision 3D to be used with any 3D intraoral scanner on the market to enhance the digital workflow capabilities and overall efficiency of virtually any modern dental implant practice, adds Loyez.”

For more information about the Owandy' QuickVision 3D and its full line of products, visit www.Owandy.com, call 516-858-5695, or send an e-mail to sales@owandyus.com. 

Distributor and DSO inquiries are always welcome.

About QuickVision 3D Implant Planning Software

Owandy’s world-renown QuickVision 3D generates panoramic images, cross-sections and bone models from axial images that can be used to identify the mandibular canal, as well as show the 3D bone model. QuickVision 3D can also be used to simulate implant placement on 2D and 3D models. What’s more, the software can easily design surgical guides by identifying the patient’s main anatomical characteristics. In addition, to secure the implant planning procedure, it will also detect any potential collisions, and several other clinical details. There is also a dedicated program for complex endo cases and thanks to the cephalometric addition, orthodontists can also benefit from QuickVision 3D.

About Owandy Radiology, Inc.: 

Headquartered in France, and serving North America from Roslyn, New York, Owandy Radiology is a global leader in the manufacture of dental radiology hardware and imaging software. Its products are distributed through dental dealers across the USA, and in more than 100 countries world-wide, on every continent. For more information, visit www.Owandy.com.


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

For those of you who don't know, Dentsply Sirona has been under investigation for some shady accounting practices that were pulled off by executives that have since been terminated.  Be that as it may, the company is having to dig out from under these dark business clouds.  In the long run, the company is going to be fine, but this kind of news is not something you expect from the largest dental manufacturer in the world...

Here is the latest press release from the company.  


DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. (“Dentsply Sirona” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq: XRAY) today is providing a business update.


As previously disclosed, the Audit and Finance Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Audit Committee”) is conducting an internal investigation regarding certain financial reporting matters. The investigation is ongoing and therefore the Company expects that it will not be in a position to file its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2022, (the “Second Quarter 10-Q”) by the August 9, 2022, deadline.


Select Preliminary Second Quarter 2022 Results


The Company’s operational performance improved sequentially in the quarter with net sales and adjusted EPS expected to be above preliminary first quarter 2022 results. While net sales declined year-over-year due to the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange, the business delivered organic sales growth driven by solid European regional performance and demand in strategic areas of the business, most notably, CAD/CAM, Equipment & Instruments, and Restorative and Preventive Consumables.


As anticipated, in the second quarter, the Company saw normalizing dealer inventory levels in the U.S. as well as realized benefits from recent product launches and pricing adjustments. The Company continued to experience macro headwinds including ongoing supply shortages and softness in sales in China due to COVID-related shutdowns.


As a result, Dentsply Sirona expects to report second quarter 2022 net sales of greater than $1,005 million. Additionally, diluted EPS is expected to be at or above $0.26 and adjusted EPS at or above $0.60.


The second quarter gross margin and adjusted EPS were favorably impacted by the timing of certain expenses which will be reflected in the third and fourth quarters.


For the full year 2022 outlook, the Company’s assumptions outlined on May 10, 2022, remain intact with the exception of foreign exchange. Management expects to provide an updated full year 2022 outlook after filing its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 (the “First Quarter 10-Q”) and the Second Quarter 10-Q (collectively with the First Quarter 10-Q, the “Quarterly Reports”).


Consistent with the Company’s commitment to return cash to shareholders, Dentsply Sirona's Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.125 per share of common stock, an indicated annual rate of $0.50 per share. The dividend is payable October 14, 2022, to holders of record as of September 30, 2022.


Investigation Update 


The Audit Committee continues to work diligently with independent counsel and advisors to complete its previously announced investigation as soon as possible. However, the Company cannot predict the duration or outcome of the investigation. Due to the pendency of the investigation, the Company has not yet filed its First Quarter 10-Q and does not believe it will file its Second Quarter 10-Q on a timely basis. In the course of the investigation, the Company has also evaluated certain other accounting practices. As a result of this review, the Company anticipates certain adjustments will be made to the previously announced preliminary first quarter financial results, and the Company is currently evaluating whether fiscal year 2021 reported financial results also require adjustments.


The Company will work to finalize its financial statements and review of internal controls and procedures, including the evaluation of any deficiencies in internal controls over financial reporting, as soon as practicable.


As previously disclosed, the Company has voluntarily contacted the SEC to advise it that an internal investigation is underway, and the Audit Committee intends to provide additional information to the SEC as its investigation proceeds. The Company intends to fully cooperate with the SEC regarding this matter.


Nasdaq Compliance Update 


On May 18, 2022, the Company announced it received a written notification from The Nasdaq Stock Market (“Nasdaq”) on May 12, 2022, indicating that the Company is no longer in compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rules because the Company had not timely filed its First Quarter 10-Q. In response to the notification and pursuant to the Nasdaq Listing Rules, the Company submitted a plan to regain compliance and it targeted filing the Quarterly Reports by August 14, 2022. The Nasdaq staff granted the Company an extension of time through August 14, 2022, in which to file the Quarterly Reports. The Company has notified Nasdaq that it no longer expects that it will be able to file the Quarterly Reports by August 14, 2022, and will submit an updated compliance plan to Nasdaq. If Nasdaq accepts the updated plan to be submitted by the Company, Nasdaq can grant an extension of time for shares of the Company’s common stock to remain listed for up to 180 calendar days from the First Quarter 10-Q’s original filing deadline to regain compliance, which would be November 7, 2022.


Notice Regarding Preliminary Results


The Select Preliminary Second Quarter 2022 Results included above in this press release are based upon preliminary financial results. These preliminary financial results are based upon information available to management as of the date of this press release. The Company’s actual results may differ from these results due to final adjustments and developments that may arise or information that may become available between now and the time the Company’s financial results for the three months period ended June 30, 2022, are finalized, and included in the Company’s Second Quarter 10-Q. During the course of the Audit Committee’s investigation, the Company may identify items that could cause its actual results to be different from these preliminary financial results. The Company’s independent registered public accounting firm has not audited, reviewed, compiled, or performed any procedures with respect to the preliminary financial results, nor has it expressed any opinion or any other form of assurance on such results or their achievability, and assume no responsibility for, and disclaim any association with, such results.


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 headquarters 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. 


Forward-Looking Statements


All statements in this press release that do not directly and exclusively relate to historical facts constitute “forward-looking statements.” These statements represent current expectations and beliefs, including statements regarding the Audit Committee’s ongoing internal investigation and the preliminary financial information for the second quarter ending June 30, 2022, and no assurance can be given that the results described in such statements will be achieved. Such statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements, many of which are outside of our control. Furthermore, many of these risks and uncertainties are currently amplified by and may continue to be amplified by or may, in the future, be amplified by, the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic and the impact of varying private and governmental responses that affect our customers, employees, vendors and the economies and communities where they operate. For a written description of these factors, see the section titled “Risk Factors” in Dentsply Sirona’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year. No assurance can be given that any expectation, belief, goal or plan set forth in any forward-looking statement can or will be achieved, and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements which speak only as of the date they are made. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or release any revisions to any forward-looking statement or to report any events or circumstances after the date of press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.


Non-GAAP Financial Measures


The Company has provided certain measures in this press release that are not calculated in accordance with US GAAP and therefore represent Non-GAAP measures. These Non-GAAP measures may differ from those used by other companies and should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with US GAAP. These Non-GAAP measures are used by the Company to measure its performance and may differ from those used by other companies.


Management believes that these Non-GAAP measures are helpful as they provide another measure of the results of operations, and are frequently used by investors and analysts to evaluate the Company’s performance exclusive of certain items that impact the comparability of results from period to period, and which may not be indicative of past or future performance of the Company.


Organic Sales

The Company defines "organic sales" as the reported net sales adjusted for: (1) net sales from acquired businesses recorded prior to the first anniversary of the acquisition, (2) net sales attributable to disposed businesses or discontinued product lines in both the current and prior year periods, and (3) the impact of foreign currency changes, which is calculated by translating current period net sales using the comparable prior period's currency exchange rates.


Adjusted Operating Income (Loss) and Margin

Adjusted operating income (loss) is computed by excluding the following items from operating income:


(1) Business combination related costs and fair value adjustments. These adjustments include costs related to consummating and integrating acquired businesses, as well as net gains and losses related to the disposed businesses. In addition, this category includes the post-acquisition roll-off of fair value adjustments recorded related to business combinations, except for amortization expense of purchased intangible assets noted below. Although the Company is regularly engaged in activities to find and act on opportunities for strategic growth and enhancement of product offerings, the costs associated with these activities may vary significantly between periods based on the timing, size and complexity of acquisitions and as such may not be indicative of past and future performance of the Company.


(2) Restructuring program related costs and other costs. These adjustments include costs related to the implementation of restructuring initiatives, including but not limited to, severance costs, facility closure costs, lease and contract termination costs, and related professional service costs associated with specific restructuring initiatives. Other costs include legal settlements, asset impairments, executive separation costs, and changes in accounting principle recorded within the period. The Company is continually seeking to take actions that could enhance its efficiency, consequently restructuring charges may recur but are subject to significant fluctuations from period to period due to the varying levels of restructuring activity and the inherent imprecision in the estimates used to recognize the impairment of assets, and as such may not be indicative of past and future performance of the Company.


(3) Amortization of purchased intangible assets. This adjustment excludes the periodic amortization expense related to purchased intangible assets, which are recorded at fair value in purchase accounting. Although these costs contribute to revenue generation and will recur in future periods, their amounts are significantly impacted by the timing and size of acquisitions, and as such may not be indicative of the future performance of the Company.


(4) Fair value and credit risk adjustments. These adjustments include the non-cash mark-to-market changes in fair value associated with pension assets and obligations and equity-method investments. Although these adjustments are recurring in nature, they are subject to significant fluctuations from period to period due to changes in the underlying assumptions and market conditions. The non-service component of pension expense is a recurring item, however it is subject to significant fluctuations from period to period due to changes in actuarial assumptions, interest rates, plan changes, settlements, curtailments, and other changes in facts and circumstances. As such, these items may not be indicative of past and future performance of the Company.


Adjusted operating margin is calculated by dividing adjusted operating income by net sales.


Adjusted Net Income (Loss)


Adjusted net income (loss) consists of the reported net income (loss) in accordance with US GAAP, adjusted to exclude the items identified above, the related income tax impacts, and discrete income tax adjustments such as: final settlement of income tax audits, discrete tax items resulting from the implementation of restructuring initiatives and the vesting and exercise of employee share-based compensation, any difference between the interim and annual effective tax rate, and adjustments relating to prior periods.


These adjustments are irregular in timing, and the variability in amounts may not be indicative of past and future performance of the Company and therefore are excluded for comparability purposes.


Adjusted Earnings (Loss) Per Diluted Share

Adjusted earnings (loss) (EPS) per diluted share is computed by dividing adjusted net income (losses) attributable to Dentsply Sirona shareholders by the diluted weighted average number of common shares outstanding.


Monday, August 8, 2022

LightForce Welcomes Roger George to Company Board


Former Invisalign Exec Joins LightForce to Help Drive the Second-Wave of Orthodontic

Digitization

 LightForce, makers of the world’s only fully customizable 3D

printed braces system, announced today that industry veteran, Roger George, has been appointed

to the company’s Board of Directors. Mr. George served as Senior Vice President of Global Legal

and Regulatory Affairs at Align Technology, helping that company scale during a pivotal time in their

growth. In particular, he became an established expert in establishing, prosecuting, and protecting IP

in the dental industry.


“Roger has been in the orthodontics space for over 15 years and understands what it means to

focus an organization for rapid growth,” said LightForce CEO Alfred Griffin. “His industry

knowledge, functional expertise, and leadership experience in a hypergrowth environment will

all be invaluable to the LightForce team and the Board as we pursue our mission to create a

new standard of care for braces.


“Based on my experience, I see a tremendous opportunity in front of Alfred and the LightForce

team,” said Mr. George. “Clear aligners demonstrated that customized treatment plans based

on 3D-scans and sophisticated software were the future of orthodontics; however, the vast

majority of patients continue to be treated with braces. It’s truly exciting to join LightForce as

they drive the second-wave of digitization and customized braces therapy to address this huge

segment of the orthodontic patient population.”


About LightForce

LightForce is a digital platform providing orthodontists with fully customized, 3D printed tooth-moving

tools. Founded in 2015 by Dr. Alfred Griffin, DMD, PhD, MMSc, along with Dr. Lou Shuman, DMD,

CAGS, LightForce is revolutionizing the specialty through advanced manufacturing and technology.

After five years of extensive research and development, LightForce launched its first product to the

Orthodontic market- the world’s only fully customized 3D printed bracket system and digital

treatment software. Learn more at www.lf.co.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

National Institutes of Health Uncovers Potential New Transmissioin Route of Norovirus... through Saliva

 An interesting announcement from NIH recently.  They have discovered that in laboratory animals (mice) a class of viruses, collectively called enteric viruses, can be passed through saliva.  This is a new discovery as previously this mode of transmission was unknown.

These viruses are well know to cause diarrhea in humans.  Outbreaks of this on cruise ships have been documented in the past.  These viruses can cause serious problems with dehydration as a great deal of fluid is lost when a human is affected with strong bouts of diarrhea.  This can even lead to death in some instances.

This discovery could be incredibly important if it is proven to also happen in humans.  Outbreaks caused by enteric viruses can often quickly pass from one host to another in close confines (like a cruise ship).  If humans also show these viruses in saliva, that means that the can be passed by coughing, sneezing, even talking; which would explain why they tend to spread so rapidly.

Human testing needs to be done to truly be sure, but this is a fascinating development.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

You Can't Outrun the Long Arm of the Law

 


It always amazes me when someone tries to scam the federal government in a healthcare setting.  There are entire governmental entities whose existence is solely based on looking for oddities in the billing numbers.  It amazes me even *more* when those numbers are massive... as in $1.2 billion massive!  

It seems that there was a healthcare system in Texas that was running a huge kickback scam between hospitals, labs, and doctors.  The problem is, that when you do that kind of thing and then try and bill federal programs... you are violation of federal laws... and when you violate federal laws, the Department of Justice gets involved.  Two things most of us don't want is either the DOJ or a team from 60 Minutes asking to speak with us.

So I offer today's post as advice to anyone thinking of cooking up some similar scam.  You might get away with it for a while, but when you get that call from the DOJ, things are NOT going to be going your way for 10 or more years; if you get my drift.

The full announcement is here, but this is an interesting part of the indictment.


21 Charged, Including Hospital and Lab CEOs, in Connection with Multistate Healthcare Kickback Conspiracy

$32 Million Paid to Date in Civil Settlements

TYLER, Texas – The Department of Justice announced criminal charges against 36 defendants in 13 federal districts across the United States for more than $1.2 billion in alleged fraudulent telemedicine, cardiovascular and cancer genetic testing, and durable medical equipment (DME) schemes.

In connection with this national effort, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas has charged 21 individuals, including doctors, laboratory executives, hospital executives, and marketers for their involvement in healthcare kickback and money laundering conspiracies.  Former True Health Diagnostics LLC CEO Christopher Grottenthaler, former Boston Heart Diagnostics Corporation Susan L. Hertzberg, former Rockdale Hospital d/b/a Little River Healthcare CEO Jeffrey Paul Madison, and others are defendants in a False Claims Act lawsuit captioned United States ex rel. STF, LLC v. True Health Diagnostics, LLC, et al., No. 4:16-cv-547 (E.D. Tex.).  Additionally, 33 doctors and healthcare executives have agreed to pay over $32 million in order to resolve False Claims Act allegations for their involvement in the scheme.  The criminal and civil cases allege that the defendants unlawfully enriched themselves by paying and receiving illegal kickbacks in exchange for laboratory referrals.