Tuesday, February 28, 2023

MouthWatch Introduces Dentistry.One


While in Chicago last week at the Chicago Dental Association's MidWinter Meeting, I had a chance to meet up with Brant Herman who is the CEO of MouthWatch.  I've been a big fan of the company for several years and that's because they are a company that is always innovating.  Now they have come up with a system called Dentistry.One  This is a truly interesting concept.  The details from their press release is below:

MouthWatch, LLC, today announced the introduction of Dentistry.One, a comprehensive virtual-first solution designed to transform oral healthcare and the dental patient care journey. Built for individuals and organizations supporting patient health, Dentistry.One will feature: 

A nationwide network of on-demand dentists available for live and asynchronous video visits;

A dedicated team of Care Advisors for personalized care coordination of in-office dental visits and online oral health coaching;

A digital connection between dental and medical care using our proprietary software; and,

Benefits navigation to help patients more easily obtain care.

“Virtual-first oral healthcare is finally made complete with Dentistry.One,” said Brant Herman, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of MouthWatch and Dentistry.One. “We create the opportunity for patients to get the care they need and deserve, when they need it, and for organizations supporting patient health to drive improved outcomes, lower costs, and an enhanced patient experience. Dentistry.One is the solution the world needs to connect more patients to care and materialize many of the benefits of medical and dental integration.”

Today’s healthcare consumers are increasingly aware of the proven impact oral health has on their overall well-being. And a growing number of consumers want a telehealth option to make accessing care more convenient. Dentistry.One will bring virtual dental care to today's busy patients through insurance plans, employer benefit packages, Dental Service Organizations (DSOs), and healthcare systems looking to further enhance the patient experience with teledentistry. Dentistry.One helps address current challenges across oral healthcare, such as staffing shortages, access limitations, and improving whole patient outcomes. 

Under Mr. Herman’s leadership, MouthWatch has been a pioneering, award-winning company for more than a decade. With Dentistry.One, MouthWatch continues its commitment to creating innovative technologies and solutions that transform how providers and patients experience dental care. 

Dentistry.One dentists are highly trained to deliver the best dental telehealth experience possible, meeting patient needs such as emergencies, oral-systemic conditions, prescriptions, second opinions, cosmetic consultations, and overall preventive care. Care Advisors are experts in dental hygiene who will help ensure the patient has a complete care experience, including coordination of in-person dental visits, benefits navigation to help patients better understand their insurance coverage, guidance for improving home care, and recommendations for oral healthcare products and services. 

In addition, Dentistry.One will provide oral health coaching services to enhance preventive care and address oral health considerations that improve overall health outcomes for patients with specific medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and pregnancy.

“With dental and medical care siloed for far too long, patients have carried the burden of bridging the oral systemic link in their care journeys,” said Herman. “Dentistry.One will offer a digital pathway to bridge a patient’s oral health with their overall well-being by providing exceptional and insightful care, tailored oral health education to improve oral-systemic health outcomes, and care coordination services to get patients into a dental home for treatment.” 

Herman continued, “In the future, we envision further connecting a patient’s oral health to their overall health by integrating Dentistry.One with leading Electronic Health Record (EHR) platforms, so that when a patient is diagnosed with an oral-systemic disease or condition, Dentistry.One can simultaneously help the patient begin a better oral care journey.”  

Dentistry.One is launching with its first clients in March. The national rollout will begin in April. 

About MouthWatch, LLC

MouthWatch, LLC, is a leader in developing digital technology solutions that drive success for dental professionals, improve oral health care, and enhance the overall patient experience.

Headquartered in Metuchen, New Jersey, MouthWatch recently launched Dentistry.One, a virtual care network that addresses the expectations of today’s modern healthcare consumers, the need for greater efficiency in healthcare, and the proven connection between good oral health and total health. Dentistry. One features on-demand dental video visits, personalized care coordination, and oral health coaching for prioritizing good oral health.

MouthWatch is widely known for its intraoral cameras that help engage patients in treatment planning through high quality, affordable imaging technology, and its TeleDent software that provides practices and organizations with a teledentistry option to engage patients with providers remotely. MouthWatch hardware and software is in use at over 40,000 practices, over 30 leading Dental Service Organizations (DSOs), and over 100 dental schools. The company has been recognized three times on the Inc. 5000 list. 

For more information, visit For more information, visit MouthWatch.com and Dentistry.One.

Monday, February 27, 2023

The Importance of Maintenance...

 I don't publicly debate or discuss politics... and I want to get that point out up front in this post.  The simple reason is because I am going to mention some political aspects & subjects here.  The difference that I want to make clear here is that I am using these topics as an example or an analogy.  Plain and simple.

My topic for today's post is maintenance.  The Oxford dictionary (which is one of my favorites) defines "maintenance" as:

  1. Cause or enable (a condition or state of affairs) to continue
  2. Provide with necessities for life or existence
The first is a great one to use with both mechanical and biologic systems, while the second is much better situated for biologic systems only.  The point here is that maintenance  is *necessary* for both mechanical AND biologic systems to function properly and at the peak of their powers.

Now let's work this into today's post which, by the way, will be a bit longer than normal.  In dentistry, the generally accepted number is that in the U.S. about 50% of the population only presents for dental care due to a situation that can be classified as an emergency.  Usually that is due to pain, although it also takes into consideration things such as an accident, a tooth that has fractured, noticing a tooth that is "loose", or other situations that the patient considers "not normal" for them.

The reasons that only 50% seek care on a regular basis are many.  Probably the two most common in my experience cost and fear.  Cost is certainly understandable.  Even though it is my profession and my livelihood, I will readily admit that dental care can be expensive.  However, I will add that it is generally appreciably more when dealing with an emergency situation.  

Fear I also understand.  Dentistry is a very unusual healthcare scenario for most people.  The human mouth is an incredibly sensitive area.  Evolution has provided the body with an amazing array of protective systems.  In the years before humans began consuming processed foods, the mouth was the final point of filtration.  If something "bad" gets past the mouth's defenses, it is inside the body and becomes much more difficult to deal with.  So the mouth was given an incredible plexus of nerves that allows it to feel even incredibly tiny objects.  This is a great system for detecting things like foreign objects that should NOT be swallowed, but the downside is it also makes the mouth incredibly sensitive to dental procedures designed to HELP.

Continuing with my thoughts on this, let's now consider the idea of "maintenance".  I want to approach the subject from a biology point of view for patients and then I'll discuss the concept for dentists by discussing dental equipment.

The reason I mentioned politics at the beginning of this post is because this whole thought process came out of an article that I read on CNN.com recently.  It was an Interview with retired General David Petraeus  from March 2022 regarding his thoughts on the performance of the Russian military in Ukraine.  He was discussing the fact that the Russian military has done a poor job of maintaining their equipment, both large and small.  Because of that, the Russians have suffered breakdowns and meltdowns that have greatly affected their abilities. In addressing the well known problems this has caused for them, Petraeus stated:

I’ve served in mechanized units, with a mix of tanks and armored personnel carriers. And every single time you stop, the driver and the crew members are outside checking road wheels and final drives, pumping grease, topping off fluid levels. If you don’t do preventive maintenance, then you will end up with such vehicles breaking down.

From a patient perspective, maintenance seems as more of a repetitive process of "getting a cleaning" than something from a "maintenance" standpoint.  However, let me emphasize from the doctor's perspective, that those appointments are anything other than "a cleaning".  We evaluate a LOT of information and structures in those appointments.  Allowing yourself to be evaluated twice a year lets your doctor find problems at their earliest stages.  That means they are much easier to correct and also, in many instances, they are also much less expensive to correct at an early stage.

Frequently a regular patient of an office will disappear for a year or so and when they return, they will say, "sorry I haven't been in for a cleaning.  I didn't have dental insurance so I couldn't come in."

This is always a difficult thing for doctors to hear.  The dental insurance companies have done such an amazing marketing job of convincing the public that they *need* dental insurance.  The sad part about this for dental professionals is that many times the patient will need either expensive or complicated treatment that could have been addressed with much less expense and difficulty, IF maintenance appointments had been kept.  Unfortunately in these situations, the patient ends up paying more to get back to normal than they would have paid if they had kept their biannual visits and paid out of pocket for them.  That is not a rant against patients, it is frustration at insurance companies who have managed to convince patients that they NEED insurance and if they do not have it, there is no need to see a dental professional.  Yet, I also realize that changing a job or losing a job also could affect income.  If the budget does not allow for maintenance, I certainly understand that.  Needs have to be prioritized and sometimes that even means kids get appointments while mom and dad wait.  

Many times in my career I have had patients return with insurance who present to my care with the need for a root canal and crown, when a simple filling could have easily fixed the problem 2 years ago.

So for those of you who are reading this as patients, please take this into consideration.  This might well have an impact on you.  What I really want here is for those who can afford to do so, to continue with continuity of care.

Now for doctors... it's a similar situation when it comes to equipment.  Often routine maintenance or contracts for it seem like a lot of money spent that is really not needed.  However, if you think of the logic of having something break or go out of service, you could very well have to cancel appointments, reschedule, or even potentially close your office until repairs are made.  The overhead of a modern dental office is high.  Efficiency is great for a lot of reasons one of which is that efficient offices get more done per time unit and that cuts costs.

To turn a well know expression into a business phrase, it is often true "a penny of prevention is worth a dollar of repairs".  Keeping your office running well allows you to deliver the quality of care your patients need and that you are capable of delivering.  However, you can't deliver that if you don't have the proper means to do so.

Over my career I have purchased many "service policies" or "extended warranties" with the confidence that keeping my office running well was worth the cost.  My mentor once told me, "When you prepare for an emergency, it ceases to be one."  That was great advice and I apply that one constantly.  In the environment of a busy dental practice, there are enough day to day unforeseen problems.  You never know when a handpiece will suddenly fail or when an ultrasonic unit in hygiene will not turn on.  These things happen.  Yet, if you also choose to leave to chance every possible maintenance failure scenario, you are inviting scheduling and efficiency disasters.  

It is better to dance with the devil you know than the one you don't.  If you spend a little more money on maintenance, the only thing you've lost is a little money.  If you are forced to cancel appointments and rearrange your schedule, those decisions begin to impact others... namely your patients.  Many people in today's environment can only take limited time from a job for dental care or they may have to rearrange their life just to find a baby sitter.  When these folks have to rearrange their lives due to an appointment being rescheduled, it becomes the analogy of a rock being tossed into a pond and you have no idea where the waves go or what their effect will be.

In a nutshell, everything in life goes better if maintenance is planned into it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Chicago Dental Society's 2023 MidWinter Meeting is Happening NOW!


As a lifelong lover of tech and also a practicing dentist, there are a few gatherings of the profession that I try really hard not to miss.  The Chicago MidWinter is one of those meetings.  There are always lots of new product announcements plus there are always new companies with new products making their first splash into the industry.

This year there are some pretty cool things that will be at the show.  One of the coolest and best things you will see at this year's meeting is the mill equipment from DGShape.  They are in booth #4617 at McCormick Place.

As many of you know, I have been using the company's DWX-42W wet mill for almost a year.  In that time I have been nothing short of blown away by the technology.  This is NOT the CAD/CAM of the past.  This system quickly and easily creates restorations that are nothing short of phenomenal.  You can use a variety of different materials, but the ones that we are using currently only need to be polished, which eliminates the time and difficulty of firing them in an oven.  Basically it is "polish and go".

I have been a CAD/CAM believer and fan since the late 1990s.  However in the mid 2000s, I stepped away and took my equipment out of service simply because I simply felt the equipment wasn't predictable enough.  That is *not* an issue with the equipment from DGShape.

I sometimes feel the term "game changer" is overused in today's tech landscape, but I will use that term here with no reservations.  

My patients are thrilled with the time savings and the restorations, my team loves being able to design and create the restorations, and I love the efficiency and most importantly I am extremely happy that we are getting excellent clinical results.

On Friday in the early afternoon I will be at the DGShape booth to film a video about their technologies.  If you happen to be at the meeting stop by booth #4617 and say hi.  I'd also be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding  journey with the DWX-42W. 

See you in Chicago!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

ADA Task force seeking dental community’s comments on CDT Code enhancement

One of the benefits of belonging to the ADA (and there are many) is the work of the CDT Task Force.  CDT (Common Dental Terminology) is the insurance code numbers that offices use when billing procedures to insurance companies.  Obviously, having a standardized list of procedural codes streamlines things such as predetermination of benefits and actual billing for procedures performed.

Recently the ADA News has announced that the Enhanced CDT Task Force is asking for comments on updating the CDT codes.  If you are a practitioner and you have ever wanted a new code or a better definition of an existing one, this is your chance!  Rather than complaining, you can now make your voice heard!  Here is the info from the ADA News.  If you'd like to read the full article, follow the link.  

 Deadline for submitting feedback is March 2023

The ADA’S Enhanced CDT Task Force is seeking comment from the entire dental community on the proposed framework of dental procedure code modifiers, which would complement — not replace — the CDT Code’s current “Dxxxx” format.

There will be a five-month open comment period beginning this month and continuing through March 2023.

The next Enhanced CDT public comment session is scheduled to convene on Feb. 28 from 7 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Central. Connection information and more information about the project is posted online at Enhanced CDT | American Dental Association (ada.org).

The ongoing project’s goal is to review and enhance the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature‚ often called the CDT Code, so that it better serves current and evolving needs for robust patient records and accurate claim submissions, said Jessica Stilley-Mallah, D.M.D., chair of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs.

Dr. Stilley-Mallah added that the CDT Code has not had a structural enhancement since it was first published in 1969. 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Get Your Custom Loupe Next-Day at Chicago Midwinter

I am amazed that Orascoptic is capable of this... yet they are.  My preferred surgical telescope company is again this year offering customers the opportunity of ordering magnification at the Chicago MidWinter Meeting and having it delivered to you *before* you hop on your flight home.  How they manage to pull this off is beyond me, but they've done this before and I have seen the success firsthand.  The systems mentioned in this post are amazing and I have tried them personally in my office.

On top of this amazing express delivery service, there are other reasons to be excited.  This year the folks at Orascoptic have been hard at work creating some different systems.  There is the new DragonFly system, that combines any of their magnification choices in a frame that has a built-in headlight which is a phenomenal system to use.

They also recently announced their new Ergo line.  My preferred Ergo has a 3.5x magnification level.  The Ergo system is shown in the picture above and features a "declination" of the scope.  What that means is the operator sit up straighter and the mag of the scope is "bent" so you can look down without bending your neck.  The Ergo mag is also available in the DragonFly frame.

Here is the info on the Chicago MidWinter Specials and Special Delivery...

Order a loupe Thursday, receive it Friday!

Need a loupe fast? Buy a loupe from Orascoptic at booth #2812 on Thursday at Chicago Midwinter and receive your loupe the next day.

If you order by 1:00pm at the show on Thursday, February 23rd, we'll make your custom loupe overnight at our headquarters in Madison, WI and drive it to Chicago for you to have on Friday.

Ask our team our about new Ergo loupes. Deflect discomfort with the HDL Ergo 3.5x or RDH Ergo 3.0x. Our Ergo loupes are available on Dragonfly™ – a powered loupe with a wireless headlight fully integrated into the frame. 

Show exclusive offers include: 

✔ $100 off a loupe or headlight

✔ $250 off a loupe/light bundle

 We're also offering introductory pricing on our Ergo loupes: 

      ✔ $200 off an Ergo loupe 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

OraPharma, Inc. Agrees to Pay $100,000 to Resolve Allegations of False Claims Act Violations


OraPharma, Inc. has agreed to pay $100,000 to resolve allegations that the incentive compensation it paid to certain account managers, who also practiced as dental hygienists, resulted in the submission of false claims to the Medicare program. 

Headquartered in Bridgewater, N.J., OraPharma sells oral health products, including Arestin, a sustained-release antibiotic that dental providers administer locally as an adjunct to treatment for periodontal disease.

OraPharma admits in the settlement agreement that from June 2012 through December 2020, they employed account managers – including individuals who practiced as dental hygienists – to promote Arestin to dental practices. Following their retention as account managers by OraPharma, some of these dental hygienists occasionally worked in a dental office or offices in their assigned sales territories but did not disclose in certain instances this occasional hygiene practice to OraPharma as required under the company’s conflicts-of-interest policies. The account managers may have received, or were eligible to receive, incentive compensation for Arestin prescriptions that they may have recommended to Medicare beneficiaries when the account managers were performing dental hygienist duties in a dental office—i.e., while operating outside the scope of their employment with OraPharma. As a result, the United States contends that OraPharma’s payment of incentive compensation to account managers for any prescriptions reimbursed by Medicare in the offices where the account managers practiced as dental hygienists violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and thereby caused false claims to Medicare. 

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Phillip M. Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and  Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsey Ross and Charles Weinograd of Rollins’ Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit handled the matter. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

VELscope Announces AI Powered Research and Development Study

For years, I've been a big fan and a user of the VELscope for oral cancer screenings.  Light assisted oral cancer exams help doctors see things more clearly that might not be as obvious to regular light.  The device emits a wavelength of light that shows areas of injury or concern to appear dark or nearly black upon examination.

Oral cancer is an incredibly terrible disease.  If it is caught early, a simple surgery may be all the is required to remove the area of cancer.  However, if it is caught in later stages, the surgery can be disfiguring to the patient and the chances or survival decrease.

In the United States, one person every hour dies of oral and pharyngeal cancer.  That is a higher fatality rate than cervical cancer.  Also, on average 35,000 new cases will be diagnosed every year.

Finding the disease in its earliest stages is the best way to ensure full recovery and light assisted screenings can be a big help with that.

Now VELscope is looking for offices to participate in a study using AI to help detect oral cancer at the very earliest stages.

To see if your office can qualify to participate, follow this link.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Introducing UltracareTM Topical Anesthetic Gel By Ultradent Products, Inc.


Ultradent proudly announces the return of one its most sought after products, UltracareTM topical anesthetic gel—a delightfully flavored 20% benzocaine oral gel formulated for rapid, profound topical anesthesia. 

Dental professionals can administer Ultracare gel directly on a cotton swab for increased patient comfort. The gel’s trio of benefits include 20% benzocaine for effective numbing, as well as rapid onset—numbing tissues in 15–20 seconds. Last, Ultracare gel comes in a delicious dye- free Walterberry flavor with no bitter aftertaste. 

Click here to purchase or learn more about Ultracare topical anesthetic gel. 

About Ultradent Products, Inc. 

Ultradent Products, Inc., is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-tech dental materials, devices, and instruments worldwide. Ultradent’s vision is to improve oral health globally. Ultradent also works to improve the quality of life and health of individuals through financial and charitable programs. For more information about Ultradent, call 800.552.5512 or visit ultradent.com or find us on Facebook, 

LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Philips and Candid partner to offer dental professionals a more effective and efficient orthodontic solution


         Collaboration is part of Philips’ commitment to being an all-round player in oral healthcare and supports Candid’s dedication to provide dental professionals with the support and technology they need to effectively treat patients

Partnership is a result of the companies’ shared mission to improve the long-term oral healthcare experience for both dental professionals and their patients

Collaboration opens the door for offering integrated continuous education for dental professionals


Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and New York, NY, U.S. – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, and Candid Care Co[1], creator of the CandidPro orthodontic platform, today announced their partnership to advance the efficiency and effectiveness of orthodontic care. Philips Sonicare is the number one most often recommended power toothbrush brand among U.S. dental professionals. CandidPro makes clear aligners convenient for doctors and their patients through a category-defining integration of clinical support, industry-leading technology, and white-glove service. The collaboration is designed to provide dental professionals with an extended integrated oral healthcare offering, including orthodontic treatments alongside teeth whitening.

 By leveraging Philips Sonicare’s 30 years of expertise, its extensive network of dental professionals and its knowledge and resources, Philips will support CandidPro to accelerate the development of its professional network and service platform. Together, the companies will set up continuous education initiatives for dental professionals, highlighting the importance of a total oral care approach; combining orthodontics with periodontic care, restorative and functional care and aesthetic care.

 “The importance of healthy teeth and gums is a given, but for many people the confidence that comes from having the smile they want is also an important part of their lives. As part of our commitment to expanding our scope in the oral healthcare space and building on our strong partnership with dental professionals, we are pleased to have found the right partner in CandidPro so we can expand Philips Sonicare’s leadership beyond our existing solutions, connecting consumers and professionals to underpin our shared mission to provide the best oral care for patients,” said Deeptha Khanna, Chief Business Leader Personal Health at Philips.

 “Our goal is to make the highest quality care accessible, approachable, and achievable for dental professionals and their patients by leveraging best-in-class technology and a game-changing approach to partnership. That means more confidence in their treatment plans, more accurate aligners, and more convenient and engaging patient experiences. Partnering with Philips means providing our CandidPro doctors with a more comprehensive platform that helps them treat more patients and save more time, and drive more efficiency” said Nick Greenfield, Chief Executive Officer at Candid.

 Celebrating 30 years this year, Philips Sonicare has deep clinical knowledge, a broad oral care offering and a strong network of dental professionals, being the most often recommended power toothbrush brand among dental professionals in the U.S. Philips continuously innovates to help people achieve a higher degree of oral care at home between dental visits. Its latest innovation is its most advanced power toothbrush, the Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige which uses personalized human-led technology to help people always get the best results when brushing.

CandidPro’s total orthodontic system makes clear aligners easy for doctors, ensuring they have more control in treating cases and giving them the comprehensive white-glove support they can't get anywhere else. Through CandidPro’s category-defining AI-enabled CandidMonitoring™ technology, doctors and patients alike benefit from CandidPro’s clinical support and convenient treatment approach.

Together, Philips Sonicare and CandidPro empower dental practitioners to offer their patients straighter, cleaner, healthier smiles via an integrated care journey. This includes the potential for one-click integration of at-home Zoom whitening and CandidPro aligners. The two companies are committed to delivering the best complete oral care solutions to patients, delivered through professional dental services.


[1] Philips owns a minority interest in Candid Care Co.


Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Dental Practice Owners Charged with Fraud and RICO Conspiracy


It pains me greatly to have to post about these kinds of stories, but I also feel that those of us who are healthcare practitioners should be held to a very high standard.  We are given the privilege of helping others and we need to take that responsibility very, very seriously.

That is why it saddens and frustrates me to hear of doctors being involved in a violation of public trust so severe that the crime is considered conspiracy similar in scope to organized crime.  I'm no legal expert, but I do know that the federal government created the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act to help battle racketeering activity performed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.

It always amazes me when people try to defraud the federal government.  The organizations that get defrauded may not have all of the pieces in place to catch abusers of the system, but they certainly have lots of other pieces of the government to back them up... and those organizations make it a point to make examples out of those caught.  If found guilty, these folks will be going away for a very long time.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice:

According to court documents, the defendants were allegedly part of a wide-ranging scheme to defraud Medicaid, U.S. Immigration authorities, the IRS, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and to launder the fraud proceeds. Bhaskar Savani, 57, and Niranjan Savani, 51, both of Maple Glenn, Pennsylvania and both licensed dentists, owned and controlled the Savani Group dental practices.

If you would like to read the press release from the DOJ, you can follow this link.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Oral Health may have Longterm Impact of Brain Health

 A new study has found some amazing information.  While this study, like all science, needs more research to be done to validate the present conclusions, some fascinating info has been uncovered.  

I seems that some research that has been done at Yale School of Medicine indicates individuals who have a genetic predisposition toward poor oral health also tend to have poorer brain health.  

Science and the realm of healthcare has been doing more and more research into connections between diseases of the mouth as well as the pathogens that cause them.  In the time that I have been practicing, I've seen some tremendous progress in the connections between healthcare disciplines.  For the longest time it seemed that most folks didn't really see how the mouth and the body could affect one another.  However, the connections are effects have turned out to be many.

Bacteria in the mouth can easily spread to other parts of the body and wherever they settle can be another site of infection.  While this new Yale study does not make any definitive claims, it certainly sets the stage for more followup research.

It seems that the information gleaned from this study definitely bears looking into further.

One of the study's authors, Dr. Cyprien Rivier stated the following:     

“The main goal was to investigate the link between poor oral health and brain health. We already know that poor oral health increases the risk of stroke, but we did not know whether poor oral health affected brain health. Brain health is a continuous measure that describes the functional status of a person’s brain using neuroimaging tools such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Studying oral health is especially important because it is an easily modifiable risk factor: Everyone can effectively improve their oral health with minimal time and financial investment.”

If you would like to learn more, there is a great write-up and explanation on Medical News Today's website.  Follow this link to see what Medical News Today has to say...   


Monday, February 6, 2023

Update QNAP Devices to Protect from Ransomware

 Taiwan based company QNAP is a manufacturer of NAS (network attached storage) devices.  Frequently these types of devices at "computer boxes" that function as hard drives or storage drives that are not connected to a computer, but instead are simply plugged into the network and can be accessible by any user.  Often times NAS devices are setup and put on a network by IT providers to allow for backups to be run and kept onsite.

While onsite backups are just *one* of the links in your "backup chain" they certainly work well and can be a godsend in case of a loss of data that is not the result of a catastrophic failure in the infrastructure due to some type of physical disaster.  Having a NAS that can be accessed quickly over the LAN can allow a practice to be back up and running in minutes.

However, because  a NAS also needs to have an operating system to function, the security of that operating system is hugely important and has the potential to lead to an IT disaster.  That's not to say that a NAS is any easier to hack or to target than anything else on the network.  Every piece on the network needs to be as secure as possible.

I don't have any numbers that indicate the number of QNAP devices in use in healthcare, but when it comes to security, I'd prefer to err on the side of caution, hence the subject of today's post.  If you happen to have a QNAP device deployed and in use in your office, it needs to be update immediately.

According too a an article in Ars Technica, there are around 29,000 QNAP devices needing a critical jOS update.  Apparently there is a bug in their OS that can allow for Ransomware to be easily installed.  A web query indicates that only around 2% of the vulnerable devices have been patched.

If you have one of these devices on your network, follow this link to learn how to update your device and keep your data safe.  

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Crown Council Inducts Dr. Dan Fischer in Dental Hall of Fame


It's always nice when I can tell all of you about some GOOD news.  So much of what we deal with here on the blog has to do with security and what to do in case of problems, that I love it when I can write a post about something like this.

I have known Dr. Dan Fischer for over 20 years.  For those of you that might be unfamiliar with him, let me give you a quick backstory.

Dr. Fischer has always been passionate about dentistry.  In the very early days of his career he saw hemostasis as a concern that many dentists had, so he decided to see if he could solve that problem.  Dr. Fischer's undergraduate degree was in chemistry.  That gave him some unique insights into the science of the coagulation process. 

He used that knowledge to create Astringedent, a phenomenal product for hemostasis.  It worked so well that Dr. Fischer decided to market the product to other doctors.  That was the beginning of what would become Ultradent, which is one of the largest privately owned dental companies on the planet.

But becoming a successful entrepreneur is not what this post is about.  It's about the man, himself.  Dr. Fischer built a company and a culture around the concept of "doing the right thing" and he has succeeded beyond his wildest expectations.

In the time I have known him and worked with his company, I have always been impressed with their integrity, honesty, and commitment.  I've had the unique honor of spending quite a bit of time with Dr. Fischer one on one and I can attest to his morals, his drive, and his honesty.  I've learned a lot from him and a lot of it doesn't even have to do with dentistry.

With Ultradent he has created a company with a culture you almost have to experience to believe.  They make great products, but that is because of the drive and work that everyone there displays... and that starts from the top.

I once heard him say, "at this point, my goal is to be a good person."  He has done a great job of achieving that goal!

The man has created a lot and has impacted a massive amount of people through his charitable work, which is in the press release below.  Here is what Ultradent has to say about their leader being selected to the Dental Hall of Fame...

Ultradent Products Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-tech dental materials, devices, and instruments worldwide, is celebrating the induction of its Founder and CEO Emeritus, Dr. Dan Fischer, into the Crown Council’s Dental Hall of Fame. 

The ceremony was held January 28th, 2023 during the Crown Council’s 28th Annual Meeting. Dr. Fischer’s remarkable contributions to dentistry and his overwhelming lifelong commitment to humanitarian causes around the world were noted. Dr. Jaleena Jessop, Ultradent’s Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Dr. Fischer’s daughter, joined Crown Council CEO Greg Anderson onstage to present the award. 

Dr. Fischer is not only the Founder and CEO Emeritus of Ultradent, he’s also an award-winning innovator, culture builder, passionate dentist, entrepreneur, and humanitarian. He started Ultradent at his kitchen table 44 years ago. Today, Ultradent operates 16 offices around the globe, in addition to its South Jordan headquarters. The company makes over 500 products and sells them in over 130 countries worldwide. This includes the award-winning OpalescenceTM teeth whitening system—the #1 professional teeth whitening brand in the world, which he pioneered. 

As passionate as Dr. Fischer is about improving oral health globally, he also continues to work tirelessly to better the lives of others through his undying commitment to humanitarian work. Under his direction, Ultradent donates products to dental humanitarian missions around the world. Additionally, he’s led efforts to raise significant funds for the Utah Food Bank for several years and has made many generous donations to catastrophic natural disaster relief efforts globally. 

Dr. Fischer also founded and works continually to support and fund Ultradent’s long-standing charity, The Diversity Foundation, which focuses on providing education to young people who leave the FLDS community and need a helping hand. Since its inception, The Diversity Foundation has helped over 250 young people gain a college education and assimilate successfully to the outside world. 

Ultradent joins Crown Council in congratulating Dr. Fischer for his outstanding commitment to improving oral health globally. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The Academy of Laser Dentistry Announces ALD 2023 Keynote Speaker

The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), an international, professional membership association, recently announced that Nick Clausen, MBA, will be the keynote speaker during Dentistry’s Laser Meeting, ALD2023, which is taking place on April 21st to April 22nd in Dallas.

Clausen is well known and respected in laser dentistry circles, for his passion for helping dentists optimize their laser use to increase practice profitability and boost ROI on their laser investments. He is the ALD’s Manufacturers Council Chair also the Director of Laser Mastery for Fortune Management. As the owner and founder of Dental Laser Coaching, he worked as a trainer for most of the leading laser companies including Biolase & Convergent Dental.

“We are thrilled to have Nick opening our 30th Anniversary Conference & Exhibition,” said ALD Executive Director Gail Siminovsky, CAE. He shares the passion of our individual and corporate members for changing dentistry for the better with lasers. There are very few people better than Nick to demonstrate how lasers can be utilized in everyday dentistry to boost practice performance and patient care.”

Clausen’s keynote address is entitled, “Lasers for Practice Success - How to Leverage Your Laser to Transform Your Business.”  During this session, attendees will learn the following:

How lasers dentistry can create a better patient experience and better clinical results. 

Optimal laser implementation can also lead to compounded practice growth when done with intention and the entire team is involved. 

How to leverage your laser to increase profitability by attracting more new patients and 

increasing case acceptance and ‘same-day-dentistry.’

This keynote is especially relevant because dental lasers are unique tools that can be used on multiple clinical applications resulting in more conservative and cleaner outcomes that yield a better patience experience. Laser utilization should also positively impact the practices bottom line.  Despite this, transformation doesn’t just happen. In order to achieve all the aforementioned results, the dentist must understand a few things they may have never done before, both clinically and on the management side of their business. 

According to Claussen, “Change can be hard for some people. But the change required for laser optimization and transformative results is not harder, it’s just different.  I’m excited this year’s ALD annual meeting focus is on ‘Lasers For Practice Success’.  This will give dentists proven keys to get the most out of their Laser technology for yourself, your patients and your practice’s economic strength.”

ALD 2023 is two days, Friday, and Saturday, with a pre-conference certification program taking place on Thursday April 20th. On Friday and Saturday morning, the main stage presentations will be a mix of Ted Talk-style sessions and panel discussions. Afternoon workshops will provide a deeper exploration of the morning topics. 

“The ALD is changing dentistry. Our conference attendees set themselves above the rest because lasers make dentistry kinder and gentler,” said Simonovsky. “Whether you’re a private practitioner or part of a DSO or group practice, you’ll benefit from the ALD’s 30th Anniversary Conference theme, “Lasers for Practice Success”. For full conference program details and registration information, visit https://bit.ly/ALD2023.

About the Academy of Laser Dentistry:  

The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) is the only independent and unbiased non-profit association devoted to laser dentistry and includes clinicians, academicians, and researchers in all laser wavelengths. The Academy is devoted to clinical education, research, and the development of standards and guidelines for the safe and effective use of dental laser technology. The ALD was founded in 1993, with the merging of the International Academy of Laser Dentistry, the North American Academy of Laser Dentistry, and the American Academy of Laser Dentistry. For more information, visit www.LaserDentistry.org.