Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Planet DDS Introduces Denticon Reimagined: The Future of Integrated Dental Practice Management


The reimagined Denticon includes cloud-based practice management, now featuring enhanced patient communication tools, advanced analytics, and easy-to-use patient marketing capabilities

NEWPORT BEACH, CA – February 20, 2024 – In an industry that’s rapidly evolving towards digital consumerism and data-driven decision making, Planet DDS is at the forefront, introducing a reimagined version of Denticon, a platform for growth-minded dental businesses. The enhanced platform delivers practice management, patient communications, practice analytics, and practice marketing. Designed to scale effortlessly with cloud technology, Denticon is set to revolutionize productivity, patient outcomes, and staff engagement for dental practices of all sizes.  

"As we navigate through a time of consolidation and a clear trend toward consumerism in dentistry, innovation becomes paramount. Denticon is designed to be at the core of every growth-minded dental practice as their operating system, enabling a significant transformation in how dental care is delivered and experienced,” said Planet DDS CEO Eric Giesecke. “We’re excited to showcase the reimagined Denticon at the Chicago Midwinter Dental Meeting, not just as a solution that meets the current demands in the industry but also to pioneer a new standard in dental care and patient experience.”

The reimagined platform encompasses several tools to help dental practices run their businesses more efficiently and effortlessly – from marketing to analytics. The journey begins with Legwork, an easy-to-use marketing solution that empowers practices to attract new patients through search engine optimized marketing campaigns, professionally branded websites, and integrated phones. The journey continues with Denticon Patient Communication, integrated patient engagement tools that streamline communication with targeted emails and text messages, online forms for enhanced patient experience, and appointment reminders that reduce last-minute cancellations. Closing the loop is Denticon Practice Analytics, which provides actionable insights to dental practices to identify production opportunities and make data-driven decisions that help create operational efficiencies and fuel growth.

“With Denticon’s Patient Communication, our appointment rate improved by 18%. This has been a game changer for our operations both from a cost-cutting and revenue-generating perspective. Our patients have been telling us that they want to be engaged through a more tech-forward approach and the ability to text and email with Denticon has brought our patient engagement to a new level of success,” shared Randa Seif, Chief Operating Officer of CaliDental.

“With the help of Denticon Practice Analytics, it’s very easy to run a report for patients who have accepted treatment but have not yet scheduled an appointment, send text messages through Denticon, and book the first person to respond,” explained Kara Trail, Director of Operations for Henritze Dental Group. “Having an all-in-one practice management solution has helped us become more streamlined as an organization and having visibility of metrics across all locations has been a key component of our workflow.”    

To learn more about the Planet DDS solutions that support the growth of thousands of dental practices, request a demo: Book a Demo | Denticon | Apteryx | Planet DDS

About Planet DDS: 

Planet DDS is the leading provider of cloud-enabled dental software solutions, serving over 13,000 practices in the United States with over 118,000 users. The company delivers a complete platform of solutions for dental practices, including Denticon Practice Management, Apteryx Cloud Imaging, Cloud 9 Ortho Practice Management and Legwork Practice Marketing. Planet DDS is committed to creating value for its dental practice clients by solving the most urgent challenges facing today’s dental practices nationwide. To learn more, visit:

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Fabletics to Showcase Scrubs with Style at Chicago MidWinter Meeting


Photo courtesy of Fabletics

I've been practicing for a few years now... truthfully more than "a few", but the time sure has passed quickly.  I've been in the game long enough to remember constant jokes about "dental office music" as well as "dressing like a dentist" both of which implied that the practice of dentistry lacked any kind of "style".

When infection control became a front and center concern, the majority of people in the industry quickly embraced wearing clinical attire, which of course meant scrubs.  In the blink of an eye, we went from "dressing like a dentist" to wearing "healthcare chic" ensembles.  Personally, I loved switching over to scrubs.  I can still recall having dinner in an upscale restaurant before the scrubs days.  As I sat down to the table, I put my hand on my tie to keep it against me and as I lifted my hand away the thought crossed my mind, "I've worn this at work and I haven't dry cleaned it since... what the heck could I be getting on my hand?"  The next day I happened to be talking to a school chum, Dr. Stephanie, and as I told her about my tie, she rocked my world.  "Why are you still wearing stuff like that?" she asked.  "Flucke, you've got to get some scrubs.  Show some  style!"  Wise words, Steph.

Now you can not only look "clinical", but you also look really stylish (or in my case, at least not look quite as nerdy).  Activewear manufacturer Fabletics has taken the world by storm with their cutting edge sportswear.  We've all seen it.  Heck most of us probably have something from Fabletics hanging in our closets.

Well, dear readers, if you haven't heard, Fabletics now makes and sells scrubs and for the first time ever, they will be at the Chicago MidWinter meeting.  If you're looking to up your game in the clinical attire department, stop by booth #1235.  My personal "Fabletics Angel" Lacy will be there (among others) and they will gladly hook you up with your new look.  The company is running some show specials that include, if you sign up as a new Fabletics VIP, you can receive a set of scrubs for $19 and every set after that is 50% off!  They also can provide group orders and embroidery.

Stop by booth #1235 and check out their gear.  If you don't get a chance to make it by, I'll be lecturing on Saturday, presenting two different courses and I may have my new pair of Fabletics scrubs with me... hopefully their show stock will have something I can buy and take with me.

See you all in Chicago!

Monday, February 19, 2024

New Philips Sonicare Teeth Whitening Kits Offer Semi-Customizable At-Home Whitening for Dental Patients

On Thursday February 15, Philips Sonicare launched their new Philips Sonicare Teeth Whitening system.  As a dental professional, I love the fact that the company is making this product only available by authorization from a dentist.  The kit is sent to the patient's home and comes complete with everything necessary for at home tooth whitening.  That includes tray material, the whitening agent, and a carrying case.

The patient places the tray material in hot water and then easily molds it to the shape of their teeth.  It comes with 2 extra pieces of the material... just in case.  However, I've had an opportunity to try the product and I can tell you with confidence that even if a tray is not properly formed on the first try, it can be reheated and reshaped to fit correctly.

It is available in 6% or 9.5% hydrogen peroxide solutions & provides results with minimal or NO sensitivity.  I actually had it tested by my wife who has *very* sensitive teeth and she reported only *slight* sensitivity after the first session and ZERO sensitivity on the other applications.  She also got very nice aesthetic results.

I'm going to be participating in the "official" launch press conference on Friday morning in Chicago at the annual Chicago Dental Society MidWinter Meeting and I'm really looking forward to helping talk about my experience with the product.

I hope to see a lot of you during my time in Chicago!


Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Tragedy in my Home Town...


As most of you know, I'm a resident of the greater Kansas City area and a huge fan of my hometown.  I was born here, grew up here, and I have no thoughts of leaving.  I actually practice about 10 miles (16.1 km) from my boyhood home... a small house in the local city of Raytown.

However, today I type with a heavy heart.  As you all know, yesterday February 14, 2024 was a day of celebration in my beloved Kansas City, but ended in tragedy.  Our hometown NFL team, the Kansas City Chiefs, won the Super Bowl over the San Fransisco 49ers on Sunday February 11, 2024.  Valentine's Day here in KC was supposed to be a day of love and celebration with a victory parade and rally in the downtown area.  Reports say the estimated attendance was somewhere around 1,000,000 fans.

Yet, instead of jubilation, tragedy unfolded.  Out of those 1 million human beings present it seems that 3 attendees (0.000003% of the crowd) created mayhem and death from the love and celebration generated by everyone else there.

Details are few as I type this, but authorities are saying that 22 people were injured in the gunfire that erupted.  Of those 22, the ages ranged from 8 to 47 years old.  One of those unfortunate people died from their injuries as doctors struggled to save her life in an operating room.  She was a wife and the mother of two children.  Another frightening and so incredibly sad part of this is that of those poor 22 souls, one half of them were under the age of 16.  Pause and think about that for a moment... 11 children were hurt and their lives changed forever.

Those poor people will never be the same.  So many will suffer long term injuries both visible and invisible.  All of this horror and sadness was caused by 3 people.  Last night I was at Ash Wednesday Mass and the first thing the congregation did was pray for the victims.  I had tears in my eyes.  Why anyone would create a tragedy like this defies reason.

My heart and my prayers go out to any and all that were affected by this.  I also want to give thanks to the first responders who jumped into the fray.  It takes a great deal of bravery to run towards gunfire.  Also, a special thanks to the private citizens who tackled one of the gunmen.  I cannot even fathom the amount of strength and bravery that took.  Thank you.  Many others private citizens helped those injured.  A nurse who happened to be there performed CPR on an injured man until EMTs arrived and took over.  All of that bravery represents the best of who we, as human beings are.  However, I'm sure all of those who helped would be much happier today if they simply hadn't had to be heroes.

Also, thank you to all of you who have reached out to me asking if I was ok.  I am honored beyond words by your concern.

In closing, I'd like to remind everyone that life is precious and unfortunately so fragile.  I often think of how many times a friend or loved walks out the door with a cheery "see you later" or "see you tonight" when in reality they never return.  Hug everyone you love and tell people you love them.  Finally I think the world could be a better place if people could follow two simple rules.  1. Be nice.  2. Show respect.  If you can just do those two things, things will work out and life will be better for all of us.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Stela: A Stellar Self-Curing Composite Shaking Up Dentistry?


My cohorts at Dental Products Report recently releaed an evaluation of Stela composite from SDI.  The evaluation was done by Catapult, which is run by my buddy Dr. Lou Graham.  I trust Catapult when they release an evaluation report.  You can read it here.

I haven't had a chance to use Stela personally... not yet.  However, I did do some research and here is what I found out...

For dentists seeking to streamline their restorative workflow and deliver exceptional results, SDI's Stela composite has emerged as a game-changer. This innovative, self-curing material promises efficiency, strength, and aesthetics, all in a simplified two-step process. But does it live up to the hype? Let's delve into the features and potential of Stela, evaluating its impact on both dentists and patients.

Goodbye Etching, Hello Simplicity: Stela eliminates the traditional etch, prime, bond, and light-cure sequence, saving valuable chair time. Its unique primer acts as a catalyst, initiating polymerization at the restoration interface, leading to a gap-free seal and reduced post-operative sensitivity. This simplified approach appeals to busy dentists seeking efficiency without compromising quality.

Universal Powerhouse: Stela comes in a single, universal shade designed to blend seamlessly with various tooth hues. This eliminates the need for shade matching and reduces inventory clutter, further simplifying the process.

Strength and Endurance: Despite its self-curing nature, Stela boasts impressive strength and flexural resistance, exceeding the properties of traditional composites. This makes it suitable for various restorations, from Class I and II cavities to Class III and V repairs.

Flowable Convenience: Stela's flowable consistency facilitates easy placement and adaptation, particularly in smaller cavities or challenging areas. This characteristic contributes to faster and more comfortable procedures for both dentists and patients.

Patient-Centric Benefits: The streamlined process and reduced manipulation offered by Stela can translate to shorter appointments and potentially less discomfort for patients. Additionally, the gap-free interface minimizes the risk of microleakage, a potential cause of sensitivity and future problems.

Considerations and Cautions: While Stela offers numerous advantages, it's important to consider its limitations. The single shade might not perfectly match all tooth tones in every case. Additionally, dentists accustomed to light-cured composites may require an adjustment period to adapt to the self-curing process.

The Verdict: Stela represents a significant advancement in self-curing composites, offering a simplified workflow, impressive strength, and potential patient benefits. While individual experiences may vary, its innovative approach positions it as a compelling option for dentists seeking to streamline their restorative procedures and deliver high-quality care.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Google Bard is *Now* Google Gemini

 In December, Google announced that they had released their latest AI product.  Basically, it is a next generation type product that was announced.

Last week, Google unveiled Gemini, touted as their most powerful and efficient AI model yet. But with every major AI announcement, questions of impact and potential pitfalls arise. So, is Gemini a groundbreaking development, or just another hyped-up product? Let's delve into the details and explore what it might mean for the future.

What is Gemini?

Gemini is a massive language model (LLM) built on Google's next-generation TPU architecture. It boasts several key features:

Multimodal capabilities: Unlike its predecessors, Gemini can process and understand information from various sources, including text, images, and audio. This allows for richer and more nuanced interactions.

Enhanced efficiency: Google claims Gemini is significantly faster and more cost-effective to train and run, paving the way for broader accessibility and potential new applications.

Advanced reasoning: Gemini promises improved capabilities in areas like problem-solving, creative writing, and code generation, pushing the boundaries of AI-powered tasks.

The Potential Impact:

If these claims hold true, Gemini has the potential to revolutionize various fields:

Education: Personalized learning powered by AI tutors could dramatically improve educational outcomes.

Healthcare: Diagnoses and treatments could be aided by AI-driven analysis of medical scans and data.

Customer service: AI-powered chatbots could offer more seamless and efficient support experiences.

Scientific research: New insights and discoveries could be unlocked by AI's ability to analyze massive datasets.

But What About the Risks?

As with any powerful technology, Gemini comes with potential risks:

Bias and discrimination: LLMs can inherit and amplify societal biases, leading to unfair outcomes. Rigorous testing and mitigation strategies are crucial.

Job displacement: As AI automates tasks, concerns arise about potential job losses and the need for workforce retraining.

Misinformation and manipulation: Malicious actors could exploit AI to spread misinformation or manipulate public opinion. robust safeguards and ethical guidelines are essential.

The Verdict?

While it's too early to definitively assess Gemini's long-term impact, its capabilities promise exciting possibilities. However, responsible development and deployment are critical to harness its potential while mitigating potential risks. We must ensure ethical considerations, transparency, and accessibility are central to AI's evolution.

This blog post merely scratches the surface. The conversation surrounding Gemini and its implications is just beginning. It's essential to stay informed, engaged, and critical as AI continues to shape our world.

To read Google's take, follow this link.  

Thursday, February 8, 2024

ADA Guidelines Recently Released Advise No Need for Lead Apron and Thyroid Collar


Recently, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs has released a new scientific paper regarding radiation use in dentistry.

The council, as expected, advises a minimal use of x-ray, stating that things like proper angulation, eliminating retakes, and using the lowest possible dosages to achieve necessary image are intrinsic to the safety of patients.  This comes as no surprise as for years they have advocated for the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) when taking radiographs.

The truly newsworthy item from the report deals with lead shielding of patients.  Since the advent of digital sensors and rectangular collimation, many have wondered about the true "need" for lead shielding when taking radiographs.  The amount of radiation used to achieve a reasonable image has decreased almost exponentially since digital sensors became common place.  Rectangular collimation works to focus the beam to a very tight dimension which means that 'scatter' from the beam is practically eliminated.  These two breakthroughs have been combined to greatly decrease the actual amount of radiation needed as well as keeping the beam focused to only the area needed for the image.

In my work as Chief Dental Editor for Dental Products Report, I've gotten a chance over the past two decades to speak to quite a few Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologists about the subject of shielding patients.  Not one ever told me that shielding was necessary, in fact everyone of them stated that their personal opinion, based on their knowledge, was that the time had passed where shields were absolutely imperative to ensure patient safety.

Now comes word, direct from the ADA that both thyroid collars and the thoracic/abdominal drape can be discontinued.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Hour of Need: Productivity Time Lost Due to Urgent Oral Health Needs


If you've ever had a dental emergency, whether it's trauma that severely fractured a tooth or some type of infection that's resulted in what we traditionally refer to as a 'toothache', you can immediately understand how debilitating the pain can be.  A new report from the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® looks into the impact such problems can cause that result in lost work hours and the resulting lack of productivity in the job market.  It's well worth a read.  Here is a summary with links if you'd like to learn more:

CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® has released a new report that shows that adults 18 and older in the US lose more than 243 million work or school hours annually due to oral health problems. The lost productivity time due to untreated dental disease costs the US an estimated $45 billion each year.  

 The visual report, The Hour of Need: Productivity Time Lost Due to Urgent Oral Health Needs, reveals that oral health problems and unplanned dental visits have a greater impact on daily activities such as work and school for individuals with lower incomes, no dental insurance, and less education.  

 “No one should have to sacrifice their schedule or pay because of preventable health issues,” said Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, president and CEO of CareQuest Institute. “This new report underscores the urgency of promoting equitable access to oral and overall health care, particularly for those with lower incomes and education levels.” 

 The report also finds that dental issues don’t just impact the person experiencing them; caregivers’ and parents’ lives are also impacted by unexpected dental visits and tending to oral pain. In fact, approximately 5.7 million parents/guardians missed an estimated total of 38.5 million productive hours due to their children’s oral pain or unplanned dental visit. Additionally, caregivers reported missing an estimated total of 22 million hours of productivity time as a result of either taking those for whom they care to an unplanned dental visit or staying home with them due to their oral pain. 

 Key findings, summarized in the visual report include: 

  • Lost productivity time due to untreated dental disease costs the US an estimated $45 billion each year. 
  • Adults reported missing productivity time for their own oral pain or unplanned dental visits (182.6 million hours) and the oral pain or dental visits of children (38.5 million hours) or adults (22 million hours) in their care. 
  • Nine million adults lost more than 60 million total work/school hours due to others’ oral health problems. 
  • Approximately 5.7 million parents/guardians missed an estimated total of 38.5 million productive hours due to their children’s oral pain or unplanned dental visit. 
  • Approximately 3.3 million adults said that, in the past year, the adult for whom they care had oral pain or an unexpected dental visit. 

The report is based on findings from CareQuest Institute’s State of Oral Health Equity in America (SOHEA), an annual, nationally representative survey of 5,240 adults about knowledge, attitudes, experiences, and behaviors related to oral health. 

About CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® 

CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® is a national nonprofit championing a more equitable future where every person can reach their full potential through excellent health. We do this through our work in philanthropy, analytics and data insights, health transformation, policy and advocacy, and education as well as our leadership in dental benefits and innovation advancements. We collaborate with thought leaders, health care providers, patients, and local, state, and federal stakeholders, to accelerate oral health care transformation and create a system designed for everyone. To learn more, visit and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

ARMIS BIOPHARMA® Debuts the “Trifecta of Dental Infection Control” during CMW 2024


ArmiGard™, ArmiCare™, and ArmiClenz™ Deliver Exceptional, Non-Toxic Antimicrobial Protection for Oral Appliances, Hands and Surfaces

Armis Biopharma®, Inc.,  a rapidly emerging developer of Frontline Solutions for Infection Control  will be exhibiting for the first time at booth #1943 during the 2024 Chicago Midwinter Meeting.  During CMW 2024, the company will be showcasing “The Trifecta of Dental Infection Control” that includes the following three products:

1. ArmiGard™ Advanced Hygiene for Oral Appliances: Armis Biopharma’s flagship product is a non-toxic, non-corrosive solution specially formulated to remove 99.9999% of odor-causing bacteria found on any oral appliance, device, denture, aligner, or CPAP. ArmiGard keeps any oral appliance clean, fresh, and clear without distortion. 

Armis Biopharma is a partner of Viva Learning Institute and ArmiGard is the official oral appliance solution for Vivos-trained clinicians. 

2. ArmiCare® The Hand Friendly Sanitizer: This specially formulated, lavender scented hand sanitizer kills germs while keeping your hands hydrated, not sticky or dry. ArmiCare is tough on bugs, yet gentle on hands.

ArmiCare is the official hand sanitizer for the 2024 OSAP Dental Infection Control Boot Camp.

3. ArmiClenz® - Aim. Spray. Sanitize:  A multi-surface, multi-purpose disinfectant, sanitizer, and deodorizer that kills bacteria and the 99% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID, and Human Rhinovirus 42 (the common cold).  Take aim on harmful pathogens with ArmiClenz.

The Armis Biopharma Difference

ArmiGard and ArmiClenz both share core ingredients that are key to creating a potent single step antimicrobial/antitoxin platform. This proprietary peracid/hydrogen peroxide-based non-systemic antimicrobial agent has been verified by independent laboratories to eliminate a comprehensive number of bacterial, viral, and fungal threats present in today's environment.

“We’re very excited to leverage the success that Armis Biopharma has achieved in the medical industry and apply it to specific dental industry product applications,” said Michael Voss, Armis Biopharma’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Our goal is to raise the bar on the efficacy and safety of commonly used products that sanitize oral appliances, hands, and surfaces. We also have another innovative dental product in development that we will introduce in the upcoming year.”

Chicago Midwinter Show Special

When you visit Armis BioPharma at booth #1943 and allow your badge to be scanned, you’ll be able to purchase the Armis Biopharma Travel Safe Defense Kit, which includes  a 4–6-month supply of Armis Biopharma’s Trifecta of Dental Infection Control  listed above for only  $59.99. Regular price is $79.00.  The Travel Safe Defense Kit protects against travel-related pathogens in three ways:

1. ArmiGard – Effectively sanitizes your oral appliance between uses, snacks, meals, and socializing. 

2. ArmiCare –  Gently sanitize hands after touching public surfaces or after shaking hands. 

3. ArmiClenz –  Quickly sanitizes public surfaces such as tray tables, doorknobs, TV remotes, etc.   

According to Debbie Zafiropoulos, Armis Biopharma’s Business Development and Education Manager, and resident road warrior, “For the past several months, I’ve been relying on The Armis BioPharma Travel Safe Defense Kit to help me arrive at my destinations feeling healthy and protected from harmful pathogens. I can’t wait to share these products with my friends and colleagues during CMW 2024.”

For more information, visit www For dental practice sales, dealer, and distributor inquiries, contact Debbie Zafiropoulos at or text her at (561) 358-7660.  

Follow Armis Biopharma Dental on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter/X.

About Armis BioPharma:

Armis Biopharma, Inc is a privately held biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Fort Collins, CO that is devoted to developing and commercializing products that are effective in reducing the risk of infectious disease. 

The company is the developer of Veriox®  Technology - a proprietary peracid/hydrogen peroxide-based, non-systemic antimicrobial agent that has been verified by independent laboratories to eliminate a comprehensive number of bacterial, viral, and fungal threats present in today's environment.

Product development is focused on surface disinfection, human and animal wound care, oral care, food safety, and water line safety.  For more information, visit 

Monday, February 5, 2024

SDI & DRNA Partner to Support Amalgam Recycling


Well over a decade ago my partner at the time, Dr. Kelly Suchman helped me focus on the environmental aspect of our office (we affectionately referred to her as "The Queen of Green").  Due to her influence we began to look at ways to recycle more and make the office more environmentally friendly.

Back then, most offices in the US had their vacuum systems connected straight to the municipal sewer system so everything that was vacuumed up during dental treatment went 'right down the drain'.  It wasn't that way in Europe.  Dental offices in Europe were using devices called amalgam separators to remove the amalgam dust from the waste water.  Dr. Kelly and I were intrigued by the concept of doing more to help the environment and an amalgam separator seemed like a wise idea.

As if by a psychic connection, I was contacted at about that time by DRNA (Dental Recycling of North America).  They are one of the biggest providers of amalgam separators in the US and we decided to have one installed in the office.  We have been customers since that time.

Of course, now having an amalgam separator is required by federal law, but I'm proud that our office was way ahead of that curve.

Why did I choose DRNA?

DRNA provides a turnkey system.  They watch the calendar so that we don't have to.  Every year they send us a fresh separator unit.  All we do is call our dental supplier, Goetze Dental, and setup an appointment.  One of the Goetze technicians comes to the office, disconnects the old DRNA unit, and then connects the new to our system.

DRNA provides a shipping container for the old unit and the Goetze Dental technician puts the old DRNA unit into the container as part of the service call.  DRNA has a hazardous waste service and all we have to do is call for a pickup.  The hazmat company picks up the old unit, signs a form that indicates it was turned over to them, and loads the unit on their truck.  They then take the unit and make sure it is disposed of properly.

The DRNA system is simple.  They keep track of everything for us to the point that all we have to do is call Goetze Dental to replace the unit and then call DRNA to have it picked up.

Now comes the announcement that dental materials manufacturer SDI is partnering with DRNA to bring the system to even more offices.  I want to congratulate SDI for helping their customers be in compliance with the law, but even more because, whether it's the law or not, it's good for the planet and for all of us.

We have a nice article on the DPR website that gives all the DRNA & SDI partnership information.  Be sure to read it!

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Important notice: Temporary Disruption to DTX Studio™ Software Services for System Upgrade

Image ©Nobel Biocare 

Since I know a lot of you folks are using DTX Studio™for your imaging solution, I thought I'd pass this along.  An upgrade to their system is happening soon (February 2nd to February 5th) and while they have it scheduled for over the upcoming weekend, some of you may be trying to access your data over that timespan.  The company always tries to keep an updated list of client emails, but occasionally things don't reach the intended recipient or get eaten by gremlins in the interwebs. So I figured I'd provide this info as a public service.  DTX Studio™is a great imaging and design program which a lot of us rely on.  That means upgrades happen and unfortunately occasional downtime is really the only way that new functionalities are delivered. 

Here is the info I received today regarding the pending upgrade:

Dear Valued DTX Studio™ Software Customer,
As part of our commitment to enhancing our services, we are excited to inform you about the upcoming upgrade of our ERP system. This move is a significant step forward in improving the efficiency and capabilities of our operations. Although we are doing our best to make this upgrade as smooth as possible, we would like to inform you in advance that during this transition, there will be a temporary impact on our license processing and in-software orders processing.
Starting Friday 2nd Feb, and until Monday 5th Feb 2024, DTX Studio licensing and ordering process will be temporarily out of order, affecting:

No new licenses can be activated (nor upgraded)
New installations of DTX Studio software and activations /deactivations of Plus+ features for DTX Studio Clinic won’t be possible

Orders via software won’t be possible:

Surgical templates for local production (in DTX Studio Implant: STL export to print locally/in lab)
Surgical templates from centralized production (in DTX Studio Implant: ordering NobelGuide)
NobelProcera services
Lab orders
3shape orders
Implant consumables orders
Scan & Design orders 

We understand the importance of seamless operations for your business and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
This migration is a real milestone for us and will result in an improved experience for you. The upgraded operating system will enhance our ability to serve you better, providing more streamlined processes and increased reliability.
We appreciate your understanding and patience during this brief period of disruption.
If you have any urgent inquiries or concerns during this time, please don't hesitate to contact your local Nobel Biocare representative.
Thank you for your continued trust in our services.
Best regards,
Nobel Biocare Team

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Learn Bud’s Simplified Layering Technique that Produces Reliable Results in Composite Bonding.


The Center for Esthetic Excellence (CEE) has scheduled a Free virtual lecture entitled “The Three P’s of Composite: Potential, Predictability and Profitability” presented by Dr. Buddy Mopper, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m. CST, March 20, 2024 including an hour question and answer session following the presentation from 2:00 — 3:00.

Dr. Mopper is a world-renowned pioneer of direct-resin bonding who has taught thousands of clinicians how to successfully incorporate direct resin bonding into their practices. In this Free 4 CE-credit course, you will understand how to utilize bonding in ways you never expected.  

Bud will show you how to get consistently reliable results and will give recipes for success for every restorative situation. Learn all about the dentistry that you are not currently doing in your practice, and how doing more of it can benefit you financially and professionally.

This 4-hour lecture will demonstrate how to make long-lasting, seamless and invisible restorations of all types. Learn an in-depth direct approach technique for Class III, Class IV, Class V, diastema closure, direct resin veneer, masking dark teeth, incisal reinforcement, repairs and more. From simple to advanced techniques, this course covers it all. Please join Cosmedent for The 3 P’s of Composite: Potential, Predictability and Profitability on March 20, 2024. Registration is free, a gift from Cosmedent.

For more information regarding this Free course, please contact Erika Heier at 800-837-2321 or

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Veterinary Dentistry


Who doesn't love animals?

Today's post has two parts to it.  The first is a fascinating and feel good story that comes from the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington.  It seems that one of the zoo's Sumatran tigers suffered a fractured tooth.  While Sanjiv the tiger was chewing on one of his toys. he fractured one of his lower canine teeth (even though it is in a tiger, the tooth is still called a canine).  The event was witnessed by one of his keepers and it was discovered that not only did he fracture the tooth, he fractured it severely.  Upon inspection of the fragment, it was discovered to be almost an inch long.  The fracture also created another problem.  Beyond breaking the tooth, the fracture had also exposed the pulp inside the tooth.  The pulp is soft tissue that contains blood vessels and nerves.  When the pulp as exposed it creates a pathway for bacteria to get into the body which can cause an infection.

So the good folks at Point Defiance Zoo went to work to get Sanjiv all fixed up.  This is where I think the story becomes really fascinating, from a dental point of view.

The zoo brought in Dr. Alice Sievers.  She is a board certified veterinary dentist and oral surgeon.  She and the team sedated the tiger and proceeded to perform a root canal on the injured tooth.

There is a great story covering this on the Seattle Times website as well as some pretty incredible photos as well.

The second part of today's post is about the market for veterinary dentistry.  Like all branches of healthcare, the market that cares for animals is seeing growth as knowledge increases and many pet owners are willing to to spend to keep their pets in optimum health.

The market for veterinary dental instruments & equipment is expected to grow from a 2022 level of $358.2 million to a whopping $615.3million by 2031.

One of the points I find fascinating is that the technology growth we have experienced in the treatment of human dental patients is now being adopted by the veterinary industry.  They are now using things like lasers and digital radiography.

If you are interested in diving a little deeper into the subject, there is a great report from Transparency Market Research that provides much more detailed information.  

Monday, January 29, 2024

Dr. David Little and Dr. John Flucke Join CandidPro’s World-class Faculty


Several years back I decided to become trained in clear aligner orthodontic therapy.  I had several friends who had taken the plunge and their enjoyment and enthusiasm was contagious.  That got me to engage with the process and I have had a terrific time with this treatment technology.

Last year I was looking at options in the "Clear Aligner" space and I decided to evaluate CandidPro and see how their system would work for me.  That evaluation turned into the decision to make CandidPro the treatment of choice for my patients.

I am tremendously honored to be part of the Candid Academy Faculty and even more so to be able to also work with my good friend and colleague Dr. David Little.  I've know David for probably 15 years... maybe more, and I know that he is going to bring incredible value to the faculty!

Here is the press release from CandidPro making the announcement.  As an FYI, what follows is from CandidPro.  I am extremely humbled by what they have said about me.


Dr. David Little and Dr. John Flucke Join CandidPro’s World-class Faculty

Columbus, OH, January 29, 2024 /Candid/ - Candid, the company behind the revolutionary CandidPro clear aligner system, is opening 2024 with two more significant additions to its already impressive Candid Academy Faculty. David Little, DDS, and John Flucke, DDS, have agreed to bring their expertise and support to CandidPro. With these two industry powerhouses on board, CandidPro is positioned to expand its reach, enhance its clinical expertise, and bring even more value to its providers. 

Dental practitioners have been drawn to CandidPro due to its unique combination of leading aligner technology, treatment planning support from US-licensed orthodontists, remote monitoring included with every case, and game-changing approach to partnership. Esteemed practitioners like Dr. Flucke and Dr. Little joining the Candid Academy faculty is further evidence of CandidPro’s competitive combination of quality and service to an industry long dissatisfied with traditional clear aligner offerings.

Dr. Little practices in San Antonio, TX, where he focuses on restorative treatments and implantology. He’s also a world-renowned international lecturer and clinical researcher who has worked with most clear aligner products on the market. Today, CandidPro is Dr. Little’s clear aligner of choice, and he is even a CandidPro patient.

“CandidPro is delivering the support and technology that dental professionals need to grow,” says Dr. Little. “My patients love the convenience of CandidMonitoring, and it actually feels like I have a partner that listens to my needs and supports my team. I’m thrilled to help more providers do great things with CandidPro.”

Dr. Flucke operates a practice in Lee’s Summit, MO, and serves as Tech Editor and Chief Dental Editor for Dental Products Report. He’s a leading voice in dental technology and has a deep passion for using technology to improve patient outcomes. His test drive of CandidPro—featured among Dental Products Report’s Top 100 list for 2023—and specifically CandidMonitoring™, went so well that CandidPro is now the preferred clear aligner system for his practice. 

“Last year, I began working with CandidPro as a bit of a trial and was so impressed that it has become my go-to clear aligner partner,” says Dr. Flucke. “I’m looking forward to helping more providers achieve great results with this technology.”

About CandidPro

CandidPro believes that dentists deserve more when it comes to clear aligners. That’s why its orthodontic platform leverages best-in-class technology, a game-changing approach to partnership, and clinical expertise to give doctors more control, more convenience, and more happy clear aligner patients. 

To see the official CandidPro press release regarding this, you can use this link to get there.  

Learn more at:


Thursday, January 25, 2024

National Mobile & Teledentistry Conference Celebrates Year 5 In Dallas, Texas on March 1-2, 2024


Over the past few years I have begun to become more passionate about the percentage of our population who simply cannot physically get to a dental office.  The science of healthcare has expanded so greatly and we are so much better able to take care of patients that people are living longer than ever before.  What I find unfortunate is that I feel our ability to heal has begun to exceed our ability to care.

We need a dedicated group of people who are willing to engage with patients by "going remote".  This will involve a team effort of people and systems that can go into nursing homes, assisted living centers, and other remote locations to gather data and treat patients who are unable to travel to a traditional dental office for care.

That's why I want to give you all some info today on the National Mobile & Teledentistry Alliance.  The group is getting ready to hold their 5th conference in Dallas soon.  Below, you'll find information on the organization as well as the press release that has details on their upcoming meeting.  If you would like to become a member of the organization, you can find membership info here.  


Founded in 2019, the American Mobile & Teledentistry Alliance (AMTA) is designated a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization and is the only professional association focused on the future of Alternative Care Delivery Models. AMTA is designed to support the dental professionals, dental practices and brands around the world who are utilizing mobile, virtual and other non-traditional care delivery methods.

Mission: To eliminate barriers to oral health internationally by promoting care outside of traditional dental settings.

Vision: The American Mobile and Teledentistry Alliance promotes equitable oral health services through alternative care models.


  • Advocacy
  • Outreach & Awareness
  • Continuing Education
  • Standard of Care
  • Collaboration

The National Mobile & Teledentistry Conference

The National Mobile & Teledentistry Conference (NMTC), the only educational conference geared towards virtual and mobile dental care, is excited to announce our 5-year anniversary at our upcoming event on March 1-2, 2024 in Dallas, TX. 

This year’s event is pivotal as it represents the future of dentistry and focuses on collaboration with industry stakeholders including the Texas Oral Health Coalition, People of Color in DSO, Speaking Consulting Network and more. Two-days of educational courses will provide introductory and deep-dive education on the implementation, best practices, and protocols for organizations who are currently implementing or looking to implement service offerings beyond the brick-and-mortar. "What we’ve learned through the pandemic is that patients may never again walk through our practice doors but certainly will let us walk through their doors," said Sonya Dunbar, cofounder of NMTC. "This is critical as we think about how our dental practices will continue to be successful in the future." 

NMTC brings together stakeholders, management, and decision-makers from general and specialty practices, public health organizations, DSOs, MSOs, independent practices, and technology and product companies. “Our annual event is unique in that it brings together stakeholders who understand that operational efficiency and same store growth are vital for the future success of dental practices,” said Melissa Turner, cofounder of NMTC. “Because of this, our platform creates space for innovation, partnerships, and conversations that significantly shape the future of the clinical and business sides of dentistry.” Courses include education on artificial intelligence, remote patient monitoring, how to get started in virtual care, best practices for mobile and portable care, how to add a virtual or mobile arm to a brick-and-mortar practice, medical-dental integration and prevention-based models of care.. 

This year, NMTC will again host The Denobi Awards, a world-wide industry awards program honoring unsung heroes in dentistry, on the closing night of the 3-day event. Ten individuals and one dental team will be announced live on stage at the annual red-carpet gala. The gala is open to the public and tickets are on sale now at 

Since launch, the community also founded the American Mobile & Teledentistry Alliance (AMTA), a 501c(4) membership association geared towards supporting the dental professionals, dental practices and brands around the world who are utilizing mobile, virtual and other non-traditional care delivery methods. Individual, organizational and corporate memberships are available at 

Press Contact 

Melissa Turner, Co-Founder 

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

New Study Determines Quality is Better than Quantity when it Comes to Sleep


Humans require sleep, that's a well proven fact.  Not only do we need sleep, we suffer for the lack of it.  It's something we all know, but I think it bears repeating from time to time.

In the last decade or so there has been an expansion in our medical knowledge base of sleep... especially the discovery, diagnosis, and treatment of OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea).  That problem is basically an epidemic now that we know how to diagnose it.  Look at the number of people we all know who use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device.  Those all too common (though necessary) machines are prescribed for people who don't get enough oxygen when they sleep due to obstruction of the airway by the tongue, airway diameter, and a multitude of other factors.

60% of people that have been prescribed a CPAP don't use them for a variety of factors, but the most common one is simply that they are uncomfortable.  As someone who suffers with OSA, once it was diagnosed and addressed, I was amazed by how much better I felt.  That experience is what lead me to study the disease and to learn how to treat it.

One of the things that all of us human beings suffer from is denial, and that is one of the things that keeps people from dealing with this problem.  Folks tend to think "I sleep at night, therefore I don't have this problem."  However, what many don't realize is that just because you are sleeping, that doesn't equate to getting the rest and rejuvenation that proper sleep provides.  Suffers of OSA sleep restlessly and wake up often, though those "wake up" moments can be so brief that people truly don't remember them or even think they occur.

However, if your brain is not going through the proper phases of sleep, this can have tremendous effects on both mental and physical aspects of your life.  Hence today's post.  A recent study that was published in September of 2023 has shown that quality of sleep and not just sleeping, can have effects on patient mortality.

I realize that for the non-medical folks who are regular readers of the blog scientific studies might be something you'd rather not read as you may spend more time trying to figure out what it says than it would take you to read the study itself.  However, even if you don't have any type of medical background I truly think at least reading the Abstract at the beginning of the article will give you a better understanding.

The study can be found at the Oxford Academic website.  You can read it by following this link.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The One and Only: DMG Launches Innovative, One-Shade Ecosite One


In the last few years, we have seen more and more entries into the "single shade" market.  This is a huge benefit as patients get restorations that closely match their natural tooth and doctors get the benefit of not needing to keep a massive inventory of multiple shades.  It's also a tremendous advantage when there is a tooth that doesn't fall neatly into the standard shade guide.

DMG makes quality products and I'm glad to see them entering this market.  The more innovation we have in the industry, the more we all benefit.

One-shade posterior composite delivers long-term color stability 

DMG launched Ecosite One, its revolutionary one-shade layering composite at the recent 2023 Greater New York Dental Meeting.

The innovative Ecosite One is the newest member of the complete family of Ecosite restorative composite materials that includes Ecosite Bulk Fill – the original item in the line – and the newly- launched anterior/posterior nanohybrid composite, Ecosite Elements.

Ecosite One is already blazing its own trail, setting new standards in the field of posterior restorations with just a single shade. A curing depth of 3 mm and a rapid polymerization within 10 seconds will thrill clinicians seeking the outstanding esthetics of composite layering technology while saving significant time in the process.

Present in all Ecosite composites is the eye-catching “Push-and-Flow effect.” Noticeably firm at the onset, the material quickly becomes significantly softer for ideal sculptability, enabling optimal adaptation and eliminating cracks and bubbles in the critical contact surfaces between the individual layers. Unique DMG-NC-1 (non-clustering) technology, also present across the entire Ecosite family, enables a homogenous distribution of particles to deliver optimum working characteristics and effortless polishability for a high-gloss finish, and outstanding esthetic results.

Other key benefits delivered by Ecosite One include:

• Low shrinkage stress

• Exceptional stain resistance for long-term color stability (data on file)

• Indicated for:

o Class I and II posterior fillings, including individual cusps o Class V fillings

o Core build-up

o Extended fissure sealing

o Restorations in deciduous teeth

To order a sample today, dental professionals may visit https://dmg-

For more information about DMG, please visit

About DMG

DMG manufactures and distributes a full range of market-leading dental materials and equipment that are internationally recognized for their quality and innovation. Known for its breakthrough dental technology – including flagship products like Luxatemp® and LuxaCore® Z Dual, the revolutionary Icon® resin infiltrant, LuxaCrown® long-term crown and bridge material, and new additions such as Ecosite Elements and Ecosite One restorative composites, and DentaMile® 3D printing solution, complete with software, hardware and resins – DMG is committed to helping provide holistic solutions and streamlined workflows for dental and lab professionals to meet their needs through innovation, collaboration, and dedication. For more information about DMG products, or to find a sales representative, please visit online at, or call 800-662-6383.

Monday, January 22, 2024

DWX-42W Still Impressing as we go Over 20 Months of Usage


I was excited to vote in favor of awarding the DGShape DWX-42W mill with the Cellerant Best of Class Award for 2023.  As most folks in the dental industry know, the Cellerant BOC is a prestigious award and those of us on the voting panel do not our responsibilities lightly.

One of the things about dentistry that continues to make it exciting for me is the almost continual advancements we see and are able to utilize to provide greater efficiency and, more importantly, better and better patient outcomes.  Every year I see things that are incredibly impressive and that keeps me fired up about helping my patients and also about informing my peers about the latest and greatest.

I started using CAD/CAM in my practice a long time ago.  My first foray into the product category was in 1998.  Amazingly (compared to the standards of today) I had to boot the system with a 3.5 inch floppy disk!  Back then the process of getting digital impressions was difficult, time consuming, and sometimes just no possible.  The restorations were clinically acceptable and tooth colored.  Patients were impressed with them and the whole system worked, but I knew the industry could do better.  I tell those experiences so that you understand, I've got a decent background in the product category.

I stepped away from CAD/CAM in the late 2000s as I felt that the upgrades to my system were becoming too cost prohibitive.  However, by that time I was well entrenched in writing, lecturing, and consulting which allowed me to stay in close contact with the products in that category and evaluate them.

I followed the category for several years.  I had thought about jumping back in around 2014, but at that time 3D printing was starting make inroads and I thought it was 'the next big thing' and that we'd be printing permanent restorations soon.  Obviously I was wrong in that assessment.  Don't get me wrong, 3D printing has its place in dentistry and we utilize a SprintRay printer for lots of things, but I'm still not printing permanent restorations.  

So after I figured out that milling had a long and bright future  ahead, I made the decision to get back into the in office milling aspect of practice.  I looked at several companies and after seeing the results the DWX-42W could deliver as well as durability of the machine, I made my decision.

I was really impressed with the clinical results.  I had watched the machines evolve and improve over almost two decades and what was now being created were restorations that rivaled those done by human hands.  Combining that with the ease of use was what sealed the deal for me.

The results are spectacular and we are able to provide same appointment, same day, and JIT (Just In Time) restorations for our patients.  After the first of the year, I am planning a post to discuss some new materials that I've used for a while now with impressive results. For today, my focus is to let you know how amazing our experience has been.

Our office has been using the DWX-42W since April of 2022 and it has delivered even better than I anticipated.  In-house milling is a service that patients appreciate and my team, especially Super 
Assistant D-rey enjoy being able to provide.  If you are considering an in-office milling solution, you really need to put the DWX-42W on your list to consider.  I'm confident your experience will be similar to mine.  The device is *highly recommended*.  

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Association of Poor Oral Health With Neuroimaging Markers of White Matter Injury in Middle-Aged Participants in the UK Biobank


In the early days of my postgraduate training, the concept of the "oral systemic connection" was not overly studied or emphasized.  Due to the history of the medical professions, for some reason in the middle ages dentistry and medicine split apart from each other and have stayed that way ever since.  That lead to the now almost unfathomable situation of a profession dedicated to the health of the oral cavity and the head & neck while a totally different medical profession was in charge of the rest of the body.

Due to that, dentistry and medicine often looked. at these systems as separate.  Thank goodness that has changed in the past 30 or so years.  Now professionals are trained (as they should be) to view the head & neck as connected to the rest of the body.

That's why I'm thrilled to see scientific papers that study those links as a way to improve overall health.  

Obviously, the mouth and the oral cavity are an opening to the environment outside the body and because of that many bacteria and other pathogens first penetrate the body through that link to the outside.  That means that oftentimes the things will cause problems in the oral cavity first and then progress to other parts of the body.

Over the years, researchers have found both chemicals and pathogens in areas that started in the oral cavity and then, once gaining a toehold there, move on to create serious problems in other parts of the body.  It's well established that oral pathogens can cause cardiovascular problems which can lead to the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels, especially in the coronary arteries that provide oxygen and nutrients to the cardiac muscle of the heart.  

However, those types of problems are just the "tip of the iceberg" and now researchers are investigating the connections between oral pathologies and the brain.

So without further ado, today I'd like to provide you a link to a paper that I personally find pretty interesting.  This paper is available on the website of "the most widely read and highly cited peer-reviewed neurology journal" appropriate titled "Neurology".

Here is the link.  It is fascinating reading...  

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Agepha Pharma and Caristo Diagnostics Team Up to Fight Coronary Inflammation


I recently received the information in this post and felt compelled to share it with all of you who visit and read here on a daily basis.  For some time now, the "Oral Systemic Connection" has been discussed and study extensively.  The mouth is connected to the body, not only physically, but in myriad ways of chemistry as well as disease. 

One of those 'connections' that has been studied and proven is the connection between inflammation in the periodontal tissues and inflammation in blood vessels in other parts of the body... especially in the heart.  With that in mind, when I read the information I received regarding Caristo & Agepha Pharma I thought this is a subject that would be of interest to all of you... 

Agepha Pharma, a leading multinational pharmaceutical company with the first FDA-approved anti-inflammatory cardiovascular treatment (LODOCO®– colchicine, 0.5 mg tablets), together with Caristo Diagnostics, a leading cardiac disease diagnostics company with the novel CaRi-Heart® technology to visualize and quantify coronary inflammation, announced today their collaboration to improve awareness and clinical education about the central role of inflammation in coronary artery disease.

The companies will jointly support a series of educational forums among clinicians beginning later this year highlighting the significant new scientific breakthroughs that are radically transforming the traditional approach to heart disease prevention and prediction. They will also selectively support clinical research involving the CaRi-Heart technology for coronary inflammation diagnostics and LODOCO 0.5 mg tablets for therapeutic intervention.

“Caristo shares Agepha Pharma’s passion for fighting coronary inflammation, which is one of the primary drivers of heart attack risks,” said Frank Cheng, CEO of Caristo Diagnostics. “We look forward to collaborating with Agepha Pharma in order to combat heart disease as the number one cause of death globally.”

“Together with Caristo we are proud to lead this revolution in preventative cardiology,” said Steve Andrzejewski, Agepha Pharma Head of US Operations. “In the future, patients with coronary inflammation can be identified by the CaRi-Heart technology and treated by our FDA-approved LODOCO 0.5 mg tablets.”

More than 8 million Americans visit hospital emergency departments experiencing chest pain every year. Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is routinely used to diagnose CAD caused by the narrowing (stenosis) or blockage of the coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood. But in three quarters of patients, there is no clear sign of significant narrowing at the time of CCTA. Nonetheless, many of these people still die from a heart attack within a few years, driven by inflammation that is now detectable in routine CCTA scans with the CaRi-Heart technology. Clinical trials have shown significant reductions in cardiovascular risk through therapeutic targeting of coronary inflammation with anti-inflammatory treatments such as colchicine, but identifying those at highest risk due to undiagnosed coronary artery inflammation has great potential for more patients to be treated effectively, to prevent more heart attacks and save more lives.

Agepha’s LODOCO inhibits microtubule assembly and has multiple anti-inflammatory mechanisms. In June 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved LODOCO as the first anti-inflammatory atheroprotective cardiovascular treatment demonstrated to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, coronary revascularization, and cardiovascular death in adult patients with established atherosclerotic disease or with multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The effectiveness and safety of LODOCO in preventing heart attacks and strokes is supported by randomized trial data reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and European Heart Journal, while data emphasizing the critical need to address inflammation as much as high cholesterol in heart disease patients has recently been described in The Lancet. Specifically, LODOCO reduces cardiac event risk in adult patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) by an additional 31% as compared to placebo.

Caristo’s CaRi-Heart technology applies advanced AI algorithms to routine cardiac CT scans to visualize and quantify coronary inflammation. Since 2018, exceptional validation results showing CaRi-Heart® technology’s ability to aid the prediction of heart attacks have been published in leading medical journals including the Lancet, JACC, European Heart Journal, and Cardiovascular Research. New research recently presented at the American Heart Association’s Late Breaking Science Sessions has found that the CaRi-Heart® technology can predict fatal and non-fatal cardiac events independently from routine clinical risk scores and standard coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) interpretation, and can significantly impact treatment for CAD by transforming risk stratification and management of patients undergoing routine CCTA. Among patients who had no plaque and zero calcium at time of CCTA, those with the most abnormal CaRi-Heart test results experienced 11-fold higher risk for cardiac mortality and 5-fold higher risk for major adverse cardiac events (MACE) than those who had normal CaRi-Heart test results. The CaRi-Heart® technology is in clinical use in the UK, EU and Australia, and is limited to research use in the U.S. before the FDA grants marketing authorization.

About AGEPHA Pharma

AGEPHA Pharma is a family-owned, leading multinational pharmaceutical company focused on bringing treatments to patients who need them most. Since 1947, they have invested in proven therapies, including a wide range of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and nutritional supplements, supported by a highly qualified team of clinical scientists and regulatory experts.

For more information, please visit AGEPHA Pharma’s U.S. corporate website or follow AGEPHA Pharma on Twitter (@AGEPHAPharmaUS) and LinkedIn.

About Caristo Diagnostics Limited

Caristo Diagnostics Limited is a global leader in cardiac and vascular disease diagnostics and risk prediction. Founded in 2018 as a spin-out company from the University of Oxford, the world’s #1 research university, Caristo has developed a portfolio of imaging-based and AI-assisted platforms that can be applied to aid the prediction and diagnosis of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Caristo was highlighted by Nature in 2020 as one of the most exciting science-based companies to have emerged from academic labs. Find Caristo online on its website, LinkedIn and X.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Zyn: Beyond the Nicotine Buzz - Potential Oral Health Risks for Your Patients


 For probably the last 5 years or so... most likely more, the concern for high schoolers and nicotine has been vaping.  It seemed that once cigarettes became more heavily regulated (and somewhat uncool to boot), someone figured out a different way to deliver nicotine to customers.  The idea of living on the edge has always been something that is attractive to young folks.

Have you heard of Zyn yet?  Until recently I had not.  However, once I heard about it, I decided to do some checking.  While today's post is by no means scientific, it certainly is culled from what I learned about the product from the comfort of my desk and doing some searches.  What really triggered my interest is when I learned that in 2022 Phillip Morris International (PMI) acquired the company Swedish Match for a rumored $16 billion (with a B).  That acquisition meant that Swedish Match, which manufacturers Zyn, was now owned by a huge corporate powerhouse that has made a large portion of their profits from products that contain nicotine.

Zyn pouches, the sleek, flavored nicotine pouches seemingly taking the world by storm, have become a popular alternative to traditional cigarettes and vaping among teenagers and young adults. While marketed as "smoke-free" and "tobacco-free," these products pack a hidden punch, especially for your dental patients. As dental professionals, it's crucial to be aware of the potential oral health risks Zyn poses and effectively communicate them to your patients.

A Nicotine Trojan Horse in Disguise:

Zyn pouches may not contain tobacco leaves, but they're far from harmless. Each pouch is loaded with synthetic nicotine, highly addictive and capable of wreaking havoc on the developing brain and body. Studies have linked nicotine use to numerous health problems, including:

Gum recession and tooth loss: Nicotine constricts blood vessels, limiting blood flow to the gums and supporting tissues. This can lead to gum disease, bone loss around the teeth, and eventual tooth loss.

Increased risk of oral cancer?:  While nicotine is not a known carcinogen, it can be involved in promoting the growth and spread of cancer cells.  According to a study that can be read on the NIH website:  

At present, it is not possible to draw a conclusion whether nicotine itself may act as a complete carcinogen. In mice studies with NNK as an initiator, nicotine acts as a promoter after injection or dermal absorption, but not after oral administration. In drinking water experiments, there is considerable first-pass metabolism of nicotine before nicotine enters the systemic circulation. As a result, serum concentration is much lower after ingestion than after i.p. administration. Nicotine enhanced tumor growth and progression after injection of malignant cells in mice. Enhancements were found both after exposure of nicotine by i.p. injection, oral, and skin administration. Moreover, cotinine did also enhance tumor growth.

While the long-term cancer risk of Zyn is still being studied, any nicotine exposure raises concerns... especially in young humans whose bodies are still undergoing growth and development.

Sensitivity and staining: Zyn's high acidity and abrasive ingredients have the potential to wear down tooth enamel, leading to increased sensitivity to hot and cold. The pouches can also stain teeth, impacting aesthetics.

Beyond the Individual:

The popularity of Zyn among teenagers is particularly alarming. Its candy-like flavors and discreet use make it an attractive gateway to nicotine addiction and potentially more harmful tobacco products later. As dental professionals, we have a responsibility to educate our young patients and their parents about the dangers of Zyn and advocate for stricter regulations to curb its accessibility.  It seems to be advertised heavily on TikToc and the social media advertising algorithms have it popping up on teens phones frequently.

My Take:

My nicotine story is a bit interesting for someone in healthcare.  I grew up when "dipping" was a huge thing socially.  There were lots of young men in my circle of friends and acquaintances who constantly carried a can of smokeless tobacco with them... and I was one of them.  When I started dental school I was "a closet chewer" who used smokeless tobacco, but hid it from most people.  I knew it wasn't good for me, but in my 20's I was "bulletproof" and I was convinced I "would live forever".  Even though I knew it was a poor choice I thought I would be the one who would never have to deal with adverse consequences of that action.

Then one day I was sitting in a lecture about Oral Pathology and the instructor began to discuss oral cancers.  Over the next few lectures we covered all the different forms of the disease and many of the known causes.  I can still remember the turning point for me.  The screen at the front of the room showed a horribly disfigured man.  His cancer had been severe and the only chance of survival was a procedure called a "hemi-mandiblectomy" which was a surgical procedure that removed half of the patient's lower jaw.  The disfigurement was startling and frightening to me.

Suddenly, out of the blue, it occurred to me that the result on the screen was not something the patient had ever expected would happen to him.  No one would want that.  No, the patient on the screen had been just like me, expecting "that won't ever happen to me".

The result for me was that I stopped "dipping and chewing"... and it wasn't easy.  I had no idea how addictive nicotine is  Quitting was awful.  I don't remember how long it took before the nicotine cravings left me, but it was a long time.  

We are all a sum of our experiences and my experiences began to create in me an interest in early detection systems for oral cancers.  Of course one of the potential contributing factors is nicotine.

I make it a point to tell my patients who use smokeless tobacco that I once was just like them.  I tell them, "I will never guilt you or lecture you about this.  Everyone knows this is bad for you.  If you ever want to try to quit, I'm here for you and there are cessation programs that can be very effective."  

We all know the easiest way to stop a bad habit is to not start it in the first place.  Studies I've seen over the years have shown that the earlier a patient gets a nicotine addiction, the harder it is for them to stop.  Hopefully I've given you enough information today that you are encouraged to do some research on your own and that this can help you talk to your young patients about this.

In closing, I'd like to provide 3 links.  The first 2 are from "big media" companies.  Those are the New York Times and GQ.  I salute both publications for bringing this topic to light.  New to the market products used by young people usually take a pretty long time to come to the attention of anyone over 30, but both the NYT and GQ are out in front of this story.  The third article is what I really find interesting.  It is a story that appeared in The Harbinger which is the student publication of Shawnee Mission East High School.

I discovered the Harbinger story while I was reading the NYT piece and I was delighted to see it.  First of all, SME is just a few miles from my home and is located on the Kansas side of the Greater Kansas City area.  The piece is incredibly well written and it brings the perspective of a high school senior to this subject.  It's one thing for "old people" to wring their hands and talk about how the latest trend is corrupting the youth.  It is another to see something written by a young man who is "in the trenches" and seeing this subject up close.  The piece is very well written and brings some really fascinating information to the reader.

  1. Our Kids are Living in a Different Digital World - from the New York Times
  2. Why Are Zyn Nicotine Pouches Suddenly Everywhere?  - from GQ
  3. A Smokeless Buzz:  A rise in oral nicotine pouch use raises health concerns for high schoolers - from The Harbinger - The Student Publication of Shawnee Mission East High School