Thursday, March 28, 2024

Why Your Practice Should be 3D Printing Bleaching Trays


One of the most special things about what I do in my job as Technology Evangelist is the relationships and friendships I've been able to develop over the years.  One of the friendships I really treasure is with "super assistant" Shannon Pace-Brinker.

It's not enough to tell you that Shannon is a truly great gal, caring, hard working, and sweet as can be.  No, she has also dedicated her career to helping the profession through her education of doctors and dental assistants.  In my slightly tainted opinion, she is the best educator for dental assistants in the US.

Today I'd like to tell you about an online course Shannon is teaching tomorrow (Friday March 29th).  The event is in partnership with DPR and our Dental Network.  It's going to provide tons of information.  If you are wanting to know how and why you should be incorporating 3D printing for your bleaching trays I can tell you with great confidence that Shannon's event is one you should put on the calendar and be sure to attend.

If you would like to part of this stellar event, here is the link to register.  You will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Join Me Tonight for the DINKs Humpday Happy Hour


Tonight I'm honored to be part of the DINKs Humpday Happy Hour.  DINKs is a force in the dental industry.  They provide information and eduction in a great and fun way.  The organization was founded by Dr. Chad Duplantis, Dr. Jeff Horowitz, and Dr. Jennifer Bell who I am honored to call friends.

At the Chicago MidWinter meeting last month, I did a video podcast with DINKs.  Dr. Jen and I talked for about 30 minutes just discussing dentistry and how we can all work together to provide the best for our patients.  

Tonight at 7:30pm Central, I'll be making a guest appearance on their incredibly well done Humpday Happy Hour and I'd like to invite you all to be part of it.  I absolutely *love* Jennifer, Chad, and Jeff and I know that tonight's event will be a blast.

If you'd like to join us, just follow this link.  I hope a lot of you can make it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

DEXIS Announces New AI Enhancements for Greater Efficiency of Implant Workflows


Over the years DEXIS has made some incredible advancements in the dental industry.  Theirs was the first intraoral sensor I ever held in my hand... and that was a long time ago.

Flash forward to today and the smart people at DEXIS have announced their latest achievement.  For dental professionals seeking to elevate their implant dentistry services, the latest update to DEXIS™ IS ScanFlow brings exciting new features. Version 1.0.10 goes beyond just intraoral scanning – it introduces a series of guided workflows and enhanced AI functionalities designed to optimize the entire implant process from diagnosis to delivery.

Confidence in Complex Situations:

DEXIS IS ScanFlow v.1.0.10 empowers clinicians to confidently capture accurate digital impressions even in intricate situations. The introduction of the AI Matching tool allows for the effortless acquisition of data for:

Multiple scanbodies

Full and partial edentulism

Blood-filled post-surgical sites

This eliminates the worry of compromised scans due to challenging conditions, ensuring consistent high-quality data for accurate implant planning.

Guided Workflows for Efficiency:

The software update doesn't stop at improved scanning capabilities. It introduces a new series of guided workflows, putting efficiency at the forefront. Clinicians can now navigate through:

CaseFlow Manage: This section offers a streamlined approach with pre-defined workflows. Simply fill in case information and follow the step-by-step guidance to efficiently acquire the necessary data for your chosen indication.

Full Arch Implant Workflow: This dedicated workflow takes you through a four-step process for acquiring precise full-arch data. The software guides you and automatically aligns scans in occlusion, resulting in one consolidated dataset ready for sending to labs or manufacturers.

Enhanced AI for Smoother Workflows:

Building on the strengths of previous versions, v.1.0.10 boasts advancements in AI functionalities. The improved Implant Scanbody AI Assist automatically detects and cleans scanbody data, ensuring consistently accurate scan results. Additionally, the software offers:

Enhanced digital impression rendering: This translates into smoother mesh quality and heightened scanning accuracy.

Systematic problem area detection: The software identifies any potential issues within your scan, allowing for prompt corrective actions.

DEXIS IS ScanFlow v.1.0.10 represents a significant leap forward in digital implant dentistry. Its focus on user-friendly guided workflows, advanced AI capabilities, and enhanced scanning accuracy empowers dental professionals to provide exceptional implant care with greater efficiency. If you're looking to streamline your implant workflow and deliver the best possible experience for your patients, DEXIS IS ScanFlow v.1.0.10 is definitely worth exploring.

If you're looking for more info, there is a good write-up at the DPR website.  

If you'd like to be one of the first to get a firsthand look at this new tech, DEXIS is now taking signups for a webinar scheduled for Apirl 9th and you can sign up for the webinar with this link.  


Monday, March 25, 2024

Smile Direct Club Puts Assets Up for Auction


A big thank you to my DPR Editorial Director, Noah Levine, who brought this subject to my attention.

As most folks in the dental industry know, Smile Direct Club (SDC) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2023 and ceased all operations in December 2023.   The company's idea of providing orthodontic treatment direct to consumers with no doctor supervision had a spectacular flame-out.  I was never a supporter of that concept and I wasn't shocked in the least when cases went sideways and the backlash against SDC ensued.

The newest interesting news on this story (thanks again Noah) is that the company is now trying to sell all of its assets in one huge sale through an auction company.  The company had/has a 125,000 square foot production facility in Antioch, Tennessee that appears to be chock full of high tech equipment (which I'm guessing was bought on credit).

The items are being auctioned as an entire lot to the highest bidder.  The list includes clear aligner production lines, robotic sorting cells, a state of the art 3D printing laboratory, as well as 675 iTero Elements intraoral scanners.

I find this whole thing fascinating and I'm really interested to see if the 'one lot' auction can be accomplished.  I'm also very interested to know, if it does work, who buys it and the winning bid amount.

If you're interested, you read about the auction and the items involved by visiting the auction website.   

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

New Report Shows How Dental Disparities Impact Veterans’ Productivity and Well-Being


One of my life's regrets is that I never served in the armed forces.  I've got immense respect for those who have and currently do, and because of that, I take a good look at anything affecting our veterans and active service members.  That's why today, I'm posting a new report from the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health that deals with the dental needs of this very deserving group of Americans.

Report Highlights Barriers Veterans Face Accessing Dental Care, Including 85% Who Are Ineligible for Dental Coverage or Care 


March 19, 2024 (Boston, MA) – Veterans across the US face significant challenges in accessing dental care, which influences their overall well-being and productivity, according to a new report by CareQuest Institute for Oral Health and the American Institute of Dental Public Health (AIDPH). The report finds that lack of access to dental care leads to significant losses in productivity time and money for veterans and their employers. 

 Veterans are a strong presence in the workforce, with many federal and state programs financially incentivizing employers to hire veterans. But many of those veterans are disproportionately impacted by dental disease. Veterans are 60% more likely to experience tooth decay compared to nonveterans, and 42% report having gum disease. 

Out of the 9 million veterans who are eligible for medical care through the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), 85% are not eligible for dental coverage or care. In fact, veterans pay 65% more in out-of-pocket dental costs on average compared to nonveterans.  

 “We must and can do better to ensure that our veterans have access to high-quality comprehensive health care, including dental services,” said Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, president and CEO of CareQuest Institute. “The solutions exist, and now is the time to enact needed policy change to ensure our nation’s veterans, who have made incredible sacrifices for our country, are able to live healthy, productive lives when they return home.”  

 “The continued lack of access to dental care experienced by veterans compounds negative health care outcomes, extending beyond just health and oral health into daily work lives,” said Annaliese Cothron, DHSc, MS, CPH, co-founder and executive director of AIDPH. “When veterans are in dental pain or experience social anxiety from unmet dental needs, their workplaces can suffer from low productivity. Veterans are the backbone of our national workforce and deserve solutions that keep them healthy and economically thriving.”    

 The report, which analyzes data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), highlights the profound impact of untreated dental disease on veterans’ quality of life and productivity in the workplace.  


Key findings include: 

Veterans with urgent dental needs were approximately five times more likely to report poor functioning and work compared to veterans who needed routine dental care. 

Poor oral health is linked to several chronic conditions, including heart disease. Among veterans with heart disease, the annual cost of missed workdays was four times higher for those who did not have a dental visit in the past year. 

Nearly 3 million veterans felt self-conscious or embarrassed because of their teeth, mouth, or dentures, which “has profound effects on socialization and feelings of loneliness.” 

Dental-related issues contribute to over $45 billion in lost work productivity annually among US adults. 

Veterans who reported experiencing oral pain at least occasionally within the past year were 13.5 times more likely to have oral health-related productivity loss compared to veterans who reported never experiencing oral pain. 

The report underscores the urgent need for more integrated health care solutions that prioritize cost-effective dental care for our nation’s veterans. Recommendations outlined in the report include strengthening the Community Care Network, ensuring that veterans who are eligible for dental care through the VA utilize the benefit, supporting Federally Qualified Health Centers, and implementing policy solutions on the local and state level to improve access and quality of care for veterans. 

The most effective policy solution to decreasing costs and improving oral health is expanding dental eligibility criteria for veterans who are already receiving medical care and chronic disease management through the VA. 

 Read the full report

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

HHS Office for Civil Rights Issues Letter and Opens Investigation of Change Healthcare Cyberattack


If you're in healthcare or follow any of the major news sites nowadays, I'm pretty confident that you've seen at least one story regarding the Change Healthcare hack.  In a nutshell, a criminal hacker group broke into their system(s), encrypted their files, and demanded a ransom payment to give the data back.  It was a classic Ransomware attack and it was obviously very successful.

It was a massive breach and it basically shut a lot, if not all, of the company's systems down.  The way I understand it, pharmacies could not process prescriptions for patients while doctors and hospitals could not get paid.  There were lots of other problems created as well.  I've mentioned the hack here on the blog before.  When people start tinkering with our healthcare system, it's not just a hassle for the companies involved, these hacks affect the lives of real human beings.  If someone cannot get necessary medication or cannot have procedures performed, lives could be lost.  I haven't personally heard of anyone dying from this particular hack, but it is a real possibility.  

There was a bit of a dustup when a few companies that track Bitcoin trails on the Block Chain picked up on a $22 million payment made.  It was pretty quickly figured out that the payment was from Change Healthcare to the hacker group.  As I've said before, regarding this situation, I can understand making the payment.  Many security experts feel that paying ransom simply encourages criminal groups to continue.  However, when lives hang in the balance, I can certainly understand the decision.

The latest twist in this curvy story started on March 13th when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a press release announcing that their sub-department Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is now investigating the hack.  OCR is the part of HHS that deals with HIPAA and the federal government is now in an investigation to determine if PHI (Protected Health Information) was compromised as part of the incident.  If that turns out to be the case, Change Healthcare will face some serious fines.  However, only time will tell about that aspect.

Here is the press release from HHS dealing with this issue:

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a “Dear Colleague” letter addressing the cybersecurity incident impacting Change Healthcare, a unit of UnitedHealthcare Group (UHG), and many other health care entities. The cyberattack is disrupting health care and billing information operations nationwide and poses a direct threat to critically needed patient care and essential operations of the health care industry.

OCR enforces the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules, which sets forth the requirements that HIPAA covered entities (most health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses) and their business associates must follow to protect the privacy and security of protected health information and the required notifications to HHS and affected individuals following a breach.

Ransomware and hacking are the primary cyber-threats in health care. Over the past five years, there has been a 256% increase in large breaches reported to OCR involving hacking and a 264% increase in ransomware. In 2023, hacking accounted for 79% of the large breaches reported to OCR. The large breaches reported in 2023 affected over 134 million individuals, a 141% increase from 2022.
The full text of OCR’s letter is below.  It also contains links to pertinent information that all healthcare providers should be aware of...

March 13, 2024
Re: Cyberattack on Change Healthcare

Dear Colleagues:
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is aware that Change Healthcare, a unit of UnitedHealth Group (UHG), was impacted by a cybersecurity incident in late February that is disrupting health care and billing information systems nationwide. The incident poses a direct threat to critically needed patient care and essential operations of the health care industry.

OCR administers and enforces the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules, which establish the minimum privacy and security requirements for protected health information and breach notification requirements that covered entities (health care providers, health plans, and clearinghouses) and their business associates must follow. We are committed to ensuring access to care while enforcing laws that bolster patient privacy and security.

Given the unprecedented magnitude of this cyberattack, and in the best interest of patients and health care providers, OCR is initiating an investigation into this incident. OCR’s investigation of Change Healthcare and UHG will focus on whether a breach of protected health information occurred and Change Healthcare’s and UHG’s compliance with the HIPAA Rules.

OCR’s interest in other entities that have partnered with Change Healthcare and UHG is secondary. While OCR is not prioritizing investigations of health care providers, health plans, and business associates that were tied to or impacted by this attack, we are reminding entities that have partnered with Change Healthcare and UHG of their regulatory obligations and responsibilities, including ensuring that business associate agreements are in place and that timely breach notification to HHS and affected individuals occurs as required by the HIPAA Rules.

Safeguarding protected health information is a top priority. OCR would also like to share the following resources to assist you in protecting your records systems and patients from cyberattacks:

OCR HIPAA Security Rule Guidance Material – This webpage provides educational materials to learn more about the HIPAA Security Rule and other sources of standards for safeguarding electronic protected health information. Materials include a Recognized Security Practices Video, Security Rule Education Paper Series, HIPAA Security Rule Guidance, OCR Cybersecurity Newsletters, and more.

OCR Video on How the HIPAA Security Rule Protects Against Cyberattacks  – This video discusses how the HIPAA Security Rule can help covered entities and business associates defend against cyberattacks. Topics include breach trends, common attack vectors, and findings from OCR investigations.

OCR Webinar on HIPAA Security Rule Risk Analysis Requirement  – This webinar discusses the HIPAA Security Rule requirements for conducting an accurate and thorough assessment of potential risks and vulnerabilities to electronic protect health information and reviews common risk analysis deficiencies OCR has identified in its investigations.

HHS Security Risk Assessment Tool – This tool is designed to assist small- to medium-sized entities in conducting an internal security risk assessment to aid in meeting the security risk analysis requirements of the HIPAA Security Rule.

Factsheet: Ransomware and HIPAA – This resource provides information on what is ransomware, what covered entities and business associates should do if their information systems are infected, and HIPAA breach reporting requirements.

Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) Cybersecurity Performance Goals – These voluntary, health care specific cybersecurity performance goals can help health care organizations strengthen cyber preparedness, improve cyber resiliency, and protect patient health information and safety.
OCR is committed to helping health care entities understand health information regulations and to collaboratively working with entities to navigate the serious challenges we face together. OCR encourages all entities to review the cybersecurity measures they have in place with urgency to ensure that critically needed patient care can continue to be provided and that health information is protected.

Monday, March 18, 2024

What's Up with the ADA?


I realize this is the second post in a row on the ADA.  I also don't want you readers to think that I am 'anti-ADA' or in anyway anti organized dentistry.  That's certainly not the case.  I've been a member of the ADA since the mid-1990s and I've belonged to the AGD the same amount of time.  I've also spoken at the ADA meeting (now Smilecon) practically every year since they embraced technology with the ADA Technology Day back in 1998.  So suffice it to say that I am a huge supporter and believer in organized dentistry.  

With that being said, however, I think as a member and huge supporter, I also have a duty to speak out when I think mistakes are/were being made.

Recently, in case you missed it, the ADA announced that they have decided to invest in two high tech companies that are making inroads into the profession.  The announcement was made in a recent addition of the ADA News.  

There's also a nice writeup of it on the DPR website.  Make sure your read it.  It's written by a non-dentist who loves dentistry as much as I do.

The two companies the ADA invested in are Oral Genome and Overjet AI.  Both companies are beyond what I'd call the 'startup phase' and are now actively marketing their products to the profession.

Oral Genome is a salivary diagnostic company that provides, according to the company, "Through advanced technologies, dental providers are transforming how oral care works by identifying potential health issues before they begin."  If you go to their webpage, and scroll about halfway down, you will see a banner that scrolls "our supporters" and the ADA is listed.

Overjet AI is a company that is utilizing artificial intelligence to analyze dental radiographs to help doctors with diagnosis.  The system analyzes radiographs and then indicates areas of potential concern to practitioners.

From the science and the philosophies they communicate, I don't have a problem with either company.  I think they are doing good work.  And for transparency, I occasionally do some testing and consulting work with an Overjet AI competitor, Pearl.  We are currently using Pearl's product Second Opinion in the office.

The problem I have with all of this is the simple fact the ADA is supposed to be objective.  One of the most important things the organization does is to provide the highly valued "ADA Seal of Approval" for products.  Take a look at any major dentifrice (toothpaste) packaging and you'll likely see that seal.  

Doctors and patients both rely on the ADA to provide this objective testing prior to endorsement.  Now currently, I'm not aware of Oral Genome or Overjet AI attaining that vaulted endorsement, but what does it say when they are an investor in those companies?  Money changes things... it always does, don't let anyone fool you otherwise.  In the world of dentistry there are billions of dollars generated.  

So the question becomes, if the ADA's purpose is to speak for ALL dentists, how do they feel about an office like mine that uses a product that is a direct competitor to one they have a financial stake in?

Back in the 1980s, while negotiating nuclear arms reduction, Ronald Regan said, 'Trust but verify."  The ADA has gone out on a limb here and what I fear is that companies that they profit from hold the proverbial saw.  The organization is sailing in uncharted waters... without GPS or even a compass.

We all need to be aware of this and proceed accordingly.  Personally I don't like it.  I'm expecting some flack about this post from the powers that be.  However, I think that... at the very least the profession needs some explanation about this.  I decided to be a dentist at the age of 3 (it's a long story), but suffice it say that I *love* what I do.  The profession has made my dreams come true and I've been incredibly lucky to have that happen.  Because of that, I feel an obligation to speak out.  Let the chips fall where they may...

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

After Change Healthcare Breach, ADA Announces Data Breaches can Happen to Anyone


Not to be snippy about this important subject, but I find it a tad 'interesting' that the ADA is now announcing that "Data Breaches can Happen to Anyone".  The organization is now telling the profession this after the organization itself suffered a *major* data breach in the spring of 2021.  From what I've discovered by talking to sources that wish to remain anonymous, that data breach was massive.  Plus we as the membership still don't really know what happened, what was stolen, or how the breach was accomplished.  The entire subject became something no one wanted to go on the record about.  Instead, like a police officer directing traffic after a major accident, the company line was "Move along... nothing to see here... keep moving..."

Don't get me wrong, I understand the philosophy of getting back to normal as soon as possible.  However, when these events happen, transparency is critical to restoring trust.  We still don't know for sure how the ADA breach happened or for sure what was taken.

The unfortunate thing about breaches is that they have become so incredibly common.  Because of that, our society has come to a type of acceptance of these events.  My grandfather used to say "locks keep honest people honest" and he was right about that.  He passed away long before the tech revolution changed our world, but that expression still applies.  In my grandfather's day, if someone really wanted to break into your house and the door was locked, they'd just break a window and go in that way.  In the tech world you can only do as much as you can do from a security standpoint, but there are always going to be smart people with bad intentions who will find a way around it.  There is way too much money to make just *finding* the flaws... not to mention in exploiting them.

My concern in healthcare tech security is that it seems the rules have changed in the last 5 years or so.  Healthcare breaches used to seem rare.  Now that rarity is gone.  The frightening part (at least to me) is not just the potential for patient identity theft.  I mean, no one wants to go through the nightmare of identity theft, but when criminals start tinkering in the healthcare space they run the risk of truly hurting, or God forbid, killing someone.  

I know that it's now being reported that Change Healthcare paid a $22 million ransom to get their systems back running.  Many tech experts feel that paying a ransom simply encourages more of these nightmare scenarios, but when people's lives hang in the balance, I can certainly understand why that decision was made.  If I knew someone died and I could have prevented it, the guilt would be more than I could bear.  Simply put, I can understand why the ransom was paid.

I don't know what the answer to all of this is.  The scope is way beyond what I can fathom or impact.  Something needs to be done, but I'm hard pressed to define what that something is.

The ADA article on data security features an interview with Gary Salman, the CEO and cofounder of Black Talon Security and is a very good read.  I highly recommend reading and saving this interview.  

Monday, March 11, 2024

Smiles All Around at the Chicago Dental Society’s 159th Midwinter Meeting

As many of you know,  I was fortunate enough to  present a couple of lectures at The Chicago Dental Society's MidWinter Meeting.  In addition to being able to lecture, I also had a terrific time.  As a midwest guy, the CMW is always on the list of meetings that I make sure to attend.  At this point, I'm not sure how many years in a row it has been for me, but it's got to be around 20 years or more that I've been there.

If you've never attended, I highly recommend attending.  It's such a great meeting!  The folks at CDS have got this down to a science.  It's incredibly well run and has become *the* meeting to see the latest and greatest new products.  Here's the wrap up from the CDS...

The 2024 Midwinter Meeting Attracted More than 21,000 Attendees to Chicago’s McCormick Place and Generated Nearly $27 Million in Economic Impact


March 6, 2024 (CHICAGO) – The Chicago Dental Society (CDS) Midwinter Meeting is the most historic and one of the largest dental conferences in the country. The 159th Midwinter Meeting took place February 22 to 24, 2024, at McCormick Place West, attracted more than 21,000 attendees and generated an estimated $26.6 million in economic impact for Chicago. The annual event continues to grow in size and yield attendee and exhibitor satisfaction in a post-pandemic environment.

 “The energy of the 2024 Midwinter Meeting was outstanding, which is a real testament to the passion the CDS volunteers and staff have when organizing an incredible show year after year,” said CDS CEO, Heather Nash, CMP, CAE. “There were more than 560 exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall this year, up from last year, over 230 scientific sessions and a great mix of networking events that brought students and early career dentists together, like the new Yoga for Midwinter Mindfulness, Sips, Suds & Sales, and the new Podcast Lounge that was bustling with interviews.”

 In the dental industry, the Midwinter Meeting is often described as the kick-off to the year, and the three-day conference for dental professionals is regarded as the most respected scientific dental meeting in the industry and the largest dental meeting in North America. The Midwinter Meeting provides attendees with unmatched access to hundreds of companies showcasing and debuting the latest products and innovations to see and test, hundreds of continuing education opportunities to help stay current on the best practices and latest techniques as well as career-building networking events. Midwinter Meeting attendees include dentists, hygienists, assistants, office personnel, residents, laboratory technicians and dental students from all around the world. The 2024 event attracted attendees from 49 U.S. states and 68 different countries. 

 “The Midwinter Meeting is the must-attend event in the dental industry, and this year’s event truly exemplified that statement,” said CDS President Dr. David Lewis. “Each day of the Midwinter Meeting, I spoke with attendees, exhibitors, speakers and CDS members, and every one of them had positive feedback about the show. It’s invigorating to see and hear so many professionals under one roof who are enthusiastic and dedicated to advancing the profession.”

 From 2022 to 2023, attendance at the Midwinter Meeting surged, increasing 27% year over year. From 2023 to 2024, attendance continued to climb another 1% to 21,135 attendees. Choose Chicago, the City of Chicago’s tourism agency, reported an estimated economic impact of more than $26.6 million from the 2024 Midwinter Meeting.

 Preliminary results from the post-event survey are quickly quantifying the event’s success. On a scale from one to 10, more than 50% of respondents have indicated a 10 when asked if they would recommend the Midwinter Meeting to a colleague or friend. Others are expressing their satisfaction on social media, such as Max Zanan of Dental Protection Group, a first-time exhibitor, who commented on the CDS Facebook page, “Dental Protection Group exhibited in Chicago for the first time, and we absolutely loved it. By far the best dental conference of the year. Looking forward to coming back in 2025.”

 Established in 1864, CDS is the largest local component of the American Dental Association, with more than 4,000 members in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties.

About the Chicago Dental Society

Trust a Chicago Dental Society (CDS) dentist with more than just your smile. Talk with them and you'll see their work is an investment in not just your oral health, but your overall health. They are current on the dental trends and technology through extensive CDS continuing education programs, including the Midwinter Meeting. Ranking among Chicago’s top 20 conventions, the CDS Midwinter Meeting – one of North America’s largest exhibits of dental products and professional dentistry – typically welcomes nearly 22,000 dental professionals each year and generates more than $26 million for the local economy (according to Choose Chicago). The largest local component of the American Dental Association, the non-profit Chicago Dental Society represents dentists across the Chicago region. They're your neighbors, friends and community anchors. Connect with the Chicago Dental Society at, where you’ll find our easy-to-navigate Find-a-CDS Dentist search tool. Or, connect on Facebook, X, YouTube and Instagram. 

Thursday, March 7, 2024

medmix Wins German Patent Infringement Complaint Against Kettenbach/Xinial Dental Mixing System


medmix Switzerland Ltd. continues to enforce its rights as Kettenbach/Xinial is legally prevented from manufacturing or offering its infringing mixing system for sale in Germany, as well as to recall and destroy its infringing mixing system 

German Injunction – Enforceable Now

Baar, Switzerland (March 6, 2024) – medmix has won a major victory in the German patent infringement litigation against the Kettenbach/Xinial dental mixing system. The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (OLG Düsseldorf) announced on February 1, 2024, in an appeal judgment, that the Kettenbach/Xinial dental mixing system infringes the German part of medmix’s European Patent EP2485852B1 (docket no.: I-15 U 17/23). This judgment is a milestone in the patent dispute which started after the launch of the Kettenbach/Xinial dental mixing system in 2021.

The German patent infringement judgment rendered against Kettenbach GmbH & Co. KG and XINIAL Systems GmbH & Co. KG is provisionally enforceable now and provides for an immediate injunction prohibiting Kettenbach/Xinial from manufacturing in Germany the infringing dental mixing system (cartridges and mixing tips) and from offering and selling the infringing system in or from Germany. Therefore, Kettenbach and Xinial are also unable to manufacture the infringing mixing system in Germany not only for local customers but also for export to international customers in other countries.

According to the German judgment announced on February 1st, Kettenbach/Xinial must also render a detailed accounting of the infringing acts, must recall the infringing dental mixing system from all of its German and international commercial customers, and Kettenbach/Xinial must also destroy these infringing products in their possession. The court further ordered Kettenbach/Xinial to pay damages for these infringements. An appeal on points of law was not permitted by the Düsseldorf court. However, Kettenbach/Xinial appealed by filing a complaint against denial by the Court of leave to appeal (“non- admission complaint”).

The validity of medmix’s European Patent EP2485852B1 was already confirmed to-date by the European Patent Office (EPO) in opposition and in appeal, and by judgment of the German Federal Patent Court (BPatG). The latter judgment is under appeal by Xinial.

US Case – Ongoing

medmix also filed a lawsuit in New York against the Kettenbach/Xinial dental mixing system. The New York case is expected to go to trial in early 2025 to address false advertising claims made by Kettenbach and trademark infringement committed by Kettenbach/Xinial. Xinial filed a separate invalidity case at the USPTO against medmix’s US patent. medmix has filed an appeal of the US invalidity case decision.

medmix Switzerland Ltd. operates globally in the field of static mixing tips, cartridges and dispensing devices for the dental sector. Genuine MIXPAC tips can be identified by the MIXPAC™ name stamped on the retaining ring and the CANDY COLOR Quality Seal.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Congratulations to Noah Lavine Winner of a Denobi Award!


Noah Levine (center)  photo courtesy of Denobi

A special heartfelt post today to my Editorial Director at Dental Products Report!  Noah Lavine and I have worked together at DPR for about a decade now and I could not be any more proud of him than I am right now.  He's definitely a "mover and shaker" in the industry and does an amazing job managing the DPR empire.  I can think of no one more deserving!

For those of you unfamiliar with the award, here is the scoop straight from Denobi:

The Denobi Awards Gala is the premier celebration recognizing and honoring excellence in dentistry and is focused on honoring “unsung heroes” from all roles in dentistry – those who’ve made outstanding contributions to the world-wide dental industry. With the 2024 gala exclusively sponsored by John Stamper Media, hundreds of nominations were received and a shortlist was released in January. In partnership with the National Mobile & Teledentistry Conference, the prestigious gala took place on March 2, 2024 in Dallas, TX. 

Noah has done incredible things in his career (plus he puts up with me).  I'm proud to call him my friend and I am SO proud of his achievement!

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

CDC Updates and Simplifies Respiratory Virus Recommendations


CDC released today updated recommendations for how people can protect themselves and their communities from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. The new guidance brings a unified approach to addressing risks from a range of common respiratory viral illnesses, such as COVID-19, flu, and RSV, which can cause significant health impacts and strain on hospitals and health care workers. CDC is making updates to the recommendations now because the U.S. is seeing far fewer hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19 and because we have more tools than ever to combat flu, COVID, and RSV.

“Today’s announcement reflects the progress we have made in protecting against severe illness from COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen. “However, we still must use the commonsense solutions we know work to protect ourselves and others from serious illness from respiratory viruses—this includes vaccination, treatment, and staying home when we get sick.”

As part of the guidance, CDC provides active recommendations on core prevention steps and strategies:

Staying up to date with vaccination to protect people against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. This includes flu, COVID-19, and RSV if eligible.

Practicing good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes, washing or sanitizing hands often, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

Taking steps for cleaner air, such as bringing in more fresh outside air, purifying indoor air, or gathering outdoors.

When people get sick with a respiratory virus, the updated guidance recommends that they stay home and away from others. For people with COVID-19 and influenza, treatment is available and can lessen symptoms and lower the risk of severe illness. The recommendations suggest returning to normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication.

Once people resume normal activities, they are encouraged to take additional prevention strategies for the next 5 days to curb disease spread, such as taking more steps for cleaner air, enhancing hygiene practices, wearing a well-fitting mask, keeping a distance from others, and/or getting tested for respiratory viruses. Enhanced precautions are especially important to protect those most at risk for severe illness, including those over 65 and people with weakened immune systems. CDC’s updated guidance reflects how the circumstances around COVID-19 in particular have changed. While it remains a threat, today it is far less likely to cause severe illness because of widespread immunity and improved tools to prevent and treat the disease.  Importantly, states and countries that have already adjusted recommended isolation times have not seen increased hospitalizations or deaths related to COVID-19.

While every respiratory virus does not act the same, adopting a unified approach to limiting disease spread makes recommendations easier to follow and thus more likely to be adopted and does not rely on individuals to test for illness, a practice that data indicates is uneven.

“The bottom line is that when people follow these actionable recommendations to avoid getting sick, and to protect themselves and others if they do get sick, it will help limit the spread of respiratory viruses, and that will mean fewer people who experience severe illness,” National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Director Dr. Demetre Daskalakis said. “That includes taking enhanced precautions that can help protect people who are at higher risk for getting seriously ill.”

The updated guidance also includes specific sections with additional considerations for people who are at higher risk of severe illness from respiratory viruses, including people who are immunocompromised, people with disabilities, people who are or were recently pregnant, young children, and older adults. Respiratory viruses remain a public health threat. CDC will continue to focus efforts on ensuring the public has the information and tools to lower their risk or respiratory illness by protecting themselves, families, and communities.

This updated guidance is intended for community settings. There are no changes to respiratory virus guidance for healthcare settings.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Getting Back on Track...

 A quick post today to bring you all up to speed... Chicago was a great meeting and a whirlwind of activity for me.  However, while there I must have bumped into some bad bug as I've been under the weather and battling back ever since.  That's why posts have been sparse.

Please give me a couple of days to get back on track.  One thing about my life (and probably your's as well) is that any downtime immediately creates a backlog of things you need follow up on.  So I ask for your patience as I get back after it.  Always know that I love to write and I miss this outlet when I don't have it.

Hopefully by tomorrow I can start to get the worst of the back log dealt with.