Thursday, April 11, 2024

Dentists ask court to certify class action in lawsuit against Delta Dental


Here's an interesting bit of news from the industry.  For quite sometime this has been discontent from practicing dentists about reimbursement from Delta Dental.  Over roughly the last decade, Delta Dental has been working diligently to lower he amounts it pays to dentists for procedures performed on Delta covered patients.

Costs for dental offices have increased precipitously since the pandemic.  This is especially true when it comes to salaries.  Many dental hygienists and dental assistants left the profession during the pandemic and chose not to return afterwards, moving on to other jobs.  In order to find qualified employees dentists were forced to offer higher wages.  There is also the fact of simple business costs such as professional supplies.  As these costs have increased, Delta Dental continued to strive toward decreasing reimbursements to doctors.  Many doctors are diligently looking for ways to decrease their costs while continuing to provide the best patient care possible.  However, there is only so much cost cutting one can do.

In order to help doctors in this situation, the ADA filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Delta Dental violated antitrust laws by agreeing to reduce reimbursements to participating dentists through territorial restrictions, fixed pr ices for specific dental goods and services, and restricted competition from other competitors in the dental reimbursement industry.

The court’s ruling on whether to certify the case as a class action will be an important milestone in the litigation, according to the ADA’s legal division. Under the court’s current scheduling order, Delta’s response to the plaintiffs’ class certification motion is due on June 18, followed by additional discovery and further briefing to be completed by Dec. 19. At the conclusion of the briefing, the court will set a date for a hearing on the motion for class certification. Following the court’s ruling on the issue of class certification, the court will set a schedule for further pre-trial proceedings.

The story appears in the ADA News and can be found here.

If you would like to read the full class action filing, it can be found here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Sharper Vision, Smarter Dentistry: The New Kavo Diagnocam Vision Full HD

One of the best parts of my job, outside of clinical dentistry, is getting to work with and try amazing new pieces of technology.  I'm about to start a Test Drive for Dental Products Report on a new device from Kavo.   You can expect a video on the DPR website as well as a written advertorial about the device in the not too distant future.

It was unveiled at the recent Chicago MidWinter meeting in Chicago and now I've got one in my hands and I'm excited to see what it can do in use clinically.  Here's a brief post about it to give all of you an idea of what it is & what it can do.  I will follow up more once my clinical testing and evaluation are completed.

Unveiling Exceptional Detail:

The Diagnocam Vision Full HD takes intraoral diagnostics to a new level with its high-resolution, 5-megapixel sensor. This translates to stunning image clarity, allowing dentists to visualize even the most minute details of the oral cavity. From pinpointing subtle cracks in enamel to examining intricate root canal anatomy, the enhanced resolution empowers a more confident and accurate diagnosis.

Beyond Resolution: A Feature-Rich Powerhouse:

The Diagnocam Vision Full HD isn't just about impressive resolution. It boasts a range of features designed to optimize the workflow and elevate the overall experience:

•Enhanced LED illumination: Ensures consistent and bright lighting across the entire image field, eliminating dark spots that can obscure crucial details.

•Live image optimization: Provides real-time adjustments for color and contrast, allowing you to capture perfect images every time.

•Seamless integration: Works seamlessly with most dental software programs for a smooth workflow.

Benefits for Both Dentists and Patients:

The device offers a multitude of advantages for both dental professionals and their patients:

  • The device is a 3-in1 that features an intraoral camera, transillumination, and fluorescence caries detection. 
  • Dentists: Experience a new level of diagnostic accuracy and improved communication with patients by being able to capture & show all 3 image types, show them on the patient monitor and save them in the digital chart.
  • Patients: Benefit from a more comfortable imaging experience with a smaller head, and potentially earlier detection and treatment of dental issues.

The Future of Intraoral Imaging:

The Kavo Diagnocam Vision Full HD represents a significant advancement in intraoral imaging technology with its 3-in-1 imaging. With its exceptional image quality and the communication it provides, it positions itself as a valuable tool for modern dental practices. Whether you're a seasoned dentist or just starting, the device is a compelling way to both diagnose and communicate with your patients.


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Dental Laser Coaching Launches On-line Dental Laser Training Portal


Virtual Curriculum  Kicks-Off with Free Webinar: "Do More with Your All-Tissue Laser"

As the landscape of laser dentistry continues to evolve, Dental Laser Coaching (DLC) recently launched  its new online dental laser training portal. View available laser courses here. New courses will be added over time.

While traditional live laser training sessions remain valuable, the advent of user-friendly online platforms has democratized access to comprehensive laser coaching. This is why the DLC Portal will feature an innovative online curriculum, designed to empower a wider audience of dental professionals to  effectively optimize their laser technology. Whether a practitioner has owned a laser for one month or one-year, the DLC Portal is designed to guide their journey towards success.

According to Company Founder and CEO Nick Clausen, “Our mission is to ensure that all laser owners maximize the full benefits of their investments.  With over two decades of experience collaborating with major laser manufacturers and dental practices nationwide, the DLC Portal will offer a unique online approach that accelerates the achievement of desired results.”

Laser dentistry provides a host of benefits for patients and practitioners alike. A laser’s precision allows for minimally invasive treatments, reducing discomfort during and after procedures. Moreover, lasers promote faster healing times and preserve healthy tissue and ultimately enhancing the overall patient experience.  It’s easy to see why lasers have become a standard of care in dentistry.

However, despite these advantages, transitioning to laser dentistry presents unique challenges for practitioners accustomed to traditional ‘tactile’ instruments. The non-contact nature of laser applications, coupled with the requirement for precise technique, often leads to underutilization of this advanced technology.  

Clausen added, “The goal of the Dental Laser Coaching Portal is to address the root causes of the common challenges faced by laser owners, irrespective of their experience level, and provide tailored optimization programs for soft tissue lasers, all-tissue lasers, and productivity enhancement using laser technology.”

To register for the free, limited seating webinar "Do More with Your All-Tissue Laser" on Tuesday April 30th, at 5PM PST/ 8PM EST, Click here. 

About Dental Laser Coaching

Established in 2004, by Nick Clausen, one of dentistry’s preeminent laser educators and trainers, Dental Laser Coaching (DLC) is dedicated to optimizing dental laser integration across all wavelengths and manufacturers. With a focus on achieving superior clinical results, enhancing patient experiences, and increasing production, DLC offers personalized coaching programs tailored to the unique needs of each practice.

For more information, please visit Follow Dental Laser Coaching on Facebook, and YouTube for updates and insights.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Join Mike Buckner & Me at Lake Oconee in Georgia for an Event by Atlanta Dental


Today's post is regarding an upcoming event I'll be doing sponsored by Atlanta Dental.  On May 3rd, my good friend Mike Buckner and I will be doing an event at the Lake Oconee Ritz Carlton.

Mike, who is with Pearl, will be speaking on Artificial Intelligence: Elevating Patient Care and I'll be covering Technologies that Change Your Practice.

It's a half day event at an amazing location and Mike and I would be honored to have you there.  For more info you can follow this link for a pdf of the event.

For you diehards that just want to jump in a register, this link will take you to the registration page.

Mike is a really dynamic speaker and me... well I'm just me.  However, I can assure you that you will get tons of info at this event as well as having a few laughs.  The topics are ones that can truly help you make positive changes in your practice and improve your patient outcomes.  It's a really gorgeous venue, so I hope to see many of you there.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Double Trouble: Atomic Stealer and Arc Browser's Shady Ads

Surfing the web can expose you to more than just cat videos and informative articles. Two threats have recently emerged that can turn your browsing experience sour: the malicious malware Atomic Stealer and the intrusive adware bundled with Arc browser. Let's delve into what makes these threats concerning and how to stay safe online.

Atomic Stealer: Sticky Fingers in Your Digital Vault

Atomic Stealer is a nasty piece of malware that lives up to its name. It lurks in the shadows, waiting to snatch valuable data from your device. This information can include:

Login credentials (usernames and passwords) for bank accounts, email, and social media.

Credit card details and other financial information.

Personal documents and files.

Atomic Stealer is often disguised as legitimate software, tricking users into downloading it. Once installed, it operates silently in the background, siphoning away your data and sending it to cybercriminals.

Arc Browser: Free Browsing with a Shady Price Tag

Arc browser might seem like a harmless alternative to your usual web browser. However, it comes bundled with unwanted adware. This sneaky software bombards you with intrusive pop-up ads, redirects your searches to generate ad revenue, and can even slow down your device.

Protecting Yourself from These Double Threats:

Don't let these digital bandits spoil your online experience. Here's how to stay safe:

Download with caution: Only download software from trusted sources. Be wary of freeware or cracked software downloads, as they often harbor malware.

Read reviews: Before installing a new browser, check online reviews to see if users have reported any adware issues.

Antivirus and anti-malware software: Keep your security software up-to-date and run regular scans to detect and remove threats.

Strong passwords: Use unique and complex passwords for all your online accounts. Consider using a password manager to help you create and manage strong passwords.

Beware of phishing scams: Phishing emails often contain links that can download malware like Atomic Stealer. Be cautious of any emails urging you to click on links or download attachments.

By following these tips, you can browse the web with confidence, knowing you're protected from lurking threats like Atomic Stealer and Arc browser's adware. Remember, a little vigilance goes a long way in safeguarding your online security.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Got Plans for This Weekend? Join Me in Vegas!


This Friday & Saturday, I'll be teaching a hands-on course at LVI in beautiful Las Vegas.  The course is titled "Predictable Low Stress Endodontics for the General Practitioner".

I've been a dental GP for since before dinosaurs walked the Earth and early on, I developed a real love of endodontics.  Most GPs have one particular procedure that they really take a shine to and mine was endodontics.  I love the fact that everyone of them is different and to me it's like a puzzle that I love figuring out and putting together.  I tell people all the time that if I was forced to specialize, I'd choose endo.

As a GP, I understand the mindset of what we go through in a busy practice.  I've also been truly blessed to have spent some time with some incredible endodontists who were more than happy to share their knowledge with me.

Through taking a lot of courses, working for hours 'on the bench' with different systems,  the shared knowledge of specialists, and hours of study, I've developed a technique that works.  I'm excited to share my experiences and techniques to help my peers get better at this sometimes difficult treatment.

The event is being hosted at the LVI campus.

If you'd like to join me, you can still sign up.  Just click on this link to go to the signup page.

I'd love to see you there!  Oh, and if you can't make this one, we are planning on other dates as well, so stay tuned!

Monday, April 1, 2024

The Mystery of the XZ Code: Examining a Data Security Conundrum


Recently I had a discussion with a friend who is employed by Black Talon Security.  They are a security company that provides cybersecurity services for several industries and healthcare is one of the business sectors they work with.  He was explaining to me what the company does and how they do it.  One of the things I found interesting is that they provide a 'dashboard' that allows clients to login and see the status of the firewalls and other systems.  I thought that was a great idea as so many private healthcare offices are busy enough without trying to find the time to monitor their security profile.

Interestingly, shortly after this call, I read about what is being called the "XZ hack".

The world of cybersecurity is rife with ongoing battles against evolving threats. One such episode, shrouded in a bit of mystery, is the so-called "XZ code" hack. While details remain scarce, here's what we know (and don't know) about this intriguing incident.

The Fog of Details:

Unfortunately, concrete information surrounding the XZ code hack is limited. There's no confirmed date, specific target, or even a definitive answer on whether it was a successful intrusion. The name itself, "XZ code," offers little in terms of clues. It could potentially refer to a:

Type of encryption used by the targeted system.

Specific malware variant employed in the attack.

Internal code name used by the attackers to identify the operation.

Without official confirmation, the true meaning remains speculative.

Whispers in the Dark Web:

Initial mentions of the XZ code hack seem to have originated from chatter on dark web forums frequented by cybercriminals. These discussions, while lacking concrete evidence, suggested a large-scale attack targeting a high-profile organization.

Speculation vs. Reality:

The lack of official confirmation fuels speculation. Here are some possibilities:

Marketing ploy: Some theorize the XZ code could be a fabricated story by a security vendor to promote their services.

Genuine, but limited attack: It's possible a smaller-scale intrusion occurred, and details were either exaggerated or misinterpreted on dark web forums.

The Takeaway: Vigilance is Key

While the specific details of the XZ code hack remain elusive, it highlights the ever-present threat of cyberattacks. Regardless of the specific details, it serves as a reminder for organizations to:

Prioritize robust cybersecurity measures. This includes regularly updating software, utilizing strong passwords, and implementing employee training programs.

Maintain a proactive approach. Regularly monitor systems for suspicious activity and have a plan in place to respond to potential breaches.

The XZ code hack might remain an enigma, but its shadow serves as a cautionary tale for all organizations operating in the digital age. By prioritizing cybersecurity, businesses can better protect themselves from the ever-evolving threats lurking in the shadows of the internet.

There is a pretty good article on this that I found on Politico that offers much more info that I have here.  If you're interested, check it out.