Thursday, June 20, 2024

Looking for a Way to Save Endo Sealer? Try Vista-Apex MST Tips

 


Endodontics has come a long way in the last decade or so.  Instruments keep getting better, irrigation has gotten better with a lot of new products, plus ultrasonic irrigation.  Of course the latest and greatest innovation in the last 2 or 3 years has been bioceramic sealers.

The new bioceramic sealers are tissue friendly and make placement easy... or usually easy.  We all have our little tricks for getting the sealer placed, but what if there was a better way?

If you perform endodontics, you know that sealer is precious.  Wasting sealer wreaks havoc on your inventory control, not to mention the costs involved.  Plus, some bioceramic sealers require a dual-barrel syringe and a spiral mixing tip.  Other have tips come with a fairly large connection to the syringe containing the material.

Placing sealer is more difficult with a dual-barrel material since it is more difficult to deliver it where it's needed, while the larger connectors can make it difficult to have visual access to the field.

That's why I've become a big fan of the MST from Vista-Apex.  MST stands for "Material Saving Tip".  That's because a lot of tips trap sealer in them that has to thrown away when the tip is disposed of.  The MST fits any standard Luer-lock syringe and is designed to get the material where you need it with minimal waste.  It will not attach to a dual barrel syringe, but if you are using a Bioceramic sealer delivered by a single barrel, this is something I think you should consider.

I especially like the MST Visco-tip that is designed to deliver viscous sealer.  The tip itself is a 25 gauge and can be easily curved or bent to help with delivery.  The feature that I really appreciate is because it is smaller in size than most endodontic sealer tips, it is easier to see into the access and canal orifice.  That makes the actual delivery of the sealer easier and more predictable.  It can be used to deliver both Bioceramic sealers as well as Calcium Hydroxide for 2 visit cases.  

I have been using MSTs for several months and I really like them.  It is available in both a polymer tip as well as stainless steel.  If you're interested, you can find more info here.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Intiveo Launches Two-Way Referral Management For A Complete Referral Solution


 

Today, Intiveo, the patient engagement software designed to empower dental practices to enhance the patient experience, announced its two-way referral management solution to make it even easier for dental practices to manage referrals.

With this new product, dental offices can now send and receive patient referrals directly through their Intiveo software. It is one of the only solutions available today that helps track each patient's progress, providing status updates at every step of the process. This ensures all parties have a clear understanding of where they are in the referral process, facilitated by secure communication between dental and specialist offices. 

"We are always looking for ways to allow practices to focus on providing great dental care and our customers have consistently told us that handling referrals is a major pain point for front office staff, with current solutions falling short," said Josh DeVries, CEO and co-founder of Intiveo. "In response, we've enhanced our referral offering with features that address the entire referral lifecycle that are overall and are designed to improve the referral process, making it faster, clearer, and more convenient for everyone.”

Intiveo’s new and improved solution aims to simply the referral process and includes: 

  • Two-Way referral capability: Ability to effortlessly send and receive referrals within the Intiveo platform, securely.
  • One place to manage all activity. Whether forwarding patient details to a specialist, another practice, or receiving incoming referrals, customers can manage all referral activities in one place.
  • Complete patient tracking: Monitor the referral status from both ends. Track the patient’s journey from initial referral to the completion of their treatment, providing visibility and ensuring continuity of care throughout the patient experience.
  • Integrated communication tools: Maintain clear and effective communication with both sending and receiving practices. Exchange notes, manage attachments, and stay updated on every patient’s progress.
  • Unified internal and external portals: A cohesive interface for sending or receiving referrals. Each function is integrated into the Intiveo software, simplifying the management of referrals and patient data.
  • Secure data management: Ability to download and upload necessary forms and attachments with ease. All documents are compatible with existing Practice Management Systems (PMS), ensuring a seamless and secure workflow that maintains HIPAA compliance.

This new solution provides a more robust support system for managing referrals. By implementing this referral system, practices can now handle requests more efficiently, saving time and reducing the manual workload for already understaffed offices. It simplifies the referral process, giving staff more time in their day to focus on patient care.

“Intiveo’s Referral Management saves our receptionists at least 1 hour of work per day, allowing them to focus on providing better care for our patients,” said Cindy Castilloux from Centre Dentaire Caron.

This referral solution is also in compliance with Quebec's Law 25 to help practices transform how practices handle referrals and patient information, all while staying compliant and secure.

Intiveo’s new two-way referral management solution is available now to all customers. To learn more about this solution visit www.intiveo.com/two-way-referral-management. 

About Intiveo 

Intiveo is a patient engagement software, designed to empower dental practices to enhance the patient experience. Our platform improves patient engagement and outcomes through two-way chat, recall reminders, quality improvement surveys, and online review management tools. With comprehensive integrations across major PMS systems, Intiveo streamlines front office workflows, centralizing patient engagement and communication management. Intiveo serves over 3,000 dental practices across North America, helping them improve their patients’ experience, streamline operations, and drive revenue growth while improving staff morale. For more information, please visit intiveo.com.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

OMNIVISION Announces Smallest Camera Module for 3D Intraoral Dental Scanners



As we all know, intraoral scanners are gaining serious acceptance in dentistry.  A recent survey I saw (unfortunately can't remember where)  stated that digital impression scanners are now in over 30% of dental offices.  Personally, my gut tells me that percentage is probably a bit higher, but it goes without saying that if an office doesn't yet have a scanner, it is for sure on the 'want list', probably sooner as opposed to later.

Of course one of the part of intraoral scanners that doctors would like improvement in is the size of the wand.  Many units are still a bit too bulky for some users and/or some applications.  Every scanner that I am aware of works and works well yet, when working in the mouth, normally smaller is better.  Like any kind of tech, as things progress and improve the footprint gets smaller.  Units from around 2010 were considerably larger than today's devices, but they could certainly reduce in size for easier access in the mouth.

Progress is being made in that direction and the post for today is from a press release by OMNIVISION.  The company makes the chips that can be used in intraoral scanners and they are announcing the availability of a new device called the CamerCubeChip®.  This is good news because the chip inside the scanning wand determines how big that wand needs to be.  Smaller chips should lead to smaller scanning wands... and that is great news for the industry.  Here is all of the info and links:


New OCH2B30 CameraCubeChip® module is a compact wafer-level module with superior video quality

 


OMNIVISION, a leading global developer of semiconductor solutions, including advanced digital imaging, analog, and touch & display technology, today announced the new OCH2B30 camera module for three-dimensional (3D) intraoral dental scanners. The OCH2B30 features a compact CameraCubeChip® package in an ultra-small form factor (2.6 mm x 2.6 mm) with exceedingly high image quality and MIPI interface for cameras in benchtop, standalone and portable intraoral scanners.

 “Intraoral scanners are quickly replacing the use of traditional dental impression in dentistry today. We are leveraging our proven technology from the medical endoscopy market to help advance intraoral scanners for dentistry,” said Aaron Chiang, marketing director, OMNIVISION. “Our CameraCubeChip® technology enables the smallest camera modules for 3D intraoral dental scanners. Similar in size to the actual CMOS image sensor inside the camera, the CameraCubeChip® enables ultra-compact, high-resolution cameras, which is especially important when there are multiple cameras in each scanning device. We expect the new OCH2B30 camera module to play an important role in driving the growth of the intraoral dental scanner market and, ultimately, in improving patient care.”

 The global dental intraoral scanner market is growing with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.1% in the forecast period of 2023 to 2030 and is expected to reach USD 1,325.80 million by 2030 from USD 573.76 million in 2022.1 This growth is being driven by the increasing demand for cosmetic dentistry, the prevalence of dental diseases and new technological advancements in dentistry. Intraoral scanners are used primarily by orthodontists, endodontists, periodontists, prosthodontists and general dentists.

 The OCH2B30 camera module has a 2-megapixel (MP) resolution square-format CMOS image sensor with a 1.12-micron (┬Ám) pixel built on OMNIVISION’s latest PureCel®Plus-S stacked-die technology, which enables its ultra-small size. At 1500 x 1500 resolution, the OCH2B30 achieves 60 frames per second (fps), and at 720p resolution, 120 fps.

 Medical Certifications Streamline FDA Approval Process

OMNIVISION is ISO13485-certified. The OCH2B30 is tested for EMC/EMI compliance and sterilization, and it is biocompatible and waterproof. Because it passes OMNIVISION’s rigorous production testing, it is guaranteed to be within the stated electrical, mechanical and optimal specifications, and hence does not require tuning or calibration.

 Samples of the OCH2B30 CameraCubeChip® are available now and in mass production. For more information, contact your OMNIVISION sales representative: www.ovt.com/contact-sales.

 About OMNIVISION

OMNIVISION is a global fabless semiconductor organization that develops advanced digital imaging, analog, and touch & display solutions for multiple applications and industries, including mobile phones, security and surveillance, automotive, computing, medical, machine vision and emerging applications. Its award-winning, innovative technologies enable a smoother human/machine interface in many of today’s commercial devices. Find out more at www.ovt.com.

 1Source: Data Bridge Market Research: Global Dental Intraoral Scanners Market – Industry Trends and Forecast to 2030. Published July 2023. https://www.databridgemarketresearch.com/reports/global-dental-intraoral-scanners-market

 PureCel®Plus-S, CameraCubeChip®, OMNIVISION® and the OMNIVISION logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of OMNIVISION. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Monday, June 17, 2024

White House Forges Deal with Microsoft & Goggle to Help Cyber Defense for Rural Hospitals

 

Today's post is good news for healthcare and especially for patients who live in rural areas of the US.  The White House recently announced an effort to help protect the cybersecurity of hospitals through a partnership with Microsoft and Google.  As we all know data security is a serious issue.  Attacks using Ransomware are on the increase with healthcare attacks growing faster than any other sector.

Even well funded efforts have been defeated lately (see the post I made last week on UHG).  These attacks can, quite literally put hospitals in a situation where it impacts needed and sometimes emergency care.  This is especially a critical issue for rural areas where residents may only have a choice of one hospital.  In a major metropolitan area it can still wreak havoc, but patients at least have the potential of other hospitals in their area being unaffected and able to provide care.  That isn't the case if there is only one option.

To help with this issue in protecting rural healthcare, the Biden administration on June 10th announced that Microsoft and Google will both be working to help with the problem.  The American Hospital Association and the National Rural Health Association are also partnering in the initiative.

Microsoft has created the new Microsoft Cybersecurity Program for Rural Hospitals to help with this situation.  According to AHA...

For independent critical access hospitals and rural emergency hospitals, Microsoft will provide nonprofit pricing and discounts for its security products optimized for smaller organizations, providing up to a 75% discount. In addition, for some larger rural hospitals already using eligible Microsoft solutions, the company will provide its most advanced security suite at no cost for one year. Microsoft also will provide Windows 10 security updates to participating rural hospitals for at least one year at no additional cost, and the company will provide free cybersecurity assessments through Microsoft and its trusted partners to evaluate risks and gaps and offer free cybersecurity training to staff in rural hospitals.

 While the AHA states for Google...

Google will provide endpoint security advice to rural hospitals and non-profit organizations at no cost and a pool of funding to support software migration. In addition, Google is committing to launch a pilot program with rural hospitals to develop a packaging of security capabilities that fit these hospitals’ unique needs. 

This is a nice step forward in helping protect the care and lives of patients in rural areas.   The next step should be to improve small medical and dental practices in those areas.

Microsoft has a page detailing their involvement.  

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Senators Marsha Blackburn & Margaret Wood Hassan Tell UnitedHealth Group They are in Violation of HIPAA


 

The mess from the hack of Change Healthcare (owned by UnitedHealth Group) just keeps getting worse.

A few months ago (February 2024) Change was subjected to a massive security breach.  The hack shut down multiple systems that affected both patients and doctors.  Patients could not get life needed medications due to pharmacies being affected, while doctors could not be reimbursed for submitted procedures. It was a *huge* cluster and I've actually been told by a few doctors that they are STILL trying to get reimbursed for some procedures billed months ago.   The event was such a big news item that we even discussed it as part of my appearance on Dentists In the Know "Hump Day Happy Hour" back in March.

As problems piled up from the hack, Change Healthcare finally ended up paying a $22 million ransom to get their systems back online.  The event was a massive story due to the impacts that spread out like a tidal wave generated by an asteroid landing in the ocean.  Change eventually stated that a "substantial proportion of people in America" had data stolen during the hack.  Of course, Change is now back online, but that data which was copied and whisked away into the ether still exists on some hidden servers somewhere and is now in the hands of the type of people who perpetrated the attack in the first place.

I've discussed the paying of the ransom a bit here in the past and I think Change probably didn't have much of a choice in doing so.  Never mind the doctor side of things, the patients affected needed medications and other things and getting the systems back online to provide those things was most likely the best way to rectify the problem quickly.  

The breach was a huge HIPAA violation and Change went on the record as saying that they would handle the patient notifications and other things HIPAA requires for all the entities involved.  Providers were scrambling trying to understand if they would need to bear the costs of notifying patients of the breach, among other things.  Change stepped in and said they would handle those things for every healthcare provider affected.  I thought that was absolutely the right thing to do.

However, if UnitedHealth Group didn't want any more bad PR, the company should have done everything necessary to keep this moving forward.  Now comes word that the company still hasn't sent out the notifications to patients that are required by law under HIPAA.  US Senators Marsha Blackburn & Margaret Wood Hassan announced they sent a letter to UnitedHealth Group's CEO on June 7th to point out that HIPAA requires notifications be sent to patients within 60 days and yet 3 months later, those have not been sent.  The letter also gives UHG a bit of an ultimatum stating "We ask that you immediately commit to doing so and send us your plan to notify individuals and business partners, with those data breach notifications no later than June 21, 2024."

I'll admit that trying to get all this together, especially when you are covering every entity affected, is daunting and I'm sure a task fraught with complications.  I cannot begin to imagine the scope of trying to get all of this figured out.  There are probably legal commitments and things to sign between UHG and the parties covered by HIPAA that they are representing.  However, the law is the law.  If UHG is having a problem meeting a deadline, that should have been made publicly clear.  I've followed this situation pretty closely and I haven't heard anything about this delay.  To be fair though, I am not reviewing every covered moment of this.  Perhaps UHG has made this slip up known to the proper agencies and I have simply missed it.  However I think if they *had* made it known, these senators would not have felt the need to write a letter pointing out the missed deadline.

The letter can be found here, in a pdf format that can be downloaded if you'd like to have it.  However I'm also providing the content here:


June 7, 2024 


Mr. Andrew Witty 

Chief Executive Officer 

UnitedHealth Group 

P.O. Box 1459 

Minneapolis, MN 55440 


Dear Mr. Witty: 


We write to urge UnitedHealth Group (UHG) and its subsidiaries, including Change Healthcare, to assume full and immediate responsibility for notifying all affected patients and providers, as well as federal and state regulators, about the impact of the ransomware attack on Change Healthcare. 


As you are aware, patients and providers continue to deal with the aftermath of the ransomware attack on Change Healthcare in February 2024, which plunged many health care providers into a financial crisis and compromised personal information for “a substantial proportion of people in America.”(1) On May 1, you acknowledged during a House Committee hearing that the Change Health Care hack exposed the Protected Health Information and Personally Identifiable Information of "maybe a third" of Americans. (2) Yet, more than three months after UHG discovered the attack, millions of Americans are still in the dark about the vulnerability of their personal data and health information.(3) 


UHG claims to have been undertaking a comprehensive analysis to identify and notify impacted individuals and has committed that the company will “make notifications and undertake related administrative requirements on behalf of any provider or customer.” (4) However, as of June 6 UHG continues to be in violation of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which requires covered entities to notify individuals of a known or suspected data breach within 60 days of discovering the breach. UHG must also formally notify impacted business partners, including health care providers, in accordance with HIPAA and state law. 


Without urgent action from UHG, patients and providers will continue to be left without any information about the scope of the data breach. To mitigate any confusion among the affected parties, we urge UHG to assume sole responsibility for all breach notifications by formally notifying OCR, state regulators, Congress, the media, and health care providers that it intends to complete all breach notifications on behalf of all HIPAA-covered entities. 


We ask that you immediately commit to doing so and send us your plan to notify individuals and business partners, with those data breach notifications going out no later than June 21, 2024. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.


1 UnitedHealth Group Updates on Change Healthcare Cyberattack, April 22, 2024. https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/newsroom/2024/2024-04- 22-uhg-updates-on-change-healthcare-cyberattack.html 


2 UnitedHealth CEO Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Cyber Attack Against Change Healthcare, May 1, 2024. https://www.cspan.org/video/?535213-1/unitedhealth-ceo-testifies-house-subcommittee-cyber-attack-change-healthcare 


3 UnitedHealth Group was made aware of the breach on February 21, 2024; https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/731766/000073176624000045/unh-20240221.htm 


4 UnitedHealth Group Updates on Change Healthcare Cyberattack, April 22, 2024. https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/newsroom/2024/2024-04- 22-uhg-updates-on-change-healthcare-cyberattack.html



Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Dentistry.One Adds former Byte® Executive Jodi Maggin to Leadership Team

 



The MouthWatch company is definitely on the move in the dental industry.  The company sells the well known MouthWatch intraoral camera and also has the TeleDent telehealth and mobile dentistry platform as well.  The company has a great management team and is working on bringing accessible dental care to those who need a solution that isn't exclusive focused on in-person consultations.  Personally, I think we are rapidly approaching a point where there is going to be a significant number of people that, for a variety of reasons, will need to have a mobile or portable type of dental treatment.  For instance, in 2020 the United States had over 1.3 million nursing home residents... and that number is only increasing.  Pairing that number with those who have a question or concern, but can't take off time from work for an office visit and it's easy to see what Dentistry.One is working to help.

Now the company has brought on another expert to their management team.  Read on for the details...


Dentistry.One, a virtual-first dental care solution introduced by MouthWatch, LLC, recently welcomed Jodi Maggin, former senior executive at Byte®,  to the company’s leadership team as Vice President, Business Development. 

In her newly created role, Ms. Maggin will help drive company growth by developing business opportunities and strategic partnerships with individuals and organizations committed to improving patient health outcomes, including dental plans, employers, benefits brokers, and healthcare consumers. 

"We are thrilled to welcome Jodi to the team," said Brant Herman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MouthWatch and Dentistry.One. "Her proven track record of bringing virtual dental care to today's patients aligns perfectly with our strategic priority of expanding access and improving health outcomes through Dentistry.One. We look forward to leveraging Jodi's experience to accelerate the recognition of Dentistry.One as an integral part of a dental benefits portfolio or as a cost-effective standalone benefit."

Recognizing the growing evidence connecting a healthy mouth with a healthy body and the access barriers often preventing dental care, MouthWatch introduced Dentistry.One in 2023. With a nationwide network of online dentists, personalized care coordination, oral health coaching, and benefits navigation to help patients more easily obtain care, Dentistry.One helps individuals prioritize their oral health. 

 “It is an honor to join Dentistry.One and contribute to the growth of an organization so passionately committed to improving oral health through innovative technology,” said Ms. Maggin. “A virtual care option is expected by many of today’s healthcare consumers, and vital for the over 70 million Americans living in dental provider shortage areas. I look forward to collaborating with our stakeholders who share a mutual interest in making dental care more accessible and convenient for everyone.”

Ms. Maggin previously served as Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Byte, an online platform offering a nationwide network of licensed orthodontists and dentists who prescribe at-home treatment plans for invisible aligners. In this role, she created the Business-to-Business Group division, building strategic partnerships with employee and member-driven groups, including insurance carriers, insurance brokers, resellers, and other key alliances.

Prior to Byte, Ms. Maggin held leadership positions at several healthcare insurance organizations where she was responsible for building strategic relationships, driving sales, and developing business opportunities. Ms. Maggin earned her master’s degree from the University of Baltimore and her undergraduate degree from Towson University. 

“50-70% of the U.S. population do not regularly see a dentist, which can affect a person’s overall health and wellness,” said Ms. Maggin. “I look forward to working with organizations and groups who recognize the importance of oral health and are looking to enhance their existing dental benefits offering or add an alternative oral health solution.”

Jodi can be reached at Jodi@mouthwatch.com.

About MouthWatch, LLC 

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

Headquartered in Metuchen, New Jersey, MouthWatch is widely known for its intraoral cameras that help engage patients in treatment planning through high quality, affordable imaging technology, and its TeleDent software that provides practices and organizations with a teledentistry option to engage patients with providers remotely.  

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

MouthWatch hardware and software is in use at over 40,000 practices, over 30 leading Dental Service Organizations (DSOs), and over 100 dental schools. The company has been recognized three times in the Inc. 5000. For more information, visit mouthwatch.com. or dentistry.one.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Pearl Announces Image Comparison Mode to their AI System

 


Dentistry is a constantly changing industry.  As we all know, Artificial Intelligence in dentistry is growing by leaps and bounds as more data is uploaded processed, and analyzed by these amazing smart systems.  We've seen tremendous advancement with these systems in a very short amount of time thanks to the amount of data involved as well as by the software engineers that are constantly monitoring and upgrading the neural networks.

Pearl AI, is a leading innovator in dental AI, and they have just announced another advancement in their system with the launch the new Image Comparison Mode. This new feature empowers dentists to leverage the magic of AI for a more efficient, data-driven approach to patient care.

What is the Image Comparison Mode?

Previously, Pearl AI's intelligent assistant, Second Opinion®, excelled at analyzing individual dental x-rays, identifying potential issues like caries, bone loss, and root abnormalities. Now, the Image Comparison Mode takes it a step further. It allows dentists to:

  • Compare side-by-side x-rays from different time points (e.g., previous exams vs. current exams)
  • Visually track treatment progress and identify subtle changes over time
  • Gain deeper insights into a patient's dental health trajectory

Benefits for Dentists and Patients:

The Image Comparison Mode offers a plethora (I love that word) of benefits for both dental professionals and their patients:

  • Enhanced Diagnosis: By visualizing changes over time, dentists can gain a more comprehensive understanding of a patient's dental condition, potentially leading to earlier diagnoses and more informed treatment plans.
  • Aid in Monitoring Remineralization Therapies:  For the right situation, remineralization can be a great option.  However, being able to correctly assess areas over time can be difficult.  Radiographs don't always clearly show incipient areas in the interproximal region.  Being able to monitor those situations over time through the help of AI can help doctors gauge how successful these therapies are.  Dentistry is a conservative profession and sometimes the best choice isn't always intervention through restorative means.  Comparing areas over time can help doctors make better decisions.
  • Improved Patient Communication: Side-by-side comparisons with clear visualizations can simplify communication with patients, allowing them to better understand their dental health and the progress of their treatment.
  • Increased Patient Engagement: Seeing the positive impact of treatment through visual comparisons can motivate patients to stay committed to their dental care routine.
  • Streamlined Workflow: The efficiency of having all the necessary information readily available in one place can save valuable time for dentists and their staff.

The Future of Dental Care with AI

The introduction of the Image Comparison Mode shows how the continued commitment to pushing the boundaries of dental technology. can bring us more data driven decisions. This innovative feature is a testament to the power of AI in transforming how we as dentists diagnose, treat, and communicate with patients.

Empowering dentists with advanced tools like image comparison paves the way for a future of personalized, data-driven dental care.

Stay tuned for more updates on how Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing dentistry!


Monday, June 10, 2024

CDE World Events Coming Your Way


 

This past Friday, June 7, 2024 I was asked to be part of the CDE World continuing eduction event in Oak Brook, Illinois in the suburbs of Chicago.  It was a *great* event.  I had a terrific time discussing Diagnostic Technologies as well as why we need to bring mobile dental efforts to homebound and nursing home patients.

The folks at CDE World really put on an event that has to be seen and attended to really be appreciated.  The location in Chicago had everything in place and was run with pinpoint perfection.  The events are unique in that they feature several speakers covering a topic for only one hour each.  This means you get a lot of incredible information delivered in a short concise format.

Over the years that I have been lecturing to the dental community, I've done events with multiple speakers.  Personally I feel these types of events are one of the best formats out there.  It allows the audience to get lots of info from different experts while also getting different perspectives from fellow professionals.  Combine that with the fact that different speakers have different styles and varying delivery and it also works to help hold the attention of the audience.

CDE World is putting on events like this all over the US this summer.  If you're interested, you can find more about them as well as registration by following this link.  

Thursday, June 6, 2024

First-Ever Mobile Dental Coach By Industry Leaders Rolls Off Assembly Line

 



One of the things I think the industry needs to focus on is care for those who are homebound or live in nursing facilities.  Human beings are living longer than ever before, but our ability to provide them quality of life is being exceeded by this extended lifespan.  There are lots of people who simply cannot come to a dental office.  How do we care for these people?  Dental health is a factor in quality of life as well as life expectancy.  Nursing homes are understaffed and those staff members are overworked.

Recently it was brought to my attention that Benco Dental and Matthews Specialty Vehicles are making an effort to take dentistry to where it's needed.  Their solution is a mobile dental unit that can go to those folks in need.  Benco sent me a series of photos (2 are included in this post) and the vehicle looks impressive.  State of the art care can definitely be delivered with all these offer. The vehicles are available for purchase now.

Here is all the information:

Benco Dental, the nation's largest independent distributor of oral healthcare technology and supplies, and Matthews Specialty Vehicles, America's premier builder of mobile healthcare coaches since 1992, have merged their unequaled combined experience to offer customers one expert resource for custom, turnkey mobile dental coaches that are crafted without compromise.

The first production model is available now to experience by appointment, subject to prior sale. Fully ADA compliant in all 50 states, it is equipped with two complete operatories and a full stericenter as well as reception area, network hookups and monitors in each operatory. However, every example is custom designed according to each customers’ individual preferences and built to order in virtually any practical configuration.

The Benco Dental Mobile Dental Coach is a cohesively designed platform that integrates Matthews Specialty Vehicles’ trademark build quality, dependability, longevity and easy drivability with Benco Dental's state-of-the-art practice planning expertise. It is ideal for CHCs, schools, institutions and progressive for- profit dental practices.

Interior outfitting of each coach is executed by Benco Dental’s cross-country team of full-time installation professionals in concert with in-house interior designers based at the company's industry-leading CenterPoint equipment showrooms/dental practice design centers in Southern California, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Equipment is available from innovative providers like DCI, Vatech, Midmark, Belmont, and SciCan.

Customers also have the added option of collaborating with Benco Dental's full-time, in-house, Build Your Brand team of award-winning graphic artists to craft the vehicle's exterior and interior visual identity, from colors to logo, either from a clean sheet of paper or by adapting customers’ existing brand assets.

“This one-of-a-kind partnership truly reflects how Benco Dental is driving dentistry forward, together, and exemplifies our values of innovation and helping the communities our customers serve,” said Julie Radzyminski, Benco Dental's Vice President of Business Development. “The Benco Dental Mobile Dental Coach was conceived to make it easy for providers to deliver the best patient outcomes. It’s a solution- focused product that’s easy to drive, straightforward to maintain, and goes where its owners do with peace of mind, security and safety they can rely on.”

Michelle Shupe, Director of Sales and Marketing at Matthews Specialty Vehicles, said, "Partnering with Benco Dental—and leveraging our long track record of successfully building mobile health clinics for the purpose of expanding access to care—is a unique and gratifying opportunity for the Matthews team. We’re excited at the prospect of working with a wide range of future clients to co-develop one-of-a-kind vehicles that open up new possibilities.”

Prospective buyers can go hands-on with the coach by scheduling a VIP trip with Benco Dental and Matthews Specialty Vehicles. Existing Benco Dental customers should contact their Friendly Benco Reps to make arrangements. New customers, call 1-800-GO-BENCO.

About Benco Dental

At Benco Dental, we believe that dental providers deserve a partner on their side. We’re proud to be a national dental distributor with a century-long history, strong distribution network, and a comprehensive range of products, solutions, and services. We offer the unwavering support that can only come from a privately-owned company with the flexibility to do what is in customers’ best interests, so they can focus on growing their practices and delivering the best patient outcomes. Our collaborations with the industry’s leading vendors, buoyed by the market’s best- trained sales and field service team plus our proven track record of agility, helps launch countless new innovations each year. Together, we are driving dentistry forward. Visit benco.com.

About Matthews Specialty Vehicles

Matthews Specialty Vehicles, Inc. has been the premier specialty vehicle manufacturer since 1992. The company is a recognized global leader in the custom design and manufacture of purpose-built specialty vehicles for commercial applications, including mobile healthcare, biomedical services, bloodmobiles, bookmobiles, classrooms, public safety, and shuttles. Matthews’ custom builds can be found serving private sector organizations, law enforcement agencies, governments, and military organizations across the US and around the world. For more information, please visit msvehicles.com.


Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Midwest Dental Announces Partnership with Dental AI Company Pearl


Artificial Intelligence  continues to make serious in-roads in the profession of dentistry.  In the last 18-24 months, the field has exploded across the dental landscape reaching levels of adoption that exceed anything that I've seen previously.  Usually there is an early adopter phase in the market that continues for a year so before the wave accelerates and a technology becomes mainstream.  With AI, it seems to have burst through the starting gate and bypassed the early adopter phase, jumping straight to mass adoption.

As someone that follows the industry closely, this doesn't come as too much of a surprise.  Integrating AI into a dental practice is simple, affordable (a small monthly fee for the service), and provides valuable information to the practice.  It's probably helped that the subject of AI is everywhere in the mainstream news media.  As a society, we are reading about and using AI in multiple aspects of our everyday lives... that tends to bring comfort to adopters.

Now comes word that independent dental distributor, Midwest Dental, has chosen to partner with Pearl to provide AI services to Midwest Dental clients.  Here is the press release I recently received:

Pearl, the global leader in dental AI solutions, and Midwest Dental, one of the leading dental technology and supply distributors in the U.S., today announced Pearl as Midwest Dental’s preferred artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider. Through the new partnership, Midwest Dental will now offer Pearl’s dental AI suite, including Second Opinion® and Practice Intelligence®, to its reach of customers throughout Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas.

 Midwest Dental is one of America’s largest and fastest-growing family-owned distributor of dental supplies, equipment, technology and more. By partnering with Pearl, Midwest Dental continues to demonstrate its commitment to offering the highest quality dental products and professional services for its customers.

 “Since Midwest Dental’s founding more than 35 years ago, our overarching goal has been to provide our customers with the best products and services the dental industry has to offer,” said Midwest Dental Chief Operating Officer Tim Cluley. “Pearl is the best equipped partner to help us drive that mission forward and increase our customers’ access to the most advanced dental AI solutions on the market.”

 Second Opinion® is the first and most powerful AI radiologic detection aid designed to read X-rays and deliver real-time radiologic findings for chairside case presentation and patient communication. Practice Intelligence® goes beyond the dental chair, synthesizing AI clinical findings with patient treatment data automatically synced from practice management systems to deliver actionable insights that drive operational efficiency, clinical excellence, and practice growth.

 “We’re excited to have Midwest Dental join us on the journey to ensuring dental practices across the U.S. have access to the most cutting-edge dental AI technology designed to streamline their practice management and provide their patients with accurate, real-time chairside radiologic evaluations,” said Pearl founder and CEO, Ophir Tanz. “Our partnership benefits both patients and providers by introducing the benefits of the highest AI-powered standard of care to thousands of practices across the U.S.”

About Pearl 

Pearl is leading the global dental AI revolution with groundbreaking computer vision solutions that elevate efficiency, accuracy, and the standard of care in dentistry. Founded in 2019 by Ophir Tanz, Pearl is backed by Craft Ventures and other leading venture capital firms. To request a demo, please visit hellopearl.com/demo.

About Midwest Dental

At Midwest Dental Equipment & Supply, our goal is to provide customers with the best products and services the dental market has to offer. And we have remained true to that goal since the company was founded in 1988. We are honored to serve you with the same respect, loyalty and care that we have carefully honed during the past 35 years. Midwest Dental is committed to the success of your practice, and we will work hard for you. We look forward to serving you!

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Ken Reed, DMD Agrees to Serve as Director of Dental Anesthesiology at new UNLV Program

 


Some times great things happen for great people.  Today's post is where I get to tell you about one of those people and one of those things.

I am *thrilled* to announce that Ken Reed, DMD has agreed to serve as Director of Dental Anesthesiology at UNLV (University of Nevada - Las Vegas) school of dentistry.  I've know Ken since the late 1990s where we met in the IDF (Internet Dental Forum) which was the first true online discussion group exclusively for dentists.  We were both early adopters of tech and met in the IDF where, at the time there were about 40 member dentists.

Even back then, what stood out about Ken was his encyclopedic knowledge of pharmacology.  If someone had a question about a prescription or OTC medication, you could count on him to provide fast and accurate information.

Over the years, his knowledge and dedication to the profession grew.  He was trained as a periodontist at the University of Oregon, but it was his knowledge and understanding of pharmacology that became his passion.  He eventually stepped away from practicing Periodontics to devote himself full time to being a mobile anesthesiologist who provided IV sedation.  He found himself in high demand as doctors requested him to come to their offices and sedate fearful patients.  Ken would provide and monitor the IV sedation and anesthesia for the patient while the treating doctor focused on providing the necessary dental care.  He became a "go to" person for the profession both clinically and educationally.

Over the decades since, Ken and I have become good friends and I still reach out to him with questions about pharmacology.  Several times over the years, I have hosted hands-on training courses in my office and I've been privileged to have Ken be there to teach new and time tested techniques to the attendees.  There's nothing quite like watching a dentist give an injection to another dentist.  And for the non-dentists reading this... yes, we actually do that from time to time.  Ken would stand nearby watching the technique and coaching the doctors about the proper way to do things.  Those doctors walked away with the knowledge to make their patients more comfortable.

Ken also became a clinical instructor of IV sedation, teaching along with the other super stars in the profession, like Dr. Stanley Malamed (who wrote the textbook on Anesthesiology I used in dental school).

Now, Ken is off on another adventure.  He has accepted the job of Program Director at UNLV where he will be in charge of the Dental Anesthesiology training of doctors.  I'm confident that those students he trains will be the next generation of super stars.  Ken is providing the foundation for that next generation.  He is definitely going to leave the profession in a better place due to his knowledge, dedication, and hard work.

If you are dentist who has an interest in providing IV sedation to your patients, UNLV is accepting applications for their residency program.  Ken will be starting at UNLV in July 2024 and the program will actually start in July 2025.  They are currently accepting applications.

I *know* that if Ken is in charge of training you, the experience will be life changing for you and your patients.





Monday, June 3, 2024

Experiences with the Kavo DIGNOcam Full Vision HD


 

I've been using the Kavo Diagnocam™ Full Vision HD for about a month now and I feel I have enough experience with it to now be able to tell you about the device and how well it has performed.

In the years since the first intraoral cameras came to market, dentistry has done a tremendous job helping our patients to better understand their conditions be actually letting them see what we see.  I've said this many times, but the human perceives over 80% of their environment through their eyes.  To put that in perspective, humans only perceive around 10% of their environment through things they hear.  That means communicating visually with patients is not only important, for all intents and purposes it's a requirement.

When people SEE they comprehend much better.  It's a simple as that.  Over the years I've been in the profession, every time I have introduced a new piece of tech that enables patients to better see their conditions,  the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  So when I got the opportunity to work with the new KavoDIAGNOCAM Full Vision HD, I was excited to put it through some clinical usage.

First of all, the device is not only easy to use, it streamlines your workflows.  In the past, being able to provide imaging of a standard intraoral camera, a transilluminator, and a fluorescence device required picking up and using 3 different devices.  While I was happy to do that in order to get the data I needed, it could be time consuming.  It also required multiple devices to be connected to the operatory computer.  One of the terrific things about this device is that it performs as a 3-in-one device.  That means ONE unit generates 3 different  images.  That alone is groundbreaking and impressive.

Yet, that's been only one of the benefits to this system.  Let's go over each feature a bit.

  • Intraoral camera
    • As the name implies, the camera is HD.  The images it provides are sharp, detailed, and have a good depth of field.  The camera is also autofocus.  That means that you can literally rest the camera on a tooth and get phenomenal pictures.  Then you can use the camera to take extraoral images as well.  Within a second, the camera autofocuses and provides photos such as full face in crisp HD with NO fisheye distortion.  No matter how close or how far away I have used the camera. the images have looked great.
  • Transillumination
    • Many of us use transillumination frequently.  Illuminating a tooth from either the buccal or lingual provides a great deal of information.  Even the best radiographs sometimes don't show caries in the interproximal region with enough clarity to properly diagnose (that's one of the reasons I am such a fan of AI, but that's for another post).  The DIAGNOcam Full Vision HD provides NIR (near infrared) lighting that penetrates the tooth from both buccal and lingual directions.  This imaging provides sharp and high contrast black & white images of decay (interproximal aw well as other surfaces) and also shows cracks and other problems.
  • Fluorescence
    • When exposed to certain wavelengths of light, caries actually glows.  This fluorescence makes both tiny and large areas of decay show up brightly on the screen.  This allows the practitioner to see areas that are tiny.  This type of imaging benefits either early intervention of remineralization strategies because the caries can be easily detected and then monitored if need be.
The device has LEDs that create all 3 necessary wavelengths and switches between them with the push of a button.  The most amazing part of my experience is that the unit can take all 3 images with one button.  That allows you to place the unit over the tooth and get all 3 images in a second or two.  Scanning every tooth in the mouth is quick and easy.

For years our office has been using fluorescence, transillumination, and intraoral photos to document conditions and visually share them with our patients.  However, that has always required multiple devices and the time it takes to create those images.  The profession finally has one device that does all of those with the push of a button.

My experience has been a very good one and I can tell you this device is *highly recommended*.