Solmetex Announced Director of International Business Development and Sales

Posted on April 14, 2021

Solmetex, LLC. announced today that Richard Andrew Campos has joined the organization as its Director of International Business Development and Sales.

Richard is a Business Development, Sales and Marketing Executive with over 25 years’ experience in the domestic and international dental markets. Richard is high-energy and a results-oriented leader with an entrepreneurial mindset of achieving measurable results in critical markets for Solmetex. Richard will take Solmetex to the world stage and execute strategic global distribution initiatives in an ever-changing global business environment.

“We are very excited to have someone with Richards’ background and experience join the Solmetex Team. As we continue to grow our global footprint, Richard will be instrumental in leading our development plan in these opportunity markets.” – Kevin Danahy, President

For over 25 years, Solmetex has been an innovator in waste solutions, specifically amalgam separators, with a primary focus on ensuring dental practices remain compliant with the ever-changing regulatory environment.

“I am honored and excited to join Solmetex: an organization that dreams big, works hard, and stays focused on achieving success by surrounding themselves with great people, great products, and forward-thinking initiatives to make our customers successful in protecting the environment.” – Richard Campos

About Solmetex, LLC

Solmetex provides waste management services through a series of specialized processes and systems that cost-effectively remove mercury from the waste stream and offers additional dental waste solutions. The company’s NXT Hg5® Series of Amalgam Separators and recycling program, which treat dental wastewater, is highly regarded as the best solution for regulatory compliance. Solmetex is widely recognized as the single trusted source for comprehensive environmental solutions for dental waste needs.

For further information, visit www.solmetex.com


Internet marketing firm Scorpion raises $100 million from Bregal Sagemount

Posted on April 14, 2021

Scorpion has raised $100 million in funds from investment firm Bregal Sagemount to expand its technology and customer offerings, the internet marketing services provider said on Wednesday.

The company also said it had appointed former KKR & Co Inc and Bain and Company executive Daniel Street as its chief executive officer.

Scorpion recently acquired CanlRank, a software company that uses artificial intelligence to provide customers with locally relevant search engine optimization (SEO) insights, for an undisclosed sum.

SEO refers to the process of improving the visibility of one’s website on internet searches.

Salt Lake City, Utah-based Scorpion also appointed new executives to the roles of chief revenue officer, chief operating officer and EVP of operations and mergers and acquisitions.

Scorpion plans to move to new headquarters in the Salt Lake City area, it said.


Triad Dental Consultants Announces Official Commencement of Operations

Posted on April 13, 2021

Triad Dental Consultants, LLC has officially commenced operations for its consulting services that will be completely focused in the dental sector. Founded by three dental industry veterans (Russ Bonafede, George Guttroff, Robert Riley), the principals of Triad Dental Consultants bring over 100 years of combined dental experience to the organization with particular expertise in many of the dental specialty segments to include dental implantology, dental biomaterials, and orthodontics. The team’s functional experience includes sales, marketing, operations, R&D, and executive management.

"Our dental careers span quite a broad array of experiences which allows us to provide meaningful support to dental organizations at all stages of their evolution – from pre-commercial start-ups to well-established entities looking to accelerate growth”, said Russ Bonafede, one of the founding principals of Triad Dental Consultants. George Guttroff, also a founding member of Triad, added “In addition to our core expertise in the areas of strategic planning, business development and product launches, we have developed an extensive network in the dental industry that we can leverage for the benefit of our clients. These vendors and subject matter experts have already been vetted through our historical interactions with them and hence save a client exploration time and reduce the risk of a poor outcome”.

“As the three founders of Triad Dental Consultants have worked together at several dental companies, we bring a unique chemistry and problem-solving ability to our prospective clients that may not be found in other entities offering consulting services”, said Robert Riley, the final founding member of Triad Dental Consultants.

Triad Dental Consultants may be contacted at TriadDentalConsultants@gmail.com.


Dentulu Closes $2.5 Million Seed Fund Round for Aggressive Development of Its Global Teledentistry Platform

Posted on April 13, 2021

Dentulu announces the closing of an initial seed round investment of $2.5M as well as the acquisition of Robohealer AI. Robohealer, is a dynamic interactive symptom screener which uses artificial intelligence to make teleconsultations and care recommendations easy for patients and efficient for dentists. “Dentulu’s mission is to increase direct access to dental care for billions of people worldwide,” said Dentulu Founder and CEO Dr. Arash Hakhamian. “With our seed round complete, we have accelerated development of our core SaaS platform, the addition of industry partners to offer services through Dentulu, and the search for more strategic technology acquisitions like Robohealer.”

Dentulu is a seamless, multi-platform service that solves solutions for two distinct and connected markets: 1) Dentists and 2) Dental Consumers. The Dentulu platform facilitates HIPPA compliant 24/7 connections and collaboration between patients and dentists. Features include instant messaging, file sharing, one-touch phone connections, emergency advice, appointment requests, personalized treatment history logs, and video conferencing. Patients can also purchase products and receive numerous dental services that can be provided onsite or delivered to the patient’s home often at a fraction of the cost.

Dentulu was awarded the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award in 2020. “It was only fitting that the 2020 Best of Class Panel selected Dentulu for their innovative approach to teledentistry,” said Dr. Lou Shuman, CEO of Cellerant Consulting group. Also, in 2020 Dr. Arash Hakhamian, was named one of the top 100 dentists in the world by the Global Summits Institute offering further evidence of the industry’s recognition of Dentulu’s innovative approach and ambitious plans. Based on this significant industry recognition and elevated institutional interest the company will follow its seed fund round with a significant series A raise later this year.

Dentulu provides the majority of their teledentistry software suite free to dental offices. The primary goal is to reduce operational costs and improve adoption of teledentistry and mobile dental services, ultimately increasing global access to care. “Our vision is as bold as it is simple — to create one platform that is affordable and available to all dental professionals and patients allowing access to the latest technologies, services, and products available on the dental market from anywhere in the world and on any device,” explains Hakhamian.

Dentulu’s aspirations to grow its all-inclusive platform have been well received by the dental industry while garnering a series of important partnerships. Dentulu’s marketplace, which continues to grow rapidly, includes a wide range of offerings from patient financing, to health plans, to dental supplies and much more. Dentulu has now partnered with or has established professional relationships with insurance carriers, hospitals, DSO’s and strategic dental organizations such as Alpheon Credit, Denmat Holdings, OralDNA, Arfona, DNTLworks, Jet Dental, Floss Bar, Academy of Oral Surgery, ICOI, GDIA, AMTA, Global Summits Institute, Denefits, Dosespot, Holland Healthcare, Avadent, Dental Cast Productions, Simply mobile, Global Dental Science LLC, Smiles at Sea, Fitsmiles, Symphony MedDent Solutions, and vVardis among others.

Dental professionals can register and participate on Dentulu’s robust open platform immediately. Many features are free, while low-cost upgrades are also available to access advanced software capabilities. Dentists are encouraged to sign up at www.dentulu.com and or download the Dentulu mobile app which is available for both Android and IOS phones.

About Dentulu Inc.

Dentulu is the leading Teledentistry and Mobile Dentistry platform in the nation providing software solutions to dental professionals. Additional information is available at www.dentulu.com


Hinman Dental Meeting’s First Hybrid Conference Attracts 6,986 Attendees

Posted on April 13, 2021

The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting – one of the nation’s largest dental meetings – hosted its first hybrid meeting March 12-13. The conference attracted nearly 7,000 dentists, hygienists, assistants, students and other dental professionals and industry personnel. A little more than 2,000 attended the meeting in person at the Omni Hotel. The remaining 5,000 attended virtually, participating in courses and events that were both livestreamed and recorded for on-demand access. The theme, “Feel at Home with Hinman,” emphasized the goal to make everyone feel comfortable, whether they attended in person or virtually.

“We couldn’t be happier with the results of our very first hybrid meeting. I believe Hinman created the perfect balance of a safe, in-person educational meeting and a virtual learning environment that was rich in content and promoted active engagement,” said Dr. Robert J. O’Donnell, General Chair of Hinman 2021. “We surveyed our previous attendees and realized last summer that we must offer something for everyone during these challenging times. We have a responsibility to our patients to stay abreast of the latest developments in the dental profession.”

Hinman 2021’s educational program offered more than 45 in-person courses and more than 40 virtual courses, including live Q&A with the speakers. There were 48 world-class speakers featured and 10 in-person participation courses, as well as Hinman’s very first live virtual participation course led by Dr. David Clark. The meeting drew a total of 2,463 dentists, 2,278 hygienists, 419 assistants and 233 office staff. Hinman 2021 also attracted both in-person and virtual exhibitors (473), dental and pre-dental students (143), educators (32), laboratory technicians (22) and other dental guests (54). According to Hinman’s survey, 28% of those who participated were first-time Hinman attendees.

In addition to the courses offered, the Keynote Session was livestreamed and featured Air Force Colonel (Ret.) Nicole Malachowski, the first female Thunderbird pilot and one of the first women to fly modern fighters in combat. More than 800 attendees either viewed it in person or online. The onsite exhibit hall, which hosted 70 industry companies, was also a big draw. It offered eight two-hour timeslots for attendees to choose from on Friday and Saturday and limited attendance to 225 people per two-hour slot to ensure social distancing. Online exhibitors, such as Crest+Oral B, Atlanta Dental Supply, Philips Sonicare, 3M and more, also had traffic with 2,669 total digital visitors.

The in-person courses limited attendance to a maximum of 148 people. Some of the most popular courses included:

- Dr. Harold Crossley’s “Opioid Use, Misuse, Abuse and Addiction: Appropriate Opioid and Non-Opioid Prescribing”

- Dr. Randy Huffines’ “Autoimmune Disease and Dentistry”

- Dr. Thomas McDonald’s “Staging Complex Restorative Cases: Putting Things in the Proper Order”

- Dr. Glenn Maron’s “Blood Thinners”

- Ms. Olivia Wann’s “Top OSHA Violations During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

- Dr. Jay Smith’s “Enhanced Esthetics with Crowns and Veneers”

- Dr. Todd Davis’ “Predictability in Restorative Care”

More than 6,200 new and returning attendees logged into livestreamed courses on Friday, March 12 or Saturday, March 13. The most popular online courses were:

- Mr. Kirk Behrendt’s “Practice Leadership During COVID,” which drew 1,220 participants

- "New Product Demonstrations” attracted 1,171 attendees

- Dr. Kenneth Hargreaves’ “Dental Implications of COVID” drew 1,167 participants

- Dr. Constantine Politis’ “Red, Swollen, Glossy and Boggy: Fixing Those Broken Gums” welcomed 1,098 attendees

- Dr. John Svirsky’s “Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This” attracted 1,043 participants

Hinman’s virtual courses were available on-demand through April 12 and more than 83% of attendees planned to access the courses if they had not already. This year, Hinman also introduced several new elements that were well received. The online networking community, “Networking Powered by Grip,” allowed event participants to connect and schedule meetings. The all-new “Hinman Studio” broadcasted live from Atlanta and featured interviews with industry experts and influencers.

Planning has already begun for Hinman 2022, which will be held March 17-19 at the Georgia World Congress Center and Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta. In the post-meeting attendee survey, Hinman discovered that 87% would like to see a hybrid meeting component continue in the future. “This is exciting to see - the advantage of having some virtual courses is that we can offer Hinman’s unique brand of quality education to even more dentists and dental professionals who may not otherwise experience Hinman due to health concerns, time out of the office or long distances,” added Dr. O’Donnell.

The Hinman Tradition

The Hinman Dental Meeting is designed with a commitment to quality and professionalism and a high regard for the value of continuing education. The Meeting is sponsored by the Hinman Dental Society, a non-profit organization, and excess revenue is invested and gifted in the form of individual scholarships to dental, hygiene and assisting students and in contributions to institutions that foster dental education. For additional information about the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting, visit Hinman.org or contact Hinman at (404) 231-1663.  

Align Technology Supports Efforts to Expand Access to Vaccinations by US Dentists

Posted on April 12, 2021

Align Technology, Inc., a leading global medical device company engaged in the design and manufacture of the Invisalign system, iTero intraoral scanners, and exocad CAD/CAM services for orthodontic and restorative dentistry, today announced its support to expand access to vaccinations by U.S. dentists.

As seen over the last year, managing health care resources during a pandemic or other health crisis is a complex mix of preparation and execution, with access to responsible care being a key consideration. Federal, state, and local public health officials and health care providers have worked to balance access to COVID-19 testing and healthcare while also meeting other health needs – both routine and unexpected – that continue even during a pandemic. As the number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 increases across the U.S., it is important to review and build on lessons learned in order to optimize responsiveness for future events. One of those lessons is the potential value of using networks of existing, trusted, community-level health care providers when rolling out vaccination plans.

“Since the start of the pandemic, Align’s customers – primarily dentists and orthodontists across the country – have been at the forefront of their profession and healthcare, in general, using social media and virtual appointment and treatment monitoring tools to stay connected with and communicate public health and safety protocols to their patients,” said Julie Coletti, Align Technology senior vice president, chief legal and regulatory officer. “As essential health care providers of ongoing health care services, they have earned their patients’ trust by staying current with the latest health and safety protocols and public health requirements to safely and responsibly treat their patients.”

As trusted, highly qualified health care professionals, dentists can expand the number of care providers that offer immunizations. According to the American Dental Association, 9 percent of Americans (31 million people) see a dentist every year, but do not see a physician1. This is a significant statistic to be considered as part of any future plans for vaccine administration.

Dentists Provide Experienced Care

Before completing dental school and becoming licensed, dentists are professionally trained to administer intraoral and extraoral injections into nerve tissue for local anesthesia – which is arguably more difficult to effectively administer than a vaccine injected into the shoulder muscle. Further, many states permit dentists to administer dermal fillers, Botox® injections, and to start IVs for procedures requiring sedation.

Building on Pandemic Policies

A majority of states have established the foundation for dentist-provided vaccinations by affirmatively permitting dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. On March 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services amended an emergency declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to authorize additional providers, including dentists and dental students, to vaccinate patients for COVID-19 nationwide regardless of state laws that prevent dentists from doing so.3

Align believes that these recent pandemic-related policies should be the start of additional integration of dentists to vaccinate against other diseases. For example, augmenting the role of the dental profession in routine immunization of oral health related diseases such as Human Papillomavirus (HPV) would increase society’s access to future immunizations.2 Such steps would establish a more robust vaccine program by expanding access at a community level through trusted and competent dentists.

1 ADA Health Policy Institute, “Could Dentists Relieve Physician Shortages, Manage Chronic Disease?”, David Leader, D.M.D., M.P.H.; Marko Vujicic, Ph.D.; Brittany Harrison, M.A.; http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/HPI/Files/HPIBrief_1218_1.pdf

2 North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC), “Dentists’ Role in Vaccination: An Opportunity for Public Health Impact”, Zachary Brian, DMD, MHA, https://oralhealthnc.org/dentists-role-in-vaccination-an-opportunity-for-public-health-impact/

3 https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/03/16/2021-05401/seventh-amendment-to-declaration-under-the-public-readiness-and-emergency-preparedness-act-for

About Align Technology, Inc.

Align Technology designs, manufactures and offers the Invisalign® system, the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, iTero® intraoral scanners and services, and exocad CAD/CAM software. These technology building blocks enable enhanced digital orthodontic and restorative workflows to improve patient outcomes and practice efficiencies for over 200 thousand doctor customers, and is key to accessing Align’s 500 million consumer market opportunity worldwide. Align has helped doctors treat over 9.6 million patients with the Invisalign system and is driving the evolution in digital dentistry through the Align Digital Platform, our integrated suite of unique, proprietary technologies and services delivered as a seamless, end-to-end solution for patients and consumers, orthodontists and GP dentists, and lab/partners. Visit www.aligntech.com for more information.

AO Announces Top ePoster Research Award Recipients, Finalists

Posted on April 12, 2021

Out of the more than 100 ePosters submitted for the Academy of Osseointegration’s (AO) 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, one dozen have been selected as winners and finalists by the Academy’s ePosters Committee. 

The list of research projects, their presenters, and their location on the academy’s website are as follows: 


1st Place Best ePoster

P119: Effect of Connective Tissue Graft on Buccal Bone Dimension and Esthetics Following Immediate Implant Placement

Ping Wang, DMD; Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA



2nd Place Best ePoster

P106: Angulated Screw Channel Solution With Increased Preload

Alexandra Stuart-Smith, MSc, Southern Implants



Best Case Presentation

P122: New Implant Abutment Design for Vertical Orthodontic Movement: A Case Report

Buddhapoom Wangsrimongkol, DDS; NYU School of Dentistry, New York, NY



P8: Digital Workflow in Double Full-Arch Implant Rehabilitation

Mica Baevsky, DMD; Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA



P14: Antibacterial Efficacies and Effects on Human Gingival Fibroblasts of Four Antibacterial Agents

Chandni Batra, BDS, MDS; Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indianapolis, IN



P45: Risks of Sinus Floor Elevation Complications and Contributing Factors During and After Sinus Floor Elevation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 

Yung-Ting Hsu, DDS, MDSc, MS; University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry



P71: A Novel Technique to Reconstruct Tissue Convexity Around Implants in the Esthetic Zone

Seyedhossein Mohseni Salehimonfared, DMD; Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran



P100: Complete Digital Workflow for Full-Arch Maxillary Implant Rehabilitation

Elena Sicilia, DDS; Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA



P109: Effect of Static Magnetic Field on MC3T3-E1 Cells Differentiation via TGF-β Pathway

Chayapong Supachatwong, DDS; Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan



P113: Evaluation of Measurements Consistency With Various CBCT settings in the Maxillary Teeth: Cadaveric Study

Yoshiatsu Tanaka, DDS; Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indianapolis, IN



P114: In-vitro Study on Accuracy of Complete-Arch Intraoral Scans: The Contribution of Translocation Errors to Overall Surface Inaccuracy

Gregory Tao, DDS; Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, New York, NY



P116: Implant Placement Lateral to Inferior Alveolar Nerve in Extremely Atrophic Posterior Mandible

Dimitrios Tsitsimelis, DDS; NYU School of Dentistry, New York, NY



About Academy of Osseointegration

With approximately 4,000 members in more than 70 countries, AO is recognized as a premier international association for scientists and professionals interested in osseointegration and implant dentistry. AO serves as a nexus where specialists, generalists and scientists can come together to evaluate emerging research, technology, and techniques; share best practices; and define optimal patient care using timely science and evidence-based methods. 

Introducing Endodontic SuperSystems–Inside the Blueprints of a Premier Performing Endodontic Office

Posted on April 12, 2021

To help perfect running the engine of an Endo business and form the foundation for a successful practice – from patient experience to employee satisfaction to the bottom line – FlowPatterns™ is proud to announce the launch of Endodontic SuperSystems™ (ESS).

Endodontic SuperSystems is a digitally shared business playbook that incorporates plug-and-play training for each position, all-inclusive workflows and a modern platform. Designed for the Endodontist who wants to focus on creating a unique culture, all while being supported by a team that enables a frictionless workflow, ESS delivers a digital playbook solution that will continuously advance over time.

Much like EdTech introduces IT tools into the classroom to create a more engaging, inclusive and individualized learning experience, FlowPatterns’ ExecuTech platform, which is currently in use, empowers small- to medium-sized businesses to bring down costs and engage learners in new and innovative ways. By mapping, perfecting and standardizing processes from a premier performing blueprint endodontic office, ESS is making the lives of Endodontists easier by reducing stress, saving time, maximizing employee satisfaction and productivity, and giving them a much-needed balance of work and life.

As Dr. Christopher Sabourin, DDS, MS, MSD, and Founder/CEO of FlowPatterns/ESS states, “Every day, Endodontists balance the needs of running their office with efficiency, along with personal matters and everyday life. Often, their days are spent lost in lengthy and suboptimal workflows rather than using their time and abilities in the most effective way possible. The vision to create the freedom and structure they dreamt of while in dental school has become clouded with disarray and lack of communication between team members. So, we have created the calm to handle your chaos.

“Endodontic SuperSystems gives Endodontists confidence, knowing they’re using the same processes that power their most successful peers, so they can embrace the most exciting parts of their work, assured that everything else is running like clockwork.”

Meet the team behind FlowPatterns and witness the power of ESS for yourself when they debut their service at AAE21, happening April 21-24.

As a special introductory offer, the first 25 offices who purchase Endodontic SuperSystems by May 31, 2021 will qualify for a discount. (*Certain restrictions apply.) For more information or to schedule a demonstration, visit EndoSuperSystems.com or call 559-206-2600.

About FlowPatterns

FlowPatterns began the journey in 2018 to enable the average professional service business to transform itself into high performers. They do this by using ExecuTech to reduce friction in the business and increase clarity among team members. This sets team members free to put their talents to their highest-valued use, and dramatically increases revenue, profits and team member satisfaction with work. FlowPatterns are dedicated to creating a simplified workplace for everyone.


Carbon Named 2021 Supplier Member of the Year by National Association of Dental Laboratories

Posted on April 12, 2021

Carbon, a leading 3D printing technology company, has been named the 2021 Supplier Member of the Year by the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL). NADL annually recognizes individuals and companies who have made contributions to the dental laboratory profession. Carbon’s continuous innovations in additive manufacturing provide high reliability, accuracy, and throughput for a higher return on investment than conventional production methods.

Carbon delivers a broad range of 3D printed applications for dental laboratories and allows exclusive access to resins and workflows for the production of premium Lucitone Digital Print™ Dentures and Keysplint® Soft Clear night guards. Laboratories are drawn to Carbon’s unique ability to provide over-the-air software updates for continual platform improvements, streamlined remote troubleshooting, and industry-leading customer support. In the 2020 NADL 3D printer survey, Carbon was named #1 in customer satisfaction (as measured by Net Promoter Score) for the second year in a row and was the most preferred 3D printer brand by dental laboratories.

“Our dental lab customers avoid the historical approach of making large investments to purchase equipment that is obsolete within a few short years,” said Todd Ames, vice president, Oral Health. “We reimagined and solved this frustration with a subscription model so that our printers improve over time.” A Carbon subscription includes all scheduled maintenance and a proactive approach to service with remote monitoring and service notifications to precisely predict and prevent customer issues before they impact production.

Carbon’s platform continues to evolve to meet the needs of dental laboratories:

•  Carbon introduced a ground-breaking material and workflow, Lucitone Digital Print, that is exclusive to the Carbon platform and represents a paradigm shift in strength, esthetics, and laboratory efficiency for 3D printed dentures. It is the first 3D printed denture to exceed high impact standards. All dental laboratories are eligible to adopt the Lucitone Digital Print workflow for digital denture fabrication.

•  Carbon released a Denture Automation tool to automatically orient and support Lucitone Digital Print denture bases. This software provides a major improvement in efficiency for Lucitone Digital Print users, saving approximately 80% of the active labor time associated with preparing denture prints.

•  Ongoing over-the-air software updates have provided dental laboratories with increased accuracy; the ability to detect small islands that print separate from the main part, therefore requiring support; a project analysis time decrease of 35%; and a streamlined support workflow.

“We are honored to be recognized by the National Association of Dental Laboratories for our continued innovation and contributions to dental labs. The evolution of our platform is a direct result of us listening to our customers and developing features that help them bring products to market in less time,” concluded Ames.

Imbalance in Gum Bacteria Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarker

Posted on April 12, 2021

Older adults with more harmful than healthy bacteria in their gums are more likely to have evidence for amyloid beta — a key biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease — in their cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), according to new research from NYU College of Dentistry and Weill Cornell Medicine. However, this imbalance in oral bacteria was not associated with another Alzheimer’s biomarker called tau. 

The study, published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, adds to the growing evidence of a connection between periodontal disease (gum disease) and Alzheimer’s. Periodontal disease — which affects 70 percent of adults 65 and older, according to CDC estimates—is characterized by chronic and systemic inflammation, with pockets between the teeth and gums enlarging and harboring bacteria.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study showing an association between the imbalanced bacterial community found under the gumline and a CSF biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease in cognitively normal older adults,” said Angela Kamer, DDS, PhD, associate professor of periodontology and implant dentistry at NYU College of Dentistry and the study’s lead author. “The mouth is home to both harmful bacteria that promote inflammation and healthy, protective bacteria. We found that having evidence for brain amyloid was associated with increased harmful and decreased beneficial bacteria.”

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by two hallmark proteins in the brain: amyloid beta, which clumps together to form plaques and is believed to be the first protein deposited in the brain as Alzheimer’s develops, and tau, which builds up in nerve cells and forms tangles. 

“The mechanisms by which levels of brain amyloid accumulate and are associated with Alzheimer’s pathology are complex and only partially understood. The present study adds support to the understanding that proinflammatory diseases disrupt the clearance of amyloid from the brain, as retention of amyloid in the brain can be estimated from CSF levels,” said the study’s senior author Mony J. de Leon, EdD, professor of neuroscience in radiology and director of the Brain Health Imaging Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Amyloid changes are often observed decades before tau pathology or the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are detected.”

The researchers studied 48 healthy, cognitively normal adults ages 65 and older. Participants underwent oral examinations to collect bacterial samples from under the gumline, and lumbar puncture was used to obtain CSF in order to determine the levels of amyloid beta and tau. To estimate the brain’s expression of Alzheimer’s proteins, the researchers looked for lower levels of amyloid beta (which translate to higher brain amyloid levels) and higher levels of tau (which reflect higher brain tangle accumulations) in the CSF.

Analyzing the bacterial DNA of the samples taken from beneath the gumline under the guidance of NYU College of Dentistry microbiologist Deepak Saxena, PhD, the researchers quantified bacteria known to be harmful to oral health (e.g. Prevotella, Porphyromonas, Fretibacterium) and pro-oral health bacteria (e.g. CorynebacteriumActinomyces, Capnocytophaga).

The results showed that individuals with an imbalance in bacteria, with a ratio favoring harmful to healthy bacteria, were more likely to have the Alzheimer’s signature of reduced CSF amyloid levels. The researchers hypothesize that because high levels of healthy bacteria help maintain bacterial balance and decrease inflammation, they may be protective against Alzheimer’s. 

“Our results show the importance of the overall oral microbiome—not only of the role of ‘bad’ bacteria, but also ‘good’ bacteria — in modulating amyloid levels,” Kamer said. “These findings suggest that multiple oral bacteria are involved in the expression of amyloid lesions.” 

The researchers did not find an association between gum bacteria and tau levels in this study, so it remains unknown whether tau lesions will develop later or if the subjects will develop the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The researchers plan to conduct a longitudinal study and a clinical trial to test if improving gum health — through “deep cleanings” to remove deposits of plaque and tartar from under the gumline — can modify brain amyloid and prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Additional study authors include Smruti Pushalkar, Deepthi Gulivindala, and Kumar Raghava Chowdary Annam of NYU College of Dentistry; Tracy Butler, Yi Li, Lidia Glodzik, and Karla V. Ballman of Weill Cornell Medicine; Patricia Corby of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; Kaj Blennow of the University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University; and Henrik Zetterberg of the University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University, and UCL.

This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (AG035137, AG032554, AG12101, AG022374, AG13616, RF1AG057570, R56AG058913), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (DE023139), and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1 TR000038), as well as the Alzheimer’s Association (NIRG-12-173937).

About NYU College of Dentistry

Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating nearly 10 percent of the nation’s dentists. NYU Dentistry has a significant global reach with a highly diverse student body. Visit http://dental.nyu.edu for more.


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