DryShield Announced Single Use Mouthpieces

Posted on May 20, 2019

DryShield®, the all-in-one isolation system for dentistry, is launching a new line of single-use mouthpieces at CDA Presents the Art and Science of Dentistry , as it celebrates its 5-year anniversary at the show. The company, which first made its stamp in the dental industry with the first fully autoclavable modern isolation system, is proud to expand its offerings to serve dentists who prefer the convenience of single-use mouthpieces.

As DryShield CEO Thien Nguyen put it, “We are excited to be the first isolation system with a full slate of autoclavable and single-use mouthpiece options. We think that, for our customer base, this is a real game-changer. We heard the voice of our customer community and responded with this new single-use line of products. It’s a reflection of our dedication to our customers, who help us drive innovation and value every day.”

Founder Dr. Lan Nguyen added, “Our vision has always been for all dentists – my colleagues and friends–to enjoy the benefits of modern isolation, no matter what kind of practice they are in. Introducing the single-use mouthpieces now offers dentists a range of options to find the best fit for their needs and those of their patients.”

Although the DryShield autoclavable mouthpieces continue to be the most economical option for many offices, for certain practices a single-use mouthpiece option may be preferred. In particular, the single-use mouthpieces target the needs of certain hospitals, government organizations, and practices that want the added convenience. The new single-use mouthpieces are available in Pedo, Small, Medium, and Large sizes to fit all patients. The mouthpieces come in a box of 20, with each mouthpiece individually packaged.

Designed by a dentist for dentists, the DryShield mouthpiece is engineered in two options - autoclavable and now single-use - to meet dentists’ needs for maximum affordability or convenience. All DryShield dentists will continue to see chair time reduced by an average of 20-30% per procedure, allowing more procedures per appointment, more patients scheduled per day, and more consistent on-time schedules.

Headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, DryShield LLC is an ISO 13485-certified dental technology company committed to creating new products dentists see value from every day. Since its launch in 2014, the DryShield Isolation System has won multiple Dental Advisor awards for Top Isolation & Evacuation Device, the Dental Product Shopper Best Product award, and recognition in the Gordon J. Christensen Clinicians Report and Dental Economics “Pearls for Your Practice,” among others. DryShield has operations or affiliates in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. For more information, please visit dryshield.com .

© 2019 DryShield, LLC. All rights reserved. DryShield and the DryShield logo are trademarks of DryShield, LLC. Patented and patent pending in the US and worldwide. DryShield.com/patents

Annual AACD Session Attendees Caught the Wave of Cosmetic Dentistry Education

Posted on May 20, 2019

The 35th Annual American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Scientific Session concluded its educational program on April 27th at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA. More than 1,500 people attended the four days of educational programming which included 58 speakers, 70 courses, two entertaining and motivating general sessions, and some memorable social events.

AACD 2019’s cosmetic dentistry education program featured an expertly curated selection of topics and speakers which were purposefully selected to keep attendees ahead of the curve and maximize their CE dollars. Attendees were swept away by the educational program consisting of headlining educators, Stephen Chu, DMD, CDT and Pascal Mangne, DMD, PhD, along with a wide variety of hands-on workshops and lectures.

This year was an especially exciting year as the AACD added some refreshing changes and new features. “We wanted to make changes that improved the overall conference experience while still maintaining the exceptional level of education attendees expect from the AACD” Nathaniel Hill, DDS, and Chair of the AACD Professional Education Committee explained.

Exciting changes included:

• An Accreditation Super Session to prepare or keep attendees on track for their Accreditation journey. In these Super Sessions the AACD’s top Accredited and Accredited Fellow Members delivered 50-minute lectures covering each of the five Accreditation case types they would need to submit and pass to become an AACD Accredited member.

• AACD member presenters recorded additional courses onsite with our Director of Professional Education, Shane Walsh, at AACD 2019. Those courses will gradually become accessible on the AACD Virtual Campus over the next several months.

Plus, these exciting additions to the AACD 2019 Exhibit Hall:

• The Splash Zone featured digital technology to enhance attendees’ practices. Representatives from iTero, Shofu, Ivoclar Vivadent, Digital Smile Design, Carestream, CAD-Ray Medit, Formlabs, 3Shape, and Esthetic Professionals had attendees try out their oral scanners and other technology.

• Contour Cove featured polishing systems from 3M Oral Care, Cosmedent, Ivoclar Vivadent, DiaShine, Shofu, Clinician’s Choice and Brasseler USA. Attendees were able to test each company’s points and discs to determine which finishing and polishing products they take a shining to.

• Free professional headshots were taken throughout the week in the Exhibit Hall. Attendees had the opportunity to get their professional headshots updated by the very talented Rich Soublet of Rich Soublet Photography.

• AACD Fashion Shows took place in the Exhibit Hall, Thursday April 25th and Friday, April 26th. The Fashion Shows featured the hottest uniform fashions from Noel Asmar and Jaanuu modeled down the runway by cosmetic dentistry’s movers and shakers.

In addition to rich educational opportunities, the scientific session was a chance for the Academy to recognize and honor its members who demonstrated their dedication to continuing education and responsible patient care by becoming an Accredited Member or Accredited Fellow. This year, the AACD acknowledged eight newly Accredited Members and four newly Accredited Fellows. Other exemplary members of the Academy and of the profession were recognized and honored with Celebration of Excellence Awards, known as the Evy.

Attendees of the conference also enjoyed opportunities to unwind and catch up with friends and colleagues. The social events began Wednesday night with the Welcome Reception at the USS Midway Museum. On Thursday night, attendees took in the amazing views of the San Diego coastline from The Skybox as they raised funds for the AACD Charitable Foundation’s Give Back a Smile program. Concluding the scientific session was a Navel themed Celebration of Excellence closing reception featuring fine dining and delightful dance numbers. The wow-factors of this year’s social events have attendees looking ahead to AACD 2020 in Orlando.

AACD 2019 delivered an exceptional continuing education experience for dental professionals who are passionate about pursuing excellence in the art and science of cosmetic dentistry, but there’s plenty more where that came from. The 36th Annual AACD Scientific Session will take place Wednesday, April 22 – Saturday, April 25, 2019 at AAA four diamond hotel, Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, FL. Join us as we share the vision and shape the future of cosmetic dentistry education at AACD 2020!

Registration for AACD 2020 in Orlando is already open and if you register now, you’ll receive Prime Status which includes early course selection! Visit www.aacd.com/orlando for more information.

About the AACD

The AACD is the world’s largest non-profit member organization dedicated to advancing excellence in comprehensive oral care, combining art and science to optimally improve dental health, esthetics, and function. Comprised of more than 5,000 cosmetic dental professionals in 70 countries worldwide, the AACD fulfills its mission by offering superior educational opportunities, promoting and supporting the respected Accreditation and Fellowship credentials, serving as a user-friendly and inviting forum for the creative exchange of knowledge and ideas, and providing accurate and useful information to the public and the profession. 

Henry Schein Announced Thrive by Henry Schein, a Membership Value Club

Posted on May 17, 2019

Henry Schein, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC) announced the availability of Thrive by Henry Schein, a membership value club for dental professionals that combines, for the first time ever, the Company’s expansive portfolio of business, clinical, technology, supply chain solutions, and an enhanced service experience at exclusive membership pricing. In addition to new solutions, Thrive by Henry Schein offers members additional benefits such as premium product discounts, educational opportunities, and more tools in a single solutions package designed to improve workflow efficiencies so they can focus on delivering quality patient care.

A Thrive by Henry Schein membership provides dental practitioners a seamless experience with premium service through a designated concierge team, member-only service discount and dispatch number, and access to their account via the Thrive by Henry Schein mobile app. Members also receive the added benefit of a Henry Schein Practice Analysis, a process that uses data provided by a given customer to uncover opportunities to enhance their practice. In addition, members using applicable practice management software will receive Practice Management Key Performance Indicator Snapshots, which provide daily snapshots of key performance metrics that they can view in the Thrive by Henry Schein app.

“Thrive by Henry Schein is designed as a comprehensive solution for our customers, who place their trust in Henry Schein to help their practices succeed in an ever-changing market,” said AJ Caffentzis, President, North American Dental Group, Henry Schein, Inc. “This membership value club exemplifies our commitment to providing customers with the products, knowledge, and tools that they can rely on to optimize their practice workflow and profitability.”

Thrive by Henry Schein also offers its members added benefits such as a complimentary professional practice transitions exploratory meeting, quarterly business reviews, access to exclusive special offers across the complete Henry Schein portfolio, and discounts on the Dental Business Institute, a year-long educational program that guides practitioners through the process of applying different business models to their practice vision.

“I joined Thrive by Henry Schein mainly for the analytics package and the Dental Business Institute discount,” said Dr. Craig Mundy, DDS, Fresno, CA. “I have found more value in being a member than I originally expected, and knowing that I have exclusive access to service and special offers is awesome. But the best benefit is having a dedicated Field Sales Consultant strategically working with me to achieve my practice goals – priceless.”

To enroll in the Thrive by Henry Schein membership value club, or for more information, please visit https://dentistswhothrive.com/.

About Henry Schein, Inc.

Henry Schein, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC) is a solutions company for health care professionals powered by a network of people and technology. With more than 18,000 Team Schein Members worldwide, the Company's network of trusted advisors provides over 1 million customers globally with more than 300 valued solutions that improve operational success and clinical outcomes. Our Business, Clinical, Technology, and Supply Chain solutions help office-based dental and medical practitioners work more efficiently so they can provide quality care more effectively. These solutions also support dental laboratories, government and institutional health care clinics, as well as other alternate care sites. 

BIOLASE Announces Advancing Dentistry Symposium

Posted on May 16, 2019

IRVINE, Calif., May 16, 2019 – BIOLASE, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOL), the global leader in dental lasers, is proud to announce that it will host the Advancing Dentistry Symposium in San Diego, California on October 18-19, 2019. The conference will offer education around cutting-edge technologies, techniques and innovations that are currently advancing dentistry today.

Dr. Gordon J. Christensen, founder of Practical Clinical Courses, will serve as the keynote speaker. His presentation, What Clinical Techniques & Technologies Do You Really Need and Why, will address burning questions among dental professionals, including what tools are required and which ones are elective, how to determine return on investment, and most importantly, what tools will improve patient care and service offerings.

“Collaboration among dental professionals is of the utmost importance to deliver the best experience for both practicing dentists and their patients,” said BIOLASE CEO Todd Norbe. “This symposium presents the opportunity for those in the industry to come together to advance their knowledge by exploring the latest technologies available in their field and see how their practice, patients and staff can benefit.”

BIOLASE’s partners for this event include leading dental companies such as Align Technology, Glidewell Laboratories, Seiler Medical Division and Hu-Friedy. Additional program topics include tongue-tie diagnosis and treatment within five minutes, predictable periodontal and implantitis therapy, non-traumatic crown and veneer removal in less than five minutes, and more.

The symposium will be held at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina at 333 W Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101. Registration is now open, but seating will be limited. Visit biolase.com/ads2019 to sign up today.

About BIOLASE, Inc.

BIOLASE, Inc. is a medical device company that is a global market leader in the manufacturing and marketing of proprietary dental laser systems that enable dentists and dental specialists to perform a broad range of minimally invasive dental procedures, including cosmetic, restorative, and surgical applications. BIOLASE's laser systems are designed to provide clinically superior, patient-friendly results for many types of common dental procedures compared to those achieved with traditional instruments. BIOLASE has sold over 39,000 laser systems to date in over 90 countries around the world.

For updates and information on Waterlase iPlus®, Waterlase Express™, and laser dentistry, find BIOLASE online at www.biolase.com, Facebook at www.facebook.com/biolase, Twitter at www.twitter.com/biolaseinc, LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/biolase, Instagram at www.instagram.com/waterlase_laserdentistry, and YouTube at www.youtube.com/biolasevideos

National Survey from Bankers Healthcare Group Examines Dental Practice Investments

Posted on May 16, 2019

DAVIE, Fla., May 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A national research study from Bankers Healthcare Group, a leading provider of financial solutions for healthcare professionals, examines how dentists manage their business finances and investments. BHG surveyed more than 400 dental professionals (both practice owners and associates) to better understand their financial decision-making and how they're investing to maintain and grow their practices/services.

Making Financial Decisions

Three out of four dentists (76%) play an active role in making financial decisions for their practice, regardless of their title within the office. These decisions include budgeting, investments, and borrowing.

Among practice owners only, 60% make financial decisions on their own, while 27% make them jointly with others. The remaining 13% are hands-off in financial decision-making, relying on others such as practice partners, office managers, or a financial advisor. Those aged 35 and older skewed higher on sole decision-making, while younger practice owners were more likely to tap other experts to make financial decisions.

Among associates (non-practice owners), those aged 35-49 and who practice with only two or fewer other dentists are more likely to be involved in their practice's financial decisions.

Practice Expenses

Practice owners surveyed say payroll and benefits are their highest expenses, with nearly half (47%) estimating an average annual spend $100,000-$299,999, while about a quarter (22%) estimate spending $300,000-$499,999.

Hiring office staff is the most frequently incurred significant financial investment for dentists. One-quarter said their practice hires office staff every two to three years, while another 22% hire annually. Upgrading or purchasing new equipment is also a frequent larger financial move, with 20% indicating they're likely to do this every year.

BHG asked respondents to estimate how much they spend on average for other annual practice costs. Top expenses include:

Dental Supplies: 32% report spending more than more than $30,000.

Office Rent/Mortgage: 39% spend more than $30,000.

Lab Fees: 29% of owners estimate they spend over $30,000.

Lower expenses include:

Marketing: 43% report spending less than $3,000.

Continuing Education: 41% of owners spend less than $3,000.

Borrowing Habits

Almost half of all dentists (44%) surveyed said they've taken out a commercial loan and 40% have taken out a personal loan. The most common uses of a business loan include:

Start/open practice/healthcare business: 50%

Working capital: 41%

To finance expansion/equipment: 32%

About Bankers Healthcare Group

Bankers Healthcare Group provides innovative, hassle-free financial solutions to healthcare practitioners and other licensed professionals. Since 2001, BHG has provided more than $4 billion in financial solutions to thousands of satisfied customers nationwide. BHG is proud to maintain partnerships with leading healthcare industry associations, and is recognized regionally and nationally for innovation, continued growth, and being a best place to work. BHG is partially owned by Pinnacle Financial Partners. To learn more, visit www.bankershealthcaregroup.com, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

 

 

Gap exists in Americans' knowledge of certain basic dental terms

Posted on May 16, 2019

Consider checking your dental IQ before your next visit to the dentist. A new Adult's Oral Health & Well-Being Survey indicates that a significant portion of the American population is not familiar with certain key dental terms. This unfamiliarity may lead to unease in the dental chair during discussions with your oral health care professional. The Delta Dental national survey finds that the majority of adults are not versed in bruxism (81%), caries (75%) and prophylaxis (64%).


Nearly all survey respondents (92%) say they are familiar with plaque. This sticky film of bacteria and other substances can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, if not removed every day. Most Americans seem versed in gingivitis. Only 13% of adults are not sure about this term, which is an early form of gum disease. Signs of gingivitis include gums that are inflamed, red and swollen and bleed easily.

National knowledge levels show opportunity for growth

While most adults score an A+ on familiarity with frequently used terms, such as plaque and gingivitis, there appears to be room for improvement in basic knowledge of other dental terms. One-third of Americans are not familiar with periodontal disease — one area they could brush up on. This very common condition, also known as gum disease, is typically preventable with proper oral care.

According to the national survey, 2 in 5 adults (40%) are not sure what the term sealant means. This common dental treatment helps to protect teeth from cavities, also known as caries, by keeping food and bacteria out.

"Sealants are simple, painless protection against cavities. Consider sealants as soon as your child's permanent molar teeth come in," said Dr. Joe Dill, DDS, MBA, Delta Dental Plans Association's vice president of dental science and network strategy. "Although dental sealants tend to last for years, they should be regularly checked by your dentist for wear."

Helping to prevent oral health problems, before they occur, is at the heart of many of Delta Dental's community benefits efforts. In 2017, more than 4.2 million individuals were served by the Delta Dental companies' dental prevention initiatives, including community water fluoridation, school sealant programs, and screenings.

Dental distress preventing proper oral care

About 70 million Americans, or nearly one-third of adults (31%) surveyed, admit to postponing a trip to the dentist because of being afraid of a dental procedure.

"Our oral health has implications for a lifetime and receiving the proper dental care can influence overall health," Dr. Dill said. "Be sure to ask questions when obtaining a dental health diagnosis or treatment plan recommendation. Your dentist can explain terms that may be unfamiliar to you, which may be helpful as you make important oral health care decisions."

For an easy-to-navigate resource on dental terminology, go to the Glossary of Dental Terms on www.deltadental.com.

About the survey

The Adult's Oral Health & Well-Being Survey was conducted between December 31, 2018, and January 13, 2019, among 1,100 nationally representative Americans ages 18+. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

Follow us on Twitter @DeltaDental and Facebook: Delta Dental Plans Association

About Delta Dental Plans Association

Delta Dental Plans Association, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation's largest provider of dental insurance, covering more than 78 million Americans, and offering the country's largest dental network with approximately 156,000 participating dentists. In 2017, Delta Dental companies provided more than $61 million in direct and in-kind community outreach support to improve the oral health of adults, children and infants in local communities across the country. For more information, visit: deltadental.com

Protect protruding teeth from damage and long-term consequences

Posted on May 16, 2019

Children with their first or early adult set of teeth that stick out have an increased chance of damaging them, but the risk can be easily reduced without being prohibitively costly.

A study undertaken at the University of Adelaide of more than 50,000 children aged under 19 years published in the journal Dental Traumatology, confirms a direct link between the degree to which a young patient’s teeth protrude and the chance of damaging them.

“Traumatic dental injuries have been identified as the fifth most prevalent disease or injury globally and their subsequent management is costly,” says Dr Esma Dogramaci, Senior Lecturer in Orthodontics, the University of Adelaide.

“While the number of traumatic dental injuries have fallen over recent decades, they have significant physical, psychological and economic consequences.

“Young children up to the age of six years with teeth that stick out more than 3mm have over three times higher chance of trauma than children without protruding teeth. Children over six years with teeth that protrude more than 5mm have over double the chance of trauma,” says Dr Dogramaci.

Corrective orthodontic treatment of children’s teeth isn’t usually undertaken until all permanent adult teeth have come through - usually after the age of 12 years. However, an expensive visit to an orthodontist isn’t essential to protect teeth that stick out.

“A dentist can easily measure how far a child’s teeth stick out and recommend whether they should be fitted with a brace. They can apply simple braces which can reduce the prominence of protruding teeth and significantly reduce the chance of them being damaged,” says Dr Dogramaci.

If children suck their thumb this may also cause the teeth to stick out so they should be discouraged from this habit as early as possible. Children should also wear a mouth guard to protect protruding teeth when playing sports.

“Early identification and protection of protruding teeth through regular dental check-ups reduces the chance of early problems becoming long-term dental issues,” says Dr Dogramaci.

“If young teeth are broken or knocked out long-term issues may occur like the need for root canal treatment or even tooth loss, requiring a lifetime commitment for general dental treatment.

“Also, if orthodontic treatment is carried out on teeth that have previously suffered from trauma, further complications can occur during orthodontics that could lead to the loss of those teeth.

“The results of this study confirm that regular check-ups, particularly for children, are a must for good long-term dental health.”

The research was carried out by the Adelaide Dental School, the University of Adelaide.

Schroeder Dental Laboratory, Inc. Celebrates 100 Years

Posted on May 16, 2019

Schroeder Dental Laboratory in Northbrook, Illinois, is celebrating its 100th year in business. The family-owned laboratory, currently operated by Jim and Janet Schroeder, was started in 1919 by Jim’s grandfather, Arthur J. Schroeder.

Family legend has it that Arthur was on a train headed for basic training when World War I ended in November 1918. Without a job or military service requirement, Arthur decided to go into business for himself. He had worked for various laboratories for the past six years and always dreamed he would someday own one of the best labs in the nation. Now seemed as good a time as any. Arthur opened his lab in Chicago, operating from a small rented room.

After surviving the market crash in 1929, Arthur focused on growing his lab and starting a family. Eventually all three of his sons joined him in the business. Throughout the years, the lab changed locations but always remained on the north side of Chicago. In 1979, the lab relocated to Northbrook, where it remains today. Over the years, many family members have played a role in the business, including Arthur’s wife and sister, his sons, and later their wives and children. Even some aunts, uncles, and nephews helped out along the way. This was truly a family business.

Over the course of the past century, dental laboratory work changed dramatically. In the early days, the laboratory focused primarily on removable prosthetics; today the lab specializes in fixed restorations. The biggest driver of change has been the advent of computers. “In the old days, everything was done by hand,” says Jim. “Today the entire workflow is influenced by computers. What used to be done in a week, can now be done in a matter of hours. Technology combined with old world craftsmanship and superior customer service is the key to our success.”

The future looks bright for the next century at Schroeder Dental Laboratory. Jim and Janet’s nephew works at the company as Director of Digital Technologies, so the family legacy will continue. Schroeder Dental Lab has celebrations planned throughout the year to mark their centennial, including an open house in the fall where anyone can come and tour the lab.

For more information on Schroeder Dental Laboratory, contact Jim or Janet at 847-480-0380 or schroederlab@yahoo.com.

You Are What You Eat: How the Pursuit of Carbs Changed Mammals’ Genes and Saliva

Posted on May 16, 2019

Starch, a complex carbohydrate, is a vital source of nutrition for many mammals. Humans farm it in the form of rice, wheat, corn, potatoes and oats. Rats comb our garbage piles for scraps of pizza and bread. Wild boars root for tubers.

Now, a new study is providing insight into how the pursuit of starch may have driven evolutionary adaptations in these and other hungry mammals.

The research, conducted on 46 mammal species, focuses on a biological compound called amylase, which is produced by humans and other animals to break down starch.

The study finds that in the course of mammalian evolution, the genetic machinery that teaches the body how to make amylase has been something of a chameleon. It has evolved in different ways in different beasts, and it’s capable of changing rapidly, possibly in accordance with what animals eat.

The study finds that mammals with starchy diets tend to have more copies of the amylase gene, which carries instructions for building amylase, than mammals that consume little starch (at least among the species studied).

The research also presents evidence that evolutionary changes related to amylase — including duplications of the amylase gene and the ability to produce amylase in saliva — may have arisen independently in some different species. Called convergent evolution, this phenomenon often signals a particularly useful adaptation.

Findings were published on May 14 in eLife. Overall, the study paints a colorful picture of the evolutionary history of amylase across mammals, ranging from humans, dogs and house cats to hedgehogs and ring-tailed lemurs, along with baboons that store food in their cheeks.

“Amylase is a case where diet may have the potential to change our genes. This is fascinating,” says Omer Gokcumen, PhD, assistant professor of biological sciences in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. “The duplications we see in the amylase gene give a very flexible and rapid way in which gene functions can evolve, and this mechanism of evolution is underappreciated.”

“Past studies have explored the evolution of amylase in select species, such as humans and dogs, but our research takes a broader perspective,” says Stefan Ruhl, PhD, DDS, professor of oral biology in the UB School of Dental Medicine. “We examine dozens of mammalian species from different branches of the evolutionary tree, and we see that when it comes to amylase in saliva, genetics and biology may respond to what we eat.”

The study was led by Gokcumen, Ruhl and first author Petar Pajic, a UB oral biology and biological sciences researcher.

The research — supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Cancer Institute and National Science Foundation — included researchers from UB, the Foundation for Research and Technology in Greece, SUNY Plattsburgh, Cornell University and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut in Germany.

Details on the findings:

Mammals with starchy diets appear to have adapted, genetically, to stomach more carbs: Of the species studied, those with starch in their diets generally have more copies of the amylase gene, which carries instructions for making amylase, than animals like carnivores and herbivores whose strict diets tend to exclude starch. Carb-munching humans, house mice, brown rats, dogs, pigs and boars have lots of copies, while mammals like mountain lions, which subsist on meat, and hedgehogs, which dine on foods such as insects and snails, have few. This is important because the gene is akin to a mold in a factory: the more units you have, the more amylase you can theoretically produce. As for how the extra copies of the amylase gene evolved, “It’s like the chicken and the egg – we cannot really tell what came first,” Ruhl says. “Starch in the diet may have led to more amylase, and the ability to digest starch may have led to increased starch intake, and so forth.” In some cases, close contact with humans — and access to human food — may have spurred an adaptation to starch. The study confirmed past findings from other teams showing that mice and domestic dogs, which live alongside people, have more copies of the amylase gene than their wild cousins (wolves and wild rodents, respectively). The brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) — a species commonly known as the street or sewer rat — also has many copies of the amylase gene.

The genetic expansion of amylase likely occurred independently in multiple species: Based on genetic evidence, the study concluded that mice, rats, dogs, pigs and humans likely acquired some of their extra copies of the amylase gene independently, at separate times in their evolution, rather than inheriting all the copies from a common ancestor. This phenomenon, called convergent evolution, can signal a particularly useful adaptation.

Amylase in saliva is more widespread than previously known (some pet dogs produce it, for example): Most amylase is produced in the pancreas, but some animals also secrete it in saliva. The new research finds that this capability is more common than previously known, and proposes salivary amylase as another adaptation that may have arisen through convergent evolution in some species. When scientists tested for amylase in the drool of 22 mammalian species, they found it in 15 species, including six species that were not previously known to have amylase in saliva. Perhaps unsurprisingly, baboons and rhesus macaques that store food in cheek pouches for long periods of time were among the most prolific producers of salivary amylase among the mammals tested. Pet dogs were among the species that were newly identified as salivary amylase producers. While not all dogs have amylase, the research found it in several breeds, such as English cream golden retrievers, Labradors and pitbulls.

“This study provides the most comprehensive picture, to date, on how amylase has evolved in the mammalian lineage at both the genetic level and at the level of protein expression in saliva,” says Pajic, the study’s first author. "From a broader theoretical stance, it also reveals how quickly evolution can happen and how something simple, like the food you eat, may drive otherwise unrelated species to evolve similarly.”

For animals who don’t store food in their cheeks, the evolutionary advantage of having amylase in saliva is unclear. But Ruhl, a leading salivary researcher, says one theory is that it helps animals and humans identify starchy foods as desirable to eat.

“Humans have a lot of salivary amylase, but why?” he says. “Unlike the baboons who predigest food in their cheek pouches, we humans do not keep food in our mouths long enough for any substantial digestion to happen. One idea is that salivary amylase evolved to help our ancestors detect starch: They would not be able to taste it otherwise. Amylase liberates sugar in starch, and this may help animals develop a taste preference for starch-rich foods like potatoes or corn.”

Other hypothesized purposes for salivary amylase include cleaning sticky starch residues from teeth: “Amylase in saliva might act as a kind of biochemical toothbrush nature has provided us with,” Ruhl says with a smile. “It could help to regulate the make-up of the oral microbiome.”

Kettenbach GmbH celebrates 75 years

Posted on May 15, 2019

On this date Kettenbach GmbH celebrated its 75th anniversary.

Kettenbach LP, is proud to announce the celebration of its ‘parent’ and supplier Kettenbach GmbH on the anniversary of its birth on May 2, 1944.

Committed to bringing quality silicone impression materials and a developing line of innovative resins to dental offices worldwide, Kettenbach in all of its forms and offices is dedicated to its customer. Look for new product information to come later this year as the company embarks on the next 75 years of making dental offices operate more efficient operationally and with greater cost effectiveness.

About Kettenbach LP

Kettenbach LP is located in Huntington Beach, CA, and is the exclusive U.S. distributor for Kettenbach GmbH & Co. KG located in Eschenburg, Germany. Founded by August Kettenbach in 1944, Kettenbach GmbH was created for the development and marketing of medical and dental products. Today, the company is one of the leading international producers of impression materials for dental use and is also known in other surgical areas of medicine. For more information about Kettenbach LP products, please call 877-KEBA-123 or visit www.kettenbach.com.

 

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