Align Technology Awards Funding to Universities Worldwide for Advancing Orthodontic and Dental Research

Posted on July 6, 2020

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Align Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALGN) today announced the award of nine research grants under the company’s eleventh Annual Research Award Program. The global interest in research of dental and orthodontic treatment continues to grow as evidenced by the increasing number of applications Align Technology receives each year from universities around the world.

“Through the academic research community, we continue to validate the clinical efficacy and benefits of clear aligner therapy with the Invisalign system in general dentistry and orthodontic treatments,” said Raj Pudipeddi, Align Technology chief innovation, product, and marketing officer and senior vice president. “These science and research findings help further our ongoing commitment to product innovation that transforms smiles and changes lives for millions of people around the world through our network of Invisalign-trained doctors.”

The Americas research award recipients for 2020 are:

University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Tarek El-Bialy

University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Siew-Ging Gong

Jacksonville University (Jacksonville, USA) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Tabaa Sawsan

University of Washington (Seattle, USA) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Greg J. Huang

The European research award recipients for 2020 are:

National Kapodistrian University of Athens (Athens, Greece) – Dr. Iosif Sifakakis

University of Campania (Naples, Italy) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Letizia Perillo

University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (Rome, Italy) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Roberta Lione

University of Turin (Turin, Italy) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Bruni Alessandro

The Asia Pacific research award recipient for 2020 is:

Stomatology Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University (Shaanxi, China) – Primary Investigator, Dr. Yu-cheng Guo

The funded research studies cover a wide range of topics for projects seeking to better understand treatment in orthodontics and dentistry including:

effects of orthodontic appliances on the active oral microflora,

Invisalign treatment in adult anterior open bite patients,

3D changes in the nasal airway after maxillary arch expansion,

temperature conductivity to the tooth surfaces due to light-curing during bonding,

Invisalign First™ treatment on the transverse dimension,

evaluating palatal volume and surface area measurements between two appliances,

the effect of aligner wear time on gingival crevicular fluid,

evaluating a light-curing appliance that will reduce chairside time, and

determination of the stability of the palatal rugae in non-extraction cases, especially in the cases with molar distalization.

All award applications received were first reviewed and prioritized in a blind evaluation by an independent academic committee. The final recipients were then determined by Align Technology.

About Align Technology, Inc.

Align Technology designs and manufactures the Invisalign® system, the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, iTero® intraoral scanners and services, and CAD/CAM software. Align has helped treat over 8 million patients with the Invisalign system and is driving the evolution in digital dentistry with the iTero intraoral scanner and exocad CAD/CAM software − modernizing today’s practices by enabling enhanced digital orthodontic and restorative workflows to improve patient outcomes and practice efficiencies. Visit www.aligntech.com for more information.

For additional information about the Invisalign system or to find an Invisalign doctor in your area, please visit www.invisalign.com. For additional information about the iTero digital scanning system, please visit www.itero.com. For additional information about exocad dental CAD/CAM offerings and a list of exocad reseller partners, please visit www.exocad.com.

XJet Announces Global Partnership with Straumann as Dental Leader to Boost Ceramic AM from Concept to Production

Posted on July 2, 2020

 XJet Ltd. has announced that it is working with global dentistry leader Straumann Group to boost the Carmel 1400 AM System at its Basel headquarters from concept to production.

“We’ve been working with XJet NanoParticle Jetting technology for some time. Up to now it has been used for developing product iterations and providing proof of concept,” says Straumann VP Stephan Oehler. “Now we’re scoring the first product development project to reach the next level of bringing this technology to production of ceramic end-use parts. We believe this technology can scale up for production effectively; there’s a large print bed and with the soluble support material, we find post-processing simple and efficient.”

Recognized as a leading innovator enhancing the standards of dental patient care, Straumann was an early adopter of ceramic additive manufacturing as one of the first companies to invest in XJet NPJ technology. According to Oehler, Straumann was won over by the technology because of the accuracy of parts, shorter overall production cycles, and the game-changing soluble support material that allows unique ease-of-use.

“We work with ceramic in a lot of our products, so when we learned there was a new technology in the field, we looked into it. XJet convinced us with the quality of parts, the fine details and accuracy. In addition to that, the density of the material is extremely high, close to 100%, so it’s not like working with an ‘AM material.' We’re well-versed with the benefits of AM, so we knew that the freedom of design and complex geometries delivered by the technology, now for ceramic materials, could open up new product and application possibilities for the business,” states Philippe Chavanne, Head New Technology Competence Center, adding, “We were very impressed with the outstanding dedication and support provided by the XJet team, particularly Avi Cohen, Vice President, Healthcare and Education, who supported us in this collaboration from the very first moment.”

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Straumann Group develops, manufactures, and supplies dental implants, instruments, biomaterials, CADCAM prosthetics, digital equipment, software, and clear aligners for applications in replacement, restorative, orthodontic, and preventive dentistry. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Straumann has been able to keep its XJet Carmel 1400 AM System running throughout.

“There’s already a demand for the ceramic parts produced on the Carmel 1400, and social distancing is viable because operation of the system is very simple, so we’ve been able to keep the system running even through the global pandemic,” states Oehler.

“It’s incredible working with global leaders such as Straumann who are passionate and innovative about the products and services they provide. Working with them to move into production parts is hugely motivating and we’re delighted to see our partnership go from strength to strength,” enthuses XJet CBO Dror Danai.

Study Published in the Journal of Dental Research Demonstrates That Oropharyngeal Secretions May Help Reduce False Negative Test Results From Patients Who Were Treated for COVID-19

Posted on July 2, 2020

As the global battle to understand and eliminate the coronavirus continues, a new study published in the Journal of Dental Research demonstrates that testing of oropharyngeal secretions (OS) may reduce the number of false negative results from nasal swab testing of patients who have seemingly recovered from the disease.

In the study, led by Jingzhi Ma, Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Department of Stomatology, Wuhan, China, a small number of patients that had tested negative through nasopharyngeal swabs were found to be positive through the testing of oropharyngeal secretions.

The first prospective study of its kind included 75 ready-for-discharge COVID-19 patients who tested negative using two consecutive nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) of viral samples retrieved with nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS).

Because of detection of potential false-negatives in that cohort, NAAT results of paired OS and NPS samples collected from 50 additional COVID-19 recruits during their recovery stage were used in a second prospective study to compare the diagnostic values of the two viral RNA sampling methods.

Oropharyngeal secretions obtained from 2 of the 75 subjects in the first study yielded positive results for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid. In the second study, OS samples were significantly more sensitive for detection of the virus that NPS samples and missed only 14% of positive cases compared with 59% for the NPS samples.

Sampling of OS is a simple procedure that can be performed in any quarantine setting and minimizes contact between healthcare workers and patients, thereby reducing the risk of virus transmission.

“The NPS test has a risk of sending home more patients who still have the infection while the OS test will make such errors in fewer patients. Although OS sampling improves the accuracy of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid testing, it must be emphasized that this conclusion is based on a very small sample size,” stated Ma.

View the complete paper here. View a PDF of this press release here.

About the Journal of Dental Research

The IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research (JDR) is a multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the dissemination of new knowledge in all sciences relevant to dentistry and the oral cavity and associated structures in health and disease. The JDR continues to rank #3 in Impact Factor of 91 journals, #2 without self-citations, as well as #2 of 91 in Article Influence with a score of 1.627. The JDR’s 5-year Impact Factor remained above 5 for the fifth year at 5.844 — ranking #2 of 91 journals. With over 20,000 citations, the JDR also boasts the most citations in the “Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine” category, over 3,500 citations above the 2nd ranked journal in the field.

International Association for Dental Research

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with over 10,000 individual members worldwide, with a Mission to drive dental, oral and craniofacial research to advance health and well-being worldwide. To learn more, visit www.iadr.org. The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is the largest Division of IADR with 3,100 members in the United States. To learn more, visit www.iadr.org/aadr.   

Singapore-Based 3D Printing Startup, Structo, Starts Production of Millions of Pre-Sterilized Nasopharyngeal Testing Swabs

Posted on July 2, 2020

Structo, a NUS-born 3D printing startup, has begun manufacturing 3D printed nasopharyngeal (NP) testing swabs in Singapore to help in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Working in collaboration with authorities and healthcare professionals in Singapore, the company has now produced a million 3D printed NP testing swabs, with deliveries to customers in Singapore starting this week. Each of the swabs are individually sterilized and packaged before being delivered. Structo is scaling up rapidly to fulfil orders from healthcare institutions and other key parties across Singapore as well as customers globally and will soon have the capability to produce over 1 million 3D printed nasal testing swabs per week. 

Structo is a 3D printing startup which operates primarily in the dental industry. Since the start of the pandemic, working in collaboration with other 3D printing partners, universities, and medical institutions across Singapore, Structo has mobilized its resources towards the manufacturing of pre-sterilized nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs, thereby enabling more COVID-19 testing to take place across the region.

There are limited numbers of testing kits currently in circulation globally, and with many countries now easing their lockdown restrictions, there is an urgent need for testing on a massive scale in order to fight the virus, particularly in heavily stricken countries such as US, Brazil, and Russia. Whilst Singapore has deployed effective contact tracing mechanisms to curb the spread of the virus, continued large scale testing is seen as critical in allowing it to return to a state of normality.

Structo’s 3D printed NP testing swabs are FDA registered medical devices, which adhere to strict manufacturing guidelines. The Structo team manufactures its swabs in accordance with Struco’s ISO 13485 QMS requirements from biocompatible material and sterilizes each individually packed swab to ISO 11135 standards.

“We have been in touch with the authorities in Singapore for several months working with doctors and hospitals to validate a number of different designs and to ensure that all the nasal swabs that we manufacture will be safe for final use on patients,” said Huub van Esbroeck, Founder of Structo.

“In this climate, we recognize the importance of the availability of testing kits and the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on the economy and supply chains worldwide,” said Huub van Esbroeck. "We hope that our in-house manufacturing capabilities will be able to help alleviate some of those problems and help us avoid a shortage of critical testing equipment globally."

Seasoned deep tech investor and Structo backer Wavemaker Partners believes that deep tech startups are uniquely positioned to add tremendous value in these uncertain times. “Structo’s proprietary high-speed 3D printing technology paired with their expertise in manufacturing medical devices allowed them to react quickly to this pandemic. They went from producing dental models one day to nasopharyngeal swabs the next without the need for retooling,” said Paul Santos, Wavemaker Partners' managing partner, based in Singapore. “The team is now working round-the-clock on ramping up production capacity in the coming weeks as we anticipate more interest from around the world.”

With a consolidated effort from both the government and the private sector, Singapore is in a great position to spearhead this initiative. “In today’s climate, it’s imperative that we come together to offer our expertise and resources and help in the fight against COVID-19,” Huub adds. “We look forward to collaborating with government agencies and healthcare institutions globally to utilize our manufacturing resources and help those who need them the most.”

Microbrush® Introduces New Nasopharyngeal Test Swabs

Posted on July 2, 2020

Microbrush, a leading US-based global manufacturer and supplier of flocked applicators, has launched a nasopharyngeal test swab to meet the growing demand for COVID-19 testing requirements.

Sterilized and individually packaged in a medical-grade pouch, the Microbrush Test Swabs are ready-for-use intended for clinical nasopharyngeal sample collection. Manufactured in Grafton, Wis., Microbrush Test Swabs are a natural product line extension, following a 30-year track record of US-manufactured applicators for the healthcare industry. Flocked with soft nylon fibers, the Microbrush Test Swab provides an improved patient experience over 3D-printed swabs.

“Microbrush has rich manufacturing expertise in this category with over 10 billion flocked applicators produced since 1991,” said Dave Sproat, CEO of Young Innovations, Inc. “With healthcare providers in great need of COVID-19 test supplies, we’re incredibly proud to do our part in supporting this critical need by bringing a significant increase in production capacity to the market right away.”

“We were uniquely positioned to develop and manufacture this product quickly due to our strict adherence to quality as an FDA-registered facility; our deep-rooted experience in flocked applicator technology; and very strong, supportive partners,” added John Frymark, Vice President of Product Development at Young Innovations. “Developed in collaboration with several leading institutions and corporations. This product launch was a true team effort and a great testament of leading businesses operating with a high sense of urgency around an immediate healthcare need.”

The Microbrush Test Swab is FDA-listed and ready for immediate purchase. For more information on how to order Microbrush Test Swabs, please contact: Dave Newman dnewman@younginnovations.com

Microbrush is a subsidiary of Young Innovations, Inc., a portfolio company of The Jordan Company.

About Young Innovations, Inc.

Young Innovations (www.younginnovations.com) is a leading global provider of supplies and equipment used by dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and consumers. Our portfolio of brands includes products that hold leadership positions in the preventive, restorative, orthodontic and endodontic segments. With its mission of Creating Smiles, Creating Possibilities, Young focuses on delivering innovative, high-quality products and solutions to clinicians and their patients. We continue to enhance our portfolio of brands and products through organic growth and acquisitions.

About The Jordan Company

The Jordan Company founded in 1982, is a middle-market private equity firm that manages funds with original capital commitments in excess of $11 billion. TJC has a 38-year track record of investing in and contributing to the growth of many businesses across a wide range of industries including Industrials, Transportation & Logistics, Healthcare & Consumer and Technology, Telecom & Utility. The senior investment team has been investing together for over 20 years and is supported by the Operations Management Group, which was established in 1988 to initiate and support operational improvements in portfolio companies. Headquartered in New York City, TJC also has an office in Chicago.


3M Unveils New 24-Minute In-House Sterilization Monitoring Solution

Posted on July 1, 2020

According to the Centers for Disease Control, biological indicators, or spore tests, are the most accepted method for monitoring the sterilization process, and are recommended, at minimum, on a weekly basis. These tests monitor the killing of a large population of resistant microorganisms and provide assurance to a dental practice that their sterilization cycle parameters have been met. In its current state, biological indicator testing of sterilizers in dental offices, via in-office monitoring or mail-in service, can take anywhere from 24 hours to one week for results to be obtained. During that wait time, a malfunctioning sterilizer could be used to process instruments used on patients. With the new 3M™ AttestTM Mini Auto-reader 490M, sterilization monitoring results are now available in just 24 minutes. Dental teams will no longer have extensive waits for results and will now know that their sterilizer cycle parameters have been met.

“Routine monitoring using super rapid biological indicator technology can help reduce the risk of patient exposure to contaminated dental instruments,” said Eric Wenzel, Director, 3M Oral Care Solutions Division. “And, the compact size and competitive price of the Attest™ Mini Auto-reader makes in-office monitoring not just possible but practical for dental offices.”

For over 30 years, 3M has been a global leader in providing biological indicator

sterilization assurance solutions to hospitals worldwide. Now with the small, easy-to-use AttestTM Mini Auto-reader, dental practices can access the same rapid 24-minute sterilization monitoring speed used in hospitals to better serve patients. The Auto-reader is designed to incubate and read 3MTM AttestTM Super Rapid Readout Biological Indicators 1491 and 1492V for a final fluorescent result in 24 minutes.

To learn more about the 3MTM AttestTM Mini Auto-reader 490M, please visit: go.3M.com/490M.

Complexity of human tooth enamel revealed at atomic level in NIH-funded study

Posted on July 1, 2020

Scientists used a combination of advanced microscopy and chemical detection techniques to uncover the structural makeup of human tooth enamel at unprecedented atomic resolution, revealing lattice patterns and unexpected irregularities. The findings could lead to a better understanding of how tooth decay develops and might be prevented. The research was supported in part by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at the National Institutes of Health. The findings appear in Nature.

“This work provides much more detailed information about the atomic makeup of enamel than we previously knew,” said Jason Wan, Ph.D., a program officer at NIDCR. “These findings can broaden our thinking and approach to strengthening teeth against mechanical forces, as well as repairing damage due to erosion and decay.”

Your teeth are remarkably resilient, despite enduring the stress and strain of biting, chewing, and eating for a lifetime. Enamel — the hardest substance in the human body — is largely responsible for this endurance. Its high mineral content gives it strength. Enamel forms the outer covering of teeth and helps prevent tooth decay, or caries.

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases, affecting up to 90% of children and the vast majority of adults worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to painful abscesses, bone infection, and bone loss.

Tooth decay starts when excess acid in the mouth erodes the enamel covering. Scientists have long sought a more complete picture of enamel’s chemical and mechanical properties at the atomic level to better understand—and potentially prevent or reverse—enamel loss.

To survey enamel at the tiniest scales, researchers use microscopy methods such as scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), which directs a beam of electrons through a material to map its atomic makeup.

STEM studies have shown that at the nanoscale, enamel comprises tightly bunched oblong crystals that are about 1,000 times smaller in width than a human hair. These tiny crystallites are made mostly of a calcium- and phosphate-based mineral called hydroxylapatite. STEM studies coupled with chemical detection techniques had hinted at the presence of much smaller amounts of other chemical elements, but enamel’s vulnerability to damage from high-energy electron beams prevented a more thorough analysis at the necessary level of resolution.

To define these minor elements, a team of scientists at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, used an imaging tool called atom probe tomography. By successively removing layers of atoms from a sample, the technique provides a more refined, atom-by-atom view of a substance. The Northwestern group was among the first to use atom probe tomography to probe biological materials, including components of teeth.

“Earlier studies revealed the bulk composition of enamel, which is like knowing the overall makeup of a city in terms of its population,” said senior author Derk Joester, Ph.D., a professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern. “But it doesn’t tell you how things operate at the local scale in a city block or a single house. Atom probe tomography gave us that more detailed view.”

The scientists used atom probe tomography and advanced STEM techniques in a complementary fashion to overcome prior technical limitations. The Northwestern researchers worked with imaging experts led by Lena Kourkoutis, Ph.D., an associate professor of applied and engineering physics and director of electron microscopy at Cornell University’s national materials science user facility, PARADIM, in Ithaca, New York. At Cornell, the scientists coupled an ultra-fast chemical detector with STEM at very low temperatures to minimize enamel damage and gather more detailed chemical data. The complementary approaches enabled the team to piece together information at multiple levels of resolution to get a more complete view of the chemical and structural features of enamel crystallites.

The results showed that the crystallites were made of a continuous uniform lattice of hydroxylapatite atoms. However, the lattice structure appeared to be sprinkled with dark distortions, especially at the innermost core of the crystallites.

A closer look at the core revealed that these defects were caused by the presence of minor elements that previous studies had hinted at. One such element was magnesium, which was highly concentrated in two distinct layers in the core. The central region was also rich in sodium, fluorine, and carbonate. Flanking the core was a “shell” with much lower concentrations of these elements.

“We assumed that human crystallites would be similar in composition to rodent enamel, which is widely used by researchers to understand human enamel,” said co-first author Paul Smeets, Ph.D., a research associate in the Northwestern Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center. “But that was not the case — human enamel is much more chemically complex than we thought.”

The scientists suspected that the irregularities introduced by magnesium layers give rise to areas of strain in the crystallite. Computer modeling supported their hunch, predicting higher stresses in the core than in the shell.

“Stress may sound bad, but in material science it can be useful, and we think it may make enamel stronger overall,” said co-first author Karen DeRocher, a graduate student in Joester’s lab. “On the other hand, those stresses are predicted to make the core more soluble, which might lead to erosion of enamel.”

Indeed, when the researchers exposed crystallites to acid—similar to what happens in the mouth—the core showed more erosion than the shell. Further modeling and experiments will be necessary to confirm these results, as well as to explore the idea that stress introduced by chemical impurities may fortify enamel and make it more resistant to fracture. The group also plans to continue using these approaches to learn more about how acid affects enamel.

“This new information will enable model-based simulation of enamel degradation that wasn’t possible before, helping us better understand how caries develops,” said DeRocher.

The findings could lead to new approaches to toughen enamel and prevent or reverse cavity formation.

This research was supported by NIDCR grants DE025303 and DE025702. Support also came from the National Science Foundation, the University of Virginia, 3M, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Northwestern University, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Office of Naval Research, the International Institute for Nanotechnology, the Keck Foundation, the State of Illinois, the NASA Ames Research Center, Cornell University, the Weill Institute, the Kavli Institute, the National Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Province of Saskatchewan, Western Economic Diversification Canada, and the University of Saskatchewan.

This press release describes a basic research finding. Basic research increases our understanding of human behavior and biology, which is foundational to advancing new and better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Science is an unpredictable and incremental process— each research advance builds on past discoveries, often in unexpected ways. Most clinical advances would not be possible without the knowledge of fundamental basic research.

NIDCR is the nation’s leading funder of research on oral, dental, and craniofacial health. To learn more about NIDCR, visit www.nidcr.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

Overjet Raises $7.85 Million to Improve Dental Care Using Artificial Intelligence

Posted on July 1, 2020

Overjet, a leading provider of Artificial Intelligence-powered technology for the dental industry, has closed a total of $7.85M in series seed funding led by top tech VC firm Crosslink Capital and participation from other investors such as MIT E14 fund and strategic dental industry partners.

Overjet’s Clinical Intelligence Platform uses computer vision and data science to help dental organizations automate clinical data analysis to improve patient care. Overjet is working with some of the largest dental payers and dental group practices. Payers are using Overjet’s Platform to automate utilization review and fraud, waste and abuse detection. Dental Group practices are using the platform to obtain a comprehensive clinical overview to identify key performance indicators, reduce inefficiencies and improve quality of care across multiple locations.

“Our goal from day one has been to improve the standard of care in dentistry. We are looking forward to working with our partners to scale our technology and efforts to achieve our mission,” Overjet’s co-founder and CEO Dr. Wardah Inam said.

“As the dental industry embarks on a digital transformation, there is a massive opportunity for companies to utilize AI technologies such as computer vision and deep learning to fundamentally improve standard of dental care for patients. We believe that Overjet has put together a premier team of technologists and domain experts to solve key challenges in the dental industry, and are excited to support the team on its journey,” said Phil Boyer of Crosslink Capital.

Overjet’s team is led by Dr. Wardah Inam who received a PhD from MIT and was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. Dr. Deepak Ramaswamy, CTO, has a PhD from MIT and MBA from Cornell. He has 17 years of experience in technical leadership roles at Ansoft (acquired by Ansys), Q bio, Mathworks, Amazon and others. Dr. Robert Faiella, Chief Dental Officer, is the past-president of American Dental Association and received his graduate training from Harvard School of Dental Medicine and has an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. Dr. Chris Balaban, Clinical Director, received his DMD from Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine and holds a faculty position there. Shaju Puthussery, COO, is a seasoned dental industry executive and previously was the Chief Analytics Officer at DentaQuest, the largest Medicaid dental benefits provider.

About Overjet:

Overjet is the leading provider of AI-powered technology for dentistry. Its Clinical Intelligence Platform is used by dental organizations to improve productivity, profitability, and patient outcomes. The company was founded by experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard School of Dental Medicine and incubated at the Harvard Innovation Labs. The team is dedicated to solving the most challenging problems in dentistry to improve care for millions of patients.

Aspen Dental Launches Digitally Enhanced Patient Experience in all Offices

Posted on July 1, 2020

As consumers head back to the dentist, today Aspen Dental unveiled the first completely digital check-in experience to be offered across a dental network of scale. Available in Aspen Dental’s more than 820 offices in 41 states, patients can manage their dental visit as they do much of their lives – digitally, saving them time – an average of 15 minutes per patient – while dental care teams can provide a more integrated patient experience.

With the new system, Aspen Dental patients simply provide the Patient Service Representative (PSR) with their driver’s license and insurance card at check-in. The PSR quickly scans both forms of identification and in under 10 seconds, the required information is auto-populated into the patient management system.

Using an iPad provided in the office, the patient reviews their personal information and the needed consent forms, before providing an electronic signature – a process that takes two minutes on average. Since the patient’s information is instantly available in the integrated patient management system, it follows them to the treatment room, where the doctor completes the process, reviewing the patients’ medical history in a direct care setting.

“The new digital system is a benefit for both patients and care team members,” said Yogish Suvarna, CIO, Aspen Dental Management. “It means practitioners no longer have to enter the data manually, so patient wait time is reduced significantly and the doctor gets more quality face time with the patient, translating to a more convenient and overall better care experience. And because the system rollout is nationwide, patients know they can expect the same seamless experience regardless of the Aspen Dental office they visit.”

Learning from offices who participated in the pilot, time and motion studies show overall patient experience improvements, including:

-Average patient wait time was reduced by half – an average reduction of 15 minutes per patient

-Potential to eliminate more than 1,000 hours of non-patient support time per office per year

The launch of digital check-in comes at a time when patients value convenience and going-green, just as experts advise that less time in waiting rooms is better for community wellness. Digital patient check-in is just one of Aspen Dental’s community wellbeing commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic. View Aspen Dental’s complete Smile Wide, Smile Safe Promise here.

Aspen Dental Management, Inc. (ADMI), the dental support organization providing practice management and non-clinical support to care teams in Aspen Dental offices, developed the digital check-in technology suite in-house and the rollout is a part of Aspen Dental’s move to a more digitally integrated patient experience. Digital charting and notes through the Perio charting system, are currently being tested in several Aspen Dental locations, while artificial intelligence (AI) enhancements, such as biometrics and fingerprint/facial recognition, are being evaluated to continue to improve check-in and check-out.

“Digital patient check-in is just one more example of Aspen Dental’s commitment to remove friction and barriers from the patient’s treatment experience, getting them the care they need,” said Suvarna. “We are delighted that the new technology has been warmly received by patients and staff.”

About Aspen Dental Offices

The Aspen Dental network includes over 820 offices, in 41 states, owned and operated by independent practice owners and dentists, who operate with clinical autonomy and share a commitment to creating access to care for those who need it most. These independent practice owners supported 5.5 million patient visits in 2019, based on the belief that everyone has the right to quality, affordable oral health care. Each dental care team offers patients a safe, welcoming, judgment-free environment to address their dental challenges, including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work, and denture services. Learn more.

About Aspen Dental Management, Inc. (ADMI)

ADMI is the Dental Support Organization (DSO) that offers a full range of essential business support services to the independent dental practice owners in the Aspen Dental network. Service availability includes: location selection, leasing, outfitting each practice with state-of-the art equipment, billing and collection, human resources support, finance, accounting, and marketing. Support from ADMI allows the dental care teams, who practice with clinical autonomy, to focus on delivering the high quality patient care that patients expect in today’s changing healthcare landscape.

“In Depth” With Laurence Fishburne Covers How 3D Imaging and 3D printing is Improving Dental Practices

Posted on July 1, 2020

“What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993)” star Laurence Fishburne is renowned for his performing skillset. For years, the Georgia native has taken on roles, winning him countless accolades. Fishburne now is utilizing his skills as host for the program “In Depth” with Laurence Fishburne. “In Depth” is an informational TV show that informs its viewing audience about important events, developments, and inventions that impact people across the country. A new episode will dip into 3D imaging and printing technology and how it is benefiting the dental industry.

3D imaging and printing have been beneficial in numerous industries for decades. Dentistry is no different; dental practitioners harness the technology to better address tooth decay and injured or missing teeth. 3D imaging is particularly useful to dentists. They can use a small digital wand to scan a patient’s mouth to create a 3D image to see how to best to repair or replace a damaged tooth.

Dental 3D printing aids the process of fixing tooth and gum issues by allowing dentists to make high-quality replications of things like a patient’s jaws. Making anatomically accurate models like this helps dentists to have a better understanding of a patient’s anatomy before approaching surgery and helps to minimize any risks that may occur during operation. Also, since 3D printers use varying types of materials, like ABS plastics, steel, and epoxy resins, dentists can utilize the technology to print implants.

The technology behind 3D imaging and printing is no doubt impressive and making strides for dentistry. More details will be made available about these advances in the upcoming episode.

“In Depth” with Laurence Fishburne is carefully reviewed before broadcast. The educational show has received multiple awards for its efforts.

© 2020 AEGIS Communications | Privacy Policy