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Inside Dentistry
January 2007
Volume 3, Issue 1

Industry Insider

Aetna® Launches Dental/medical Integration Program That Includes Specialized Pregnancy Benefits
Aetna® (Hartford, CT) has launched a new dental/medical integration program, effective January 1, 2007, that offers enhanced dental benefits to members who are pregnant or have diabetes, coronary artery disease, or cerebrovascular disease (stroke). It also offers educational outreach about dental care. These changes come on the heels of a published research analysis from Aetna and the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine that found that high-risk individuals who sought earlier dental care lowered the risk or severity of their condition and subsequently lowered their overall medical costs.

The enhanced benefit program for pregnant women includes one additional cleaning visit and non-surgical removal of tartar, bacteria, and rough surfaces, among others.

In partnership with the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, Aetna conducted a two-year educational outreach pilot with 500,000 members starting in 2003, which found approximately 57% of those at-risk members who received education sought subsequent dental care.

Aetna is offering the outreach program free of charge to all plan sponsors with an existing Aetna fully-insured medical plan in conjunction with any of Aetna’s insured or self-insured dental plans (DMO, DPPO, or Dental Indemnity).

Aetna has also incorporated this educational component with existing disease management programs supporting pregnancy and targeted chronic conditions, making it available to plan sponsors and their employees who have both Aetna Medical and Aetna Dental.

For more information, visit

LED Dental Inc Hosts International Symposium to Promote Oral Cancer Awareness

LED Dental Inc, a Vancouver-based medical device company, hosted an international oral cancer symposium at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts.

The session, titled “The Inside Summit on Oral Cancer Discovery and Management: The Technologies and the Role of the Dental Clinician 2006,” was moderated by Gerard Kugel, DMD, MS, PhD, professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. The audience of dental clinicians was provided with the latest information on direct tissue fluorescence visualization technology and the benefits of incorporating it into a daily routine examination.

During the symposium, an international group of experts from the fields of dentistry, medicine, technology, and academia spoke to an equally diverse audience to promote oral cancer awareness and ensure better patient outcomes.

“The outcome we’re hoping for is to increase the number of practices actively screening for oral cancer and then treating it comprehensively,” said Dr. Kugel.

To help accomplish this, LED Dental is planning on publishing the entire proceedings of the symposium and roundtable later in the year.

Novlar’s Positive Phase 2 Pediatric Study Results Support Recent Pivotal Data in Adolescents and Adults

NV-101, a local dental anesthetic reversal agent, met its safety and efficacy endpoints in a Phase 2 study for pediatric patients, according to Novalar Pharmaceuticals, Inc (San Diego, CA). In this study, the time to normal sensation was reduced by 55.6%, a clinically and statistically significant (p<0.0001) acceleration of the return to normal sensation. In the Phase 3 studies, NV-101 continued to be well tolerated with no serious adverse events reported in the pediatric population studied.

If approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, NV-101 will be the only local anesthetic reversal agent available for use in pediatric, adolescent, and adult (including geriatric) patients that accelerates the return to normal sensation and function following restorative and periodontal maintenance procedures. Phentolamine mesylate (a vasodilator), the active ingredient in the investigational agent NV-101, has been approved and has been in use in specific medical indications at significantly higher doses for over 50 years.

The National Museum of Dentistry Opens The Narwhal: A Whale of a Tooth

The National Museum of Dentistry (NMD) opened its new exhibit The Narwhal: A Whale of a Tooth on December 9 and 10. The exhibition features a 13 ft., life-size model of a male Narwhal with its more than 5-foot long tusk that grows through the upper jaw and lip. The exhibition will remain at NMD through August 2007.

NMD exhibition’s Narwhal model (Monodon monocerous or “one tooth”), documentary photographs, interviews, and educational facts bring to life this curious creature. Small for a whale, adults reach lengths of 13 to 15 feet and weigh between 2,200 and 3,500 lbs. Narwhals are the only animals that grow an essentially straight tusk, which can achieve a length of 9 feet. Their home range includes the Atlantic portion of the Artic Ocean and the Greenland Sea.

NMD, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is located at 31 South Greene Street, Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Steven Offenbacher Receives 2006 Norton M. Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research

OraPharma, Inc. (Warminster, PA), manufacturer of ARESTIN® (minocycline hydrochloride) Microspheres, 1 mg, announced that Dr. Steven Offenbacher, the OraPharma Distinguished Professor of Periodontal Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, has been named the recipient of the 2006 Norton M. Ross Award for Excellence in Clinical Research.

The Ross Award, sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA) through the ADA Foundation, is given in memory of Dr. Norton M. Ross, a dentist and pharmacologist who contributed significantly to oral medicine and dental clinical research.

Dr. Offenbacher’s research focuses on several areas, including the relationship of periodontal disease to premature birth, heart disease, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Offenbacher is the principal investigator on a 5-year, multisite study focusing on whether or not tooth cleaning performed on expectant mothers decreases the rate of preterm deliveries at fewer than 37 weeks, and also what effect maternal tooth cleaning may have on the birth weight of infants born at fewer than 37 weeks gestation.

Oral Health America to Hold 17th Annual Gala

Oral Health America, a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to improving oral health for all Americans for 50 years, will be holding its 17th Annual Gala Dinner and Silent Auction on February 22, 2006, at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois. The event will raise funds to support educational and service programs designed to improve oral health.

The Oral Health America 17th Annual Gala Dinner and Silent Auction will run from 7 pm to 11 pm. Tickets are $250 each; a table for 10 can be purchased for $2,200. Oral Health America is also seeking event sponsors at the Gold ($2,000+) and Platinum ($5,000+) levels. For tickets or information on sponsorships and donations please contact Joe Donohue by calling (312) 836-9900 or e-mail him at

King of Thailand Celebrates 80th Birthday with Oral Health Care Initiative

In celebration of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th birthday, the citizens of Thailand will receive an unusual gift?oral health. The initiative, coordinated through Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health with training and support provided by 3M ESPE (St. Paul, MN), plans to provide complete dentures to 80,000 edentulous patients by 2007.

Faculty members of several universities and dental schools across Thailand are currently conducting training courses for dental professionals on impression technique for edentulous patients using 3M ESPE products. Training facilities are equipped with Impregum™ Penta™ Soft Medium Body Polyether Impression Material and Impregum™ Penta™ Medium Body Polyether Impression Material. Dentists also are training on Pentamix™ 2 Mixing Units, which continue to rotate throughout the country for use in small hospital clinics where patients receive their dentures along with instruction on proper oral health care. In 2006, more than 1,300 dentists in Thailand completed training with the Pentamix 2 mixing units, which continue to rotate throughout the country for use in small hospital clinics where patients receive their dentures along with instruction on proper oral health care.

A complete collection of scientific research and product ratings for Impregum polyether impression materials is available online at,or for more information call 1-800-634-2249.

Ultradent’s Podcast Heats Up the Digital Airwaves

Ultradent Products Inc. (South Jordan, UT) has produced the first weekly dental podcast. The Ultradent Products podcast presents topics from the anti-caries benefits of tooth whitening to minimally invasive endodontics. Ultradent’s free podcast provides subscribers with relevant information on industry trends every week. Ultradent’s podcasters include experts such as Dr. John Kanca, Dr. Jaimee Morgan, and Dr. Van Haywood. Because podcast audio files are accessible at any time and place, subscribers can pull from a growing library of over 20 episodes at their convenience. For more information about how to subscribe to the Ultradent Products Podcast, please visit For questions or ideas about future podcasts, call 1-800-268-9010.

National Board Dental Test Construction Accepting Applications

There are 11 vacancies on the National Board Dental Test Construction Committees and two vacancies on the National Board Dental Hygiene Test Construction Committees for appointment in 2008. Applicants will be selected March 2007 at the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations annual meeting. The dental vacancies are for: a gross anatomy expert, a physiology expert, a full-time dentist practitioner with expertise in biochemistry and physiology, a general pathology expert, a dental anatomy and occlusion expert, two operative dentistry experts, two orthodontic experts, a behavioral science expert, and a pharmacology expert. The dental hygiene vacancies are for an oral histology and embryology expert and a community dental health expert. For criteria and application information, go to: The deadline for applications is Jan. 22, 2007.

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