The Power to Heal Our Communities

Posted on June 4, 2020

Dental leaders respond to current events

The dental profession mourns the passing of George Floyd, who died last week while he was being restrained by police in Minneapolis. We are faced with a hurt that is, unfortunately, all too familiar. The ensuing outcry over Mr. Floyd’s death is not just about this singular incident, but instead a centuries-long history of discrimination and brutality against Black people and other communities of color. We add his name to the list of others’ whose lives have also been cut short under the heinous, yet enduring legacy of racial injustice.

And with every addition to this list, there is a wound that weeps from repeated injury. There is sadness, anger, and frustration—and rightfully so. Just think: In 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., shared his dream that our society would one day “hew a stone of hope” for his children and generations then unborn, all in the name of democracy and in the security of justice. Instead, 57 years later, we continue to reach new altitudes on what he called “a mountain of despair.”

Today, our organizations stand together to say NO MORE.

We denounce the acts of racism and violence that have occurred across our nation. We stand with our colleagues who have been affected by current events, and with those whose longstanding fears and heartaches have been stoked once again.

We implore you to embrace diversity and inclusion not as buzzwords or intellectual exercises. This is the moment for the dental community—as a robust tapestry of people from all backgrounds and walks of life—to live its values. We must live each day with intention. We must choose to live with integrity and respect toward our fellow human beings. We must choose to recognize that their lives matter, too.

We won’t dismantle systemic inequality overnight. To paraphrase Theodore Parker, the 19th century abolitionist minister whose work inspired the writings of Dr. King, the arc of the moral universe is long. We may not see what the end will be. But, today, we must do what we can—by actions and conscience—to ensure that the arc bends toward justice.

This is the moment to unravel from whatever personal biases we may harbor. To become allies. To have the hard conversations. To listen to voices that have long gone unheard. To speak up for those who have been disenfranchised. To commit to empathy and understanding. To be forces for change. To be agents of harmony. To call out wrong when we see it. And to do what’s right when we can.

Chad P. Gehani, DDS

President, American Dental Association

Daphne Ferguson-Young, DDS, MSPH

President, American Association of Women Dentists

Edwin A. del Valle-Sepulveda, DMD, JD

President, Hispanic Dental Association

Frederick Jeremy John, DMD

President, Society of American Indian Dentists

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 163,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org.



NSK America launches NSK LIVE to accommodate customers during COVID-19 recovery

Posted on June 3, 2020

NSK Americas, the world’s largest manufacturer of rotary instruments, including air-driven and electric handpieces for dental professionals, has officially launched NSK LIVE: a virtual platform that helps NSK Representatives provide constant support to customers.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a renewed focus on infection control and prevention is necessary,” said Colan Rogers, President of NSK America. “Given that NSK has been a steadfast leader in handpiece infection control, it was important for us to support dental professionals and dealers during this time. Understanding the demand for enhanced safety and protection, we want to provide our customers with fast, easy and more accessible communication, and the NSK LIVE portal helps us do it.”

NSK LIVE gives dental professionals the safe option of connecting with NSK Representatives virtually—“anytime, anywhere”—to ensure practice needs are met. NSK Representatives are available on the platform to help with in-services, troubleshooting, questions, custom requests and more. They will also continue with on-site visits.

Dental professionals and dealers can go to www.nsktech-us.com/LIVE to schedule a virtual or in-person appointment with their local NSK Representative today.

About NSK

Founded in 1930, Nakanishi (NSK) is the world’s largest manufacturer of rotary instruments for the dental profession which includes air-driven and electric handpieces, specialty handpieces (endo, surgical, hygiene), electric motors and handpiece maintenance systems. NSK is passionate about creating innovative products that deliver outstanding value. Almost all parts are manufactured in-house to guarantee the highest precision, reliability and performance. The Ti-Max Z contra-angle and air turbine series and the NLZ micromotors resulted from NSK’s constant quest to make the impossible possible.

American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Statement on National Crisis

Posted on June 3, 2020

ADEA President and CEO Karen P. West, D.M.D., M.P.H., issued the following statement in response to the recent tragedies and protests in the United States

During these painful times for our nation, it seems appropriate to highlight and share ADEA’s values, especially as they relate to our unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion.

ADEA’s value of diversity is embedded in respect and appreciation of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, religion or religious creed, disability or handicap, sex or gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, genetic information and perspectives of each individual.

We are struggling to make sense of the recent tragedies in our country that leave us feeling overcome with sadness. The events of this past week have only served to highlight the discriminatory treatment communities of color have suffered for far too long. This latest painful episode comes on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately hurt communities of color, both in terms of lives lost and economic cost.

The challenge for all of us is to remain calm during this storm, hold on to a ray of light, and believe that sensibilities and justice will ultimately win. At ADEA, we know that racism has no place in our society—ever. At ADEA, we work toward decreasing health inequalities every day. While we do not have all the answers, we resolve to use compassion and mutual feelings of humanity to ensure we are fostering a culture that acknowledges access, diversity and inclusion—and we encourage all ADEA member institutions and individuals to do the same.

As a profession, and as a nation, we grow stronger the more we embrace diversity and the more we treat all people with the dignity and respect they deserve. ADEA wishes all its members and the communities we serve peace and comfort during these difficult times, and we pledge to work with you to help achieve a society free of discrimination and full of opportunity for all.

Please read the full ADEA Statement on Diversity and Inclusion.

University of Maryland School of Dentistry Offers New Certificate in Oral Health Science Program for Non-Dental Health Care Providers

Posted on June 2, 2020

Graduate level program designed to improve overall patient outcomes

The University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) is proud to announce an innovative new program for nurses, physician assistants, and other non-dental healthcare providers seeking advanced training in oral health and dental medicine. The curriculum is designed to help clinicians recognize and manage oral health infections, diseases, and systemic conditions to more effectively and efficiently improve overall health for their patients.

“By equipping health care professionals to detect oral conditions, particularly common oral diseases, such as periodontal (gum) diseases, we are equipping them to improve patient outcomes,” says Mary Beth Aichelmann-Reidy, DDS, chief of UMSOD’s Periodontics Division in the Department of Advanced Oral Sciences and Therapeutics. “The recognition of oral diseases and oral manifestations of systemic diseases is integral to health promotion and disease prevention.”

“It’s an exciting time,” adds Mark A. Reynolds, DDS, PhD, dean and professor, UMSOD. “There is a growing recognition that chronic oral infections can contribute to poorer systemic health and to inferior patient health care outcomes.  This training will help bridge the gap in management of oral diseases and general medical healthcare, providing an important opportunity to advance overall health and well-being”

UMSOD’s new Certificate in Oral Health Science Program is designed as a post-baccalaureate program for non-dental healthcare professionals. The five course, 13-credit curriculum blends online instruction with face-to-face clinical experiences at the Universities of Shady Grove, in Rockville, MD. Designed for the working professional, the course can be completed part-time in less than two years.

Because professionals with expertise in oral and dental medicine will play an increasingly greater role on healthcare teams in advancing improved patient care outcomes, health practitioners will be trained in competencies central to the management of prevalent infections, diseases, and systemic conditions affecting the oral cavity. The training prepares practitioners to become leaders in emerging healthcare delivery models building on multi-disciplinary treatment paradigms; promotes knowledge and expertise, and provides participants with the communication and management tools needed within the integrative scope of interprofessional health care management.

Highlights of UMSOD’s innovative Certificate in Oral Health Science Program include:

• Designed for the working health care professional, the program can be completed part-time and within 18 months.

• The student will learn how to incorporate oral health services into care management.

• Participants will learn how to evaluate and recognize acute and chronic oral conditions and diseases.

• Enrollees will gain an understanding of the impact of oral disease on health care delivery and the overall well-being and health of patients.

• Students will be trained in oral dental radiology and will be prepared for dental radiology certification.

• This graduate certificate program will provide trained healthcare professionals with the tools necessary for better communication and collaboration within healthcare teams and improve patient care outcomes through oral health care management.

The program includes five courses:

• Oral Infection and Disease: Foundations for Recognition

• Contemporary Oral Therapeutics in Oral Medicine and Dentistry

• Complex Interplay: The Relationship between Oral Health and Systemic Disease

• Prevention and Oral Health Promotion

• Clinical Practicum in Oral Health Care Delivery and Oral Dental Radiology

About University of Maryland School of Dentistry

The University of Maryland School of Dentistry, the world’s first dental college, offers superlative educational programs in oral health. As one of six professional schools and an interdisciplinary Graduate School on the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s 71-acre campus, it is part of a thriving academic health center that combines groundbreaking biomedical research and exceptional patient care. The school is Maryland’s predominant provider of comprehensive and emergency oral health services. For more information, visit www.dental.umaryland.edu.

Planmeca USA Launches Newly-Redesigned Planmeca Romexis® 6.0

Posted on June 1, 2020

New Version of Industry-Leading Software Provides Enhanced Usability with Additional Tools and Features

Planmeca USA, a leading manufacturer of dental imaging and CAD/CAM equipment, today announced the launch of Planmeca Romexis 6.0, the latest version of the highly-successful all-in-one dental imaging software, Planmeca Romexis. The new version provides clinicians enhanced usability and offers a wide variety of tools and functions seen for the first time.

The newly-redesigned Planmeca Romexis 6.0 software features an intuitive navigation with fewer clicks and a customizable user interface to allow for a streamlined workflow. In addition, the software introduces flexible Workflow Wizards that take the guesswork out of complicated workflows such as implant training and smile design. The software guides the user to perform tasks through buttons, actions and tutorial videos to achieve treatment planning success.

The new version offers advantages like eliminating the border between 2D and 3D imaging, giving users access to all 2D, 3D and CAD/CAM images and videos in a unified interface and database. Romexis 6.0 now allows for the dual-screen viewing of 2D images and 3D images with detachable pop-up windows, and all images captured or scanned can be started from the same view with one simple click. This makes the importing and exporting data process even more efficient and effortless.

“Romexis 6.0 is unlike any other software on the market. With new features and improved functionality, clinicians can manage their workflows more seamlessly than ever before,” said Ed McDonough, president at Planmeca USA. “By being an open software platform, Romexis 6.0 offers versatility and flexibility for practices worldwide, giving them the tools they need to provide their patients with premium care.”

Planmeca Romexis® Smile Design, the digital smile design software, now features AI-based automatic image cropping and orientation in addition to enhanced photorealistic simulations. The upgraded Planmeca Romexis®Implant Guide now offers a virtual tooth extraction feature, and the unique Romexis® Dental PACS module allows image archiving from 3rd party devices and treatment planning features to support multi-site clinic operations.

The open software platform is compatible with both Mac and Window devices and provides user scalability options for a stand-alone to larger enterprise installations. The software releases May 26, 2020.

To learn more about Romexis 6.0 and its capabilities, visit info.planmecausa.com/romexis6.

About Planmeca USA

Planmeca USA is a subsidiary of Planmeca, the largest privately held company in the dental equipment market and one of the industry’s leading manufacturers of dental X-rays and core equipment. With a North American office located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and international headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, Planmeca is well established in high-tech dental markets and currently serves 120 countries worldwide. For more information, visit planmeca.com/na.


CDC Guidance for Dental Settings Echoes ADA Guidance

Posted on June 1, 2020

Organizations Recommend How to Move Forward With Dental Care During Pandemic

The American Dental Association (ADA) welcomes the release of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recently updated Guidance for Dental Settings, noting it is very similar to science-based guidance issued a month ago by the ADA. Both guidances describe how dental professionals, building upon existing infection control measures, can help protect patients and the dental team when re-engaging in providing the full range of oral health care.

“Oral health is an important part of overall health,” according to ADA President Chad Gehani, D.D.S. “Resuming regular dental visits are important because treatment, as well as prevention of dental disease, helps keep people healthy. The guidances from the ADA and the CDC give dental professionals the information they need to practice as safely as possible.”

The CDC guidance provides detailed patient management and facility consideration information for before, during and after dental appointments, which is in close alignment with the ADA’s Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit. CDC and ADA recommendations include:

     • Request that dental staff call patients prior to the scheduled appointment to ask questions about their current health status.

     • Advise patients to wear a face covering when entering the dental practice.

     • Limit the number of people who accompany a patient to the appointment. If possible, the patient should make the visit alone.

     • Assess all patients upon arrival; temperature checks may be completed.

     • Remove items in office waiting rooms such as toys or reading material to limit potential transmission through high touch surfaces.

     • Encourage social distancing practices by minimizing the number of patients in the waiting room by spacing appointments thoughtfully and perhaps by asking patients to wait in their car until the dental staff is ready to treat the patient.

     • Advise dental staff members to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) as appropriate, such as surgical masks or N95 masks, full face shields or goggles with side shields to ensure an environment that is as safe and healthy as possible for patients and the dental team.

     • Place hand sanitizer generously around the office for use, and ensure surfaces are cleaned regularly.

The CDC’s updated dental settings guidance offers additional recommendations such as how patients can be positioned in the dental chair during appointments and waiting 15 minutes before disinfecting patient treatment rooms after use.

The ADA guidance also includes ways dentists and hygienists can reduce aerosols such as:

     • hand scaling when cleaning teeth rather than using ultrasonic scaling,

     • use of high velocity suction whenever possible and

     • use of rubber dental dams whenever possible

It is important to note that both the CDC and ADA guidances are science-based recommendations and not regulations. States control what procedures are allowed to be provided, largely through their licensing boards. For example, in Ohio, the state dental board has chosen to refer dentists to the CDC and ADA for Personal Protection Equipment and infection control recommendations, but not what procedures can be provided in Ohio’s dental practices.

According to the CDC’s guidance, “Dental health care professionals should regularly consult their state dental boards and state or local health departments for current local information for requirements specific to their jurisdictions.”

“I am pleased to see dental practices reopening to provide patients with the dental care they need,“ Dr. Gehani said. “The longer patients go without preventive care and treatment for early forms of dental disease, the more likely their untreated disease will progress. The safety of patients, dentists and dental team members has been and always will be ADA’s utmost concern.”

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 163,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org.

AAID Develops Patient Guide for What to Expect at Your Dentist Appointment During COVID-19

Posted on May 28, 2020

AAID dentists provide resource to help people prepare and take precautions for their next dentist appointment

As the country gradually emerges from lockdown, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) has released a new resource to help people prepare for their next dentist appointment.

The checklist What to Expect: Going to the Dentist After Stay-at-Home Order is Lifted illustrates the safety measures and protocol to expect as dentist offices re-open for all types of visits and preventative procedures.

The resource is a collaboration with AAID dentists who own practices across the nation and have followed CDC infection control procedures for years. They are now implementing extra steps to protect patients and staff.

"As my practice begins to re-open for routine check-ups, the health and safety of patients and staff is of highest priority," explains Grace Chung, DDS, "It's important that we let patients know ahead of their appointment what precautions will be in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 so they can rest assured we're doing everything possible to keep them safe. "

The downloadable resource covers what to expect before, during, and after an appointment. It serves as a reminder of what to bring and not to bring to your appointment and includes space to write down questions for your dentist.

Since the guide covers general new measures, you should still contact your own dentist to find out about their re-opening plans, if they haven't already contacted you.

Want to know how to prepare for your next dentist appointment? Download the checklist here.

Interested in learning how to keep your mouth healthy during COVID-19? Download the AAID's The Ultimate Guide to Dental Health During COVID-19 here.

About the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID)

Founded in 1951, the AAID was the first organization in the United States dedicated to developing and improving dental implants. Today, after 68 years, the AAID continues to be the leading organization of dentists devoted to providing dental implant treatment solutions. Their credentialing program reinforces that these individuals are at the highest standards of competency in the profession. For more information, contact the American Academy of Implant Dentistry at info@aaid.com or call 312-335-1550.

Join Pacific Dental Services® CEO, Stephen E. Thorne, IV, and Envista CEO, Amir Aghdaei, in New Webinar about COVID-19 and the Evolving Landscape of Dentistry

Posted on May 27, 2020

Industry leaders will discuss best practices on navigating the new normal

Leading dental support organization Pacific Dental Services (PDS®) announces its Founder & CEO, Stephen E. Thorne, IV, will join Amir Aghdaei, CEO of Envista (NVST), in a new webinarCOVID-19 and the Evolving Landscape of Dentistry. Envista, a newly public company representing more than 30 dental brands including KaVo, Kerr, Nobel Biocare, and Ormco, helps dental professionals deliver the best possible patient care. During the webinar, which takes place Thursday, May 28 at 1:00 PST/4:00 PM EST, Mr. Thorne and Mr. Aghdaei will discuss the impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on the dental industry, safety in the dental practice, the evolving landscape of dentistry, and more. During the sought-after event, which will be moderated by Joseph Feldsien, SVP, Clinical Technology Enablement at Pacific Dental Services, the two leaders will provide the audience with key insights about how they’ve navigated their organizations during this unprecedented health crisis. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions during the interactive session. Mark your calendar to join this webinar. To register in advance, click HERE to attend the event on Thursday, May 28 at 1:00 PST/4:00 PM EST.

Due to COVID-19, dentistry leaders have had to quickly develop strategies that best position their organizations, while also being thoughtful about the future.  “The Coronavirus pandemic is like nothing else we’ve seen and dentistry will be forever changed,” said Mr. Thorne of PDS, which supports over 800 dental practices in 22 states. “It’s more important than ever that we work together as we shape the future of dentistry, and I’m pleased we’re able to discuss these important issues in this forum.”

Pacific Dental Services partnered with Envista for the implementation of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) for its supported dental practices. Cone Beam Computed Tomography is an innovative imaging technology that provides clinicians with 3D views of their patients’ dental anatomy. This monumental achievement allows the dentists utilizing 3D imaging with a state-of-the-art diagnostic tool and allows patients to be more engaged and see what their dentists see – a more comprehensive view of their teeth, oral, and maxillofacial region. The extraordinary visibility of 3D imaging will lead to a greater understanding of dental conditions and treatment plan options. Pacific Dental Services’ primary purpose is to support dentists so they can create Healthier, Happier Patients® and today’s announcement is part of the DSO’s commitment to patient-centric care.

About Pacific Dental Services® 

Founded in 1994, Pacific Dental Services (PDS) is one of the country’s leading dental support organizations, providing supported autonomy that enables dentists to concentrate on clinical excellence and the highest levels of cost-effective comprehensive patient care. PDS originated the Private Practice+® model to enable dentists to focus on their passion: serving patients. PDS also pioneered the concept of Modern Dentistry so that dentists are equipped to combine advances in the latest technology with the best operational practices and procedures, highly skilled support staff and a commitment to ongoing training and education. PDS continues to grow, with more than 800 supported dental offices across the United States and plans to expand into several new markets. PDS has been on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America 14 times. PDS supported dentists aim to be the provider of choice in all the markets they serve and to develop Patients for Life™.

For more information, visit us at http://www.pacificdentalservices.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PacificDentalServices/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/293541/life/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pacificdental 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PacificDentalTV


Pain doesn’t take a holiday: Dental opioids study points to need for better prescribing

Posted on May 26, 2020

Though non-opioid painkillers can be just as effective, patients having dental procedures just before weekends and holidays are more likely to fill prescriptions for opioids

As dentists and their teams across America get back to their regular schedules after a sharp COVID-19-related reduction, a new study shows a key opportunity to reduce the use of opioid painkillers by their patients.

The analysis of four years’ worth of data from two million patients show that those who had dental procedures on a Friday or a day before a holiday were much more likely to fill a prescription for an opioid than other patients.

Teens and young adults were the most likely to get opioids, which were likely prescribed in order to get them through the weekend or holiday break without needing to contact the dentist for pain care.

One in five of the patients, all between the ages of 13 and 64, filled a prescription for an opioid, even though non-opioid pain medications are equally effective at controlling pain and have lower risks.

Those who had pre-weekend or pre-holiday procedures were 27% more likely to pick up an opioid prescription. If they were teens or young adults, they were 43% more likely than older patients to do so.

The new findings, reported in the Journal of the American Dental Association by a team from the University of Michigan, build on prior work showing overprescribing of opioids by dentists with no increase in pain relief or patient satisfaction.

The rate of weekend and holiday opioid prescription-filling by young people is especially troubling because of previous work showing that those who get opioids after getting their wisdom teeth out are nearly three times as likely to keep refilling the prescription long after their mouths should have healed.

“Variation in opioid prescription fills may put some patients at increased risk,” says Caitlin Priest, the U-M Medical School student who led the analysis as part of the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network team. “Now that we understand that dental opioid prescription fills were increased on Fridays and before holidays, we can create and disseminate best practices to avoid unnecessary prescribing.”

Just over half of the patients whose records were analyzed had their dental procedure on an emergency basis. But the rest were scheduled – one-fifth of them on Fridays and the days before holidays.  

Half of the patients who filled an opioid prescription had had scheduled surgical tooth extractions, but the pre-weekend and pre-holiday increase was seen across all 11 dental procedures studied.

This suggests multiple opportunities to reduce unneeded opioid prescribing, says Romesh Nalliah, M.H.C.M., D.D.S., the associate dean for patient services at the U-M School of Dentistry and a member of the study team. He notes that patients may seek Friday and pre-holiday appointments for their scheduled procedures to avoid missing work as they recover.

“The significance of our study is that, with the help of big data, it begins to unpack potentially harmful opioid prescribing trends that were not previously understood,” he says. “In the event that we have particular concerns about a given case or patient, we can more deliberately book surgeries when we are available to follow-up."

The senior author of the paper, Chad Brummett, M.D., co-directs Michigan OPEN, which has published evidence-based guidelines for opioid prescribing for acute pain caused by many types of procedures and operations. He is also director of pain research in the Department of Anesthesiology at Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.

The guidelines say that for dental extractions, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and over-the-counter pain relievers should be sufficient for pain control.

Other studies have shown that educating patients about the risks of taking opioids, and the proper use of NSAIDs and other pain relievers, before their procedure can reduce opioid use without increasing their pain scores.

Michigan OPEN has created two free brochures for dental practices to give to patients – one about proper use of non-opioid pain medications, the other about appropriate use and risks from opioids. They are available at https://michigan-open.org/patient-community-education/.

Reference: JADA 2020:151(6):388-398, doi:10.1016/j.adaj.2020.03.014 The paper is featured on the cover of the journal’s June issue.

Regenerative Medicine Center Led by School of Dentistry Gets $31.4M

Posted on May 22, 2020

A $31.4 million federal grant will allow a regenerative medicine resource center led by the School of Dentistry to continue its important research into the restoration of dental, oral and craniofacial tissues lost to disease, injury or congenital disorders.

The five-year grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is the largest research award ever received by the school. It extends funding for the Michigan-Pittsburgh-Wyss Regenerative Medicine Resource Center, which was established in 2017 with an $11.7 million startup grant, also from NIDCR.

The resource center’s leadership team includes researchers from the University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

It includes U-M collaborators from the Medical School, School of Public Health, College of Pharmacy, College of Engineering, the Office of Technology Transfer and the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research, as well as contributors from private companies across the country.

In its first three years, the center has brought together a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, clinicians, and regulatory and technology commercialization experts who evaluate regenerative medicine projects submitted by academic, for-profit and non-profit researchers.

Regenerative medicine investigates how to regenerate damaged cells, tissues or organs to their full function, such as finding ways for the body to heal wounds faster or to repair bone that has been damaged. Research strategies often integrate engineering and biology, and can incorporate biomaterials, biologics and drug delivery, cellular therapies, medical devices or combinations of those.

The Michigan-Pittsburgh-Wyss Center currently funds 13 interdisciplinary translational projects. It contributes scientific expertise and also helps guide the researchers and their new technologies through steps such as Food and Drug Administration requirements, pre-clinical studies, market analyses and commercialization strategies.

The new grant will help advance the projects to the point where investigators receive FDA approval to begin clinical trials in patients for their new products and-or procedures, with the ultimate goal being their widespread use in the treatment of patients.

David Kohn, professor of dentistry and lead principal investigator for the resource center, said the new grant allows the center to expand on its early successes involving a wide variety of research projects.

“We are excited to advance to the next stage of this unique program and pleased that the NIDCR has the confidence in us to invest further in this initiative,” said Kohn, who also is a professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering and Medical School. “It allows us to use the structure and processes we have developed so far to guide the projects to successful translation for patients and-or commercialization.

“We have nurtured projects related to many areas of critical need in the dental, oral and craniofacial space, and have helped many projects advance along the translational pipeline, which is complex, time-consuming and costly.”

Dentistry Dean Laurie McCauley said the new grant from the NIDCR, part of the National Institutes of Health, is a significant milestone in the School of Dentistry’s longstanding commitment to scientific research. She noted that the school has been a national and world leader in dental and craniofacial research, dating to its early days after being founded in 1875.

“We are pleased to partner with the NIDCR and the other universities in this robust and ground-breaking project,” McCauley said. “To be leading this multidisciplinary group engaged in the latest regenerative medicine research is a testament to the quality of our faculty and researchers. It illustrates our commitment to advance and lead transformative science.”

Kohn said 90 percent of projects in the research center’s portfolio have been issued a patent or have a pending patent application; 80 percent have had submissions to the FDA in efforts toward clinical clearance or approval; and 100 percent have corporate engagement.

Several new companies have been formed, others have received equity financing, some have advanced to clinical trials on sister technologies, and yet others have received add-on funding.

“The impact of these efforts will be a catalysis of translation never previously achieved in an NIH extramural program, resulting in the transformation of dental, oral and craniofacial medicine,” Kohn said.

The projects funded so far by the research center include many types of oral and craniofacial research. One is centered on a patented bone adhesive designed to aid in the treatment of fractured bone and to more efficiently stabilize dental implants. Another is pursuing gene therapy to provide relief from dry mouth in patients whose salivary function has been damaged by radiotherapy for head and neck cancers.

William Giannobile, co-principal investigator and William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor of Dentistry, said this initiative is the first of its kind to aim to truly transform dental regenerative medicine to advance patient care.

“There have been many unsuccessful attempts of industry bringing regenerative technologies to advance clinical care, but this partnership offers a novel structure to leverage synergies between industry and academic scientists to realize clinical adoption,” said Giannobile, chair of the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine and a professor of biomedical engineering.

Other principal investigators with Kohn and Giannobile are:

     • Charles Sfeir, associate dean for research and the director of the Center for Craniofacial Regeneration at the University of Pittsburgh.

     • William Wagner, director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and a professor of surgery, bioengineering and chemical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

     • David Mooney, professor of bioengineering at Harvard University and core faculty member at the Wyss Institute.

Mutsumi Yoshida, managing director of the center’s U-M site at the dental school, coordinates program needs with Patrick Cantini, a program administrator at the University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute.

The Michigan-Pittsburgh-Wyss Regenerative Medicine Resource Center is one of the two national Resource Centers established by the NIDCR in 2017 through its Dental Oral and Craniofacial Tissue Regeneration Consortium initiative. The other is the Center for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Tissue and Organ Regeneration, a collaboration among several universities in California.

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