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anaxdent Announces New Courses

Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2016

anaxdent North America announced two courses that it will host in 2017, one focusing on the BDT Technique and one on CAD/CAM.

A 1-day hands-on course titled "Demystifying Full-Arch Implant Cases (Featuring the BDT Technique) with Bill Marais, RDT" will be held February 22 and February 23 in Chicago, Illinois. The February 23 course is already sold out.

A 2-day hands-on course titled "Biomimetic, Full-Arch Restorations with Javier Vasquezz, DMD, CDT" will be held March 10-11 in Miami, Florida.

For more information or to register, go to or, or call 877-897-6598.

anaxdent North America also announced the release of a book, "The Complete Guide to the BDT Technique," by Phil Reddington and Lee Mullins. Go to or call 877-897-6598 for details.

Training to Become a Scuba Diver? Start at the Dentist

Posted on Friday, December 23, 2016

Newswise — BUFFALO, N.Y. – Scuba divers may want to stop by their dentist’s office before taking their next plunge. A new pilot study found that 41% of divers experienced dental symptoms in the water, according to new research from the University at Buffalo (UB).

Due to the constant jaw clenching and fluctuations in the atmospheric pressure underwater, divers may experience symptoms that range from tooth, jaw, and gum pain to loosened crowns and broken dental fillings.

Recreational divers should consider consulting with their dentist before diving if they recently received dental care, says Vinisha Ranna, BDS, lead author and a student in the UB School of Dental Medicine.

“Divers are required to meet a standard of medical fitness before certification, but there are no dental health prerequisites,” says Ranna, who is also a certified stress and rescue scuba diver.

“Considering the air supply regulator is held in the mouth, any disorder in the oral cavity can potentially increase the diver’s risk of injury. A dentist can look and see if diving is affecting a patient’s oral health.”

The study, “Prevalence of dental problems in recreational SCUBA divers,” was published last month in the British Dental Journal.

The research was inspired by Ranna’s first experience with scuba diving in 2013. Although she enjoyed being in the water, she couldn’t help but notice a squeezing sensation in her teeth, a condition known as barodontalgia.

Published research on dental symptoms experienced while scuba diving is scarce or focuses largely on military divers, says Ranna, so she crafted her own study. She created an online survey that was distributed to 100 certified recreational divers. Those who were under 18 years old, ill, or taking decongestant medication were excluded.

Her goal was to identify the dental symptoms that divers experience and detect trends in how or when they occur.

Of the 41 participants who reported dental symptoms, 42% experienced barodontalgia, 24% described pain from holding the air regulator in their mouths too tightly and 22% reported jaw pain.

Another 5% noted that their crowns were loosened during their dive, and one person reported a broken dental filling.

“The potential for damage is high during scuba diving,” says Ranna, who has completed 60 dives.

“The dry air and awkward position of the jaw while clenching down on the regulator is an interesting mix. An unhealthy tooth underwater would be much more obvious than on the surface. One hundred feet underwater is the last place you want to be with a fractured tooth.”

The study also found that pain was most commonly reported in the molars and that dive instructors, who require the highest level of certification, experienced dental symptoms most frequently. This frequency is likely attributed to more time spent at shallower depths where the pressure fluctuations are the greatest, says Ranna.

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors has issued more than 24 million certifications around the world. As scuba diving gains popularity as a recreational sport, Ranna hopes to see oral health incorporated into the overall health assessments for certification.

Patients should ensure that dental decay and restorations are addressed before a dive, and mouthpiece design should be evaluated by manufacturers to prevent jaw discomfort, particularly when investigating symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder in divers, says Ranna.

Additional investigators on the study include Hans Malmstrom, DDS, professor; Sangeeta Gajendra, DDS, associate professor; Changyong Feng, PhD, associate professor; and Michael Yunker, DDS, assistant professor, all of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Ranna is conducting a follow-up study with an expanded group of more than 1,000 participants.

She earned her bachelor of dental surgery from the Government Dental College and Hospital, Mumbai. Ranna is earning her DDS at the UB School of Dental Medicine through the International Dentist Program, a 2-year program for internationally trained dentists who seek to practice in the US.

Introducing ALPEN ShapeGuard High-Performance Diamond-impregnated Polishers

Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (December 22, 2016) – COLTENE presents ALPEN ShapeGuard, a new line of diamond impregnated polishers that are strong in polishing, gentle on surfaces.

ShapeGuard's new spiral wheel design offers flexible lamellas for beautiful results with universal composite and ceramic restorative materials. ShapeGuard polishers are indicated for polishing incisal, labial, buccal, and lingual surfaces.

ShapeGuard Composite Plus is a simple two-step system, and ShapeGuard Ceramic Plus is a three-step system.  Both Composite Plus and Ceramic Plus polishers are autoclavable for an enhanced lifespan.

Composite Plus polishers are ideal for COLTENE’s new BRILLIANT EverGlow Universal submicron hybridcomposite, Fill-Up Bulk Fill, or COMPONEER pre-fabricated composite veneers.

Both Composite Plus and Ceramic Plus ShapeGuard polishers are available in 5-pack refills. Additionally, Composite Plus polishers are available in a convenient 4-pack assortment and Ceramic Plus polishers are available in a 3-pack assortment. All products are now available for sale in the United States and Canada. Further information on ALPEN ShapeGuard may be found here.


PA Dental Office Under Investigation After Not Following Infection Control Procedures

Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health has advised patients of the Center for Family and Specialty Dentistry in Reading, Berks County, they might be at risk for infection after an investigation discovered the facility did not follow appropriate infection control procedures. The department recommends patients seen between December 19, 2015, and October 19, 2016, get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

“While we haven’t received reports of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV from patients, infection control procedures at this practice were inadequate and created the potential for harm, so we’re recommending patients get tested,” said Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy. “We prefer that patients receive information regarding their health directly from their provider. However, in this case, that did not happen, so we’ve contacted patients of this practice directly.”

The department recommends testing for current or former patients who had dental procedures performed at the office, such as cleanings, fillings, implants, denture fittings, and other procedures.

An investigation by the departments of Health and State found that the Center for Family and Specialty Dentistry practice did not follow appropriate procedures to properly clean, disinfect, or sterilize devices at their 2642 Bernville Road location in Reading, Berks County.

On October 21, the department sent a letter to the practice to cease and desist all patient care, as well as issued formal recommendations to improve patient safety. No patients should have received care at the practice and the practice remains closed until the infection control concerns are addressed.

“Infection control is an essential step in patient safety that cannot be overlooked,” said Secretary of State Pedro Cortés. “It’s important to talk to your dentist about infection control and what they are doing to protect you while under their care.”

On November 4, the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry temporarily suspended the dental licenses of Dr. Stephen Sulzbach, of Greenville, Mercer County, and Drs. Jana and Eric Osmolinski, of La Jolla, California, who practiced at the Center for Family and Specialty Dentistry, on the grounds that their continued practice may be an immediate and clear danger to the public health and safety. The temporary suspensions remain in effect pending further action by the board.


Researchers Examine Impact of NIH Research Funding to Dental Schools

Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Alexandria, Va., USA – Today, the International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) published three articles in the Journal of Dental Research that focus on the trends and impact of National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding to dental schools and institutions.

A study titled "The NIH's Funding to US Dental Institutions from 2005 to 2014" by Chantelle Ferland, Morgan O'Hayre, Wendy Knosp, Jonathan Horsford, NIH, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), Bethesda, Md., USA; and Christopher Fox, IADR/AADR, Alexandria, Va., examines research funding from the NIH to dental institutions in the United States of America between 2005 and 2014 using publicly available data from the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT). Since research training and career development are also essential for the future of dental research, the authors of this study examined NIH's investment in both extramural research projects and training at dental institutions. Over the 10-year span, 56 US dental institutions received approximately $2.2 billion from more than 20 institutes, centers, and offices at the NIH. The NIDCR is the largest NIH supporter of dental institutions, having invested 70% of the NIH total, about $1.5 billion. The NIDCR is also the primary supporter of research training and career development, as it has invested $177 million, which represents 92% of the total NIH investment of $192 million. The goal of this study was to provide data on NIH and NIDCR support for US dental institutions that could inform future decision making related to oral health research and dental professional training.

"Recent Trends in Oral Cavity Cancer Research Support in the United States" by Andrew Fribley, Peter Svider, Naweed S. Raza and Danielle Garshott, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich., USA; Blake Warner, University of Pittsburgh, Pa., USA; and Keith Kirkwood, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA, used a different approach to characterize oral cavity cancer funding from NIH, with a secondary aim of comparison to NIH support for research on other malignancies. This study found that overall funding for oral cavity cancer research decreased considerably after 2009. Funding administered through the NIDCR was 6.5-times greater than dollars awarded by the NIH National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 2000; over the time period evaluated, NIDCR support decreased in most years while NCI support increased and approached NIDCR funding levels. There has been increased volatility in funding support in recent years possibly due to budget cuts and sequestration. The NCI has played an increasingly important role in supporting oral cavity cancer research, concomitant with decreasing NIDCR support. This study's findings suggest that oral cavity cancer research is underfunded relative to other non-oral cavity malignancies, indicating a need to increase the focus on rectifying the gap.

A perspective piece titled "Impact of Funding by NIDCR for Research to Dental Schools" by Peter Polverini, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, and Mark Lingen, University of Chicago, Ill., USA, highlights that we are at a tipping point in oral health sciences, dental education and dental practice, and that dental education must continue to search for a new direction in a health care environment that is uncertain and unpredictable.

"It's important for the community to understand that research remains a cornerstone for dentistry and advocating for increased funding for NIH/NIDCR remains a top priority for AADR," said AADR President Jack Ferracane. "Increased investments in dental, oral and craniofacial research and other oral health programs benefit the health of the public. AADR will continue to communicate to Congress the importance of biomedical research for the health of the population."

A companion podcast is also available, featuring interviews with AADR President Jack Ferracane, IADR/AADR Executive Director Christopher Fox and NIDCR Director Martha Somerman.

Please visit to access these manuscripts or contact Ingrid L. Thomas at The companion podcast titled "NIH's Funding to US Dental Institutions from 2005 - 2014" is available at

S-Ray Opens Second R&D Laboratory

Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2016

S-Ray Incorporated’s second research-and-development laboratory in downtown Seattle, Washington, went “online” December 20. 

This expanded laboratory–the dental ultrasound company’s first laboratory is located in Redmond, Washington–includes the company’s fourth-generation scanner (SRO4) and its specially developed proprietary software scanning system, Latitude Revision 5.1. This latest revision of Latitude includes expanded capabilities compared to previous iterations. 

In the new laboratory on its opening day, S-Ray performed a full-arch scan, achieving S-Ray’s highest accuracy to date. 

This advance will allow the company to pursue its third-party, independent bridging study, which then will be included in the company’s 510(k) market clearance application to the FDA for its low-cost, highly-accurate ultrasound technology.



AACD Offers Technician Courses, Special Price

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

An expanded laboratory technician track, featuring two full days of education on the latest techniques and materials from top dental technicians in the field, will be included at the 33rd Annual AACD Scientific Session to be held April 18-21, 2017, at the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The laboratory technician track will take place Thursday, April 20, and Friday, April 21, and will include the following educators: Jed Archibald, CDT; John Archibald, CDT; James Choi; Miles Cone, DMD, CDT; Arian Deutsch, CDT; Von Grow; Leon Hermanides, CDT; Nelson A. Rego, CDT, AAACD; Dwight Rickert, CDT, FAACD; Javier Vasquez, DMD; and Bobby Williams, CDT.

In addition to courses by these educators, laboratory technician attendees can select any other lectures and workshops they would like to attend from the full conference program, including AACD Accreditation track courses.

“We’re excited to have an expanded program for laboratory technicians at AACD 2017 in Las Vegas because we know laboratory technicians play an important part in the AACD mission to advance excellence in the art and science of comprehensive cosmetic dentistry,” says Grace Sun, DDS, FAACD, and Chair of the AACD Professional Education Committee. 

Another new offering for laboratory technicians at AACD 2017 is a reduced tuition rate, which still includes all applicable lectures and hands-on workshops; breakfasts and exhibit hall networking lunches and social hours; general sessions that will entertain and motivate; access to the AACD Exhibit Hall featuring the latest dental technologies and practice-related services; access to AACD's Welcome Reception and the AACD Celebration of Excellence closing reception.

For more information or to register for the 33rd Annual AACD Scientific Session, visit


Dentsply Sirona and the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Form Four-Year Collaborative Partnership

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A four-year collaborative partnership has been established between Dentsply Sirona and the University of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine. Dentsply Sirona will be providing SmartLite® Focus® L.E.D. curing lights to incoming students over the next four years, while working with the restorative faculty at Penn Dental Medicine to fine tune and develop a Class II Solutions message utilizing the following Dentsply Sirona products: SmartLite Focus lights, Palodent® Plus Sectional Matrix System, Prime&Bond Elect® Universal Adhesive, SureFil® SDR® flow+ Bulk Fill Flowable, TPH Spectra® HV and LV Universal Composite and Enhance® Finishing System. The gift of the SmartLite Focus curing lights is a contribution from Dentsply Sirona in support of Penn Dental Medicine’s Evans Building Centennial Renaissance project, through which the Evans Building is undergoing a complete renovation, including the addition of a new general restorative clinic. Dentsply Sirona will work with the Department of Preventive & Restorative Sciences to develop a uniform Class II Solutions message for faculty to share with students. Research opportunities will be made available to students and faculty pertaining to items in the Class II Solutions message. In addition, continuing education opportunities will be made available to Penn Dental Medicine students, faculty, and alumni relating to restorative product selection and techniques. 

New CDC Data Show Continuing Opioid Epidemic

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Drug overdose deaths, including opioid overdose deaths, continue to increase in the United States, according to new data published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In 2015 more than 52,000 people died from a drug overdose; of those, 33,091 (63.1%) involved a prescription or illicit opioid. Since 2000, more than 300,000 Americans have lost their lives to an opioid overdose.

“Too many Americans are feeling the devastation of the opioid crisis either from misuse of prescription opioids or use of illicit opioids,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “Urgent action is needed to help health care providers treat pain safely and treat opioid use disorder effectively, support law enforcement strategies to reduce the availability of illicit opiates, and support states to develop and implement programs that can save lives.”

CDC’s latest national analyses indicate that the increase in opioid overdose death rates is driven in large part by illicit opioids, like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. The new data show from 2014 to 2015:

-Death rates for synthetic opioids other than methadone (including drugs such as tramadol and fentanyl, referred to as synthetic opioids) increased 72.2%

-Heroin death rates increased 20.6%

-Synthetic opioid and heroin death rates increased across all age groups 15 and older, in both sexes, and among all races/ethnicities.

-Methadone death rates declined 9.1%

-Natural opioids (including morphine and codeine) and semi-synthetic opioids (including commonly prescribed pain medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone) were involved in more than 12,700 deaths in 2015; death rates increased 2.6% from 2014 to 2015 in this category. However, the increase has slowed compared with the increase from 2013 to 2014.

State analyses of drug overdoses deaths

During 2010 to 2015, the rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States increased in 30 states and DC, remained stable in 19 states, and showed decreasing trends followed by increases in two states. This new report includes state analyses of death certificate data for opioid overdoses in 28 states with consistent and high quality reporting of specific drugs involved in an overdose. Data for the 28 states show:

-16 states had increases in synthetic opioid death rates from 2014 to 2015. The greatest percent increases in death rates were in New York (135.7%), Connecticut (125.9%) and Illinois (120%). Alternatively, when assessing potential burden by absolute rate changes (reflecting the number of deaths and lives affected in each state, per every 100,000 people), Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia had the largest rate increases of synthetic opioid deaths from 2014 to 2015.

-11 states had increases in heroin death rates, with the greatest percent increases in death rates in South Carolina (57.1%), North Carolina (46.4%), and Tennessee (43.5%). Alternatively, when assessing potential burden by absolute rate changes (reflecting the number of deaths and lives affected in each state, per every 100,000 people) Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, and West Virginia had the largest rate increases of heroin deaths from 2014 to 2015.

-New Mexico, Oklahoma, Virginia had decreases in rates of death involving natural/semi-synthetic opioids.

Today’s report shows significant increases across states in death rates from heroin and synthetic opioid deaths, coupled with continuing high numbers of fatal overdoses related to natural/semi-synthetic opioid deaths further illustrate the continued problem with misuse of prescription opioids and the substantial impact of illicit opioids on this epidemic. 

“The need to address the full spectrum of substance misuse as a health issue is ever-present,” said Nora D. Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Science-based solutions to reduce illicit opioid use and improve both health and life outcomes for opioid use disorder need to be implemented so we can start breaking down the barriers preventing effective treatment from reaching the millions of Americans who could benefit.”

Need for coordinated public health and public safety response

Today’s report highlights the continued need for public health and law enforcement to work together to prevent overdose deaths, including these actions:

  • Improve opioid prescribing to reduce unnecessary exposure to opioids and prevent addiction by training providers and implementing the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

  • Improve access to and use of prescription drug monitoring programs.

  • Protect people experiencing opioid use disorder (OUD) by expanding OUD treatment capacity and naloxone distribution.

  • Implement harm reduction approaches including naloxone distribution and syringe services.

  • Support law enforcement strategies to reduce and to improve detection of the illicit opioid supply by working with state and local public health agencies.

CDC’s Overdose Prevention in States initiatives include funding for state-level public health efforts in 44 states and Washington, D.C., to implement key surveillance and prevention activities addressing both prescription and illicit opioids. CDC works with states, communities, and prescribers to prevent opioid misuse and overdose by tracking and monitoring the epidemic; helping states scale up effective programs; and equipping health care providers with tools and guidance needed to make informed clinical decisions. In March 2016, CDC released the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain to provide recommendations for the prescribing of opioid pain medication for patients 18 and older in primary care settings. Learn more at

“The increase in overdose deaths is tangible evidence of the real impact of substance use disorder on millions of Americans and underscores the importance of the Administration's continued focus on prevention, treatment and recovery services." said Kathryn E. Martin, acting Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS.  "The President recently signed legislation to implement his plan to invest $1 billion in helping communities combat this epidemic.  And the Affordable Care Act expands mental and substance use disorder benefits and protections for more than 60 million Americans. These steps are essential to helping to turn the tide of this epidemic."

The Obama Administration has undertaken a series of initiatives to address the opioid crisis. On December 13, 2016, the President signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which implements his Budget proposal to provide $1 billion in new funding to combat the opioid crisis. In addition, HHS has made addressing the opioid overdose epidemic a high priority, implementing an evidence-based initiative in 2015, focused on three priority areas: informing opioid prescribing practices, increasing the use of naloxone, and expanding Medication-Assisted Treatment.  HHS continues to coordinate with agencies across the Department to ensure effective implementation of the initiative’s programs and policies, improve prescribing practices, reduce overdose deaths, and support the millions of Americans in recovery.

New Stem-Cell Delivery Approach Regenerates Dental Pulp-like Tissue

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

BOSTON (Dec. 19, 2016)—When a tooth is damaged, either by severe decay or trauma, the living tissues that comprise the sensitive inner dental pulp become exposed and vulnerable to harmful bacteria. Once infection takes hold, few treatment options—primarily root canals or tooth extraction—are available to alleviate the painful symptoms.

Researchers at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) now show that using a collagen-based biomaterial to deliver stem cells inside damaged teeth can regenerate dental pulp-like tissues in animal model experiments. The study, published online in the Journal of Dental Research on Dec. 15, supports the potential of this approach as part of a strategy for restoring natural tooth functionality.

"Endodontic treatment, such as a root canal, essentially kills a once living tooth. It dries out over time, becomes brittle and can crack, and eventually might have to be replaced with a prosthesis,” said senior study author Pamela Yelick, PhD, professor at TUSDM and director of its Division of Craniofacial and Molecular Genetics. “Our findings validate the potential of an alternative approach to endodontic treatment, with the goal of regenerating a damaged tooth so that it remains living and functions like any other normal tooth.”

Yelick and her colleagues, including lead study author Arwa Khayat, former graduate student in dental research at TUSDM, examined the safety and efficacy of gelatin methacrylate (GelMA)—a low-cost hydrogel derived from naturally occurring collagen—as a scaffold to support the growth of new dental pulp tissue. Using GelMA, the team encapsulated a mix of human dental pulp stem cells—obtained from extracted wisdom teeth—and endothelial cells, which accelerate cell growth. This mix was delivered into isolated, previously damaged human tooth roots, which were extracted from patients as part of unrelated clinical treatment and sterilized of remaining living tissue. The roots were then implanted and allowed to grow in a rodent animal model for up to eight weeks.

The researchers observed pulp-like tissue inside the once empty tooth roots after two weeks. Increased cell growth and the formation of blood vessels occurred after four weeks. At the 8-week mark, pulp-like tissue filled the entire dental pulp space, complete with highly organized blood vessels populated with red blood cells. The team also observed the formation of cellular extensions and strong adhesion into dentin—the hard, bony tissue that forms the bulk of a tooth. The team saw no inflammation at the site of implantation, and found no inflammatory cells inside implanted tooth roots, which verified the biocompatibility of GelMA.

Control experiments, which involved empty tooth roots or tooth roots with only GelMA and no encapsulated cells, showed significantly less growth, unorganized blood vessel formation, and poor or nonexistent dentin attachment.

The results support GelMA-encapsulated human dental stem cells and umbilical vein endothelial cells as part of a promising strategy to restore normal tooth function, according to the study authors. However, they note that the current study was limited to partial tooth roots and did not examine nerve formation in regenerated dental pulp tissue. They emphasize the need for additional safety and efficacy studies in larger animal models before human clinical trials can be considered.

“A significant amount of work remains to be done, but if we can extend and validate our findings in additional experimental models, this approach could become a clinically relevant therapy in the future,” said Yelick, who is also a member of the Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology; Genetics; and Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics programs at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts. “Our work is early stage, but we are excited for the possibility of someday giving patients the option of regenerating their own teeth.”

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