A wave of recent research projects presented at the latest International PEEK Meeting* in Washington, D.C., has highlighted the increasing adoption of PEEK implants in clinical practice as well as the material´s established position due to possible patient benefits. In particular, the potential of carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK (CFR-PEEK) plates for fracture fixation became increasingly compelling; moreover, additive manufacturing was revealed as making progress in the production of PEEK polymer-based implants.
Topics ranging from dental, knee, spinal, and trauma implants up to advances in additive manufacturing or medical PEEK performance in general demonstrated the broad scope of current research in PEEK technology and clinical applications. More than 40 abstracts were shared through podium and poster presentations along with invited talks focusing on medical implantable PEEK to attendees from the FDA, industry, academia and research hospitals – supporting the growing relevance and necessity for the International PEEK Meeting.
Carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK (CFR-PEEK) composites – improving postoperative assessments
During the meeting potential of carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK (CFR-PEEK) composite plates for fracture fixation became clear and compelling, in particular for their high fatigue strength and a favorable modulus of elasticity. “The potential benefits of a less stiff construct on healing are hugely attractive and the results from some early clinical comparative work with metals, which will be released in October, will only increase the interest in these materials, ” said John Devine, Medical Business Director at Invibio Biomaterial Solutions, a leading pioneer and innovator of medical-grade PEEK such as PEEK-OPTIMA™.
One study1 assessed the mechanical stability of locking screws used in CFR-PEEK proximal humerus plates compared to those used in stainless steel plates. The results indicate that CFR-PEEK proximal humerus locking plates provide comparable or superior locking screw fixation strength compared to traditional stainless-steel locking plates. Plus, CFR-PEEK plates tolerated at least an equivalent, and in some sections of the plate, a significantly greater load before failure, when compared to traditional stainless-steel locking proximal humerus plates.
"A wealth of research and clinical experience is confirming that PEEK polymer-based implants have an established position due to potential patient benefits and, what is more, they still offer immense development possibilities," commented Steve Kurtz, Ph.D., Implant Research Center, Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA, USA), and conference organizer. "While additive manufacturing in medical is in its infancy, we think it could revolutionize the ease, speed and accuracy with which implants are manufactured.”
Future potential for additive manufacturing technology in medical
Additive manufacturing can deliver patient customized implants (PCI) and enables direct linkage to digital patient models that may change the face of pre-operative planning and surgery. 3D printing specialist Apium Additive Technologies GmbH, for example, is offering a commercially available 3D printer that is capable of processing PEEK. The model P155 uses Apium´s innovative patent-pending Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printing technology.
Researchers at Drexel University have used the Apium machine to print intervertebral lumbar cages with experimental PEEK-filaments. Although both compressive and compressive-shear performance still need improvement, the researchers are working on that, as future additive technology has the potential to match the performance characteristics of machined cages.2
PEEK polymer and the many virtues of radiolucencyUnlike metal implants, PEEK polymer implants offer all the advantages of radiolucency, enhancing the accuracy of implant procedures and enabling the timely diagnosis of post-operative complications. Early clinical experience with a radiolucent CFR-PEEK pedicle screw system has demonstrated that the use of CFR-PEEK pedicle screws and rods reduces artifacts in computed tomography (CT) and especially magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This facilitates better screw positioning and postoperative evaluation, and any potential loosening can be assessed in detail by MRI – additional CT investigation may no longer be necessary.3
3Shape has announced that it has reached 1,000 employees – a significant milestone in the company’s growth. About 300 of those employees are located at the company’s central Copenhagen headquarters. Another 700 operate out of international offices and facilities in the USA (New Jersey), China (Shanghai), Brazil, (São Paulo), Germany (Dusseldorf), Italy (Milano), France (Paris), Spain (Madrid), Australia (Sydney), and Japan (Tokyo).
3Shape started small, with founders Tais Clausen and Nikolaj Deichmann operating out of a tiny apartment in Denmark’s capital. Now, they have dental lab and clinic customers in over 100 countries.
“We owe our continued success and growth to our unwavering entrepreneurialism, desire to challenge, and passion to innovate,” says co-CEO and co-founder Tais Clausen.
ATLANTA (Aug. 24, 2017) – The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting -- the nation’s leading dental meeting and comprehensive source of continuing education in dentistry – has announced its 2018 dates. The 106th annual meeting will take place March 22-24, 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, world-renowned forensic pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, will be the featured Keynote Speaker on Thursday, March 22 at 5:30 p.m.
“We are excited about this year’s program and theme, which is Experience Hinman: Invest in Your Future. It emphasizes the importance of continuing dental education for everyone, from Millennials just starting out to seasoned professionals looking to revitalize their practice,” said Dr. Patrick Yancey III, General Chairman for Hinman 2018. “We’ve created a quality continuing education program delivered by many new speakers as well as some of the profession’s favorites. We’ve also focused on providing attendees with many opportunities for face-to-face networking with colleagues and peers.”
Over three days, Hinman will feature nearly 260 courses, including 73 participation and interactive courses that span a great many topics that dentists and dental professionals can apply immediately in their dental practices and careers. The meeting will feature more than 65 speakers – 20 new to Hinman – who will present the latest developments in the dental profession.
“We are also thrilled to feature Dr. Omalu as our Keynote Speaker this year. His story, which is chronicled in the hit film Concussion (starring Will Smith), is one of incredible triumph in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds,” added Dr. Yancey.
Born in 1968 in Eastern Nigeria during the civil war, Dr. Omalu and his family lived as refugees in a town that was under constant fire by the Nigerian Air Force. Despite suffering war-related malnutrition in the first two years of his life, he attended medical school at age 15 and became a physician by age 21.
It was in 2002 that Dr. Omalu made a career breakthrough when he became the first doctor to discover and identify chronic brain damage as a major factor in the deaths of some professional athletes. He called the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which he first discovered as the result of an autopsy he performed on Mike Webster, the legendary Pittsburgh Steeler and Hall of Famer who died at age 50. His brain revealed something doctors had never seen before. Within five years of reporting on Webster’s case, Dr. Omalu went on to identify CTE in eight more deceased NFL players, as well as in military veterans diagnosed with PTSD and professional wrestlers. But his findings were summarily dismissed—and even ridiculed—by his professional peers, the NFL, and the sports industry.
Today, CTE has become generally accepted and Dr. Omalu’s findings have revolutionized neuroscience, sports medicine and safety, the study of all types of brain trauma, and the entire sports industry. Dr. Omalu was awarded a WebMD Health Heroes 2015 award for his discovery of CTE and raising awareness of the disease. In 2016, he was awarded the American Medical Association’s Distinguished Service Award—the organization’s highest honor. Dr. Omalu’s memoir, Truth Doesn’t Have a Side, is the story of one doctor’s game-changing discovery and his devotion to unraveling the truth, in order to keep children and athletes safe.
In addition to a complete continuing education program and opening Keynote Session, Hinman 2018 will feature nearly 400 companies -- located in the Building A Exhibit Hall. Exhibitors will showcase new technology, equipment, products and services for the entire dental staff. New this year, Hinman will offer “Free Advice” booths in the exhibit hall where Hinman members will provide guidance on a number of hot, relevant topics. The exhibit hall will be open on Thursday, March 22, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday, March 23, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Saturday, March 24, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Registration for Hinman 2018 will open on December 5, 2017. Please visit www.hinman.org for more information.
CHICAGO, August 28, 2017 — Oral Health America (OHA) is pleased to announce the Chair and Co-Chair for its 28th Annual Gala & Benefit on Wednesday, February 21, 2018.
Robin Gathman of PLANMECA USA will serve as Gala Chair while Shirlene “Charlie” O’Russa, BS, R.D.H. of Whip Mix Corporation will be the Gala Co-Chair. These roles are vital in guiding and providing resources to OHA's Gala Planning Committee and for the success of the Gala.
Ms. Gathman is the Tradeshow and Special Events Manager for PLANMECA. Giving back has always been important to her, especially in the dental community. She sits on the America’s Dentists Care Foundation Board of Directors, the Chicago Dental Society Foundation Board of Trustees and the Chicago Dental Society Foundation Free Clinic Board of Managers. Each of these organizations work towards providing access to dental care for the less fortunate. Ms. Gathman has served on the Gala Planning Committee for 10 years.
Ms. O’Russa is the Western Region Territory Sales Manager for Whip Mix Corporation. She began her career in dentistry as a dental assistant, then practiced dental hygiene for 18 years. Ms. O’Russa serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for Southern Illinois University and volunteers for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria, IL. She has served on the Gala Planning Committee the past three years.
OHA’s Annual Gala & Benefit provides crucial and principal support which drives oral health programs that increase access to care, education through workshops and internship and fellowship opportunities as well as advocacy for vulnerable populations of all ages.
To learn more about OHA's 28th Annual Gala & Benefit, visit oralhealthamerica.org/gala.
ROSEMONT, Ill. – In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations today that urge ibuprofen – rather than opioids – to be used as a first-line therapy to manage a patient’s acute and post-surgical pain.
Recognizing the value and importance of the doctor-patient relationship, the AAOMS White Paper “Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management” stresses that practitioners should be allowed to make individualized pain management decisions for their patients – including drug types, dosages and treatment durations.
If opioids are considered, AAOMS recommends doctors begin with the lowest possible effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Long-acting or extended-release opioids should be avoided as a starting treatment, the document advises. As an alternative, doctors are reminded that ibuprofen and acetaminophen – taken simultaneously – can rival opioids in their analgesic effect.
“Patient safety is the top priority of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons,” said AAOMS President Douglas W. Fain, DDS, MD, FACS. “Therefore, AAOMS has taken a leadership role in combatting the opioid epidemic afflicting this country. It is crucial for our doctors to responsibly prescribe based on individual patient needs and to use non-opioids when appropriate.”
When using opioids to manage acute and post-surgical pain, it is recommended that doctors prescribe them safely and expertly, use the state’s prescription-drug monitoring program, and inform patients and their families about opioids’ potential risks as well as safe use, storage and disposal. Doctors also should remain aware of the most recent public health trends, including potential alternatives to opioids, the document advises.
The white paper recommendations are the work of a Special Committee on Opioid Prescribing appointed by the AAOMS Board of Trustees this spring.
“While oral and maxillofacial surgeons should ultimately make all final prescribing decisions, the recommendations in this AAOMS White Paper are intended to provide direction and serve as a supportive resource,” the document states.
• Prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, generically known as ibuprofen) as first-line pain-relief therapy, unless they are harmful to the patient. In that case, providers should prescribe acetaminophen.
• Document dosage levels and times of administration of ibuprofen and acetaminophen taken simultaneously to prevent overdosage.
• Inform patients not to exceed 3,200 milligrams of ibuprofen per day. In addition, the maximum recommended daily dose of acetaminophen is 3,000 milligrams.
• Access the state’s prescription drug-monitoring program or other resources if patient drug misuse is suspected.
• Document all instructions for each patient’s pain relief and prescriptions.
• Document reasoning for not following these recommendations or those required by state laws or institutions.
• Consider using a corticosteroid during surgery to limit swelling and lower post-surgical discomfort after wisdom teeth removal.
• Consider using a long-acting local anesthetic to postpone the onset and severity of post-surgical pain.
According to a 2017 AAOMS survey of its fellows and members, nearly 50 percent of respondents have decreased the number of narcotics they have prescribed for wisdom teeth extraction cases in the last two years. In addition, nearly 72 percent of respondents said they would refill a narcotic pain prescription only if they see the patient first.
The AAOMS white paper is available online at http://www.aaoms.org/docs/govt_affairs/advocacy_white_papers/opioid_prescribing.pdf.
For information on managing chronic pain, the white paper refers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.
In response to the catastrophic devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, Ultradent Products, Inc., will donate $250,000 to the Saint Bernard Project (SBP) as they work to aid in the rescue, relief, and rebuilding efforts of all those affected by the storm. Additionally, Ultradent is launching a discount program to help dentists whose practices have been damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Beginning Monday, August 28, 2017, Ultradent will offer dentists negatively affected by Hurricane Harvey $500 worth of free product, with 40% off all consumable products and 15% off all equipment purchases exceeding the initial $500, in the hopes of providing some aid in the rebuilding efforts of the dental community.
Ultradent’s president, Dirk Jeffs, says,“Hurricane Harvey, with its wind and flooding, has caused unprecedented, catastrophic damage in Texas. Care is an important core value at Ultradent, and we want to extend a helping hand and show our care for the people who have been affected by this devastating storm.”
Ultradent has a strong culture of giving. The company contributed to relief efforts associated with the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Typhoon Haiyan, Hurricane Sandy, and the earthquakes in Haiti and Ecuador. Additionally, Ultradent donates over 1.6 million pounds of food over the past nine years to the Utah Food Bank. Ultradent also contributes to various national and international dental humanitarian missions. To find out more about Ultradent’s disaster relief efforts, please visit www.ultradent.com/harvey.
For the fifth year in a row, Albensi Dental Laboratory, Inc., has snagged a spot on the annual list of Pittsburgh Top Workplaces. This year, the lab took the #2 spot in the mid-sized company category (150-399 employees).
“We are honored and humbled to receive this award again. We have the best staff and team, and we would like to thank them for nominating us and enabling us to achieve this recognition,” said Don Albensi Jr., COO.
Before a company can even be considered for the list, it must be nominated, and then thousands of employees from those nominations are polled. The polling process allows employees to make comments and give examples to support the rankings. One Albensi employee said: “Our lab is a cutting-edge facility in the dental industry and an exciting place to work. I have a job that offers me a variety of duties as well as challenges me and allows me to learn new things.”
August 11, 2017 (ATLANTA, GA) — The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP), a growing community of clinicians, educators, policy makers, consultants and industry representatives who advocate for the Safest Dental Visit™ has announced that registration is now open for its Dental Infection Control Boot Camp™, Monday, January 8 to Wednesday, January 10, 2018, at the Hilton Baltimore in Baltimore, MD. Federal Services attendees will have additional training sessions on Thursday morning, January 11. The “basic training” program will cover core infection prevention and safety fundamentals for dental practitioners, and offer up to 24 continuing education (CE) hours. Space is limited, so it is important to register early. A special early bird registration discount is available until October 31, 2017.
The OSAP Boot Camp™ is a crucial building block for every dental professional with infection control responsibilities. The program features national and international experts in infection prevention and safety, presenting a fast-paced, comprehensive curriculum. Attendees receive an extensive resource binder, checklists, tools, and much more.
Although anyone involved with infection control in dentistry would benefit from this course, Boot Camp™ is targeted to dental personnel who desire a strong foundation in infection control, infection control coordinators, educators, compliance officers, federal service employees with infection control responsibilities, federally qualified health center personnel, consultants, and sales representatives.
For additional information, go to www.osap.org/page/2018bootcamp.
Celtra On Tour
September 1 - Irvine, CA
Celtra Press Training
September 8 - Charlotte, NC
Digital Denture Training
September 22 - CEREC On Demand Education Center - Winter Springs, FL
inLab New User Training
September 28-29 - Express Dental Laboratory - Norman, OK
Dentsply Sirona World
September 14-16 - The Venetian and the Palazzo - Las Vegas, NV
For more information on all of Dentsply Sirona’s upcoming lab events, visit www.dentsplysirona.com/labevents or call 855-465-2248.
The University of Connecticut and PREAT Corporation today announced an exclusive license agreement to commercialize a technology for improved dental implant bridges, especially for use in patients suffering from total tooth loss.
The licensed technology resolves a problem commonly encountered with dental implants and was developed by UConn School of Dental Medicine Associate Professor and Prosthodontist, Dr. Avinash Bidra.
“We are thrilled to be working with UConn and Dr. Bidra, who has a background in both clinical practice and clinical research,” said PREAT President, Chris Bormes. “Inclusion of Dr. Bidra’s technology will help PREAT to continue to deliver the finest precision attachment, implant, and restorative/prosthetic products to dental laboratories, dentists, and denturists.”
Existing methods for fabricating dental implant prostheses can lead to imperfections that could be potentially harmful for patients. For example, excess acrylic resin on the dental bridge can interfere with the fit of the dental bridge in the mouth when placed immediately after implant surgery. Dental bridges that are not completely free of excess acrylic resin could fail due to fracture of the prostheses, failure of the implants due to movement, or inflammation around the gums and bone.
Dr. Bidra’s technology is focused on implant treatments known as All-on-4®, registered to Nobel Biocare Services or Teeth in a Day®, registered to Prosthodontics Intermedica Corporation Pennsylvania, for patients with total tooth loss. For such patients, a full arch dental bridge is installed immediately after implant surgery. Dr. Bidra’s invention significantly improves on the currently available standard products by adding an additional component that creates a closer fit for the dental implant pieces. Using his invention, the acrylic resin added during the fabrication process does not come in contact with other components that could be scratched or damaged or interfere with the fit of the bridge. Scratches or damage to the other dental implant components allow bacteria and plaque to proliferate, resulting in soft tissue damage and possible bone loss around the implants. Trimming and polishing the dental bridge component is also easier, simpler and quicker with Dr. Bidra’s technology than standard methods.
“This is a prime example of the unique ability of academic-industry partnerships to address unmet clinical needs,” said Dr. Radenka Maric, Vice President for Research at UConn/UConn Health. “The world-class researchers at UConn are making important discoveries every day, and we are grateful to our industry partners who help those discoveries reach the public.”
Technology Commercialization Services within the Office of the Vice President for Research provided critical support for the commercialization of Dr. Bidra’s technology. The group facilitated patent protection, worked to identify potential industry partners and market the product, and negotiated the current license agreement with PREAT Corporation.