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Under Pressure: Uncertain Times Take Their Toll on Teeth and Jaws

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2021

If it seems like you’ve been gnashing your teeth over the woes of the world, there’s a good chance that you have been. Dentists are seeing signs that tooth-grinding and jaw-clenching are on the rise during the pandemic, just as they were during the Great Recession a little over a decade ago.

“We’ve been seeing an increase in the number of patients looking for appointments to replace broken mouth guards” because they’ve been cracked or chewed through, says Leopoldo Correa, associate professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and director of the school’s Craniofacial Pain Center. Grinding and clenching—known in the dental world as “bruxism”—are also often the culprits behind migraines and other headaches; face, neck, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain; and cracked teeth, fillings, and crowns.

And stress is often the driver behind it all. “You may resolve a stressful situation in the short term, or it may continue and develop into chronic stress,” which can result in symptoms such as fatigue, increased muscle tension, depression, an inability to fall or stay asleep, and bruxism while awake or asleep, Correa says. “According to some data, the amount of force we create when clenching the jaw is around 300 pounds.” With a load that heavy, eventually something’s got to give.

Dr. Correa answers common questions about bruxism and what you can do about it.

What are the short-term and long-term consequences of tooth-grinding and jaw-clenching? Since many people grind and clench without realizing it, what signs should people look for?

Leopoldo Correa: Short-term consequences can include facial pain, especially in the morning; difficulty opening the mouth; headaches; neck pain; and certainly TMJ pain, which is a disorder we manage in the pain center. Long-term consequences include fractures to teeth or dental restorations, or, in those who have chronic bruxism, the enamel that protects the teeth can wear down.

Aside from stress, what other factors can contribute to bruxism? What role has the pandemic played?

Ergonomics plays a big role in the development of symptoms, and part of our initial evaluation is an assessment of body posture in general and what the patient does for their profession—do they spend long hours in front of the computer? If people are working from home during the pandemic, what is their work setup like? After several hours at the computer, there is a tendency to move the head forward, and the muscles of the head tend to become off-center. Not only does this create higher tension on the neck muscles as they try to maintain the position of the head, it also increases the contact between the upper and lower teeth.

There is plenty of evidence that a side effect of some medications, such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), is increased muscle activity, including increased jaw-muscle activity, which can be more intense during sleep. So those who are taking some kind of antianxiety or antidepressant medication may see an increase in bruxism.

What can people do to remedy the situation, especially during the pandemic, when it may not be as easy to see a dentist quickly for a non-emergency visit?

The current situation is really very challenging for everybody, including for clinicians and for patients trying to get appointments, because of the limitations required to maintain safety during the pandemic. While a mouth guard that’s custom-made is the preferred treatment, an over-the-counter mouth guard can be a useful temporary solution. We do recommend that at some point the patient find a dentist to fabricate a mouth guard specifically designed for the patient’s symptoms and the size of their mouth. But there are a variety of over-the-counter mouth guards, and all of them will work on a temporary basis—the main purpose is to assist in separating the teeth and provide some cushion to prevent tooth fracture. They may also reduce joint or face pain.

Dental insurance covers some types of mouth guards, and depending on the diagnosis, mouth guards may even be covered under medical insurance.

In addition, there are exercises for the jaw and the muscles of the face that are helpful, and that anybody can do, even if you can’t purchase a mouth guard. Dedicate 5 to 10 minutes in the morning, and especially in the afternoon or the end of the workday, when the muscles are most fatigued. Keeping your teeth apart, bend your fingers and place your knuckles on each side of your face. Give yourself a self-massage, pushing down.

If possible, briefly apply heat or an ice pack to the side of the face before doing the stretching exercise.

Dentsply Sirona Maintains Cancellation for International Dental Show

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2021

After the postponement of the International Dental Show (IDS) to September 2021, Dentsply Sirona stands by its decision to refrain from participating after weighing all the facts. This also applies to Dentsply Sirona brands VDW, MIS, and Zhermack. Dentsply Sirona puts the safety of its customers and employees first when making these types of decisions.

According to current estimates of Dentsply Sirona, the restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic are unlikely to change substantially enough to allow for Dentsply Sirona’s attendance at IDS. The company continues to assume that it will not likely be possible to implement the proximity and depth of consultation that Dentsply Sirona and its customers know and value in September. Based on existing travel restrictions, the company also continues to expect fewer national and, above all, international customer visits to Cologne. 

Walter Petersohn, Chief Commercial Officer at Dentsply Sirona, said, "This was a tough decision for us. We respect the organizers’ efforts to make this show possible by moving the 39th IDS to September 2021. However, in order to prepare for such a major trade show, we need absolute planning certainty, which unfortunately does not exist at the moment in view of COVID-19. The usual magic and buzz of the IDS can probably not be guaranteed in September 2021 because of the conditions we expect may still continue due to the pandemic. In addition, health protection of our customers and employees is a top priority. We therefore highly regret that we must refrain from participating this year, but already now look very much forward to participating in the 40th IDS."

Exocad Supports Overland for Smile (ONLUS)

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2021

exocad GmbH, an Align Technology, Inc. company, today announced its 2020 holiday contribution to the non-profit organization Overland for Smile (ONLUS), which it has supported since 2018. exocad's donation is estimated to help support dental care for more than 160 disadvantaged children and teenagers in Eastern Europe.

A portion of the donation includes proceeds from the charitable tee shirt campaign during the two-day exocad Insights event in September 2020, which featured two key slogans ("JUST CAD IT" and "arCADe champion") created specifically for this campaign and printed on purple tee shirts.

"We are very pleased with the proactive support and donations we have received from exocad," reported Cinzia Prazzoli, President and General Manager of ONLUS, continuing: "With the donated amount, we can ensure providing dental care for a total of 166 children and teenagers from orphanages across Eastern Europe."

ONLUS has operated a mobile dental practice since 2005. Dedicated teams, each consisting of ten doctors and support volunteers, regularly drive to different Eastern European areas to provide dental care to children and teenagers from the orphanages free of charge. The modern dental equipment within its vehicles and other necessary dental supplies are financed by donations, like those provided by exocad. The teams supporting these missions also donate their time. To date, almost 29,000 children and teenagers have received complimentary dental exams and over 11,000 have received dental treatment.

Further information is available at and


Vivos Therapeutics Forms Clinical Advisory Board to Drive Further Growth of Next-Generation Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment Efforts

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2021

Vivos Therapeutics, Inc. (“Vivos”) (NASDAQ: VVOS), a medical technology company focused on developing and commercializing innovative treatments for patients suffering from sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), today announced that the Company has established a Clinical Advisory Board to further drive adoption and growth of its next-generation treatments for OSA, of which 1 billion people suffer from globally.

Members of Vivos’ Clinical Advisory Board currently include:

Clete A. Kushida, MD, PhD – Neurologist, sleep specialist, Stanford Sleep Medicine Center’s Division Chief and Medical Director, World Sleep Society’s founding President

Edward Zuckerberg, DDS – Nationally recognized key opinion leader in the advanced dentistry field

Michael Gelb, DDS, MS – American Board of Orofacial Pain Diplomate, NYU College of Dentistry Clinical Professor, American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry Co-Founder

Manisha Witmans, MD, FAASM – Board-certified sleep specialist and pediatric pulmonologist, Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Alberta

Tammarie Heit, DDS, MICCMO, RN – Completed mastership program at the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics, established private practice focused on craniofacial sleep medicine and dentistry

Jon Caulfield, DDS – American Sleep and Breathing Academy Diplomate; established private practice specializing in airway, sleep and TMJ disorders

“In forming Vivos’ new Clinical Advisory Board, we sought out the world’s leading minds in the sleep medicine and dentistry fields,” said Kirk Huntsman, Vivos’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Each member holds the highest level of credentials and brings decades of combined experience to the table. They are charged with ensuring that our Vivos System technology remains at the forefront of treatment for patients continuing to suffer from sleep apnea across the U.S.”

About Vivos Therapeutics, Inc.

Vivos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VVOS) is a medical technology company focused on developing and commercializing innovative treatments for patients suffering from sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The Vivos treatment for mild-to-moderate OSA involves customized oral appliances and protocols called the Vivos System. Vivos believes that its Vivos System technology represents the first clinically effective non-surgical, non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical and cost-effective solution for people with mild-to-moderate OSA. Vivos oral appliances have proven effective in over 18,000 patients treated worldwide by more than 1,200 trained dentists. Combining technologies and protocols that alter the size, shape and position of the tissues of a patient’s upper airway, the Vivos System opens airway space and can eliminate or significantly reduce symptoms and conditions associated with mild-to-moderate OSA. The Vivos System has been shown to significantly lower Apnea Hypopnea Index scores and improve other conditions associated with OSA. The Vivos Integrated Practice (VIP) program offers dentists training and other value-added services in connection with using the Vivos System.

For more information, visit

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” (as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) concerning future events, particularly with respect to the public offering described herein. Words such as “may”, “should”, “expects”, “intends”, “plans”, “believes”, “anticipates”, “hopes”, “estimates” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates, which are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond Vivos’ control. Actual results (including, without limitation, the impact of the Clinical Advisory Board described herein) may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, the risk factors described in Vivos’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Vivos’ filings can be obtained free of charge on the SEC's website at Except to the extent required by law, Vivos expressly disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Vivos' expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.

Heartland Dental Builds on Transformational Year with Accelerated Growth Plans for 2021

Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2021

Building upon its record-setting growth of adding more than 150 newly supported offices in 2020, Heartland Dental announced ambitious plans for further group practice affiliation opportunities across the nation this year.

Augmenting its 20+ year record of leadership, Heartland Dental will continue to advance its best-in-class DeNovo and single-office affiliation growth at higher levels, while adding expertise in affiliating with group practices and regional dental support organizations (DSO). Heartland’s affiliation team is not only working with owner doctors, but also actively engaging with brokers, investment bankers and financial advisors to explore transition strategies for their dental clients and their investments, while also creating new opportunities to burnish their legacy by improving and expanding the support they provide to their doctors and teams.

Heartland Dental now supports more than 1,800 dentists in over 1,150 offices across 38 states, with the following milestone affiliations and acquisitions completed in 2020:

Tru Family Dental in Illinois and Michigan, an acquisition inked in late December which included 23 supported offices.

Mosaic Dental in Minneapolis, Minnesota added four supported offices.

Forum Dental in Missouri, which included six supported offices throughout the state.

Research Triangle Dental in Durham, North Carolina, is a long-standing beacon of high-quality oral care in its community.

Several of these and other opportunities were referred to Heartland Dental by intermediaries whose clients are seeking the world-class growth, administrative relief, and liquidity options for which Heartland Dental is known. Doctors trust that their legacy in the communities they serve will continue to thrive with the support of Heartland Dental.

Livingstone, an international mid-market M&A and debt advisory firm, advised Research Triangle Dental on its recent affiliation with Heartland Dental. “Based on our success in selling dental practices, we knew Heartland Dental’s strong culture, doctor-led approach, and deep experience affiliating with private practices was ideally aligned with our client’s specific transition needs,” said Ryan Buckley, Partner at Livingstone. “Within 65 days from first contact to closing, Heartland’s affiliation team provided a solid valuation of both the non-clinical and clinical assets, developed rapport with RT Dental’s providers and employees, and executed an efficient, non-disruptive diligence investigation. Our client was proud to have completed a transaction with the industry’s largest DSO.”

“Our doctor-led culture and full-range of support positions us as the leading transition solution for successful dental practice owners,” explained Mark Greenstein, EVP and Chief Growth Officer for Heartland Dental. “We’re finding one of the biggest pain points for doctors and group owners is growing infrastructure to scale – namely day-to-day operational challenges such as talent acquisition, employee management, clinical education offerings and marketing services. For over 20 years, Heartland Dental has invested in developing world-class capabilities in these areas and is the best option for dentists and sellers to realize the full value of their work while providing growth opportunities to their associates and teams.”

Single offices and groups affiliating with Heartland Dental have found immediate access to increased resources and support services including drawing on the nation’s most comprehensive continuing education programs, leadership training opportunities, state-of-the-art equipment, best-in-class operational efficiencies, and superior benefits. “Our business model provides all supported doctors an opportunity to not only gain immediate relief from their day-to-day non-clinical administrative burdens, but also the ability to utilize our proven systems and processes so they can deliver exceptional oral care to their patients, and maximize their own clinical and economic growth now, and into the future,” added Greenstein.

Dr. John Mittelsteadt, a dental-entrepreneur who affiliated his Mosaic offices with Heartland Dental, said, “We were attracted to Heartland Dental because of its commitment to our dental team and to continuing our 30-year mission of community service. Affiliating with Heartland has also brought us standout advantages including expanded benefits and enhanced continuing education and leadership opportunities for supported doctors and teams.”

Heartland Dental provides non-clinical administrative support so dentists and their teams can focus on delivering high-quality clinical care and excellent patient experiences. Heartland’s support includes assistance with human resources, marketing, IT, supplies, insurance credentialing, accounting, and more. The company is also widely known for providing supported doctors and hygienists with an abundance of continuing education programs and leadership development opportunities.

About Heartland Dental

Heartland Dental is the nation’s largest dental support organization providing non-clinical, administrative support services. What started from the entrepreneurial spirit of Rick Workman, DMD, with his single dental practice, has evolved into supporting over 1,800 dentists in more than 1,150 dental offices across 38 states. The company is majority owned by KKR, a leading global investment firm. For additional information, please visit the company online at Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

NYU Dentistry Awarded NIH Grant to Investigate Oral Cancer Pain Treatment Utilizing Co-delivery of DNA and RNA

Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2021

NYU College of Dentistry clinician-scientists Seiichi Yamano and Brian Schmidt have set out to develop a new class of medicines using gene therapy to effectively and safely treat oral cancer pain. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded the researchers a five-year, $2.9 million grant (R01DE029694) to test whether nonviral co-delivery of DNA and RNA will safely alleviate oral cancer pain.

Patients with oral cancer often suffer from severe pain. These patients may find it difficult to eat, drink, or even talk. The opioid medications used to treat oral cancer pain become less effective as patients develop drug tolerance, and cause numerous debilitating side effects.

Gene therapy offers an alternative to opioids for the treatment of cancer pain by reversing cancer-induced epigenetic changes. This approach selectively disrupts pain signaling without the side effects of opioids.

“Complete elimination of cancer pain in a patient is exceptionally challenging because there are multiple and redundant pain-signaling mechanisms and pathways,” explained Schmidt, who is a professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at NYU College of Dentistry as well as the director of NYU’s Bluestone Center for Clinical Research and the NYU Oral Cancer Center.

As a strategy to obstruct these multiple and varied pathways, Yamano and Schmidt created two nonviral vectors that can efficiently deliver DNA and RNA to cells (transfection) with no toxicity: a cell-permeable peptide combined with a cationic lipid for DNA, and a lipopolymer for RNA. They hypothesize that the combination of OPRM1 (mu opioid receptor gene) re-expression and F2RL1 (gene for protease-activated receptor-2, or PAR2) downregulation in the cancer could eliminate cancer pain.

In preliminary studies, Yamano and Schmidt demonstrated that nonviral transfection with OPRM1 DNA led to re-expression of the mu opioid receptor and partial reduction of pain in preclinical cancer models. PAR2 was found to be elevated in certain neurons that supply the cancer with nerves and drive pain. Knockdown of the F2RL1 gene partially attenuated pain.

In their newly funded NIH grant, the researchers will test whether the combination of OPRM1 re-expression and F2RL1 downregulation in the cancer can go beyond reducing cancer pain to eliminate it.

“Our approach is innovative because delivering DNA and RNA into a cancer with nonviral vectors for the management of pain has not been done before,” said Yamano, an associate professor of prosthodontics at NYU College of Dentistry. “If we are successful, the knowledge generated through this research could set the stage for a clinical trial and ultimately lead to the development of novel non-opioid medicines for cancer pain.”

Yamano and Schmidt have collaborated on this work over the last decade; their efforts have been supported by three previous NIH-funded grants.

About NYU College of Dentistry

Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating nearly 10 percent of the nation’s dentists. NYU Dentistry has a significant global reach with a highly diverse student body. Visit for more.

SmileDirectClub Partners With Leading Dental Insurer Green Shield Canada

Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2021

 SmileDirectClub, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDC), the next generation oral care company with the first medtech platform for teeth straightening, has partnered with Green Shield Canada, one of Canada’s largest dental insurance providers, to deliver in-network coverage of SmileDirectClub's convenient, affordable, remote orthodontic care to millions of individuals insured under its dental plans.

“Our partnership with Green Shield Canada marks a milestone for teledentistry in Canada by providing millions of customers with in-network coverage of SmileDirectClub premium clear aligner therapy in Canada,” said David Katzman, Chief Executive Officer of SmileDirectClub. “We’re proud to announce Green Shield Canada as our first insurance partner in Canada, and are pleased to add it to our extensive list of insurance partners in the United States. We look forward to working with Green Shield Canada to offer our next generation orthodontic care to their customers on an in-network basis.”

This partnership comes as telehealth acceptance and adoption across Canada has increased. According to the Canadian Medical Association, seven in 10 Canadians would take a virtual appointment if available. SmileDirectClub’s pioneering telehealth platform for orthodontia gives customers access to regular virtual check-ins with their treating Canadian-licensed dentist or orthodontist throughout treatment, as well as 24/7 access to Customer and Dental Care teams via phone, video chat, email, or social media.

“We continue to be a leading advocate for virtual health technologies and the impact they can have on the health care experience for Canadians, especially during the ongoing health crisis,” adds David Willows, Green Shield Canada’s EVP, Digital, Innovation and Brand Experience. “We are excited to be collaborating with SmileDirectClub and bringing this innovative option to our plan members.”

Green Shield Canada plan members have two ways to get started on their SmileDirectClub journey: with a 3D scan performed at one of SmileDirectClub’s SmileShops or with a doctor-prescribed remote impression kit. Regardless of how a customer’s journey begins, treatment is prescribed and monitored remotely by Canadian-licensed dentists and orthodontists from start to finish using SmileDirectClub’s pioneering teledentistry platform.

Since launching in the U.S. in 2014, SmileDirectClub has become one of the fastest-growing health technology companies and continues to be the leading telehealth platform for orthodontia, serving well over one million customers around the world.

About SmileDirectClub

SmileDirectClub, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDC) (“SmileDirectClub”) is an oral care company and creator of the first medtech platform for teeth straightening. Through its cutting-edge telehealth technology and vertically integrated model, SmileDirectClub is revolutionizing the oral care industry, from clear aligner therapy to its affordable, premium oral care products line. SmileDirectClub’s mission is to democratize access to a smile each and every person loves by making it affordable and convenient for everyone. SmileDirectClub is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and operates in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain. For more information, please visit

About Green Shield Canada (GSC)

GSC is Canada’s fourth-largest health and dental benefits provider, and is uniquely structured as a social enterprise with the purpose of making it easier for people to live their healthiest lives. From coast-to-coast, our service delivery includes drug, dental, extended health care, vision, hospital, and travel benefits for groups and individuals, as well as administration and benefits management services. Supported by outcomes-based sustainability strategies, advanced technology, and exceptional customer service, GSC creates innovative programs for nearly four million plan participants nationwide.

Dr. Mark's HyGenie Now Available

Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Whip Mix is happy to announce HyGenie, the unique way to clean, store, and protect all types of removable dental appliances including retainers, aligners, splints, nightguards, sports mouthguards, sleep appliances, and dentures.

Dr. Mark’s HyGenie was developed by a group in Australia, who were looking for cleaner, faster, safer cleaning options, compared to toothpaste and brush, and one that did not require soaking in dirty cleansing solutions.

The device features a built-in series of ‘clustered’ brushes that rotate in opposite directions, washing all surfaces of an appliance simultaneously. In addition, the special cleansing gel used with the device cleans and dissolves stains and calculus buildup. Afterward, the device can also store most dental appliances, making it a ‘one-stop shop’ for users.

"For 30 years in practice, I have seen far too many people struggle to properly clean and protect their removable dental appliances. Did you know that wearing an unhygienic dental appliance can lead to unsightly, painful and costly oral disease? Oral disease which can then lead to even more serious diseases of the heart, lungs and throat? Our mission is to change all that." -Dr. Mark Wotherspoon, BDSc

The unique HyGenie device is currently being offered to dental offices by Whip Mix. There is special volume pricing available for those that would like to sell the HyGenie in the practice, or give to every patient receiving a new dental appliance. If the dentist prefers, a recommendation can be made for the patient to purchase directly from

NYU Dentistry Launches Center for Oral Health Policy and Management

Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2021

New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) has announced the creation of the NYU Dentistry Center for Oral Health Policy and Management, an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary think tank that focuses on oral health policy and management in the 21st century.

The creation of the center recognizes that the current oral health policy and management environment in the U.S. requires a holistic approach—an approach that has been lacking, according to Charles N. Bertolami, Herman Robert Fox Dean of NYU Dentistry.

“While tremendous strides have been made in improving the oral health status of Americans through scientific breakthroughs, many are left without access to basic dental care,” said Bertolami. “Dental benefits remain separated from other healthcare coverage and out of reach for many individuals and families.”

In addition, the rigorous curriculum for dental students focuses predominantly on basic science and clinical care, but most learn little about the complexity of the dental and general healthcare systems of which they will soon be a part. The center aims to change this through new programming and academic offerings on oral health policy and leadership.

“The future of dental care, dental education, and oral health research is uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, requiring the development and implementation of a national agenda for oral health policy and management and making the need for adaptive, character-based leaders throughout the dental profession greater than ever before,” added Bertolami. “It is within this context that the NYU Dentistry Center for Oral Health Policy and Management has been created and within which it will initiate its work.”

The NYU Dentistry Center for Oral Health Policy and Management will be led by Richard Valachovic, a visiting scholar at NYU Dentistry and president emeritus of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), who has been named founding director of the center, and Michael P. O’Connor, executive vice dean at NYU Dentistry, who has been named founding co-director of the center. Both Valachovic and O’Connor have extensive expertise and experience in areas of health policy and management. Gabriela Gonzalez will provide administrative support for the center.

Setting an Evidence-Based Agenda for Oral Health Policy

A key focus of the new center is to develop and promote a national agenda for oral health policy and management that recognizes the fundamental relationship between oral health and overall health and the responsibilities that the dental professions have for the overall well-being of the public. To create and further this agenda, the center will leverage NYU Dentistry’s existing resources and will engage with university, local, national, and international partners to create synergies related to oral health policy and management.

“NYU Dentistry is uniquely well positioned to undertake these initiatives,” said Valachovic. “The College enjoys a global reputation as a leader in dental education and research and as an innovator in dental public health. Moreover, with more than 300,000 patient visits annually by the most multiethnic, multicultural patient population in the nation, the center will provi

Developing the Health Services Research Database—ensuring the confidentiality of patient health information—from NYU Dentistry’s large and diverse population of patients would provide an abundant resource for research. It would allow researchers to explore and attract funding for projects related to social determinants of health, general health and dental diagnoses, treatment outcomes, and reimbursement and financing of dental care. Evidence generated by the center would inform local and national efforts to develop policy recommendations to improve access to oral health care.

NYU Dentistry has several existing initiatives that align with critical issues related to oral health policy and management, and, specifically, access to care. These include the NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities, a regional center for the comprehensive treatment of adults and children with a wide spectrum of disabilities, and the NYU Dentistry Veterans Oral Health Initiative, which offers comprehensive care at no out-of-pocket cost to military veterans. Both of these populations have historically faced barriers to receiving affordable dental care, and generating research could point to solutions for improving their access to care.

Finally, NYU Dentistry’s Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion houses the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Quality Improvement and Evidence-Based Dentistry, one of only 10 Collaborating Centers on oral health in the world and the only one in the Americas. The global ties created as a result of this collaboration allow for policy discussions with an international audience, including improving and sustaining access to care worldwide.

Developing Adaptive Leaders for the Future

Another priority for the center will be to develop the next generation of policy-oriented leaders for the dental and related healthcare professions through creating new leadership programming and courses.“The major reason given by dental school deans and independent search firms for not filling vacancies for faculty and dental leadership positions is a lack of qualified candidates,” said O’Connor. “The center will strive to develop adaptive leaders who are prepared to perform in uncertain environments in the future using a differentiating character-based model of leadership, one that develops leadership habits and attitudes that aim for human flourishing in organizations, communities, and society.”

In addition, to extend its reach beyond NYU Dentistry, the NYU Dentistry Center for Oral Health Policy and Management will stimulate public dialogue about oral health policy and management issues by convening seminars and symposia on key issues. These events will build off the successful model created for the October 2020 AHEAD (Achieving Health Equity for All with Disabilities) Symposium, a virtual event that attracted speakers and attendees from around the world to discuss improving oral health policy for people with disabilities.

The first NYU Dentistry Center for Oral Health Policy and Management seminar is planned for May 2021 and will focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dentistry and dental education, as well as the path forward.

About NYU College of Dentistry

Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating nearly 10 percent of the nation’s dentists. NYU Dentistry has a significant global reach with a highly diverse student body. Visit for more.

Georgia Dental Association Statement on Authorization for Dentists to Assist with COVID-19 Vaccine Effort

Posted on Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Georgia Dental Association (GDA) supports Governor Kemp's Executive Order temporarily allowing Georgia licensed dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine at public health sites on a volunteer basis.

"Governor Kemp's January 15 Executive Order will further enhance dentists' ability to assist in Georgia's recovery efforts so that our fellow healthcare providers, the medically fragile, and ultimately all Georgians have an opportunity to receive the vaccine," said GDA President, Dr. Louvenia Annette Rainge.

Dr. Rainge adds that as GDA President she will be issuing a statewide call to action urging all of her dental colleagues to take full advantage of this volunteer opportunity. "This is a time for Georgia dentists to unite for the common good of all Georgians," she says.

"Through GDA's many charitable outreach programs, our dentists are widely regarded for their volunteer spirit, altruism, and strong commitment to community service," said GDA Executive Director Frank J. Capaldo. "At the onset of the pandemic, our members generously donated PPE and volunteered their time to assist with COVID-19 testing. As states turn to dentists to accelerate vaccine distribution, GDA member dentists will continue to answer the call to serve."

The GDA is working closely with Governor Kemp, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Board of Dentistry to provide resources to Georgia-licensed dentists who are ready to assist with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

About the Georgia Dental Association

The Georgia Dental Association (GDA) is the state's leading professional association representing dentists in Georgia. The premier source of oral health information in Georgia, GDA has promoted the highest standards of dentistry through education, advocacy and professionalism since 1859. A constituent of the American Dental Association, GDA is based in Atlanta. More at

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