This Is How Laboratories Can Benefit from Digitization

Posted on February 19, 2021

Digitization is the key topic of the future for the dental industry. No doubt this necessitates change, but it also offers lucrative opportunities. Amann Girrbach will be showcasing how these opportunities can be easily exploited from April 20 to 24 in the innovative AG.Live CON virtual congress. Renowned dental technicians and clinicians will meet with leading minds in research to explore the attractive avenues into advanced digitization. Amann Girrbach will not be participating to the usual extent at the International Dental Show IDS in Cologne in 2021, which has been postponed to September.

For many years now, Amann Girrbach has been supporting dental technicians in the digitization of their workflows with its innovative power. Stemming from its pioneering role, the Austrian company also supports laboratories and clinicians in taking the next step towards digital transformation. The trend is evidently clear: the demand for direct straightforward restorations is becoming increasingly greater. This threatens to break down established structures and traditional boundaries between the laboratory and the clinician. However, digitization is ideally suited to expand the win-win situation of dental technicians and clinicians through new forms of collaboration. And the well-being of the patient always remains the focus.

To provide optimal networking for both sides, Amann Girrbach has developed the AG.Live platform, which is now being presented as part of the virtual congress and expo. AG.Live provides infrastructure and patient case management with a level of consistency and efficiency which has never been achieved before. For example, this will make it possible to offer laboratory-quality direct restorations. And the expertise of the dental technician is permanently available to the dentist. Even in the case of simple restorations, a joint decision can be made quickly as to whether direct implementation is possible or whether the specialist in the laboratory is required.

For further information and registration for the virtual congress with expo go to: show.aglivecon.digital

Frontline Dental Professionals and Organizations Honored with Teledentistry Innovation Awards by MouthWatch

Posted on February 18, 2021

Advantage Dental from DentaQuest, the University of Rochester Eastman Institute for Oral Health, Dr. Scott Howell, Dr. Barry Raphael, and Jingjing Qian, RDH, were recognized for the differences they have made to patient care and as teledentistry innovators at the third annual Teledentistry Innovation Awards.

According to MouthWatch, LLC, CEO and founder Brant Herman, "2020 presented significant challenges to dentistry and the world at large, but the year also marked a time of unprecedented growth and innovation in the teledentistry field."

Nicknamed the "Tellies," the awards were created by MouthWatch to highlight dental professionals and organizations bringing telehealth to dental care and the positive impacts they make. The awards were presented on Friday, February 5th at an online virtual event. The awardees describe their implementation of teledentistry and how it has made a difference to their patient communities in video interviews available at teledentistryinnovationawards.com/2020Live.

In past years, Teledentistry Innovation Awards winners were named in the following categories:

Dentist/Specialist Teledentistry Innovator

Dental Hygiene Teledentistry Innovator

Oral Health Program Teledentistry Innovator

New for the 2020 Tellies were two special COVID Response categories:

COVID-19 Response – Provider

COVID-19 Response – Oral Health Program

The five 2020 Tellies recipients announced are:

Scott Howell, DMD, MPHAT Still University/Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health

Award Category: Dentist/Specialist

Dr. Scott Howell developed a robust oral health program at AT Still University/Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH). To date, this program has trained over 300 students in teledentistry. Students learn about how they can use the technology to reach a diverse patient population and evaluate digital records collected via teledentistry.

Jingjing Qian RDH, EAYour Special Smiles PLLC

Award Category: Dental Hygiene

Ms. Qian and her dentist, Dr. Brooke Fukuoka developed the Guided Oral Hygiene Program, in which caregivers were trained on how to gather information via teledentistry and then leveraged live teledentistry interactions to help caregivers with patient-specific oral hygiene regimens. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this teledentistry-enabled touchpoint was the only dental service many of these patients received for months.

University of Rochester Eastman Institute for Oral Health Dr. Sean McLaren

Award Category: Oral Health Program

The University of Rochester Eastman Institute for Oral Health has published significant studies on teledentistry. Its accomplishments also include real-world implementations of teledentistry in oral health programs that provide care to underserved patients in the Greater Rochester, NY region. The University's innovative deployment of teledentistry is part of its long experience and successful track record in designing, implementing, and sustaining community-based oral health programs—including outreach programs that have been replicated nationwide.

Barry Raphael, DMD / The Raphael Center for Integrative Orthodontics

Award Category: COVID-19 Response – Provider

During the pandemic's peak, many dental clinicians were pausing dental procedures and maintenance appointments because face-to-face interactions posed a very real risk of COVID-19 transmission. Dr. Barry Raphael, a practicing orthodontist for over 30 years, decided to innovate. He implemented teledentistry to reduce risk while maintaining patient contact, including developing new ways to provide patient education and monitoring via teledentistry.

Advantage Dental from DentaQuest Care Group

Award Category: COVID-19 Response – Oral Health Program

Teledentistry was long supported through Advantage Dental's outreach and mobile programs. The recent teledentistry rollout across their over 80 practice locations were crucial in addressing urgent care needs during COVID-19. Through virtual consultations facilitated with their providers and member service representatives, patients had easy access to experienced clinical assistance when practices were open only for emergencies.

About MouthWatch

MouthWatch is the founder of the Teledentistry Innovation Awards and the developer of the teledentistry platform, TeleDent™. In 2020, MouthWatch was ranked #1303 in the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies. In addition, the company in 2020 earned the following dental industry awards: The 2020 Cellerant Best of Class Award for TeleDent; Dentistry Today Magazine's 2020 Top Innovative Products Award for TeleDent; Dentaltown Magazine's 2020 Dental Townie Choice Award™ for the MouthWatch intraoral camera; Dentistry Today Magazine's Top 100 Products Award for the MouthWatch intraoral camera.  

A Smile for Children with a Cleft Lip and Palate

Posted on February 17, 2021

Amann Girrbach has been supporting the German and Austrian Cleft Children's Aid with numerous campaigns since 2018. Thanks to these organizations, children with cleft palates receive highly professional and quality on-site medical care in 12 project countries from more than 250 local physicians and therapists.

"What we started with a Charity Olympics at the 2018 Sales Meeting has now become a joint success story with a wide range of projects. Despite the coronavirus, the economic crisis, and political uncertainty, Amann Girrbach can look back on a magnificent result of the campaign: The dental industry's willingness to donate is unprecedented—worldwide!" says Stephanie Günther, Marketing/Charity Amann Girrbach.

The fundraising activities are extremely diversified: Amann Girrbach sponsors surgery as part of the "Give a Smile" program. Dental laboratories from all over the world have the opportunity to give donations at Amann Girrbach's exhibition stands; employees organize donation raffles for a sponsored children's hospital in Bangladesh; and there is also a lively exchange of expertise and project support at the development level—ideas are continuously developed, multiplied, and shared.

The continued sustainability of this cooperation was confirmed this year with the founding of the Austrian Cleft Children's Aid not far from Amann Girrbach's headquarters in Koblach (Austria). 

"In 2020 in particular, we learned that the willingness to help is limitless—be it on a personal or a business level. In summary, we were able to transfer the incredible sum of EUR 50,000 in total on behalf of all those involved!" says Kai Kietz, International Sales at Amann Girrbach, and continues: "Ceramill dealers have also contributed to this donation to date in the form of waiving purchase discounts. To date, 32 dealers worldwide have joined this initiative, which started back in 2019. Together with Denspro, our trading partner in India, we are embarking on a fantastic new project to 3D print splints for pre-operative treatment (rapid NAM—nasoalvolear molding). This enables us to distribute free splint sets to affected infants, which helps to minimize the procedure, often quite drastically."

On behalf of the German and Austrian Cleft Children's Aid in cooperation with Amann Girrbach and especially on behalf of the more than 200 children who were given a very real opportunity of a future worth living in 2020, here's a big thank you to everyone involved!

Facts about the project 

In many countries, children with a cleft lip and palate live on the fringes of society. The coronavirus pandemic has brought urgently required medical care to a virtual standstill, although many of the children suffer from serious health problems for which, depending on the severity, treatment is a matter of basic survival. The children can hardly take in food, are outcast, stigmatized. Surgery is not a mere cosmetic issue; it gives them a future. 

However, despite being a difficult year, the German & Austrian Cleft Children's Aid were able to facilitate some 4000 surgical procedures and numerous accompanying therapies. Most recently, a new site was even opened in Bolivia. 

Support is always welcome! 

If you are interested in the project or have a good idea on how else to help children with a cleft lip and palate worldwide, contact the Amann Girrbach project team at: charity@amanngirrbach.com

Details and the opportunity to give a direct donation can be found at: www.spaltkinder.org

Premier Dental Products Company Celebrates 19 Years of Supporting Give Kids a Smile® Program

Posted on February 16, 2021

Premier Dental Products Company is proud to announce that over the last 19 years it has donated over $4 million to the American Dental Association’s Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS) program, with its latest donation of 10,000 individual treatments of Enamel Pro® Varnish, an innovative product that serves to strengthen and remineralize teeth even beyond the dental visit.

Premier Dental Products Company develops, manufactures and distributes innovative dental devices and consumables for the oral health professional worldwide. Its Enamel Pro® Varnish is a fluoride varnish optimized to provide valuable tooth building ions of calcium and phosphate.

“Dentistry is the gateway to our overall health and wellbeing,” said Julie Charlestein, President and CEO of Premier Dental Products Company. “We want to ensure that everyone-all communities and populations - have the opportunity to receive excellent oral health care. With the COVID-19 pandemic further adding to the barriers many face in receiving this vital care, Premier Dental is proud to celebrate its 19th year of supporting the efforts of the Give Kids A Smile program to bring free oral care to children in need.”

American Dental Association’s GKAS program has been providing underserved children with free oral health care across the United States since 2003. Each year approximately 6,500 dentists and 30,000 dental team members volunteer at local GKAS events to provide free oral health education, screenings, preventive and restorative treatment to over 300,000 children. To date, over 6 million underserved children have received free oral health services through the GKAS program.

Give Kids A Smile program events kicked off last week on the first Friday in February, which is also Give Kids A Smile Day, and are held throughout the year.

About Premier Dental

Premier Dental Products Company develops, manufactures and distributes innovative dental devices and consumables for the oral health professional worldwide. As a fourth-generation, family-owned, global business, Premier Dental sells its award-winning products in more than 75 countries. Dental professionals have turned to Premier for more than 100 years to improve their daily procedures and practices, and to promote better oral healthcare outcomes for their patients. As a leader in bringing innovative products to the worldwide market, Premier is dedicated to inspired solutions for daily dentistry. For more information visit our website: https://www.premierdentalco.com/ and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

AMD Start to Ship Monet Laser Curing Light

Posted on February 16, 2021

AMD Lasers, Inc. (AMD) begins shipment of the world’s first revolutionary handheld laser dental curing light, branded as Monet ™ laser curing light, for faster and reliable dental curing.

Detailed features and virtual demos for Monet laser curing light can be found at www.amdlasers.com or call +1-866-999-2635.

Light curing is an essential procedure in daily dental practices. LED curing light has been widely adopted into dental practices since its introduction in 2001. However, the LED curing light has certain limitations including an uncollimated light beam, light intensity decreasing dramatically from the emitting orifice, inefficient curing, etc.

AMD Lasers has been leading the development of diode laser systems in dentistry. Its Picasso™ diode lasers are widely used for daily dental procedures over the past decade. Building on diode laser technology, the Monet laser curing light features.

1) Curing depth of 8mm in composites in 3 seconds.

2) Rotatable head.

3) Coherent collimated beam with a beam diameter up to 12mm.

4) Beam intensity does not decrease with distance.

5) Different aperture attachments for different beam size and applications.

6) Handheld and cordless operation.

7) Easy battery attachment for uninterrupted operations.

8) Convenient charging station with a light meter.

Monet curing light has been evaluated by independent third parties and proved for the features and benefits as stated.

“We invented the first LED curing lights 20 years ago and it benefited dentistry greatly. We have considered all the key requirements for a curing light and implemented the requirements in this new development. Monet laser curing light resolves critical issues that existed in LED curing lights. It is a revolutionary change for dental curing.” said, Dr. Densen Cao, PhD, President of AMD. “Monet laser curing light will make dental curing easier, faster, and better. The Monet curing light units are manufactured in our West Jordan, Utah facility and our operations teams have been working diligently to meet the high demand from the customers for this revolutionary product.”

About AMD Lasers, Inc.

The AMD Lasers, Inc. (AMD), a subsidiary of the CAO Group, Inc. is a world leading company in diode laser technology in dentistry. Innovations of AMD has contributed to widely use of diode lasers in dentistry. For more details, visit www.amdlasers.com.

Kuraray Noritake Announces New CLEARFIL MAJESTY™ ES-2 Universal

Posted on February 16, 2021

From the innovators of dental composite technology—Kuraray Noritake Dental—comes a simplified solution for common posterior restorations, independent of the underlying and adjacent tooth structure.

The single-shade concept of CLEARFIL MAJESTY™ ES-2 Universal composite does away with the need to determine and select the right composite shade for posterior restorations, thereby streamlining the restorative procedure and also saving time. When using CLEARFIL MAJESTY™ ES-2 Universal, a single shade is all it takes. The material also comes with exceptional handling, excellent polishabilty and excellent wear resistance properties.

Due to the material’s specific level of translucency and the integration of Kuraray Noritake Dental’s Light Diffusion Technology (LDT), a blocker or opaquer is not needed. LDT makes restorations diffuse light in a way similar to natural tooth structure, thereby enabling the composite to integrate easily and smoothly into the preparation, resulting in virtually invisible margins.

“No other resin composite that I’ve tried restores posterior cavities as simply and efficiently as CLEARFIL MAJESTY™ ES-2 Universal,” states Troy Schmedding, DDS. “The material eliminates the need for shade selection and a simple monolayer technique is all it takes to get optimal results. It also possesses a wide blending effect and low shrinkage—everything I look for in a composite—that's why I consider it my ‘go-to’ material for posterior restorations.”

“We are committed to providing dental professionals with innovative solutions that help them provide better care to their patients,” says Dr. Dinesh Sinha, Senior Technical and Marketing Manager at Kuraray Noritake. “CLEARFIL MAJESTY™ ES-2 Universal composite builds upon Kuraray Noritake’s extensive knowledge of nano-hybrid polymer technology to deliver a superior restorative experience for dentists and patients alike.”

About Kuraray Noritake

KATANA™ Cleaner is the latest innovation from Kuraray Noritake Dental Inc., a company formed from the merger of Kuraray Medical Inc. and Noritake Dental Supply Co. in April 2012. Building on the combined strength of these two multinationals, Kuraray Noritake Dental aims to create world-leading synergies across product development, production and sales. The company benefits from exceptional expertise in organic and inorganic chemistry leading to the development of further high-end dental products—from ceramics to composites and even bio-materials. Kuraray Noritake Dental believes that a patient’s smile is more important than anything else. As such, the company has always sought to inspire the dental profession by introducing minimally invasive and bio-additive solutions, both now and in the future, resulting in patients being able to enjoy their teeth for a lifetime.


COVID-19 and Oral Health Conditions

Posted on February 16, 2021

The American Dental Association (ADA) has been tracking developments of tongue and mouth issues COVID-19 patients experience since early on in the pandemic. Oral health is an important and vital part of overall health, and the ADA is continuing to examine the connection between the two as it relates to COVID-19.

Research published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology reported that people with COVID-19 who had severe gum disease appeared at greater risk of more severe COVID-19 disease. A different study, in the British Journal of Dermatology (BJD), reported on skin and tongue abnormalities found in some patients with COVID-19.

According to the American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology (AAOMP), the tongue conditions depicted in the BJD article are very common conditions and may be unrelated to COVID-19.

One condition, in which the side of the tongue has scalloped grooves, may be caused by the tongue rubbing against teeth. The other condition, known as “geographic tongue,” appears as red patches with white, tan or yellow-colored borders on the surface of the tongue. Geographic tongue is typically harmless and usually disappears and reappears on its own. However, while such lesions may not be related to COVID-19, ADA researchers note they have received reports from colleagues of similar cases from patients who have had COVID-19.

The ADA, AAOMP and the American Academy of Periodontology agree there is value in additional research of oral health conditions that may be related to COVID-19 and that maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly contributes to overall wellness.

Patients who may be concerned about their oral health are encouraged to see a dentist for an evaluation and, if needed, referral to a specialist.

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

New hope for treating chronic pain without opioids

Posted on February 16, 2021

According to some estimates, chronic pain affects up to 40% of Americans, and treating it frustrates both clinicians and patients––a frustration that's often compounded by a hesitation to prescribe opioids for pain.

A new study from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry confirms that a low dose of a drug called naltrexone is a good option for patients with orofacial and chronic pain, without the risk of addiction, said first author Elizabeth Hatfield, a clinical lecturer in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Hospital Dentistry.

Naltrexone is a semisynthetic opioid first developed in 1963 as an oral alternative to naloxone, the nasal spray used to reverse opioid drug overdoses. When prescribed at doses of 50 to 100 milligrams, naltrexone blocks the effects of alcohol and opioids.

Low-dose naltrexone has been used off-label for years to treat chronic pain, but Hatfield said this is the first in-depth, systematic review of the literature to determine if the drug is indeed a good option for patients and deserving of more formal study.

"We found a reduction in pain intensity and improvement in quality of life, and a reduction in opioid use for patients with chronic pain," said Hatfield, who hopes to initiate a randomized control trial of low dose naltrexone.

Low doses of naltrexone (0.1-4.5 mg) works by acting on a unique cellular pathway in the nervous system through which it delivers chronic pain relief without opioids, Hatfield said. If patients are working with a physician to treat pain, it's appropriate for them to raise the topic of low-dose naltrexone as a possible alternative.

Chronic pain is pain that persists for several months, or after the initial injury or trauma has healed, and the way clinicians and scientists think about chronic pain is changing. It's now thought that some chronic pain has more to do with how our body reports pain to the brain, than the actual injury.

"Normally, chronic pain leads your body to go through a sensitization process whereas your nervous system becomes more sensitive, and this can happen even to nonpainful stimuli," Hatfield said. "The way I like to explain it to learners or patients is how a sunburn makes you feel, when things that normally feel OK hurt, like a warm shower or a sheet touching your skin."

This concept of the nervous system being sensitized is promoted by cells called glial cells. Low-dose naltrexone targets these cells that keep the nervous system sensitized, thereby reducing the pain threshold and the sensitivity of the nervous system over time.

Traditional pain management has focused on treating the injury or trauma site, but low-dose naltrexone works on the overactive nervous system.

"Low-dose naltrexone begins to address the cause of pain and not just mask it, which allows us to better target diseases causing chronic pain, as well as potentially consider pain control outside of opioid use," Hatfield said.

It is best used on centralized pain disorders, conditions where the nervous system is in that hyperexcited state, Hatfield said. Those conditions include myalgia, complex regional pain syndrome and temporomandibular joint disorders, commonly called TMJ, among others. Low-dose naltrexone is inexpensive and has few side effects. However, it's not an option for people who use alcohol or opioids regularly.

Hatfield became interested in the field of orofacial pain after study co-author Lawrence Ashman, clinical assistant professor of dentistry, started a residency in orofacial pain in 2018. Two years later, Hatfield was the first graduate of the two-year Orofacial Pain Residency program in the OMS/Hospital Dentistry Department.

There are only 13 residencies in orofacial pain in the country, Hatfield said. However, the pain specialty makes sense for dentistry, because this pain is related to joint and muscles surrounding the oral cavity and hasn't been previously "owned" by dentists or medicine.

Many patients are first exposed to opioids through dentistry. While there is a place for well-managed opioid treatment for chronic pain patients, alternative treatments are needed, she said.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Dental Association. 

Denture Health and Oral Health are both Vital

Posted on February 15, 2021

Most people know that you need to take care of your natural teeth, but not everyone realizes that you also need to treat your new dentures with the same level of care. A well-fitting and functioning denture can improve your confidence and quality of life.

The comfort and fit of your denture is affected by the health and quality of the tissues underneath. This is one of the reasons why it is important that you take care of both your oral health and denture health.

Some simple tips include:

-Regular denture home care routines, like proper cleaning and storage;

-Using the correct products to clean and maintain your dentures;

-Having regular oral examinations and denture assessments;

-Discussing any denture discomfort or issues with your prosthodontist;

-Removing your dentures for at least 6-8 hours each day.

-Ill-fitting dentures can negatively affect chewing and speech, and can lead to soreness or irritation of the oral tissues and denture-related oral

infections. Excessive use of denture adhesives can also affect your health and even mask potential problems.

A prosthodontist can help with all these concerns. With two to three years of additional training beyond dental school, prosthodontists specialize in the health of restored teeth. Current trends for denture fabrication involve digital techniques that can provide a superior quality denture, improved fit, and a high-quality acrylic material.

To learn more, and find a prosthodontist near you, visit GoToAPro.org.

About Prosthodontists

A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the restoration and replacement of missing teeth and other oral or facial issues. Prosthodontists specialize in helping patients with implants, dentures and veneers, all the way to full mouth and jaw reconstructions.

About the ACP

The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) is the association that represents the specialty of prosthodontics. Founded in 1970, the ACP is dedicated to advancing the art and science of prosthodontics and promoting the specialty to the public and dental professionals. For more information, consumers can visit GoToAPro.org and dental professionals can visit Prosthodontics.org

Dr. Mark C. Hutten Installed as President of the American College of Prosthodontists

Posted on February 15, 2021

The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) welcomes Mark C. Hutten, DDS, MS, FACP, as the organization's new president. Dr. Hutten was sworn in during a virtual ceremony at the 50th anniversary Annual Session of the ACP, Nov. 1 to 7, 2020.

"As the ACP just celebrated a historic 50 years, I am looking forward to leading the College into our next chapter," said Dr. Hutten. "I hope all of us in the specialty can collaborate together to ensure the strength and success of prosthodontics well into the future."

Within the ACP, Dr. Hutten has held several leadership positions including ACP Education Foundation Annual Appeal Committee Chair, Illinois Section President, and ACP Treasurer. He is a Fellow of the ACP and a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics.

Since 1996, Dr. Hutten has been the Director of both the General Practice Residency Program and Dental Oncologic Services at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL and currently holds the academic rank of Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He also maintains a successful private practice.

Dr. Hutten is a maxillofacial prosthodontist, trained in Oral Oncology and complex dental restorations. He is a published author and lectures nationally and internationally on topics including the clinical aspects of fixed, removable, implant and maxillofacial prosthodontics and on the dental care of patients with complex medical diagnoses.

About Prosthodontists

A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the restoration and replacement of missing teeth and other oral or facial issues. Prosthodontists specialize in helping patients with implants, dentures and veneers, all the way to full mouth and jaw reconstructions.

About the ACP

The American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) is the association that represents the specialty of prosthodontics. Founded in 1970, the ACP is dedicated to advancing the art and science of prosthodontics and promoting the specialty to the public and dental professionals. For more information, consumers can visit GoToAPro.org and dental professionals can visit Prosthodontics.org.


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