Saturday, June 30, 2007

Laser Dentistry: A Better Smile In Just Hours

Here is a nice article on what laser dentistry can do. I have been using lasers in my office for 15 years. Its a great way to treat patients!

Go to KMOT-TV and watch the video

Joanna Small
It begins with a photo session, and it ends with a beautiful smile.

But in between there`s the procedure that makes the transformation possible.

Yesterday health reporter Joanna Small had her own mouth assessed in a smile analysis, and today she follows a patient as she grins and bears it all to makes some subtle changes worth smiling about.

Sometimes a smile speaks louder than words.

So the last thing you want it to say is, "I`m uncomfortable."

"I had some problems with my gums I was self-conscious about."

But recent college grad and future Harvard law student Shannon Sorrells says she never knew there was a solution in the form of a simple, non-surgical procedure.

"Basically it`s just exfoliating one layer at a time and sculpting til I have the results that I want," Dr. Everett Heringer, laser and cosmetic dentist explains.

It`s called laser dentistry and what Shannon wants is a more even gum line and better shape to her teeth.

"These two gums here should match up in height. This gum is much lower and you have a very short tooth," Dr. Heringer explains to Shannon.

But he can fix that, anesthesia and pain free.

"The laser comes through a quartz or sapphire tip and energizes water in front of the tip. It makes the water have a popping noise."

Not only does it rub away the unwanted part of her gums, but it can also fix jagged edges on her teeth and re-shape misshapen spaces in between them.

Plus both the healing and the procedure itself are quick.

"In an hour and hour and half she`s going to walk out of here with a new smile," Dr. Heringer says.

"My goal is to keep it my smile, have it be my look," Shannon explains.

So not new, just improved.

And that`s something to smile about.

Dr. Heringer says only about 2-3% of dentists in the nation are using laser dentistry.

It costs about one third less than surgery.

You`ll pay between $300-400 per tooth for gum and bone lifts, and about $100 for tooth re-shaping.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Judge gives OK to dental therapists in rural Alaska

The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A judge rejected an effort by the American Dental Association to stop a program allowing dental therapists to provide services in areas of rural Alaska where dental decay is prevalent.

Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner on Wednesday ruled that dental therapists do not need to be licensed by the state. Rindner said that forcing the therapists to get state licenses would frustrate federal goals to reduce tooth decay in rural Alaska.

His ruling means the therapists, who undergo two years of special training and work under a licensed dentist often not on site, can continue operating in villages, said Valerie Davidson, of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

"The fact our local solution to a local problem is going to make a difference in oral health care delivery for Alaska Natives is really exciting," she said. "It's great to have validation from the court."

The Alaska Dental Society and others tried to stop the program in which at least eight dental therapists are currently doing fillings, simple tooth extractions and other procedures in villages where few dentists operate. The therapists do not perform complex procedures, such as root canals, Davidson said.

The dental organizations, plus four individual dentists, sued asserting the therapists require a state dental license.

Attorneys for the tribal health consortium argued the therapists were certified under federal law and didn't need a state license.

The immediate past president of the Alaska Dental Society, David Eichler, said his group is disappointed.

"We knew it was an uphill battle to begin with but it was our intention to bring the same high standards of health care to Natives as everyone else in the U.S. has," he said.

Students spend one year in classroom studies at a clinic in Anchorage before taking on clinical work in a rural community. They are required to spend another three months training with a dentist before earning certification as a dental therapist.

The dental therapists working in Alaska were trained in New Zealand.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

High bleach levels in tooth kits

Tooth whitening kits have been found to contain illegally high levels of the bleaching agent hydrogen peroxide.

Trading Standards Institute (TSI) tests found hydrogen peroxide levels were higher than the legal limit in 18 out of 20 DIY products tested.

In one case the legal limit was exceeded by a factor of 230 times.

Hydrogen peroxide, commonly used as a hair dye, can aggravate gum disease and cause sensitive teeth - or even chemical burns to the mouth.

We strongly recommend that anyone considering having their teeth whitened cosmetically should consult a qualified dentist
Ron Gainsford
Trading Standards Institute

It is thought that the use of tooth whitening kits is gaining in popularity, in part fuelled by a desire to replicate the dazzling smiles of Hollywood stars.

Ron Gainsford, TSI chief executive, said kits for home use cost as little as £14.

He said: "We strongly recommend that anyone considering having their teeth whitened cosmetically should consult a qualified dentist.

"However, I must stress that our tests were carried out on teeth whitening kits - and we are not suggesting there is a problem with the whitening toothpastes or polishes that are also on the market."

Only two passed

Officers from the Central England Trading Standards Authorities purchased 16 teeth whitening kits via the internet or over the counter from pharmacists or beauty shops across the Midlands.

They found that only two complied with the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations, which ban the sale or use of teeth whitening products that contain more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide.

The two that passed the test were Boots Expert Teeth Whitening Programme and the 'Brilliant' tooth whitening system, distributed in the UK by Brilliant Products, of Staines, Middlesex.

The remaining 14 contained amounts of hydrogen peroxide ranging from 0.24% to 23.8%.

In addition, Hertfordshire Trading Standards sampled four teeth whitening products, bought over the internet from UK suppliers.

They found all contained higher than the legal level of hydrogen peroxide, with one containing 7.3%.

Manufacturers and suppliers of all the items that did not comply with the 0.1% limit are now being contacted and advised to withdraw the products from sale.

Investigations are still going on with a view to possible further action.

A British Dental Association spokesperson said: "It is important any patient considering having their teeth whitened consults their dentist, who will examine their mouth properly, take a full medical history and discuss treatment options."

The BDA, through the European Council of Dentists, is involved in discussions to amend the EU Cosmetics Directive that will define the strength of products available to the public and remove restrictions on qualified dental practitioners using products of a higher strength.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Improper consumption of acidic foods could lead to destroyed enamel

From the AGD

Expert shares ways to prevent and manage tooth erosion

Fruit, yogurt, citric and soft drinks, may seem like harmless snacks and beverages, but improper consumption and overuse may lead to devastating and permanent damage to teeth. It’s known as tooth erosion, the break down of tooth structure caused by the effect of acid on the teeth that leads to decay. According to David Bartlett, BDS, PhD, who will lead a discussion at the Academy of General Dentistry’s 55th annual meeting in San Diego, June 27-July 1, 2007, titled, “Acid Erosion-Why is it Important to My Patients"”, “Early diagnosis and prevention of the effects of tooth erosion are fundamental to keeping teeth healthy for life.”

“Sipping or holding acidic drinks in the mouth before swallowing increases the risk of erosion on dental enamel,” says Dr. Bartlett. Dental enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth's structure and shape while protecting it from decay.

Soft drinks, which contain acids, break the tooth surfaces. These acids also damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving the mineral structure of teeth, thinning the teeth. Eventually, because of repeated exposure to acid, the tooth’s enamel will lose its shape and color and as the damage progresses; the underlying dentin, (which is the tissue that makes up the core of each tooth), becomes exposed causing the teeth to look yellow.

To prevent tooth erosion, Dr. Bartlett advises patients who eat or drink an acidic food or beverage to wait at least 20 minutes before brushing the teeth so as not to destroy the weakened enamel. He also suggests eating acidic foods within five minutes, instead of snacking on them throughout the day, and eating these foods just during meal times in order to minimize the amount of time the acid is on the teeth.

Also, frequently consuming and continual snacking of foods with a low pH (potential of hydrogen) value, such as fruit juices, pickles, fresh fruit, yogurt, honey and raisins can lead to irreversible dental erosion. It is important to also beware of habits such as lemon-sucking and swishing soda in the mouth. Doing this extends the amount of time that enamel and dentin are exposed to the acids and can increase the structural damage. But eating fruit as part of a balanced diet is good. Dr Bartlett says, “It’s not what you eat and drink that is important its how you consume acidic food”.

Dr. Bartlett also encourages patients to talk to their dentist about the use of dentin bonding to help prevent tooth erosion, a procedure he will share with attendees during his course at the AGD’s annual meeting. Dentin bonding is when the dentist paints a very thin layer (about the thickness of plastic cling film) which is painted on the surfaces of teeth showing signs of erosion. “Together, with dietary advice and daily desensitizing toothpaste, the aim is to prevent and treat early or moderate signs of erosion on the teeth,” says Dr. Bartlett. Early signs of tooth erosion consist of dentin hypersensitivity. In other words, if hot or cold foods and beverages cause pain or sensitivity this is an indication of tooth erosion. Dentists may also recommend daily use of an OTC fluoridated anti-hypersensitivity toothpaste with a neutral pH to help re-harden softened tooth enamel.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

He has a new smile; system still in decay

From the Toronto Star. Read the entire article by clicking here.
Moira Welsh
Staff Reporter

Jason Jones looks into the mirror and sees a stranger's face smiling.

By the age of 25, Jones had lost all but four teeth because he was poor and could not afford dental care. He became an oddity, a young man with empty, elderly cheeks. It limited his ability to find work and his naturally gregarious ways.

Six months ago, the Star published a story about Jones, highlighting the lack of affordable dental care for low-income people in Ontario. It prompted an enormous response from readers, including a call from Markham dentist, Dr. Raj Singh, who offered to give Jones free dentures and dental implants.

Jones left Singh's office a week ago with the first step in his treatment completed – a full set of dentures and two implants to hold them in place, valued at $10,500. Over the summer, he will be back for more treatments, as Singh uses a state-of-the-art system from a Sweden-based dental implant company to determine whether Jones has enough bone left in his mouth to hold more implants, as anchors for the dentures.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dentistry South of the Border

Discount dentistry, south of the border
By Manuel Roig-Franzia
The Washington Post
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - Judy Salvador, a retired American Airlines ticket agent, recently typed two words into Google's search engine: "cheap dentists."

Salvador loves cheap - she prepped for her nuptials by typing "cheap wedding" into Google not long ago - and her quest for cut-rate dentistry didn't disappoint.

At her computer in suburban Miami, Salvador found herself in an international cyber-bazaar of dentistry come-ons targeting patients in the United States, where 45 percent of the population has no dental insurance. The Internet offers crowns in Costa Rica, where "a few miles buys beautiful smiles," root canals in Bangkok and Caracas, and implants in Budapest, where the "Hungarian medical level of training compares to UK or Irish practitioners,"according to one Web site.

Tempted as she was to head for Bangkok, Salvador, 58, chose Mexico, which is quickly transforming its border cities into catch basins for millions of bargain-hunting and uninsured Americans. Arizona retirement communities now organize regular bus tours for Mexican dental work and inexpensive drugs. New hospitals have opened in Tijuana, because some U.S. health plans have begun covering services in Mexico. And tiny border communities, some about an hour from Ciudad Juarez, are becoming dentistry boomtowns to handle an ever-growing flow of American patients flying in from as far away as Alaska.

In a recent University of Texas study, 86 percent of low-income El Paso residents surveyed - half of whom were illegal immigrants - said they receive medical care or buy prescription drugs from Mexico. Similarly, a study published in the Pan-American Journal of Health found that more than 37 percent of uninsured New Mexico border residents get medical care in Mexico.

Americans travel to Mexico for stomach surgery, eye exams and routine checkups. But it is the dentistas - thousands of them strung along the border - who are in the vanguard in attracting U.S. health consumers.

Mexican dentists often charge one-fifth to one-fourth of U.S. prices. Their operating costs are substantially lower than those in the United States, and because the Mexican legal system makes it almost impossible to sue them, they don't have to worry about high malpractice insurance premiums.

With such a differential, El Paso residents sometimes decline dental insurance to avoid paying even modest premiums for employer plans, said Nuria Homedes, a public health expert at the University of Texas.

The phenomenon has unsettled U.S.-based dentists, who tell horror stories of rampant infections, undetected cases of oral cancer and shoddy work south of the border - claims hotly disputed by Mexican dentists. Rick Murray, executive director of the Arizona Dental Association, said he recently talked a friend out of taking his son to Mexico for treatment.

But some U.S. dentists, Murray said, have conceded to the competition and begun a "reverse migration," opening offices in Mexico to take advantage of lower costs.

The Mexican dental empire comes into view the moment Americans step off the footbridge that leads from downtown El Paso to Ciudad Juarez. The first building they see is a squat dental office with tinted windows. Once they hit downtown's Juarez Avenue, they find taxi drivers hustling fares for trips to the dentist - "Don't worry. Clean. You'll like them." - along with the usual pitches for prostitutes, cocaine and discount cowboy boots.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Kenya: African Twig Toothbrush Offers Day-Long Dental Care

Brush your teeth every day, dentists say. In Africa, that can mean keeping your toothbrush in your mouth all day long.

Across the continent south of the Sahara, many people go about their daily business with a small stick or twig protruding from their mouth, which they chew or use to scrub their teeth.
Africa 2007

Cut from wild trees and shrubs in the bush, this is the African toothbrush. Its users swear it is much more natural, effective - and cheaper - than the prettily packaged but pricey dental products on sale in pharmacies and supermarkets.

"It cleans your teeth more than plastic brushes, with the liquid that comes out of the wood," said Mr Marcelino Diatta, a stick twitching from his mouth as he sought handouts from foreigners in downtown Dakar.

Read the rest about African Tooth brushes by clicking here

In Senegal, the chewing stick is called "sothiou", which means "to clean" in the local Wolof language. In east Africa, the stick is called "mswaki", the Swahili word for toothbrush.

Their users say the sticks are also medicinal, providing not just dental hygiene but also curing a variety of other ills. Dental experts agree they seem to clean teeth well and some up-market health stores in the United States have been selling chew-sticks as a natural form of dental care.

"It's good for your stomach and your head ... it whitens your teeth and gets rid of bad breath," said Abedis Sauda, a Senegalese street vendor.

Traders in Dakar and other Senegalese cities sell neat bundles of the pencil-sized sticks - usually about six inches long -on the pavement, offering a variety of different types of wood at different prices.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Comprehensive Data On Michigan's Oral Health Workforce

Here is a very interesting survey. The entire article is available at State Of Michigan Web site.

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

June 20, 2007

Results from surveys of licensed Michigan dentists and dental hygienists, conducted by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), show high rates of workforce attrition in the next ten years, lack of diversity in the oral health field, and limited oral health care options for Medicaid patients and the uninsured.

The 2006 Survey of Dentists and 2006 Survey of Dental Hygienists reports include information on employment status, age, plans to continue practicing, work setting, education, gender, and racial/ethnic background of licensed dentists and hygienists in Michigan.

Key findings from the surveys indicate the following:

43 percent of dentists and 38 percent of hygienists plan to practice for only one to ten more years. These rates are high compared to both registered nurses and physicians, of whom 33 percent and 34 percent, respectively, plan to practice for only one to ten more years.
Seven percent of dentists plan to retire, seven percent plan to reduce patient care hours, and two percent plan to move their practice out of state in the next three years.
37 percent of dentists are aged 55 or older, and 80 percent of those who plan to retire or reduce patient care hours cite age as a factor in their decision.
14 percent of dentists and 8 percent of hygienists are working in their respective fields outside of Michigan.
81 percent of dentists are male, and more than 99 percent of dental hygienists are female. 85 percent of dentists and 95 percent of hygienists are white.

"The survey findings certainly suggest that we will need to continue to expand the oral health workforce to meet the needs that are created by turnover in the field as well as by a lack of diversity," said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. "The fields of dentistry represent a growth industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and should be marketed to both young men and women, and especially to minorities."

The survey also found that the vast majority of Medicaid and uninsured dental patients are seen by a small minority of dental providers.

64 percent of dentists report that none of their patients in a typical month are children covered by Medicaid or MIChild, and 1 percent of survey respondents report seeing an average of 250 or more of these patients each month.
86 percent report that none of their patients in a typical month are adults covered by Medicaid, and one percent of respondents report seeing an average of 60 or more of these patients each month.
75 percent report seeing 20 or fewer uninsured children in a typical month, while one percent of respondents see an average of 300 or more of these patients each month.
75 percent also report seeing 30 or fewer uninsured adults each month, while one percent of respondents see an average of 500 or more of these patients each month.

Friday, June 22, 2007

iPhone Guided Tour

Apple has released a Guided Tour For The iPhone. The video is 25 minutes long.

Watch it here

Sleep Apnea Pillow

For those dentist who treat sleep apnea patients here is an FDA approved pillow for assisting in the treatment of sleep apnea.

SONA pillow may be utilized as an alternate to CPAP, Mandibular devices
and/or surgical procedures for the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea.

check out more on the sona pillow web site

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Milestone Scientific Receives CE Mark Approval Of Pain-Free Single Tooth Anesthesia (STA(TM)) System

Here is the latest press release on the Single Tooth Anesthesia System that I am currently using in my office.

21 Jun 2007

Milestone Scientific, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: MLSS), the recognized leader in advanced injection technologies, today announced that it has been granted CE Mark approval for its award winning Single Tooth Anesthesia (STA(TM)) System. This approval permits the Company to begin marketing the STA System to dental professionals in European Union countries and other countries around the world that recognize the CE Mark approval process.

"We are very pleased to receive CE Mark approval for the STA System, which represents yet another key step forward in the execution of our global marketing and commercialization strategy for this novel product," stated Leonard Osser, Chairman and CEO of Milestone Scientific. "Considering key countries within the European Union will boast a near $33 billion collective market for professional dentistry services in 2008, according to the recent Barnes Report, this presents a compelling growth opportunity for Milestone and gives us more than ample customer targets to pursue as we advance STA's worldwide market penetration initiatives."

The FDA-cleared STA System, recently distinguished as a "2007 Top 100 Product" by leading industry publication Dentistry Today, is comprised of a computer-controlled drive unit and a single-use disposable handpiece/needle assembly. It provides newly-patented, real-time visual and audible feedback and verbal announcements via Milestone's patented CompuFlo(TM) with Dynamic Pressure Sensing (DPS(TM)) technology, thus taking the guesswork out of the administration of anesthetic. Specifically, the STA System enables the dental professional to precisely administer an intraligamentary injection to anesthetize a single tooth in only one or two minutes, rather than administering a mandibular block that anesthetizes an entire quadrant. The STA intraligamentary injection has an immediate onset, whereas the typical block injection can take eight to 12 minutes before a dentist can start treatment. The dental literature shows that approximately 30 percent of mandibular block injections are missed due to limitations of technique and delivery. This can add another five to ten minutes to the time a patient has to wait to be reinjected by the dentist. In addition, the STA intraligementary injection lasts as long as a traditional infiltration or mandibular block. All of this is accomplished with a technology that has been clinically proven to provide a pain-free injection.

Looking To Buy A Laptop

If you are looking for a new notebook computer give a look over at Laptop magazines ratings for tech support.

Technical support is like the weather: everybody complains about it but nobody seems to do anything about it. Even the sunniest days can feel downright gloomy when your laptop goes south and you try to get help from the PC manufacturer's tech support, be it by phone or the Web.

Whether it is those insufferable long hold times listening to insipid smooth jazz loops, dealing with by-the-script technicians, or trying to comprehend the accents of some offshore associates, the inability to find a quick fix can add to your frustration.

To assess just how good or bad the tech support of the major laptop vendors is, we went undercover to see how well and swiftly each was able to solve two problems.

Get the ratings

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Important Issues in Stenting & Antiplatelet Therapy

Read this article about not removing patients from therapy prior to elective dental surgery.

Continuing dual antiplatelet therapy after placement of a drug-eluting stent for at least one year is important to improving patient outcomes. Educating patients and providers about the hazards of premature discontinuation is critical.

Published studies have demonstrated that using dual antiplatelet therapies—specifically thienopyridines (eg, clopidogrel or ticlopidine) and aspirin—can significantly reduce the incidence of early major adverse cardiac events after a stenting procedure has been performed. In fact, dual antiplatelet therapy is more effective than using aspirin alone or in combination with warfarin in reducing the incidence of these events. Current practice guidelines from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) on the treatment of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention and for treating patients with non–ST-segment–elevation acute coronary syndromes recommend using thienopyridines in combination with aspirin therapy.

Despite documented benefits, Cindy L. Grines, MD, FACC, says that dual antiplatelet therapy is sometimes prematurely discontinued within the first year after stent implantation. “Dual antiplatelet therapy can be discontinued too early by the patient or by a provider because they may be unaware of the benefits of these agents,” she says. “Other clinicians may prematurely discontinue these therapies because of the perceived risk of bleeding.” Research has shown that the leading adverse event associated with early antiplatelet discontinuation is stent thrombosis (Table 1); the majority of these events lead to acute myocardial infarction or death. Dr. Grines says that the mortality rates due to presumed or documented stent thrombosis range from 20% to 45%.

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Low Cost Imaging Sites

Are you looking to spruce up your office with some new photographs?

Stock photography can get expensive but the Internet has micro stock photography sites that sell images inexpensively. Sites such as iStockphoto and Shutterstock are popular microstock sites.

So go check out the photographs. You can download the image and have large prints (20x30) made at places like Shutterfly. Then add a frame from your local craft store and you get a beautiful print framed and ready to be hung for about $50.

Monday, June 18, 2007


ANNAPOLIS, MD: June 12, 2007  The Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures (OSAP) has announced a “YouTube” style contest for video clips that promote infection control in the operatory. Anyone can enter the I See IC Dental Reality Contest by uploading a video clip on the OSAP website. The video clips will be posted on, where visitors can vote for their favorites.

To enter the I See IC Contest, participants should prepare a video clip of up to 90 seconds in length that either captures good infection control procedures in action or unmasks the hazards of poor technique. Clips may be serious, humorous, or downright offbeat, as long as they get their message across. A link on the OSAP website will allow entrants to upload their video clips for consideration. The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2007. A panel of judges will evaluate the clips for scientific and creative merit. Prizes will be awarded both to the judges’ choice and the winner of the popular vote.

Contest rules and criteria for acceptable entries will be posted on the OSAP website. There is no charge to enter. All entries become the property of OSAP. For more information, go to

OSAP is the Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures. Founded in 1984, the non-profit association is dentistry’s premier resource for infection control and safety information. Through its publications, courses, website, and worldwide collaborations, OSAP and the tax-exempt OSAP Foundation support education, research, service, and policy development to promote safety and the control of infectious diseases in dental healthcare settings worldwide.

Comaprison Of Some Smartphones

Her is a great comparison of some current smart phones and the upcoming iPhone.
Read the whole NY Times article.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Is a Dentist's Testimony Regarding Routine Administration of an Anesthetic Admissible as Habit Evidence in a Malpractice Trial?

I came upon this blog and thought it was an interesting read on Sui Generis--a New York law blog.

I've always enjoyed evidentiary issues and for that reason was excited to read a recent opinion by the New York Court of Appeals regarding the admission of habit evidence in a dental malpractice action.

In Rivera v Anilesh, 2007 NY Slip Op 05134, the plaintiff sued a number of people, including her dentist, alleging that a severe infection in her jaw originated with malpractice committed by her dentist while injecting a second round of anesthesia during the course of removing the plaintiff's tooth.

The defendant dentist moved for summary judgment, alleging that she had no recollection of the specific procedure at issue. As such, she relied upon her customary practice to establish that the treatment rendered to the plaintiff on the date of the alleged malpractice did not differ from her ordinary methods.

(She) state(d) that the administration of this type of injection was a "routine procedure[]" that she did "every day" to "at least three to four to five" patients and that she had been practicing as a dentist since 1982. Dr. Anilesh further explained that a second injection of anesthesia was required in 15% to 20% of her cases. She provided a step-by-step description of the procedure she used to give injections to her patients and claimed that, when a second injection was necessary, she administered it at the same site as the first injection. Dr. Anilesh noted that if a patient complained of unusual pain or any other unexpected events occurred during treatment, she would make a notation in the patient's medical chart but that no such note existed for Rivera. Dr. Anilesh's expert opined that Dr. Anilesh's treatment of Rivera was within the applicable standard of care in dentistry.

Click here to read the entire blog entry

Open your wallet, say argh!

A SIZEABLE minority of Scots fear for the future of dental treatment on the National Health Service. Such concerns are hardly eased by reports this month that a new £2m NHS dental practice near Aberdeen is lying empty because dentists cannot be found to run it, or that Highlands residents are travelling to Glasgow to register with a dentist offering treatment on the NHS.

According to a survey by healthcare insurer HSA, 42% of Scots believe it is only a matter of time before NHS dentistry disappears altogether. The doomsayers may yet be proved right if the dramatic decline in the number of dentists willing to treat patients on the NHS identified by the Scottish Consumer Council is allowed to continue.

The SCC's survey found there has been a massive drop in the number of Scottish dentists willing to take on new NHS patients, or even to continue treating existing NHS patients. In 1997, 100% of dental practices treated those qualifying for free treatment on the NHS. By last year, that had shrunk to just 78%, while those willing to treat patients not eligible for free treatment as NHS patients had fallen to just 57%.

More worrying still is the growing number of dentists who are making free NHS treatment for children conditional. Just 53% of the practices surveyed across Scotland said they would register a child as a new NHS patient, and the survey identified some practices (in Moray, Perth, Stirling and East Dunbartonshire) which blatantly refused to register children unless their parents were first registered as private patients.

Indeed, an increasing number of dental plan providers are including cover for children, even though it should, in theory, be provided free on the NHS. Insurer WPA said it had added children to its plan last year after repeated requests from parents who had found it impossible to find a dentist willing to treat their children on the NHS.

It remains to be seen what the new SNP-led Executive will do to try to halt the decline of NHS provision. However, an increasing number of Scots have little choice but to find the money to pay for their family's dental treatment. Below we explain the payment options

Read the rest at Scotland on Sunday

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Rare case of dental patient-to-patient hepatitis B virus transmission recorded

From Eureka Alert

Researchers have documented a case of hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission between two patients at a dentist's office in the United States. While this kind of infection is exceedingly rare, universal vaccination against the virus would likely have prevented both cases, according to the authors of the case report and an accompanying commentary. Both appear in the May 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

The case report, by John T. Redd, MD, MPH, and colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Mexico Department of Health, describes the index patient as a sexually inactive 60-year-old woman with no history of intravenous drug use or other potential exposures to HBV who had undergone multiple tooth extractions on a single office visit. A cross-match of the state's Hepatitis B Registry identified the source patient: a 36-year-old woman who had had teeth extracted hours earlier on the same day in the same office by the same surgeon and assistants, and receiving the same medications as the index patient. No evidence of HBV infection was found in any member of the office staff.

Blood tests indicated that the source patient had had chronic HBV infection with a high viral load at the time of oral surgery. Genetic analysis showed that virus of the same genotype and subtype was isolated from both patients, and that the isolates had identical DNA sequences in a sampled region. Medical records and blood tests of 25 patients operated on after the source patient showed that 16 (64 percent) were vaccinated and immune to HBV. "I was pleasantly surprised by the high prevalence of immunity," commented Dr. Redd. "It may have helped to limit spread of the virus."

How was the infection transmitted from source to index patient? When investigators visited the office and monitored its operation they found all staff members followed standard infection control practices. The investigators could only speculate that there might have been a lapse in clean-up procedures after the source patient, leaving an area contaminated with her blood.

HBV infection has long been a concern in dental infection control. The blood-borne pathogen is hardy, persisting in dried blood on surfaces for a week or more. It can be present even in the absence of visible blood.

With routine vaccination against the virus in U.S. dental health care personnel over the last two decades, the incidence of HBV infection in this high-risk group has dramatically fallen, and no cases of dentist-to-patient HBV transmission have been reported in the United States since 1987. This is the only known case of patient-to-patient transmission in a dental setting.

The authors concluded that the case underscored the need for meticulous maintenance of blood-borne pathogen infection control for all patients in dental settings. They also said that it reinforced the value of universal childhood HBV vaccination, which has been recommended in the United States since 1991.

In an accompanying editorial, Ban Mishu Allos, MD, and William Schaffner, MD, of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, noted that adults account for most new cases of HBV infection in the United States, and that current recommendations based on such risk factors as sexual activity and intravenous drug use have resulted in meager vaccination rates. "Fewer than 10 percent of young adults with high-risk behaviors have received HBV vaccine," they said. In contrast, the incidence of HBV infection in children has been dramatically reduced by universal vaccination policies, and surgeon- and dentist-to-patient transmissions of the infection were essentially eliminated with routine vaccination of health care workers.

Accordingly, since those who engage in high-risk behaviors are generally younger, the editorialists recommended universal HBV vaccination of all adults up to age 40. "Universal age-based recommendations," they argued, "might have prevented both the source patient's infection and subsequent transmission to the index patient in the oral surgeon's office."

Fast Facts

This is the only known documented case of hepatitis B virus transmission between two dental patients in the United States.

HBV infection results mainly from sexual activity or intravenous drug use. It can be prevented with a vaccine.

HBV is a hardy virus that can persist in dried blood on surfaces for a week or more; it can be present even in the absence of visible blood.

No cases of dentist-to-patient HBV transmission have been reported in the United States since 1987.


Founded in 1904, The Journal of Infectious Diseases is the premier publication in the Western Hemisphere for original research on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases; on the microbes that cause them; and on disorders of host immune mechanisms. Articles in JID include research results from microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, and related disciplines. JID is published under the auspices of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Based in Alexandria, Va., IDSA is a professional society representing more than 8,000 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases. For more information, visit

Friday, June 15, 2007

“Next Generation” ViziLite Plus and Management Shake Up

Lots of changes at Zila both in product and management...

Phoenix, AZ – ViziLite® Plus with TBlue630, the emerging standard of care for the early detection of oral abnormalities that could lead to cancer, now includes Pearlescent™ retractors, replacing the earlier transparent devices. With an opaque backside, the new retractors focus more light on the oral cavity, and block light from shining directly back at the clinician.

“Dentists are having considerable success with ViziLite Plus,” said David Barshis, vice president and general manager of Zila Pharmaceuticals. “We are delighted to respond to their feedback with our new Pearlescent retractor, advancing this exciting, effective technology.”

Scottsdale, Arizona, dentist Paul Douglas has been using ViziLite Plus extensively. “My patients really appreciate the ViziLite Plus exam,” he said. “I provide it as part of nearly all routine annual exams. On several occasions, ViziLite helped identify areas of concern that otherwise would have been difficult, if not impossible, to find.”

ViziLite Plus is available from Pro-Dentec sales representatives and Zila Pharmaceuticals customer service representatives. Information is available at, or 800-922-7887.

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 14, 2007--Zila, Inc. (NASDAQ GM: ZILA), announced today that Douglas Burkett has resigned as CEO and director of Zila, effectively immediately, in order to pursue other interests.

Frank J. Bellizzi, D.M.D., Zila Executive Vice President and the President of its pharmaceutical division, will expand his leadership responsibilities while the Board addresses the CEO position. David R. Bethune, Chairman of the Board of Zila commented, "I have great confidence in Frank's ability and look forward to working closely with him as we move forward."

Mr. Bellizzi stated, "As an organization, we intend to aggressively drive the Company to profitability and continue to expand Zila's leadership position in oral cancer detection." Mr. Bellizzi has over 15 years of experience, within and beyond the Life Science industry, across operations, finance, strategic business development and investment banking. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School, a Doctorate in Dental Medicine from The University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Colgate finds fake toothpaste in 4 states

Company says counterfeit products may contain poisonous chemical; fake products can be identified by misspellings on label.

June 14 2007: 7:27 AM EDT

LONDON ( -- Fake "Colgate" toothpaste that may contain a poisonous chemical has been found in four states, Colgate-Palmolive said Thursday.

Colgate said the fake toothpaste may contain diethylene glycol, which the company never uses in its toothpaste. The company said it is working with the FDA to locate the source of the counterfeiting.

The fake toothpaste has been found in discount stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, the company said.

The fake products aren't manufactured or distributed by Colgate-Palmolive and can be identified because they say they are manufactured in South Africa or have misspellings on the label.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Melatonin Shows Promise in the Fight Against Periodontal Diseases

From the AAP Web Site:

CHICAGO—June 5, 2007—Melatonin could be the latest supplement to join the fight against periodontal diseases. According to a literature review in the June issue of the Journal of Periodontology, melatonin may promote bone formation and stimulate the body’s immune response, which are two factors that can affect a person’s periodontal health. Review Abstract

Since its discovery in 1917, melatonin has been found to be involved in many biological functions such as setting the body’s sleep rhythms and fighting off free radicals that may lead to cancer and other autoimmune diseases. The authors of this study conducted an extensive review of the literature (e.g., PubMed, Science Direct, Web of Knowledge, etc.) to evaluate the potential effects of melatonin on the oral cavity, including: melatonin as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger; melatonin as a host modulation agent; melatonin as a promoter of bone formation; and melatonin and periodontal disease. This review found strong evidence that melatonin may play a key role in periodontal health by helping to maintain bone levels in the oral cavity through suppressing the cells that work during bone resorption, and enhancing the body’s host response to the periodontal bacteria. One of the most devastating effects of periodontal disease is bone loss in the jaw which often leads to tooth loss.

“Although the review did not directly look at melatonin as a treatment option for periodontal diseases, this is an area that might be worth investigating in the future,” said review author Antonio Cutando, DDS. “Melatonin has important physiological functions that have not yet been explored in dentistry or in the treatment of periodontal diseases.”

Melatonin also has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help to improve the body’s immune response to infection. Recent studies have shown that salivary melatonin levels may actually vary according to the degree of periodontal disease, indicating that melatonin may act to protect the body from periodontal bacteria and inflammation.

“While natural supplements such as vitamin D, calcium, and vitamins E and C have been shown to have possible effects on periodontal diseases patients should be aware that supplements alone are not a substitute for periodontal care,” explained Preston D. Miller, DDS, and AAP president. “Patients should make an effort to know their pocket probing depths, which are the key to understanding their periodontal disease. A healthy probing depth of one to two millimeters with no bleeding represents a healthy mouth. Probing depths of three to four, that bleed, generally need more than a simple cleaning- they may require a procedure called scaling and root planing. When probing depths reach five millimeters or greater the patient has reached a level which may require surgical treatment to restore lost bone. Patients should keep this pocket size guide to their oral health in mind and should not hesitate to ask their dental professionals about their probing depths if this information is not volunteered.”

To find out if you are at risk for periodontal diseases, please visit the AAP’s Web site and take a free risk assessment test. A referral to a periodontist in your area and brochure samples including one titled Protecting Your Oral Health are available by calling 800-FLOSS-EM or visiting the AAP's Web site at

The American Academy of Periodontology is an 8,000-member association of dental professionals specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth and in the placement and maintenance of dental implants. Periodontics is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.

Andrew Murrison: Two million fewer people have access to an NHS dentist than in 1997

In 1999 the Prime Minister said that everyone would have access to NHS dentistry. To give him his due in April he finally admitted that he's failed.

But the truth is that not only has access not improved, it's actually got worse and under this government more people pay more for dentistry.

Less than half the population is now registered with a dentist. Two million fewer people have access to an NHS dentist than in 1997. The exodus that has accelerated over the past year.

We find that over the full FY 69 million UDAs have been delivered against the 73 million the government said was needed to maintain access at 05-06 levels.

This ties in with the BDA's survey earlier this year that showed that 85% of dentists believe the new contract has not improved access to NHS dentistry.

Together with the dental profession the Opposition told ministers that the new contract would be a costly disaster - and so it has proved. In March we learnt of the £120 million black hole that the new contract has punched into NHS finances.

Even earlier advice came from the NAO which in Nov 04 cast doubt on the ability of PCTs to commission dental services. It was ignored.

The new dental contract was not negotiated with the profession. The Opposition consistently opposed it on the floor of the House and in committee.

I well recall the standing committees on the regulations relating to the new GDS contract and PDS arrangements. Ministers did not listen and ploughed on regardless.

When asked for the results of the pilots we were pointed at the PDS pilots.

Actually we were quite happy with PDS pilots set up under the 1997 NHS Act. They appeared to be doing nicely, they were popular with dentists and presented a platform for the future.

But they didn't contain UDAs and they did not contain banding with all their perversities, undershoots and overshoots. So they were not in any way pilots for the system we now have as your debate this afternoon will affirm.

In politics you spend a lot of time being Victor Meldrew - bleating about things. We're very good at that.

But there does come a time when you have to say what you would do and if you're serious about effecting change that means trying to extract healthcare gain from a position of assumed fiscal neutrality.

I happen to be interested in public health - preventing illness more than treating it. And I am convinced that there are few other areas in healthcare so amenable to preventive health than dentistry. The diseases that you largely deal with are either preventable or remediable through timely intervention.

But in this the new contract has failed. 93% of dentists believe it does not encourage a more preventive approach. Hardly surprising given the rise in the minimum NHS charge from £6 to £15.50.

How can we build preventive health into dentistry?

Well, dentists will do preventive oral health where they can because it's the right thing to do and because they're professional people in an altruistic environment.

But how can the contract be used to support them?

I believe a system that takes the best from the PDS Pilots, that is based around genuine registration and the building of patient lists and that uses payment by capitation not Units of Treadmill Activity is the way forward.

Dentists would then operate in a way that is not greatly dissimilar from GMPs.

Crucially, they will have every incentive to engage patients in prevention. A list composed of patients in good oral health will - without the UDA treadmill - be a real prize for the professional.

This is particularly the case if goodwill value in practices can be enhanced through contractual agreement with PCTs, an issue that I know is understandably exercising the profession at the moment.

A few hotheads have suggested that we should solve our dental deficit by handcuffing professionals to the NHS post qualification. I say dentists generally want to do NHS work but you have to offer a contract that is attractive.

Obliging them to work for the public sector as a condition of their training makes no more sense than it does for lawyers, architects, biochemists and so on.

Remarks such as those of Labour Chairman of the Health Select Committee Kevin Barron who this week is reported to have said that;

'dentists do not have the same public service ethos that GPs do'

are unhelpful in my view. However, let's not forget the large sums invested by dentists in their businesses. I for one welcome the independent contractor model in both primary NHS dental and medical practice.

It is outrageous to suggest that to serve the public you have to be employed by the State

I would like to finish by saying a few words about the wider dental health team. Across healthcare there has, in recent years, been a reduction in barriers between professionals. It has been a healthy development - the removal of the last vestiges of the closed shop.

But I am not convinced that he process is sufficiently well advanced in dentistry. I hope that dental nurses, hygienists and technicians, representation of which joined our dental summit in the Commons in April, will be able to develop their skills further and contribute even more fully and autonomously to the valuable work that you do.

Thank you for having me here to today.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Safari Web Browser Coming To Windows

Apple is porting their Safari web browser to Windows.
It supposedly loads web pages faster then both Firefox and IE.

The beta download is

I downloaded and installed Safari. It runs fine on my version of Windows XP Home. I still have to customize it but it appears to be an excellent web browser. Now if it only could do Mouse Gestures which is my favorite Firefox extension add on ;-(

Converting To Open Office

Well I finally did something in Open Office besides testing it. I have an upcoming article on lasers in dentistry and did the entire article in Open Office.

I have an old copy of MS Office 2002 and it does what I need. The problem is that not all the files from newer versions of MS Office are compatible. (I have had problems mostly with PowerPoint but occasionally with formatting in word.) So I cannot justify spending hundreds of dollars for new software for all the computers in my office and home. That is why open source software is so great. Open Office is free.

I did need to learn a few shortcuts and differences between Word and Writer but it was not difficult. I think switching to Open Office was easier then learning the new MS Word 2007 from the reviews I have read. I will be converting some of PowerPoint presentations to Open Office Impress. I may be changing to Keynote when I buy a Mac.

Go to and try it out for yourself.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Online Background Checks

Here is an article that shows you how to do quick online background checks. I do Google all perspective employees. More information cannot hurt.

Start with search sites

Search sites like Google, Yahoo! and are good places to start. You'll see what people have posted about the person on their Web sites. If the person is mentioned in news stories, you'll see those, too.

You may uncover previous employers and addresses. This will help you search targeted sites.

Search using individuals' names and their business' names. If a person's name is common, your search will be more difficult. Try variations of the name and include an occupation or location.

Look for personal blogs too. Google offers a specialized search tool that works.

Read the entire article here.

Germ Warfare in the Dental Chair

You might be surprised to learn that the microscopic bugs around your teeth that cause gum disease may also contribute to tongue cancer.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Dorsey Griffith - Sacramento Bee

You might be surprised to learn that the microscopic bugs around your teeth that cause gum disease may also contribute to tongue cancer, medical researchers recently reported.

Such a link would not, however, shock the legions of oral health professionals paid to clean teeth and gums, restore teeth and scare patients into flossing daily.

Mounting evidence linking gum disease and other physical ailments is bucking the long-held notion that the mouth and body should be treated as separate entities by different kinds of doctors.

"For a long time, dentists really saw themselves as drilling and filling and didn't look at the ecological causes of oral health and how important it is in our total well-being," said Jennifer Holtzman, associate professor at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry.

Scientists already have associated periodontal disease with heart disease, diabetes, respiratory illness and several pregnancy-related problems including infertility, preeclampsia, and premature and low-birth weight babies.

The science is young and inconclusive, however. What's not yet known is whether diseased gums actually cause or contribute to other illnesses, and whether prevention of periodontal disease -- through regular exams, cleaning and good oral hygiene -- could actually prevent or lessen the effects of other health problems.

Still, these associations are convincing enough to spur more aggressive general health screenings in dental offices and to prompt insurance companies to offer enhanced benefits for employees at higher risk for periodontal disease complications.

"This area is very exciting, leading to a growing awareness of the importance of good oral health, not just for appearance's sake, but for longevity and life," said Jeff Album, director of public and government affairs at Delta Dental, an insurance company with an enhanced periodontal benefit for pregnant members.

That said, Album noted, "We don't have a causal link established between periodontal disease and any of these other conditions. It's plausible that other risk factors will ultimately be shown to be the cause."

What isn't disputed is that the mouth is loaded with microorganisms, and is home to hundreds of species of bacteria that can be both useful -- as in digestion -- and destructive, as in gum disease.

These bugs collect to form sticky plaque, also called "biofilm," which nestles between teeth and builds up along the gum line. Ignored, it can cause gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), and progress to periodontitis, an infection that causes disintegration of the bone and tissue that support teeth.

As the theory goes, untreated periodontitis can wreak havoc on other body systems, either through the spread of bad bacteria from the mouth to the rest of the body or because of the inflammation caused by that bacteria.

The inflammation occurs when bacteria give off toxins that stimulate the immune system to produce cytokines. Cytokines in turn induce inflammation.

Mine Tezal, a dentist and researcher at the State University of New York, believes either one of those mechanisms may be at work in tongue cancer development, and possibly other types of oral cancer, as well.

She notes that bacteria or viruses have been implicated in other malignancies, including cancers of the colon, cervix, lung and stomach.

Working with researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., Tezal compared 51 white men with tongue cancer to 54 white men without tongue cancer. Mouth X-rays assessed each patient's periodontitis by calculating bone loss in tooth cavities.

The researchers found that bone loss was markedly higher in the men with cancer. Even after adjusting for age, smoking history and number of teeth, they found a more than fivefold increase in the risk of tongue cancer in those with bone loss.

While Tezal can't explain the possible association, she hypothesizes that the microorganisms or their products can cause mutations in genes leading to cancer or that they stimulate cytokine production, creating an environment for tumor development.

Tezal points out that her research, published in May in the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, needs to be followed by larger studies before any solid conclusions are drawn.

Regardless of the state of the science, dentists today routinely look for evidence of other diseases before dealing with a patient's periodontal problems.

Another recent study, this one adding to mounting evidence linking heart disease with gum disease, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March. It found that when severe gum disease is aggressively treated, there is eventual improvement in the function of blood vessel walls -- at least in the brachial artery along the arm. Problems in coronary artery function can signal the onset of heart and vascular disease.

Carmichael, Calif. dentist Laurie Hanschu, who closely follows the emerging science, said she is fascinated but wary about claims of links yet to be firmly established.

Still, she said, treating periodontal disease is likely beneficial to a patient's overall health.

That's why each of her new patients undergoes a thorough medical evaluation, including a lengthy medical questionnaire.

Tanya Boyd sought out Hanschu for her first dental appointment in five years.

For her first visit, she was scheduled for teeth cleaning and whitening. She left without either.

Instead, Boyd got an hour long exam that included X-rays, photos, cancer screening, jaw joint checks and probing for tartar below the gum line, exposed roots and inflammation.

"I've never had an exam like that," Boyd said with both surprise and relief when it was over.

The insurance industry also is paying close attention to the scientific findings, and generating some of its own. Insurance giant Aetna, in collaboration with Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, found that patients with heart or vascular disease or diabetes lowered their overall medical costs when they got early and regular dental care.

The company now targets members it considers at risk, encouraging them to take advantage of their dental benefits, which include enhanced services such as additional cleanings.

(Dorsey Griffith can be reached at dgriffith(at)

Friday, June 08, 2007

FDA Advises Consumers to Avoid Toothpaste From China Containing Harmful Chemical

FDA Detains One Contaminated Shipment, Issues Import Alert

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today warned consumers to avoid using tubes of toothpaste labeled as made in China, and issued an import alert to prevent toothpaste containing the poisonous chemical diethylene glycol (DEG) from entering the United States.

DEG is used in antifreeze and as a solvent.

Consumers should examine toothpaste products for labeling that says the product is made in China. Out of an abundance of caution, FDA suggests that consumers throw away toothpaste with that labeling. FDA is concerned that these products may contain "diethylene glycol," also known as "diglycol" or "diglycol stearate."

FDA is not aware of any U.S. reports of poisonings from toothpaste containing DEG. However, the agency is concerned about potential risks from chronic exposure to DEG and exposure to DEG in certain populations, such as children and individuals with kidney or liver disease. DEG in toothpaste has a low but meaningful risk of toxicity and injury to these populations. Toothpaste is not intended to be swallowed, but FDA is concerned about unintentional swallowing or ingestion of toothpaste containing DEG.

FDA has identified the following brands of toothpaste from China that contain DEG and are included in the import alert: Cooldent Fluoride; Cooldent Spearmint; Cooldent ICE; Dr. Cool, Everfresh Toothpaste; Superdent Toothpaste; Clean Rite Toothpaste; Oralmax Extreme; Oral Bright Fresh Spearmint Flavor; Bright Max Peppermint Flavor; ShiR Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste; DentaPro; DentaKleen; and DentaKleen Junior. Manufacturers of these products are: Goldcredit International Enterprises Limited; Goldcredit International Trading Company Limited; and Suzhou City Jinmao Daily Chemicals Company Limited. The products typically are sold at low-cost, “bargain” retail outlets.

Based on reports of contaminated toothpaste from China found in several countries, including Panama, FDA increased its scrutiny and began sampling toothpaste and other dental products manufactured in China that were imported into the United States.

FDA inspectors identified and detained one shipment of toothpaste at the U.S. border, containing about 3 percent DEG by weight. In addition, FDA inspectors found and tested toothpaste products from China located at a distribution center and a retail store. The highest level found was between 3-4 percent by weight. The product at the retail store was not labeled as containing DEG but was found to contain the substance.

DEG poisoning is an important public safety issue. The agency is aware of reports of patient deaths and injuries in other countries over the past several years from ingesting DEG-contaminated pharmaceutical preparations, such as cough syrups and acetaminophen syrup. FDA recently issued a guidance document to urge U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers to be vigilant in assuring that glycerin, a sweetener commonly used worldwide in liquid over-the-counter and prescription drug products, is not contaminated with DEG.

FDA continues to investigate this problem. If FDA identifies other brands of toothpaste products containing DEG, FDA will take appropriate actions, including adding products and their manufacturers to the import alert to prevent them from entering the United States.

Consumers can report adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of these products to FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:

Mini Implant and Crown Video

Ben is a normal seventeen-year-old in all respects, except one; he never developed upper lateral incisors. For years he wore a two-tooth flipper and he hated it. His taste was affected, cleaning was a chore, eating was an embarrassment and as for kissing girls…forget it!

Ben was recommended for multiple expensive and painful procedures; bone grafts, invasive root form implant surgery and nine months of recovery, including permanent crowns. Imagine his frustration.

Frustration turned into elation when Ben’s father, an orthopedic surgeon, did internet research seeking a better way. He found me and the miracle of Mini Dental Implants fitted with immediate load crowns. This amazing procedure was performed in a one hour office visit and Ben is now leading a normal life.

View the video

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Diagnosing Skin Cancers with Light, Not Scalpels

Durham, NC -- In an early step toward nonsurgical screening for malignant skin cancers, Duke University chemists have demonstrated a laser-based system that can capture three-dimensional images of the chemical and structural changes under way beneath the surface of human skin.

* Natural Sciences

"The standard way physicians do a diagnosis now is to cut out a mole and look at a slice of it with a microscope," said Warren Warren, the James B. Duke Professor of chemistry, radiology and biomedical engineering, and director of Duke's new Center for Molecular and Biomedical Imaging. "What we're trying to do is find cancer signals they can get to without having to cut out the mole.

"This is the first approach that can target molecules like hemoglobin and melanin and get microscopic resolution images the equivalent of what a doctor would see if he or she were able to slice down to that particular point," Warren said.

The distributions of hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells, and melanin, a skin pigment, serve as early warning signs for skin cancer growth. But because skin scatters light strongly, simple microscopes cannot be used to locate those molecules except right at the surface. Although laser methods have been developed to probe deeper down for some other molecules that can be made to glow, both melanin and hemoglobin remain dark and inaccessible using those methods.

Warren's group has now developed a technology for coaxing both hemoglobin and melanin inside questionable skin moles to emit light by exciting them with highly controlled laser pulses.

The innovation uses a delicate interplay between two laser beams, each emitting a different color of light. To keep the skin from overheating in the process, the lasers must also be able to pulse on for only femtoseconds -- a thousand trillionths of a second -- at a time.

The glow of the hemoglobin- and melanin-bearing structures can be magnified by a microscope outside the skin and manipulated by computers to create cellular-scale images. The noninvasive technique could enable doctors to see as much as a millimeter below the skin's surface -- more than enough for diagnosis, Warren said.

"What this is leading to is for a doctor to be able to touch a mole with a fiberoptic cable and characterize what is going on inside it," he said.

"Today, if you visit a dermatologist, he or she will probably see many moles on your body. But the difficulty is trying to figure out which of those, if any, are dangerous."

Warren's group demonstrated at a March conference of the American Physical Society how the technique can visualize melanin from inside an excised human melanoma.

In May, at an international conference on laser advances, the team made a similar presentation on visualizing hemoglobin in blood vessels within mouse skin cells.

Warren said his team is now working with James Grichnik, an assistant professor in the Duke Medical Center's dermatology and cell biology departments, to begin testing the technology in the clinic.

"We have proposals pending for developing a compact laser system that could be sitting in a dermatologist's office here at Duke within three years where we could actually have the first human demonstrations," Warren said.

For more information, contact: Monte Basgall | (919) 681-8057 |

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Newly Developed Dental Imaging System from Lantis Laser

DENVILLE, N.J. – June 05, 2007 - Lantis Laser Inc. (Other OTC:LLSR.PK - News) (, a New Jersey-based company specializing in the commercialization of advanced dental technology, believes it can help to stem the rising tide of tooth decay in young children with its newly-developed Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Dental Imaging System™.

According to Dr Craig Gimbel, Clinical Director for Lantis, “Dentistry has long needed a more accurate, safer way of detecting early tooth decay in young children. Lantis Laser has the exclusive worldwide rights to a breakthrough imaging technology that will finally meet this need.”

For example, traditional x-rays are not able to detect decay in the recessed pits
and irregular grooves of tooth biting surfaces, where almost ninety percent of decay begins. Lantis Laser’s OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) Dental Imaging System™ has up to 10 times the resolution of the standard x-ray, which enables much earlier detection of tooth decay than is currently possible.

What’s more, because the OCT Dental Imaging System™ utilizes an innovative, safe, non-invasive light that is scanned over the tooth surface via a very small handheld probe, it can be used safely on children (and pregnant women), thus enabling the dentist to implement the necessary program to safeguard their oral health.

“The OCT Dental Imaging System™ will enable the dentist to detect and treat childhood tooth decay much earlier,” explained Gimbel. “This is of extreme importance, since baby teeth maintain space and guide the growth of permanent adult teeth. Loss of primary teeth can cause crowding that can necessitate or complicate later orthodontic treatment.”

“We expect to launch the OCT Dental Imaging System™ in mid-2008,” said Lantis President & CEO Stan Baron. “The application of this technology goes far beyond cavity detection in children.”

Read the entire press release here

LICENSING CHANGES: Dental grads find tough pull

Influx of dentists to state makes it hard to find work

When Casey Allman entered the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine five years ago, his sights were set on getting a degree and landing a lucrative job in the wide-open dental market in Las Vegas.

But a series of events out of his control radically altered that objective, forcing him to find work elsewhere.

"I had every intention of practicing here in Nevada," Allman said. "But when I graduated, I found that the market was not as good as what I was hoping for."

Allman, who found a job practicing in Albuquerque, N.M., is one of the few students in his graduating class who was licensed in Nevada.

Read the rest

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Henry Schein Buys Becker Units

Henry Schein to Buy Full Service, Special Markets Units From Becker-Parkin

MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) -- Healthcare products distributor Henry Schein Inc. said Monday it will acquire certain units of Becker-Parkin Dental Supply Co.

Schein said it will buy the full-service and special-markets units of privately-held Becker-Parkin. Terms were not disclosed.

Schein said the deal would be neutral to its 2007 earnings and add slightly to 2008 results.

Henry Schein said the deal would let its dental business expand in markets including Florida, New York and Arizona.

Tooth decay from too little fluoride

St. Petersburg, Florida - For the first time since the 1960's, tooth decay is on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that parents may be the biggest culprit in the problem without even realizing it by giving their kids lots of bottled water.

We met up with the Capra family in a St. Petersburg park. So how often do John Capra's kids drink bottled water when they're outside playing in the sunshine? He says, "Rarely. If we go to a park or Busch Gardens or something and we're drinking water. I think that's the only way they sell it."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, he and his wife are doing the right thing. Most bottled water doesn't have fluoride in it. Tap water does. Drinking plenty of it and keeping up with dental appointments has helped this family.

St. Petersburg dentist, Doctor Ron O'Neal says, "You see a lot of this. These kids come in… you see a kid with his teeth rotted all the way across and it just breaks my heart… Tooth decay is something when the tooth becomes demineralized and when that happens the bacteria is able to attach to the tooth. Fluoride in the past put a nice eggshell around the tooth."

But according O'Neal, just drinking tap water isn't enough especially here in Florida.

"The fluoride is parts per million... And in Florida we have a lower parts per million because the theory being is that we drink more water than somewhere up north where it's colder."

Doctor O'Neal says give your kids tap water as much as you can but also get your kids excited about dental hygiene early in life. O'Neal says choosing fancy toothbrushes, flavored toothpastes and flavored floss is one way to motivate them.

In the Capra household...the adults lead by example when it comes to dental health. That's another tip dentists say can go a long way in preventing tooth decay.

For more than two thirds of Americans, tap water contains all the fluoride you need to prevent tooth decay. There are nearly two-dozen companies in the U.S. that do put fluoride in their bottled water.
Tammie Fields, Tampa Bay's 10 News

3M Acquires Rights to PERIDEX Oral Rinse from Zila Inc.

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M announced today it has acquired the manufacturing and marketing rights to the PERIDEX® brand periodontal rinse product from Zila Inc. (NASDAQ:ZILA) for $9.5 million in cash.

OMNI Preventive Care, a 3M ESPE Company since early 2006, has sold PERIDEX brand oral rinse to dentists in the U.S. since 2000. “Through this acquisition of the PERIDEX brand, we now own all the rights related to the PERIDEX business beyond our existing distribution,” said Jeffrey R. Lavers, division vice president, 3M ESPE. “The full PERIDEX oral rinse business further strengthens 3M’s preventive dental product line and enables us to continue to deliver even more preventive oral care solutions to dental professionals as they help treat patients with periodontal infections and diseases.”

Periodontal diseases are serious bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold teeth in the mouth. Left untreated, these diseases can lead to tooth loss. PERIDEX 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate oral rinse is a prescription mouth rinse that reduces the redness, swelling and bleeding of gums caused by gingivitis. The rinse, which features an herbal mint taste, continues to work after rinsing because one third of its active ingredient – chlorhexidine gluconate – binds to oral surfaces and is slowly released into oral fluids.

“3M’s expertise in the dental preventive products industry, along with its research and development, will help continue to build the PERIDEX brand, which is considered the gold standard in periodontal rinses,” said Frank Bellizzi, DMD, president of Zila Pharmaceuticals Inc.

3M ESPE manufactures and markets more than 2,000 products and services designed to help dental professionals improve their patients' oral health care. 3M Health Care, one of 3M’s six major business segments, provides world-class innovative products and services to help health care professionals improve the practice and delivery of patient care in medical, oral care, drug delivery and health information markets.

About Zila Inc.

Zila Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, is a leading oral cancer diagnostic company focused on the prevention and treatment of oral disease:

Zila is dedicated to establishing ViziLite® Plus as the new standard of care within the medical community for the early detection of oral abnormalities that could lead to cancer, with an initial focus on the dental market through Pro-Dentec®, a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of Soft Tissue Management (STM®) products. Sold exclusively and directly to dental professionals, Pro-Dentec's core products include the Rota-dent® Professional Powered Brush, the Pro-Select3® Piezo-Ultrasonic Scaler System and a suite of pharmaceutical STM® products for both in-office and home-care use.

Zila is also focused on achieving regulatory approval for the next generation oral cancer diagnostic, OraTest®, followed by the development of additional applications of its cancer detection technologies.

For more information about Zila, visit

Monday, June 04, 2007

Drugstore Tooth Whiteners Offer Many Options

May 25, 2007

When it comes to over-the-counter tooth whiteners, there's a vast array of options for consumers, says Dr. Nancy Rosen, a dentist with a practice in Manhattan.

She went over many of them on The Early Show Friday.

"No matter what your price point is and how much time you have in your busy schedule," she says, "there are different things that people like to use."

However, she stressed, you should make sure your teeth are healthy before whitening them.

Rosen focused on only over-the-counter products, but dentists also whiten teeth, and those treatments tend to be stronger and work more quickly, she observed.

The American Dental Association posted a statement on the safety of tooth whiteners. The ADA also posted its overview of whitening options.

Over-the-Counter Products

* Strip system

There are different types of strips that will bleach your teeth. Some you can use for five minutes a day every day and some for 30 minutes a day for 10 days. They are safe and very easy to use. The price ranges from $16 to $40.

How do they work? The strips are like a clear Band-Aid. You pull off the back of the paper and wind it carefully across your top teeth and a across your bottom teeth. You press them on so that you make sure all of it is sticking and there is bleach in the strip that lifts stains and bleaches your teeth. You also pull them off like a Band-Aid.

* Ampule system

Go Smile is the only company that makes this type of product. It's a little tube with a brush. You squeeze a clear liquid on the brush and scrub your teeth. This is good because you are able to get into every nook and cranny. It is also safe, fast and effective. The cost is about $100. The instructions say that you should use it twice a day for seven to 10 days.

How long all of these products last depends on how much dark staining food that you have eaten or will continue eating. If you are a six cup coffee drinker, it's not going to last as long as it will on a person who drinks only one cup a day. What's great about over-the-counter whitening products is that you can repeat it. However, you don't want to do it too often. Follow the directions. If you do it once every six months you're not spending a lot of money.

* Do-it-yourself trays

You take the trays provided and put bleach that comes in the box and put them in your mouth. I don't really like this because the trays are one-size-fits-all and this can cause not only uneven bleaching, but it can also hurt the gum tissue because you are not having something specifically made to fit your mouth. You can have a dentist make trays that custom fit your mouth.

* Paint-on whitening gels and pens

The paint-on-gel looks like a nail polish bottle. You open it up and you paint it on your teeth. They are safe, but I don't really think they are effective because the minute you paint something on, you will go over it with your lips and wash away the bleach.

One thing everyone should know is that whatever system they decide to use, it will only work on natural enamel. It will not bleach crowns, veneers or fillings. That's why you should talk to your dentist beforehand. You don't want to bleach something that you shouldn't and wind up having a stripped mouth.

* Whitening toothpaste

It will remove some teeth stain off of your teeth, but they are really not going to bleach your teeth. However, they are a good way to maintain whitening after you bleach.

Copyright © 2007, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

iPhone - June 29th

The iPhone will be available on June 29th. It looks pretty good from the commercials.
You can watch the iPhone commercials here. Too bad its on AT&T.

Repairing smiles so battered women can face the world again

The Associated Press - GILLSVILLE, Ga.

The mangled face Julie Humphries saw when she looked in the mirror was
consuming her life.

Afraid to show that face in public, she had become a loner since her
husband kicked her in the mouth with a steel-toed boot. She dared not
even reveal her mouth to her newborn daughter.

Her most natural expression _ her smile _ was stolen away by a jealous
and abusive husband. But she'd soon find it could be restored by
talented dentists working with the Give Back a Smile program.

She arrived at dentist Mark Sayeg's Sandy Springs office in October,
reluctant to show this stranger her teeth. He needed a "before"
picture, but she'd only offer a grimace that betrayed the slightest
glimpse of her shattered mouth.

Over the next six weeks, he worked his magic. Fixed her two front
teeth. Conducted root canals and removed damaged nerves to treat the
pain on her damaged back ones. Fillings replaced cavities, and next
came veneers, which capped eight teeth.

A month later, Humphries's mouth had been transformed from a den of
broken teeth into a picture-perfect smile. And she had become one of
the more than 550 women whose smile had been saved through the
program's work.

It was started in 1999 by dentists with the American Academy of
Cosmetic Dentistry who wanted to create a network where battered women
could turn for dentistry help. Now it boasts more than 700
participating dentists and 100 labs _ and a track record that would
make an ER doctor blush.

Gunshot wounds have been erased. Broken jaws restored. Years of dental
neglect reversed.

"We have no limits on what we're willing to do," says Laura Kelly, a
Danville, Calif., technician who is the incoming president of the
dentists' association. "Our smile is our natural communication, and it
is also a constant reminder of abuse. By providing this service, we're
changing their whole life."

Surprisingly, they struggle to find willing patients. Women's shelters
tend to be rather skeptical about the free offers for procedures that
can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

For those that find out about the service, the criteria is rather

Before they start, the women have to prove they are out of the
relationship and in a safe place for at least a year. And they must
meet with a counselor or a domestic violence advocate who can confirm
the injuries were caused by an abusive relationship.

Humphries was a perfect match.

She had married her husband when she was just 16 and moved to
Gillsville, about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta. Soon his emotional
bullying turned physical. She broke up with him more times than she
cares to remember, but each time she'd take him back, convincing
herself it was best for their 13-year-old daughter.

He crossed the line the final time in the spring of 2005. She told him
he'd gone too far after he was accused of harassing another woman at
the factory where they worked together. On the ride home, he tried to
steer the car into a tree.

It got worse when they got inside. He started to hit her and when she
fell, he didn't stop, kicking her repeatedly in the face. She stayed
on the living room floor until he fell asleep.

And then she escaped. Got a divorce. Got her bloody face stitched up.
And he got sentenced to about a year in prison.

The bruises would heal. But the mess in her mouth would not. A deep,
dark depression set in and Humphries grew terrified of going out.

Her new smile changed that.

She landed a new job as a machinist at a local factory. She moved into
her mother's house. She abandoned her fear of going outside. And she
regained her confidence.

But her mother, Sue Morrison, said she noticed the biggest change may
have come just after Humphries got her teeth fixed.

"That's the first time I had seen her smile at the baby," she says.

It still hurts Humphries to summon up the memories of what happened.
She hadn't even told her dentist how her mouth got mangled until a few
days ago.

But she knows she's on the right track.

"It gave me back my self confidence I had lost," says Humphries, now
32. "To have that back means everything."

At a convention in Atlanta last week, dentists and technicians from
across the nation gathered to discuss the latest dental procedures and
browse the newest equipment. One night, they held a ritzy banquet, and
a dozen statuesque models trotted down the catwalk for a fashion show.

Then Humphries came out. She looked tentative at first.

The crowd roared. Suddenly, the woman who could barely show her face
in public was getting a standing ovation from a thousand dentists.

And she couldn't stop smiling.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Dentalcast: New Video Episode Released

An interview with dental student Rishi Popat who will be video blogging for us during his research summer at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

This is our first videocast recorded in HD. Modified to display on video iPods, Apple TV and of course through Quicktime on your computer.

You can pull it off of iTunes, or download or watch directly via our website at

Friday, June 01, 2007

Another NTI Article

I have been using NTI's in my practice for years. It is a great way to help patients with migraines.

Dental Device Can Prevent Migraines

More than 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches but there may be new hope for them.

Some think headaches are tension or sinus-related but doctors said there is a chance your headaches are migraines.

There is now a device approved by the Federal Drug Administration to treat the problem.

It's called an NTI Tension Suppression Device, which is typically worn to bed. The hard plastic mouthpiece fits only on the front four teeth and prevents movement.

Most dentist offices can make it in under an hour.

"I had had migraines for several years and we couldn't pinpoint what was causing them," Kristen Queen, a migraine sufferer, said.

Queen said the dental device fitted to her mouth calmed her aching head when medications couldn't.

Read the rest on the NBC10 Web site