Friday, January 30, 2009

How well does Invisalign work? A prospective clinical study evaluating the efficacy of tooth movement with Invisalign

American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial OrthopedicsVolume 135, Issue 1, Pages 27-35 (January 2009)

Neal D. KravitzaCorresponding Author Informationemail address, Budi Kusnotob, Ellen BeGolec, Ales Obrezd, Brent Agrane

Received March 2007; received in revised form May 2007; accepted May 2007.


The purpose of this prospective clinical study was to evaluate the efficacy of tooth movement with removable polyurethane aligners (Invisalign, Align Technology, Santa Clara, Calif).

The study sample included 37 patients treated with Anterior Invisalign. Four hundred one anterior teeth (198 maxillary and 203 mandibular) were measured on the virtual Treat models. The virtual model of the predicted tooth position was superimposed over the virtual model of the achieved tooth position, created from the posttreatment impression, and the 2 models were superimposed over their stationary posterior teeth by using ToothMeasure, Invisalign's proprietary superimposition software. The amount of tooth movement predicted was compared with the amount achieved after treatment. The types of movements studied were expansion, constriction, intrusion, extrusion, mesiodistal tip, labiolingual tip, and rotation.

The mean accuracy of tooth movement with Invisalign was 41%. The most accurate movement was lingual constriction (47.1%), and the least accurate movement was extrusion (29.6%)— specifically, extrusion of the maxillary (18.3%) and mandibular (24.5%) central incisors, followed by mesiodistal tipping of the mandibular canines (26.9%). The accuracy of canine rotation was significantly lower than that of all other teeth, with the exception of the maxillary lateral incisors. At rotational movements greater than 15°, the accuracy of rotation for the maxillary canines fell significantly. Lingual crown tip was significantly more accurate than labial crown tip, particularly for the maxillary incisors. There was no statistical difference in accuracy between maxillary and mandibular teeth of the same tooth type for any movements studied.

We still have much to learn regarding the biomechanics and efficacy of the Invisalign system. A better understanding of Invisalign's ability to move teeth might help the clinician select suitable patients for treatment, guide the proper sequencing of movement, and reduce the need for case refinement.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How many times can we use a phosphor plate? A preliminary study

We use an Optime unit in my office and this is a good study if you are looking into digital radiography and considering a phosphor plate system.
The entire article is here.

Dentomaxillofacial Radiology (2009) 38, 42-47
© 2009 British Institute of Radiology
doi: 10.1259/dmfr/61622880


Objectives: Digital radiography has become a useful tool in daily dental practice due to the advances in imaging technologies. Charge coupled devices (CCDs) and photostimulable phosphor plates (PSPs) are currently in use for dental imaging; however, the longevity of PSPs in dental practice is not yet established. The aim of this study was to determine the service life of PSPs in a clinical setting.

Methods: Five unused PSPs were exposed with a conventional X-ray device and converted into digital images with Digora Optime (Soredex, Milwaukee, WI). These were recorded as the baseline images. Subsequent digital images of the plates were obtained after 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140, 160, 180 and 200 exposures. All radiographic images were subtracted from the first digital image (baseline) and the mean grey values (MGVs) of the subtracted images were established using software. The data were grouped in 3 classes according to the number of exposures (20–80; 100–140; 160–200), and were analysed using variance analysis and {chi}2 tests.

Results: The MGVs of the subtracted images varied between 126.25 and 127.59, and the difference was not significant among the groups (P = 0.11). However, the differences between the MGVs of the plates on each exposure settings were significantly different than those of the baseline image (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: The findings of this study revealed that even though a slight deterioration occurred after the first exposure, each plate can be used up to 200 times. Further studies are required to reach a more concrete conclusion.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dental Learning Hub has published an online dental practice guide with non-clinical information on running a dental practice, such as ergonomics, infection control and business management.
Go check it out at the link above.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Drilling down dental costs in Alberta painful, CBC finds

A CBC investigation has found the cost of basic dental work in Alberta varies greatly, partly because the dental association doesn't set or recommend fees.

Every other provincial dental association publishes suggested fees, which dentists in that province usually follow.

But dentists in Alberta set their own fees. The Alberta Dental Association and College surveys those fees each year, but the results are released only to dentists.

The CBC contacted more than 60 dentists across the country to inquire about the fees for two basic services — a basic cleaning and a basic examination. Half of dentists surveyed were in Alberta and half outside the province. Some dentists were reluctant to give out information.

Read the rest on the CBC web site

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


HAUPPAUGE, NY: January 19, 2009— Mydent International has introduced Defend® Silpure-Treated Cotton Poly Scrubs, which have antimicrobial properties. Recent studies have shown that untreated scrubs can carry bacteria and have the potential to spread infectious disease. Silpure is an advanced antimicrobial treatment for textiles that uses next-generation silver technology to inhibit the growth and reproduction of bacteria, even after many detergent washes.

Silpure is ionized silver that is woven into textiles during the manufacturing process, resulting in fabric with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Since Silpure is a treatment and not a coating, it cannot be washed away and will remain effective for the life of the garment. Scrubs treated with Silpure not only help reduce the risk of cross contamination, they stay cleaner and fresher because Silpure also kills odor-causing bacteria. Independent laboratory testing demonstrated that Silpure inhibits 11 strains of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Defend® Silpure-Treated Cotton Poly Scrubs are a 65/35 blend, with v-neck scrub tops and drawstring bottoms. The drawstring pants have a rear hip pocket; the v-neck tops have set-in sleeves and a left breast pocket. They have safety-stitched seams and reinforced stress points and are softer, stronger, and more opaque than those of the leading competitor. They are available in five colors in small to extra-large unisex sizes. As with all Defend products, Silpure-treated scrubs come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Mydent International, home to Defend® infection control products, disposables, and impression material systems, provides dependable solutions for defensive healthcare. Mydent urges healthcare professionals to: DEFEND. Be smart. Be safe. For more information on Mydent International and its products, call 800-275-0020, or go to

Monday, January 19, 2009

More on Palm Pre

Here is a great video about the Palm Pre. If you don't want to watch the whole thing then just skip to the 5 minute mark and see why I cannot wait to get this device. It will make my life easier.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Climb for a CauseSM Dental Charity Plans 12th Annual Expedition to Fund Donated Dental Services, Dental Missions, & Cambodia Dental Clinic

Chicago, IL (January 9, 2009) - Climb for a Cause (CFAC), a non-profit dental charity dedicated to providing donated dental services, volunteer dentistry, oral health education, and supporting dental missions for economically disadvantaged citizens worldwide, recently announced that its 12th annual fundraising Event will take place on Sunday, September 6th at California’s scenic Yosemite Valley.

Dental professionals including clinicians, office staff, dental manufacturers and consultants, and media from across the nation will assemble at California’s Yosemite Valley to pledge their support for volunteer dentistry by attempting a one-day ascent/descent of the famous Half Dome, via the Cable Route.  While not a technically difficult climb, the 16-mile round trip makes it a formidable one-day challenge.
Charitable dental programs such as Climb for a Cause are needed now more than ever. Funds raised from this year’s fundraising hike will support the CFAC Dental Education and Treatment Projects in Guatemala and Cambodia, as well as other domestic oral health causes. Part of CFAC’s proceeds may also be allocated to oral cancer research.
“Our goal for 2009 is to adequately enlist and equip local and visiting dental professionals and volunteers to provide preventive and restorative dental care and education to the underserved citizens of Guatemala, Cambodia, and, of course, the United States,” remarked Daniel Bobrow, executive director for Climb for a Cause. “To meet this challenge, our goal is to raise $100,000.”

Bobrow continues, “Because this is a hike, not a climb, no prior experience is required and we’d like to encourage all people, regardless of age or experience, to participate in this rewarding experience, which is philanthropic dentistry at its most exciting.”

CFAC is currently seeking participation and sponsorship from dental practices, consultants, manufacturers, and other members of the profession.

Participants in this year’s CFAC event will receive:
A customized training schedule and ‘one-on-one’ coaching
Cause-related event marketing support, compliments of American Dental Marketing
Special gifts
CFAC sponsor-donated prizes worth thousands of dollars to dental practices raising the most funds
A sense of gratification that only comes from selflessly supporting a higher purpose
A guaranteed once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
“This is a singular opportunity to get (back) into the best shape of your life while delivering critically needed care and education to underserved citizens of Cambodia and Guatemala, and just as importantly, support domestic oral health initiatives,” adds Bobrow.
To request an application to participate in this year’s event, volunteer for one of the overseas projects, or learn other ways you can help change the world “one tooth at a time,” please call CFAC executive director Daniel Bobrow at (800) 723-6523, e-mail, or visit the Climb For A Cause web site at

About Climb for a Cause
Climb for a Cause (CFAC) is a non-profit dental charity dedicated to eliminating oral disease by promoting overall health and fitness while benefiting economically disadvantaged citizens worldwide. It offers Participants, Sponsors, and Supporters a unique opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to philanthropic dentistry by sharing results of their own personal success with those less fortunate.
CFAC’s donated dental services programs provide organizations the chance to achieve amazing personal and professional results by providing an exhilarating experience and adventuresome alternative to the same old dinners, dances, and golf outings. They offer events uniquely tailored to fit individual interests and schedules — from novice to advanced.
For almost two decades, Climb for a Cause has been successful in making a positive and noticeable difference in the lives of countless needy children and deserving adults.
For more information, please visit or contact Daniel A. ‘Danny’ Bobrow, executive director, at 312-455-9498. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Integration of Medical and Dental Care and Data

Here is an interesting class on integrating medical and dental records. If you are in the area you might want to check it out.

A project to integrate medical and dental care and data in electronic health records (EHRs) to support optimal chronic care, prenatal care, and primary care in the U.S. Work on Health Information Technology (HIT) standards, review and revise materials, identify and contact EHR vendors to see if products include integration of medical and dental care and data.

Time: Monday, January 19 from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Host: Valerie J H Powell
Contact Phone: 412-397-3467
Robert Morris University, Nicholson Center, Room 454 (Moon Township, PA)
6001 University Blvd.
Moon Township, PA 15108

Monday, January 12, 2009

2nd Annual Business of Dentistry Conference

Here is information on the 2nd Annual Business
of Dentistry Conference. Lots of top names from the practice management circuit.
Plus the Red Rocks Resort is a very nice place to stay. Read the rest and jump to the web site for more information.

Join Dentrix in Las Vegas for their 2nd Annual Business
of Dentistry Conference. After a very successful
first annual conference we are happy to announce
that the 2009 Business of Dentistry Conference
will be held at the world-class Red Rock Resort in
Las Vegas, June 11–14.

Once again, this year’s meeting is designed for
the entire staff with courses for each member
of your team. for three days, dentists, practice
managers, administrators and their teams will
have direct access to some of the best business
minds in dentistry. Along with these courses
on the business of dentistry, we will also be
holding our 2nd Annual Combined Dentrix
and Dentrix Enterprise Users’ Conferences.

More information and registration can be found at

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New AGD Web Site

Start the new year by accessing your newest AGD membership benefit,

Your trusted source for continuing education has created an online resource to educate your patients. is your patients’ education resource for “all things dental.” offers your patients:

* A comprehensive list of dental issues, terms and information
* A “Dental Diary” widget, to remind them of their family’s dental schedules
* Message boards, to offer a forum for discussion of dental questions for patients answered by an AGD dentist
* And much more!

Take advantage of your newest AGD benefit by sharing the Web site with your patients and dental team.

Visit the promotional kit to find Web site content for your practice site and a flier for your office or to learn more about the features of your newest AGD benefit.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Vista may be done sooner then we thought- I installed Windows 7

Here is an article talking about Windows 7 upgrades possibly being released in July.

The sooner they can bury Microsoft Vista the better. From all Internet accounts Windows 7 preforms well, is faster and more stable then Windows XP.

I just finished installing the Windows 7 beta on my Mac in VMware Fusion. Installation was very quick and straight forward. All my hardware was recognized and seems to be working fine. Seems to be quicker then Vista. I look forward to installing Dentrix G3/G4 on it and see how it does.

Read about the Windows 7 upgrade release.

More on Windows 7 on the Microsoft site and you can download a copy for yourself. Remember this is beta so only load it on a PC you don't want to screw up.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The New Palm Pre

I have been a long time Palm smartphone user. Palm has released information on their newest smartphone running a new operating system called WebOS. I for one will snap one up as soon as they are available. Another really cool feature is a wireless charger!

All the information on the Palm Pre is in the press release

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Delta Dental Donates $62 Million to Improve Nation¹s Oral Health

Delta Dental Donates $62 Million to Improve Nation¹s Oral Health
Donations aid uninsured children, help alleviate dentist shortage

Oak Brook, Ill. (January 5, 2008) ­ Delta Dental Plans Association released
its 2008 Community Benefit Annual Report, which shows that Delta Dental¹s 39
member companies donated more than $62 million in 2007 to support community
benefit initiatives that advance and promote oral health ­ up from $58
million the previous year. Public benefit support is up more than 290
percent from 2003¹s $15.8 million total.

³We are proud of our member companies¹ growing commitment to improving the
quality of life in the communities we serve,² says Kim Volk, president and
CEO of Delta Dental Plans Association. ³Through community outreach,
education and services, we¹re helping fight dental disease and promoting our
belief that everyone deserves good oral health.²

Each of Delta Dental¹s 39 independent member companies and their affiliated
foundations work actively within their communities to create and support
programs that advance solutions for better oral health. The programs focus
on expanding access to care for the uninsured and underinsured, alleviating
the nation¹s growing dentist shortage, preventing dental disease and
advancing dental science.

Expanding Care for Children
Children covered by Medicaid are much less likely to receive dental care
than children with private health insurance, according to a report released
by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). In 2005, an estimated
6.5 million Medicaid eligible children age 2 through 18 suffered from
untreated tooth decay.1

To narrow the gap between children who need and receive dental care, Delta
Dental¹s member companies provide free care to uninsured and underinsured
children. Free care includes regular dental check-ups, badly needed
treatment, oral health education and even transportation to and from dental

For example, Delta Dental of Colorado¹s Foundation provides free care
year-round to uninsured children through its Smile-a-Bration program. And,
the Delta Dental Dakota Smiles Mobile Dental Program brings oral health
services to children from limited-income families who would not otherwise
have access to needed dental care.

Also, through a partnership with the National Head Start Association, Delta
Dental helped treat more than 3,816 uninsured children in 2008.

Alleviating the Nation¹s Growing Dentist Shortage
There are more than 3,700 geographical locations across the country without
enough dental health professionals, according to the American Dental
Education Association (ADEA). In fact, an estimated 46 million Americans are
living in identified Dental Health Profession Shortage Areas and 9,000
additional dentists are needed to fill this gap in care.2

Delta Dental¹s member companies support programs that encourage dentists to
practice in shortage areas and encourage college students to choose a career
in dentistry. The cost of dental school can be a great burden for students
and continues to rise, so Delta Dental¹s member companies help alleviate the
burden with loan repayment programs, scholarships and grants.

For instance, 88 of Iowa¹s 99 counties are designated dentist shortage
areas. To help, Delta Dental of Iowa awards three $50,000 loan repayment
grants annually to dentists who agree to practice in one of the shortage
areas and deliver 35 percent of patient services to underserved populations.

These are just few examples of what Delta Dental¹s member companies are
doing to improve oral health in their communities. To view the 2008
Community Benefit Annual Report and learn more about what Delta Dental is
doing in your community, go to

The not-for-profit Delta Dental Plans Association (
based in Oak Brook, Ill., is the leading national network of independent
dental service corporations specializing in providing dental benefits
programs to 51 million Americans in more than 93,000 employee groups
throughout the country.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dentrix CDT 2009/2010 Update

Beginning January 2009, HIPAA requires dentists to use CDT 2009/2010 codes to represent dental procedures performed after January 1, 2009. Specifically, HIPAA requires all prcocedures for electronic claim submissions to use the code set that is current for the date of service.

You may have questions as to how this CDT 2009/2010 update will affect you and your practice. Dentrix has a plan to help you smoothly navigate the CDT code changes:

Dentrix Customers with an active Customer Service Plan

* If you are a Dentrix customer on a customer service plan, a utility will be made available during the first week of January that will automatically update your software with the CDT 2009/2010 codes. The cost of the utility is free for customers on a customer service plan. The utility will work with DENTRIX G3 and DENTRIX G4 only. If you are running a previous version, you will need to upgrade before using this utility.
Click here to go to the CDT 2009/2010 update age

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sirona Introduces CEREC® AC Powered by Bluecam: The Most Advanced Dental CAD/CAM System Available

CHARLOTTE, NC – January 5, 2009 – Sirona Dental Systems, LLC (Nasdaq: SIRO), the company that pioneered digital impressions more than 20 years ago and the world’s leading producer of dental CAD/CAM systems, today launched the CEREC AC (Acquisition Center) powered by Bluecam, which marks a significant technological advance in chairside CAD/CAM.

At the heart of CEREC AC is the Bluecam handheld acquisition camera, which uses a highly visible blue light LED (light emitting diode) to capture digital impressions. Sirona’s Bluecam is superior to other digital impression technologies on the market:

• Captures more detail than any other camera on the market
• Easier and shorter acquisition times because the camera acquires the image automatically—it senses the right time to capture the image, and does so without intervention from the user
• Provides a uniform field of illumination for increased precision
• Captures half-arch and full-arch impressions with unparalleled speed — half-arch impression in 40 seconds; full-arch impressions in 2 minutes.

The optics used in the Bluecam handheld camera have been optimized for a higher depth of field and accuracy, and have been coupled with increased computing power to display the most crisp, detailed digital impressions possible, which yield the most precise 3D digital models.

According to Sirona Dental Systems, LLC USA President Michael Augins, “CEREC AC uses advanced blue light LED technology to harness the full potential of digital impression taking. Thanks to Bluecam, capturing half-arch and full-arch impressions and then creating multi-unit restorations of the highest esthetic quality is a reality. CEREC AC also provides dentists with a variety of configuration, budget price point and practice integration options, thus making CAD/CAM available for everyone.”

CEREC AC is designed to meet the needs of any dental practice. It is the only CAD/CAM system that
delivers access to efficient, precise, and affordable CAD/CAM solutions, including the newly-introduced

Pay as You Go pricing option. CEREC AC provides dentists with access to a multitude of CAD/CAM advantages not available from any other CAD/CAM manufacturer, including the following:

• The most comprehensive array of CAD/CAM solutions available
• Connectivity with current and future digital dental technologies, processes, and procedures
• Full-range capability – Everything from single-tooth to full-arch digital impressions

CEREC AC powered by Bluecam has been thoroughly field-tested and clinician comments have been unanimously positive.* According to Dr. Sameer Puri from Tarzana, California, “The CEREC AC is very precise and efficient. The image quality is extremely clean and it produces highly accurate restorations. The ease with which images can be captured is a major advance— anything from a single tooth to half an arch can be captured very quickly and precisely. Having used the CEREC AC for a while, I cannot imagine practicing without it.”

CEREC AC powered by Bluecam is available immediately for sale exclusively through Patterson Dental in the following product configuration options:

• CEREC® AC and MC XL Milling Unit
- Speed—ideal for the high-productivity practice: six minutes for a full-contour crown,
3-4 minutes for partial coverage.
- Choices—the most material options available to satisfy virtually any restorative indication. CEREC is the only system that mills every chairside material from VITA®, Ivoclar Vivadent®, and 3M™ ESPE™.

• CEREC® AC and MC L Compact Milling Unit
- Compact— The original economical workhorse
- Choices—the most material options available to satisfy virtually any restorative indication. CEREC is the only system that mills every chairside material from VITA®, Ivoclar Vivadent®, and 3M™ ESPE™.

• CEREC® AC with Pay As You Go Affordability
- Fully-functional CEREC AC at a minimal capital investment with the Pay as You Go option
- Purchase milling Access Keys, pre-loaded with 200 units
- Can be paired with either MC XL or MC L Compact milling unit

For more information about CEREC AC Powered by Bluecam or to schedule a free demonstration, call your local Patterson sales representative or visit

Monday, January 05, 2009

Fosomax-Type Drugs Linked to Jaw Necrosis

Researchers at the University Of Southern California, School Of Dentistry release results of clinical data that links oral bisphosphonates to increased jaw necrosis. The study is among the first to acknowledge that even short-term use of common oral osteoporosis drugs may leave the jaw vulnerable to devastating necrosis, according to the report appearing in the January 1 Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA).

Osteoporosis currently affects 10 million Americans. Fosomax is the most widely prescribed oral bisphosphonate, ranking as the 21st most prescribed drug on the market since 2006, according to a 2007 report released by IMS Health.

“Oral Bisphosphonate Use and the Prevalence of Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: An Institutional Inquiry” is the first large institutional study in the U.S. to investigate the relationship between oral bisphosphonate use and jaw bone death, said principal investigator Parish Sedghizadeh, assistant professor of clinical dentistry with the USC School of Dentistry.

After controlling for referral bias, nine of 208 healthy School of Dentistry patients who take or have taken Fosamax for any length of time were diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). The study’s results are in contrast to drug makers’ prior assertions that bisphosphonate-related ONJ risk is only noticeable with intravenous use of the drugs, not oral usage, Sedghizadeh said. “We’ve been told that the risk with oral bisphosphonates is negligible, but four percent is not negligible,” he said.

Most doctors who have prescribed bisphosphonates have not told patients about any oral health risks associated with the use of the drugs, despite even short-term usage posing a risk due to the drug’s tenacious 10-year half life in bone tissue. Lydia Macwilliams of Los Angeles said no one told her about the risk posed by her three years of Fosamax usage until she became a patient of Sedghizadeh at the School of Dentistry. “I was surprised,” she said. “My doctor who prescribed the Fosamax didn’t tell me about any possible problems with my teeth.”

Macwilliams was especially at risk for complications because she was to have three teeth extracted. The infection is a biofilm bacterial process, meaning that the bacteria infecting the mouth and jaw tissues reside within a slimy matrix that protects the bacteria from many conventional antibiotic treatments, and bisphosphonate use may make the infection more aggressive in adhering to the jaw, Sedghizadeh said. The danger is especially pronounced with procedures that directly expose the jaw bone, such as tooth extractions and other oral surgery. After her extractions, two of the three extraction sites had difficulty healing due to infection, Macwilliams said. Luckily, with treatment as well as the rigorous oral hygiene regimen USC dentists developed especially for patients with a history of bisphosphonate usage, the remaining sites slowly but fully healed. “It took about a year to heal,” she said, “but it’s doing just fine now.”

Sedghizadeh hopes to have other researchers confirm his findings and thus encourage more doctors and dentists to talk with patients about the oral health risks associated with the widely used drugs. The results confirm the suspicions of many in the oral health field, he said. “Here at the School of Dentistry we’re getting two or three new patients a week that have bisphosphonate-related ONJ,” he said, “and I know we’re not the only ones seeing it.”

Sunday, January 04, 2009

BIOLASE Announces First Nationally Televised Laser Root Canal Procedure to Be Broadcast January 8

Recently FDA-Approved Procedure Performed Without Any Anesthetic Injections

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - December 30, 2008) - BIOLASE Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLTI), the world's leading dental laser company, today announced that the nationally syndicated TV show "The Doctors" is scheduled to broadcast a root canal procedure performed using BIOLASE's Endolase™ RFT Root Canal Therapy System on Thursday, January 8.

The procedure, videotaped on November 10, was performed live by Dr. Darrell Chun, a leading Waterlase Dentist. The entire root canal procedure, performed using a Waterlase® MD YSGG laser system and Endolase™ radial firing laser tips, was completed without numbing this dental-phobic patient, who had previously experienced a very painful, traditional root canal.

BIOLASE Chief Executive Officer Jake St. Philip said, "This is great exposure for our dental laser systems and provides an opportunity for viewers to see firsthand what a difference this advancement can do for a notoriously painful dental experience. We believe laser dentistry is becoming an emerging standard, enhancing outcomes and providing a more comfortable patient experience."

In March of this year, the Company received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance of its Waterlase MD with RFT endoTips for root canal disinfection after endodontic instrumentation, making BIOLASE the first company to receive clearances that allow dentists to treat infected, painful toothaches with advanced laser technology.

For local broadcast time and channel, visit "The Doctors" website at

"The Doctors" with 1.2 million viewers is a spin-off of the "Dr. Phil Show" and covers the entire spectrum of health and medical issues with an emphasis on the very latest news, trends and technologies in healthcare.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Oral Health: Prevention Is Key

Here is an interesting editorial in this week's Lancet. They talk about oral health. MJ

Because oral health is rarely life threatening, it can be a low priority for national governments - and teeth can be seen as expendable. Dentists have taken little interest in advocacy to promote good oral health, preferring to treat rather than prevent oral diseases. Yet tooth decay (dental caries) is one of the most prevalent health problems worldwide, with some 90% of people having had dental problems or toothache caused by this condition. In low-to-middle income countries, much tooth decay goes untreated. Severe periodontitis* affects 5-15% of most populations, and oral cancer is the eighth most common cancer worldwide and the most common in men in southeast Asia.

The dental healthcare workforce is spread unevenly through the world. While countries such as the UK and Germany have a dentist for every 1000 people, low-income and middle-income countries can have as few as one for every 50,000 population and in sub-Saharan Africa this ratio is close to one for every million. Rural areas are often those most in need of dentists. Although these poorer countries need more dental health practitioners, this is not practical in poor settings. Thus prevention is the key strategy.

Daily use of fluoride is the most cost-effective, evidence-based approach to reduce dental decay. Fluoridating water is a possible population-wide approach but implementation depends on a country's infrastructure and political will. Use of fluoridated toothpastes is also effective, but cost can prohibit this. In some countries, taxes can represent 50% of the price of toothpaste - so governments could cut these taxes and also work with manufacturers to produce lower cost toothpaste. The Editorial says: "In the Philippines, for example-where 97% of schoolchildren aged 6 years have dental caries-a programme that combines the promotion of daily handwashing with soap, tooth brushing with subsidised fluoride toothpaste, and twice-yearly deworming, is proving effective, affordable, and sustainable at US$0•56 per child per year."

Promoting good oral health could also help countries to achieve child-related development goals. Tooth decay can negatively affect a child's ability to eat, sleep, and do school work. Preliminary studies have suggested that dental caries and related pain and sepsis might contribute to undernutrition and low weight and height in children in developing countries. In developed countries, studies show that when tooth decay is treated, children start to put on weight and thrive. Oral pain is also one of the most common reasons for school absenteeism.

The Editorial concludes: "Professionally, health workers, including physicians, nurses, paediatricians, and pharmacists can all deliver prevention messages about the use of fluoride and the risk factors for oral disease. Politically, commitment is needed to integrate oral disease prevention into programmes to prevent chronic diseases and into public-health systems. Good oral health should be everybody's business." Vol 373 January 3, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Dental Practice Management: Time to Raise Fees

Dental Practice Management: Time to Raise Fees
BELVEDERE TIBURON, CALIFORNIA December 31, 2008 Business News
(PRLEAP.COM) Dentists are finding they may have to raise their dental fees to stay financially solvent. While 22% of dentists said they have raised their fees to stay competitive, the majority haven’t yet done so, according to a survey by dental marketing resource The Wealthy Dentist. A very few doctors have even lowered fees.

Raising fees is a normal part of dental practice management. "If you lower fees, you will not make it," advised a Florida dentist. "I will be increasing my fees within the next couple of months, but as my normal yearly increase, not because of the current economy," offered a California dentist.

Dental practice expenses have certainly been on the rise. "No one’s lowering my costs. So far my vendors, my labs, and my employees haven’t volunteered to lower their costs to me!" complained a New York prosthodontist. "I was limited to about 1% increase due to the state dental service contract. This doesn’t cover overhead increases, so I had to eliminate one front desk job," said a Washington dentist.

Dental practices are finding that their bottom line is hurting. "I have raised fees, but so far, it has not translated to the bottom line," sighed a Massachusetts dentist. "The drop in the financial market has affected us. Gross is down 35%," added a New York dentist.

Some doctors worry that raising fees might scare off consumers. "We have considered raising fees, but we are holding off for now. We were concerned we may discourage patients from proceeding with routine dental care and surgical therapy," said a California periodontist. On the other hand, an Illinois dentist commented, "We raised our fees significantly and there has not been one complaint."

It’s a tough market for dentists right now. "Elective procedures are down, and patients are deferring expensive dental implant restoration," said a New York oral surgeon who has lowered his fees. "One patient canceled implants and chose partial dentures instead. A referrer had a patient cancel 6 laminate veneers and have bleaching instead."

Other dentists are making sure their patient know their oral health needs will be met. "We’re sending letters to patients letting them know that we are now more than ever committed to provide them with excellent service, but we’re also sympathetic to the current climate, and they can rest assured that they will be in great hands despite the current crisis," shared an Illinois dentist.

Dental insurance companies may influence dental fees. "Dental insurance plans are now trying to make their discounted fee schedules ours," warned a Pennsylvania oral surgeon. "This is limiting our ability to compete in the market."

"It’s up to dentists to make sure they can keep their heads above water!" advised Jim Du Molin, dental patient marketing expert and founder of continuing dental education resource The Wealthy Dentist. "Dentistry is hurting because of the current economy. Many dentists are finding that raising fees is the only way they can stay in business."

Visit the website for more surveys in the areas of dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, edation dentistry, wisdom teeth, braces, and dentures.