Monday, June 30, 2008

My week with Oral CDx

This week my office had the in office training for the Oral CDx you may know it as the BrushTest. I also got to hear Mark Rutenberg the designer of the BrushTest speak. The BrushTest is a quick and painless method that dentists use to test the common small white and red oral spots that most people have in their mouth at one time or another. The BrushTest is used to determine if a common oral spot contains abnormal cells (known as dysplasia) that, if left alone for several years, may develop into oral cancer.

Oral cancer is preventable!

The information on how to preform this simple painless test (I know its painless because I had it done on me) is available free online via the ADA CE website, through in office training or from a video.

Oral cancer kills as many Americans as melanoma and twice as many as cervical cancer, and is rising among women, young people, and non-smokers. Over 25% of oral cancer victims do not use tobacco or abuse alcohol. The disease demographics have changed since my days in dental school.

The main problem for early diagnosis is that we cannot look at a spot and tell whether it is displastic or not. This where the BrushTest comes in. It will tell us if the lesion is normal, has atypical cells or positive for displasia. The pathologists at the OralCDx lab are available for consultations to help you better understand the test results along with how to appropriately followup on the results if the test comes back atypical or positive.

Dentists and Hygienists can make a difference. You cannot assume a lesion is just normal or nothing. 4% of all lesions are potentially something! Using the inexpensive and painless brush test can assure you and your patient that what looks like nothing truly is nothing to worry about.

This is a test. Whereas Vizaite and Velscope may help you identify lesions they are not tests. So you can use the lights to help identify areas where a BrushTest maybe necessary, to tell you if the area needs no treatment or a scalpel biopsy would be necessary.

Brush The Spot ---> Prevents Oral Cancer

Learn more about the Oral CDx BrushTest on their web site.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tumor Growth Stunted By Blue Light Used To Harden Tooth Fillings

A blue curing light used to harden dental fillings also may stunt tumor growth, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

"The light sends wavelengths of blue-violet light to the composite, which triggers hardening," says Alpesh Patel, a rising MCG School of Dentistry junior. "The light waves produce free radicals that activate the catalyst and speed up polymerization of the composite resin. In oral cancer cells, though, those radicals cause damage that decreases cell growth and increases cell death."

Mr. Patel, who has been working with Dr. Jill Lewis, associate professor of oral biology, Dr. Regina Messer, associate professor of oral rehabilitation and oral biology, and Dr. John Wataha, adjunct professor of oral rehabilitation and oral biology, studied 10 tumor-bearing mice, five treated with the light and five untreated.

He exposed half the mice to the blue light for 90 seconds a day for 12 days. Then the tumors were extracted and each one was split into two sections. Half were used to create slides for tissue analysis, and half were frozen to prepare protein extracts.

Tissue analysis indicated an approximate 10 percent increase in cell suicide, or apoptosis, in the light-treated tumors. The frozen protein extracts revealed a nearly 80 percent decrease in cell growth in the light-treated tumors.

"The decrease in cell growth, combined with increased apoptosis, helps explain why the tumors didn't grow as much because you have cells that aren't dividing and you have cells that are committing suicide," Mr. Patel says.

Dr. Lewis predicts treating the tumors with blue light sooner will increase the rate of apoptosis, possibly preventing the tumor from ever becoming measurable and easing treatment.

"One desirable feature we've observed with the blue light is that non-cancerous cells appear unaffected at light doses that kill tumor cells," says Dr. Lewis. "We're thinking that some day, blue light therapy may serve as an adjunct to conventional cancer therapy. Patients may, therefore, receive lower doses of chemotherapy, which would decrease the adverse effects most cancer patients experience from standard chemotherapy regimens."

Mr. Patel presented his findings at the 2008 American Association for Dental Research Student Research Group DENTSPLY/Caulk competition, winning third place in the basic science category. He and rising junior MCG School of Dentistry student Beth Rainwater were two of only seven students nationwide to be selected for the competition.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lantis Laser's Dental Diagnostic Imaging System Can Address ADA's Recommendations for Placement of Sealants

OCT Can Provide Diagnostic Imaging Information Needed for Dentist's Confidence in Placing Sealants

DENVILLE, N.J., June 26, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Lantis Laser Inc. (Pink Sheets:LLSR) (, wishes to draw attention to new, recently introduced, clinical recommendations from the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs to assist clinicians in their decision-making process, for the use of composite plastic sealants over very early decay on the occlusal biting surface of teeth in children, adolescents and young adults to stop the disease from progressing.

"Placing sealants on the biting surfaces can stop early decay that is still in the enamel from progressing," pointed out Dr. Craig Gimbel, Executive Vice President of Clinical Affairs for Lantis Laser. "This article mentions that the clinician may be uncomfortable to make the decision to place a sealant because of unavailable adequate diagnostic tools for diagnosis and monitoring to ascertain if the sealant will be placed on top of existing decay in the enamel."

Dr. Gimbel went on to emphasize that, "Presently, the only accepted way to ascertain if decay is present is by recognition of tooth surface color changes, which can be misinterpreted as stains or defects instead of decay or possibly decay when it didn't exist at all." It is well documented that x-rays do not generally have the ability to image very early decay, which is important for the success of this procedure.

It is important to note that the ADA states that clinicians should not obtain radiographs for the sole purpose of placing sealants and should consult the ADA/U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines regarding selection criteria for dental radiographs which places limitations due to risk of radiation.

Lantis' OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) Diagnostic Imaging System(tm) will assist the clinician in making an evidence-based decision to place the sealant because of its ability to image early decay and subsurface enamel changes which is indicative of the demineralization, the first stage in the process of decay.

In addition, it will enable the dentist to monitor the sealed tooth surface area in order to determine that this non surgical method of arresting the decay has been effective. Clinical studies have shown that Lantis' OCT Diagnostic Imaging System(tm) is the only dedicated dental imaging system that can provide evidence for early decay demineralization and then follow the process of remineralizing as the bacteria die under the placed sealant, all without the risk of radiation. The placement of sealants will enable patients to possibly avoid invasive dental procedures, such as fillings, that are associated with later stage decay.

Lantis' OCT Dental Imaging System(tm) is based on novel light-based, bio-medical imaging technology, Optical Coherence Tomography, that enables the dentist to do diagnostic imaging, chairside and in real-time. As the power source is light-based, unlike x-ray there is no harmful radiation. Images can be captured at a resolution of up to 10 times that of x-ray, enabling early detection of decay and detailed examination of microstructural defects.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sirona Dental Systems Presents Block Party Live!

Series of Ivoclar Vivadent CE Programs will be Presented
in Over 40 Cities throughout 6 Months

Long Island City, NY (June 25, 2008) – Sirona Dental Systems, Inc., the company that pioneered digital dentistry more than 20 years ago and the world’s leading producer of dental CAD/CAM systems, is pleased to announce a series of over 40 nation-wide Ivoclar Vivadent Block Parties that will be presented throughout October.

The exclusive programs will provide exciting opportunities to experience the latest break-throughs in CAD/CAM technology, techniques, and materials from Sirona and one of its leading material partners, Ivoclar Vivadent.

Specialists from Sirona and Ivoclar will be on-hand to provide hands-on informative demonstrations such as the fabrication of advanced restorations using leading edge all-ceramic materials IPS e.max® CAD blocks and IPS Empress® CAD blocks, as well as dynamic presentations on the world’s largest digital dental network, Sirona’s CEREC® Connect and the inLab® MC XL milling unit.

Additional highlights include:

• How to gain access to a network of thousands of CEREC dentists with CEREC Connect

• Observe full contour restorations being fabricated with less than 15 minutes of labor – and less than 1 hour from start to finish!

• Increase laboratory productivity and turnaround time to doctors

• Reap the advantages of one of the world’s leading edge all-ceramic materials: IPS e.max® and IPS Empress®

Dental professionals will receive 2 continuing education credits for each program attended. Admission is FREE and refreshments will be served.

For more information about the next Block Party in your area, please contact your local Patterson or Sirona representative.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wilkodontics- Acclerated Orthodontics

USC School of Dentistry researchers publish the first case study of an accelerated procedure involving the grafting of a patient’s own bone material.
By David Peregrino

Researchers at the USC School of Dentistry said they have improved upon a surgical procedure developed by periodontist Tom Wilcko that rapidly straightens teeth, delivering a healthy bite and attractive smile in months instead of years.

Led by Hessam Nowzari, director of the USC Advanced Education in Periodontology program, the researchers have published the first case study of the successful use of a patient’s own bone material for the grafting necessary in the accelerated orthodontic surgical procedure.

The report appeared in the May 2008 issue of the Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry.

Accelerated orthodontics is gaining popularity as a way for patients, particularly adults with mature bones, to speed up the time it takes to straighten misaligned bites and fix crowded teeth.

Wilcko, who operates a practice in Erie, Penn., offers courses in the procedure, trademarked as Wilckodontics.

For this case study, the USC dentists used a procedure known as PAOO, short for Periodontally Accelerated Osteogenic Orthodontics.

With this technique, a periodontist or oral surgeon uses special instruments to score the bone that holds the teeth in place and then applies bone graft material over the grooves. The procedure is done under local anesthetic in the dental office.

Afterward, as the bone begins to heal, it softens slightly, allowing teeth to be moved into alignment with dental braces in a matter of months, rather than the years required with traditional orthodontics. The cost for accelerated orthodontics typically ranges from $10,000 to $15,000, depending on the course of treatment.

Prior to the USC study, the bone graft material used for this procedure was bovine bone and bioactive glass particles to help the bone strengthen as it healed.

Nowzari said that his team believed it could improve the technique by using the patient’s own bone instead of the artificial or bovine graft.

“Given a choice for grafts, nothing is better than a patient’s own tissue,” Nowzari explained. “It encourages new, healthy bone formation in the grafted area. It’s very safe and eliminates the risk of any disease transmission.”

Interestingly, it was a member of Nowzari’s team, Hsuan-Chen “Glenn” Chang, who underwent the surgery presented in the case study.

Chang, a third-year periodontology resident at the school, had an overbite and crowded teeth that needed correcting. Chang was 41 years old at the time, and accelerated orthodontics seemed like a good option for a man with a busy residency schedule.

A small amount of bone was harvested from his jaw and applied in particle form over the scored bone surrounding his teeth. After the surgery, braces were used to bring his teeth into alignment.

Chang said he experienced some discomfort in the days following the surgery, but it was manageable with over-the-counter painkillers. “It was about what I would expect for this kind of procedure,” he said.

However, he added, the benefits were impressive: In eight months, Chang’s overbite and crowded teeth were a thing of the past.

“It would have taken about two years to do this with traditional orthodontics,” Chang said.

Nowzari said that surgery to accelerate the movement of teeth is not new – dentists have been doing it since the 1800s. But techniques and the science behind the surgeries have improved in recent years and are continuing to be investigated.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Warning for teens: Teeth and jewelry don't mix

Skin piercings might be the rage among teens, but researchers from Tel Aviv University have found good reasons to think twice about piercing one's tongue or lip.

Dr. Liran Levin, a dentist from the Department of Oral Rehabilitation, School of Dental Medicine at Tel Aviv University has found that about 15 to 20 percent of teens with oral piercings are at high risk for both tooth fractures and gum disease. Resulting tooth fractures as well as periodontal problems, he says, can lead to anterior (front) tooth loss later in life.

High rates of fractures due to piercings are not found in other age groups, and cases of severe periodontal damage in teens without oral piercings are similarly rare, says Dr. Levin, who conducted the study with partners Dr. Yehuda Zadik and Dr. Tal Becker, both dentists in the Israeli Army.

Their initial study was done on 400 young adults aged 18-19, and the results were published in the well-known peer-reviewed journal Dental Traumatology in 2005. A new review by Drs. Levin and Zadik published in the American Dental Journal in late 2007 is the first and largest of its kind to document the risks and complications of oral piercings, drawing on research from multiple centers in America and across the world.

Ten percent of all New York teenagers have some kind of oral piercings, compared to about 20 percent in Israel and 3.4 percent in Finland. Dr. Levin warns teens to think twice before getting an oral piercing, as it can lead to easily preventable health complications and, in some (rare) cases, even death.

Premature Frontal Tooth Loss

"There are short-term complications to piercings in low percentages of teens, and in rare cases a piercing to the oral cavity can cause death," Dr. Levin says. "Swelling and inflammation of the area can cause edema, which disturbs the respiratory tract." He warns that the most common concerns -- tooth fracture and periodontal complications -- are long-term.

"There is a repeated trauma to the area of the gum," says Dr. Levin. "You can see these young men and women playing with the piercing on their tongue or lip. This act prolongs the trauma to the mouth and in many cases is a precursor to anterior tooth loss."

During the Israel-based study, the researchers surveyed teens both with piercings and without, asking them a number of questions about their oral health, their knowledge of the risk factors associated with piercings, and about their piercing history, before conducting the clinical oral exams.

Ironically, Dr. Levin notes, those youngsters who opted for oral piercing were very concerned about body image, but seemed to be unaware of the future risks such piercings can cause.

The Doctor's Practical Advice to Teens and Parents

Bottom line, the best advice for teens is to "try and avoid getting your mouth pierced," says Dr. Zadik. If your teen is insistent, he says, then it's essential that piercing tools are disposable, and that all other equipment is cleaned in an on-site autoclave to help reduce infection.

After the procedure, the area should be rinsed regularly with a chloroxidine-based mouthwash for two weeks. Thereafter, avoid playing with the piercing and clean it on a regular basis. Calculus deposits on the piercing may form over time and should be removed by a dentist. Checkups should be made regularly.

"Teenagers are not easy to manage," Dr. Levin commiserates, but his advice to parents is simple: "Try where possible to dissuade your teen from getting a piercing. They will thank you when they are older."


Monday, June 23, 2008

State fines dentist $17,000 in patient's death

A Winter Park dentist was fined $17,000 by the state Thursday for twice dropping a small dental tool down the throat of a patient, who died after the second incident in 2007.

The Florida Board of Dentistry also barred Dr. Wesley Meyers from doing dental implants until he completes additional training. He is not prohibited from doing other procedures. The patient, 90-year-old Charles K. Gaal Jr., had sought the dentist's care in 2006 for implants to secure the dentures in his lower mouth.

Gaal's daughter said her father insisted on sticking with Meyers even after the dentist dropped a tiny screwdriver down his throat in October 2006. Gaal swallowed the tool and underwent a colonoscopy two days later to have it removed from his large intestine, according to state documents.

"[Meyers] assured us it had never happened before and it would never happen again," said Anne Marie Greer of Winter Springs, the patient's daughter. "My father believed in taking a man at his word."

Read the rest of the story on the Orlando Sentinel web site.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

By Using Growth Hormone Scientists From Granada Drastically Reduce The Wait Time For New Teeth Implant

The use of the growth hormone in oral implantology has managed to regenerate the bone and hasten the integration between the bone base and the dental implant. The process allows to reduce from six months to two weeks the wait time to place the crown which replaces the lost tooth on the oral implant.

This advance has been the result of the research of the doctoral thesis "Growth hormone and osteointegration in the oral cavity" by Cecilia Vander Worf Úbeda, supervised by Professors Antonio Cutando Soriano and Gerardo Gómez Moreno (School of Odontology of the University of Granada, Spain).

"We must consider," says Cutando "That a dental impant is successful when it is possible to get a firm, stable and lasting joint between the bone substratum and the crown constructed on it, in which we call prosthetic restoration. That was the goal of this research work, which has also managed to improve the patients' quality of life reducing the wait period to receive a new tooth."

The Works were developed over three years with a methodology applied to 13 dogs, with the authorization of the Ethical Committee of the University of Granada.

Hastened biointegration

The research carried out by Cecilia Vander Worf obtained a good and fast biointegration, which consists of "the direct biochemical joint between the raw bone and the surface of the implant, demonstrable through electronic microscopy, irrespective of any mechanical joint mechanism".

Osteointegration requires the formation of new bone around the implant, a process resulting from remodelling the interior of the bone tissue. "The process," says Vander Worf, "Starts with the osteoclasts, the cells responsible for reabsorbing the necrotic area originated by bone milling during the preparation of the bone recipient bed. Together with them, vascular neoformation will provide the cell elements, the osteoblasts, which will create new bone able to interact with the titanium oxide layer of the implant for the biological integration of it."

The doctoral thesis has been carried out in the Framework of the Research Project "Study of the synergism between Melatonin and Growth Hormone (GH) on the processes of osteointegration in dental implants and bone regeneration in the oral cavity," financed by the Spanish Ministry of Health and Consumptiom, the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, the Carlos III Health Institute and the Andalusian Council.

The results of this work have been published in different papers in the last years; the most recent are:

Cutando A, Gómez Moreno G, Arana C, et al. Melatonin stimulates osteointegration of dental implants. J Pineal Res. 2008 Feb 19; Vol. 49.

Cutando A, Gómez-Moreno G, Arana C, et al. Melatonin reduces oxidative stress because of tooth removal. J Pineal Res. 2007 Apr; 42(4):419-20.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dentrix G3 Component Update

I received a box with three CD's from Dentrix the other day. They contain the new G3 Component update. I have not yet upgraded from G2 to G3 yet but I am considering it in the near future. As of now everything is working well with G2 and my office has transitioned nicely to a chartless environment.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mozilla releases Firefox 3

Firefox is my favorite browser. This version is much faster. Not all of my add ons are ready but the most popular ones are. Go upgrade, MJ

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 06:54 PM EDT

Mozilla today released Firefox 3, a major update to its free, open source Web browser. According to Mozilla, Firefox 3 is the culmination of three years of efforts from thousands of developers, security experts, localization and support communities, and testers from around the globe.

Available today in approximately 50 languages, "Firefox 3 is two to three times faster than its predecessor and offers more than 15,000 improvements," including the smart location bar, malware protection, and extensive under the hood work to improve the speed and performance of the browser.

“We’re really proud of Firefox 3 and it just shows what a committed, energized global community can do when they work together,” said John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla, in the press release.

What’s New in Firefox 3:

• User Experience. The new Firefox 3 smart location bar, affectionately known as the “Awesome Bar,” learns as people use it, adapting to user preferences and offering better fitting matches over time. The Firefox 3 Library archives browsing history, bookmarks, and tags, where they can be easily searched and organized. One-click bookmarking and tagging make it easy to remember, search and organize Web sites. The new full-page zoom displays any part of a Web page, up close and readable, in seconds.

• Performance. Firefox 3 is built on top of the Gecko 1.9 platform, resulting in a safer, easier to use and more personal product. Firefox 3 now uses less memory while it’s running, and its redesigned page rendering and layout engine means users see Web pages two to three times faster than Firefox 2.

• Security. Firefox 3 offers new malware and phishing protection helps protect from viruses, worms, trojans and spyware to keep people safe on the Web. Firefox 3’s one-click site ID information allows users to verify that a site is what it claims to be. Mozilla’s open source process leverages the experience of thousands of security experts around the globe.

• Customization. Everyone uses the Web differently, and Firefox 3 lets users customize their browser with more than 5,000 add-ons. Firefox Add-ons allow users to manage tasks like participating in online auctions, uploading digital photos, seeing the weather forecasts, and listening to music, all from the convenience of the browser. The new Add-ons Manager helps users to find and install add-ons directly from the browser.

More information about Mozilla Firefox 3 features here.

Mozilla Firefox 3 is available now for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows as a free download here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sirona Becomes Diamond Sponsor of AACD Charitable Foundation and Member of AACD Charitable Foundation Advisory Council

Dental CAD/CAM Pioneer Now Taking a Leadership Role
In Helping Survivors of Domestic Violence

CHARLOTTE, NC – June 17, 2008 – 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 announced that it has become an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation (AACDCF) Diamond Sponsor and Advisory Council Member. AACDCF’s primary program Give Back A Smile (GBAS) provides free consultation and dental treatment to restore the smiles of domestic violence survivors.

“It is unfortunate and appalling that each year more than five million people in the United States become victims of domestic violence,” said Sirona Dental Systems, LLC USA President Michael Augins. “Sirona strongly supports the efforts of AACD member dentists nationwide who volunteer their time, expertise and materials to restore the smiles of domestic violence survivors who have experienced dental trauma. For many of these survivors, a restored smile can represent a big step in physical and psychological recovery.”

Since its inception in 2001, the GBAS program has enabled participating AACD dentists to complete more than 600 dental restoration cases for survivors of domestic violence for a total dollar value of over $5 million. “Sirona’s generous contribution is greatly

appreciated and clearly demonstrates the company’s commitment to the AACDCF and GBAS,” said AACDCF Director Erin Roberts.

As a member of the AACDCF Advisory Council, Sirona joins a group of dental industry luminaries and domestic violence experts who will serve as a think tank to develop new strategies and tactics for the following areas:

• Increasing public awareness of domestic violence
• Raising additional funding for AACDCF and GBAS
• Develop a program to assist dental offices in early detection of domestic violence.
The AACDCF Advisory Council will present its recommendations and findings before the AACDCF Board of Trustees.
“We are honored to be a part of this advisory council of esteemed experts,” said Augins. “We look forward to working together to raise awareness for domestic violence, help its victims recover and ultimately help prevent it from occurring.”

About Sirona Dental Systems, Inc.
Recognized as a leading global manufacturer of technologically advanced, high-quality dental equipment, Sirona has served equipment dealers and dentists worldwide for more than 125 years. Sirona develops, manufactures and markets a complete line of dental products, including CAD/CAM restoration equipment (CEREC® and inLab®), digital and film-based intraoral, panoramic and cephalometric X-ray imaging systems, dental treatment centers and handpieces. Sirona’s worldwide headquarters is located in Bensheim, Germany, with U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Visit for more information about Sirona and its products.

About the AACD
The AACD is the world’s largest non-profit membership organization dedicated to advancing excellence in comprehensive oral care that combines art and science to optimally improve dental health, aesthetics and function. Made up of over 8,000 cosmetic dental professionals in 70 countries around the globe, the AACD fulfills its mission by offering superior educational opportunities; promoting and supporting a respected Accreditation credential; serving as a user-friendly and inviting forum for the creative exchange of knowledge and ideas; and providing accurate and useful information to the public and the profession. The AACDCF’s primary program, GBAS™, is dedicated to providing cosmetic dental care at no cost to survivors of domestic violence. GBAS raises awareness of domestic violence and gives survivors hope for a better tomorrow – truly something to smile about.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

FDA to Classify Mercury Fillings by Summer 2009

It should be interesting to see how the politics plays out. MJ

June 17, 2008

As part of a settlement in a lawsuit filed by Moms Against Mercury, the FDA has agreed to classify a controversial mercury-containing cavity filler by July 28, 2009.

The agency proposes to classify dental amalgam made of liquid mercury and metal powder as a Class II device. This would enable the agency to impose special controls to ensure the product’s safety and effectiveness.

The FDA recently reopened the comment period on that proposed classification, specifically requesting information on appropriate labeling statements by July 28 of this year. After reviewing all comments, the FDA will issue a final rule classifying the product and possibly requiring revised labeling.

The suit, Moms Against Mercury v. Eschenbach, filed Dec. 28, 2007, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleged purposeful delays by the FDA in classifying the amalgam.

The FDA was required by the Medical Devices Amendments Act of 1976 to classify all medical devices on the market at the time of the act’s passage. In the 1980s, the agency classified all dental filling materials except mercury amalgam. In 2002, agency staff said the failure to classify mercury amalgam was “inadvertent” but later withdrew that claim, the suit said.
When amalgam fillings are installed or removed, they release mercury vapor. This vapor also is released during chewing. As part of its rulemaking, the FDA will review evidence on whether the vapor can cause health problems, including neurological disorders, in children and fetuses.

American Dental Association Comments On FDA's Settlement Of Dental Amalgam Lawsuit

16 Jun 2008

The American Dental Association (ADA) believes the recent settlement between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the group Moms Against Mercury simply sets a definite deadline (July 28, 2009) for the FDA to complete what it began in 2002 - a reclassification process for dental amalgam, a commonly used cavity filling material. As far as the ADA is aware, the FDA has in no way changed its approach to, or position on, dental amalgam.

Contrary to some assertions, the FDA's current reclassification proposal does not call for restrictions on the use of amalgam in any particular population group. It merely restates FDA's ongoing call for public comments on that issue, as well as the findings of the most current scientific studies on amalgam.

A substantial body of peer-reviewed, scientific literature supports the safety of dental amalgam, including two clinical trials involving children published in the April 2006 Journal of the American Medical Association. The studies found that children with amalgam fillings do not experience adverse effects related to neurobehavioral, neuropsychological (IQ) and kidney function compared to a control group with composite (tooth colored) fillings. The ADA believes these studies support the existing scientific understanding that the minute amount of mercury released by amalgam does not adversely affect children's health.

"People depend on the FDA and other government health agencies to help protect their health. It's critically important that public health recommendations are based on sound scientific evidence," states ADA President Mark J. Feldman, DMD. "The ADA will continue to advocate for the best oral health of the public as part of the FDA regulatory process."

Presently, FDA has different classifications for encapsulated amalgam and its component parts, dental mercury and amalgam alloy. The FDA's proposed reclassification, which the ADA has supported since 2002, would place encapsulated amalgam and its components under one classification.

Based on extensive studies and scientific reviews of dental amalgam by government and independent organizations worldwide, the ADA believes that dental amalgam remains a safe, affordable and durable cavity filling choice for dental patients.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Access To Dental Care

Here is a good article on problems with Medicaid and what states are trying to do to help solve the problem. Money is definitely not the only issue with access to care. Parental responsibility is a biggest factor.

Read the article "Poor children often can’t find anyone to check their teeth."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Maine Governor Signs Dental Access Bill

Governor John E. Baldacci today ceremonially signed LD 2192, “An Act To Increase Access to Dental Care.” The law recognizes the need to increase access to dental care in rural, underserved areas of the state. A pilot program is established to provide tax credits to encourage dentists to practice in these areas for five years. At the conclusion of the pilot, the Legislature will determine whether to continue, alter or suspend the program.

“There are fewer issues that are more important than health care. Maine citizens need access to affordable, quality health care – including access to oral health care,” said Governor Baldacci. “I want to thank all those here today who have worked collaboratively on this very important issue. It’s a great step to ensure that access is broadened in areas where their services are needed most.”

The Maine Dental Association and Maine Primary Care Association supported the legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Pat Sutherland (D-Chapman). A number of area dentists also attended the signing ceremony.

The Governor noted that these groups and individuals have worked together over the years to increase the number of dental providers in designated dental health professional shortage areas, to fund programs to increase local capacity, and on a state funded dental education loan program, among other strategies.

The bill was originally signed by the Governor on April 24.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tooth Grinding Sends a Signal to Parents

Reported June 12, 2008
Tooth Grinding Sends a Signal to Parents

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- When a little tooth grinding becomes a nightly gnashing of teeth in young children it can cause more than dental problems.

According to a new study, 36.8 percent of pre-schoolers grind their teeth in their sleep one or more times a week. 6.7 percent grind four or more times a week. And as the frequency of nighttime grinding and clenching increased, parents were more likely to report their child is withdrawn, doesn’t get involved with others and is having trouble adjusting in pre-school.

Tooth grinding or clenching is called bruxism. It is a normal occurrence in which the jaw contracts during sleep. When the contractions are too strong it becomes grinding which can lead to dental damage by wearing down the teeth. Buxism can also be caused by stress and anxiety.

Salvatore P. Insana of West Virginia University is the first author of the study. “Although we can not assume that tooth grinding causes withdrawn behaviors or problems in school, the dynamic relation between tooth grinding and pre-school adjustment indicate that there may be clinical relevance to grinding beyond a symptom of bruxism.”

The rate of bruxism is reportedly highest in children. About 14 to 17 percent have it. And if they’re grinding in childhood, chances are they’ll be doing it as an adult.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) suggests parents try a few things to help their child sleep better including a consistent bedtime routine that should take 10 to 30 minutes. They also suggest parents use some of that time to interact with their child, don’t let the child fall asleep while being held, rocked, fed a bottle or while nursing and don’t allow food or drinks that have caffeine like chocolate of soda.

If parents suspect their child has a sleeping problem, AASM recommends a consultation with the pediatrician or a sleep specialist.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Patterson Dental to Provide Leading Practice Management Software at No Cost

This press release makes it official! MJ

ST. PAUL, Minn. – (June 11, 2008) – In a first-of-its-kind, industry-leading initiative, Patterson Dental Supply, Inc. announces going forward it will now provide Patterson EagleSoft practice management software to dental professionals nationwide at no charge. The award-winning software, along with the data import process and CD-ROM and Web-based training materials, are available to new users for free beginning June 9.

As a multitude of digital technologies become mainstream in the dental practice, Patterson Dental recognizes the basic, fundamental need for a cutting-edge software to be the hub of that digital future. Delivering solid integration throughout the dental practice, free Patterson EagleSoft practice management software helps dental professionals streamline practice activity, ultimately benefiting patients and staff, alike.

“Providing Patterson EagleSoft practice management software at no cost eliminates a major hurdle for dentists seeking better software or looking ahead toward future digital technology purchases,” said Patterson Dental President Scott Anderson. “Patterson Dental’s primary focus is helping dentists stay on the forefront of technology and working to ensure practitioners have access to practice management software that allows easy integration with evolving digital technologies.”

Patterson EagleSoft practice management software – coupled with Patterson Dental’s renowned support services – has made it a long-standing favorite with dental professionals. To receive free Patterson EagleSoft practice management software, data import and training materials, professionals simply need to commit to a one-year service agreement at a low monthly cost. Professionals also can obtain Patterson EagleSoft digital imaging software at no charge with qualifying digital technology purchases.

“New Patterson EagleSoft users will be able to rely on the unyielding, accessible support features Patterson Dental customers have valued for years,” said Patterson Technology Center Director Pam Hemmen. “Quite simply, this offer allows dentists to move easily into the digital world, and we look forward to welcoming many new professionals to the way Patterson Dental does business.”

Since the company’s inception, Patterson Dental has been driven by the philosophy that technology is an advantage that can help its customers succeed. From its introduction of IntraOral Cameras in the late 1980s, building of its world-class Patterson Technology Center in 1997 to its acquisition of CAESY Patient Education in 2004, Patterson Dental has consistently been developing and providing industry-changing technology.

For more information about Patterson EagleSoft, visit or call the Patterson Technology Center at 800.294.8504.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eaglesoft Practice Management Software Is Free!

Eaglesoft from Patterson Dental is now offering their practice management software for free. This includes a free conversion from your existing software. Training will be via a CD-ROM or by telephone.

The clinical portion will be available for purchase or be included with a purchase of $5000 of digital hardware.

More information as I get it.

Showing the Patient the Door, Permanently

Here is a NY Times article on dismissing a patient. We dismiss problem patients in my practice who are not compliant or behavioral problems.
Read the article

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hard tissue regeneration capacity of apical pulp derived cells (APDCs) from human tooth with immature apex.

Abe S, Yamaguchi S, Watanabe A, Hamada K, Amagasa T.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Jun 20;371(1):90-3. Epub 2008 Apr 11.

Recent studies indicate that dental pulp is a new source of adult stem cells. The human tooth with an immature apex is a developing organ, and the apical pulp of this tooth may contain a variety of progenitor/stem cells, which participate in root formation. We investigated the hard tissue regeneration potential of apical pulp derived cells (APDCs) from human tooth with an immature apex. APDCs cultured with a mineralization-promoting medium showed alkaline phosphatase activity in porous hydroxyapatite (HA) scaffolds. The composites of APDCs and HA were implanted subcutaneously in immunocompromised rats and harvested at 12 weeks after implantation. In histological analysis, the APDCs/HA composites exhibited bone- and dentine-like mineralized tissues in the pore areas of HA. This study suggests that the human tooth with an immature apex is an effective source of cells for hard tissue regeneration.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The naked tooth: Inside Red Wings' dental work

Sixty-two years ago, in the first game he played for the Red Wings, Gordie Howe lost his two front teeth. The "biters" is what he called them.

Howe scored a goal that game, but the memory of getting "whacked somewhere in front" of the net, he said, never left him. It contributed to Howe's elbows-up style in his three decades as a pro, sparking an infamous line in hockey lore:

"As I used to say, 'It's better to give than to receive,' " Howe said.

Now he adds with a wink: "You become very protective after that."

Howe, 80, was standing within earshot of a recent Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena, where pucks sounded like shotgun blasts as they ricocheted off the glass.

Some things never change.

"You hate to say it's 'part of the game,' but players, well, we're bound to lose a few teeth," he said with a smile.

Read the rest on the Detroit Free Press Web Site

Friday, June 06, 2008

Dental Tech Fair Starts Today

June 6-7, 2008 Online so you don't have to travel. Get free CE and its free to register.

What is DDS Tech Fair?

The dental community live and on-line, in a comfortable and hassle-free trade show environment. This innovative online conference and exhibition uses leading-edge technology to bring dental professionals together with colleagues and manufacturers at the convenience of your personal computer.

My DTS partner Paul Feuerstein will be doing a segment on Digital Impressions. I spoke with Paul last night and said the everything is very cool. So stop by the first virtual dental trade show.

Go to the DDS Tech Fair web site to register

Thursday, June 05, 2008

ADA Comments on FDA's Settlement of Dental Amalgam Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2008—The American Dental Association (ADA) believes the recent settlement between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the group Moms Against Mercury simply sets a definite deadline (July 28, 2009) for the FDA to complete what it began in 2002—a reclassification process for dental amalgam, a commonly-used cavity filling material. As far as the ADA is aware, the FDA has in no way changed its approach to, or position on, dental amalgam

Contrary to some assertions, the FDA’s current reclassification proposal does not call for restrictions on the use of amalgam in any particular population group. It merely restates FDA’s ongoing call for public comments on that issue, as well as the findings of the most current scientific studies on amalgam.

"People depend on the FDA and other government health agencies to help protect their health. It’s critically important that public health recommendations are based on sound scientific evidence," states ADA President Mark J. Feldman, DMD. "The ADA will continue to advocate for the best oral health of the public as part of the FDA regulatory process."

Presently, FDA has different classifications for encapsulated amalgam and its component parts, dental mercury and amalgam alloy. The FDA’s proposed reclassification, which the ADA has supported since 2002, would place encapsulated amalgam and its components under one classification.

Based on extensive studies and scientific reviews of dental amalgam by government and independent organizations worldwide, the ADA believes that dental amalgam remains a safe, affordable and durable cavity filling choice for dental patients.

New Episode of Dentalcast

Part 3 of Dr Ngo "Cutting Edge Restorative"
Download form the Dentalcast web site

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

3M ESPE and Astra Tech Announce Partnership to Bring Atlantis™ Patient-Specific Implant Abutments Directly to Lava TM Milling and Design Customers

ST. PAUL, Minn. – (June 2, 2008) – 3M ESPE and Astra Tech AB, a leader and innovator in the dental implant industry, announce a global partnership to provide Astra Tech’s Atlantis™ patient-specific abutments to 3M ESPE Lava™ customers. The two companies have developed an interface which will enable the Lava™ Scan ST Design System to communicate directly with Astra Tech’s Atlantis technology.
This new development will enable Lava Scan ST users to transfer digital scan information of the patients’ oral geometry to Astra Tech’s Atlantis design and manufacturing facilities worldwide. This eliminates the need to, and lowers the cost of, shipping physical models. In addition, this connectivity reduces the overall turn around time for the abutment; a key benefit to the customer.
“This is an important step in 3M ESPE’s strategy to enable end-to-end digital workflow for our customers,” says Wayne Roen, director of digital restorative dentistry, 3M ESPE. “We’re delighted to be working with Astra Tech. Atlantis high-quality, implant abutments are a natural complement to the excellent marginal fit, strength and esthetics of Lava zirconia restorations.”
“The partnership with 3M ESPE is a strategic milestone which will further strengthen Astra Tech’s leading position within the area of digital implant dentistry, says Peter Selley, CEO of Sweden based Astra Tech Group. “In our ongoing efforts to increase the reliability and simplicity of our therapy solutions, adopting the 3M ESPE digital scan technology further enhances our ability to provide the best patient-specific solution for implant restorations.”
3M ESPE and Astra Tech have jointly developed the capability. The companies anticipate the commercial launch in the United States later in 2008 with other markets to follow. The companies also anticipate future collaboration to create additional digital workflow solutions that further enhance the efficiency of dental laboratory customers and enable product innovation.
For more information: Visit 3M ESPE at or call 1-800-634-2249.
Visit Astra Tech at or call 781-890-6800.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

SuniRay dental sensors come to Mac

MacPractice has announced a collaboration wtih SUNI Medical Imaging to develop MacSensor—a Mac-based digital radiography system for use in dentist's offices.

Comprising SUNI's SuniRay sensor and MacPractice DR—digital radiography/photo software that runs natively on Mac OS X—MacSensor helps Mac-based dentist's offices to make dental x-rays without having to use x-ray film; SuniRay devices use sensors that measure a scant 3.2mm thick. Up to now, SUNI has only been able to provide a Windows-compatible system.

MacPractice DR is part of MacPractice's practice management software for dental offices.

Monday, June 02, 2008

HydroFloss- Unboxed

I recently got a chance to use a HydroFloss. A HydroFloss is an oral irrigation device. It utilizes the principles of magneto-hydro-dynamics along with the power of jet stream irrigation. The Benefits of a HydroFloss are that it reduces bacteria in your mouth and helps prevent the formation of calculus. Of course this will help lead to better oral health and help in the prevention of ginigivits and periodontitis. There are two studies on the Oral Care Technologies web site about the effectiveness of this device.

I have used the HydroFloss and it does a good job of getting food particles out from between your teeth. I used the HydroFloss after eating ribs to give it a real test. The HydroFloss costs $129.95 and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.

So go check out the HydroFloss video and see for yourself.
More information is available at

Sunday, June 01, 2008

OraPharma Expands Commitment to Academic Community

Warminster, PA – May 28, 2008 – OraPharma, Inc., a specialty oral health company dedicated to bringing scientifically and technologically superior products to the dental community, including ARESTIN® (minocycline hydrochloride) Microspheres, 1 mg, recently expanded its commitment to providing educational support and training to dental and hygiene communities by renewing the ARESTIN® Student Access Program and by creating a new Professional Affairs Team to provide field support and instructor training for the program.

The ARESTIN® Student Access Program launched last year as the result of discussion and collaboration between OraPharma and the directors of leading dental and hygiene schools. According to ARESTIN® Senior Product Director John Lenart, “Our mutual goal was to develop a program that would provide educational programming and hands-on training so that senior dental and hygiene students can appropriately incorporate locally administered antibiotics like ARESTIN® as part of a comprehensive periodontal disease treatment protocol.”

During the 2007-2008 school year, 130 dental and dental hygiene schools and 3,146 dental and dental hygiene students participated in the ARESTIN® Student Access Program. A recent follow-up survey* of participating hygiene school educators and students validated the
importance of this program, and reinforced the need for OraPharma to continue it for a second consecutive year.

The survey polled dental hygiene instructors and students who participated in the ARESTIN® Student Access Program in order to assess its impact and relevance on the curriculum and post-graduation practice. For example:

• 73.3% of responding dental hygiene instructors and 56.5% of responding dental hygiene students said they perceive ARESTIN® as being essential to treating periodontal disease.

• 86% of responding dental hygiene instructors and 57% of responding dental hygiene students said it was easy or very easy for them to administer ARESTIN®.

• 47.1% of responding dental hygiene instructors and 54.8% of responding dental hygiene students said hands-on training with ARESTIN® was the most helpful training element in the curriculum.

• 86.3% of responding dental hygiene instructors said they were likely or very likely to participate in the ARESTIN® Student Access Program next year.

Enrollment in the 2008-2009 program is open from June 2008 to September 2008, and is open to all accredited two- or four-year dental and dental hygiene schools that include instruction on the use of ARESTIN® as part of a comprehensive Periodontal Treatment Protocol. Participating dental and hygiene schools will receive the following ARESTIN® Student Access Program materials:

• ARESTIN® Trial Kits containing ARESTIN® cartridges for clinical use by each participating student.

• Instructor Education Kits containing valuable clinical and patient resources regarding periodontal therapy and ARESTIN®, as well as educational content for classroom lectures and demonstration product to ensure each student is able to practice placing ARESTIN® prior to treating patients.

• Student Education Kits including valuable clinical and patient education resources regarding periodontal therapy and ARESTIN®, as well as a complimentary ARESTIN®
branded Hu-Friedy Colorvue® periodontal probe.**

• The ability to order discounted ARESTIN® handles ($32.00 each) for all participating senior students.

The newly formed Professional Affairs Team will provide enhanced support and introduce additional academic programs to dental and hygiene schools. This team will also provide best practices training and education for course directors in schools participating in the ARESTIN® Student Access Program.

“The ARESTIN® Student Access Program ensures that ARESTIN® will continue to be widely available for clinical use by all dental and hygiene school students. Today’s students represent the next generation of oral health professionals,” explained Lenart. “It’s important that they have training and experience with the most common periodontal disease options upon graduation.”

Dental and hygiene school faculty who wish to participate in the ARESTIN® Student Access Program, or require more information, are invited to contact the OraPharma Customer Service Center at 1-866-ARESTIN (273-7846).