|Orthodontists on Wheels|
Charles D. Randolph, DDS, has created American Mobile Dental Co, which administers basic services as well as orthodontics and sealants to patients in the comfort of their own neighborhoods and workplaces.
A service fleet of specially equipped vans takes dentists and dental hygienists to serve Medicaid and fee-for-service patients who aren’t getting the care they need due to language barriers, age, and lack of interest by providers.
“Patients and employers benefit from more than simple access,” says Randolph. “Under the plan, they get a break from travel, expenses, absenteeism, or time taken off work.”
Randolph and his colleagues have already announced an alliance with health care provider Boro Medical to serve more than 100,000 patients in many locations.
“That’s good news for American Mobile Dental,” says Randolph. “By partnering with Boro Medical, we will have immediate access to a large patient base that is in serious need of dental services.”
American Mobile Dental plans to broaden its services to include x-rays, dental prophylaxis, nutrition counseling, fluoride treatments, amalgam and composite restorations, stainless steel crowns, root canal therapy for primary and permanent teeth, extractions, and minor oral surgery. For more information, visit www.americanmobiledental.com.
|Sirona and Patterson Extend Distribution Agreement|
Under a new agreement extended by Sirona Dental Systems, Patterson Dental Supply will exclusively provide sales, support, and training for CEREC chairside CAD/CAM systems in North America through September 30, 2007.
“We are very excited about the development of the CAD/CAM market in North America, and Patterson has been an integral part of our success,” says Jost Fischer, CEO of Sirona Dental Systems. “Patterson has been an exceptional partner, and we are confident that together we will continue to lead the accelerating trend toward CAD/CAM dentistry.”
According to Scott R. Kabbes, president of Patterson Dental Supply, thousands of dentists have already converted to CAD/CAM technology, and CEREC sales are growing strongly.
|Electrotorque Wins Reality Product of the Year|
KaVo recently announced that the Electrotorque plus Brushless Electric Motor System and the Gentlepower LUX 25LPA High Speed Attachment received the 2005 Reality Publishing Product of the Year Award.
The KaVo Electrotorque was the sole winner among a field of 680 products tested by Reality Publishing, and was recognized for its high torque, smooth running, and very quiet brushless motor, in addition to the 25LPA attachment, which offers a new head design for improved access.
Reality’s choice ratings are designed to help dental professionals choose products that will enhance success and increase productivity with aesthetic procedures. The three main product-evaluation criteria were actual clinical use by the Reality editorial team, results of clinical simulation tests, and results of valid and reliable independent research.
KaVo Dental also received an award for “Most Five Star” Reality’s Choices, which included the Diagnodent Laser Caries Detector; Cellular Optic High Speed Handpieces 6000B, 647B, and 635B; the Quattrocare Automatic Handpiece Maintenance System; K1 and Intraflex Lux 2 Low Speed Systems; the Prophyflex Air Polishing Handpiece and Sonicflex 2003L Sonic Scaler; as well as the electrotorque plus/Gentlepower LUX 25LPA.
|New Dental Implant Design Speeds Healing|
John Ricci, DDS, a professor of biomaterials and biomimetics at New York University’s College of Dentistry, has invented LaserLok dental implants, which speed healing, minimize bone loss, and promote longevity of the implant.
“Because the new LaserLok implant prevents bone loss and promotes faster healing of gums following surgery, dentists can make greater use of early and immediate loading protocols that may reduce treatment time by as much as 6 months,” says Ricci. “Immediate implant placement can restore patients with relatively healthy gums and good oral hygiene to improved function and aesthetics in as little as one treatment visit.”
Ricci’s implant design has a surface that has been precisely engineered for stability. He etched microgrooves that are exactly the size of soft and bone tissue cells—1/8,000 and 1/12,000 of a millimeter deep, respectively—into the top of the implant, using a computer-guided laser to pattern the grooves and lock the cells into a “tissue-engineered” seal.
According to findings from a pilot study by the Italian Group for Implant Research, when laser-microtextured dental implants were compared to conventional implants, bone loss was reduced from 2 millimeters to 1¼2 a millimeter and, according to researchers, gum tissue sealed to the LaserLok’s surface was more stable and less prone to inflammation.
LaserLok has recently received FDA approval and is currently available to dentists.
|ADHA Seeks Grant Proposals|
A project sponsored by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) Institute for Oral Health (IOH) is seeking grant proposals for a 1-year study of low-income, school-age children’s access to oral health care provided by dental hygienists.
“Many Americans are unable to obtain even routine oral health screenings and preventive services, for reasons ranging from transportation, ability of the caregiver to miss work, proximity to services, lack of insurance, and socioeconomic status,” says Tammi O. Byrd, RDH, chair of the IOH and immediate past president of the ADHA. “It’s particularly alarming when it comes to our nation’s children, who are at risk of suffering a lifetime of health problems linked to poor oral hygiene.”
The study, whose intent is to collect quantitative data as to the number of children served and the participation rate of dental hygienists, will focus on the role played by dental hygienists in states such as Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, and Washington.
According to Byrd, with more than 120,000 registered dental hygienists in the United States and the expected 36% plus rate of growth in the profession through 2012, dental hygienists are in an excellent position to fill the gap in screenings, services, and education.
Proposals are due June 30, 2005, and the award will be announced no later than October 31, 2005.
|April is National Facial Protection Month|
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) are sponsoring the fifth annual National Facial Protection Month this April. The message of the month is to encourage active parents. children, and professional athletes to play it safe by wearing mouthguards whenever they play sports.
Donald L. Feldman, DDS, an orthodontist from Lynn, Mass, says he hands out mouthguards to anyone who asks for them.
“I go through 500 or more per year,” says Feldman. “There’s a poster in my office announcing that they’re free.”
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that players who used faceguards were 35% less likely to suffer facial injuries than nonusers. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that universal helmet use could save one life each day and prevent one head injury every 4 minutes.
From skateboarding to Rollerblading, baseball to volleyball, karate to gymnastics, downhill skiing to bicycling, dental specialists advocate wearing protective gear to save face.
|ADA and Northwestern Go Into Business|
The ADA has formed a partnership with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management to offer the “ADA/Kellogg Executive Management Program” for dentists.
According to James B. Bramson, DDS, executive director of the ADA, “The program is a ‘mini-MBA’ designed for dentists wanting to learn more about management from one of the nation’s top-rated management schools. It takes business training for dentists to another level, exposing them to the many dynamics involved in effectively managing an organization and information systems.”
The program’s content is based on the core curriculum of matriculating Kellogg MBA students, and includes business strategy, organizational leadership, finance accounting, marketing and quantitative methods, and information systems. Participants also have the opportunity to build a network of lifelong relationships with colleagues and business professionals.
Al E. Atta, DDS, MSD, MBA, who earned his business degree from Kellogg, says, “Integrating two global kings—the ADA in health service and Kellogg in business education—is a great investment in the future growth of the dental profession. The ADA has to define and present short-term and long-term business needs to Kellogg to formulate and implement a strategy to ensure continuous success.”
The program consists of three 5-day classes conducted at Northwestern’s Chicago campus. The sessions, separated by 7-week intervals, are set for July 23–27, September 16–20, and November 4–8.
|New Implant Procedure Promises Teeth in an Hour|
At a recent full-day seminar at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Penn, Thomas Balshi, DDS, founder of The Institute for Facial Esthetics’ Viewpoint, and Glen Wolfinger, DDS, led a live demonstration of a new implant process, Teeth in an HourTM. Using a combination of radiology, virtual surgery, and laboratory technology, the system is designed to provide patients with dental implants and permanent teeth replacements in 1 hour. Data gathering for Teeth in an Hour is provided by the i-CAT™ Cone Beam 3-D Imaging System, which accurately and immediately provides 3-D views of all mouth, face, and jaw areas.
|Oral Health Linked to Overall Health|
On April 3, Terry Gotthelf, DDS, conducted a seminar called “The Mouth-Body Connection: A Gateway to Women’s Health” at the 92nd Street Y in New York. One of her central points was that there is a direct connection between oral health and overall health. There is an especially strong connection between the benchmarks of the female life cycle and oral health, and although many of the conditions apply to both genders, she says, “Male-female differences in basic biology become medically important in the pathology and treatment of disease.”
Periodontal disease, a bacterial infection of the supporting tissues of the teeth, affects three out of four individuals over the age of 35. In addition, Gotthelf warns that periodontal disease may be associated with higher rates of stroke; heart and pulmonary disease; premature, low-birth-weight babies; diabetes; osteoporosis; and stress.
“Women’s oral health care needs to change at specific times in their lives that are primarily related to the fluctuations in female sex hormone levels, such as puberty, use of oral contraceptives, pregnancy, and menopause,” says Gotthelf. “These fluctuations in hormone levels can cause an exaggerated response of the gums to bacterial plaque, which causes gum disease.”
Gotthelf adds that, “There is ample evidence demonstrating the negative effects of stress and anxiety on health and healing. By incorporating alternative mind-body techniques with conventional dental treatment, we can create an environment in which optimum healing can take place.”