Oral Health America Announces 14th Annual NSTEP Slogan Contest

Posted on July 1, 2015


CHICAGO, July 1 — Oral Health America (OHA) is pleased to announce the launch of its 14th annual NSTEP® (National Spit Tobacco Project) slogan contest. Teaming up with Little League® Baseball and Softball, the contest calls on players ages 8-14 to create a compelling ten-word phrase describing the dangers of spit tobacco for a chance to win a trip to the Little League Baseball® World Series.

In addition to its long history with baseball, spit tobacco is used more frequently by young people—almost half (46%) of new users start before they reach the age of 18. Spit tobacco is linked to cancer of the mouth, throat, tongue, stomach and esophagus, mouth lesions, receding gums, tooth decay and tooth loss. Through the slogan contest, OHA and Little League reach tens of thousands of young people each year with the message that spit tobacco is dangerous and should be avoided.

“Little League is committed to providing proper health and wellbeing for children throughout the world,” said Stephen D. Keener, President and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball. “Smokeless tobacco has no place whatsoever in the lives of our youth. We applaud Oral Health America’s effort in keeping children away from smokeless tobacco and starting the conversation with so many parents about the dangers associated with its use. The NSTEP Slogan Contest is a great way to engage children and their families and educate them on the risks associated with smokeless tobacco.”

“Every summer we hear from parents across the country who use the slogan contest as an opportunity to talk to their children about spit tobacco for the first time,” said OHA President and CEO Beth Truett. “All tobacco products are harmful and we look forward to reaching even more young people with this important message.”

For the first time contest participants will be able to submit their slogans online by filling out a simple form. The winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa. and a $500 cash prize. In addition, OHA will make a $500 donation to the player’s Little League organization. For more information about the contest or to submit a slogan, please visit nstep.org/contest.

AAE and AAOMR Issue Position Statement on 3-D Imaging in Endodontics

Posted on July 1, 2015

CHICAGO – In response to new developments and research indicating the effectiveness of 3-D imaging for endodontic diagnosis and treatment, the American Association of Endodontists and the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology have issued a revised position statement on the use of cone beam-computed tomography in endodontics. The joint statement is an update to a 2010 position on CBCT use in endodontics.

An AAE-AAOMR committee reviewed the scientific literature from the past five years, and updated the position statement to include specific recommendations for the appropriate use of CBCT. The statement emphasizes that CBCT should not be used routinely for endodontic diagnosis or screening purposes in the absence of clinical signs and symptoms, and provides 11 specific recommendations and supporting evidence for when CBCT should be considered the imaging modality of choice. The statement is consistent with principles of ALARA—keeping patient radiation doses "as low as reasonably achievable," and notes that the patient's history and clinical examination must justify the use of CBCT by demonstrating that the benefits to the patient outweigh the potential risks.

"Endodontists continue to have excellent results with two-dimensional radiography," said AAE President Dr. Terryl A. Propper. "However, limited field of view CBCT does have a place in endodontics when dealing with more complex cases, which are reflected in the position statement. Our goal is to help AAE members and general dentists determine where it fits for them."

"Dental imaging is interlaced with endodontics not only for accurate diagnosis but for periodic evaluation of certain treatment outcomes," said AAOMR President Dr. Christos Angelopoulos. "Complex cases may require the use of advanced imaging modalities such as CBCT for proper diagnoses, although advanced imaging may not be necessary as a routine diagnostic tool. The collaboration of AAOMR and the AAE aims to provide guidance to general dentists and endodontists based on the available evidence. The main goal of the two organizations is simply to guide practitioners toward 'best practice'."

The current position statement was drafted by a special joint committee of leading experts in the area of CBCT in endodontics. Each organization appointed four representatives. Dr. Mohamed I. Fayad of the University of Illinois at Chicago, appointed by the AAE, and Dr. Madhu K. Nair of the University of Florida, appointed by the AAOMR, served as co-chairs of the committee. AAE Members Drs. Craig S. Hirschberg, Martin D. Levin and Richard A. Rubinstein also served on the committee, along with Drs. Sevin Barghan, Erika Benavides and Axel Ruprecht from the AAOMR. The position statement is available at www.aae.org/guidelines.

Dental Industry Leaders Show Commitment to Children's Oral Health as America's Toothfairy Board Members

Posted on July 1, 2015

(Charlotte, NC, July 1, 2015) –America's ToothFairy: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation® announced today the members of its Board of Directors for fiscal year 2016. Under the chairmanship of Henk van Duijnhoven, Senior Vice President at Danaher Corporation and its dental segment, KaVo Kerr Group, the America's ToothFairy Board of Directors is comprised of dedicated leaders of national and international organizations, universities and corporations concerned with improving children’s health and building healthier communities.

Alongside Mr. van Duijnhoven, other Board officers include Vice President James Ingebrand, President and General Manager of 3M ESPE Dental Division, Treasurer Paul A. Guggenheim, President of Patterson Dental Supply, Inc., and Secretary Robert Size, Senior Vice President of DENTSPLY International.

Gavin Shea, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for Wells Fargo Practice Finance, was newly elected to the Board and will serve a three-year term.

"We are proud to have assembled such an esteemed group of industry leaders and practitioners to guide the continued growth and development of this organization," said Fern Ingber, America's ToothFairy President and CEO. "Our Board members are enthusiastic supporters and advocates who, despite significant personal and professional obligations, have made a strong commitment to expand the mission of America's ToothFairy to millions more underserved children. We are very grateful for their passion, dedication and support."

Tufts: Sugary Drinks Linked to High Death Tolls Worldwide

Posted on July 1, 2015

BOSTON (June 29, 2015, 4 pm ET) — Consumption of sugary drinks may lead to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year worldwide, according to research published today in  the journal Circulation and previously presented as an abstract at the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention in 2013.

“Many countries in the world have a significant number of deaths occurring from a single dietary factor, sugar-sweetened beverages. It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., senior author of the study and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University in Boston.

In the first detailed global report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages, researchers estimated deaths and disabilities from diabetes, heart disease, and cancers in 2010. In this analysis, sugar sweetened beverages were defined as any sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, or homemade sugary drinks such as frescas, that contained at least 50 kcal per 8oz serving. 100 percent fruit juice was excluded.

Estimates of consumption were made from 62 dietary surveys including 611,971 individuals conducted between 1980 and 2010 across 51 countries, along with data on national availability of sugar in 187 countries and other information.  This allowed capture of geographical, gender and age variation in consumption levels of sugar-sweetened beverages in different populations.  Based on meta-analyses of other published evidence on health harms of sugar-sweetened beverages, the investigators calculated the direct impact on diabetes and the obesity-related effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

In 2010, the researchers estimate that sugar-sweetened beverages consumption may have been responsible for approximately:

133,000 deaths from diabetes

45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease

6,450 deaths from cancer

“Some population dietary changes, such as increasing fruits and vegetables, can be challenging due to agriculture, costs, storage, and other complexities. This is not complicated. There are no health benefits from sugar-sweetened beverages, and the potential impact of reducing consumption is saving tens of thousands of deaths each year,” Mozaffarian said.

The impact of sugar-sweetened beverages varied greatly between populations. At the extremes, the estimated percentage of deaths was less than 1 percent in Japanese over 65 years old, but 30 percent in Mexican adults younger than 45.

Of the 20 most populous countries, Mexico had the highest death rate attributable to sugar-sweetened beverages with an estimated 405 deaths per million adults (24,000 total deaths) and the U.S. ranked second with an estimated  125  deaths per million adults (25,000 total deaths).

About 76 percent of the estimated sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths occurred in low- or middle-income countries.

In nations of the Caribbean and Latin America, such as Mexico, homemade sugary drinks (e.g. frescas) are popular and consumed in addition to commercially prepared sugar-sweetened beverages. “Among the 20 countries with the highest estimated sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths, at least 8 were in Latin America and the Caribbean, reflecting the high intakes in that region of the world,” said Gitanjali Singh, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a research assistant professor at the Friedman School.

Overall, in younger adults, the percent of chronic disease attributed to sugar-sweetened beverages was higher than the percent in older adults.

“The health impact of sugar-sweetened beverage intake on the young is important because younger adults form a large sector of the workforce in many countries, so the economic impact of sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths and disability in this age group can be significant. It also raises concerns about the future. If these young people continue to consume high levels as they age, the effects of high consumption will be compounded by the effects of aging, leading to even higher death and disability rates from heart disease and diabetes than we are seeing now,” Singh said.

Other co-authors are Renata Micha, Ph.D.; Shahab Khatibzadeh, M.D.; Stephen Lim, Ph.D.; and Majid Ezzati, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

Singh was supported by a training grant from the  National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (DK007703) and a K00/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (1K99HL124321).  Initial data collection for this work was supported by a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases study. 

Singh GM, Micha R, Khatibzadek S, Lim S, Ezzati M, and Mozaffarian, D. “Estimated global, regional, and national disease burdens related to sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in 2010.”  Circulation. Published online ahead of print 06-29-15. DOI:10;1161/CirculationAHA.1140101636

IADR/AADR Publish Proceedings: Oral Health Inequalities in Africa and the Middle-East Region

Posted on June 30, 2015

Alexandria, Va., USA – The International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) have published the proceedings from the IADR symposium titled “Oral Health Inequalities in Africa and the Middle-East Region,” which took place June 24, 2014, in Cape Town, South Africa. This symposium was held in conjunction with the 92nd General Session of the IADR. The proceedings are published in the July issue of the IADR/AADR Advances in Dental Research, an E-supplement to the Journal of Dental Research. Eino Honkala, Kuwait University, served as a guest editor of this Advances issue. 

The symposium prepared a suitable situation analysis of the inequalities related to oral health in the Africa/Middle East Region by forming task groups for the different areas suggested by the IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network. The Task Groups identified and reviewed the existing knowledge bases and key gaps in knowledge and regional variations; priorities for both basic and applied research; and a five-year research agenda and goals for improvements in oral health and reducing inequalities in the IADR Africa/Middle East Region, with particular reference to inequalities between and within countries. 

“These reviews will be important to policymakers for investments in research, capacity building, risk factor reduction and health promotion aimed at reducing oral health inequalities in Africa and the Middle East,” said Guest Editor Eino Honkala. A companion editorial to the Advances issue can be found in the July Issue of the Journal of Dental Research authored by Dr. Honkala as well as Drs. Aubrey Sheiham and David Williams highlighting the impact this work is having on the Africa and Middle East Region. 

The symposium was made possible through support from the Borrow Milk Foundation and the IADR Regional Development Program. To read the proceedings from the Oral Health Inequalities in Africa and the Middle-East Region symposium, please visit http://adr.sagepub.com or contact Ingrid L. Thomas at ithomas@iadr.org to request PDFs of the articles. 

DENTSPLY Expands TruExpressionTM Denture Teeth

Posted on June 30, 2015

York, PA – DENTSPLY Prosthetics has announced the expansion of its popular TruExpression tooth line with new Highly Characterized mould forms. TruExpression denture teeth are constructed of durable MXL material, a highly cross-linked polymer, which delivers good wear resistance in both partial and full-denture cases. The new mould series is now available in 9-upper/6-lower anterior mould and 12-upper/lower posterior mould forms and delivers these benefits:


-Larger mould sizes (up to 50%)

-Wide food table

Long crown forms

-Greater aesthetic details


-Greater selection to match natural anatomy

-Improved occlusal function

-Natural dentition appearance

-Realistic occlusal details

TruExpression Denture Teeth offer a “Custom Deluxe” solution that provides “True-to-Life” shade blending that mimics natural dentition for the patient seeking the next step in improved dental appearance and functional durability.

For more information or to order Dentsply TruExpression teeth and the new highly characterized mould forms, please ask your DENTSPLY Prosthetics Sales Representative or contact DENTSPLY Prosthetics directly at 1-800-243-1942. TruExpression denture teeth are available for purchase via a broad distributor network – ask you dealer.

DENTSPLY International Inc. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of dental and other consumable medical device products. The Company believes it is the world's largest manufacturer of consumable dental products for the professional dental market. For over 115 years, DENTSPLY's commitment to innovation and professional collaboration has enhanced its portfolio of branded consumables and small equipment. Headquartered in the United States, the Company has global operations with sales in more than 120 countries. Visit www.dentsply.com for more information about DENTSPLY and its products.

DENTSPLY Prosthetics to Hold Facebook Contest

Posted on June 29, 2015

YORK, PA – DENTSPLY Prosthetics announced the DENTSPLY Truly EZ Denture Challenge Contest – a social media contest to pick one deserving best denture case winner each month from July through December 2015. Dental laboratory technicians can submit their best denture case using DENTSPLY Trubyte® denture teeth for posting on the DENTSPLY Truly EZ Denture Challenge Contest FACEBOOK page. Laboratories are encouraged to build support for their denture by reaching out to fellow dental technicians or dentists to have them cast a “like” vote for their image on the Truly EZ Denture Challenge Contest Facebook page. A monthly winner is selected based on the highest number of “likes” tallied. A $250 gift card will be awarded to the deserving dental laboratory technician. 

Any denture using DENTSPLY TruExpression® denture teeth will be awarded ten bonus “likes” to support the expansion of the TruExpression tooth line with new Highly Characterized mould forms. 

See the DENTSPLY Trubyte Truly EZ Denture Challenge Contest on Facebook for full details on the program. The challenge is open for all dental laboratories based in the US. 

Scion Dental Executives Address NHCAA on Preventing Pediatric Over Treatment in Medicaid Dentistry

Posted on June 29, 2015

MEQUON, Wisc. -- June 30, 2015 -- "The abuse of children enrolled in Medicaid dental programs is a continuing problem that needs to be addressed." This is the core message Craig Kasten, founder of Scion Dental and John Schaak, the company's new president, emphatically delivered during a recent webinar for members of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association® (NHCAA).

In their presentation "Potential for Abuse in Patient Restorative Services," Kasten and Schaak began by explaining the important differences between working with Medicaid and commercial dental plans. Scion Dental has more than 20 years of experience in Medicaid dental benefit administration and continues to lead the industry through its focus on innovative program management, exceptional technology, strategic provider and member outreach, and bottom-line results. The company also offers commercial benefit management services, giving it first-hand experience with both types of plans.

After setting this baseline, Kasten and Schaak then detailed several heartbreaking stories of children who had likely been abused by unscrupulous dental providers. Included were instances of children being painfully over-treated, sometimes without even the benefit of anesthesia, as a way of increasing dental provider revenue at the expense of Medicaid. The majority of these examples were taken from Scion Dental's own proprietary research, while others were ripped from the headlines of local and national media or chronicled in the reports following recent investigations by the U.S. Senate and the Office of the Inspector General.

"What makes this abuse particularly tragic is these young patients usually have no other options for dental care since only 15 percent of dentists participate in Medicaid dental programs overall," Kasten said. "In addition, their parents rely upon these dentists for their professional opinion and their guidance in making decisions about their child's dental care. These and other factors put children at tremendous risk from dentists who choose to take advantage of the system, especially since they know it can be difficult for payers to spot patterns of repeat fraud and abuse without the right tools to detect abuse."

The final section of the presentation offered a three-part game plan that NHCAA members and other healthcare and insurance executives can follow to discover and help prevent fraudulent and abusive practices. The plan includes education about the abuses and how to recognize them, industry collaboration between the NHCAA, the American Dental Association (ADA) and others to develop and enforce sanctions, and the use of technology-aided solutions to discover and prevent instances of abuse.

Among the technologies recommended is the use of a web-based portal that can generate profiles showing the frequency with which a given dentist provided a particular service, or services, within specific age bands compared to other Medicaid dentists in their area, or across the U.S. These age-banded profiles make it easier to spot those dentists who are exceeding the national average so they can be investigated and, if found guilty of wrongdoing, appropriately sanctioned. At the same time, they will also help identify those dentists who do a great job in providing services to the Medicaid program.

"The fee-for-service reimbursement system continues to reward over treatment at the expense of many dentists who do a terrific job in rendering care to this vulnerable population," Kasten said. "Taking advantage of anyone seeking care for financial gain is not just illegal; it is morally and ethically wrong. But taking advantage of children from under-served populations, and putting them through this type of unnecessary suffering, is simply unconscionable. Yet it goes on because certain providers have been able to hide in the shadows."

"We hope that by showing how technology can shine a bright spotlight on those perpetrating fraud and abuse, and highlighting those doing it right, we can help ensure the children of Medicaid beneficiaries are receiving the same level of care we all want for all of our children. We thank the NHCAA for the opportunity to make this presentation to their membership and look forward to working with them on this issue in the future," Kasten added. 


About Scion Dental

Scion Dental, part of the SKYGEN USA family of companies that specialize in benefit management, is a distinguished dental administration company focused on bringing next-generation claims management and technology solutions together for government entities and commercial payers that enable them to improve process efficiencies, achieve compliance, and dramatically reduce the cost of delivering benefits. Because of dedicated workflows focused on preventing fraud and abuse, millions of people, including America's children, receive the quality dental care they need. Scion Dental joins sister companies Wonderbox Technologies, Vestica Healthcare, American Therapy Administrators, Ocular Benefits and now, Hylis Pharmacy Solutions to comprise the SKYGEN USA brand. To learn more, visit www.sciondental.com.   

Benco Dental Announces Distribution Partnership with Amann Girrbach

Posted on June 29, 2015


PITTSTON, PA -- June 25, 2015 -- Benco Dental, the nation’s fastest growing privately owned dental distribution company, announces its distribution partnership agreement with Amann Girrbach, a pioneer in dental CAD/CAM technology and one of the leading innovators and preferred full-service providers in digital dental prosthetics. While the two companies have enjoyed success for years, they agree that a combined focus and alignment of synergies allow for one of the best offerings available to the market, and just at the right time.

“In meetings over the past several months, we have realized that we have the right people in both organizations, with the right expertise, to deliver a robust set of open solutions to our diverse customer base,” said Paul Jackson, VP of Marketing for Benco Dental. “Our agreement with Amann Girrbach affords both companies the chance to meet the needs of the dentist and the lab with leading edge equipment and materials.”

“I’m thrilled about the Benco Dental and Amann Girrbach partnership,” said Marco Ratz, CEO Amann Girrbach. “Benco Dental and Amann Girrbach have been in discussions for quite some time. Both companies have grown and evolved at such an accelerated rate in the past few years and we feel now is the perfect opportunity to focus our combined energies on delivering the right set of solutions to the market. The technology is ever-changing and we have seen a shift in the market; we are well equipped to mutually support it."

Amann Girrbach has proven itself to be a global leader and innovator of CAD/CAM equipment, materials and technology. Benco Dental has enjoyed 84 years of success in the U.S. market because of a commitment to deliver best-in-class products and solutions to a diverse customer base.

“When reviewing solutions to offer to our customers and prospects, we feel that Amann Girrbach, with their open architecture, truly allows for a seamless integration of digital function for doctors. Not only that, but no matter the size of the lab, we are confident that Amann Girrbach’s full product line is uniquely suited to any need or sophistication,” said Mark Nelson, CAD/CAM Product Manager at Benco Dental.

“We realize that supporting the U.S. market is about more than just providing a full line of integrated solutions to our customers and prospects – it is about relationships, service and continuous dialogue with our customers to continue to innovate to meet demand. We are fortunate to have a greater reach to the voice of the customer through our distribution partners. Their feedback continues to fuel the innovation of our R&D team in Koblach, Austria – one of the largest in the industry – and we are excited to continue to innovate and deliver solutions to the market,” said Kat Dunham, Director of Operations and Service at Amann Girrbach America Inc.

About Benco Dental

Benco Dental, headquartered in Northeastern Pennsylvania, is the largest privately-owned dental distribution company in the United States, offering a full array of supplies, equipment and services to dentists across the nation. Founded in 1930 by Benjamin Cohen, the company has remained family-owned and focused on its unique mission to ‘deliver success, smile after smile.’ Over the past decade, Benco has been the nation’s fastest growing dental distributor, now servicing more than 35,000 dentists and dental laboratories. Within the past 84 years, the company has grown from a single downtown location to a national network of more than 65 regional locations, five distribution centers, and two design showrooms to assist dentists in the planning and construction of a new office. Named one of Pennsylvania’s ‘Best Places to Work’ for 11 of the past 12 years, Benco Dental is proud to boast a highly skilled team of more than 400 professionally-trained sales representatives and over 300 factory-trained service technicians. For details, visit www.benco.com or call (800) GO-BENCO.

About Amann Girrbach America, Inc.

As a pioneer in dental CAD/CAM technology, Amann Girrbach is one of the leading innovators and preferred full-service providers in digital dental prosthetics. With its high degree of expertise in development and commitment to customer orientation, the ambitious company from Vorarlberg, Austria, creates sophisticated system solutions for tomorrow's practice routine. Maximum customer satisfaction and a constantly increasing number of partners in over 90 countries worldwide speaks for itself. Amann Girrbach AG has long since proven itself in the global dental sector as a guarantee for the highest quality innovative material, excellent quality products and sophisticated system solutions. Visit Amann Girrbach America, Inc.'s website at www.amanngirrbach.com or call them at (800) 851-3179. 

New Study: Alcohol Consumption Can Have a Negative Impact on Gum Health

Posted on June 29, 2015

CHICAGO (June 29, 2015)—In a recent study published ahead of print in the Journal of Periodontology, Brazilian researchers have found that consumption of alcoholic beverages can have adverse effects on the health of a person’s gums, aggravating existing cases of severe periodontal disease or increasing periodontal disease risk factors. Moreover, previous research indicates that poor oral hygiene is a common trait in alcohol users, thus increasing drinkers’ susceptibility for developing periodontal disease.

“Although the topic of alcohol use and its effect on periodontal health requires further research, this report offers valuable insight on why our patients should care for their gums and teeth, especially if they enjoy the occasional drink,” remarked Joan Otomo-Corgel, DDS, MPH, President of the American Academy of Periodontology.

In the study entitled, “Alcohol Consumption and Periodontitis: Quantification of Periodontal Pathogens and Cytokines,” researchers assessed a sample of 542 regular alcohol users, occasional drinkers, and non-drinkers both with and without periodontitis.

Some key findings noted in the study include:

·       The severity of a regular alcohol user’s existing periodontitis correlated incrementally with the frequency of his or her alcohol consumption. As a result, these individuals were found to require additional periodontal treatment.

·       Drinkers without periodontitis saw an increased incidence of gums that bled with gentle manipulation.

·       More frequently than the non-drinkers in the study, drinkers who did not have periodontitis presented clinical attachment levels of four millimeters or greater.

·       Drinkers without periodontitis exhibited a higher presence of plaque than their non-drinking counterparts. Study researchers noted that alcohol’s drying effect on the mouth may contribute to the formation of plaque that can trigger an inflammatory response in the gums. 

“Alcohol slows the production of saliva, which helps neutralize the acids produced by plaque, and an accumulation of these acids can lead to the early stages of periodontal disease,” continued Dr. Otomo-Corgel. “For patients who are diagnosed with periodontal disease, it’s imperative that they are encouraged to be completely honest about their drinking habits. This information can guide in determining appropriate treatment and next steps.”

A full version of “Alcohol Consumption and Periodontitis: Quantification of Periodontal Pathogens and Cytokines,” study can be found in an upcoming print edition of the Journal of Periodontology.

For more information about periodontal disease, please visit www.perio.org

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