Newly Found Primate Teeth Take a Big Bite Out of the Evolutionary Tree of Life

Posted on March 1, 2017

Fossil hunters have found part of an ancient primate jawbone related to lemurs -- the primitive primate group distantly connected to monkeys, apes and humans, a USC researcher said.

Biren Patel, an associate professor of clinical cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, has been digging for fossils in a paleontologically rich area of Kashmir in northern India for six years. Although paleontologists have scoured this region for a century, relics of small extinct primates were rarely found or studied.

Scientists named the new species Ramadapis sahnii and said that it existed 11 to 14 million years ago. It is a member of the ancient Sivaladapidae primate family, consumed leaves and was about the size of a house cat, said Patel, coauthor of the new study in the Journal of Human Evolution.

"Among the primates, the most common ones in the Kashmir region are from a genus called Sivapithecus, which were ancestral forms of orangutans," Patel said. "The fossil we found is from a different group on the primate family tree -- one that is poorly known in Asia. We are filling an ecological and biogeographical gap that wasn't really well documented. Every little step adds to the understanding of our human family tree because we're also primates."

The last primate found in the area was 38 years ago. So, in addition to being a new species, this is the first primate fossil found in the area in decades.

"In the past, people were interested in searching for big things -- things they could show off to other people," Patel said. "A lot of the small fossils were not on their radar."

The inch-and-a-quarter partial mandible belongs to a primate weighing less than 11 pounds that had outlived its other adapidae cousins found in North America, Europe and Africa by millions of years.

"New primates are always a hot topic, and this one is the first of its kind from its area in Asia, which has significant consequences for understanding primate evolution in the Old World," said Michael Habib, an assistant professor of clinical cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine who was not involved in the study.

The question that remains is how the ecosystem in northern India supported this species when its relatives elsewhere were disappearing or had already gone extinct. Future fieldwork and recovering more fossil primates will help answer this question.

"People want to know about human origins, but to fully understand human origins, you need to understand all of primate origins, including the lemurs and these Sivaladapids," Patel said. "Lemurs and sivaladapids are sister groups to what we are -- the anthropoids -- and we are all primates."

Researchers from Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, Arizona State University, Stony Brook University and Panjab University also contributed to this study, which was supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the Institute of Human Origins and funding from some of the involved universities.

Exclusive Video: On the Scene at Chicago Midwinter Meeting 2017

Posted on March 1, 2017

The 152nd Chicago Midwinter Meeting, held February 23-25, made another strong showing this year, with a reported 28,946 attendees focused on one thing: oral healthcare. With over 600 exhibitors, more than 250 courses, and major networking and socializing opportunities, this year’s event was again the place to be for dental professionals.

Check out our video tour of the highlights, which include the Oral Health America gala, Women in Dentistry breakfast, the major receptions, product launches, live patient demonstrations, and expert interviews. 

Digital Implant Workflow Includes Nobel Biocare and Elos Medtech Scan Bodies

Posted on February 28, 2017

SAN JOSE, CA -- Align Technology, Inc. has expanded workflow options for the iTero intraoral scanner by announcing the availability of a digital workflow for Nobel Biocare implants. iTero customers can now order Nobel Biocare implant cases through their dental labs. Dental labs can now order NobelProcera® single-unit restorations for their doctors, when using NobelProcera's open access partnership with Elos scan bodies and 3Shape's Dental Designer software. 

Elos Accurate® scan bodies are specifically made for digital scanners and are compatible with multiple implant platforms, including those of Nobel Biocare. Now a full selection of Elos Accurate® scan bodies are available on iTero scanners. Incorporating NobelProcera's implant- and cement-based single-unit portfolio and Elos Medtech's quality scan bodies further enhances iTero's growing presence within the restorative dental market.

"Integrating the digital workflow of our market leading iTero scanners with Nobel Biocare implants and Elos Medtech scan bodies is a natural fit and enables all parties involved to deliver restorative solutions to the dental community at the highest standard possible," said Raphael PascaudAlign Technology chief marketing officer. "Align is delighted to work with Nobel Biocare and Elos Medtech to offer dental practices, surgical specialists, and laboratories advanced digital workflows that enhance their patient care and improve clinical outcomes. We will continue our ongoing collaboration to further expand workflow options for customers in the future."

The Nobel Biocare implant workflow option is now available on the iTero scanner in North America and Europe. For more information, please visit

Dentsply Sirona Opens new Production Facility in Tokyo, Japan

Posted on February 28, 2017

Tokyo, Japan - The new facility is the first to manufacture the complete Dentsply Sirona Implants digital solutions portfolio at the same site and is an important step in the effort to provide better and faster service and support for customers.

In order to continue to efficiently serve the dental community, the new production facility is an important part of the future development. “We have really built this production facility for the future. We have estimated the production capacity to manage a three- or four-fold increase of current sales. This means that initially we will probably also support other markets in Asia and the Pacific,” says Mitsutoshi Onoda, Vice President, Commercial Lead of Implants, Orthodontics and Prosthetic at Dentsply Sirona Japan.

From the start, the new facility will contain manufacturing equipment for Simplant guided surgery, Atlantis abutments and Atlantis suprastructures. Design and production locally will also shorten the lead times to customers, and thus patients. “Today we have a turn-around-time of about 7 days including design, production, verification and shipping, as we need to use our facilities in Sweden, the United States or Belgium. Now we can offer our customers delivery within 48 hours, and with the same high quality,” says Onoda.

Lars Henrikson, Group Vice President Dentsply Sirona Implants, concurs, “It is very important to us to be able to offer customers our total solutions portfolio, including our implant systems and digital solutions. With this world-class manufacturing facility, we can serve dental professionals and their patients better.”

The opening of the new facility is in conjunction with the World Summit Tour—the scientific congress on implant dentistry. Tokyo is the first stop of the World Summit Tour that will also visit San Diego, Nice and Shanghai during 2017.

Visit for more information.

Year-Long DENTSPLY/Sirona Merger Offers end to end Solutions for Better, Safer, and Faster Care

Posted on February 28, 2017

Bensheim/Salzburg - Only one year since the merger of DENTSPLY and Sirona, the Company is offering end to end solutions brought together through enabling technologies and procedural solutions for better, safer, and faster care. 

According to Michael Augins, Group Senior Vice President for the United States Commercial Organization, "It is a major challenge to unite two successful companies, to form one global team and to create a single entity that brings out the best of both of its predecessors. But our combination has given us new perspectives and has created myriad opportunities for both the company and our customers.“

New product launches for thorough dental care

At the Chicago Midwinter Meeting 2017, Dentsply Sirona presented a new integrated preventive care concept. This summer, the Cavitron built-in ultrasonic scaler will be available with the Intego line of Treatment Centers for fast and effective removal of the most stubborn calculus. The Intego and Intego pro Ambidextrous models are available in the US and offer modern dental practice everything necessary for professional dental hygiene, dental aesthetics and dental care.

Proper dental care starts with a safe diagnosis. Dentsply Sirona offers innovative imaging systems with new user-friendly applications. In Chicago, the Company showed its Orthophos SL with 3D I-X Imaging for the first time. This enables acquiring 3D information at the same dose level as 2D Images, which is appropriate for a large number of clinical indications.

Leveraging expertise to create innovative products and solutions

The CEREC Zirconia Workflow, launched by Dentsply Sirona at the Midwinter Meeting in Chicago just last year, enables dentists to make and deploy full zirconium restorations in only single visit. A sintering furnace was developed with the CEREC SpeedFire: The sintering process for a crown takes less than 15 minutes to complete. To make CEREC Zirconia easier to use for dentists, Dentsply Sirona combined all the components that are needed for a seamless workflow into a starter kit: the Celtra Duo blocks, the new CEREC SpeedGlaze glaze spray and the new cement Calibra Universal – an ideal set-up for customers. A current survey involving 300 dentists in the USA showed that 70% of practitioners are aware that CEREC now also allows all-zirconium restorations to be made in only one session.

Another demonstration of the technological advances of this merger is the new 3D Endo Software. It is the first CBCT-based software with which complex endodontic cases can be planned. In combination with Orthophos 3D devices and the integrated file database, treatments can be simulated and optimized. Various typical questions asked by endodontics specialists can now be answered with much more certainty thanks to the new software. 

Visit for more information

Dr. Jeff Rouse Joins Spear Education Faculty

Posted on February 28, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Spear Education announces that Dr. Jeff Rouse, a prosthodontist and expert in interdisciplinary treatment and airway management, has joined its roster of faculty members.

“I have been practicing dentistry with Jeff for the last year, and I am very excited that he can join our resident faculty,” said Dr. Gregg Kinzer. “His work in airway is groundbreaking, making him an excellent fit with our current faculty.”

While his campus lectures and Spear Online courses are still in the planning stages, Rouse did share that he hopes to raise awareness with airway evaluation and management strategies he refers to as “sleep prosthodontics.”  This unique process involves three core principles: prevent, control, and resolve airway issues.

One of the biggest fears dentists have when talking about airway is that they think it only has to do with sleep, Rouse explained. He has found that dentists don’t want to jump into the world of sleep dentistry – medical billing, working with physicians, making appliances, etc. 

“Every single dentist has made a nightguard,” he said. “What they forget is that when the patient wears it, they wear it when they’re asleep. It’s a sleep appliance; they have been making sleep appliances their entire career and didn’t recognize it.”

The protocol he teaches aims to help dentists realize that airway issues can be addressed in a variety of ways rather than just making a repositioning appliance. His six-step protocol walks dentists through an evaluation and management strategy that ranges from simple options to manage airway issues to progressively more complex ways – e.g. sleep appliances. Anywhere during the six-step protocol a patient can be controlled, which then helps  the dentist figure out  different treatment option for more long term resolution, e.g. orthodontics, orthognathic surgery, etc.

“And I remind them in that last step, they don’t have to make a sleep appliance – it’s just a dental appliance,” Rouse said.

While he said he’s honored by the opportunity to be a part of the Spear faculty, Rouse’s main goal is the same as it was when he started researching airway eight years ago.

“I just want to get this information out there,” he said. “To have the opportunity to deliver it myself … that’s an incredible experience.”

Read Dr. Jeff Rouse’s full biography here or learn about his seminar here.

Cabinet-Mounted Rear Delivery System Adds new Configuration

Posted on February 28, 2017

Somerset, NJ– Belmont Equipment, a dental manufacturer that specializes in operatory equipment, unveiled the all-new EVOGUE Cabinet Mounted Rear Delivery System at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting.

“As the newest configuration in our EVOGUE Series, the Cabinet Mounted Rear Delivery System is designed to work seamlessly within an operatory environment,” said Bart Gammons, National Sales Manager of Belmont Equipment. “Each configuration brings efficiency, comfort, and productivity to the forefront; helping practitioners achieve a versatile and functional workspace.”

EVOGUE mounts to the rear treatment cabinets within the operatory. Doctors have access to 4 handpiece adjustable holders with a master ON/OFF switch and handpiece flush and assistants can utilize a syringe, HVE, and SE on the vac-pac. A built-in bottle system conveniently brings water to your workspace and is refillable with a quick disconnect feature. Each system is height-adjustable to ensure that operators are comfortable and can effectively work in their ideal position. The EVOGUE cabinet mounted configuration works best positioned on Belmont’s D66CM, K66, ECO6, and E6 Cabinetry.

Research Explores Lasting Effects of Early Preventive Dental Care in Medicaid-Enrolled Children

Posted on February 28, 2017

Research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health suggests preventive dental care provided by a dentist for children before the age of 2 enrolled in Medicaid in Alabama may lead to more care long term.

Early preventive dental care was associated with more frequent subsequent treatment for tooth decay, more visits and more spending on dental care, compared with no early preventive dental care for children, according to a study.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dental Association, and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend children see a dentist once baby teeth begin to come in; but limited evidence is available about the effectiveness of early preventive dental care or whether primary care providers can deliver it. Despite the focus on preventive dental care, dental caries, such as tooth decay or cavities, are on the rise in children under the age of 5.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, compared tooth decay-related treatment, visits and dental expenditures for children receiving preventive dental care from a dentist or primary care provider, and those receiving no preventive dental care.

Authors analyzed Medicaid data from 19,658 children in Alabama, 25.8% of whom received preventive dental care from a dentist before age 2.

Compared with similar children without early preventive dental care, children receiving early preventive dental care from a dentist had more frequent tooth decay-related treatment (20.6% versus 11.3%), a higher rate of visits and higher annual dental expenditures ($168 versus $87).

Preventive care delivered by primary care providers was not significantly associated with tooth decay-related treatment or expenditures, according to the results.

“This study highlights the need for continued careful evaluation of the evidence basis for clinical recommendations,” said Justin Blackburn, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy at UAB. “What we find is that we cannot definitively say whether early preventive dental visits reduce tooth decay with the available data.”

The study had limitations, including that it did not measure other benefits of preventive dental care such as improved quality of life, or include information on oral health behaviors such as teeth brushing. The study also did not include information regarding water fluoridation.

“Adding to a limited body of literature on early preventive dental care, we observed little evidence of the benefits of this care, regardless of the provider. In fact, preventive dental care from dentists appears to increase caries-related treatment, which is surprising. Additional research among other populations and beyond administrative data may be necessary to elucidate the true effects of early preventive dental care,” the study concluded.

Working with Blackburn on the effort were Michael Morrisey, PhD, of the Texas A&M School of Public Health and Bisakha Sen, PhD, of UAB.

Straumann Implant Bars and Bridges now Available to 3Shape Users

Posted on February 27, 2017

Copenhagen/Basel – 3Shape and Straumann announced that 3Shape users can now scan and design using their 3Shape scanner and obtain original Straumann implant bars and implant bridges from Straumann’s manufacturing global facilities.

Dental lab technicians using 3Shape Dental System software can access the original Straumann implant bar and bridge libraries directly in the 3Shape software. The 3Shape design files are then sent to Straumann global production facilities for the manufacture of Straumann original implant bars and implant bridges. Straumann CARES Screw-Retained Bridges and Bars allow for the construction and manufacturing of complex superstructures. They are available in two materials, titanium grade 4 and cobalt-chromium alloy (coron) for the restoration of Straumann implants.

“With the partnership, 3Shape users gain more options and importantly, now have the opportunity to design and receive original Straumann implant bars and implant bridges,” said Flemming Thorup, President and CEO at 3Shape. 

Frank Hemm, Executive Vice President Customer Solutions and Education at Straumann commented: “Our strategy to adopt an open system offers significant benefits to 3Shape users. Straumann CARES prosthetics offers them flexibility and a very high level of precision and quality. With adding SRBB portfolio we nearly completed our offering also to 3Shape customers.”

The integration marks a further cooperation between the two companies. In 2014, the two announced the integration of Straumann CARES libraries with 3Shape Dental System software. Original Straumann libraries (DME files) for implant bars and bridges will be available free of charge with the Dental System 2017 software – expected release May 2017.

Ivoclar Vivadent and Harvest Dental Form Strategic Partnership

Posted on February 27, 2017

Ivoclar Vivadent and Harvest Dental announced that they have formed a strategic partnership, allowing Ivoclar Vivadent to promote and distribute Harvest Dental laboratory products.

"This partnership symbolizes our continued support of bringing innovative products and services to the dental laboratory profession," said COO Sarah Anders.

“Ivoclar Vivadent views the dental world in a unique and profound way that is very attractive to us,” said Sasha Der Avanessian, CEO Harvest Dental.  "They’re a visionary company that lives to uncover new technical insights through an esthetic lens, and their leadership position speaks for itself."

Leading Harvest brands include:

  • Temp Esthetic - a layered PMMA for esthetic provisionals. 

  • Wax Press- a premium modeling wax offering synergy between digital and analog workflows.

  • Fusion- a line of veneering brushes made of a hybrid Kolinsky.

  • Surfactant - a wetting agent for pressing ceramic patterns with high definition.

  • P3- a one step rotary polisher that shines e.max and zirconia in seconds.

  • Yellostone- a rotary abrasive for detailed contouring of e.max and zirconia.

  • Super Peg II- a firing putty for all-ceramics that eliminates challenging cleanup.  

"This is a great opportunity for Harvest," added Der Avanessian,  "We can now fully align our products and future developments with the Ivoclar materials that inspire all of us, creating long-term synergies and exciting new avenues for growth."

As part of this partnership, laboratories will be able to purchase these products by calling Ivoclar Vivadent (800-533-6825) or visiting their website at

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