Jul/Aug 2009
Volume 5, Issue 7

In the News...

As part of DENTSPLY’s 110-Year Anniversary Celebration, DENTSPLY Prosthetics commemorated the Corporate Anniversary with the grand opening of the Compartis® USA milling center on June 23, 2009.

Compartis® USA is a centralized milling center that offers CAD/CAM outsourcing services for zirconia and precious metals to dental laboratory customers. The state-of-the art facility was recently added for expansion into this rapidly growing, high-technology platform. The ability to mill products using CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) equipment provides customers with precision products, speed of service, and a cost-effective, highly efficient process for milling.

Compartis® USA’s expansion has created the opportunity to provide new services for existing customers and the ability to cultivate new users. These options include the capability to provide shaded zirconia copings, as well as the ability to receive files from various open CAD systems (also known as open architecture). On average, restorations are returned to the customer within 72 hours or less.

Compartis® USA’s Smart Solutions continue to enable laboratoriess of any size to seamlessly integrate cutting-edge CAD/CAM technology into their existing production systems with minimal capital expense.

For more information regarding the Compartis® USA CAD/CAM milling services, contact Rebecca Powell at 717-849-7806 or rpowell@dentsply.com.

DTA Launches Awareness Campaign

The Dental Trade Alliance (DTA), a nonprofit dental trade association representing leading North American dental manufacturers, distributors, and laboratories, recently launched its “Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait” awareness campaign in an effort to alert consumers about the importance of maintaining regular dental checkups and recommended treatments in a weak economy. According to DTA CEO Gary Price, “The current economic climate is causing many people to consider postponing treatment plans recommended by their dentists or to skip dental visits altogether.”

Leading US dental distributors have pledged their support to this important initiative. DTA is also counting on support from members in other areas, including funding for direct-to-consumer advertising in national newspapers, television, and radio. To pledge your support to the Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait Campaign, contact Gary Price at 703 379-775 or garyprice@dentaltradealliance.org. See Page 52 for more details.

On May 15, the Volpe Prize for 2009 was awarded to Jill Bashutski of the University of Michigan. The Volpe Prize, which is named in honor of Dr. Anthony Volpe, is a $3,500 award honoring excellence in clinical research in periodontology by students in accredited dental schools or dental postgraduate programs in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The prize is co-sponsored by The Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry and the Colgate-Palmolive Company. One abstract from each dental academic institution in North America is accepted for review by a panel of five judges. From these abstracts, 12 finalists are selected to make oral presentations at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Each finalist provides a 15-minute presentation based on the abstract, followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer period. Each finalist receives a $500 travel grant; the winner of the competition receives the cash prize and a certificate of recognition. The 2009 runners-up were Pooja Maney of The Ohio State University and Herman Thang of the University of Toronto. Competition for the next Volpe Prize, to be awarded May 20, 2011, is now open.

Dental Education in a Down Economy

In the June installment of his monthly column in Charting Progress, the American Dental Education Association’s newsletter, executive director Richard W. Valachovic, DMD, MPH, looked at how dental schools and allied dental programs are weathering the economic downturn. Following is an excerpt from Dr. Valachovic’s letter:

An April report from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) painted a grim economic picture for our public higher education institutions. It’s a topic that’s never far from any of our minds, and one we’ll examine in detail at the 51st Annual ADEA Deans’ Conference in November.

AGB surveyed the governing boards of 225 US public universities and university systems, finding that 41% of university leaders have taken or are considering across-the-board budget cuts. Other steps to cope with budget shortfalls include hiring freezes or restrictions (80%), postponed capital spending (48%), layoffs of part-time faculty members (22%), and reductions in academic programs (21%). Forty percent reported they were increasing tuition by an average of 6.65%.

While the survey’s findings pertain specifically to public institutions, we know that private and state-related schools are facing similar difficulties. Conversations with deans and faculty members who attended AADR-ADEA Advocacy Day in April confirmed this. Many were anticipating July 1 cuts in state subsidies to their schools ranging from 2 to 40%, with many in the 10 to 20% range.

Times are tough for many of ADEA’s corporate partners as well. Some have been forced to cut back dramatically, but it seems the majority are holding their own. The fortunate few who have seen their financial picture improve have generously agreed to increase their support of our Association. “They appreciate that others may not be able to do as much as they could in the past,” says Dr. Ron Rupp, ADEA Senior Director for External Relations and Institutional Advancement, “and supporting ADEA’s effort in advancing excellence in dental and allied dental education remains at the center of what our corporate partners want to do to support the profession.” We’ve added 13 new companies to the ADEA Corporate Council since the middle of 2008, despite the economic downturn—and, needless to say, we are delighted with this growth...

To read Dr. Valachovic’s comments in their entirety, visit the Industry News section at www.insidedentistry.net.

June 23, 2009 marked the 110-year Anniversary of DENTSPLY International. Concurrent with the Corporate celebration, DENTSPLY Prosthetics commemorated the milestone with the grand opening of the division’s museum. The DENTSPLY Prosthetics Museum, housed in the former lobby area of the 500 West College Avenue building, showcases dental artifacts that date back to the division’s beginning in 1907. The display memorializes the division’s rich history and current technologies through ten educational and interactive vignettes including: Founding Fathers; Evolution Gallery; Porcelain Tooth Production; Window in Time; Tooth Display; Plastic Tooth and Wax Manufacturing; Vault Area Interactive; Equipment; DENTSPLY Prosthetics Today; and Face Shape Interactive.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Jan Slor, vice president and general manager of the division, dedicated the museum to the many loyal employees, past and present, who have shared their talents with DENTSPLY. In honor of the employees, several active, long-standing associates were invited to cut the ribbon, officially marking the opening.

The DENTSPLY Prosthetics Museum is open to employees, as well as customers and guests by appointment.

For more information about the DENTSPLY Prosthetics Museum, contact Kimberly Violante at 717-849-4490 or kviolante@dentsply.com.

Nearly two in three US adults (63%) think it is important that dental coverage is part of an overall health reform package, and 40% say it is very important, according to a new public opinion survey commissioned by Oral Health America. The survey, sponsored by the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation and conducted by Harris Interactive®, was released today at the launch of National Smile Month, the largest independent international campaign promoting good dental care including brushing, regular dental visits, and healthy food choices as well as the need for effective oral healthcare policies.

“As routines change for summer, this is a great time of year to focus on dental care habits, spend extra time with our children in teaching them to brush their teeth, and to ask our elected officials to support healthcare for our entire body—including our mouth,” said Oral Health America’s president and CEO, Beth Truett, during the National Smile Month launch at the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore, MD.

The survey shows that the vast majority of adults (92%) understand that the lack of proper dental care can lead to overall poor health, and that four in five adults (81%) agree that dental benefits are as important as general medical benefits in an overall healthcare benefit package.

The Oral Health America Dental Survey was conducted by telephone within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Oral Health America between April 29 and May 3, 2009, among 1,011 adults ages 18 years and older. A full methodology is available.

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