Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Morning Drill: November 29, 2011

Patients use AcceleDent(TM) for 20 minutes per day, typically while reading, watching television, listening to music, working on the computer or doing school work

Good Morning!

OK, I am back from my Thanksgiving holiday hiatus.

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments for your day.

Brace Yourself: AcceleDent Device Could Cut Orthodontic Treatment Time in Half
Dental braces work by applying force to teeth in order to gradually realign them by reshaping surrounding bone. Although the time it takes for patients to wear braces varies considerably, it generally takes longer than one year. To help speed the process, OrthoAccel Technologies (Houston, TX) has developed the AcceleDent system, which uses vibration to help the process go considerably faster. The AcceleDent is a removable and non-invasive appliance that a patient wears in the mouth for 20 minutes daily. The device, which recently was cleared by the FDA, will soon be available in the United States, according to the manufacturer.

DenMat has new ownership

DenMat, a cosmetic dentistry manufacturing company founded in Santa Maria 37 years ago by Robert Ibsen, was acquired earlier this month by Centre Partners and Mill Street Partners LLC.

Centre Partners is a private-equity firm located in New York City. Mill Street Partners is a Los Angeles-based company that provides investment advise to makers of dental and medical devices.

Steve Semmelmayer, Robert Cartagena and Todd Tiberi are the founders of Mill Street Partners and will take over as DenMat’s new leadership. Semmelmayer has been named the company’s new chief executive officer, while Cartagena will take over as chief operating officer and Tiberi chief administrative officer.

The three men comprised the leadership team at Discus Dental, a company that offered products similar to DenMat that was purchased by Philips Oral Healthcare.

Founded in 1974, DenMat is best known for its teeth-whitening products, Snap-On Smile and Lumineers, its minimally invasive porcelain tooth veneers.

A Closer Look at Teeth May Mean More Fillings

With increasingly sophisticated detection technology, dentists are finding — and treating — tooth abnormalities that may or may not develop into cavities. While some describe their efforts as a proactive strategy to protect patients from harm, critics say the procedures are unnecessary and painful, and are driving up the costs of care.

“A better approach is watchful waiting,” said Dr. James Bader, a research professor at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. “Examine it again in six months.”

Every time a dentist drills into a tooth, he added, “you’re condemning that person to a refilling” years down the road.

An incipient carious lesion is the initial stage of structural damage to the enamel, usually caused by a bacterial infection that produces tooth-dissolving acid.

The lesion doesn’t always lead to a full-blown cavity, which entails decay of the layer right beneath the enamel, called dentin. Mineral-containing saliva can repair these lesions, especially when bolstered with fluoride.

Many experts think it doesn’t make sense to operate in the early stages of decay. “If you don’t have any kind of demonstrable collapse of the enamel wall, then you shouldn’t put in a filling,” Dr. Bader said.

Yet a majority of practitioners are inclined to do so. According to a 2010 National Institutes of Health survey, 63 percent of more than 500 practicing dentists said they would operate on a tooth with decay that had not progressed beyond the enamel, even if the patient had a history of good dental hygiene.

Henry Schein Dental Launches Total Health™ Beyond the Mouth

Henry Schein, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC), the largest provider of health care products and services to office-based practitioners, today announced the launch of its Total Health™ Beyond the Mouth program, an integrated wellness and education program that informs patients of the integral link between oral health and total health, and assists dental professionals in uncovering potential systemic health problems, including periodontal disease, oral cancer, sleep disorders, heart disease, and diabetes.  Henry Schein Dental's Total Health Beyond the Mouth program was developed in collaboration with the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, an organization of health care leaders and health professionals dedicated to the relationship of oral health and whole body health.

Henry Schein Dental's Total Health Beyond the Mouth includes the Total Health Checklist, which, together with screening and diagnostics, assists dental professionals in assessing a patient's oral health, its impact on their total health, and uncovering health problems.  After completing the checklist, patients are given the Total Health Brochure, a powerful educational tool about the integral relationship between oral health and total health, the significance of periodontal disease, and the close links between other health conditions and oral health.  If any potential issues are uncovered through the dental team's review of the checklist, the patient is provided with a laminated Total Health Patient Guide in preparation for a health discussion following treatment, including a discussion of further screening and treatment options.  For example, should a potential case of sleep apnea be uncovered through the Total Health process, further screening and treatment could include Henry Schein Sleep Complete, the turnkey solution that delivers all of the information and products necessary for the successful implementation of dental sleep medicine in the dental practice.

Enjoy your morning!

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