New Lincoln Financial Group Dental Research Identifies Opportunities for Dentists to Gain and Retain Patients

Posted on October 17, 2017

Study shows technology and user-experience are critical for Millennials when seeking or staying with a dentist, but may often be missing in today’s dental-care landscape

Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) today released a new set of results from its 2017 Dental Research Series – a new body of research focused on dental insurance and dental care. The first installment of the series, released in June, looked at a variety of dental-related topics from a consumer perspective, while these subsequent results uncover dentists’ and employers’ points of view. The latest findings reveal several gaps – differences in perspectives among these groups – highlighting some key opportunities for dental offices to gain and retain patients, and providing guidance for employers to better meet their employees’ expectations.

“Comparing consumers’ dental needs and wants to the reality of what they’re getting today provides an interesting look at the opportunity dentists and employers have to differentiate themselves in the market,” said Christopher Stevens, head of Dental Product Management at Lincoln Financial Group. “Dentists can shape their practices to deliver a customer experience that will attract new patients and keep them coming back. Employers can boost employee retention and satisfaction by offering the right dental benefits, and by proactively communicating about those benefits. And consumers benefit in the end – they’ll get the right information they need to leverage dental insurance benefits and be proactive about their oral health.”


Patient Expectations vs. Dentist Perceptions

Lincoln Financial’s consumer study found that patients’ criteria for choosing and staying with a dentist goes beyond the basics. While quality of care, office environment and being in-network for insurance are all important, the study found that technology and user experience are becoming increasingly critical, particularly among Millennials. The problem is, many dentists aren’t necessarily providing the experience younger consumers say they want.

Websites are key for this audience. Forty percent of Millennials say a dentist’s website is “very” important, compared to 14 percent of Baby Boomers. Most dentists today do have websites (84 percent) – but, they aren’t always providing the information patients are looking for, such as:

A list of accepted insurance carriers: 74 percent of Millennials want to see this on a dentist’s website, but just 43 percent of dental offices feature this information online.

The ability to make/change appointments: 71 percent of Millennials want to do this online. Only 47 percent of dental offices currently offer this feature.

Average costs of procedures: 65 percent of Millennials want this information, but a mere 18 percent of dental offices offer it on their websites today.

In addition to a robust web experience, the study found that consumers would greatly appreciate guidance from their dentists on understanding and using dental insurance. A whopping 96 percent of consumers and 99 percent of Millennials say they would find it valuable if their dental office provided guidance or help understanding dental insurance plans. However, just 34 percent of dental offices strongly agree that they currently help guide patients on treatments with their insurance coverage in mind.


Click here for an infographic overview of these findings.


Employee Needs vs. Employer Views

Employers also play a major role in consumers’ dental experiences. Seventy-five percent of employees say they expect their employer to provide education about their dental coverage, but only half say their employer is a good resource in helping them understand their benefits.

To educate employees on dental benefits, about half of employers provide opportunities to meet with human resources (50 percent), 45 percent send emails and 32 percent host health/wellness fairs.

Primarily, employees are looking for general information about what’s covered under their plans (65 percent) and they would also appreciate a list of in-network dentists with contact information (54 percent).

“It’s clear that consumers are looking for information and help – in understanding their dental coverage and how it works when actually visiting the dentist. In today’s environment, they want a lot of that information available at their fingertips,” said Stevens. “Employers and dentists can help facilitate this understanding by providing the information consumers want, where they want it. By taking this approach, employers and dentists may help their employees and patients, respectively, get the dental care they need.”  

Kettenbach LP Introduces Futar® Cut and Trim Bite Registration Material to U.S. Market

Posted on October 17, 2017

Futar® bite registration materials introduces Futar® Cut and Trim. This new bite registration replaces Futar Scan and has several improvements. If you loved Futar® Scan you will love Futar Cut and Trim.

Keeping the opinions and suggestions of the clinicians in mind, Kettenbach has developed a new Futar to meet many of your bite registration needs. Futar Cut and Trim is “scannable” and has working time of 15 seconds with an intraoral setting time of 45 seconds for a total setting time of 1 minute. Non-slumping, this Futar brand will not flow off the occlusal surface. The new blue shade will be helpful for the clinicians with improved readability. The final hardness of this product is D-35 which means it sets rigid to eliminate any risk of vertical distortion when articulated. Finally, it trims cleanly with a sharp blade, often an issue with many other brands.

The Futar® family – Futar®, Futar® Fast, Futar® D, Futar® D Fast, Futar® D Slow, and Futar® Cut and Trim – is sold by Kettenbach LP.

Futar is sold direct to offices with very attractive promotional pricing when compared to all other nationally known bite registration materials.

With 6 choices of, Futar® bite registration materials allow the clinicians to choose the appropriate material to fit their particular needs. Whether a practitioner is looking for high final hardness, comfortable working times or a “scannable” material, the Futar® line has it all.

Futar® Cut & Trim will be available direct starting the end of the 2017 year by calling the local Kettenbach representative or by calling company offices at 877-532-2123.

Air Techniques Donates to the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine

Posted on October 17, 2017

Air Techniques, Inc., a leading innovator and manufacturer of dental equipment, has donated several boxes of their Monarch brand of Hand Sanitizer to the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine and the people it serves.

The supply of Monarch hand sanitizers was shipped to the university per the request of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Corporate Council. ADEA is coordinating UPS shipments to the university to ensure proper delivery.

Monarch, Air Techniques’ brand of infection prevention products is a complete line of environmentally conscious, color-coded products for dental professionals. The line includes surface disinfectants and cleaners, instrument cleaners, skin and hands, and equipment cleaners.

“We are glad to help those recovering from the devastating effects of the recent hurricane,” said Nicole Miller, Air Techniques Product Manager of Hygiene. “Air Techniques is committed to playing an active role within the dental community.”

Air Techniques offers a comprehensive line of infection control products, as well as an entire line of digital imaging products, and is the leading dental manufacturer of dental vacuums and air compressors systems in North America. Air Techniques distributes their products globally through a large network of dealers.

For more information on Air Techniques, please visit www.airtechniques.com. Become a fan of Air Techniques on Facebook and follow the company on Twitter and Instagram.

AAPD Issues Evidenced-Based Guidelines for Using Silver Diamine Fluoride to Treat Cavities

Posted on October 16, 2017

CHICAGO, October 11, 2017 –The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) issued the first-ever evidence-based guideline on the use of silver diamine fluoride to treat cavities in pediatric patients, based on a systematic review of research from 1969-2016. The AAPD guideline recommends silver diamine fluoride, or SDF, to treat active cavities in pediatric and special needs patients, likely leading to broader adoption of the treatment. 

Cavities are one of the most widespread chronic infectious diseases among children in the U.S. In fact, six in 10 children experience a cavity by age 8. Untreated cavities in baby teeth can spread and cause decay in other teeth – including permanent teeth. 

Silver diamine fluoride is a minimally invasive, low-cost treatment that dentists paint on the teeth to painlessly treat cavities. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2014 to treat tooth sensitivity in adults. Dentists have been using it off label to treat cavities since then, but adoption has not been as widespread. Now, dentists have increased clarity around the uses and benefits of SDF with this guidance from the AAPD. 

 “Aside from fluoridated water, silver diamine fluoride may be the single greatest innovation in pediatric dental health in the last century,” said Dr. James Nickman, AAPD president and practicing pediatric dentist. “Given its minimal cost and easy, painless application, it could help close the gap in healthcare disparities.” 

In the systematic review of research on which the guideline is based, no significant adverse effects were reported. The most notable downside is that silver diamine fluoride turns cavities black. Comparatively, treating cavities in young children, particularly those with special needs often involves sedation or general anesthesia, both of which have additional health risks for the patient. In addition, the cost of treating cavities in young children is often disproportionately high. 

"Silver diamine fluoride gives us another simple and safe option to treat cavities in children who can't cope with getting traditional fillings,” said Dr. Yasmi Crystal, clinical associate professor of pediatric dentistry at NYU College of Dentistry. “Prevention is our number one priority, but if a child does have a cavity, we need to treat it before the child develops pain and infection. However, we also want to make sure they have a good experience at the dentist, so this is a good way to do both.” 

The AAPD recommends every child over age 1 visits the dentist every six months for regular cleanings and checkups. This is no different for those who have cavities treated with silver diamine fluoride. SDF doesn’t work all the time, so it needs to be monitored and re-applied twice a year to have a sustained effect. As the child gets older, their pediatric dentist can share other more esthetic and lasting options for keeping a tooth treated with SDF healthy. 

The AAPD encourages parents and caregivers to talk to their pediatric dentists and go to MyChildrensTeeth.org for more information. 

 

Dentsply Sirona Announces Additions to Executive Leadership Team

Posted on October 16, 2017

Dentsply Sirona, The Dental Solutions Company™, today announced the appointment of two new Executive Leadership Team members, effective immediately, as part of their continuing efforts to position the Company to achieve its potential.

Nick Alexos joins as EVP, Chief Administrative Officer, reporting directly to Mark Thierer, Interim Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he will lead Treasury, Information Technology, Business Development, Strategic Planning, and Investor Relations.

Mr. Alexos was most recently with Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, a leading Chicago-based private equity firm which he co-founded. Prior to that, he was with First Chicago Venture Capital and the First National Bank of Chicago. He is a CPA and received his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

“I have worked with Nick for nearly two decades. He has extensive experience in the healthcare sector as an investor and as a member of a number of boards in the industry, including Sirona Dental Systems, Inc.,” said Mark Thierer, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Dentsply Sirona. “Nick will be an outstanding leader and business partner focusing on capital deployment, operating leverage expansion, and potential acquisitions.”

In addition, the Company announced that Keith Ebling joins as EVP, General Counsel & Secretary, also reporting to Mark Thierer. He replaces Jonathan Friedman who resigned from the Company.

Mr. Ebling comes to Dentsply Sirona from Express Scripts Holding Company, a $100 billion integrated pharmacy benefit management company. He served in a number of legal and leadership roles over his nearly 20 years with the company, most recently as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to that, Mr. Ebling was an associate with a private firm in St. Louis that he joined after graduating as valedictorian and magna cum laude from Saint Louis University School of Law. He also has his MBA from Washington University Olin School of Business.

Said Thierer: “I have known Keith for years. He has deep General Counsel expertise and brings significant experience in the areas of product development, business development, and mergers and acquisitions. We are fortunate to have someone with Keith’s expertise to guide us from a legal perspective as we position Dentsply Sirona for growth.”

 

Hu-Friedy Announces Fifth Annual #ShowUsYourPurple Event

Posted on October 16, 2017

Hu-Friedy, a global leader in the manufacturing of dental instruments and products, will again show their support of dental hygienists by wearing purple (the official color of dental hygiene) and advocating for the profession with a special emphasis from Oct. 16-20. Hu-Friedy created and launched the annual, social media-driven event in 2013, naming it #ShowUsYourPurple. For this, the fifth anniversary of the event’s creation, Hu-Friedy is planning an extended five-day celebration of the hygiene profession and its heroes.

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association has designated October as Dental Hygiene Month, serving to remind patients, clinicians, and policymakers alike of the importance of home-based and clinical oral care, as well as access to care. With that in mind, in 2013 Hu-Friedy created Show Us Your Purple Day in an effort to highlight the many women and men on the frontlines of oral care who work tirelessly in the mouth, in education, and on policy. The annual event encourages dental hygienists to unite in an upbeat and positive show of force by wearing the color of their profession: purple. The event’s popularity grows each year, with both a physical and online presence. Proud clinicians from across North America celebrate the day by not only donning purple clothing, but also by taking to social media channels to post images of themselves and their office teams dressed in purple, using the hashtag #ShowUsYourPurple.

“Hu-Friedy has many different customer segments, but one group in particular has always been near and dear to our hearts: Dental Hygienists,” explains Hu-Friedy Chief Marketing Officer Patrick Bernardi. “In addition to creating a welcoming and nurturing experience for patients, the real impact of Dental Hygienists is that they save lives. Dental Hygienists are on the front lines of oral health; given how much we know about the connection between oral health and systemic health, the value of the Dental Hygienist cannot be understated. This is why we created the #ShowUsYourPurple campaign – to express our gratitude and to deliver a rallying cry for this special group to celebrate one another.

”Hu-Friedy has a long history of helping hygienists be the best clinicians they can be. Hu-Friedy not only uses input from hygienists to create improved instruments, but also sponsors scholarships, complimentary continuing education courses, educational events, and an online community for dental hygienists via the Friends of Hu-Friedy platform.

In recognition of the growing popularity of the event as well as its fifth anniversary, Hu-Friedy has decided to sponsor a five day event this year. In 2017, it is guaranteed to be bigger than ever, with the opportunity to have social media images shared and to win purple prize packs. Hu-Friedy will be wearing purple all week, and they hope proud hygienists will do the same. Proud hygienists are encouraged to celebrate with Hu-Friedy by wearing purple clothing and accessories from Oct. 16-20, and post images of themselves and their teams on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #ShowUsYourPurple.

National Dentex Labs Acquires Albensi Laboratories

Posted on October 13, 2017

National Dentex Labs (NDX) has announced its acquisition of Albensi Laboratories in Irwin, PA. The lab will now be known as NDX Albensi. This follows the successful acquisition and integration of dental labs in Minnesota and Indiana earlier this year.

Albensi Laboratories was founded in 1979 by Don Albensi, and since then, it has garnered a reputation as one of the most respected labs in the industry. With more than 150 employees, Albensi is a full-service lab with both local delivery and a large national account base. Don Albensi’s son, Don Albensi, Jr., will stay with the company as the lab’s general manager.

“Albensi Laboratories is a fantastic addition to the NDX network with a great history of service and quality to the customer. This is the third addition to our company this year, which is part of our strategic plan to add quality labs of size and scale that can benefit from some of NDX’s strengths. In turn, NDX benefits from their capabilities,” says Tom Daulton, CEO of National Dentex Labs.

Earlier this year, National Dentex Labs acquired Dexterity Dental Arts in Farmington, MN, and Lumident, Inc. in Indianapolis, IN. “This year, we welcomed more than 230 new team members to NDX. Their skills and commitment to service are truly enhancing our ability to serve dentists throughout the United States,” says Daulton.

Nominate an Outstanding Colleague for an Evy Award

Posted on October 12, 2017

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) is seeking nominations for their annual Celebration of Excellence Awards, also known as the Evy.

Since 1988, the AACD has publicly recognized dental professionals who make a difference to the academy, the profession, and their communities. Evy award categories include:

 

*         Excellence in Cosmetic Dentistry Education Award

*         Hall of Fame Award

*         AACD Humanitarian Award

*         Lifetime Achievement Award

*         Outstanding Innovation in Cosmetic Dentistry Award

*         Outstanding Service to the Academy Award

*         AACD Rising Star Award

*         Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry (jCD) Award

 

If you know of a colleague who is making significant contributions to the field of cosmetic dentistry and/or to the Academy itself, please nominate them for one of these distinguished awards. The AACD would like to thank and recognize these outstanding individuals who have made a tremendous impact.

The Evy Awards will be presented during the Celebration of Excellence closing reception at AACD 2018 in Chicago. Nominations are due by Friday, January 12, 2018 at 5 pm CT.

For more information and to complete a nomination form, please visit www.aacd.com/evy-awards.

New Sirona Connect Software 4.5 Enhances Digital Impressions for Practices and Labs

Posted on October 12, 2017

Sirona Connect has always stood for comfortable, digital intraoral impressions in the dental practice and the quick and secure transfer of data to the dental laboratory. And with growing success, up to 2016, more than a million dental restorations were made using Sirona Connect. Dentsply Sirona has now enhanced the no. 1 in digital lab connections with the latest Sirona Connect software 4.5 update. Additional software services and new portal functions offer advantages for dentists and dental technicians.

The number of digital intraoral impressions completed in dental practices is steadily growing. Sirona Connect is increasingly used in practices and labs for transferring the impression data to the dental lab, allowing dentists to provide their patients a modern practice concept, take impressions quickly and comfortably thanks to intraoral scanning, and ensure faster overall treatment. Sirona Connect benefits the dental lab with direct connection to the practice, and quick and secure transfer of digital impression and order data. In addition, Sirona Connect saves the practice and lab valuable time by enabling the immediate exchange of information during the patient's visit.

Sirona Connect SW 4.5 with enhanced features

With the new Shade Detection tool for the CEREC Omnicam, the latest Sirona Connect software analyzes the scan and indicates the tooth color as a VITA* Classic or VITA* 3D Master shade. This function supports dentists in selecting the suitable shade for the restoration.

For even more flexibility, digital intraoral impressions can be made for Dentsply Sirona or third party implant systems and different scan bodies can be used.

Sirona Connect SW 4.5 also allows the practice to make an open scan export of the model data in STL format for direct transfer to the lab's CAD software.

There is another interesting enhancement for Sirona Connect labs. For the first time, they can create a customized lab profile on the Sirona Connect portal and show offers for appointments, materials, degrees of refinement, special services, and much more for the individual lab. This gives Sirona Connect dentists an optimum, customer-friendly overview of the range of services and saves them time when ordering from a lab.

The new Sirona Connect SW 4.5 is available to all Sirona Connect users with CEREC Omnicam, CEREC Bluecam, and APOLLO DI as a free auto-update or as a download at www.dentsplysirona.com.

 

Aspen Dental Management, Inc. Hosts Inaugural VIBE Session: New Grad Edition

Posted on October 12, 2017

On September 16 in Chicago, Aspen Dental Management, Inc. (ADMI) – the Dental Support Organization that provides nonclinical business support to the 640-plus Aspen Dental practices across 36 states – hosted its inaugural VIBE Session: New Grad Edition for 110 new dental school graduates who have recently joined an Aspen Dental practice. Also in attendance were 10 dental student leaders from various schools across the country. VIBE Sessions were created a few years ago by ADMI to help dentists with Aspen Dental learn, connect, and celebrate with each other – and fully understand how Aspen Dental is breaking down the barriers to better care, better smiles and better lives.

During the session, the new doctors were able to engage with and learn from the best and brightest via professional development, team-building activities and panel discussions with successful, experienced Aspen Dental practice owners and partners. The New Grad Edition was geared specifically to new dentists, and focused on sharing a roadmap for building a successful, long-term career and providing attendees the opportunity to network with their peers as well as established practice owners.

“Today we learned more about the business of Aspen Dental and how important it is to connect with your peers and have a great mentor,” said Dr. Natalie Semaan, an Associate Dentist at the Aspen Dental practice in Bloomingdale, IL. “It’s so great that all of the attendees are new dentists so we have a lot in common and can relate and laugh with each other about our experiences.”

But that’s not all – the new grads were also able to attend the NASCARTales of the Turtles 400 race at Chicagoland Speedway on September 17, getting to see the excitement first-hand with a VIP experience at the track. Aspen Dental partner and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick even stopped by to speak to the grads, giving career advice and thanking them for joining the team at Aspen Dental, the official dentist of NASCAR.

One lucky new grad, Dr. Sumita Sam, the Associate Dentist at the Aspen Dental practice in Taylor, MI, won a brand new 2017 Ford Mustang as part of Aspen Dental’s Best Grad Gift Ever promotion.

“New Grad Edition was an incredible experience,” said Dr. Ryan Evans, an Associate Dentist at the Aspen Dental practice in New Braunfels, TX. “I loved learning more about what my career journey with Aspen Dental could look like – and I’m so proud to be part of the Aspen Dental family.”  

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