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Proofs: Industry Updates

Nov. 24, 2015

3 out of 4 dentists screen patients for illegal drug use

A new study by researchers at Columbia University focused on dental screenings for drug misuse, finding 77% of dentists ask patients about illicit drug use and 54% of dentists believe that such screenings should be their responsibility. Results of the study are online in the journal Addiction

Those dentists who embraced substance misuse screening as part of their professional role were more likely to query about misuse with their patients (86%) compared with those who did not accept such screenings as their responsibility (68%). In general, both agreement with the purpose of and use of health history forms with substance misuse questions increased with the amount of prior training and knowledge regarding substance use.

Dentists are the second-largest group of prescribers of opioid pain medication. "Because dental care routinely involves treating pain and emergencies, dentists may encounter substance-seeking patients who complain of pain more severe than anticipated based on the nature of their dental condition, who report lost prescriptions for opioid pain medications, or who only seek dental treatment sporadically," noted Carrigan Parish, DMD, associate research scientist in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences.-Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health press release 13 August 2015

PeriRx officially launches SaliMark OSCC Test for oral squamous cell carcinoma

PeriRx LLC (Broomall, Pennsylvania), a developer of noninvasive, oral diagnostic technology, has officially launched SaliMark OSCC, a molecular DNA test for the early detection of oral squamous cell carcinoma. The salivary test is now available from the online ordering systems of Henry Schein Dental, Patterson Dental, and Benco Dental.

Development of the noninvasive test was based on NIH-funded research, with initial discovery and prevalidation work conducted by David Wong, DMD, DMSc, of the University of California at Los Angeles. In addition, more than 10 years of research at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and National Institute of Health supports SaliMark OSCC as a scientifically validated molecular DNA biomarker test for oral squamous cell carcinoma.

The test is indicated for use when a visual oral examination (via naked eye or fluorescent device) detects a suspicious lesion or oral mucosal abnormality. SaliMark OSCC's highly accurate risk assessment capabilities can help the clinician make a more informed and confident decision on whether to refer the patient to a specialist for a biopsy.-DentistryIQ 26 August 2015

Dentsply and Sirona enter into definitive merger agreement

Dentsply International Inc. (York, Pennsylvania; NASDAQ: XRAY) and Sirona Dental Systems Inc. (New York City, New York; NASDAQ: SIRO) announced in September 2015 that the boards of directors of both companies unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement. The combination will create a combined company with the largest sales and service infrastructure in the dental industry with 15,000 employees globally.

The combined company will be called Dentsply Sirona and trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol XRAY. The global headquarters will be located in York, Pennsylvania, the location of Dentsply's current headquarters, while the international headquarters will be located in Salzburg, Austria.

Upon closing of the transaction, Jeffrey T. Slovin, president and CEO of Sirona, will serve as CEO of the combined company and will be a member of the board of directors. Bret W. Wise, chair and CEO of Dentsply, will serve as executive chair of the combined company. The executive chair will work in collaboration with the CEO to execute the corporate strategy and to integrate the companies and cultures. From Dentsply, Christopher T. Clark and James G. Mosch will serve as president and chief operating officer, technologies, and president and chief operating officer, dental and health-care consumables, respectively. From Sirona, Ulrich Michel will serve as executive vice president and chief financial officer. The board of directors will consist of 11 members, six of whom (including Wise) are current Dentsply directors and five of whom (including Slovin) are current Sirona directors.

Additional senior leadership positions at Dentsply Sirona will be named at a later date consisting of representatives from both companies. The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016, is subject to the receipt of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and approvals.-Dentsply and Sirona joint press release 15 September 2015

DentalPost expands to Canada

DentalPost (Atlanta, Georgia), an online and mobile job board in the dental industry, has announced its expansion into Canada. The expansion marks the brand's first international product with additional market launches planned in the coming months. The Canadian expansion was prompted by an influx of requests from Canadian dental professionals as the company expanded rapidly and gained exposure throughout the United States.

In addition to being a traditional online job website, DentalPost provides a community for dental professionals to better understand their working styles and the type of positions that would be the best fits through personal assessment tools-DISC, values, work culture, and skills assessments. Dental employers have the ability to post jobs, search resumes, and even hire directly from the website.-DentalPost press release 1 September 2015

ADA member Dr. Kathy Kell wins FDI president-elect

For the first time in 30 years, an ADA member will serve as president-elect of the FDI World Dental Federation. Kathy Kell, DDS, of Iowa won the chief election on September 24 at the FDI Annual World Dental Congress in Bangkok, Thailand.

In her acceptance speech, Dr. Kell said, "I'd like to thank the American Dental Association for nominating me and for all they've done to support my candidacy." As FDI president-elect, Dr. Kell will continue to protect the financial stability of the organization and use her leadership experience to build a strong worldwide reputation for FDI. She plans to focus on shaping leadership capacity at all levels and on increasing the value of membership by enhancing FDI programming.

Dr. Kell has worked as a dentist for more than four decades and has served in leadership roles with the FDI for 17 years, most recently as treasurer. She is also the past president of the Iowa Dental Association and served as an ADA trustee from 2004 to 2008.

The FDI World Dental Federation is comprised of approximately 200 national dental associations, including the ADA, from more than 130 countries. It represents the voice of over one million dentists worldwide.-ADA press release 24 September 2015


Colan Rogers named president of NSK Dental

Dental equipment manufacturer NSK Dental LLC (Hoffman Estates, Illinois) has named industry veteran Colan Rogers as its president. Rogers, who brings more than 20 years of experience in the dental industry, was most recently director of institutional sales for Henry Schein Special Markets. For the previous nine years, he was national sales manager for Brasseler USA. He started his career at KaVo Dental, working as a sales representative and regional manager for nine years.

"As both a competitor and a distributor, I have been impressed by the quality and innovation of NSK products for many years," said Rogers. "I look forward to working with my new colleagues to take this great company to the next level in our never-ending quest to not only meet but exceed the needs of our valued customers."-NSK Dental press release 26 August 2015

Sonendo appoints chief commercial officer

Sonendo Inc. (Laguna Hills, California) has appointed Christopher Rabbitt as chief commercial officer. Rabbitt will be responsible for driving the commercialization strategy for Sonendo's GentleWave system and future technologies.

Rabbitt joins Sonendo from Intuitive Surgical Inc., a rapidly growing company in robotic surgery, where he held a variety of senior-level sales and marketing roles, most recently serving as director of global sales and marketing for the company's cardiothoracic surgery division. Rabbitt also has served in product manager and sales roles at CardioVations, a division of Ethicon Inc.-Sonendo press release 21 September 2015

Ricardo Mitrani, prominent prosthodontist lecturer and author, joins Spear resident faculty

Spear Education (Scottsdale, Arizona) announces the addition of Ricardo Mitrani, DDS, MSD, to its resident faculty. Mitrani has been one of the most respected names in dentistry since 2000, has led more than 400 lectures and courses in 26 countries, and has written numerous scientific publications.

"We are so happy to welcome Dr. Mitrani to our team," said Spear founder, Frank Spear. "He is a consummate clinician and educator who will help carry the Spear legacy to the next generation of great dentists. Dr. Mitrani's work in prosthodontics and treatment planning are well respected and will greatly benefit our curriculum."-Spear Education press release 15 October 2015


AAE: No link between Alzheimer's transmission and root canal treatment

The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) has released a statement saying there is no established connection between Alzheimer's disease and root canals-or any other dental procedure.

The AAE statement was prompted by a study in the Journal Nature that found that Alzheimer's had been transmitted via growth hormone injections. Although the transmission was under unusual circumstances-the hormone had been extracted from cadavers with amyloid pathology associated with Alzheimer's-various media outlets responded by publishing articles saying the study opened the possibility of Alzheimer's transmission via dental work.

"There is no evidence that root canal treatment poses a risk of developing Alzheimer's disease," said AAE President Terryl A. Propper, DDS, MS. "There are procedures in place to minimize infection risk from endodontic instruments such as files and reamers. Many endodontists employ single-use instruments and, if not, instruments are thoroughly sterilized prior to each use."-American Association of Endodontists press release 14 September 2015

Study shows local anesthetic may affect the development of children's teeth

A study led by Bing Hu, DDS, MD, PhD, at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry suggests for the first time that the use of local anesthetic may affect tooth cell growth and the development of children's teeth. The study was published in Cell Death Discovery and comes at a time when more children than ever before are subjected to dental surgery-and local anesthetic-because of tooth decay or other orthodontic conditions.

Using pig teeth and human young permanent tooth pulp cells, the research identified that local anesthetics commonly used in clinics can affect the proliferation of tooth cells.

According to the research team, dental treatment involves more frequent use of local anesthetic than any other clinical area. Although the maximum dosage of various local anesthetics is established, their side effects on dental tissue have not been fully investigated.

The study found that the longer duration of exposure to high concentrations of local anesthetic was most harmful because it interferes with the function of mitochondria and induces a cell death mechanism (i.e., autophagy). The research team investigated the majority of local anesthetics currently used in dental clinics in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and China.

While the study has identified a potential harmful effect of local anesthetic on developing teeth, the research team emphasized that further clinical studies are required before there is enough data to change clinical guidelines, and that parents should not be alarmed or withdraw their children from treatment if they need it.-ScienceDaily article 7 September 2015

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