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Industry news from Proofs magazine

Jan. 1, 2007
Industry news from the editorial staff at Proofs magazine, a PennWell publication...

Industry news from the editorial staff at Proofs magazine, a PennWell publication

3M ESPE joins Thailand oral health initiative

In celebration of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th birthday, the citizens of Thailand will receive one of the best gifts of all - oral health. The initiative, coordinated through Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health with training and support provided by 3M ESPE, plans to provide complete dentures to 80,000 edentulous patients by 2007.

Thailand dental professionals undergo training with impression materials.
Click here to enlarge image

Faculty members of several universities and dental schools across Thailand are currently conducting training courses for dental professionals on impression technique for edentulous patients using 3M ESPE products.

“We are honored to provide training and support for this initiative,” said Bernd Gangnus, global manager, 3M ESPE. “This is a great example of collaboration to improve the oral health of the people of Thailand.”

With a global reputation for product quality and service excellence, as well as market leadership in impressioning, 3M ESPE was a natural partner for the Ministry of Health’s efforts in Thailand. Hu-Friedy. Previously, she was clinical coordinator and SADHA advisor at Kennedy-King College Dental Hygiene Program in Chicago. She has more than 11 years clinical hygiene experience.

Sunstar Butler transforms into Sunstar

Sunstar Americas, Inc., has completed its corporate identity transition from Sunstar Butler to Sunstar. The company, founded in 1923 as John O. Butler, became part of the Sunstar family in 1988 and had changed its corporate identity to Sunstar Butler in 2003. The change to Sunstar will allow all regions of Sunstar (the Americas, Europe, Japan, and Asia) to operate under a globally-unified corporate identity.

The change in corporate identity is a positive reflection of Sunstar’s rapid global growth. The name change also reflects Sunstar’s dramatic increase in new product innovation, said Dennis Roy, director of professional marketing for Sunstar Americas, Inc. “Since becoming part of Sunstar, the company has introduced a significantly expanded line of innovative preventative care, hygiene supply, pain management, and clinical products. We have grown and changed, and our new corporate identity reflects our global strength and broader product offerings.”

Despite, the corporate name change, Sunstar will maintain the names of its iconic product brands. “We are not changing the Butler® and GUM® brand names, which have a strong heritage, especially among dental professionals,” explained Roy.

Usage of fluoride urged on international level

A panel of experts on fluoride urged government and other influential bodies during the Global Consultation on “Oral Health through Fluoride,” which took place Nov. 17-19 in Geneva, to develop effective legislation, necessary directives and programs to ensure access to fluoride for dental health in all countries.

In the declaration, the world experts expressed “their concern about growing disparities in dental health and the lack of progress in tackling the worldwide burden of tooth decay (dental caries), particularly in disadvantaged populations.” The 80 experts on fluoride from 30 countries emphatically made clear that “prevention by using fluoride is the only realistic way of reducing this burden in populations.”

“The benefits of fluoride for the prevention and control of dental caries have been known to the scientific and public health community for more than 60 years. While fluoride in various delivery systems is widely available in many developed countries, it is estimated that globally only 20 percent of the world’s population benefit from appropriate exposure to fluoride,” said Dr. Poul Erik Petersen, Chief of the Oral Health Unit at the World Health Organization (WHO). “Regrettably, particularly people living in developing countries and disadvantaged communities are deprived of fluoride for dental health.”

The consultation, jointly organized by the FDI World Dental Federation, the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), and the WHO, aimed to consider the actions needed to effectively reduce the global burden of dental caries. The FDI is the global unified voice of oral health professionals; the IADR advances research on oral health worldwide; and the WHO advises governmental bodies throughout the world.

“The FDI fully supports the promotion of fluoride worldwide. Representing nearly one million dentists worldwide, the FDI will use the strong messages from the experts and translate them into tangible advice for all oral health professionals. There is an urgent need to take action in order to ensure that optimal fluoride is available and affordable for all,” said Dr. J.T. Barnard, executive director of the FDI.

The adopted declaration will guide the work of the alliance and various international groups that were established during the consultation. The full text of the declaration is available at

Hu-Friedy donates to NFDH

Hu-Friedy understands the impact of a healthy smile, including for those who have disabilities. Through Hu-Friedy’s donation of various high-quality dental hygiene, restorative, and surgical instruments, the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped (NFDH - a charitable affiliate of the American Dental Association) will better be able to serve hundreds of patients who are unable to care for their own oral health.

The instruments will be used by traveling practitioners dedicating their services to the NFDH’s Dental HouseCalls program. The HouseCalls program was established to bring care to people who cannot easily travel to dentists’ offices - residents of nursing homes, homebound individuals and developmentally disabled people attending day programs or living in residential centers. A fully equipped, portable dental office is transported in a van and set-up at bedside or in the facilities so dentists can serve these individuals. Without this service, most of these people would go without any kind of dental care - it is their only access to treatment. Systems operate in Chicago, Denver, and New Jersey and help thousands of people each year.

To find out more about the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, visit

Zila to distribute ViziLite in the Pacific Rim

Zila, Inc. has acquired the rights to manufacture and distribute ViziLite® in the Pacific Rim from President Medical Technologies, Inc., a Taiwanese company. This transaction completes the evolution of Zila from a licensee of the ViziLite technology, to owner of all ViziLite rights, including the underlying patented technology and worldwide distribution.

“Oral cancer is a prevalent and deadly disease within the Pacific Rim. This transaction paves the way for strategic alliances for the distribution of our cancer detection products within the Pacific Rim. It is our goal to establish ViziLite Plus as the standard of care, not only in dental offices across the United States, but ultimately around the world,” stated Douglas D. Burkett, Ph.D., chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Zila, Inc.