Industry News

July 1, 2008
Ortek Therapeutics, Inc. announced June 12 that the company retained Piper Jaffray & Co. to assist in an evaluation of strategic alternatives...

Ortek evaluates strategy for CaviStat

Ortek Therapeutics, Inc. announced June 12 that the company retained Piper Jaffray & Co. to assist in an evaluation of strategic alternatives for Ortek's cavity-fighting food and confection technology. Alternatives could include partnerships, retaining the business, or other business relationships for the Roslyn Heights company.

Ortek's cavity-fighting technology, CaviStat®, is based on more than 30 years of research in saliva chemistry. On April 8, Ortek and Stony Brook University announced new data that was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Dentistry. The study demonstrated the effects of a CaviStat-containing chewable mint, BasicMints™, in preventing cavities in children. The results showed the children who were administered BasicMints had 62 percent fewer cavities in their molars after one year compared to children in the placebo group.

CaviStat can be incorporated into a wide range of other food and confection products.

"We look forward to working with Piper Jaffray & Co. in evaluating the enormous potential of our clinically proven CaviStat technology," said Mitchell Goldberg, president of Ortek. "We believe this technology could significantly improve the oral health of people in all age groups."

Zila to market Rotadent in the UK

Zila, Inc. announced in June that it selected Oraldent Ltd. to be the exclusive distributor of Rotadent®, Zila's powered toothbrush, and Zila's line of periodontal probes, Perio Probe and Sensor Probe, in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Oraldent Ltd. specializes in marketing preventative oral care products and is quite familiar with Rotadent and our probe products," said David Bethune, chairman and chief executive officer of Zila. "This, combined with their presence in the UK and Ireland through a high-quality sales force, will make Oraldent a good partner for our periodontal products and assist in our long-term growth plans for Zila products in Europe."

Rotadent is a patented microfilament toothbrush designed to reach underneath the gum line and in between the teeth. Perio Probe and the patented Sensor Probe are used to measure the status and pocket depth during periodontal examinations. Zila probes use a thermoplastic technology that makes the probes flexible and harmless to restorative surfaces and implants.

Patterson offers free EagleSoft software

Patterson Dental Supply, Inc. recently announced that it would now provide Patterson EagleSoft practice management software to dental professionals nationwide at no charge. The software, along with the data import process and CD-ROM and Web-based training materials, was available to new users for free beginning June 9.

To receive the free Patterson EagleSoft practice management software, data import and training materials, dental professionals are required to commit to a one-year service agreement at a low monthly cost. Professionals also can obtain Patterson EagleSoft digital imaging software at no charge with qualifying digital technology purchases.

The company cited a trend among dental practices to routinely use a "multitude" of digital technologies and for practice management softwares to be "the hub of that digital future." The free EagleSoft software helps dental professionals streamline practice activity with its technology integration.

"Providing Patterson EagleSoft practice management software at no cost eliminates a major hurdle for dentists seeking better software or looking ahead toward future digital technology purchases," said Scott Anderson, Patterson Dental's president. "Patterson Dental's primary focus is helping dentists stay on the forefront of technology and working to ensure practitioners have access to practice management software that allows easy integration with evolving digital technologies."

Patterson Technology Center Director Pam Hemmen added, "New Patterson EagleSoft users will be able to rely on the unyielding, accessible support features Patterson Dental customers have valued for years. Quite simply, this offer allows dentists to move easily into the digital world, and we look forward to welcoming many new professionals to the way Patterson Dental does business."

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Diabetes center, Sunstar team up

Boston's Joslin Diabetes Center and Sunstar Inc., a Japanese maker of oral health products, have teamed up to launch an initiative aimed at educating dentists and physicians about the link between diabetes and gum disease and other oral health issues, as well as the significance of nutrition to each.

"Traditionally, there has been little dialogue between the two disciplines," said George King, MD, director of research at Joslin. "But when it comes to a person with diabetes, it is all one body. It is likely that inflammation in the oral cavity, particularly the gums, can adversely impact blood glucose and exacerbate diabetes."

In addition to providing diabetes and oral health-related seminars for Sunstar Group personnel, Joslin and Sunstar will also jointly create guidebooks for both medical and dental clinicians, and for patients to help educate them about the links between diabetes and oral health and the role nutrition plays.

In addition, Sunstar will provide Joslin with an educational grant to support continuing medical education in the area of diabetes and oral health to be held in three U.S cities and three cities in Japan.

Sensodyne gears up ‘Spa' caravan

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, maker of Sensodyne®, recently announced its second tour of the "Get the Inside Story. Ask Your Dental Professional" Sensodyne Dental Spa program. Based on 2007's successful initiative, the Sensodyne Dental Spa program will continue its campaign to educate Americans about the importance of good oral care habits and encourage regular visits to the dental office.

This year, the Dental Spa visits fairs and festivals from March to September, reaching an estimated 15 million Americans nationwide.

The Sensodyne Dental Spa is currently touring the country staffed with hygienists from the American Dental Hygienists' Association to provide oral health-care education in a relaxing and fun atmosphere.

In 2007, the Dental Spa made 20 stops over 30 weeks, connecting with more than 15 million consumers from Miami to Los Angeles. The Sensodyne Dental Spa will continue to tour the country through September 2008, concluding at The Big E festival in Springfield, MA.

OraPharma renews student program

OraPharma, Inc. recently expanded its commitment to providing educational support and training to dental and hygiene communities by renewing the Arestin® Student Access Program, and by creating a new Professional Affairs Team to provide field support and instructor training for the program.

The Arestin Student Access Program launched last year as the result of discussion and collaboration between OraPharma and the directors of leading dental and hygiene schools. During the 2007-2008 school year, 130 dental and dental hygiene schools and 3,146 dental and dental hygiene students participated in the program.

Enrollment in the 2008-2009 program is open from June 2008 to September 2008, and is open to all accredited two- or four-year dental and dental hygiene schools that include instruction on the use of Arestin as part of a comprehensive periodontal treatment protocol. Dental and hygiene school faculty who wish to participate can contact the OraPharma Customer Service Center at (866) 273-7846.

Trade alliance supports pediatric ‘home'

The Dental Trade Alliance Foundation announced on May 28 its three-year partnership with the Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) to launch the Pediatric Dental Home by One campaign. A five-year, $10 million contract has been leveraged to establish dental homes for one million children annually.

The contract, awarded by the Office of Head Start (OHS) in February, creates a comprehensive program that provides access to oral health care to children most at risk. AAPD is developing a national network of pediatric and general dentists. The association provides education, skills training, and resources for community outreach to partner with local Head Start programs and connecting children with oral health care services in all 50 states.

Additional sponsorship funding from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products advances the AAPD in its campaign to combat the epidemic of childhood tooth decay.

Robert Vitas, director of Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children, said, "We are very excited about this partnership with the Office of Head Start, and our role as stewards in creating this vital network. DTA Foundation funding and continued support from its members helps make this program grow."

The Dental Trade Alliance Foundation awards more than $100,000 annually in grants and sponsorships to fund and leverage promising initiatives that increase access to the oral health-care system. For more information on the Pediatric Head Start initiative, go to

Hu-Friedy raises funds on Mother's Day

On Mother's Day (May 11), Team Hu-Friedy crossed the finish line in Chicago in support of Breast Cancer Network of Strength (formerly known as the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization). The team celebrated the race after raising more than $24,000 in donations with help from other Hu-Friedy teams from across the country.

Hu-Friedy pledged to continue their second year of support for the Y-ME Race to Empower by establishing teams in other Y-ME race cities across the country, including Atlanta, Denver, Miami, New Haven, Sacramento, San Diego, and Washington D.C.

For more information on the Breast Cancer Network of Strength and the Race to Empower, visit or

Schein, Dexis support ADA charity

In 2008, the American Dental Association reported that the number of children treated in the Give Kids A Smile program (GKAS) is estimated at 475,973, with 46,847 volunteers manning 1,884 physical sites. The ADA has reported increases each year in the number of children who receive care in the GKAS events held across the nation during National Children's Dental Health Month since its start in 2002. Dexis and Henry Schein Dental are founding corporate sponsors.

"Early on, Dexis made a commitment to help the underserved population," said Candy Ross, director of clinical affairs for Dexis. "The GKAS program gave us an opportunity to provide a service to the community, as well as educate many dental professionals about how digital radiography can improve delivery of patient care. Dexis is very proud to be a part of this extremely important initiative."

The GKAS program started in 2002 when a handful of dedicated volunteers at a single location in St. Louis treated 400 children. Since its inception, the ADA reports that the program has grown to encompass an impressive total of more than 4.2 million children who have received treatment under the GKAS project.

Henry Schein Dental, along with 50 of its supplier partners, furnishes event sites with $1 million in product donations. Dexis provides the use of 50 digital X-ray systems and personnel to assist in taking radiographs for GKAS events at dental schools. Dexis has targeted dental schools to encourage the use of these larger facilities with the capability to treat more children.

NovaMin Launches tooth fairy program

NovaMin Technology, Inc. is providing toothpaste to support the Alachua County Organization for Rural Needs (ACORN), Tooth Fairy Outreach Program. This program served 5,000 children in 2007 by visiting elementary schools, Head Start programs, day care centers, and health fairs to provide early oral hygiene education.

"At NovaMin, we want to improve the world's oral health, but we want to go the extra mile in our own backyard. This is a great way to help out this really innovative local program," stated Randy Scott, CEO of the Florida-based NovaMin Technology, Inc.

Oravive is a nonfluoride paste that contains calcium and phosphorus minerals (NovaMin) for remineralization.

"Our goal is to educate and entertain the children we visit. We try to capture the children by providing engaging activities such as the toothbrush dance and dental puppet show," said Tooth Fairy Heather Fowler.

The ACORN Clinic located in Brooker, FL, is a nationally recognized program that provides low-cost dental, medical, and social services to low income and underinsured residents in North Central Florida.

NCOHF affiliates receive coding help

National Children's Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF) affiliates are continuously improving their ability to serve economically disadvantaged children, and each NCOHF's affiliate across the country recently received a "Coding with Confidence Manual: The ‘Go To' Guide for CDT — 2007/2008," compliments of Dr. Charles Blair and Associates, Inc.

NCOHF is a national network of progressive, not-for-profit community-based children's dental facilities. The foundation disburses grant funds, dental products, and equipment to members of its affiliate network who increase access to dental care for underserved children.

"Dr. Blair's coding manuals have gained him praise from clients across the country — from Clover, SC, to Paradise, CA," said Fern Ingber, NCOHF president and CEO. "They will provide valuable time-saving guidance to help current and future NCOHF Affiliates ensure coding accuracy, allowing them to spend even more of their time providing children with the building blocks they need for healthy, successful futures. We appreciate Dr. Blair's contribution toward helping ensure that every child has a healthy smile!"

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Dental faculty satisfied with careers

The most extensive national study of the dental school faculty environment to date reveals that dental educators are satisfied in their careers and enjoy a good work-life balance. A minority were singled out for improvement in professional development support and faculty mentoring programs within institutions. More broadly, the results give insight into the "change readiness" within dental schools for moving forward with curricular improvements and innovations.

"It is extremely positive to see how many current faculty are enjoying their academic careers, which sends a good message to individuals exploring academic dentistry. Finding new ways to help educators develop professionally, alleviate stress, and increase performance are important to the work of ADEA," said ADEA President Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc.

The study was conducted through a survey developed by the Academy for Academic Leadership on behalf of the American Dental Education Association Commission on Change and Innovation in Dental Education (ADEA CCI). This was the final initiative in a series examining the dental faculty work-life environment. The purpose of the survey was to assess faculty perceptions and recommendations related to work environment, sources of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and professional development needs. The findings are based on 1,748 responses from 49 U.S. dental schools.

More than 70% of all respondents indicated they are highly satisfied with the overall way they spend their time as faculty members, the nature of teaching assignments, and the intellectual challenge associated with their teaching responsibilities. Seventy-one percent of respondents expressed satisfaction with their overall balance of work and other aspects of life. However, approximately one third noted some level of dissatisfaction with the support and recognition for quality teaching at their schools, the amount of time provided for research, and the amount of time to write papers or prepare presentations for professional meetings. Also, an important message (reflected by quantitative and qualitative feedback from respondents on workload and time pressure measures) was the "change-readiness" of dental education.

The ADEA CCI has maintained that faculty development is the necessary condition for change and innovation in dental education. One of the purposes of ADEA CCI is to give members of the academic dental community concepts and tools to improve and to innovate. ADEA CCI has provided faculty development opportunities for teams of liaisons at each dental school and commissioned a number of white papers intended to be practical guides for schools.

ADEA members can log in at to read the full report in the May issue of the Journal of Dental Education.