Industry News

Feb. 1, 2009
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recently launched as “the Internet's go-to resource ... targets mothers

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recently launched as “the Internet's go-to resource and authority for all things dental,” according to the academy's president, Dr. Paula Jones. The AGD launched the new Web portal in early January.

“The rise in disturbing dental trends, such as energy drinks and other beverages that have led to increased tooth decay and the erosion of tooth enamel, coupled with the growing desire to have a perfect and whiter smile, has consumers asking questions like never before,” Jones said. She explained that the association chose mothers and families as their initial target for the portal, with college graduates and individuals moving to a new city not far behind.

According to a recent study commissioned by the AGD and conducted by C&R Research, Inc., in Chicago, 90% of mothers decide who becomes their child's dentist, yet 50% have not found a reliable online source they trust for dental information. The study, which queried 450 mothers of kids aged 3 to 12, also revealed that more than 30% of mothers said they would turn to a reputable source of high-quality dental information if one existed.

According to the study, the most pressing questions mothers have include:

  • When should I first bring my child to the dentist?
  • How do I prepare my child for his/her first visit to the dentist?
  • How do I get my kids to brush and floss regularly?
  • What are sealants, and do my children need them?
  • Are sports drinks bad for my kids' teeth?

My children won't drink milk. How else can I get them the calcium they need?

Dr. Jones said, “We created to extend this commitment to the general public, especially moms and other caregivers who are looking for easy-to-use resources on the Internet every day.”

One service offered on is a personalized “Dental Diary” widget. The Dental Diary can be uploaded onto desktops or personal Web pages and used as a personalized interface to The Dental Diary provides up-to-date information and calendar reminders to help users maintain optimal oral health, including:

  • Reminders for each member of the family to replace toothbrushes
  • Reminders to schedule family members' dental visits
  • Reminders of upcoming dental appointments
  • Ability to create a “personal reminder” option for busy mothers and other portal visitors
  • Topics related to a variety of dental treatments and tooth restorations (fillings, crowns, dentures, etc.)
  • The ability to search any topic on
  • Links to other features on
  • RSS feeds of new content

Operation Smile receives support from Crest, Oral-B

Consumers who purchase Crest and Oral-B products will prompt the two companies to give a monetary and product donation to Operation Smile to help give new smiles to children in need.

During a four-week study conducted by dental health professionals at the University of Florida, participants who used Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste and Rinse together with the Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean power toothbrush experienced up to seven times better plaque removal.

To celebrate this study, Crest and Oral-B partnered with Operation Smile, a not-for-profit, volunteer medical services organization that provides reconstructive facial surgery to indigent children and young adults in developing countries.

Since its inception in 1982, Operation Smile volunteers have provided surgeries for more than 120,000 children and young adults all over the world.

From January through March 2009, when people buy Crest or Oral-B products, the companies will “make a difference in children's smiles worldwide” in partnership with Operation Smile.

AGD, Colgate team up on CE initiative

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and Colgate-Palmolive recently announced a year-long partnership to provide continuing dental education programs to educate AGD members.

AGD President Dr. Paula Jones said, “This partnership with Colgate represents a collaborative effort to provide this profession, dental patients, and the public with the resources and education necessary to provide proper oral health.”

One solution the AGD and Colgate developed to help educate member general dentists about periodontal disease and systemic links are local educational courses. In 2009, Colgate will sponsor up to nine courses so that all AGD constituents and their local members will have an opportunity to participate in and earn continuing education credits.

In addition, during the 2009 AGD annual meeting in Baltimore next July, member general dentists and dental teams will be able to take part in an educational course specifically developed to increase attendee's knowledge and understanding of the connection between oral and overall health.

Indiana University receives Toothfairy Grant

The National Children's Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF) awarded the Heraeus Toothfairy Grant of $15,000 to Indiana University in early January.

Funding will support Indiana University School of Dentistry's efforts to expand caries prevention and restorative treatment for economically disadvantaged children.

Christopher Holden, president of Heraeus, said the company responded to its “responsibility to use its resources to impact the greater community ... That's why we donate a portion of proceeds from the sale of our core products to the foundation.” For more information about NCOHF, visit

Midwest Dental partners with OralDNA

OralDNA Labs, Inc., a specialty diagnostics company, announced in early January that it reached an agreement to provide diagnostic testing for practices within Midwest Dental and its western division, Mountain Dental.

Midwest Dental is a dental management company headquartered in Mondovi, WI, with more than 60 clinics in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and Colorado.

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, OralDNA will provide diagnostic laboratory testing to Midwest Dental to assist with diagnosis of periodontal disease.

Dr. Jeff Moos, president and CEO of Midwest Dental, said, “As we continue to understand and identify the systemic link between oral health and full body health, we feel that providing our patients and clinicians a tool for identifying the cause and severity of their periodontal infection is critical. This technology, combined with comprehensive clinical care, will enhance our ability to have the most successful treatment outcomes and help their overall health.”

OralDNA offers two DNA-PCR tests for periodontal disease diagnosis and genetic susceptibility. The company is also developing an oral HPV test for use in assessing risks associated with oral cancer. The company intends to develop a broader menu of dental clinical laboratory tests.

Chicago Dental Society makes donations

In 2008, the Chicago Dental Society granted $1.7 million to foundations, clinics, students, and a local college to support efforts to improve dental health for all Illinois residents.

The lion's share of this total, $1.5 million, was earmarked for the new Chicago Dental Society Foundation, which is charged with providing a stable source of income to dental education programs and dental clinics through private and corporate fundraising.

Grant recipients also include programs serving families and the disabled, as well as training programs for dental hygienists and scholarships to students at the University of Illinois-Chicago and Southern Illinois University, the state's two remaining dental schools.

Since establishing a grant program in 2001, the CDS board has authorized 79 grants, totaling more than $4.6 million, and 837 scholarships, totaling more than $460,000.