After seeing healthy growth during the past decade, the global dental equipment market will continue to expand with a compound annual growth rate of 4.9% from 2016 to 2021 to total $7.52 billion, according to MarketsandMarkets. The research company attributes this increase to the rapid growth of the aging population, increasing demand for cosmetic dentistry, and growing incidences of dental caries and other periodontal diseases.

In calculating this figure, MarketsandMarkets split the market into diagnostic, therapeutic, and general equipment segments. The diagnostic segment includes extraoral and intraoral radiology gear as well as hybrid units. Therapeutic equipment comprises dental lasers. And the general classification covers casting machines, instrument delivery systems, ceramic furnaces, electrosurgical systems, CAD/CAM systems, chairs, light-cure equipment, and handpieces.

General equipment accounted for the largest share of the global market, primarily driven by the growing adoption of CAD/CAM systems that aid the simplification of procedures, increase patient comfort, and reduce procedure duration. MarketsandMarkets expects this segment to register the highest compound annual growth rate during the forecast period.

Geographically, Europe has held the largest share of the market due to the favorable reimbursement scenarios there, increasing government expenditures on healthcare, and growth in its geriatric population. Looking ahead, though, MarketsandMarkets says the Asia-Pacific region will have the highest growth rate due to less stringent regulations there, growing demand for dental procedures, and growing dental tourism.

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The Dentsply Sirona Endodontic Clinical Suite will open at the New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry in September. The cutting-edge facility will feature new equipment from the company as it serves the Dr. Ignatius and Sally Quartararo Department of Endodontics, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and is the oldest department of endodontics in the nation.

“With our new state-of-the-art facility, NYU will have one of the most sophisticated endodontic clinical suites in the nation, thus ensuring our ability to provide the finest endodontic education and to help alleviate patients’ suffering in a manner that reflects truly patient-centered care,” said Dr. Charles N. Bertolami, the Herman Robert Fox Dean of NYU College of Dentistry.

The suite will feature a fully integrated computer network with best-practice case management software, along with a fully equipped surgical suite, fully equipped restorative and endodontic treatment centers, intraoral x-ray stations, endodontic motors, ultrasonic units, intraoral sensors, and a CBCT device that produces 3-D images of teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone in a single scan.

Dentsply Sirona believes that our next generation of endodontists and general practitioners should have the opportunity to learn in the most innovative training facilities with the latest technology available,” said Jeffrey T. Slovin, CEO of Dentsply Sirona. “We couldn’t be more excited to enter into this collaboration with the NYU College of Dentistry, one of the most advanced dental schools in the world, and thereby continue to support the profession through research and education.”

In addition to serving students at the dental school, the suite will be home to a pair of full-time continuing education series, the Advanced Programs for International Dentists in comprehensive care and aesthetics.

“It is altogether fitting that we announce this collaboration at the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the department of endodontics at NYU,” said Bertolami, “as it ensures that the department will continue to play a leadership role in endodontic specialty training in the future as it has in the past.”

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Despite the gloomy headlines, workers in the United States are optimistic about the futures in store for their employers—and dentists aren’t immune from this rosy outlook.

PayScale, a compensation analysis company, polled 425,219 workers between June 15, 2014 and June 16, 2016 to find that 24% were pessimistic, 17% said “meh,” and 59% were optimistic about what the future holds for them at their current place of employment.

Specifically, more than 58% of general dentists reported strong optimism about the future. They came in second on PayScale’s list of professions, as flight attendants took the top spot with a 59% optimism rate.

Postsecondary teachers followed dentists at 53%, and chief executives and real estate brokers were tied at 47%. Surgeons and optometrists were next, tied at 46%. Judged by broader categories, though, healthcare and social assistance was last on PayScale’s list of 10 industries.

The high score did not surprise PayScale, as the company noted that nearly everyone has teeth. It also predicted that dental employment would grow nearly 16% by 2022, which should continue the optimistic trend.

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More than 120 million Americans are missing one or more teeth, and 35 million to 36 million are missing all of their teeth in one or both jaws, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And that means plenty of opportunity for dentists to celebrate Dental Implant Month this August, as designated by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID).

The AAID provides information to those who are missing teeth about the various treatment options that are available. The organization comprises dental implant experts who can provide surgical, restorative, or both phases of treatment. Its members will be hosting events and activities in their communities for those who are interested in learning more about their options in replacing missing teeth in August.

Meanwhile, the AAID is offering a free toolkit to dentists who want to get involved in Dental Implant Month and promote awareness among their patients. It includes:

  • A checklist of ways dentists can celebrate Implant Awareness Month;
  • Copies of AAID’s patient brochures: “Missing Teeth?” “Missing Bone?” and “Dental Implant Options”;
  • An AAID member or credentialed member decal for display;
  • A supply of Dental Implant Month logo stickers for use on outgoing paperwork;
  • Answer keys for the AAID’s Dental Implant Month puzzles;
  • An AAID implant pen.

Online resources for promotion include:

  • A checklist of ideas for outreach, activities, and promotions;
  • Use of AAID’s logo and guidelines for advertising;
  • Printable crossword and word jumble puzzles to give to patients;
  • Print-ready 8-x-10-inch dental implant poster;
  • Animated patient education videos;
  • A Dental Implant Month web banner for websites and newsletters;
  • Press release templates for use in advertising in local media.

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When the body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, permanent microscopic abnormalities form in the layers of dentin to create an ongoing record that can be read like the rings of a tree even hundreds of years later, according to researchers at McMaster University. These abnormalities, the researchers say, can help anthropologists glean clues about what life was like centuries ago.

“The layers store what happens as teeth grow,” said Lori D’Ortenzio, a PhD candidate in anthropology at the university and an author of the study, which appeared in the Journal of Archeological Science. “We all know the importance of vitamin D, but until now we did not have such a clear way of measuring exactly what happened to people and when.”

For example, the discovery can provide valuable information about vitamin D deficiency, also known as rickets, which affects about 1 billion people worldwide. Most cases of rickets are caused by a lack of sun exposure with effects including pain, bone deformities, and failure to achieve or maintain adequate bone levels.

“If we can properly understand past changes in deficiency levels, we can evaluate where we currently are and move forward,” said Megan Brickley, a professor of anthropology at McMaster and the Canada Research Chair in the Bioarchaeology of Human Disease.

Typically, scientists have used bones to understand historical patterns in vitamin D deficiency. Bones are problematic sources of information, though, since bone material is constantly being remodeled in life, obscuring details of prior damage. Also, bones interact with soil and break down after death. However, dentin is not remodeled, and enamel protects it long after death, making teeth a rich source of information.

“They’re essentially fossils in your mouth,” said Bonnie Kahlon, a lab coordinator in McMaster’s anthropology department.

The researchers compared the teeth of modern-day control subjects to teeth extracted from bodies buried in rural Quebec and France in the 1700s and 1800s. Their analysis showed that one Quebec man had suffered 4 bouts of rickets in his 24 years of life, all before he was 13 years old.

Examining thin sections of the teeth under a microscope and using technology at the McMaster-based Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy, the researchers showed that anomalies formed in the dentin layers during years when victims failed to get enough vitamin D to fully mineralize the structures that form dentin and bone.

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The House Appropriations Committee has approved the draft of the fiscal year 2017 Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill, which includes funding for oral health programs under the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

For example, the bill awards $425.578 million to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), or about $12 million more than it did in 2016. The committee expects NIDCR to systematically coordinate through other LHHS agencies to share new scientific information to ensure it reaches the community and providers through various other LHHS outreach programs.

The committee also recommended $35.873 million for training in oral healthcare programs, which is the same total enacted in 2016. Within these funds, $10 million will target general dentistry residencies and $10 million will support pediatric dental residencies.

The goal is to increase the number of medical graduates from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds and to encourage students and residents to choose primary care fields and practice in underserved urban and rural areas. HRSA also will provide continued funding for predoctoral and postdoctoral training grants awarded in 2015 and for section 748 Dental Faculty Loan Repayment grants awarded in 2016.

Additionally, the committee is encouraging HRSA to work with the states to develop and facilitate public education programs that promote preventive oral health treatments and habits via increased oral health literacy in rural and underserved areas because they would cost-effectively address oral health access.

The HRSA also should deem innovative public education programs as eligible for funding as part of the State Oral Health Workforce Improvement Program, according to the committee. The Office of Rural Health Policy should support these programs as well, the committee said.

Next, the committee expects the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Oral Health, which would receive $18 million, to distribute new waterline safety guidelines to dental offices and clinics. It also wants the CDC to coordinate with the National Institutes of Health to conduct follow-up research where needed and to work with professional organizations to educate dentists and dental students about these guidelines.

Meanwhile, the Ryan White Part F program, which covers the unreimbursed costs of providing dental care to people with HIV and AIDS, will receive $13.1 million. The committee expressed concern that although the program has provided oral healthcare to these patients, it has not kept pace with the number of people in need.

Noting the connections between oral health and systemic health, the committee included $250,000 for demonstration projects to increase the implementation of integrating oral health and primary care practice. Projects should model the clinical oral health competencies for nondental providers that HRSA published and initially tested in its 2014 report, “Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice,” the committee said.

In other recommendations, the committee is urging HRSA to support Area Health Education Center oral health projects that establish primary points of service and address the need to help patients find treatment outside of hospital emergency rooms. Some state dental associations have already initiated programs to refer emergency room patients to dental networks, and the committee would like HRSA to work with these programs.

Finally, the committee is recommending the restoration of the chief dental officer position with executive-level authority and resources to oversee HRSA’s dental programs and oral health initiatives. The position was established in 2008 but has been vacant since 2010 the officer at the time, Jay Anderson, DMD, retired. HRSA currently has a senior dental advisor, but the position does not have executive authority.

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Approximately a quarter of the 120,000 survivors of the Holocaust who live in the United States are impoverished. They also often have special oral health needs after suffering from prolonged nutritional deprivation with little to no dental care access during World War II.

However, help is available. Launched in November 2014, the Alpha Omega (AO)-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program has provided free oral care to more than 200 people across North America, including more than a dozen in Columbus, Ohio.

Commemorating these efforts, Henry Schein Inc. joined the Columbus chapter of the AO International Dental Fraternity in recognizing 13 local oral health professionals for participating in the program at a reception hosted by Jewish Family Services.

“The AO-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program’s impact would not be possible without the dedicated dental professionals who so generously give their time and talent to serving the oral health needs of Holocaust survivors,” said Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and CEO of Henry Schein.

The initiative provides care to those identified by the network of Jewish Family and Children’s Service agencies and other identified partner organizations, as well as people of any faith who were victims of Nazi persecution and meet the program’s other eligibility requirements.

In addition to financial need, patient participation is prioritized by 3 critical factors: the elimination of pain, restoration of function, and lack of dental coverage. Participating clinicians determine each patient’s scope of coverage.

“Participating in the AO-Henry Schien Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program has been an incredible experience for our members, and we have learned so much from the Holocaust survivors we have treated,” said Dr. Shaun Rotenberg, ambassador of the AO Columbus chapter.

The honored dentists included Kevin Albert, DMD; Anny Almasanu, DDS; Brad Blair, DDS; Aaron Carroll, DDS; Katie Carroll, DMD; Marc Hollander, DDS; Fredric Kaufman, DDS; Brad Kripke, DDS; Mark Levy, DDS; Shaun Rotenberg, DMD; Rob Steiner, DMD; Jeff Tilson, DDS; and Eric Zidel, DDS.

The program currently operates in 15 areas, including Columbus, Chicago, the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle, Montreal, Toronto, Atlanta, Calgary, Los Angeles, Winnipeg, and Dallas.

Also, the program has received generous support from the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation and the Curt C. & Else Silberman Foundation. The Henry Schein Cares Foundation, Bedford Health Care Solutions, the Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, the Wagner Family Foundation, and the Slomo and Cindy Silvian Foundation have provided additional support.

“AO’s Columbus chapter has shown that kindness and charity can have an incredible impact on the health and happiness of people in need,” said program co-chair and past president of AO International Avi Wurman, DDS.

“These oral health practitioners have helped Holocaust survivors eat without pain and smile proudly, and we thank them for upholding the ideals to which AO’s members aspire,” Wurman said.

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Researchers at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain have found a relationship between chronic periodontitis and lacunar infarct, a type of cerebral small vessel disease that causes 25% of all ischaemic strokes. Both diseases are common among the elderly.

The researchers have hypothesized that periodontitis leads to systemic inflammation, affecting the health of the blood vessels. Or, they noted, chronic periodontitis and lacunar infarct may share common vascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. More research, they said, is needed to understand this link.

“We observed that people diagnosed with periodontal disease had about a 4-fold increased risk of developing lacunar stroke compared with those without periodontitis,” said Dr. Yago Leira of the School of Dentistry department of periodontology, faculty of medicine, at the University of Santiago de Compostela.

The age- and gender-matched case-control study comprised 62 subjects diagnosed with lacunar infarct who had attended the Stroke Unit of the University Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela between January 2014 and January 2015, between the ages of 30 and 80 years, with at least 15 teeth (excluding third molars). It also involved 60 control cases.

Probing pocket depth, recession, clinical attachment level, full-mouth plaque score, and full-mouth gingival bleeding on probing scores all were assessed during a periodontal examination performed by a single calibrated dentist. The researchers also used a structured questionnaire to ascertain associated risk factors for periodontitis and lacunar stroke.

“If further prospective cohort studies confirm our findings, interventional studies should be performed to assess the potential benefit of periodontal therapy in patients with lacunar stroke and periodontitis,” said Leira, who also was the lead author of the study. “Periodontal treatment may also decrease systemic inflammation and, therefore, it may reduce the risk of developing lacunar infarct.”

The research, “Chronic periodontitis is associated with lacunar infarct: a case-control study,” was published by the European Journal of Neurology.

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