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Getting Started with Perio Protect: Periodontal Homecare and Practice Promotion Made Simple

Getting Started with Perio Protect: Periodontal Homecare and Practice Promotion Made Simple

Getting Started with Perio Protect: Periodontal Homecare and Practice Promotion Made Simple

As a dental care provider, you’re likely drawn to treatments that can attract new patients and better serve the ones you have. This is, after all, fundamental to long-term practice success. But, rarely, an option comes along that not only proves effective but is also easy and affordable to implement. Enter Perio Protect®: a minimally-invasive, versatile, and clinically-proven way to help patients take control of their periodontal health at home, while simultaneously bringing new business to your office.

The Perio Protect Method® utilizes a custom-fabricated tray filled with 1.7% hydrogen peroxide gel, a time-tested antimicrobial agent. In just minutes, the peroxide goes to work in gingival pockets as deep as 9mm, battling gum disease-causing biofilm at its source.  are FDA-cleared, clinically tested, and shown to produce measurable results like reduced pocket depth and bleeding upon probing in as little as three weeks. Additionally, Perio Protect leaves an oxygen-rich environment below the gumline for host healing and prolonged protection against harmful bacteria. It even delivers bonus benefits such as whiter teeth and fresher breath. Ideal as an adjunctive therapy, Perio Protect can be conveniently integrated into patients’ regular homecare routines, takes only 15 minutes to use, and is comfortably non-invasive—qualities that promote treatment adherence and optimal outcomes.  

For practices, getting started with Perio Protect is just as simple and straightforward as it is for patients to use. The company provides dental professionals a range of flexible, modestly-priced training options, with certification available both in-person and online. Freely choose from personalized e-training sessions, comprehensive courses offered in-person annually, online self-study with recorded modules, or live lecture events and webinars. Regardless of which approach to learning works best for you and your team, integrating Perio Protect into your existing services requires virtually zero overhead—no additional team members, new machines, or storage space needed. The manufacturer even refers patients to certified providers via their patient-facing website. Moreover, in a controlled clinical trial, 100% of patients who used Perio Protect say they would recommend it to someone else. With customizable marketing and thought leadership materials, Perio Protect does the legwork to support and promote your practice, allowing you to focus on what matters most—running a business and caring for your patients.

To learn more about introducing one of the best at-home gum disease treatments to your practice, visit Perio Protect’s website.

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Happy Planet, Happy Patients: Support Your Practice Health with Sustainable Dental Products

Happy Planet, Happy Patients: Support Your Practice Health with Sustainable Dental Products

Happy Planet, Happy Patients:
Support Your Practice Health with Sustainable Dental Products

Building a business that stands the test of time is a primary goal for most dental practices. While there are many aspects of practice building to consider, creating an exceptional patient experience—one that adds value to every visit—is inarguably key. A proven way to accomplish this is by gifting dental products to patients after each appointment. Not only can this help them maintain good oral hygiene habits between visits, but they’ll also think of you virtually every time they care for their teeth and gums at home.

hph brushes group small

A Unique & Sustainable Giveaway
Since 1979, Quantum has helped dental practices across North America provide patients with uniquely memorable experiences by supplying premium dental products. Quantum offers its own line of practice-building products—high-quality toothbrushes, floss, reusable and paper gift bags, and more—for a fraction of the price that major brands charge. Many of these items can also be personalized, ensuring patients will leave your office with something to remember you by.

Now, Quantum is taking value to the next level with Happy Planet Health, a selection of sustainable toothbrushes for adults and kids, available exclusively to dental offices. Made from natural, biodegradable, and recyclable materials, Happy Planet Health delivers the performance you’d expect from a clinical toothbrush in an affordable, eco-friendly package.

The Happy Planet Health line features 3 sustainable toothbrush designs in professional recycled packaging:

  1. ECO Toothbrush—Made from premium recycled plastic, it features soft, gum-friendly bristles, and is available for adults.
  2. Bamboo Brush—Features a smooth oval head and handle crafted from sustainably-grown, biodegradable bamboo, which provides natural antimicrobial properties. This brush comes in assorted colors for adults, plus an eye-catching rainbow bristle option for kids.
  3. Bio Brush—a plant-based toothbrush with a biodegradable handle and ultra-fine flossing bristles with versions for kids and adults.

Elevate Your Practice Brand
Whether you’re just starting to “go green” or are well into a dedicated sustainability initiative, Quantum’s Happy Planet Health is a smart and cost-effective way to support the environment and your business. As an added plus, it elevates your brand by giving patients something they can’t find elsewhere while letting them know that you care about preserving our planet as much as they do.

For a limited time, when you buy any 3 boxes of Happy Planet Health toothbrushes, you can get 1 box free. You can mix and match styles to try a few in your practice today. To learn more about growing a sustainable practice with Happy Planet Health and find other great practice-building solutions, visit Quantum’s website.

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Imagen Dental Partners Optimizes the Group Practice Model

Imagen Dental Partners Optimizes the Group Practice Model

Imagen Dental Partners Optimizes the Group Practice Model

 

Dentists want to be supported, whether that’s by their staff, by other practices, or by an entire organization. In fact, solid business support is one of the key components to a successful practice.

 Imagen Dental Partners maximizes their value to their dental partners by enabling them to focus on patient care, education, and technology. With rapid expansion planned for 2021, Imagen is well on track to achieve its goal of becoming America's fastest-growing dental partnership organization. 

Imagen is improving upon the Dental Partnership Organization (DPO) model by allowing dentists to have control over their practice and giving them full clinical autonomy. Imagen provides their dental partners with business support so that they may focus on their main priority: exceptional patient care.

While many DPOs and DSOs are looking to sell practice groups in order to make a short-term profit, Imagen is more focused on a long-term partnership with mutually beneficial values.

“Every independent dentist will need a strategy to survive and thrive in a very rapidly consolidating dental industry,” says Michael Augins, Imagen President. “When a dentist partners with Imagen DPO, they can maintain their clinical control while maximizing the wealth creation potential they have as independent practice owners. Imagen is for technology-oriented dentists wanting to grow their practice meaningfully over the remainder of their career.”

Imagen also provides practices with financial incentives by paying them for their dentistry and the profitability of their practice, as well as of Imagen as a whole. Educational and mentoring opportunities from Spear Education and CDOS are also available, as Imagen’s goal is to support their partners so that they and their team may advance their skills, as well as unlock their full growth potential.

“I joined Imagen to get rid of the administrative headaches while keeping autonomy and ownership in my practice. I now have a defined exit plan with more wealth opportunities than just owning and selling a solo practice. It’s also more fulfilling to be part of a community of like-minded dentists,” states Rich Rosenblatt, DMD, founding Imagen partner.

The biggest must-have for partners of Imagen is an interest and proficiency in technology—all practice partners must utilize CAD/CAM and cone beam imaging or be willing to do so upon joining. “Technology unlocks practice growth and improves patient outcomes and their satisfaction with the treatment they receive,” said Rezwan Manji, Chief Executive Officer at Imagen. “We know from our research that high tech practices outperform others and, therefore, see this as an essential part of who we are as an entity.”

For more information about Imagen Dental Partners, visit imagendentalpartners.com or email info@imagendentalpartners.com.

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Minimize Operatory Aerosols with the Flip of a Switch

Minimize Operatory Aerosols with the Flip of a Switch

Minimize Operatory Aerosols with the Flip of a Switch

by Michael Howard

Out of all the tools used in modern dentistry, dental handpieces are often considered the most fundamental. However, despite their vast utility and convenience across a range of procedures, many of these instruments present an unfortunate downside. Broadly speaking, handpieces are among the greatest producers of aerosols, tiny particles that can linger in the operatory airspace for hours and remain an indefinite danger on surfaces. Aerosols act as an ideal vehicle for an array of infectious pathogens that live in the salivary secretions of infected persons, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, aerosols and, in turn, dental handpieces, can pose major cross-infection risks both to dental practitioners and their patients.

 

The good news is that not all handpieces are created equally—thanks to technological advancements, some devices are now specifically designed to minimize aerosols and the risk of infection transmission. Two such examples are the new Ti-Max Z95L and Z45L, innovative contra-angles from NSK, the largest global manufacturer of dental rotary instruments. Featuring the Z Switch, the world’s first two-way spray technology, these handpieces can cut down aerosol production instantaneously, delivering maximum protection without sacrificing performance.nsk ti-max z95l

 

NSK’s patented Z Switch enables you to effortlessly transition between two optimum cooling modes with no equipment modification required. With the flip of an easy on/off switch, choose between Water Spray (water and coolant air) or Water Jet (water only) at a moment’s notice. Water Jet can boost operatory safety by reducing aerosols by up to 50%, while Water Spray is readily available whenever conditions allow.

 

Z Switch functionality is available on the new Ti-Max Z95L and Z45L, two speed-increasing contra-angle handpieces designed with versatility, durability and ergonomics in mind. As shown in experiments conducted by the manufacturer, contra-angles have been proven to produce significantly fewer aerosols than their air turbine counterparts. Now, with the addition of Z Switch technology, these instruments put superior performance and even more convenient and effective infection prevention at your fingertips.

 

To learn more about the Z Switch, Ti-Max Z95L and Z45L, watch video demonstrations, and order products for your practice, visit NSK’s website.

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Clear Aligner Attachments Made Easy

Clear Aligner Attachments Made Easy

Clear Aligner Attachments Made Easy

by Michael Howard

Clear aligner therapy is an impressive and increasingly popular development in modern dentistry. Using a series of appliances that exert gentle, consistent pressure, clear aligner systems stimulate osteoclastic and osteoblastic processes that move teeth into place, improving dental appearance and function. Compared to traditional methods such as braces, clear aligners enable patients to remedy simple orthodontic issues and achieve optimal esthetics more conveniently and discreetly.

Despite these advantages, implementing clear aligners isn’t without significant challenges, especially when it comes to attachments. Sometimes referred to as “buttons” or “engagers,” orthodontic attachments are constructed with composite resin and adhered to tooth surfaces. Depending on tooth size, shape and the desired amount of movement, attachments are generally required so that aligners can achieve adequate “grip” and perform as intended. However, proper attachment placement can be tedious, while removal risks damaging underlying enamel. Furthermore, over time, attachments sometimes display poor esthetics due to bonding agent yellowing and may even lose effectiveness as the composite material wears down. This results in negative treatment outcomes and diminishes patient satisfaction. Thankfully, Shofu Dental Corporation offers a full suite of solutions that address these common concerns and more.

Placing Attachments

After referencing your treatment plan and completing the phosphoric etch process on uncut enamel, BeautiBond® bonding agent can be applied to the tooth surface. Unlike many other products, BeautiBond will not produce residual staining over time, making it ideal for use on anterior teeth. Once you’ve allowed the material to sit undisturbed for 10 seconds, gently blow dry the area for 3 seconds, strongly for another 2–3 seconds, and light cure (either 10 seconds for a halogen curing light or 5 for an LED).

To create the attachment, use Beautifil Flow Plus® X, a flowable composite available in a zero flow viscosity (F00). This material features optimal qualities for attachment creation—Beautifil Flow Plus X is stackable and sculptable, and has exceptional handling, esthetics and wear resistance. What really sets Beautifil Flow Plus X apart, however, is Giomer Technology, a bioactive system derived from a proprietary filler particle engineered by Shofu. Giomer Technology restoratives release and recharge 6 beneficial ions including fluoride, strontium, sodium, aluminum, silicate, and borate. Together, these ions are clinically proven to deliver sustainable plaque-fighting, acid-neutralizing abilities that support long-term therapeutic benefits not available in competitive products.

After thoroughly drying the aligner, slightly overfill the attachment well (template window) with Beautifil Flow Plus X. Fully seat the loaded template onto the patient's teeth and, using a dental instrument, apply gentle pressure around each attachment—this ensures full adaptation and squeezes excess composite away from the etched area. Next, firmly hold down the composite with an instrument and light cure—20 seconds for halogen or 10 for LED—before removing the aligner. Lastly, remove all flash and bonding resin between teeth and floss interproximal areas. Once you have finished polishing the attachments, you are free to place the first aligner.

Removing Attachments

With Shofu products, removing attachments is just as safe and easy as placing them. Begin by using visualization software like Align’s ClinCheck® to determine the exact location of the patient’s attachments. Then, define the outlines of each attachment with a sharp pencil before using the Black-Course Super-Snap disk, manufactured without a metal center to easily remove the bulk of the attachment. For this step, use a slow speed of approximately 10,000 rpm. After the outer two-thirds of the attachment have been removed, switch to the enamel-safe OneGloss PS single-step polisher and use light pressure at 10,000–12,000 rpm until the pencil marks are completely gone. Both of the aforementioned Shofu products are disposable. Once you see a uniform material-tooth interface and the margins are no longer visible, you’ll know you have successfully removed the attachment.

To learn more about simplifying attachments with Shofu and order solutions for your practice, visit their website.

ClinCheck is a trademark of Align Technology, Inc.


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Cybersecurity in Dental Practices: How TechCentral’s Omnicore Can Help

Cybersecurity in Dental Practices: How TechCentral’s Omnicore Can Help

Cybersecurity in Dental Practices: How TechCentral’s Omnicore Can Help

by Samantha Negraval

Hacker on your computerEvery 39 seconds, a hacker perpetrates a cyberattack on the internet, affecting one in three Americans every year.1  Dentists should not be lulled into a false sense of security or an assumption they won’t be targeted. If tech giants and federal agencies were susceptible to the recent SolarWinds cyberattack,2 couldn’t your dental practice be next?

Perhaps you think your dental practice isn’t an attractive target. However, research has shown that small businesses, particularly those in the healthcare industry, are at significant risk.3 Many cybercriminals assume that small businesses lack the proper resources to adequately protect themselves. The sensitive electronic protected health information (ePHI) that dental practices have on file, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and banking data, make them even more appealing to hackers. Not only can a breach adversely affect patients, but the practice itself could face major fines for not being in compliance with HIPAA rules and regulations.4

This is why it is so critical for dental practices to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are protected from a possible cyberattack. The SolarWinds breach proved that no business or organization — even IT management companies — are immune from a cyberattack. In the SolarWinds case, network monitoring software was tainted with malicious code and distributed to the company’s customers. The attackers actually gained access to the California Department of State Hospitals.2

This unfortunate attack shows that dental practices need to work with IT service providers who understand the evolving landscape of cybersecurity and how these threats may impact healthcare providers. Moreover, practices need enterprise-grade equipment backed by IT professionals who are willing to sign a HIPAA business associate agreement and who routinely undergo their own security audits to prevent breaches.

Dental practices can affordably receive this comprehensive level of service with TechCentral by Henry Schein One, a trusted dental technology company. They can take the proactive measure of installing Omnicore, an IT technology stack that’s uniquely designed for the needs of the digital dental practice, including network security.

Sophisticated Cybersecurity for Dental Practices

 Referred to as a “network in a box,” Omnicore is a flagship hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) offering that was the subject of a recently published e-book. With Omnicore, TechCentral fully manages the hardware technology stack and maintains the IT network for practices in one affordable monthly subscription cost.


 Locked ScreenWith Omnicore, dental practices enjoy:

• A fully managed and maintained all-in-one network infrastructure
• Essential IT services, support, and network hardware for one affordable monthly cost
• IT services with a focus on dentistry

Omnicore from TechCentral provides dental practices with all-encompassing cybersecurity and essential IT services. TechCentral carefully selects hardware components for the needs of the digital dental practice and packages them together. The monthly service fee for Omnicore is predictable and budgetary, so practices don’t have to borrow money to enjoy a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure.

With Omnicore, practices can plan for a monthly operating expense, like they would budget for their payroll service or Internet bill. TechCentral takes on the capital expenditure risk by providing and managing the equipment under a service agreement. If a piece of TechCentral IT equipment stops working, TechCentral is responsible for replacing it. The practice is only responsible for paying the monthly service fee, an operating expense, which protects their bottom line.

Essential IT Support from TechCentral

stacked in your favor ebook The TechCentral team actively monitors each of their Omnicore customers to prevent problems before they occur. As part of the all-inclusive service experience, clients are often notified about issues or outages in their area that may affect operations, before they even realize there is a problem.

Additionally, TechCentral is continually striving to improve the Omnicore platform. At no additional cost, the latest release of Omnicore offerings includes employee secure remote access and workstation (endpoint) protection for all workstations installed at the practice. It’s the same active monitoring, management, updates, and antivirus protection that customers receive with the Omnicore hardware, helping you ensure that the entire network is protected end-to-end. In light of the rising telehealth and the work-from-anywhere trends during the COVID-19 pandemic,5  the secure remote access and the unlimited workstation protection are now more important than ever.  The secure remote access and the unlimited workstation protection has an estimated value of $150 to $300/month depending upon the size of your practice. Again, these services come standard with Omnicore.

TechCentral’s Hybrid Backup Service, a remotely managed backup and recovery solution, is also included in the Omnicore service. With Hybrid Backup, dental practices don’t have to worry about cumbersome data backup processes. The TechCentral team remotely manages the backup of practice data, while monitoring the system daily for potential vulnerabilities.

How Can Omnicore Help You Protect Your Practice?  

In today’s digital landscape, it’s more important than ever for dental practices to safeguard themselves against cyberattacks. With TechCentral’s Omnicore, dental professionals can enjoy intuitive cybersecurity and essential IT support for one, low monthly payment.

To learn more about how Omnicore can protect your dental practice, download the free ebook now.

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This article is paid for by Henry Schein One TechCentral. Certain components of the products may be provided by third parties. Henry Schein One, LLC and its affiliates are not responsible for, and expressly disclaim, all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of those third-party products or services.

 

Sources:

1. https://ung.edu/continuing-education/news-and-media/cybersecurity.php
2. https://www.wsj.com/articles/solarwinds-hack-victims-from-tech-companies-to-a-hospital-and-university-11608548402
3. https://www.fundera.com/resources/small-business-cyber-security-statistics
4.https://www.healthcareittoday.com/2014/07/28/10-ways-many-dental-offices-are-breaching-hipaa/#:~:text=Fines%20today%20for%20not%20complying,jail%20time%20for%20the%20violators
5. https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-01-05/health-care-after-covid-the-rise-of-telemedicine

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Dr. Michelle Hucke – A Dental Practice Hero in the Fight Against Periodontal Disease

Dr. Michelle Hucke – A Dental Practice Hero in the Fight Against Periodontal Disease

Dr. Michelle Hucke – A Dental Practice Hero in the Fight Against Periodontal Disease

Dr. Michelle Hucke1. Why do you believe it is important to proactively diagnose periodontal disease? 

It’s always easier to treat disease in the earlier stages. If we don’t diagnose periodontal disease, patients can’t make informed treatment decisions about their own health. It’s our job. And it’s especially important that we do our job well if our patients have comorbidities. We know that when patients have diabetes and periodontal disease that treatment for their gums decreases the cost of their diabetic care dramatically. We know there are inflammatory relationships between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, and that periodontitis may speed up the progression of some types of dementia. We can’t unknow this. We can’t ignore this. Our patients deserve our best care and an honest diagnosis. 

Nobody likes to watch health conditions deteriorate over time. Being proactive is key to helping patients get and stay healthy. It’s also in their best financial interest to be proactive, to focus on prevention and to treat at the earliest stages of disease. 

2. How do you speak to your patients about periodontal disease? 

Most patients have gingivitis or periodontitis, and most don’t know it. Some even think bleeding gums are normal. So, we use a tool from NextLevel Practice called a Healthy Mouth Baseline. This baseline clarifies what is healthy and allows us to explain what their exam tells us about the state of their oral health. It’s a great tool for education. If they are below the baseline, they almost always want to know what they should do.

We added to this a standard of gingival health based on bleeding points. When patients have 10 or more bleeding sites, we start to talk to them about infection and inflammation of their gums, and how the chronic low-grade infection burdens their immune system, may contribute to systemic inflammatory conditions, affects their oral health, and may cause bad breath. Knowing that we have concerns for patients who exhibit 10 or more bleeding points helps the entire team get organized and plan for conversations with patients.  

3. What obstacles do you face in getting patients to agree to treatment and how do you overcome them? 

Money is always an obstacle. We don’t give our patients a la carte treatment choices. We treatment plan and explain the cost for the entire plan. When needed, we figure out a way to fit the cost into their lifestyle with monthly payments.  

We drew a line in the sand with the team several years ago. Bloody prophys are unacceptable in our practice. It’s not OK for long-term maintenance patients to start breaking down. I refuse to do restorative work when the gingival tissues are infected and inflamed. Drawing that line meant that we would not neglect the health needs of our patients.  

4. How do you incorporate the Perio Protect Method in your treatment protocols?  

In our practice, if you have gingivitis or periodontitis, you get prescription Perio Trays from Perio Protect. We explain that using these special trays should help them get healthier faster and maintain their health long-term so that they may avoid additional scaling or surgery in the future. We prescribe the trays before scaling to address the infections and inflammation so that the scaling procedure will be easier, faster, and introduce less bacteria into the bloodstream.  

Perio Protect is such an integral part of our practice that patients have been known to explain the tray therapy in the reception area (pre-Covid, of course), so that when the patients came back into the operatories, they wanted “those trays” that the other patients mentioned. Having happy, healthy patients who understand the tray therapy and their personal role in keeping their gums healthy makes our jobs so rewarding. Perio Protect has fundamentally changed our practice for the healthier. 

 

Dr. Michelle DeFelice Hucke’s passion for dentistry came from growing up in a dental office founded by her Dad in New York decades ago. After graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, she returned to her hometown and worked with her Dad for years.

For the last decade, she served patients in St. Augustine through St. Johns Family Dentistry, the practice she owned with her husband, Dr. Ron Hucke. Dr. DeFelice Hucke maintains her love for and tradition of great dentistry and works constantly to stay trained and experienced with the latest dental techniques.

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A Flowable Composite for Strong, Streamlined Dentin Replacement

A Flowable Composite for Strong, Streamlined Dentin Replacement

A Flowable Composite for Strong, Streamlined Dentin Replacement

Today’s dental composites offer a far more desirable, tooth-like appearance than traditional restorative materials like amalgam. However, despite the undeniable esthetic advantages, there remains some apprehension regarding their strength over time. While many composites on the market serve as an adequate replacement for enamel, with excellent esthetics and wear resistance, many materials simply can’t hold a candle to natural dentin when it comes to fracture resistance and long-term durability.
everX Flow

With everX Flow, GC America delivers a solution to this dilemma. Newly available in the United States, everX Flow is a short-fiber reinforced flowable composite indicated for dentin replacement in bulk-filling and core build-up applications. When paired with a conventional composite as an enamel layer, the product is also highly suited for repairing weakened or cracked tooth structure. The manufacturer compares everX Flow’s role to that of iron rebar in construction: the material’s short, glass microfiber composition fortifies it with exceptionally high fracture resistance and flexural strength for long-lasting restoration reinforcement. These fibers can likewise redirect cracks and mitigate catastrophic failures, making everX Flow an ideal choice for restoring weakened teeth post-amalgam removal.

Thanks to optimal thixotropic viscosity, everX Flow easily flows and adapts to every preparation. The material can even be used on upper molars without slumping. These qualities simplify and speed up restoration placement equating to shorter treatment times.

Available in two unique shades—Bulk and Dentin—everX Flow is designed to meet a wide array of clinical needs. The Bulk shade features a depth of cure of 5.5 mm and is perfect for quick restoration of deep posterior cavities. Likewise, the Dentin shade has a 2.0 mm depth of cure and higher opacity for core build-up and better esthetics with the same remarkable reinforcing capabilities.


To learn more about how everX Flow can help you create strong, long-lasting restorations, even in the most challenging cases, and order the product for your practice, visit GC America’s website.

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Dental Practice IT: Predictable Operating Expense or Looming Capital Expenditure?

Dental Practice IT: Predictable Operating Expense or Looming Capital Expenditure?

Dental Practice IT: Predictable Operating Expense or Looming Capital Expenditure?

by David Broom

From my experience in dental IT services, one of the biggest financial stresses a practice can endure is an unplanned capital expenditure or “capex.” IT equipment is out of sight and out of mind in a utility room, so practices simply don’t think about it. Unfortunately, 5 years goes by fast, and practices that haven’t updated, maintained, or otherwise replaced IT equipment can be faced with a catastrophic event, like hard drive failure.

Checking your financesIt’s a fairly common sequence of events. The practice calls an IT company that recommends they spend upwards of $10,000 for new servers and backup appliances because their systems are too out of date. That’s a steep bill that the practice might not be able to afford, especially during a challenging year like 2020.

Right now at TechCentral by Henry Schein One, we are assisting practices who seem to have this problem of being “frozen in time.” Their hardware is very old—to the point it is out of warranty and there are no available spare parts from the manufacturer—and the operating systems and software applications, such as practice management software are no longer being supported by the manufacturers.

Some of these practices are unwilling to upgrade or replace their old equipment. This results in a much higher probability of hardware failure and/or exposure to malware or ransomware. In these situations, business recovery becomes very complex and very expensive. Attempting to install new hardware, upgrade applications, migrate and convert practice data, while continuing to operate the practice, can bring unbelievable amounts of stress and expense to the practice owner.

Keep in mind that capex isn’t confined to an expensive upgrade at an inconvenient time. Capex risk also extends to natural disasters like fires, floods, or even physical theft of hardware. For many practices, the capex risk model might not be the ideal option in the short or long term. Rather, it may make more financial sense to lease the hardware from a managed service provider, like TechCentral, and take on a monthly operating expenditure or “opex.”

invoiceWhat Does Opex for Dental Practice IT Look Like?

A service agreement with TechCentral would incur a predictable operating expenditure and alleviate your capex burden. With your IT infrastructure proactively and remotely maintained, you wouldn’t have to worry about losing income during a down period. As your managed service provider, TechCentral absorbs the risk associated with making sure your operating system is updated and the data servers are working. You wouldn’t have to borrow money to cover the cost of new equipment.

In other words, the risks associated with unplanned capex would decrease significantly, eliminating budgetary surprises and streamlining costs. On your ledger, the opex for IT services would fall in line with other billable monthly expenses, such as your Internet service or payroll platform.

Previously, I discussed the advantages of hardware-as-a-service (Haas) as “a vital decision you only have to make once” for the life of your business. In this article, I compared HaaS to leasing a car with a maintenance package. That’s what TechCentral offers with Omnicore, our flagship HaaS unit that combines physical IT equipment with professional IT services. Known as a “network in a box”, Omnicore is fully managed and licensed for the specific needs of the digital dental practice. The network hardware and services are all supplied, maintained, monitored, and cared for by TechCentral, for one monthly subscription cost.

Omnicore by TechCentralA car lease is a readily available consumer analogy, but in the tech world, HaaS is a consumer habit shift that even major companies like Hewlett Packard are adopting.1 HP describes its “Device-as-a Service” (Daas) as follows: Instead of buying a device for the office and managing it yourself, the HP DaaS service will “source, support, and manage all devices for you.” TechCentral takes a similar approach to managing IT infrastructure and network hardware. TechCentral carefully selects hardware components for the needs of dental practices and packages them together. Customers are provided business-grade equipment they need to run their practice management system and digital imaging software, eliminating the need to purchase these components individually.

If a piece of TechCentral-supplied Omnicore equipment stops working, TechCentral is responsible for replacing it. Our monthly service fee is predictable and budgetary, so practices don’t have to borrow money to have a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure.

As my colleague Donovan Gregg recently discussed, the most popular Omnicore add-on is the inclusion of endpoints (workstations) management. This ensures the practice’s workstation technology, the primary interface to digital dentistry, is current and compatible with the office’s digital technology (like 3D imaging). Endpoint management provides enormous value and convenience to our dental practice customers.

Closing Thoughts

Practices sometimes underestimate the emotional capital stress they go through with the capex model. It’s those unexpected events that can throw a business into chaos. Emotional capital can turn into real capital.

2020 has been a stressful enough year without the avoidable stress of unpredictable capex. Put the burden of maintaining your IT infrastructure on a trusted partner, like TechCentral, so you can continue focusing on safely practicing dentistry.

To find out if Omnicore and the opex model/HaaS is right for your practice, request a free technology assessment today.

About David Broom

David Broom is Senior Director of Product and Business Development. David has a master’s degree in Information Technology (IT) from the University of Texas in Dallas and has more than 35 years of experience from many global companies such as Hitachi Vantara, Methode Electronics, and Keane, Inc. In his current role, he is responsible for all aspects of the product management and field service teams at TechCentral by Henry Schein One, which identifies the ideal advanced technologies to meet the unique needs of the dental market and ensure that dental offices are using the right IT to be more efficient and effective.

This article is paid for by Henry Schein One TechCentral and it is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should not act on the basis of any material contained herein without obtaining proper legal or other professional advice specific to your situation as needed. The views expressed by the individuals or other third parties herein are those of the individuals or third-party and not, necessarily, of Henry Schein One, LLC. Certain components of the products may be provided by third parties. Henry Schein One, LLC and its affiliates are not responsible for, and expressly disclaim, all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of those third-party products or services.

Selected Reference
1. https://store.hp.com/us/en/tech-takes/what-is-daas

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A Better Way to Battle Biofilm

A Better Way to Battle Biofilm

A Better Way to Battle Biofilm

Perio Tray in bathroom Successful treatment of periodontal disease requires effectively managing the root of the problem: biofilm. However, by exploring the nature of oral biofilm, it becomes clear that this is no easy task. Dental plaque is a type of biofilm, a slime-enclosed community home to hundreds of species of bacteria and other microorganisms, both infectious and innocuous. Periodontitis occurs as a persistent, inflammatory host response to the subgingival presence of these communities and associated microbial “triggers.” Like all classic biofilms, oral biofilm possesses a protective matrix and a similarity of genetic material that facilitates cell-to-cell communication. Together, these traits allow biofilm to stubbornly resist and adapt to both host defenses and systemic antibiotic therapy.1

Due to the exceptionally resilient nature of biofilm, the mechanical debridement approach of scaling and root planing (SRP) has become the “gold standard” for non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, SRP is not without its limitations and even significant drawbacks. First and foremost, with SRP, it is impossible to remove all biofilm within the gingival sulcus. Even more disconcerting is the discovery that mechanical disturbance of biofilm via SRP can stimulate regeneration: one study revealed that removing 50% of the initial biofilm resulted in a four-fold increase in growth. This means that SRP must be deployed cyclically for patients with chronic or aggressive periodontitis, with most requiring treatment every 3–6 months.2 Repetitive treatment is especially concerning when accounting for the oral-systemic connection: for immunocompromised patients, bacteremia (transmission of bacteria to the bloodstream) as a result of SRP can potentially add to the body’s overall inflammatory response and increase susceptibility to systemic illnesses. According to another study, even when maintaining an adequate homecare regimen in addition to SRP, after 6–12 months, patients had a reoccurrence of bleeding upon probing, swelling, and redness, and biofilm populations sampled prior to treatment either remained or regrew.1

Dental care experts have looked to adjunctive therapies to address the complexities of combating oral biofilm and the shortcomings of both SRP and homecare in treating gum disease. One answer lies in the application of hydrogen peroxide, an antimicrobial agent with a lengthy, proven track record in dental settings. Subgingival delivery and maintenance of peroxide does, however, pose a unique challenge: while the sulcus is readily accessible topically, the flow of gingival crevicular fluid can prove a barrier to chemical contact and therefore antimicrobial efficacy. Thankfully, Perio Protect® offers a solution.

For over 10 years, dentists have utilized Perio Trays® to supplement conventional homecare, SRP, and surgical treatments. Designed for patient use between office visits, this sealed, custom-fit prescription delivery system administers a 1.7% hydrogen peroxide gel into subgingival pockets as deep as 9mm. When held in place for just minutes, the oxidizing agent goes to work, debriding the slimy matrix covering biofilm and dissolving bacterial cells housed within. In its wake, it leaves an oxygen-rich environment that supports a healthy bacterial balance below the gumline and host healing.

Research shows that the Perio Protect Method reduces the presence of the most damaging oral pathogens by up to 90% and, in as little as a few weeks, patients who use Perio Trays can expect less bleeding upon probing and reduced pocket depth, alongside whiter teeth and fresher breath.3 When Perio Trays are used before SRP, they can reduce inflammation and bleeding, thus minimizing the risk of bacteremia.2 As a bonus for the clinician, the Perio Protect Method can also help soften calculus, making it easier to remove for better, faster treatment outcomes and improved patient satisfaction.4

To learn more about the Perio Protect Method and how it can benefit your patients and practice, visit Perio Protect’s website.

References

[1] https://www.drduanekeller.com/direct-medication-delivery-modifies-the-periodontal-biofilm/
[2] https://providers.perioprotect.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/JCD-Subgingival-Delivery.pdf
[3] https://www.perioprotect.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Peroxide-in-Treatment-of-Periodontal-Disease.pdf
[4] https://www.rdhmag.com/patient-care/prosthodontics/article/16405723/benefits-of-periodontal-trays

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Reduce Aerosols with ‘Smart’ Technology

Reduce Aerosols with ‘Smart’ Technology

Reduce Aerosols with ‘Smart’ Technology

Enhancing safety protocols to protect patients from contracting COVID-19 remains top of mind for clinicians. To help dental professionals navigate these safety challenges, the American Dental Association recently released updated guidance specific to vacuum usage.

Compressed air and suction have long been essential elements in providing patient care, and now the ADA is highlighting their role in helping protect everyone in the treatment room from aerosols, moisture and cross-contamination. In a recent webinar on aerosol and the transmission of coronavirus, Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit,  the ADA recommends that dentists use high-velocity evacuation whenever possible with the specific goal of reducing COVID-19 risk from aerosols.

Ramvac Dental Room Vacuum According to the ADA, for maximum benefit, air would flow from a vent behind the head of the patient, where aerosols are produced, down to a filter at the patient's feet. Clinicians would stand alongside the patient outside of the airflow pattern. However, because not every operatory is conducive to that arrangement, high-volume evacuators, which can reduce aerosols by up to 93% are important.

If your current vacuum system can’t meet this aerosol-reduction standard, you may want to consider investing in a new system that better protects you, your staff, and your patients. One choice that achieves this goal is DENTALEZ’s line of Aeras Ramvac vacuums, which turns your utility room into a ‘smart’ utility room. Aeras is the only utility product that connects the utility room with 24/7 monitoring from a service provider, giving you peace of mind that your equipment is working as it should.

Available in 4 different sizes, the Aeras vacuum system is a true practice workhorse that produces cleaner, dryer air. A dual-desiccant setup produces an uninterrupted supply of clean air, and air is stored at a temperature cold enough to inhibit bacteria growth. Because air particulates are filtered to 0.01 microns, airborne bacteria and microbes are trapped and whisked away from the operatory.

Aeras Ramvac
What else makes the Aeras vacuum a solid choice? It’s lubricated and built with a rotary vane pump—both of which are key to extending the lifespan of the system. Plus, it runs at a sound level that allows you to easily talk with patients and colleagues while it runs. The unit adds consistency and reliability to your practice, but it won’t add to your utility bills. It runs at a minimum of 50% less BTUs than competitive technology, and because the system is 100% water free, you’ll see a water bill savings if your current system is water-based.

It’s not just the hardware that makes the vacuum special, it’s also the software. Smart technology helps ensures the machine is always up and running when you need it. Plus, it connects to the cloud for anytime system access, so you can schedule shutdowns to save energy and power it up from anywhere. With a subscription to the support service, both DENTALEZ and your dental practice will receive maintenance notifications, and if you encounter an issue, you can receive help from a technician remotely. This service model not only reduces unnecessary downtime, but it gives dentists what they need most right now, peace of mind.

For COVID-19 resources from the ADA, visit the ADA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Center for Dentists. To learn more about DENTALEZ’s Aeras vacuum systems, watch this Dental Product Shopper video and visit DENTALEZ’s website.

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What’s the Buzz on Baking Soda?

What’s the Buzz on Baking Soda?

What’s the Buzz on Baking Soda?

Arm & HammerYou probably have a few resolutions in mind for 2021. If one of them is to get a jump on your continuing education opportunities, why not check out a new course from Church & Dwight and ARM & HAMMER on baking soda toothpaste?

“The Natural Truth About Baking Soda Toothpaste,” presented by Krystal King, RDH, is available on demand here. This course and the accompanying test are free to take and will count toward .5 hours of CE credit.

The course covers some basic oral hygiene data and how solutions like baking soda toothpaste can help patients who fall short on best hygiene practices for plaque removal. Baking soda toothpastes that have a low Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) value can particularly benefit those patients who have highly acidic diets, exposed dentin, or impaired salivary flow.

Church & Dwight offers multiple baking soda toothpaste options, including ARM & HAMMER PeroxiCare and ARM & HAMMER Dental Care. PeroxiCare is comprised of 50% baking soda and an RDA of 35, and Dental Care contains 65% baking soda with an RDA of 60. Both options fall into the low RDA category of 0-69.

Course Cover by Krystal King, RDHBaking soda has benefits for nearly all patients and can help kill bacteria and diminish stains. In fact, according to the presentation, baking soda has been shown to:

• Shift biofilm toward less pathogenic bacteria
• Reduce demineralization
• Increase remineralization
• Decrease the potential for the development of pre-carious lesions.


Church & Dwight currently has two other courses available: Achieving pH Neutralization and A Clinician's Guide to Dentifrices. Each are worth 2 CE credits. All 3 CE courses can be accessed here, and each can currently be taken at no charge with a code provided on the site.

Learn more about Church & Dwight at www.oralcarepro.com.

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