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Friday, 18 August 2017  

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Carrie Fisher's Death was Precipitated by Sleep Apnea & Illegal Drugs PDF Print E-mail
Carrie Fisher.jpg
It was a sad day for a lot of us geeky Star Wars fans on December 23, 2016.  That was the day that word went out that Carrie Fisher had died on a flight from London to Los Angeles.  I’m starting to realize the reality that sets in when people from your formative years begin to pass away.
For quite a while it was thought that Carrie had simply had a heart attack and departed this realm.  However, last Friday the LA County coroner announced that there were several things that were potentially at fault.  
Those things are illegal drugs and sleep apnea.  As a dentist, I treat OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea on a regular basis and it seems that Ms. Fisher was known to have the disease.  However, combining OSA with drugs that are known to suppress the breathing reflex is a really bad idea.  Most people who die of a herion overdose actually die from a failure to breathe.  So it’s easy to see how that can negatively affect an individual with a known history of OSA.
Also, if you suffer from sleep apnea, make sure to discuss it with your dental professional.  We have ways that can help!
Here is the coroner’s statement:

June 16, 2017 – The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner conducted an examination on the body of Carrie Francis Fisher, age 60, on December 30th, 2016.

The findings of the examination have established the cause of death to be as follows:

Cause of death: Sleep apnea and other undetermined factors

Other conditions: Atherosclerotic heart disease, drug use

How Injury Occurred: Multiple drug intake, significance not ascertained

The manner of death has been ruled undetermined.

Password Security in Dangerous Times with StickyPassword PDF Print E-mail
As we all know, security is becoming a HUGE issue.  One of the best things you can do to fight it, is to use random generated passwords.  These are called this because they consist of a random arrangement of letters, numbers, symbols, and upper & lower case.  How can you be sure of that?  I use the Secure Password Generator which is a great FREE website that will create passwords for you.  This is a great service which allows really secure passwords to be created.  One of the biggest security problems we have is people using the same user name and password over and over on multiple sites.  That means that if one site is hacked and your info is stolen, the bad guys can now log into other sites where you’ve used the same login info.
Of course, the next problem becomes:  If I create all of these impossible to remember passwords, how do I remember them?  That answer, my friends, is StickyPassword.  I have been using this Program/App for over a year now and am incredibly happy with it.  The great thing about StickyPassword is that you only have to remember ONE password and that is the one that opens the App.  You simply input your login info into StickyPassword once and it remembers it for all time.  Also, since it is multi-platform, it can be used on Macs, PCs, iOS, and Android.  That means you set the program up once and all of your login info is then available on EVERY device with no other user intervention.
Here is a quick 120 second video that gives you tons of info:

As Technology Editor for Dental Products Report, I spend a lot of time reading, testing, and researching not only things for my profession, but for technology lovers in general.  StickyPassword is, quite simply, the best password storage solution I’ve come across.  It is highly recommended!!!
Here are some of the benefits listed on the company website:  
Sticky Password manages all your passwords 
and personal data

Automatically fills in forms for you
Generates extra-strong new passwords, whenever you need them
Stores credit card numbers for express checkout
AES‑256 encryption the world’s leading standard also used by the military
Optional synchronization via local Wi‑Fi – your encrypted data never leaves your devices
Your master password for the manager is not known to anyone – not even to us
State‑of‑the‑art biometric authentication: fingerprint scanning
Password database auto‑lock – on your computer, tablet and smartphone
You’re in control: at any time, you can decide to delete the database manually from the clou
Works on your PC, Mac, Android / iOS tablets and smartphones
Excellent browser support: 
Synchronization via local Wi‑Fi
Synchronization via our cloud servers – only if you want
Optional manual offline synchronization
Perfect portability (USB portable version)
Dentsply Sirona Expands and Extends Relationship with Pacific Dental Services, LLC PDF Print E-mail
DentsplySirona logo.png
Corporate dental continues to push its way into the American healthcare system.  Allowing deals between these large corporate owned entities and huge dental manufacturers puts a lot of pressure on private practitioners who are the backbone of dentistry in the U.S.  This is just another example of offering corporate healthcare deals private practice isn’t given.

DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc., The Dental Solutions Company™, today announced that the Company has again extended and expanded its relationship with Pacific Dental Services, LLC (PDS). 

York, Pennsylvania, June 16, 2017. The new, larger five year agreement between Dentsply Sirona and PDS will provide PDS and the more than 1,600 dentists they support with access to new technologies, and unique marketing, sponsorship, and training opportunities, in addition to the entire Dentsply Sirona consumables offering. In 2012 the two companies set an industry record that resulted in CEREC® CAD/CAM technology being integrated into every PDS-supported practice. The latest agreement continues providing PDS-supported practices with leading Dentsply Sirona equipment and technology such as CEREC and the entire consumables portfolio.

PDS supports over 580 dental practices in seventeen states.  As a group, PDS-supported offices have implemented Dentsply Sirona’s CEREC technology system and are the world’s largest network of CEREC users having completed over 1.4 million CEREC restorations to date. Given the significant number of PDS-supported owner-dentists who have chosen to adopt these technologies for their dental practices to date, combined with the anticipated growth in the number of PDS-supported offices, the parties anticipate that the number of PDS-supported offices utilizing Dentsply Sirona technologies could exceed 800 during the life of the agreement.

Jeffrey T. Slovin, Chief Executive Officer of Dentsply Sirona commented: “We are pleased to announce the extension and expansion of our relationship with Pacific Dental Services with this significant agreement. By partnering with PDS’ supported owner dentists we can accelerate the adoption of our innovative end-to-end integrated solutions and improve patient care.  For years, PDS’ supported owner dentists have been at the forefront of embracing Dentsply Sirona technology as a core differentiator and growth enabler.  We are excited to continue and expand this valuable partnership for years to come.” 

Stephen Thorne, IV, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of PDS explained, “Dentsply Sirona continues to be a valuable strategic partner for PDS and those practitioners we support. This renewed long-term agreement highlights our faith in them, their technology, and the benefit they offer as we continue to lead the field in helping dentists bring modern dentistry to their patients - increasing access, and improving quality.“  


About Pacific Dental Services, LLC:
Founded in 1994, PDS is one of the country’s leading dental support organizations (DSO), providing supported autonomy that allows dentists to concentrate on clinical excellence and the highest levels of cost-effective comprehensive patient care.  PDS originated the Private Practice+™ model to allow dentists to focus on their passion: serving patients.  PDS also pioneered the concept of modern dentistry – enabling dentists to combine advances in the latest technology with the best operational practices and procedures, highly skilled support staff and a commitment to ongoing training and education. Today they support over 580 dental offices across the United States.  They aim to be the provider of choice in all the markets they serve, helping supported dentists to cultivate patients for life.  For more information, visit

About Dentsply Sirona:
Dentsply Sirona is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, with over a century of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide.  Dentsply Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive solutions offering including dental and oral health products as well as other consumable medical devices under a strong portfolio of world class brands.  As The Dental Solutions Company™, Dentsply Sirona’s products provide innovative, high-quality and effective solutions to advance patient care and deliver better, safer and faster dentistry.  Dentsply Sirona’s global headquarters is located in York, Pennsylvania, and the international headquarters is based in Salzburg, Austria. The company’s shares are listed in the United States on NASDAQ under the symbol XRAY. for more information about Dentsply Sirona and its products.

The 2017 ADA Meeting in Atlanta will Feature Cancer Prevention Symposium PDF Print E-mail
ADA Logo.jpg
For regular readers, you know how passionate I am about fighting, detecting, and preventing oral and pharyngeal cancer.  It’s a horrible disease and there needs to be a concerted effort by dentistry, medicine, and the media to bring this disease to the forefront of public attention.
To that end, the ADA is presenting a symposium on the subject at the ADA meeting in Atlanta this fall.  Here is all of the info from the ADA:
How do dental professionals fit in with oncologists, head and neck surgeons and other health professionals when it comes to helping prevent, recognize and manage oropharyngeal cancer?

Experts associated with the ADA, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help answer that question — and share the latest science and statistics related to the disease — at a symposium preceding ADA 2017 – America's Dental Meeting.

Working Together Against Oropharyngeal Cancer is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 18. Registration includes 4.5 hours of continuing education credits, a luncheon, a networking break and an all-access pass to ADA 2017 — America's Dental Meeting. To register, visit

Participants will get a look at an updated clinical practice guideline for potentially malignant disorders in the oral cavity completed this year by a panel of ADA member volunteers and staff from the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry. The guideline is slated to be published as the cover story of the October issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

"As oral health care professionals we simply must continue learning about oral cancer trends and appropriate management," said Dr. Lauren Patton, member of the guideline panel and a professor and the chair of the department dental ecology at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. "Oropharyngeal cancer is a potentially deadly disease if not detected early and brings significant dental morbidity to patients without our active participation in their care before, during, and after surgery, radiation therapy, or chemoradiation, is completed."

The symposium is a result of a collaboration announced earlier this year between the ADA and MD Anderson. Symposium presenters include physicians and dentists associated with the ADA and the cancer center.

"I'm excited to be able to meet with the dental community and work toward educating dentists more broadly about the human papillomavirus," said Erich Sturgis, M.D., a symposium presenter and professor in the department of head and neck surgery and department of epidemiology at MD Anderson. "While cigarette smoking is the overwhelming cause of oral cavity (mouth) cancers, HPV is now the leading cause of oropharyngeal (throat) cancers. The rates of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers are rising at epidemic proportions in this country, although many of these cases could be prevented by a safe and effective vaccine given in childhood. Greater awareness may also provide an opportunity for earlier diagnosis of these cancers." 

In addition to Dr. Sturgis, symposium presenters include Lois Ramondetta, M.D., professor in the department of gynecologic oncology and reproductive medicine at MD Anderson and chief of the division of gynecologic oncology at the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston, Texas; Dr. Theresa Hofstede, associate professor in the department of head and neck surgery at MD Anderson; Melinda Wharton, M.D., director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr. Mark Lingen, professor in the department of pathology at the University of Chicago Medicine; Dr. Marcelo Araujo, vice president of the ADA Science Institute; Dr. Dave Preble, vice president of the ADA Practice Institute; Katherine Hutcheson, Ph.D., associate professor in the section of speech pathology and audiology in the department of head and neck surgery at MD Anderson; and Neil Gross, M.D., associate professor at the department of head and neck surgery at MD Anderson.

For more information about the symposium or to register for it, go online to
Connected Devices in Medicine Vulnerable to Hacking PDF Print E-mail
For those of you who are diehard tech types, you’ve no doubt heard of the potential problems that exist with the IoT (Internet of Things - connected devices).
Well it turns out it isn’t just your thermostat or garage door opener that can be hacked.  Now a big focus is coming on medical devices.  It seems that a recent study done by security company WhiteScope has shown 8,000 separate vulnerabilities in the code of cardiac devices.  I don’t know about you, but the chance of several coding bugs that are susceptible to hacks are not the kind of things I want connected to my heart.
The most frightening part to me was that when the company accessed the devices not a single solitary one required any kind of security to log in.  You read that correctly.  There is no username or password, not even a pathetic “1234” to get connected to a device controlling the human heart.
Add to that the simple fact that many healthcare devcies used in hospitals are running proprietary legacy systems or even will only run under Windows XP and you can see the potential for disaster here.
Healthcare companies need to get on this NOW.  There is very little time to waste.
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