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Browsing Posts published in May, 2011

Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced the results of an analysis of the Aetna Dental Medical Integration (DMI) program. Since 2007, over 930,000 people participated in the DMI program and Aetna sent 652,000 educational mailings. In addition, dental care coordinators made over 250,000 follow up phone calls to members who have not had a recent dental visit. As a result of Aetna’s proactive outreach, 56 percent of people who received information from the DMI program sought dental care. The analysis also showed that DMI members with access to regular dental care had better control of their diabetes including more regulated blood glucose levels.

“Approximately 65 percent of the US population has periodontal disease. The prevalence of periodontal disease increases to 90 percent in individuals with a chronic condition like diabetes,” said Mary Lee Conicella, DMD, Chief Dental Officer for Aetna Dental. “The scientific literature clearly shows the association between oral health and good overall health. The DMI program helps find ways to connect the two by educating patients and providing information and resources to help people get the care they need.”

Aetna’s DMI program is available to people with Aetna dental and medical coverage and uses sophisticated technology to identify members who have not had a recent dental visit that are pregnant, or have chronic conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, including kidney or vision problems or hypertension. Aetna reaches out to members by mail and through phone calls to make people aware of how gum disease may impact their medical condition. Members who enroll in the DMI program receive one additional free cleaning at the dentist and access to certain periodontal treatments covered at 100 percent with no deductibles or coinsurance.

Aetna Dental sponsored a symposium on the connection between chronic disease and oral health called Diabetes and Oral Disease: Implications for Health Professionals on May 4, 2011 at the New York Academy of the Sciences in New York, NY.

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A project to build a comprehensive living history of dentistry, the John McLean Archive, is seeking participants from across the UK to help make dental history. Participants are required to participate in the project’s next witness seminar in October; and to take part in an ongoing series of oral history interviews across the UK.

The second witness seminar for the project, which will take place at the British Dental Association’s (BDA’s) London headquarters on 26 October 2011, will focus on changes in dentistry since 1948. Discussion is expected to concentrate on topics including the introduction of the NHS, payment and contracts, developments in equipment and evolution of private practice. Participants in the project’s first witness seminar, which took place in March and looked at the development of the regulation of dentistry, included past Presidents of the BDA and General Dental Council, three former deans of dental schools and a former dean of the Dental Faculty of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. It was chaired by Professor Nairn Wilson, Dean of King’s College London Dental Institute. Deliberations from each of the witness seminars will be published and placed in the John McLean Archive and will be publicly available via the BDA Museum’s website.

Volunteers are also being sought to carry out oral history interviews with dentists and dental care professionals across the UK. The transcripts of these interviews, which will focus on different aspects of the development of dentistry, will also be published as part of the project. Volunteers must have a connection to dentistry, good listening skills and an interest in dentistry. Volunteers selected to take part will receive training in oral history and the use of the recording equipment that will be used in the interviews.

Individuals interested in participating in either strand of activity contact Sophie Riches, the John McLean Archive project co-ordinator at the BDA Museum. Email [email protected] or visit the BDA Museum stand at the 2011 British Dental Conference and Exhibition.

The John McLean archive has been jointly established by the BDA Museum and the Unit for the History of Dentistry at King’s College London Dental Institute. It is funded by a bequest from former BDA President John Walford McLean OBE. It aims to fill a void in the profession’s recorded history.


1) John McLean was a leading dental practitioner and internationally renowned dental materials scientist, author and lecturer. He was appointed an OBE in 1978 and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the John Tomes Prize for research. He served as BDA President from 1994 to 1995.

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Pierrel Research USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Pierrel SpA, the Italian-based, global pharmaceutical services company, announces the US launch of Orabloc™ (Articaine hydrochloride 4% with epinephrine 1:100,000 and Articaine hydrochloride 4% with epinephrine 1:200,000). Orabloc is a new purer formulation of Articaine with epinephrine, an injectable dental anesthetic for routine dental procedures and oral surgery.

“With the availability of Orabloc, US dentists will now have a purer choice in Articaine anesthetics,” said Canio Mazzaro, Chairman, and CEO of Pierrel SpA. “Up to this point, all available US brands of Articaine are manufactured in Canada using the terminal sterilization method. Pierrel manufactures Orabloc using an aseptic method in our FDA-approved facility in Capua, Italy and the result is a purer formulation of Articaine. Orabloc is an Articaine with less degradation products and impurities such as articaine acid and epinephrine sulphonic acid. What’s more, Orabloc requires less overage of epinephrine, so there is less vasoconstrictor in each injection. Less vasoconstrictor is clearly more desirable and is consistent with recommendations from the American Heart Association to use the lowest available amount of vasoconstrictor.”

Mr. Mazzaro went on to say, “Orabloc is not only the first aseptically manufactured Articaine available in the US, it is one of the few Italian pharmaceutical products approved by FDA in the last 30 years. The approval clearly shows the need and value of Orabloc as its approval in the US is now joined by approvals in Canada, Italy, and Russia with approvals pending in Germany, UK, France, Austria, and Poland.”

According to Bernardo Verrengia, Scientific and Regulatory Advisor for Pierrel SpA and a key team leader in the development of Orabloc, “Orabloc offers the same rapid onset of action that dentists expect from existing Articaine: anesthesia within 1-9 minutes, with complete anesthesia lasting about 1 hour for infiltrations, up to 2 hours for nerve block. Additionally, our aseptic manufacturing process provides significantly increased shelf life for Orabloc up to 24 months at 25°C (77°F), compared to 18 months shelf life for terminally sterilized Articaine.

Orabloc will be available through Patterson Dental, one of the largest dental product distributors in North America. “We’re quite pleased to be working with Patterson on this very important launch,” said Michael Laird, RPh, and CEO for Pierrel Research USA. “Patterson is one of the oldest and most respected dental distributors in the business with $2.2 billion in annual revenue and a huge, loyal dental audience. They have put significant resources behind the launch of Orabloc, including the importation and stocking of sufficient product to meet US demand and the training of their entire dental sales force.”

Based on its unique product profile and the fact that dentists now have more choice, Orabloc stands to gain a significant share of the $210 million US dental anesthetic market. According to sources, Pierrel is aiming for a 15-20% share within the next few years. With Patterson’s sales force of 1100 representatives calling on some 80,000 dentists per year, Orabloc could dominate the Articaine segment. If US dentists follow the trend in Europe, it is very possible that the Articaine segment could become the preferred dental anesthetic.

Orabloc will be launched officially in the US at the California Dental Association in Anaheim, California, May 12-14, 2011. A press conference will be held on Thursday, May 12, 6:00 PM in the Malibu Room at the Hilton Anaheim. Bernardo Verrengia of Pierrel and Dr. Stuart Lieblich, an extensively published and internationally recognized expert on dental anesthesia and dental surgery, will be presenting.

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