Week in Review: Align sues SmileDirectClub | Cuspies 2023 finalists | Practice ownership drops

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Our top story of the week covered a lawsuit that Invisalign maker Align Technology filed against SmileDirectClub.

In the lawsuit, Align claims that SmileDirectClub misleads patients by advertising its clear alignment treatment is provided under the care of dentists and orthodontists. In response, SmileDirectClub says the lawsuit is meritless and an attempt by Align to maintain its status in the clear aligner category.

2023 Cuspies finalists

You voted, we listened. I'm excited to announce the finalists in this year's Cuspies awards recognizing the best and brightest in dentistry. The list includes familiar names, including Dr. Gordon J. Christensen and Amber Auger, MPH, RDH, who both reached the finalist round last year, as well as some new contenders, such as Dr. Mary Pham, Britt Glauz, RDH, and Amber Lovatos, RDH.

New imaging methods for caries

Two new imaging techniques can safely monitor the activity of secondary caries, according to a study published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics. One technique measures the thickness of a transparent layer on top of a lesion, while the other uses infrared measurements taken as a tooth dries, since cavities are porous and hold more water than healthy tooth structure.

Practice ownership drops

New data show that private practice ownership rates for dentists continue to drop sharply across all age groups, but particularly among younger dentists. A little more than one-third of dentists ages 30 to 34 were practice owners in 2021 compared to more than half of dentists in 2005.

Clothespins for trismus?

Last but not least, could the key to improving trismus be in the laundry room? A technical note published in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery reported that opening a wooden clothespin inside the mouth may be a hack for improving trismus in patients.

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