DrBicuspid.com Business & Industry Insider

Dear Business & Industry Insider,

Two start-up companies are leveraging their expertise in software development and cloud computing to create online tools for secure data and image sharing they say can streamline the way dental practices handle consultations and referrals.

Both companies were founded by dental professionals in conjunction with financial and Internet experts. One is focused on HIPAA-compliant image storage and sharing, while the other has created a electronic patient record application with a social networking component.

Read more about these new ventures in our latest Business & Industry Insider Exclusive.

In other technology news, with more dentists employing iPhones for applications beyond personal use, a spin-off of a 40-year-old dental lab has developed an app that connects dental practitioners with their labs and streamlines the prescription-writing process. Read more.

Speaking of smartphones, how should the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate mobile medical apps? More than 20 experts shared their opinions with the FDA during a two-day public forum at the agency's Rockville, MD, headquarters last month.

Meanwhile, for years the dental implant market enjoyed 15% annual growth. But when the U.S. economy tanked, it took the implant market with it. DrBicuspid.com talked with the top three dental implant companies to find out what they're doing to help return the market to robust growth. Read more.

And no real surprise here: The recession is impacting dentists' revenues. Privately held dental offices in the U.S. have seen revenues decline about 3% so far this year, according to an analysis by Sageworks, which tracks private-company financial performance. But is the tide beginning to turn?

In legal news, the family of a 13-year-old is suing Nestlé and Gerber, claiming that the fluoride-enriched bottled water, infant formula, and baby food the girl consumed when she was younger caused her to develop fluorosis and related dental problems. Read more.

And Procter & Gamble is being sued by a disgruntled customer who claims the company is cheating consumers because its Crest Neat Squeeze toothpaste dispenser leaves as much as 20% of the toothpaste in the tube.

Finally, some interesting new products have come onto the dental market in recent months. Check out Procter & Gamble's Sonicare AirFloss, which uses compressed air to accelerate microdroplets of water or mouthwash in between teeth to remove plaque. But will it motivate more patients to floss?

And a start-up company in Wilton, CT, has added a unique twist to the plastic mouthguards that so many athletes wear but few enjoy: orange, lemon, mint, and fruit punch flavoring. Click here to read more about why both amateur and professionals athletes are trying them.

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