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A collection of significant numbers and statistics from the dental world in 2019.
For the 2018-19 school year, more than half of predoctoral dental students were female, while the graduating class saw female dentists coming close to being the majority. This trend toward a more diverse dentist population is one that currently shows no signs of slowing or reversing.
<$10 a share
Upstart orthodontic company Smile Direct Club’s stock price was down to less than $10 a share in trading around the time this publication went to press. That’s a loss of more than 50 percent of the company’s $23 IPO price when it went public in September. Overall, 2019 has been a turbulent year as the company behind aligners that don’t require a visit to the dentist has been embroiled in a series of public legal fights and negative financial news.
400+ Dental Practices
In late August a ransomware attack against dental cloud service providers The Digital Dental Record and PerCSoft left more than 400 dental practices using their DDS Safe software without access to their practice data as the malicious software that had infected the cloud system left all the data encrypted. In this instance, the data was not actually stolen from the providers, but it was rendered inaccessible until a ransom was paid to unlock a decryption key.
In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission levied charges of collusion against the three largest dental products distributors, accusing them of conspiring together in refusal to negotiate price breaks for dental buying groups. Henry Schein Dental was dismissed from the proceedings, and while an administrative law judge did find evidence of an illegal conspiracy between Patterson Dental and Benco Dental, both companies reached settlements with the FTC that did not require either company to admit wrongdoing and did not impose monetary fines.
177 New Products
This is the number of new dental products published in Dental Products Report since November 2018. These launches include a range of new materials, and technologies as well as expanded product lines, new software titles, and every other type of product or service that can be used in a dental practice.
A study from Oregon State University published in JAMA found preemptive use of antibiotics in dental practices were unnecessary 81 percent of the time. While preemptive antibiotics are medically recommended for patients with heart conditions, the study found most patients given the prescriptions did not have cardiac issues. The problem is widespread as dentists prescribe 10 percent of all antibiotics and over-prescription can put patients at risk and can contribute to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
July 14, 2020
This is the deadline for an EPA mandate requiring almost all dental practices to have an amalgam separator installed and in working order. The rule from the EPA has been in place for several years, but the deadline falls this coming summer and practices that have not yet installed a system to manage amalgam waste should get the process underway soon.
37 Times More
A study published in JAMA Network Open found that the proportion of dental prescriptions that were opioids is 37 times greater among US dentists than it is among dentists in England. The study found 22 percent of US dental prescriptions were for opioid medications, while English dentists prescribed opioids just 0.6 percent of the time.