Industry News

Dentaltown Magazine

Report Finds COVID-19 Rate Among Dentists Less Than 1%
The American Dental Association Science and Research Institute and Health Policy Institute recently found that less than 1% of dentists nationwide were COVID-19 positive, according to a report based on data collected in June. In addition, 99% of dentists are using enhanced infection-control procedures such as screening protocols and enhanced disinfection practices when treating patients.

The report is the first large-scale collection and publication of U.S. dentists’ infection rates and infection control practices related to COVID-19. Dr.?Marcelo Araujo, ADA Science and Research Institute CEO, added that the authors of the report—researchers from the ADA Science and Research Institute and Health Policy Institute—are continuing to collect and will report infection rate data on dentists and have added hygienists to their ongoing survey, in collaboration with the American Dental Hygienists Association.

This report focused on nearly 2,200 dentists, finding that 82% of dentists were asymptomatic for one month before the survey and 16.6% reported getting a COVID-19 test. Those who tested positive were not clustered in any particular geographic region. Among those not tested, less than 1% (0.32) were given a probable COVID-19 diagnosis by a physician. The authors weighted the results to align with U.S. dentists demographically and geographically and found an estimated prevalence of less than 1% (0.9) with a margin of error of 0.5%.


Align Technology to Award Research Programs Advancing Orthodontic and Dental Patient Care
Align Technology has opened its 2021 Research Award Program to support clinical and scientific dental research in universities across the globe. This year, up to $300,000 will be awarded to university faculty for scientific and technological research initiatives to advance patient care in orthodontics and dentistry.

Align Technology has funded approximately $2 million in research awards since the program’s inception in 2010, providing insights that include intraoral scanning and patient experience, quality of life changes, and insights into the biochemical markers of bone metabolism during early orthodontic tooth movement with clear aligners.

Eligible applicants for dental research awards include full- and part-time faculty involved in dental or scientific research at universities at which Invisalign treatment or the iTero scanner is available. All applications are reviewed by an independent academic committee that forwards its recommendations to Align Technology for final selection. Research proposals and completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Pacific time on March 5, 2021, and award recipients will be notified by June 7.


Dental Industry Leaders Launch Dental AI Council
Leaders from across the dental industry recently announced the formation of the Dental AI Council (DAIC), an organization devoted to helping define the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in dentistry through research and education.

DAIC members are clinicians, professors and senior executives from companies such as Cigna, Delta Dental, DSG, Heartland, Henry Schein, NDX and Walmart. As AI begins to yield increased efficiency, accuracy, consistency and insight in a variety of dental applications, the DAIC will seek to stimulate greater industrywide understanding of the technology.

The DAIC’s primary function is to lead independent research to determine where and how AI will prove most valuable to dentistry, empirically validate its functional capabilities and performance, and answer fundamental questions related to AI’s role in the oral health care ecosystem. In addition to research, the DAIC will facilitate AI-related educational programming, thought leadership content and public advocacy initiatives.


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