Dentsply Sirona, FDI World Dental Federation and Smile Train Deliver First Global Protocols For Digital Cleft Treatment

Dentsply Sirona, the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, in partnership with Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, and FDI, the global voice of the dental profession, are proud to announce a major milestone in the push to advance global cleft care.

FDI and Smile Train, with support from Dentsply Sirona have developed the first-ever global standard protocols for digitalized cleft treatment. These protocols are expected to improve the accuracy and efficacy of the current treatments significantly by providing dental professionals with a comprehensive digital clinical approach across all stages of care.

To create these protocols, extensive research was conducted and consensus had to be reached amongst experts in this field. The workflows outlined in the protocols contain a wealth of information to guide dental practitioners in their work and enable best practice. The protocols encompass the fields of presurgical orthopedics, mixed dentition, permanent dentition and oral rehabilitation. Each field features a remote monitoring and oral health component.

“These protocols will help bring health and opportunity to countless children worldwide,” said Prof. Ihsane Ben Yahya, FDI president. “It took an incredible amount of research and effort to put these workflows together. Thank you to everyone involved in this landmark achievement.”

To make the mass of available information and details user friendly to apply, an interactive tool was created to display all information and help the dental professional navigate through all the different stages of care.

“The new protocols set the bar for the evolution of digital cleft care, leveraging technology that will ensure access to high-quality care for marginalized communities, and reduce the burden of care for the cleft community,” said Susannah Schaefer, president and CEO of Smile Train.


In addition, Smile Train and FDI with Dentsply Sirona’s support have developed a clinical education course that aims to provide cleft professionals worldwide with additional in-depth training on digital cleft care protocols, as well as support them as they integrate digital technologies into their treatment plans. The partnership builds on an ongoing global partnership between Dentsply Sirona and Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, which funded more than 730 cleft surgeries in the first year of collaboration.

The Benefits of Transparency When Selling Your Dental Practice

Dr. Suzannw Ebert

By Dr. Suzanne Ebert, vice president operations and customer relations, American Dental Association.

 In the dental industry, it is widely believed that confidentiality is crucial when a dentist chooses to sell their practice. This notion is strongly advocated by dental brokers and has been adopted by numerous dentists. In fact, a few dentists have stated that they had minimal or no communication with the buyer of their practice until the transaction was finalized.

The logic goes that there are several things that will happen as soon as anyone knows your practice is for sale:

  1. All of your patients will leave
  2. Your staff will leave to work someplace else
  3. Your competitors will actively poach your patients

These are all legitimate concerns. However, if the community knows that a dentist is considering selling their practice, there can be benefits to that transparency. Let’s examine the concerns one at a time.

  1. Will all your patients really leave?

Some might, but those are likely patients who were considering leaving for other reasons. Research suggests that insurance acceptance and convenience (location and hours) are the most common reasons that patients switch practices.

The majority of dentists considering selling their practice are planning to retire. Patients know that a dentist in their sixties is going to retire someday. Is it better for patients to find out through a postcard after you are already gone – or worse, to call for an appointment and learn you are no longer working?

In fact, being upfront with patients may prompt them to finish out a treatment plan before you leave because they trust you to do the necessary work.

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ddi-logo.svgThe Delta Dental Institute is launching a new campaign, Driving Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce, to help increase the number of oral health professionals from historically underrepresented groups.

While racial and ethnic diversity among health professionals is linked to improved outcomes and greater health equity, the current oral health workforce does not reflect the changing demographics of the U.S. population. The Delta Dental Institute’s campaign will drive toward a more diverse oral health workforce by establishing the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund and by supporting initiatives in oral health education, research, and community investment.

“There is an urgent need to address the ongoing lack of minority representation in the oral health professions,” said James W. Hutchison, President & CEO of Delta Dental Plans Association. “As the nation’s oral health leader, we have a responsibility to tackle this issue head-on and make progress toward improving outcomes and advancing oral health equity for all.”

The Driving Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce campaign will:

“Taking a multifaceted approach to addressing the barriers historically underrepresented groups face in choosing careers in oral health is critical to creating sustainable change in the industry,” said Vivian Vasallo, Executive Director of the Delta Dental Institute. “Through this campaign, we will elevate the need for a more diverse oral health workforce and support the advancement of actionable solutions. We are eager to see unique, innovative proposals brought forward for consideration by the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund.”

For those interested in applying for the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund and learning more about this campaign, please visit Eligible applicants must be based in the United States, and may include 501(c)(3) organizations, private businesses, or limited or general partnerships.

Espire Dental Announces the Acquisition of Five Colorado-Based Dental Practices

Espire Dental, a fast-growing, elite, cosmetic and multi-specialty group practice, founded and operated by dentists with a vision to create something extraordinary, is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of Fox Creek Family Dental, a five-location group with practices located in Longmont, Loveland, Thornton, Westminster and Broomfield, CO.

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Denver, Espire Dental is both turning heads and turning the dental industry upside down, with its mission to radically elevate the dental experience among its growing footprint of 26 practices located throughout Colorado, California, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. The company actively seeks practices with a clinical philosophy focused on the patient experience, while placing significant emphasis on elevated, quality clinical care and true provider and employee fulfillment.

The addition of these five new dental practices strengthens Espire’s position in the state of Colorado, expanding quality dental care and cosmetic dentistry throughout the state.

Tim Hill, Espire Dental CEO, is excited about the cultural synergy between Espire, Fox Creek Family Dental, its owner Dr. Ryan Koenig, D.D.S, and his amazing team. “Espire is the solution for elevated private-practice dentists who would not typically join a DSO. We’re proud to partner with Dr. Ryan Koenig, his providers and practice teams who have a rich history of providing exceptional dental care within their communities. These five locations are an ideal fit with our existing Colorado footprint, and we look forward to working together to advance quality dental care to patients in Colorado.”

Fox Creek Family Dental has been providing exceptional patient care in the Longmont, Loveland, Thornton, Westminster and Broomfield communities. “When I first met the leadership team at Espire, I knew that they were creating something unique and were the perfect fit for our practice teams and patients. We searched for a partner with a proven track record to grow and support our team members, but we didn’t want to lose our personalized patient experience. We found that partner and are proud to join Espire in elevating the entire dental industry,” Dr. Koenig said.

Espire Dental provides its practices with best-in-class business support services including practice operations, clinical training, human resources, marketing and accounting. Offering business support to practices while creating hospitality-like dental experiences not only sets Espire apart from other group dental partners, but it allows its dentists to create healthy, beautiful smiles while building relationships with their patients and continue to lead their valued clinical and support team.

TDIC Earns 29th Consecutive AM Best ‘A’ Rating

The Dentists Insurance Company has earned the AM Best ‘A’ (Excellent) rating for the 29th consecutive year.

AM Best Company ratings include comparisons to peers and industry standards as well as assessments of operating plans, philosophy and management.

“These consistent ‘A’ ratings reflect TDIC’s financial strength and mission to provide policyholders with outstanding insurance products and high-quality service,” said Dr. Natasha Lee, TDIC board chair. “For more than 40 years, TDIC has been committed to our goal of protecting only dentists, protecting them better than any other insurance company and being there when they need us.”

With collective strength and singular focus, TDIC offers a comprehensive suite of insurance products to more than 24,000 policyholders in 15 states and upholds its promise to protect dentists and their practices by consistently reviewing trends, auditing service processes and evolving with changing markets and policyholders’ needs.

AM Best Company is a global credit rating agency with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Insurance professionals, brokers, regulators and consumers refer to Best’s Credit Ratings as an opinion of the financial strength and creditworthiness of risk-bearing entities and investment vehicles.

For more information about The Dentists Insurance Company, visit

eAssist Dental Solutions Recognized by Inc. as a Fastest Growing Private Company in the Rocky Mountain Region

eAssist Dental Solutions - Incedia Creative Agency

eAssist Dental Solutions (, the nation’s leading platform for dental billing and patient billing services for dental offices, landed the number 42 spot on the 2023 Inc. 5000 Regionals list of growth leaders in the Rocky Mountain Region. This list recognizes the innovative achievements of companies in generating sustainable growth and jobs and is one of the most esteemed honors growing private businesses and business leaders can receive.


James Anderson, DMD, and Sandy Odle co-founded eAssist in 2011 to solve an industry-wide problem with dental insurance billing and collections, by combining technology and human expertise. eAssist has grown to offer a comprehensive end-to-end solution, along with a suite of related products, ultimately helping dental practices be more efficient, profitable, and patient-focused.

“For more than a decade we have been continually seeking out feedback, input, and recommendations from our thousands of clients of all types and sizes of dental practices, and other industry influencers, to stay abreast of emerging trends and systemic issues, and then develop scalable solutions,” explained Dr. Anderson, CEO. “To do that, we have invested heavily in technology to increase process efficiency, speed, and functionality of the eAssist platform in ways that improve performance.

“Being honored again as a fastest growing company is a testament that we’re not only accomplishing what we set out to do, but also that we keep getting better at it – which is, solve more problems, for more dental practice owners, to help them be more successful,” said Dr. Anderson.”

Espire Dental Expands Into Southern California

Espire Dental, a fast growing, doctor-led Integrated Dental Organization (IDO), announces the acquisition of La Costa Dental Group in Encinitas, CA.

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Espire aims to reshape the industry with its 21 practices located throughout Colorado, California, Oklahoma and Wyoming. The company acquires practices with a clinical philosophy that focuses on the patient experience, while placing significant emphasis on elevated, quality clinical care and employee fulfillment. Adding La Costa Dental Group strengthens Espire’s position in the Southern California market while expanding the quality of dental care available to patients throughout the state.

Tim Hill

Tim Hill, CEO of Espire Dental, is thrilled about the synergy between Espire and this new practice. “We’re proud to partner with a practice that has such a longstanding history of providing exceptional dental care to the community. This location is an ideal fit with our existing presence in the area, and we couldn’t be more excited to work with Dr. Anisso to advance the dental care quality available to patients.”

La Costa Dental Group has been providing excellent patient care to the people of Encinitas and surrounding areas since 1975. Dr. Omer Anisso, D.D.S., owner of La Costa Dental, said, “When I first met the team at Espire, I knew that they were the best fit for our practice and patients. We were searching for a business partner who would not only help our practice grow but support our team members and elevate our patient experience, too. Espire is elevating the entire dental industry, and we are proud to join the cause.”

Espire Dental supports its practices with best-in-class business services including practice operations, clinical training, human resources, marketing and accounting. This allows Espire’s dentists to focus on what matters most: patient care and elevating their teams’ experience. For Hill, Espire sets itself apart from other group dental partners by offering the guidance practices need while delivering exceptional patient and team experiences. He said, “We’re proud of our positive and unique culture and the way it effortlessly integrates with our exceptional business support systems. We’re committed to raising the bar on the quality of support that integrated practices should expect from their business partner.”

Tooth Fairy Giving Continues Record Race

According to new Delta Dental findings from its 2023 Original Tooth Fairy Poll, the average value of a single lost tooth during the past year increased 16% from $5.36 to $6.23. The new value not only has children beaming with gap-toothed smiles but also represents a record high in the 25-year history of the poll.

Since the poll’s inception, the average cash gift left by the Tooth Fairy has surged 379% from $1.30 to $6.23 per tooth. At this rate, in 2048, the Tooth Fairy would be leaving a whopping $30 under the pillow for a single tooth.

“Delta Dental has been analyzing the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving trends for a quarter century, highlighting the role of good oral health care habits for children,” said Gabriella Ferroni, Senior Director, Strategic Communications, Delta Dental Plans Association. “We know this time-honored tradition will continue to bring great joy to homes across the country, and we look forward to seeing how the Tooth Fairy’s giving changes over the next 25 years. Given the projection, it would be in the Tooth Fairy’s best interest to invest in a larger purse.”

The worth of a lost tooth and the economy

Historically, the Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically mirrored the economy’s overall direction, tracking with the trends of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500). However, while the average value of a single lost tooth increased 16% over the past year, the S&P 500 experienced an 11% decline during the same period.

U.S. regional ranking for the average value of a lost tooth

  1. South ($6.59): Led U.S. regions with the highest monetary gift for a lost tooth, marking a 14% increase since last year’s results.
  2. West ($6.25): Increased 53%, despite being only two cents higher than the national average.
  3. Northeast ($6.14): Dropped below the national average, after leading last year with $7.36 for a lost tooth.
  4. Midwest ($5.63): While still trailing the national average, it went up $1.36 (32%).

About the survey

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between Jan. 6, 2023, and Jan. 19, 2023, among 1,000 parents of children ages 6 to 12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

The January 2022 S&P 500 average was 4,410 and decreased to an average of 3,942 for January 2023, consistent with the timing of the Original Tooth Fairy Poll.

For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®.

Specialized Dental Announces Top Leadership Changes

In anticipation of continued growth, Specialized Dental, the holding company of US Endo Partners (USEP) and Specialized Dental Partners (SDP), announced additions and changes to its top leadership team.

“This is an exciting time for the Specialized Dental family,” said Scotte Hudsmith, Chief Executive Officer. “These highly competent, well-regarded leaders are integral to the successful future of our company, and we are fortunate they are on our team.”

Dr. Steve Frost will assume the new position of Chief Clinical Affiliations Officer. Frost will work in tandem with the Business Development team as it pertains to new practice affiliations. Frost was a founding partner of USEP in 2018 and has served as its Chief Clinical Officer since that time, concurrent with practice at Red Mountain Endodontics in Phoenix, AZ, which he founded in 1994. He attended Brigham Young University and earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA. He received his endodontic specialty training certificate at Tufts School of Dental Medicine in Boston, MA. Frost is a member of the American Dental Association, American Association of Endodontists, and the Arizona State Dental Association.

Dr. Vladana Babcic Tal has been promoted to Chief Clinical Officer. Babcic Tal is a practicing endodontist at Cameo Dental Specialists, a five-location multi-specialty practice in Chicago and pioneer in integrated oral healthcare. She attended University of Wisconsin–Madison, then Boston University School of Medicine for a dual Master of Medical Science and International Public Health, before earning her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. She completed her post-doctorate advanced specialty training in endodontics at University of Illinois–Chicago College of Dentistry. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics  and is a member of the American Association of Endodontists, American Dental Association, Chicago Dental Society, Illinois State Dental Society and the Serbian American Medical and Dental Society. Babcic Tal serves on the Board of the Edgar D. Coolidge Endodontic Study Club and is an advisor for the Windy City Seminars-Seattle Study Club, which focuses on continuing education and interdisciplinary treatment planning for general dentists and specialists.

James Twellman has been promoted to Chief Development Officer. He has served USEP as Vice President of Business Development since the company’s inception in 2018, driving growth at an extraordinary pace. Previously, Twellman was the Vice President of Acquisitions and Development at Riverchase Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, as well as the Director of Corporate Development at IPC Healthcare, Inc. (TeamHealth). He also served in the Corporate Development Group of HealthPort Technologies and as a private equity Senior Associate at Thurston Group, LLC. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

Connie Wright has been named Chief Human Resources Officer. Wright has served as Human Resources Vice President for ENT Specialty Partners, a practice management platform for ear, nose and throat specialists, and the Scottish Rite for Children in Dallas, TX. She also worked as a Human Resources Officer for Texas Health Resources, a magnet-designated hospital. Wright holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University.

For Ambitious Young Dentists, The Great Resignation Offers Opportunity

Dr. Suzannw Ebert

By Dr. Suzanne Ebert, vice president of operations and customer relations, ADA Practice Transitions.

As the Great Resignation reaches dentistry, it may exacerbate existing access-to-care problems — possibly leading to declining oral health, more dental emergencies, and even an increase in heart disease and other serious health problems.

A July report by the ADA’s Health Policy Institute found that 74% of private practice dentists say that it is currently “extremely challenging” to recruit qualified dental hygienists, and another 19% say it is “very challenging.” Similarly, 84% of dentists say it is extremely or very challenging to recruit dental assistants. We recently looked at ways that practice owners can retain their knowledgeable staff who have built relationships with patients.

However, dentistry is also seeing another side of the Great Resignation: many older dentists are accelerating their retirement plans.

At ADA Practice Transitions, we’re seeing another trend: young dentists are embracing the opportunity to step into established practices and take proactive steps to retain hardworking staff. In many cases, these dentists can tap into programs, such as the National Health Service Corps, that forgive student loans for dentists providing care in underserved communities.

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