Gail Weisman

Gail Weisman

Gail Weisman

Gail Weisman brings her more than 30 years experience in the dental industry to ensure Dentalcompare is the best source of dental product information, not just on the Web, but anywhere.

Articles by Gail Weisman

  • The Patient Chair: It Can - and Should - Multitask

    Featured Article
    Wednesday, June 22, 2011
    Different interchangeable headrests for your patient chairs enable you to maximize patient and operator comfort for a variety of clinical situations.
  • Ortho-gate in Texas?

    Thursday, June 09, 2011
    Hedge funds. A French chateau and a Bentley. Medicaid coverage for orthodontia. What a recipe for intrigue and unethical shenanigans. Really? Came upon a posting from Dallas/Ft. Worth news station WFAA titled: Tax money for unneeded braces goes to hedge funds. Gotta read that. Here are the highlights: Texas offers very generous Medicaid coverage for orthodontics. GOOD. Dental practices are being bought up by hedge funds and collecting millions by aggressively promoting "Medicaid braces." BAD. No good deed goes unpunished. One bad apple (or a few) spoil the whole bunch. Whatever platitude you apply, this is just another example of good old-fashioned greed. The tone of the report, however, seems to blame Texas as much as it does the practice-owning investors and participating dentists: "Medicaid is designed to provide health care for the poor. Braces, however, have little to do with improving childrens' health, many dentists say, and the money could be better spent on more critical de
  • A new stable denture, a new accent

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011
    She is everywhere, from The Today Show to The Huffington Post....a regular Susan Boyle. She's Karen Butler, a 56-year-old tax consultant from Oregon who went to her dentist for extractions and implant placement for an overdenture and came out with a little extra....a new way of speaking. Apparenty she acquired foreign language syndrome, a neurological phenomenon where "sufferers" suddenly pronounce their native languages "with an accent that to listeners may be mistaken as foreign or dialectical." (The quote's from Wikipedia). Apparently there've only been about 60 reported cases ever, and they usually occur after a stroke, severe migraine, or other brain trauma. Ms. Butler was heavily sedated for her oral surgery but was not given general anesthesia. When she "woke" she noticed she was talking oddly, but chalked it up to pain and swelling. But once the swelling subsided, her speech was definitely different....described as a combination of Welsh and Transyvanian accents. You be the ju
  • Surprise...preventive dental care lowers costs in the long run

    Monday, February 07, 2011
    How many times does this need to be said? Just ran a across a study published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Public Health that used public records of Medicare  beneficiaries to demonstrate that those "who used preventive dental care had more dental visits but fewer visits for expensive nonpreventive procedures and lower dental expenses than beneficiaries who saw the dentist only for treatment of oral problems." And thus, the conlusion......"Adding dental coverage for preventive care to Medicare could pay off in terms of both improving the oral health of the elderly population and limiting the costs of expensive nonpreventive dental care for the dentate beneficiary population."   Eureka! The University of Maryland Dental School team of researchers noted that because younger people have primarily been the focus of previous studies of the impact of preventive dental care visits, there was a critical information gap about how preventive dental care might limit expensive nonpreventive dental care procedures among an older population. Researchers identified characteristics of older adults who used preventive and nonpreventive dental care as well as those who used no dental care at all, using data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. Study researcher John Moeller, PhD, MA, noted that although private insurance records are  not available for study, Medicare records are frequently reliable as indicative of national trends. Thank you researchers for just one more quantitative argument for providing dental coverage for all.
  • Fluoride Scare in Consumer Media....Typical

    Thursday, February 03, 2011
    "Popular Infant Juices Contain Too Much Fluoride, Research Shows" DOH! No, it doesn't. That headline appeared above a feed from the popular newswire Medical News Today, which despite its name, is aimed at the general public, not medical professionals. Anyway, the article "covers" research that's going to be presented at the upcoming IADR General Session in March. The paper to be presented is titled Fluoride Levels in Commonly Consumed Infant Juices, based on studies conducted by Loma Linda  research team. And here's their conclusion (emphasis mine): "All infant juice samples were found to contain fluoride with a wide range depending on the manufacturer and the flavor. Fluoride content calculated in all tested samples was below the recommended optimal daily intake. When taking other fluoride sources in consideration, children who consume excessive amounts of juice per day may be ingesting more fluoride than the recommended daily intake." So the juices WERE NOT found to have too much fluoride themselves, as implied in the consumer headline. Just another knee-jerk misinterpretation to capitalize and create fear about a hot-button issue. And don't be surprised if you hear this incomplete version on the 6 o'clock news.
  • What to do? 7 Faculty Vacancies per Dental School a Major Crisis

    Saturday, January 29, 2011
    Widening pay gaps between private practice dentists and clinical professors at dental schools were just one factor cited in a recent report about the decreasing number of dentists committing to careers in teaching. Published in the January edition of the Journal of Dental Education, the report by an Indiana University School of Dentistry department chair with researchers from six other U.S. dental schools is calling for quick and creative solutions to reverse this trend, including mandatory mentoring programs, improved faculty compensation, new loan and tuition repayment and waiver programs, junior faculty development scholarships and allowing more flexibility for clinical faculty to have time for private practices. The report cited an average of almost seven faculty vacancies per dental school and an average pay gap between general practice dentists and clinical faculty of $86,000, so it's not surprising that lead author Dr. Vanchit John characterized the problem as "the most critical challenge confronting dentistry."  John and his colleagues proposed seven specific recommendations for successful mentoring programs along with proposing institutional and national programs to improve faculty compensation, allowing increases in practice time for clinicians, and allowing clinicians more freedom for consulting and lecturing opportunities. Hopefully someone is listening...............
  • It's not as if we didn't warn you.......

    Monday, January 17, 2011
    On Jan 5 and 6, all dental products from Florida-based Rite-Dent Mfg Corp, were seized by  U.S. Marshals, acting under a court order sought by the FDA. The seizure of dental supplies and materials, valued at more than $200K, follows an initial 2005 FDA inspection that found significant deficiencies in the Rite-Dent’s manufacturing processes that could affect product safety and efficacy. A warning was issued that year. In the ensuing five+ years, it appears that Rite-Dent hasn’t cleaned up its act. A November 2010 inspection revealed continuing significant deviations from the current good manufacturing practice requirements. FDA's recent inspection also confirmed that the Rite-Dent had not obtained FDA marketing approval or clearance for its Ultra Impression System, and that the company also failed to notify the FDA regarding a correction it made to its Alginate Impression System. The seized products include Alginate Impression Material, Ultra Impression Material, Enamel Bonding System, Pit and Fissure Chemical Curing Sealant, Tooth Shade Resin Material, Cavity Varnish, and Polycarboxylate  and Zinc Phosphate Cements. So check your shelves and toss ‘em. The FDA advises dentists to discontinue use of an Rite-Dent materials. And here’s a twist. Rite-Dent also manufactured materials for private labeling. Hmmm. 
  • Got Implant Cred?? Promote It.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010
    If you've been credentialed by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and its American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry, you can now freely promote it. In October, a California federal court judge ruled that state laws prohibiting advertising such credentials are unconstitutional. In his decision, the judge said, "The AAID and ABOI are bona fide credentialing organizations whose standards are rigorous, objectively clear, and verifiable." Assuming anyone who's gone through the rigorous credentialing process didn't need the judicial system to tell them that. Props to both groups and the docs who've trained with them. And, Fellows and Diplomates, let your patients, current and prospective, know.
  • Stem Cells....we knew about primary teeth. Now 3rd molars....

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010
    I received an abstract this morning......Third molars contain a valuable reservoir of tissue for the creation of stem cells, according to a new study appearing in the September 17 Journal of Biological Chemistry. The soft pulp inside of teeth contains the same mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) found in bone marrow. And tooth pulp is more easily obtained than bone marrow, especially in wisdom teeth, which most individuals have removed anyway.  The research team at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology noted that the presence of a supply of MSCs in third molars could have meaningful therapeutic ramifications. Extraction creates a perfect opportunity to remove biological material in a sterilized setting; the teeth subsequently can be frozen and stored for many years until needed. In the meantime, that also provides time for researchers to better understand the details of iPS creation to further increase the efficiency for clinical use. I won't prattle on...just the's the abstract.  
  • Do-it-yourself reverse orthodontics

    Thursday, August 05, 2010
    Want to get a smile like David Letterman, Madonna, or Michael Strahan? Get your tongue pierced (choose one of those dumbell-shaped studs) and then "play" with it every day. "Playing" involves habitually pushing the stud against and between the upper centrals. Do it long enough, and you'll have a celebrity-style diastema. This phenomenon is all over the health newswires because a University at Buffalo NY Dental School study was just published in the latest issue of The Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. (At posting time, the online verstion of the article is not yet available.) UB issued a consumer press release as well. A survey study of Buffalo high school students revealed that the presence of a barbell implant/stud caused a damaging habit whereby a great majority of the subjects pushed the metal stud up against and between their upper front teeth. The actual study involved a 26- year-old female patient examined at UB's orthodontic clinic who complained that a large space had developed between her upper centrals. Her tongue was pierced seven years earlier and every day for seven years she had pushed the stud between her upper front teeth, creating the space between them and, subsequently, habitually placing it in the space. The patient did not have a space between her upper front teeth prior to the tongue piercing. Hmmmmm. Incidentally, she did receive fixed ortho treatment to close up the gap. Wonder who paid for that.
  • Unmarked sippy cups trump "nanny statism"

    Tuesday, August 03, 2010
    Precocious toddlers who've graduated from Hooked on Phonics will not have to be bothered by irritating fine-print warnings about tooth decay on their sippy cups and least not in New York state. Free-thinker libertarian Gov David Paterson just vetoed a bill that would have required a warning label about the risk of early childhood tooth decay from undefined prolonged use of a "vessel with a duckbilled lid, bill-shaped extension or bill-shaped spout." The legislation also covered baby bottles. A New York Daily News editorial in June called the bill "nanny statism run mad." After what I can only imagine were countless sleepless nights mulling over the pros and cons of this critical and potentially historic legislation, Paterson came to the conclusion that "Brief warning labels are simply not the best vehicle to convey detailed information about general parental practice and proper use of a product that is not inherently dangerous." So, doctor, just know that your patients are out there in a dangerous's up to you to spread the message.
  • Add weight, fitness to perio link roster

    Tuesday, August 03, 2010
    Obesity and physical fitness may have some interactive effect on periodontal health status. That's the conclusion of a Japanese study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Periodontology. Researchers found that subjects who maintained a healthy weight and had high levels of physical fitness had a lower incidence of severe periodontitis. Using body mass index and percent body fat as a measure of weight control, and maximal oxygen consumption as a measure of physical fitness, researchers compared subjects' weight and fitness variables with the results of a periodontal examination. Simply, those with the lowest BMI and highest levels of fitness had significantly lower rates of severe periodontitis. AAP president Dr. Sam Low, chimed in for consumer press. "Research continues to demonstrate that our overall health and oral health are connected," said Dr. Low. "Weight management and physical fitness both contribute to overall health; and now we believe staying in shape may help lower your risk of developing gum disease. Since gum disease is related to other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes," continues Dr. Low, "there is even more reason to take care of yourself through diet and exercise." Add this to your patient-ed repertoire.    
  • Digital Dental School Program Makes Wired Blog: GV Black, Meet Marshall McLuhan

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010
    The latest post on Wired's Raw File blog, by Chuck Squatriglia (don't know who he is but just wanted to include his name!), spotlights UCSF School of Dentistry's Fleming Predoctoral Simluation Lab. Phantom heads and all, for all the non-dental word to see and be wowed! While students there are honing their skills on these phantom heads, 3D simulations in virtual reality are planned. The post talks about the school's use of digital radiography, digital records, lasers, optical coherence tomography, and much more. AND it doesn't ignore the high-touch factor either. A great bit of cheerleading for your profession! Check it out.
  • Midnight Fridge Raiders, Hang on to Your Teeth

    Friday, June 04, 2010
    You might want to add a warning against that 2 A.M. ice-cream-out-of-the-carton treat to your repertoire of preventive advice. Maybe this is a big DUH! but it's been scientifically proven that eating food late at night contributes to tooth loss, regardless of the type of food eaten, according to American and Danish researchers, who cited reduced saliva flow. They suggested that practitioners screen patients for nocturnal eating.  OK....... The study participants who were classed as nocturnal eaters--that is they consumed a quarter or more of their daily calories after their evening meal, and would wake and have a snack in the middle of the night at least twice a week--had lost more teeth at the later point in the study than the non-nocturnal eaters. This is even taking into account potential influencing factors like age, smoking status, and the amount if sugar or carbs in their diet. The researchers suggested that practitioners screen patients for nocturnal eating. You can read about the study, by researchers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Copenhagen University, in the August print issue of Eating Behaviors, which is already available online.
  • Kids' Dental Coverage: Maine's Now No. 1

    Thursday, June 03, 2010
     The first-in-the-nation legislation ensuring Maine’s youngest children have access to early preventive dental care was signed June 1 by Gov. John E. Baldacci. The bill, "An Act To Improve Dental Insurance Coverage for Maine Children," ensures that all dental benefit plans provide coverage to children from birth, earlier than the coverage of most kids' dental plans (if available at all) that begin coverage at 2,3, or 4 years of age. Beginning in January of 2011, any dental plan offered in Maine will have to provide parents the ability to enroll their child at birth, or at any age thereafter. Whether or not children are enrolled will be entirely up to the parents. The Maine Dental Association lobbied for legislation after a local dentist treated a 4-year-old child who had significant tooth decay. The parent said she didn’t bring the child to the dentist earlier because her dental benefit plan didn’t pay for earlier care. After some investigation, it turned out the parents’ employer had an age restriction for enrollment, which has been very common in Maine for dental benefit plans. Gov. Baldacci is right to be proud. “With this legislation Maine is setting a high standard for children’s dental benefit coverage,” he said. “I am pleased to sign this bill into law and make Maine a leader for children’s oral health.” Bravo!
  • Regrow Teeth with Our Own Stem Cells. Who Knew!?

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010
    Just read (OK, well only the abstract....I don't even pretend to really understand any of this) about a study citing a new technique that can orchestrate the body's own stem cells to regenerate teeth. Whoa! Here's what Dr. Jeremy Mao, lead author on the study published in the latest issue of Journal of Dental Research, wants us to know: "These findings represent the first report of regeneration of anatomically shaped tooth-like structures in vivo by cell homing." By homing (homing....sounds so, well, nice) stem cells, Dr. Mao and his colleagues have potentially created an alternative to implants. Their work shows that a tooth can be grown "orthotopically," or in the tooth socketand that it can integrate with surrounding tissue in ways that are impossible for implants. And hard at work promoting awareness of this research is an innovative company, StemSave, which provides a service to dental practices that allows  patients to recover their own stem cells as part of routine dental procedures and bank them for future use in stem cell based therapies. The future's here. You can read the abstract of the article online and can find out more about StemSave by visiting its web site.
  • Just one more example of creativity, generosity, community spirit in the dental industry

    Sunday, April 18, 2010
    Just received an email that I almost deleted, and I'm glad I didn't. It was from Dr. Bill Dorfman, founder of Discus Dental, and Steve Anderson of the Crown Council and Smiles for Life Foundation. Together, they founded the LEAP Foundation (LEAP's an acronym for Leadership, Excellence, and Accelerating Potential). The organization's Web site can do a much better job of explaining what it does than I can, but suffice it to say I think you'll be impressed. Among it's lofty and thoughtful goals for young adults....better grades, confidence building, mastering job interviewing skills, and of course SUCCESS IN LIFE. Briefly, among other offerings, LEAP runs a 5-day motivation and leadership program for young adults that includes the opportunity to connect with high-level professionals in a variety of industries. The email announced a scholarship initiative for qualified candidates who otherwise would not be able to participate. And it's inviting the email recipient (who I am assuming are Discus customers and dentists) to nominate a deserving member of his or her community for the scholarship. Check this out online too.   
  • Stick it to your anxious patients

    Thursday, April 01, 2010
    You might want to recommend acupuncture to your dental phobic patients, according to the results of a small study done by--amazingly-- the British Dental Acupuncture Society. Twenty patients, all of whom were extremely anxious about undergoing necessary dental treatment and all of whom had unsuccessfully tried other remedies like  sedatives, biofeedback, and hypnosis, were treated with acupuncture that targeted two specific acupuncture points on the top of the head. All 20 significantly reduced their anxiety and were able to be treated. Authors of the study, published in a recent issue of Acupuncture in Medicine, not surprisingly recommend additional larger studies to confirm the value of acupuncture in these sorts of cases. But, they suggest that acupuncture "may offer a simple and inexpensive method of treatment." You can check out the abstract. Who knew?
  • TryKaVo for a Handpiece Test Drive.....And K-Tel and Time-Life, Move Over!

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010
    To kick off KaVo's new Try KaVo free handpiece trial program, Dentalcompare's own wild and crazy creative team produced a hilarious video. Whether you are "of a certain age" or not, this spoof of an old "not sold in any store" vinyl compilation features a bunch of the great artists and hits of the 60s. You gotta check it out below. You can also find it at And while you're there, be sure to look into this unique opportunity to actually try one or more of a selected group of KaVo handpieces in your practice--for five days--for free--with the option of returning or buying when you're done. You can even try out the new ComfortDrive handpiece. So cool. Handpiece, love, and happiness.  
  • Chicks rule

    Thursday, March 18, 2010
    Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the first female dentist in the U.S. (and probably the world) is the focus of today's daily Profile America feature issued by the U.S. Census Bureau (a daily press release aimed at raising awareness about responding to the census, which by the way I sadly filled out in 4 minutes....check a few boxes and that's it....really wanted someone to come to my door with a clipboard so I could relate my life story, but....). Back to Lucy. Here a few fun facts to impress your friends with: Lucy originally applied for admission to the ineptly named Eclectic College of Medicine in Cincinnati. She was rejected because of her gender. They suggested she try dentistry. Lucy became a private pupil and pursued dentistry under the guidance of the dean of the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, later apprenticeing herself to a graduate of the school. After being refused admission to the dental college -- again because of her gender -- she opened her own practice at the age of 28. Receiving credit for her years of professional practice from a small but devoted group of admirers, she earned her degree  in February 1866, at the age of 33.  While practicing in Chicago, she met and married Civil War veteran and railway maintenance worker James M. Taylor in April 1867. HERE'S MY FAVORITE PART: Under Lucy's guidance, James too became a dentist. They moved to Lawrence, Kansas, and practiced together for 40 years. Just an inspiring story for a Thursday. And incidentally, since 1983, the American Association of Women Dentists has recognized outstanding females in the profession by annually bestowing the Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award. The AAWD describes this honor as "the highest and most prestigious award that the AAWD presents to one of its professional members. This award recognizes a woman dentist who has contributed to the advancement, enrichment, and betterment of the role of women in the field of dentistry through her achievements in civic, cultural, humanitarian and academic areas."