Twenty-five Years After the Development of an Oral Care Instrument the Original Company has been Contracted to Help with Marketing
to Long-Term Care Facilities, Where Oral Health Care is Still not in Compliance with Federal Regulations in Most Facilities.
In September 1985, a U.S. patent was issued to Mary Prince of Cape Girardeau, MO for the
Plak-Vac®, a suction toothbrush for patients incapable of performing their own oral hygiene. There is still nothing comparable on the market today. The brush helps eliminate plaque build-up, and subsequently decay, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and halitosis, while decreasing the chance of aspiration. During the development, Prince was working for Dr. Michael Bennett in Cape Girardeau as a certified expanded duty dental assistant, with a passion for prevention. Along with her husband, Cary, the family handled manufacturing (including supervision of injection molding and bristling), assembly, packaging, shipping, marketing, sales and education for the company, Prince Dental Care, Inc. Part of the education was writing the script for an in-service video showing the proper use of the instrument for maximum evacuation of secretions. The video also stressed the importance of good oral hygiene for incapacitated patients, which included statements from Dr. Bennett, Dr. Bob Ward (Oral Surgery), and Dr. Richard Martin (Otolaryngology). All three professionals had seen the devastating health effects of poor oral health care and were glad to help with the message being presented.
Later the patent rights were sold to Trademark Medical in St. Louis, MO. The company has since developed an oral care system around the brush, which is primarily marketed to intensive care units in the hospital setting. Studies have shown that a comprehensive oral care program including a suction toothbrush greatly reduces the incidence of Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia (VAP), therefore saving lives and thousands of dollars per incident.
Many patients suffer from oral health complications due to medications and treatments they undergo. In these cases, studies show problems can be serious and may interfere with treatments and may even last a lifetime. Oral side effects can also be the source of infections that can interfere with cancer treatment and even threaten survival. Proper oral health care can prevent or reduce the severity of these complications.
Prince Dental has partnered with Trademark Medical to handle marketing and education to long-term care facilities and their suppliers. The American Dental Association has stated that foam swabs “DO NOT REMOVE PLAQUE”, which have sadly become the standard in oral care when regular tooth brushing is difficult. The Plak-Vac® Oral Care System includes swabs, but only for “swabbing” with antiseptic mouthwash and application of mouth and lip moisturizer. The needs resolved by this product and system components are a better quality of life and fewer incidents of hospitalization for life-threatening infections caused by bacterial accumulations, while helping the long-term care facility stay in compliance with federal regulations. Mary Prince, Oral Care Director, and Cara Trankler, the company’s Marketing Director are committed to help bring the Plak-Vac® brush to the forefront of good oral hygiene for not only long-term care and severely handicapped patients, but also any individual enduring a health condition that complicates oral care and hinders oral health.
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If you have a patient or loved one in need of the Plak-Vac® suction toothbrush, please request it through their hospital, long-term care facility, medical supply company, home health provider, or contact Prince Dental directly @ 573-986-3151, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or on Facebook.com/Prince Dental.
Trademark Medical is a St. Louis-based medical device company specializing in the development and marketing of unique medical products. Visit Trademark Medical on the web at www.trademarkmedical.com or contact us by phone at 636-527-2288.
*Plak-Vac® is a registered trademark of Trademark Medical L.L.C