Chris Salierno, DDS Chief Editor, Dental Economics
Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS Founder, Best of Class Technology Awards
This is the closest thing dentistry has to the Academy Awards. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, president and CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, launched the Best of Class Technology Awards eight years ago. A panel consisting of Drs. John Flucke, Paul Feuerstein, Parag Kachalia, and Martin Jablow review the latest developments from dental companies and determine the best of the best. I sat down with Lou to get an idea of what trends he and his panel are seeing
CS: There has been an explosion of dental technology and material science over the past 15 or so years. You and the Cellerant Best of Class review committee members are some of the most knowledgeable on trends for innovation in dentistry. What's your sense for where we are right now? Are you still seeing a lot of exciting new technology coming out of the pipeline?
LS: In speaking with the Best of Class voting committee, the consensus is that this year we are not seeing breakthrough technologies. A few years ago there was tremendous change in dentistry with new technologies such as CBCT, caries detection, and digital scanning. Instead, incremental growth is occurring in many dental technology sectors. Many products are going through improvement cycles. Our expectation is as the improvement cycles bottom out there will be an upswing in new product development.
CS: Research and development is challenging and very expensive for a manufacturer. Based on your experience, what are your most innovative companies doing differently to have their products stand out from the crowd?
LS: The most innovative manufacturers are providing features that allow their products to perform better, faster, and with more clinical applications than their competitors.
The other area that we are noticing an impact is among companies that have dentists consulting with their engineers from the beginning of the development process. They are creating products that provide superior integration into the dental practice over other companies that go through the engineering process solely and then test the market.
CS: Which area of dental technology do you think has the most untapped potential?
LS: Actually, we feel there are two areas: digital integration and diagnosis.
Digital integration is in its infancy. The future will see seamless integration of all digital products, from radiology to impressions, making treatments easier and more predictable. This will result in better patient outcomes.
With the incredible advances in digital technology, new tools will continue to be created to improve diagnostic accuracy as well as reduce the amount of time between when a problem develops and when it can be discovered.
The LiteTouch Er:YAG dental laser is AMD Laser's newest addition to the award-winning Picasso line of soft-tissue lasers, launched in collaboration with Syneron Dental Lasers. This Er:YAG dental laser provides fast-cutting, high-energy nonfiber, and minimally invasive treatment for both hard and soft oral and maxillofacial tissues. LiteTouch offers unsurpassed precision for a wide range of dental procedures. With a cutting-edge ergonomic design, LiteTouch is the world's most affordable and user-friendly all-tissue laser. The addition of the new LiteTouch allows AMD Lasers to tap into a brand new market by providing an effective and affordable solution in cavity preparation and bone surgery for any practice to provide a new level of patient care.
The new Picasso+ 7.0-watt soft-tissue laser and Picasso Lite+ 3.0-watt soft-tissue laser are the same-but better. More power, more easy-to-use functions, and the industry's first Picasso periodontal treatment timers for predictive and reproducible results are just a few of the improvements. The Picasso+ and Picasso Lite+ combine ease of use, portability, training, marketing, and treatment planning at a very affordable price. Each unit boasts a full touch-screen interface with preset modes: Continuous, Pulsed, Perio, Aphthous Ulcer, and Custom (Picasso+ also includes a Whitening preset). Each system features five-second and 30-second timers for Perio and Aphthous Ulcer modes (Picasso+ also includes timers for Whitening).
Interview with the AMD Lasers team
1. What does it mean to AMD Lasers to have won a 2016 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award?
Winning the 2016 Cellerant Best of Class Technology award once again solidifies our leadership in the soft-tissue and hard-tissue dental laser market. Year after year, Picasso dental lasers dominate the domestic and global dental laser markets. The addition of the LiteTouch all-tissue laser has only extended our reach. But we are more than just our products. We believe in providing award-winning customer service, comprehensive training, and respect. We want our customers to be successful both clinically and financially. Thank you from all of the AMD Lasers team members.
2. How can the Picasso laser add value to a general dentist's practice?
Picasso is designed with both dentists and hygienists in mind. It's simple to use, looks great, and is the number one choice around the world. When offices purchase Picasso dental lasers, they purchase confidence. Picasso dental lasers provide the ultimate tool for soft-tissue procedures. From gingevectomies, perfect impressions through laser gingival troughing, safe implant recovery, to laser periodontal treatment, Picasso soft-tissue lasers provide the most effective and affordable solution for every dental office.
3. How can the LiteTouch laser add value to a general dentist's practice?
The LiteTouch all-tissue laser is an award-winning addition to any practice. Half the size, weight, and price of other hard-tissue lasers, it allows practices to offer the most state-of-the-art technology. The LiteTouch is the perfect all-tissue laser for cavity preparations, osseous surgery, periodontal treatment, endodontic procedures, implant recovery, peri-implantitis, and soft-tissue surgery. It is easy to use, affordable, and only available from the world leader, AMD lasers.
The iChiropro by Bien-Air is a revolutionary implant motor system, controlled from an iPad and equipped with some of the best attachments ever designed. Its CA 20:1 L Micro-Series contra-angle handpiece is equipped with an internal irrigation system for greater comfort, and the lifetime-lubricated ceramic ball bearings of its MX-i LED micromotor ensure an exceptional service life, with no maintenance required. Available from the Apple App Store, the iChiropro application will regularly offer new functions.
CariVu is a portable caries detection device that uses patented transillumination technology to support the identification of occlusal, interproximal, and recurrent carious lesions and cracks-all without the use of ionizing radiation. CariVu hugs the tooth and then bathes it in safe, near-infrared light. On the resulting images, enamel appears transparent while lesions appear as dark areas. This allows the clinician to see "through" the tooth, exposing its structure and the actual shape, position, and size of any carious lesions.
TRIOS 3 is a digital impression solution providing fast, easy, and accurate digital color impressions. TRIOS allows for a seamless digital workflow when working with labs or performing same-day dentistry with the TRIOS Practice Lab software. Shade measurement, high-definition (HD) photos, automatic bite alignment, openness, and flexibility make TRIOS an ideal digital impression solution. The simple-to-use digital impression solution weighs only 340 grams and features a smaller-sized, rounded autoclavable tip with a removable mirror for easy sterilization.
With Bien-Air's iOptima, any practitioner can transform an existing dental unit into a modern system equipped with a brushless and sensorless electric micromotor and an iPod Touch interface-all at an unrivaled price. With the option to fully customize procedures, the iOptima is perfect for all restorative and endodontic procedures. The micromotor's Smart Logic electronic management system automatically controls the power and compensates for speed variations.
Ceramir Crown & Bridge
Ceramir Crown & Bridge is redefining the cement category. This simple and strong bioactive cement sets at a high pH, forms apatite, cleans up effortlessly, has the highest biocompatibility, and was shown to close artificial marginal gaps in a published study. It integrates with natural tooth structure, is stable in the mouth, and exhibits tooth-like physical and mechanical properties with self-sealing capabilities that result in an alkaline seal for more permanent acid resistance.
Henry Schein Practice Solutions
Henry Schein Dentrix Ascend
Henry Schein Dentrix Ascend is a cloud-based practice management system that increases practice efficiency. The role-based interface in Dentrix Ascend is easy to learn and constantly updated. When a team member logs in, Dentrix Ascend displays a Practice Overview that shows the current status of their primary work items. It simplifies the management of multisite practices, providing a central database and business reporting for the group while allowing flexibility for individual sites.
The VELscope Vx enhanced oral assessment system is the leading device for adjunctive oral screening, using proprietary tissue fluorescence technology to aid in the visualization of oral mucosal abnormalities that may not be apparent or visible to the naked eye, including oral cancer, premalignant dysplasia, infections, and trauma. The VELscope Vx can be used by surgeons to aid in the identification of diseased tissue around a clinically apparent lesion and assist in surgical excision.
SonicFill 2 is a single-fill composite system designed to meet all of the requirements for bulk-fill. A handpiece that applies sonic energy while dispensing a unique composite with modifiers that react to the sonic energy, greatly improving adaptation and reducing shrinkage stress. SonicFill 2 can be placed in increments of up to 5 mm. It offers excellent adaptation, low shrinkage stress, a high depth-of-cure, improved strength and wear resistance, and outstanding color matching and polishability.
HR for Health
HR for Health is a versatile HR compliance Software as a Service (SaaS) package that integrates seamlessly within the modern day health-care practice. The software package includes various modules that address your practice's HR weaknesses. Document Management files all of your important HR documentation without boxes or binders. HR for Health provides a dedicated staff of HR experts and attorneys to address all of your needs, regardless of the phase of your health-care career.
MMG Fusion is an all-in-one software solution for managing, marketing, and growing your practice. With a single sign-on to one dashboard integrated with your practice management software, you will have everything at your fingertips. MMG Fusion's Tools include over 50 easy-to-use features-including appointment reminders, online scheduling, reputation management, reviews and ratings, SEO and directories/social media (so you can get to the top of local listings), and e-mail marketing.
The first and only adjustable magnification loupe, EyeZoom offers three magnification levels ranging from 3x to 5x. Developed to help health-care professionals view an operating site from multiple perspectives, EyeZoom conforms to fit the custom preferences of each individual. Whether you are an endodontist performing a procedure at 5x or a cosmetic dentist applying a veneer at 3x, the loupe maintains a consistent working distance at each magnification power level.
The Spark is a cordless headlight that integrates with virtually any loupe or eyewear model. Featuring an innovative design, the Spark dispenses weight evenly across the bridge of a frame, minimizing concentrated facial pressure. Capacitive touch controls enable the clinician to turn the headlight on and off with ease in between procedures and patient consultations. Coaxially mounted to your loupe, Spark emits a focused beam of 32 lumens that uniformly illuminates the entire field of view.
Proprietary to Shofu and developed exclusively for dentistry, the EyeSpecial C-II digital camera achieves predictable clinical photographs for case documentation, diagnosis and treatment planning, patient communication and education, insurance verification, legal documentation, and laboratory collaboration. Equipped with eight preset shooting modes, a 12-megapixel sensor, and a FlashMatic module (a proprietary system of ring and dual-point flashes), this camera demonstrates true-color reproduction with an exceptional depth-of-field, as well as antishake attributes that ensure clear images.
WEO Media is a full-service dental marketing agency focused on helping dentists acquire new patients and retain existing patients. Service offerings include custom responsive websites, mobile websites, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, social media, online patient review generation, online reputation management and monitoring, custom video production, patient education videos, direct-to-consumer marketing (radio, print, mailers, TV), branding and design services, patient newsletters, marketing consulting, and more.
Vatech 10x8 Green CT
The Vatech 10x8 Green CT represents the next generation of CBCT to enter the dental imaging market. Powered by Vatech's high-resolution, low-dosage sensor, the Vatech 10x8 Green CT provides the clinician with a flexible selection of dosage control with minimal sacrifice to image quality. This dosage control is made possible by a 5.9-second scan time that captures the entire dentofacial region for optimal diagnosis.
Solutionreach is a patient relationship management platform that gives health-care providers the power to revolutionize the way they manage provider-patient relationships. Among the offerings available to Solutionreach customers are options including automated appointment reminders, Limelight real-time online scheduling, Healthgrades reviews, online reputation management, unlimited patient messaging, a HIPAA-secure patient portal, and many more.
Zipwhip is a texting software provider working with businesses seeking to text using their existing phone numbers. Medical offices are using Zipwhip's applications for true two-way conversations with their patients. Offices using Zipwhip are filling waitlists fast by texting from a recognizable phone number. Your business phone number is a vital piece of information, and patients are seven times more likely to respond to a text than a voice mail.