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“Eastman Kodak Files for Bankruptcy” was the headline on Jan. 10, 2012, in The New York Times. After 131 years ...

BY Paul Feuerstein, DMD

“Eastman Kodak Files for Bankruptcy” was the headline on Jan. 10, 2012, in The New York Times. After 131 years of being the market leader in photographic film, technology caught up with the company.

This announcement raised more than a few eyebrows in the dental community. Many practitioners use products daily that have the Kodak name on them, including practice management software, digital X-ray sensors, and new cone beam CT units. Dentists, especially those who had just paid more than $80,000 for these cone beam CT units, began to have heart palpitations. A flurry of phone calls, letters, and online announcements cleared the air and calmed these folks.

Although Carestream Dental is solely responsible for developing and manufacturing its suite of products and solutions, the company was previously licensed to use the Kodak name on its products. We see this often when a brand logo is listed, and in small print it says, “A division of ...”

Once Carestream Dental realized there were customer concerns about its Kodak-branded products, the company made changes to its website, advertising, and support to clearly state that the company is Carestream Dental. As such, customers will still receive the same great solutions and support they have received historically.

Carestream Dental had not sat idly by with the old Kodak name. Rather, the company continued to update the product lines it purchased and add new products to the mix. Most of these are core products that dental practices use every day. So not only are there nuances, but they are being developed as an office solution.

I recently interviewed Dr. Edward Shellard, chief marketing officer and director of business development for Carestream Dental. Dr. Shellard has worked in the dental business for more years than he will admit, and he has always been a visionary. (He’s also one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.)

Carestream Dental’s philosophy is to give offices products that have three characteristics: diagnostic excellence, humanized technology, and workflow integration. They call this the Carestream Dental Factor.

Realizing that digital radiography is one of the cornerstones of diagnosis, the company has not remained stagnant with the evolution of the original Trophy sensors. The company is constantly improving its sensors in terms of resolution and software, including the unique software tool that helps practitioners diagnose caries. Carestream Dental’s Logicon Caries DetectorTM software can actually “read” radiographs and point out interproximal decay. Of course, practitioners still have to use their judgment. But the process becomes simplified, and the software is one more tool that shows patients how dentistry is advancing. Carestream Dental also offers sensors that are wireless and set up for tablet use.

For those offices that prefer a phosphor plate system, Carestream Dental has unveiled a revamped system — the CS 7600. The system offers improved quality and resolution of images. Many offices embrace the plates for their ease of use and familiarity to film technique. Several practices use the CS 7600 in conjunction with a set of sensors to cover many workflow situations.

In another area of diagnosis and patient education, Carestream Dental has launched a new line of intraoral cameras that follows its Carestream Dental Factor philosophy. These range from a simple USB camera (CS 1200), to a multifunction camera with a wireless option (CS 1500), to the robust CS 1600 that includes a new caries detection system. Without getting into great detail, the CS 1600 operates like a metal detector would on the beach (over the teeth) using fluorescence and reflectance. The screening is quick and improves the practitioner’s ability to quickly get diagnostic data.

Finally, Carestream Dental’s cone beam units have been finding their way into more offices with a recent increase in endodontic practices. As I stated in a previous column, the small-field scans easily show fractures, accessory canals, location of apical pathology, and of course, “what went wrong.”

The CS 9300 offers high resolution required for looking at small details at 90μm (microns), and with FOV as small as 5 cm x 5 cm (with both a normal and high resolution mode). Additionally, the CS 9000 has a variety of options for general and specialty practitioners.

There are other facets to Carestream Dental’s philosophy and array of products (including big upgrades for SoftDent and PraticeWorks). More surprises are coming soon. Keep checking, and look for complete details at www.carestreamdental.com.

There are several dental companies that have a variety of products to make our dental lives easier, more productive, and to enhance patient care. I will continue to highlight these as I spend my time investigating, testing, and talking in order to save you the trouble of running around. As always, I encourage questions and comments at my email address listed in my bio.

Paul Feuerstein, DMD, installed one of dentistry’s first computers in 1978. For more than 20 years, he has taught technology courses. A general practitioner in North Billerica, Mass., since 1973, Dr. Feuerstein maintains a website (www.computersindentistry.com), and can be reached at drpaul@toothfairy.com.

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