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The Best New 2006 High Tech Products

Nov. 1, 2006
I try to keep up with what is happening with new technology in the dental office by visiting with manufacturers.

I try to keep up with what is happening with new technology in the dental office by visiting with manufacturers. Some of the new stuff is pretty sophisticated and hard to understand, but once in a while I see a new product that I can immediately figure out how it could benefit my practice. These are the products that meet that criterion for 2006.

DIAGNOdent penby KaVo Dental. The DIAGNOdent pen is a new, totally wireless, hand-held laser caries-detection aid that provides the same high detection accuracy as the Classic DIAGNOdent.

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This device is more than 90 percent accurate in detecting carious lesions not detectable with an explorer or bitewing X-rays. The precise, reliable measurement of the decay process allows objective monitoring of caries activity over time. This monitoring will prevent exploratory excavation or under-treatment of suspect teeth. Dentists and hygienists can now treat questionable sites and sub-surface caries with confidence. The DIAGNOdent pen should be used routinely by hygienists as they educate their patients on the caries disease process. A carious lesion is indicated by sound and a numeric display. The interactivity of the process engages patients in the examination and discovery of tooth decay. This compact, portable device poses no danger to staff or patients because it is painless and noninvasive. In my practice, I find the device to be ideal in confirming the precise location of the carious lesion just prior to my restorative treatment. In the very near future, an interproximal tip will be available to detect decay between teeth.

For more information, contact your dealer, visit or call (800) 323-8029.

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SIROLaser - ­ the new compact diode laser from Sirona. Laser technology has an appealing allure with patients. The use of lasers will probably continue to have an increasingly important role in dentistry. The practical, state-of-the-art technology incorporated in the SIROLaser ensures that you have an innovative and competitive edge: you will benefit from its versatility and, in addition, enhance both the image and economics of your practice.

This is the most compact and lightweight laser I have seen. It can be easily integrated into the treatment area, and operates at a wavelength of 980 nanometers with a power output ranging from 0.5 to 7 watts. The laser has a broad spectrum of applications in restorative dentistry, endodontics, periodontics, and oral surgery. It is very easy to use, and offers an outstanding value for the money. The SIROLaser sets new standards, which include the control functions. A smooth treatment procedure is guaranteed, as it is easy to navigate the clear menu step by step. A glance at the display allows you to see all the treatment parameters immediately. You are always in full control, and maximum safety is assured during treatment. To cater for your individual requirements, the SIROLaser can be operated using the finger switch on the handpiece or the foot switch. The choice is yours! The patient benefits include less pain, less swelling, virtually no bleeding, and minimal scar formation.

To order, contact your dealer. Visit for more information or call (800) 659-5977.

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MedVisor|dental- show what you mean clearly, efficiently, and dynamically. This is a new era in patient education, elevating it from a passive waiting-room pastime to supporting its importance in the patient’s health-care choices. MedVisor|dental is an interactive system that allows the user to customize explanations with specific notations. You are able to incorporate data unique to each patient, from X-rays to intraoral photos, and clarify hygiene instruction to convey specific techniques with 3-D visuals. Developed with dentists, for dentists, MedVisor|dental’s highly detailed animations augment your professional counsel in a universal language. No more drawings on bracket table covers. The result? Patients achieve the clarity that leads to understanding and acceptance of your treatment recommendations. This system allows you to incorporate your patient’s information directly into your explanation, and utilize MedVisor|dental’s drawing and notation tools to further personalize your discussion. Your patient’s level of interest and understanding will be dramatically enhanced. As dentists, we have always known that patients who understand their diagnoses and treatment options are more likely to make sound decisions regarding their dental health.

This system puts more than 120 accurate, three-dimensional dental animations at your fingertips to help you translate the complexities of dentistry for your patients. You can easily integrate MedVisor|dental technology into your existing office. It can be tailored to fit your needs, whether you want to install it on an existing system, bundle it with an ultra-portable tablet PC, or a solution in between. View animation examples at and see the features that make it such a powerful education tool. This sophisticated and easy-to-use software can be used by your entire staff to eliminate patient fears and raise patient awareness. MedVisor|dental is an affordable solution for education in your dental practice. Go from no-tech to high-tech with this state-of-the-art interactive patient-communication system.

Order from your dealer. For more information, call (888) 338-4767 or visit

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VELscope by LED Dental, Inc. The mortality rates associated with oral cancer have not changed in more than 30 years. Examination for oral cancer by a clinician detects visible changes on the tissue surface. Unfortunately, the cellular changes that lead to oral cancer actually start below the surface at the basal membrane. These changes may not be visible to the naked eye until the disease progresses to the surface. Oral cancer is often curable when detection, diagnosis, and treatment are performed early. This means detecting mucosal abnormalities at or before Stage 1 cancer. LED Dental developed the VELscope in cooperation with the British Columbia Cancer Agency and its affiliated U.S. partners. VELscope is a portable device comprised of a light source, light guide, and viewing handpiece. The system includes a disposable protective end cap for use with each patient examination and a tissue retractor with measurement guide as needed. VELscope was designed for optimal flexibility and placement within the operatory. Changes in tissue fluorescence can help determine areas where cellular changes have occurred. The VELscope provides a more effective oral cancer screening protocol with immediate benefits for the patient, clinician, and practice. When used in combination with traditional oral cancer examination procedures, VELscope facilitates the discovery and visualization of mucosal abnormalities prior to surface exposure. In less than five minutes, the VELscope screening procedure helps oral health-care professionals assure their patients that the best standard for oral cancer screening has been utilized. This is an instrument that every dentist should have in the office. Imagine the number of oral cancer deaths that could be prevented!

Order from your dental dealer. Visit or call (888) 541-4614 for more information.

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ScanX® with In-Line Erase by Air Techniques. The In-Line Erase advantage is now built into every ScanX. This means that all ScanX models will read the Phosphor Storage Plate and then automatically erase it in the same continuous cycle. In-Line Erase saves time and simplifies the imaging process. The new ScanX has the same rapid image cycle times and compact dimensions as the prior model. The ScanX system fits the way you work. If you are ready to leave film processing behind and move ahead with digital X-ray imaging, you want an easy, fast, and flexible system that will deliver diagnostic-quality images in a complete range of sizes, without changing the way you work. The ScanX is an advanced digital imaging system that operates in a familiar way and works with your existing X-ray equipment. Just replace your standard X-ray film with a reusable phosphor plate. They feel and position just like film. Plus, they expose, load, and process per your normal routine - only much faster. If you require a range of sizes, select the classic ScanX. If your needs are entirely intraoral, the ScanX Intraoral Digital Imaging System is the right choice for you.

Order from your dealer. Visit or call (800) 247-8324 for more information.

I know that there have been other great, new, high-tech products in the industry for 2006, so be aware that this is my biased list. Sometimes it is hard to tell if a product is new or just a slightly different version of a product already on the market.

Keep in mind that with all new products, you need to be concerned with your return on investment. I am sure we will see many more advances in 2007, and Dental Economics® will be here to preview them for you.

- Dr. Joe Blaes, Editor

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