Best Pearls of 2008

It is always difficult to pick a "best" list, particularly when I feel that every "Pearl" I wrote about was the best.

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by Dr. Joe Blaes, Editor

It is always difficult to pick a "best" list, particularly when I feel that every "Pearl" I wrote about was the best. Last year, I did 12; this year was even harder, so I picked 16. Here they are in no particular order.

GURU — The Shortest Path to Enlightenment by Henry Schein.

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This will revolutionize the way you educate your patients. Give them an interactive experience with more than 200 animations and images with Guru's stop, draw, and teach technology. Guru augments your professional counsel in a way that transcends all barriers. Patients will achieve clarity, which leads to the acceptance of your treatment recommendations. You must see it to believe it! Order from your Schein dealer or call (888) 846-3391 for more information.

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The STA™ System from Milestone Scientific. This system uses Dynamic Pressure Sensing (DPS) technology to produce a predictable onset of profound single-tooth anesthesia using a virtually painless technique to any tooth for any procedure. I tried the STA System and my patients absolutely love it. This is a no brainer — go get one ASAP! Contact Milestone at www.STAis4u.com for more information.

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Flor-Opal Varnish White from Ultradent Products, Inc. With an innovative use of syringes that eliminates separation of fluoride from the resin carrier, Ultradent has done it again, producing an easy, fast, effective, beautifully white 5% sodium fluoride varnish. This is another triumph for Dr. Dan Fisher and Ultradent. Contact Ultradent at (800) 552-5512 or go to www.ultradent.com for more information.

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Helios 3000 LED Operating Light by Pelton and Crane. The light engineers at Pelton and Crane have designed a totally new LED operating light that is "light" years ahead. See their patented color mixing technology, a 3 inch by 6 inch rectangular light pattern, depth of field of 18 inches to 36 inches, a touch-button no-cure setting, and no radiant heat. Visit www.pelton.net or call (800) 659-6560 for more information.

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Optima MX INT from Bien Air. This electric handpiece is available in several versions for integration into your dental unit. The system has a broad speed range; most procedures can be done with only two contra angles that can be preset to memory for efficient use, saving you time and money. Get one today and enjoy prepping teeth. Go to www.bienair.com for more information. To order, call (800) 433-2436.

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E4D Dentist™ from D4D Technologies. Same-day crowns, inlays, onlays, and veneers can increase productivity, provide a convenience for your patients, and give you control of the restoration. The ICEverything™ View shows a 3-D photograph of the actual dentition that shows hard and soft tissue and well-defined margins. To order, contact your Henry Schein representative or visit www.d4dtech.com for more information.

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Midwest Caries I.D.™ from Dentsply Professional. I gave this device to my hygienist, Karen Reiner, to evaluate. She likes the easy one-step calibration, the audio and visual confirmation, and the ability to detect occlusal and interproximal decay in a wet environment. Midwest Caries I.D. has become a routine part of her exam. I have a hard time getting it from her so I can use it! Order from your dealer or visit www.cariesid.com for more information.

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N'Durance Composite from Septodont. I am an evaluator and I can tell you that N'Durance has great handling qualities, is not sticky, polishes well and has a radiopacity similar to amalgam. This is a universal composite for anterior and posterior use. I recommend you thoroughly investigate this product because they are on to something exciting. For more information, call Septodont Materials Division at (800) 872-8305 or visit www.septodontusa.com.

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Protemp™ Plus Temporization Material from 3M ESPE. This is a new provisional material that has high fracture resistance and strength (twice as strong as Protemp 3 Garant), built-in high esthetics (an alcohol wipe makes it shine), and easy handling for a fast procedure. Protemp Plus is my first choice for beautiful esthetic provisionals. Order from your dealer or visit www.3mespe.com for more information.

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SmartCem™2 from Dentsply Caulk. This self-adhesive cement has high retention to both enamel and dentin, no microleakage, color stability, excellent radiopacity, and a gel stage for easy cleanup of excess cement. I light cure the margins for 10 seconds. Then I easily remove the excess cement and floss the interproximal areas. Visit www.caulk.com/smartcem2.html or call (800) LD-CAULK for more information.

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Take 1® Advanced™ from Kerr Corporation. Take 1 Advanced meets all of the standards that I demand from an impression material, and it deserves your attention. I know it is difficult to change impression materials, but this is one you need to try for yourself — you will not be disappointed. Order from your dealer or visit kerrdental.com/take1advanced for more information.

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Dentist's Stool and Assistant's Stool from Midmark. The engineers and designers at Midmark have come up with a system that offers great styling and exceptional comfort in doctor and assistant operator's stools that address the common musculoskeletal pains we all know about. Order from your dealer or visit www.midmark.com for more information.

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LuxaCore® Z-Dual by Zenith Dental. The inclusion of zirconium dioxide and nano technology gives this new material a compressive strength of 380MPa, which makes prepping the core just like prepping natural dentin. The 20-micron film thickness and flow characteristics make this the ideal cement for endodontic posts. Order from your dealer or go to www.zenithdmg.com for more information.

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Rudy Project sports frames from Orascoptic. You should see me in my new Rudy Project tortoise sports frames — I am really cool! Carbon and tortoise colors were added to the existing black and platinum choices. They feature adjustable nose pads and temple arms that afford a perfect fit every time. You can be productive and cool! Visit www.orascoptic.com for more information.

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Sonicare FlexCare™ from Philips Consumer Lifestyle.b This is my selection for a power toothbrush because it works. My teeth and gums have never been in better shape with no bleeding and no pockets. Three months after I started using the Flexcare, my hygienist told me my mouth looks better than hers. Get one ASAP! Visit www.sonicare.com for more information.

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bluephase® G2 from Ivoclar Vivadent. This curing light is suitable for all light-curing dental materials in the wavelength range of 380 nm to 515 nm. With a quiet cooling fan, this light can be used for an unlimited period of time. It is powered by a 60-minute lithium polymer battery. Order from your dealer or for more information, call (800) 533-6825.

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