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Laura Dorr is the executive editor of DPR's Modern Dental Network.
Every day, innovative new products and technologies are pushing the dental industry forward, streamlining the job and redefining practice management, patient care and treatment. While there are many exciting emerging technologies and cutting-edge products, there are some that rise above the rest. These are the recipients of the seventh annual Pride Institute Best of Class Technology Awards.
This year, the Best of Class advisory board singled out 23 honorees for recognition. Over the next several issues, DPR will spotlight each of these honorees and include feedback from the advisory board on what made these products stand out from the competition, as well as reviews from dentists who’ve seen results from these products in their practices. To kick off this year’s coverage, DPR sat down with Best of Class Founder Dr. Lou Shuman to learn about the significance of the awards.
What do you feel Best of Class recognition signifies?
Best of Class was created to be different from all other awards in the industry. As a result of the rigorous and uncompromising selection process, and a voting panel that is the most respected group of technology leaders in dentistry, the manufacturing community considers it the most prestigious award a company can receive. It signifies that a product has not only proven itself to be of great importance but has separated itself from its competition as a true category leader.
What are the most important criteria you look for in the winning products?
There is no single criterion. Most important is practical innovation. A game changer. An emerging technology that will have significant impact. New technologies that can literally create their own category. Traditional products that, year in and year out, maintain their class leadership. All of these are considered and more.
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What are the biggest challenges in selecting the winners?
Getting the board to agree by majority! These decisions are not easy, and the advisory board takes them very seriously! Every Chicago Midwinter Meeting, the board gets together late one evening, shuts the door and goes into the wee hours of the next morning reviewing all the research they have done over the year. The process is unbiased and nonprofit. If a category does not provide a Best of Class designee, it is skipped. We don’t care if there are four winners or 14. There is no top 20 or 50 here.
If one of the panel members has a consulting relationship with a company, it is divulged before we start and they are not allowed to vote in that specific category. So, when it is all over, the white smoke comes out of the chimney and the most challenging aspect of the process is completed.
Why should people pay attention to products that receive Best of Class recognition?
We have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to create an award of the highest integrity and of the greatest meaning to the manufacturing community. We also strive to provide the practitioner community a list of products they can truly trust and recognize as critical components that should be integrated into their practice. The Best of Class logo signifies that dentistry’s technology leaders have deemed the product remarkable after evaluating the tremendous number of options available. The awards provide a guide of what products will provide the greatest benefit to dentists’ practices, their teams and their patients.
The Best of Class advisory board
Acknowledging the dynamic decision-making that comes from bringing great minds and great dentists together, once again this year’s honorees were selected by a distinguished board of dental professionals. In our 2015 coverage of the honorees, every board member will contribute insights from his own experience with the product or category.
Dr. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS-Best of Class founder
John Flucke, DDS-Writer, speaker and technology editor for Dental Products Report
Paul Feuerstein, DMD-Writer, speaker and technology editor for Dentistry Today
Parag Kachalia, DDS-Speaker, writer and Vice-Chairman of Preclinical Education, Technology, and Research University of Pacific School of Dentistry
Marty Jablow, DMD-Writer, speaker and technology consultant and columnist for Dr. Bicuspid