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Dr. Lou Shuman is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator; a venturer-in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab; the chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media; a long-time contributor to Dental Products Report; and the founder and creator of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.
Diving deeper into the innovations that caught the eye of Best of Class panel members this year.
At the time of writing, my team and I are gearing up to attend the 2018 ADA Annual Meeting in Hawaii. There, we will recognize and celebrate the winners of the 2018 Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award - an award I created 10 years ago as a way to recognize the greatest technologies in our industry.
Since then, I’ve established a panel of dentists who select and debate on these products every year at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting: Dr. John Flucke, Dr. Paul Feuerstein, Dr. Chris Salierno, Dr. Pam Maragliano-Muniz and Dr. Marty Jablow. What follows here are the 19 companies that were voted on - after hours of debates - as the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award Winners for 2018.
DEXIS and Simplifeye DEXvoice
Voice technology is changing the world. As of January 2018, 39 million Americans owned a smart speaker such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Since that number rose 128 percent between 2017 and 2018, you can imagine the current number is even higher. It’s not just the household that benefits from smart speakers though.
The teams at Simplifeye and DEXIS have been working together on DEXvoice, a smart speaker that will change the way dentists practice forever. Its role in the dental practice is even more important than its role in the home, given that merely speaking the words, “Alexa, compare the bitewings of #19” means infection control protocols are simplified and dentists no longer have to worry about dealing with gloves while simultaneously working on a keyboard and mouse.
With Amplify, you can optimize the patient booking process by making contact with a potential or existing patient as soon as they land on your website.
“Think of a new website visitor as a hot lead,” Dr. Salierno says. “You have a potential patient on the hook and now it's time to reel them in. Amplify provides customizable visitor engagement on your website 24/7.”
It’s a win-win: You get the information you need from your patients to get them scheduled more quickly, and your patients establish a relationship with your practice immediately - getting their questions answered and their appointment booked right away.
3D Systems NextDent 5100
The NextDent 5100 stood out to the panel because of its ability to offer high-speed 3D printing of certified and biocompatible materials. In fact, they have more materials to offer than any other material supplier: from orthodontics to implants and nightguards to dentures, they have you covered
AdDent Calset Composite Warmer and CoMax Composite Dispenser
The benefits of using warm composite are plentiful. Studies show that it improves composite flow, reduces microleakage, decreases shrinkage stress and shortens curing time.
“It’s a great dynamic duo,” Dr. Jablow says. “Composites flow better and demonstrate better properties when warm, and it's even better to express them with the best composite gun on the market.”
It’s no surprise that the leader in the dental software market made its way to the Best of Class winners list. From its solution in business management, clinical efficiency, patient engagement and more, our Best of Class panel made a point to recognize Dentrix G7 as one of the most stand-out dental solutions in 2018.
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DEXIS FS Ergo by KaVo
When patients are more comfortable physically, the entire visit is more seamless. The DEXIS FS Ergo by KaVo is a win-win solution for both clinician and patient. You get the images you need the first time around, and the patient goes home with a positive experience in his or her memory.
Garrison Dental Solutions Composi-Tight 3D Fusion
This sectional matrix system from Garrison makes Class II contacts easy and predictable, says Dr. Jablow. “Pick the right band and ring to get the best contacts possible,” he says.
This Bien-Air turbine had won the Best of Class award once before, and the newest iteration - the TORNADOS - catapulted it to the list again. Even stronger than the original but with a smaller head, the TORNADOS gives dentists the power and visibility they need, all in one handpiece.
“Whether its air or electric, Bien-Air delivers Swiss precision and power to its handpieces, making operative dentistry a breeze,” Dr. Jablow says.
Digital Doc LUM G2
Improving diagnostics is a priority in the dental practice, and that’s exactly why the LUM G2 has a spot on the winners’ list in 2018. Because the light travels perpendicular to the plane of the tooth, any impurities clearly show up in the images of the tooth’s buccal surface, helping you to identify fractures or leaking amalgam.
Ultradent Gemini 810 + 980 Diode Laser
Our panel was impressed this year by the Gemini 810 + 980 diode laser -- the most powerful dual-wavelength soft tissue diode laser available. The benefits of the two wavelengths are that melanin reaches optimal absorption at 810 nm, while water reaches optimal absorption at 980 nm.
The EyeZoom has won its second Best of Class award this year. As the first adjustable magnification loupe, the EyeZoom has a serious head start on the rest of the market, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to give up its spot easily.
“Seeing is believing, and having the right magnification is important,” Dr. Jablow says. “Having the option to choose between 3x, 4x and 5x all within the same loupes makes doing procedures easier and better.”
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MMG ChairFill by MMG Fusion
MMG stands for “manage, market, grow,” and ChairFill’s focus is on the latter. ChairFill automatically fills the practice schedule with the highest profit procedures that are waiting to be done.
“ChairFill sees holes in your schedule, automatically contacts the perfect patients based on your preferences, and lets them instantly schedule online,” says Best of Class panel member Dr. Flucke.
“Dentists are realizing the power of automating routine front desk responsibilities and filling your open doctor and hygienist time is a major one,” Dr. Salierno saus. “MMG ChairFill integrates seamlessly with practice management software to get you busy.”
A cordless headlight that can integrate with nearly any loupe or glasses frame, the Orascoptic Spark is on the list for the third year. “When we measure our success in fractions of a millimeter, we need to see extreme detail, and headlights provide the best illumination for precision dentistry,” Dr. Salierno says. “Orascoptic's Spark is also lightweight and cordless so as to not interfere with our operation.”
Your online presence - your website, social media and everything else that’s on the net about you - is critical to the success of your practice. It can also be quite overwhelming. That’s why our panel identified WEO Media as a leader in the field. WEO Media is a complete marketing solution for the dental practice. From custom websites to patient education videos to Facebook ads, WEO does it all.
“Your website needs to be good, it needs to be compliant and it needs to be visible,” Dr. Salierno says. “WEO Media are experts at offering a turnkey solution for dentists.”
Shofu EyeSpecial C-III
A four-time Best of Class Winner, the Shofu EyeSpecial C-III camera is made to produce quality images, even when conditions aren’t perfect. With built-in anti-shake mode and a resistance to water and chemicals, the eight shooting modes it offers means you can get quality, reproducible images easier and faster than ever before.
Bien-Air iOptima INT
The Bien-Air iOptima INT is a five-time Best of Class-winning handpiece. Our panel has been consistently impressed with this technology because of its versatile capabilities: it functions in restorative, endodontics, implants and oral surgery, and even Piezo scaling. Plus, it’s controlled through an iPad, so it has a clean, space-saving esthetic
“HIPAA-compliant disaster recovery” are some of the sweetest words you could utter to a dentist, and that’s why DDS Rescue has made its way onto this list for five years.
“DDS Rescue has bailed me out on many occasions, whether the disaster was natural or man-made (like my database merge forgetting all the scanned documents),” Dr. Jablow says. “Having the ability to retrieve my files or be back online with my server if it goes down makes me a customer for life.”
3Shape TRIOS MOVE
Patient education and engagement is key to getting your patients to recognize the importance of their oral health and agree to treatment plans that you propose, so it makes sense to have clear information readily available to present to the patient. With the six-time Best of Class award-winning TRIOS MOVE, you can show digital scans, images and treatment plans to your patients in a way that’ss comfortable for them.
LED Dental VELscope Vx
I’m a huge proponent of making the most of the time we have with our patients. Dentists can actually save lives by performing regular oral cancer screenings, but sometimes there are areas that are invisible to the naked eye.
The VELscope is more than a camera - it’s a visualization device that you can use live to help identify areas that deserve a closer look. With the rise of oral cancer on our minds, it’s nice to see that an adjunctive screening device has made the list for eight years.
Over the years, we’ve seen many products come and go, some giving way for newer iterations or competitors, others maintaining their presence as leaders in the field year after year. All of these companies are different, but the one thing they have in common is their ability to change the game in some form or another.