Examining some of the award-winning products that stood out to the Technology Evangelist.
As many of you know, every February during the Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, a panel of dental technology experts convenes to discuss and vote on what we consider to be the industry’s Best of Class in a host of categories.
We spend the prior couple of days scouring the exhibit floor for anything new and exciting, as well as pooling our collective knowledge and experiences with products over the last year. Late on Friday evening we sit down to discuss what we’ve seen and experienced since the last time we’ve met. This meeting usually doesn’t let out until very late or very early (depending on your own sleep schedule). Let’s just say it’s way past the Technology Evangelist’s bedtime.
However, every year the meeting is a great time. We really get into the nitty gritty of different products and devices, while sometimes challenging each other on why we believe that one product may be more deserving than another. Because of that, you can be assured that the Cellarant Best of Class awards are definitely awarded to products and devices that we truly feel are the best of the best.
This month I’d like to give you an insight into some of the products that really revved my engine this year.
Ultradent VALO Platform
The VALO curing light family is a five-time winner that has been around for the past several years. The first year on the market, the VALO was a game changer. However, one of the things I love about Ultradent, is that the company never ceases to innovate. Over the time that the VALO family has been on the market, Ultradent has continued to innovate and improve the product. The latest member of the VALO family is the VALO Grand.
The VALO Grand (as its name implies) is larger than its older siblings. The size of the curing head is 107mm2, which allows for full coverage of any molar occlusal surface. This eliminates the need for as many curing cycles, which makes treatment quicker and allows the tooth to be exposed to not as much heat.
All of the VALO lights are made out of rugged aluminum and are built to be durable. If you are in the market for a new curing device, put VALO on your list.
I love companies that take existing technologies, especially ones that have existed for a long time, and are bright enough to make significant improvements to the technology. The smart folks at Bien-Air make some incredible products. Their latest is the TORNADO handpiece.
The TORNADO is an air driven handpiece that shows some amazing improvements over other devices in the category. It can produce 30 watts of sustained power that allows the operator to work smoothly and precisely.
As anyone in our proud profession knows, patients absolutely delight in the sound of the dental handpiece. OK, that’s not true, but I wanted to make sure you were still paying attention. Due to the fact that patients really dislike the sound of the high speed, anything we can do to help decrease the noise is always greatly appreciated. The TORNADO has the lowest decibel level (55) of any air driven handpiece on the market, and that helps decrease patient anxiety.
The device also has an impressive chuck system call the Accu-chuck PreciPlus™. This chuck is remarkably efficient and decreases vibration substantially. This means less vibration is felt by the patient, while also allowing for the operator to have more precision during preparation.
Shofu EyeSpecial C-II
Those of you who are regular readers of my columns know that I am a huge fan of using anything we can to visually share and discuss with patients.
Intraoral cameras are a great asset, but you can only do so much with a device that is more or less designed to show a tooth or two. Because of that it’s a great adjunct to have a camera that allows you to take full face and full smile photographs. Now, the problem with that becomes that many of those types of cameras are extremely difficult to use and require a steep learning curve.
For the above reasons, that’s why I love the Shofu EyeSpecial C-II (which is a three-time Best of Class winner). The people at Shofu have created an incredibly easy-to-use camera that also provides incredibly beautiful shots. The EyeSpecial was designed strictly with the idea of dentistry in mind. It is water and chemical resistant so it can be wiped down between patients and touched while wearing gloves (which is something you really cannot do with any other extraoral camera).
It has a fast autofocus and anti-shake mode which helps produce really great pictures. The device also has a large and bright LCD on the back. Even better, is that the screen is touchscreen. That allows you to switch between photo modes (such as bleaching) and seven other built-in modes.
If you are looking for a camera that is easy to use by anyone in your office and will provide stunning photos, you definitely need to give the EyeSpecial C-II.
Ultradent Gemini Laser
I have been using lasers for about 20 years now. I have embraced them to the point that it is a very rare day in my office that a laser of some type is not used. Because of that, I’ve seen and used a lot of different types, styles and designs.
I’m not usually overly impressed with a new laser, but this year I was blown away by the arrival of the Gemini from Ultradent. This highly aesthetic device has two wavelengths, 810 and 980 nanometers. The most amazing and forward thinking part of the Gemini is that it has the ability to use both of these wavelengths simultaneously. This allows the user to work with the benefits of both wavelengths and this is definitely one of the reasons that Gemini is the Best of Class in my opinion.
The device is also by far and away the most impressively aesthetic laser I have ever had the pleasure to lay eyes on. When you consider the combination of amazing science and beauty, that makes the Gemini Laser a standard against which other devices in the category are measured.
This year, the Cellerant Best of Class voting resulted in 20 winners from many areas of our profession. My attempt here was to give you an idea of what I consider when I’m looking at the products. You’ll be seeing more about the winners as 2017 progresses so make sure to keep your eyes open for more information on the winners. However, you can rest assured that the winners listed above were definitely things that made me sit up and take notice