One year later: A look at six revolutionary products

May 18, 2015

How often do we make mental lists of things we need to do, change and implement in our lives only to have time continually slip away without making any changes?

How often do we make mental lists of things we need to do, change and implement in our lives only to have time continually slip away without making any changes?

How often do we put things off only to find that the moment we finally took a much needed step in a new direction, everything changed for the better? How many times have you asked yourself how you got by without a certain piece of knowledge, a certain product or a certain technique, knowing that what you know now, you could never un-know.

One of the things that excites me the most about life is knowing that I’ll have experiences for the rest of my life that will make me think, “I can’t believe I didn’t know that/haven’t done that/haven’t seen that before.” It’s exciting to know that changes, both big and small, will come into your life for the better.

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With that said, we’re taking another trip down memory lane this year with the 2015 “One Year Later” series, focusing on six new products that have made their way into dental offices in the last 12 months and how they’ve changed how dentists practice their craft. Take a look at the products below.

1. Spirit 3300 Dental Chair (Pelton & Crane)
When Dr. Mike Nelson found himself with an irreparable dental chair, he found comfort in a new purchase: the Spirit 3300 Dental Chair from Pelton & Crane.

“I went with the 3300 because of the company reputation and the abundance of features, including an adjustable headrest, sliding armrests, a narrow back and patient comfort,” he said. “When looking for a patient chair, I considered my ability to access the oral cavity in ergonomically correct positions, which this chair allows.”

Dr. Nelson also enjoys being able to focus and conduct sit-down dentistry with the chair, which allows him to work around the patient from the 10 and 11 o’clock positions without straining, bending or twisting. Conducting four-handed dentistry in a six-operatory practice, Dr. Nelson and his son, Dr. Chris, find the chair to be an excellent addition to their clinical setup and the only chair that gives both the patient and the doctor the most comfortable experience.

“I truly believe that narrow-back dental chairs are the only chairs that allow you to truly do sit-down dentistry!” he said.

For more information, visit pelton.net.

Related reading: Pelton & Crane debuts new products, booth and clinician resources

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2. Enamelon Preventive Treatment Gel (Premier Dental)
For Maureen Harris, RDH, of Hillsboro, Ore., the encouraging news she heard about Enamelon Preventive Treatment Gel from Premier Dental was enough to know she would be encouraging its use to her patients.

According to the manufacturer, Enamelon is a safe and effective alternative to both 5000 ppm fluoride toothpastes and remineralizing pastes. It also helps to prevent caries and gingivitis and treat sensitivity. An exclusive formula combines stabilized stannous fluoride with ACP technology.

"I’ve been recommending prescription dose fluoride gels for a long time, particularly for my elderly patients,” Harris said. “It’s very sad to me to see these older folks struggling with their oral health. However, knowing that Enamelon gives an increased rate of fluoride absorption was great. I did research on my own and also read a paper that the University of Washington published and was very impressed. Additionally, the patients have been very receptive to this so I’ve been excited.

"When you put all of that together, it’s a great thing for me to be able to be offer to help my patients,” she said.

For more information, visit premusa.com.

Related reading: Enamelon provides new alternative for patient homecare

3. Rite-Lite 2 Shade Matching Light (AdDent)
Incorporating diffused LED technology to mimic varying lights, the Rite-Lite 2 Shade Matching Light has made shade selection for Dr. John Comisi, DDS, MAGD, so much easier.

“When doing esthetic dentistry, shade selection is critical. The Rite-Lite 2 makes shade selection so much more predictable in our office,” he told us.

With three modes of lighting used for taking shades, the product claims to pay for itself if it saves the dentist one remake, and it’s certainly kept Dr. Comisi’s shade selection consistent. No longer will shades differ from dental office to dental laboratory or from operatory to operatory.

"The three wavelengths of light that are used for initial shade selection and verification, coupled with the neutralizing color tabs and the new anti-glare filter, make our shade-selection process extraordinarily reliable.”

For more information, visit addent.com.

Related reading: New polarizing filter now available for AdDent Rite-Lite 2 Shade Matching Unit

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4. OP300 Maxio (Instrumentarium)
There’s an old saying that goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” For Dr. Dan Indech, a periodontist in Phoenix, Ariz., that saying held very true for him and his practice before he incorporated 3D imaging into his treatment mix.

“Over the years, I’ve used 3D imaging, and, I can tell you, it’s allowed me to make diagnoses that I couldn’t make with 2D imaging,” said Dr. Indech, who owns the OP300 Maxio from Instrumentarium. “It’s really taken me and my practice to the next level because now I have the data I need to make better diagnoses.”

Dr. Indech believes 3D imaging isn’t just something that “wows” his patients when he shows them the scans of their facial anatomy. It is also technology that provides fascinating results and discoveries for him and his team.

“I think this technology is game-changing for any of the disciplines that get under the gumline or do surgery,” Dr. Indech said. “I’ve had multiple applications of dealing with patients in orthodontic treatment where this has been so valuable. If you take a full scan, it’s amazing what shows up in other parts of the mouth. I’ve found decay that hasn’t been seen in conventional radiography just because of the location of the tooth. It goes hand-in-hand with other technologies that are arriving in our profession.”

For more information on the OP300 Maxio, visit instrumentariumdental.com.

Related reading: Why one Arizona dentists calls 3D imaging a "game-changer" for his dental practice
 

5. RevenueWell
Before North Benton Dental Care in Sauk Rapids, Minn., started using RevenueWell for patient recall, there were a number of appointment mix-ups, said Jake Jackson, the practice’s hygiene coordinator.

Now, the practice relies on text message and email confirmations sent automatically by its appointment recall system, RevenueWell.

“I always say it’s easier to lose an appointment card than it is your cell phone,” Jackson said.
By reminding patients of upcoming appointments from two weeks before to the morning of, Jackson says RevenueWell keeps the practice’s schedules organized and patients in the know.

“It definitely minimizes our to-do list because we don’t have to make phone calls to confirm appointments,” he added. “Plus, it’s easier for our patients to confirm by text rather than having to sneak away from their busy days to make a phone call.”

RevenueWell also keeps patients engaged with social media, automates routine office tasks and provides patients with the online tools they need, making sure the lines of communication and education are open and working.

To learn more about RevenueWell, visit revenuewell.com.

Related reading: How the right practice management software helps one dental practice rock and roll

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6. Class II Portfolio (DENTSPLY Caulk)
With the Class II restoration procedure (specifically, the posterior amalgam) being the most common in dentistry today, doctors are looking to improve efficiency and speed of the procedure without sacrificing results, according to Dr. Nick Conte, DENTSPLY Caulk’s director of clinical research and education.

“We looked at longevity trends, which are going down on restorations, and decided to take a back-to-basics approach with these restorations and create an entire restoration solution in which all of the products work together, taking the most vulnerable interface of each procedure and turning it into a strength.”

While DENTSPLY Caulk’s Class II portfolio has been on the market for about three years, the newest products to the line launched a year ago. TPH Spectra, DENTSPLY Caulk’s universal composite restorative, simplified shade matching by covering the entire VITA shade guide in just seven shades.

“The goal is to increase efficiency without compromising results, and with TPH Spectra, we simplified shade matching and reduced inventory for doctors,” Dr. Conte said.

The other product to launch recently is the SmartLite Focus, an LED curing light designed to deliver more energy over distance. The SmartLite Focus is very lightweight and ergonomic, and it retails for less than $1,000.

“The goal is to cure, not dazzle, so we took a basic approach to give good functionality in a curing light,” Dr. Conte said.

To learn more about the TPH Spectra, SmartLite Focus, and other products in the Class II portfolio, visit class2restorations.com.

Related reading: How to make your practice more efficient with Class II restorations