Special Report: The Rules of the Game

Dental Products Report, Dental Products Report September 2021, Volume 55, Issue 9

Why the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award winners should be on your short list of dental products and technologies.

It’s hard to believe that a 13-year-old vision to make a difference has come so far—from an idea fleshed out over a breakfast meeting at Chicago Midwinter, to today, with the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards are covered by every dental journal in North America. The American Dental Association (ADA) has partnered with Cellerant to provide the largest exhibit space at its annual meeting, with the Best of Class Alley providing ADA attendees a singular location to visit all the winners. Every company in dentistry waits in anticipation to see if they will receive the 7-lb piece of art glass that has come to represent the most prestigious award in the industry.

The question is, “Why?

The answer is really 2-fold: the process and the panel.

The Process
The selection process is rigorous, unbiased, nonprofit, and transparent. Throughout the year, the Best of Class (BOC) Panel searches for technologies that differentiate themselves from their competitors or literally define a new category. Companies also have the opportunity to nominate themselves at cellerantconsulting.com.

The final selection process occurs at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting at the Fairmont Hotel, as it has for the past 12 years. The Cellerant team and BOC Panel take over the top floor of the hotel, where last-minute presentations are provided at the request of the panel, and private conversations occur between panelists. That night everyone convenes, and the meeting goes into the wee hours.

Each panelist divulges any companies they are consulting for because that disqualifies them for voting in that category. Though the panel reviews every category, the winners are not chosen by category. That allows a category to be skipped that year if there is no true leader. There is no top 10 or top 20. The number of winners is the number, be it 14 or 22.

“Emerging” is the only category that exists outside of a “standard win,” and that a category like this can exist and be celebrated is one of the reasons I started Best of Class. It’s exciting to find new technologies that could stand with the billion-dollar company winners as equals. I remember years ago receiving an email from a dentist in who thanked me for having such a positive impact on his ability to practice. He never would have known the handheld intraoral x-ray system existed if he hadn’t followed the awards. An Emerging winner can either define a new product category or stand to challenge established leadership.

The panel fully recognizes the importance and seriousness of their decision. Winning companies have garnered funding as well as distribution deals and opportunities.

Well into Saturday morning the white smoke comes out of the chimney and the winners are selected.

As founder and creator of the award, I want to assure you that the integrity of the process has remained true since its inception. The vision of providing the dental community the products that stand out and to inform the dental manufacturing community what its technology experts consider the leading products in their space have been the goals from the beginning.

I hope you will take time to familiarize yourself with this year’s winners. I want to congratulate the companies honored as Best of Class in their commitment to move our whole industry forward.