Tech connoisseur Dr. John Flucke's fab five

December 11, 2012

Dental Products Report Technology Editor Dr. John Flucke is lucky enough to try numerous products out in his operatories. Here are five he put to work in 2012 that left a lasting impression on him and have the potential to help just about any dental practice.

Dental Products Report Technology Editor Dr. John Flucke is lucky enough to try numerous products out in his operatories. Here are five he put to work in 2012 that left a lasting impression on him and have the potential to help just about any dental practice.

In case you haven’t noticed over the years, I love technology! I love getting my hands on (and trying to break) the latest and greatest gear I can get my hands on. Every year I get to experiment with a lot of cool gadgets, programs, and ideas. Some of them end up in articles here in DPR. Some of them end up as posts on my blog. However, now it’s time for me to tell you about my favorite Top 5 items that I had a chance to use in 2012.

Liptak Dental Services

Liptak Dental DDS Rescue

When examining the many ways to keep your data safe and intact, most offices want one word more than any other when it comes to securing their data... Simplicity. Nerds like myself can wax  poetic about “redundant backups” and “backup chains” but in reality, most users just don’t want the hassle. What they truly need is a “set it and forget it” option.  To the rescue comes... DDS Rescue.

The company has a truly innovative and simple to use backup system. The DDS Rescue system is an onsite device, a computer, that plugs into your network. Once plugged into the network and powered on, it is quickly configured by Liptak staff over the Internet. Once configured, the device begins making copies of your data (up to 30 per day) and storing these on the device. This ensures that your current data, as well as multiple past versions, are also stored and available.

The device is constantly at work to back up your data and in the event of a server crash or other serious problem, it provides you access to your data. A phone call to Liptak Dental can have you accessing the data on the DDS Rescue device in as little as 10 minutes.

However, that’s not all the device does. The DDS Rescue device also connects to the Internet and uploads your data to the cloud, where it is stored in multiple encrypted data centers. These complete copies of your server can be booted up on the Web so all of your practice and business data can be accessed even if your office is without power! This means you will never be without access to your data as long as you have an Internet connection.

Add to all of the above that the device is monitored 24/7 to make sure it is working and you have the complete “set it and forget it” package. liptakdental.com.

 

Google

Google Voice

In September of 2009 Google released a new service called Google Voice. It’s one of those things that really has flown under the radar both in geek circles as well as the mainstream media and I’m clueless as to why.

Google Voice, in a nutshell, allows you to create one central place where you can access all of your text messages and voicemails from multiple sources. You sign up for a *free* account by going to google.com/voice.

It can be accessed through a Web browser, smart phone, tablet (Android or iPad); basically any device that can connect to the Internet. This allows you to listen to any voicemail from any device as well as read text messages sent to any device on any mobile account you might have. Basically if you have multiple mobile phones and/or text messaging accounts, Google Voice allows you to consolidate voicemail and text messages from all of these accounts and view them from a single account.

You can also save texts and voicemails *forever*!  

It is reliable, searchable and affordable. Even if you are not a geek like me, you will see immediate benefit from it... and if you are a geek... you are going to wonder how you ever survived without it! google.com/voice.

 

 

 

SciCan Inc.

SciCan Statim G4

No matter who you are or how successful your practice is, you want to control your overhead.  And one of the easiest ways to do that is to make sure you aren’t overspending on instruments. It’s a bit strange when you think about it, but instruments are only, in a true business sense, contributing to the bottom line when they are being used. To that end, you need to have the proper number of instruments in “rotation,” but lots of instruments sitting in cassettes on shelves are just wasted revenue.

A Statim autoclave helps cut the number of instruments an office uses by cutting the amount of time it takes to sterilize. By using a Statim, an office can sterilize instruments faster, thus keeping them in rotation and minimizing the number of extra instruments needed to make up for slower autoclaving times.

Now, the next generation of Statim devices, called G4, have come to market. They feature Internet connectivity, which allows them to send reports to SciCan and the service department of your choice. Any problems that your Statim G4 detects while running are sent out so the problem can be identified. If a problem occurs that requires a part change, the service department is notified and the service tech can be dispatched with the required part.

This means decreased downtime for the office and more productivity. Like clinical dentistry, dental equipment service can work toward preventing major problems before they occur, which is better for everyone involved.

The Statim G4 also keeps track of all sterilizer cycles and stores them on a USB jump drive. The jump drive can be removed from the device and placed into a USB port on an office computer where all of this info can be saved and stored as proof of proper sterilization procedures.

The next step in equipment monitoring and maintenance has arrived! scican.com.

 

 

 

 

EvernoteCorp.

Evernote

We are constantly inundated with things that we need to remember, need to keep track of, need to act on... right now and no matter where you are!!! So much of our lives is now digital and we’re expected to remember and keep track of tons of info. That is the whole idea behind Evernote.

Evernote is a program, website and app that all work together to help you remember pertinent information. The program allows you to create “notebooks” to store your “notes.” The notes can be text, photos or anything else you can create (or a combination of any of them). Want to keep track of a receipt? Take a photo of it, put it in your “Expenses” notebook, in the folder with the name of your trip, and save it as a note with the title of the expense, say Taxi - Airport to Hotel. Presto!

When you save the note it automatically uploads it to the cloud where it is stored on the Evernote servers. This makes it available to any device you own that is running Evernote.

When I travel (which is all too frequent these days!) I have a Notebook called “Lectures & Travel.” In that Notebook I have a folder with the name of each city and the date. Into that folder I place anything that pertains to the trip. Correspondence and updates from airlines, contracts from the sponsoring organization, hotel info, rental car info, etc. Then when I’m on the trip I have a folder for all the receipts that are generated.

All of the data is stored and backed up in the cloud so I never have to worry about losing anything.

Evernote is free for the basic version, which is more than most people need. I, however, have the paid version because it allows me to save all of my data offline on each device. My main reason for that is because I’m traveling so much, I need immediate access to my data in case of a flight change or some other sudden need.

Evernote is a great, easy and intuitive way to keep track of all of your  information. You can use it to track dental supplies, recipes, literature, prescriptions, anything you can imagine.

Highly recommended and for most of you... FREE. It doesn’t get much better than that! evernote.com.

 

Ultradent

Edelweiss Composite Veneer System

The idea of a pre-fabricated composite veneer that has the appearance of a lab fabricated porcelain veneer has been around for a while now, but while the idea is great in concept, no company has been able to truly “get it right.”

There is definitely a market for a veneer that is in the quality range that falls between a chair side fabricated composite veneer and a lab fabricated porcelain veneer.

I got a chance to have a “sneak peek” at this product during the Chicago MidWinter Meeting. What I saw was very impressive, especially the finish, which is a laser sintered process that gives the restoration a life-like finish while also giving the veneers maximum strength. The pre-fabricated composite veneers come in 3 sizes: small, medium and large. The Edelweiss kit contains everything necessary to perform the procedure, including a DVD with technique videos.

The actual fitting process is a combination of adjusting the edges of the veneers (but not the laser sintered surface) and adjustments to the patient’s dentition as needed.  After spending some time with one of the creators of the system and doing a hands-on course to learn the do’s and don’ts, I was ready to put Edelweiss to the test.

We’ve done some cases in our office and they’ve turned out well.  More importantly, the patient response has been overwhelmingly positive. Ultradent is gearing up to provide lots of hands-on showcases in the coming months and I really think attending one of these courses will give doctors the confidence and understanding needed to see how this type of service can fit into their practice. ultradent.com.