The Chicago Midwinter Meeting in February did not disappoint with new product introductions as well as enhancements of existing products. I can only touch on some highlights here, which summarize 3 days and over 30,000 steps on my Fitbit. It is difficult to assess a new product on a meeting floor with tabletop demonstrations, so I have a lot of work to do in the coming months to report accurately on what I have seen. Of course, new impression scanners, mills, 3-D printers, and software caught my eye first, but there are many other aspects of dental practice that must be reported. In addition to this meeting, there was a simultaneous show, LMT Lab Day, at a different location. This year, the show was spread over 2 exhibit halls and several corporate showrooms, which caused anguish to anyone who wanted to see everything. The lab show includes many classes by lab technicians, clinicians, and manufacturing experts. Luckily, there is another LMT lab show later this year, which will be held in October in Philadelphia. Get more info at lmtmag.com/labday.
|SmartMirror (Dental SmartMirror, Inc)|
Goccles (Pierrel Pharma)
The new SmartMirror (Dental SmartMirror, Inc) from Israel debuted, which, in simple terms, is a dental mirror that is also an intraoral camera with WiFi connectivity and a microphone allowing the operator, patient, and observer to get a close-up view of live procedures with both video and image files. The perimeter of the mirror is also lined with bright LEDs that illuminate the intraoral area. This is a must-see product. More information is available at smartmirror.dental.
A new innovation in early oral cancer detection by Italian company Pierrel Pharma called Goccles (goccles.com) was also being shown. Instead of using a special light source, the operator wears green goggles and uses a standard curing light to illuminate an area. In addition, there is a filter that attaches to a smartphone, allowing the operator to photograph an illuminated area. An app is also on the way. The company’s literature and research are similar to that of other light systems, so the practitioner has to determine if this is valuable in the practice.
Using a different optical technology, GreenMark Biomedical (greenmark.bio/products) showed a new upcoming product/technique for early caries detection. A patient rinses for 30 seconds with LumiCare Caries Diagnostic Rinse, a “water-based solution containing patented fluorescent sub-micron starch particles that have been functionalized to target and adhere to the subsurface of early-stage carious lesions after penetrating through surface porosities.” After a 10-second water rinse, using a standard blue curing light and the orange filter from a standard curing light worn as glasses or a shield, the practitioner can see “subsurface carious lesions illuminate quickly, identifying porous pre-cavities.” These areas can be treated with minimally invasive procedures or remineralization techniques. The crystal ball here is that this same nano-technology should be useful for delivering fluorides or calcium phosphate (or even other therapies) directly to these areas. They are currently waiting for FDA clearance, so stay tuned.
An interesting company from the LA area called Dentulu (dentulu.com) showcased an app that helps patients find a dentist with an Uber/Lyft-type interface. Going beyond this, it offers home or office visits for certain treatments and is utilizing a simple home-use intraoral camera that can send images securely to a practitioner for new problems or postoperative followup. The teledentistry aspect is not new, as MouthWatch has been using this technology for several years and is also rapidly moving forward in this space. To see what the company is up to, go to mouthwatch.com.
In other news, 3Shape (3shape.com) has entered the single-visit-dentistry world by partnering with Ivoclar Vivadent (ivoclarvivadent.us) on the latter’s newly reintroduced PrograMill One milling system. The press release from 3Shape states “The single visit dentistry bundle includes the award-winning 3Shape TRIOS 4 intraoral scanner, TRIOS Design Studio chairside software, and the ultra-compact 5-axis PrograMill One milling unit. The fully integrated setup creates a seamless, super-fast and predictable - scanning > design > milling - same day workflow for dental professionals.” In addition, 3Shape has also partnered (through Henry Schein) with Amann Girrbach on the latter’s new PL900S mill, giving the dentist more options. In addition, at Lab Day, I found 3Shape’s new model E4 tabletop lab scanner that can copy a model in under 10 seconds!
Additionally, 3Shape was also busy integrating 3Shape TRIOS with Bellus 3D Face scan software (bellus3d.com). “The aligned result can be used in 3Shape Dental System lab software for the design of fully facial-driven restorations that reference your patient’s individual smile and lip line for superior results and patient care,” according to 3Shape. This unique scan can be accomplished with an iPhone or iPad—take a look at the website to be dazzled.
As I said, there were too many products to cover here in one column, so you will have to keep an eye out here as well as online. And by the way, download the new Dentistry Today app on your smartphone. You will get cutting edge information daily, including my updates.