Ask Marty: What was new at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting?

2014 02 13 13 44 51 873 Ask Marty200x200

Q: What were your favorite new products at this year's Chicago Midwinter Meeting?

A: Believe it or not, the most exciting products I saw at the meeting involved dentures. Yes, dentures!

Not much has changed in dentures in many years, but two companies -- Global Dental Science and Dentca -- are changing the way dentures are fabricated. They use CAD/CAM technology to take the impressions; the denture is then fabricated and can be delivered at the next visit. In just two appointments you go from impression to insertion of the denture.

The interesting part of Global Dental Science's AvaDent process is that it takes the impression and digitizes the entire process for fabricating the denture. In addition, the denture base is milled from a special acrylic base that is stronger and more stain resistant than a conventional denture. Should a denture be lost or broken, a new denture can be milled from the file. Dentca takes a different approach to the two-appointment dentures: The company prints denture bases using stereolithography.

Both approaches save valuable chair time and give you a better ROI on fabricating dentures for your patients.

In imaging developments, Aribex has added a rectangular collimator adapter to its Nomad handheld x-ray device. I love using the Nomad in my practice, and by adding the rectangular collimator I can further reduce radiation exposure to my patients. We should all be following the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle, and this collimator reduces the 6-cm patient dose area by 58%.

Meanwhile, tablet computers controlling dental technology have now become available in the U.S., such as the Bien-Air iChiropro micromotor. Using a new iPad app, the interaction between the practitioner and their iChiropro is unprecedented and extremely user-friendly.

The application allows multiple users to customize and store their own sequences. The iChiropro is the only device that allows users to save, export, and print all operation parameters while documenting these with the patient data and the implants used. It includes a database featuring the main brands of commercially available implants, as well as their predefined settings, making it a quick and high-performance tool.

A related product, the iBarrier for iPad, comes from Crosstex to help achieve asepsis. Tablets are a valuable tool in the dental office for clinical review, case management, and patient communication. But the frequency with which their surfaces are touched presents a new risk for cross-contamination caused by airborne aerosols, splash, and spatter.

Another nifty new product is DDS Rescue from Liptak Dental. This is a specialized computer whose sole purpose is to back up and protect your office data. The device automatically backs up your data up to 30 times a day onsite, as well as to the cloud. In the event of a disaster, these remote copies can be booted from the web so you can continue to operate until the problems are resolved.

PerioSciences formally introduced its AO ProVantage family of products at the Chicago meeting. These products contain a novel combination of the antioxidants Phloretin and Ferulic, which have been shown in university studies to neutralize free radicals that lead to oxidative stress commonly caused by dental materials, alcohol, nicotine, and the hydrogen peroxide used in teeth-whitening products, according to the company. Case studies reveal reduced inflammation and bleeding, as well as accelerated wound healing in soft oral tissue.

Patterson Dental also unveiled some new products. RevenueWell is an online system that uses information from the office's existing practice management software (such as Eaglesoft or Dentrix) to automatically communicate with patients, let them access their accounts online, and help practices send out targeted marketing campaigns to their patient base.

In addition to RevenuWell, Patterson launched the AG Neovo, a computer monitor for those offices still not using digital radiography. In less than a second and with a flip of a switch, this monitor has the ability to change from a standard monitor to an x-ray viewer. In addition, Patterson featured an upgrade to CAESY Cloud,its online patient education portal that gives users access to CAESY Patient Education multimedia presentations via the cloud. CAESY Cloud 1.2 now gives practices the ability to embed CAESY presentations within their website(s) and features a number of new and updated presentations.

And Carestream Dental's Logicon Caries Detector Software, the only FDA-approved caries detection software, is now available in an automatic version. This software -- an optional component with RVG digital radiography systems -- serves as a computer-aided detection tool that is clinically proven to help dentists find more interproximal caries on intraoral radiographs, according to the company. The latest version of the Logicon software offers the ability to automatically run the detection algorithm on all applicable tooth surfaces within a radiograph and immediately display the results with a single click.

Finally, Carestream's RVG 6500 System now features the RVG Mobileapplication, which allows dentists to review images chairside on an iPad, improving patient communication and case acceptance. RVG Mobile also provides remote access to dental imaging software files, so stored images can be easily transferred to practice computers for diagnosis and archiving. This solution cuts practice equipment costs since extra monitors are no longer needed.

Marty Jablow, DMD, lectures and consults extensively about integrating technologies into the modern dental practice (www.dentaltechnologycoach.com). If you've got a technology question for Dr. Jablow, send it to [email protected].

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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