Which dental products are standing out to this hygienist

Melissa K. Turner.
Melissa K. Turner.

I must admit that the expo floor is one of my favorite places! Between the buzz of the attendees and the introduction of new products and technology, it's a vibe unlike any other. Each month, you'll find me at dental events around the country speaking, networking, and scouting the trade show floor for innovations that will help clinicians and dental practice owners be more efficient and effective.

The Chicago Midwinter Meeting takes place every February and is one of the largest trade shows in dentistry. Known to be the show where exhibitors launch new products and technology, it is one of the few shows that I will not miss each year.

On that note, as I perused the hundreds of exhibitors last month in Chicago, I couldn't help but once again be reminded how, for the last decade, dentistry has seen a spike in new products and technology like we've never seen. The amount of innovation in dentistry happening at this moment is almost unbelievable and promises to change the course of dentistry as we know it.

As dentistry follows the rest of the medical industry and transitions to prevention-based models of care, it's important to note that through this change, we'll also see an increase in revolutionary preventive products, automation, digitalization, and virtual care. This was never more evident than while perusing Chicago's trade show floor. That said, it's my honor to share with you the top products and technology that I discovered while I was there.

Wellplaece procurement platform

No matter if you're a hygienist, practice owner, or assistant, one thing has not changed in the last 20 years -- shopping for the best prices for clinical supplies. When I first began my career as a dental assistant, my days were spent happily flipping through paper supply catalogs to set up that week's order.

Outside of a few special products, practice owners typically instructed me to only purchase the lowest-priced products. Soon enough, instead of flipping pages to search for low prices, I found myself overwhelmed with countless products online, both on distributor sites and in open marketplaces, which made shopping for dental supplies even more confusing and stressful.

This is why, during the final day of Chicago Midwinter, I was intrigued when I stumbled on the Wellplaece booth. The first thing that stood out to me was the sleek, consumer-style branding of the booth. Launched in 2023, Wellplaece is a game changer in the clinical supply procurement sector, which means it will help dental assistants and ordering managers spend less time searching for the lowest price and more time with other priorities. The platform, which is designed to service  practices of all types, uses artificial intelligence technology to shop for low prices from multiple suppliers on the client's behalf.

Wellplaece is unique in that it analyzes the historical ordering data of your practice, helping you understand your purchasing patterns and needs. In a world of increasing costs and shrinking margins, digital and automated platforms like Wellplaece are lifesavers when it comes to running efficient practices.

Learn more at www.wellplaece.com.

Practice By Numbers

I've been following Practice By Numbers for a few years now, which is why it was my pleasure to sit down with co-founder and practicing dentist Aditi Agarwal at the company's booth to learn more about what sets Practice By Numbers apart from the rest of the pack. Practice By Numbers was born out of the need for software focused on the practicing, patient-centric clinician. It is a suite of software and technologies that assist dental practices 24/7 and includes paperless forms, patient customer relationship management, and actionable analytics and marketing tools.

With more than 600 key performance indicators to choose from, the platform analyzes your practice's data and helps you understand revenue patterns, set achievable productivity goals for your team, and identify patients with pending treatment plans. My two favorite features are the two-way text capabilities and the front desk check-in kiosk that allows patients to immediately check in and fill out any necessary forms.

Learn more at www.practicebynumbers.com.

DentaSEAL Pro

DentaSEAL Pro is a revolutionary new product line that launched this year! When I first learned about the product line, it seemed too good to be true … that is until I tried it for myself. Consider me a believer!

The DeaSEAL Pro sensitivity relief gel. Image courtesy of DentaSEAL Pro.The DeaSEAL Pro sensitivity relief gel. Image courtesy of DentaSEAL Pro.

The product line consists of a sensitivity gel, a top coat, and an appliance protector and is based on a proprietary self-bonding polymer technology. Discovered by a dentist many years ago, this product has been placed on thousands of patients but hasn't been fully marketed until now.

The sensitivity gel provides instant and long-lasting chairside sensitivity relief and can be applied at any time during appointments. Since learning about the product line, I've used it on myself and am truly amazed.

During scaling, I typically have several root surfaces that send the stereotypical "zing" through my tooth. My hygienist took a brief minute to apply the sensitivity product and it provided instant relief!

My favorite aspect of this product is that it has hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties, thus repelling biofilm and reducing gingival inflammation. The appliance formula is used to reduce odor and buildup on all fixed and removable appliances, such as retainers, aligners, dentures, orthodontic brackets, and even implants.

Learn more at www.dentasealpro.com.

Orlicaine topical gel

I have to be honest ... it takes a lot for me to get excited about (yet another) topical gel. However, even though I am licensed to provide local anesthesia, I find myself opting for topical anesthetic more often than not.

Orlicaine topical gel. Image courtesy of Bennett Pharmaceuticals of America.Orlicaine topical gel. Image courtesy of Bennett Pharmaceuticals of America.

When I first began my career in dentistry, there were limited options for topical anesthetics. Twenty years later, not much has changed … until my discovery at Chicago Midwinter.

Orlicaine topical gel is a groundbreaking patent-protected topical anesthetic designed for use on mucosal tissues. Produced by Bennett Pharmaceuticals of America, a 503B pharmacy based in Hudson, WI, this was their first time exhibiting in Chicago.

What sets Orlicaine apart from the rest is the improvement in efficacy, onset, ease of use, and cost. Also, unlike many topical gels, there is no nasty aftertaste, which makes this an easy choice for patients.

The product includes several flavor options and is available for purchase individually or in a scaling and root planing kit. The Orlicaine line includes a proprietary mist formula which, when sprayed in the nasal cavity, achieves pulpal anesthesia of a patient's maxillary teeth.

Learn more at www.orlicaine.com.

Melissa K. Turner is the senior executive consultant and chief hygiene officer at Cellerant Consulting Group. She leads the Cellerant Best of Class Hygiene Awards. She is a founding board member of the American Mobile & Teledentistry Alliance and co-founder of the Denobi Awards and the National Mobile & Teledentistry Conference. Turner’s newest launches include Smile Proud, an advocacy organization built to support current and future LGBTQIA dental professionals, as well as I, Woman, a podcast for women founders, executives, and entrepreneurs. Turner can be reached at www.MelissaKTurner.com.

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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