CDA Show Report: Product breakthroughs enhance patient and practice management

2008 05 01 10 49 01 706

ANAHEIM, CA - The exhibit hall at the 2008 California Dental Association (CDA) meeting opened for business today, and crowds packed three halls at the Anaheim Convention Center, hoping to discover the next new product or service that will keep their businesses booming and their patients smiling. From improving practice management to imaging in multiple dimensions, hundreds of new products were on display to see and test out.

Some of the highlights included:

  • The new SuniRay digital radiography system from Suni Medical Imaging of San Jose, Calif., uses the latest CMOS technology and Suni imaging software to deliver high-image quality with maximum diagnostic capabilities. According to the company, SuniRay's ergonomic design and rounded corners ensure easy positioning and optimal patient comfort. Functions include calibrated length measurements, image-enhancement tools, digital zoom, colorizing, and archiving. The system is designed to be integrated with the leading practice management software systems.

  • The Dental Practice Optimizer from Sikka Software of Milpitas, Calif., is now in its fourth iteration, with more than 2800 installed systems across North America. This unique software package works in conjunction with any practice management system (and most financial systems) to take the headache out of tracking productivity ups and downs. It is a digital "dashboard" that resides on top of your practice management system and automatically reads all the data in the system, providing real-time evidence-based ROI analysis of marketing, referrals, patients, providers, supplies, inventory, vital signs, and even embezzlement.

    "This is the first business management system for dentistry that starts where your practice management systems stop," said Roger Telegan, Sikka Software's chief information officer.

  • HealthCare Volunteer of Los Angeles launched a statewide free dental screening program to help low-income families meet the requirements of AB 1433 (the 2007 California kindergarten oral health assessment law). Partially funded by the CDA Foundation, the screening program is managed and operated by HealthCare Volunteer. By logging onto the Web site ( or calling 310-928-3611, children and families in need are provided with a free screening given by a local volunteer dentist in their area. Dentists interested in volunteering their time can also register online and will be provided with dental screening supply kits by HealthCare Volunteer via mail.

  • MedX Health's Oralase, which is awaiting FDA cleared for dental applications, brings low-level laser energy to pain management and wound healing. The diode-laser device has long been used for pain management in professional sports, veterinary medicine, and general therapeutic applications such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Now this same technology is being used by dentists to eliminate the need for anesthesia and stimulate the body's lymphatic system to aid in wound healing.

    "The Oralase is a biostimulation laser, also referred to as phototherapy," said Dr. Paul Silver, who oversaw the FDA clinical trials. "Phototherapy takes photons of light and places them into the body to create a healing and pain-management effect at the cell level. The laser does not cut or burn, so it is safe enough to use every day on nearly every patient."

    MedX Health of Mississauga, Ontario, offers a free 15-day trial of the product, which sells for $3,995.

  • Dental-Dek, a Minneapolis-based company that markets product-based advertising "value paks" to dental practices across the U.S., is now the exclusive sales and marketing company behind Waiting Room Theater. According to the company, dental patients experience an average of 18 minutes in the waiting room during each visit -- time that can be utilized to provide them with a televised look at various products and services offered by your office. The DVD can be played in both waiting rooms and exam rooms, and features dental "factoids," interviews, and explanations of procedures and other services -- all interspersed with paid advertising. Waiting Room Theater is the brainchild of Jay Grossman, D.D.S., a well-known Los Angeles-based dentist.

  • LED Dental is launching the next generation of its Visually Enhanced Lesion Scope (VELScope), the VELScope Vantage, which uses fluorescent light to help dentists visualize whether a patient has a developing oral cancer. Changes in the natural fluorescence of healthy tissue generally reflect light-scattering biochemical or structural changes that indicate developing tumor cells, according to the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company. Thus, dentists can use VELScope to shine a light on a suspicious mouth sore, look through an attached eyepiece, and watch directly for color changes. VELScope Vantage features a more powerful lamp technology than earlier models, plus a camera adapter kit for clear, crisp digital photography.

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