New ADA product launches highlight dental innovation

By Kathy Kincade, Editor in Chief

October 16, 2008 -- SAN ANTONIO - A digital writing kit that automatically stores handwritten notes and printed forms in the computer? A handheld device that uses vibration to ease the pain of injections? An online service that allows patients to fill out their dental forms at home and submit the data electronically, before their next office visit?

These are just some of the new products being launched this week at the ADA's 149th annual conference. They were showcased during a press breakfast sponsored today by the ADA's Council on ADA Sessions.

The following companies were among those demonstrating their latest innovations.


Working in conjunction with Talario, this company has developed the Xpaper PDF Digital Writing Kit, a digital pen and proprietary paper system that enables dental and medical offices to create and capture written materials electronically. The system, priced at $399, naturally records handwriting on any document or form, instantly creates searchable PDFs upon docking, and automatically controls where the information will be sent, stored, managed, or processed. The Xpaper PDF Digital Writing Kit includes:

  • Xpaper PDF printer driver -- installed just like any other printer device, this driver adds a unique pattern of Anoto microdots to documents as they are printed, and an image of the document is automatically stored on the computer for later reference.
  • Digital pen -- containing an integrated miniature camera and image microprocessor with onboard memory, this pen utilizes Anoto technology to record handwriting, while writing in real ink on documents.
  • Xpaper Manager -- this software automatically displays PDF copies of documents once the digital pen is docked in its USB cradle. Users can send or manage the documents in a variety of ways, or choose to have them automatically processed silently in the background.
  • PaperView -- enables users to easily enter handwritten data or attach digital copies of paper forms into any Windows application or Web browser-based system.

"We created this kit in order to help people more easily use paper in their digital world," said Tim Aughenbaugh, president of Talario.

Accupal (Booth #3165)

This gum injection preparation tool uses ultrasonic tissue stimulation to disrupt the tissue injection site to reduce the pain associated with dental injections. According to Michael Zweifler, D.D.S., inventor of the Accupal and founder of the company, the cordless, battery-powered device preconditions the oral tissue to ensure that the patient receives a virtually pain-free palatial or other intraoral dental injection.

The system runs on AA batteries and is designed to energize the tissue in and around the injection site, thereby enabling standard topical gel to better infiltrate tissue. In addition, the vibration itself has been shown to have a pain-reducing effect on injections, Dr. Zweifler said.

"I developed Accupal because I was tired of inflicting pain and fear on my patients, which often caused them to put off necessary treatment," he said. "I also wanted my pediatric patients to have a positive, more comfortable experience from the very beginning, and hopefully break the pain/fear cycle that has been affecting generations of dental patients."

The device is already being used by dentists in 11 countries worldwide and sells for $479 plus shipping.

Imtec (Booth #2250)

Now a subsidiary of 3M, Imtec is launching the Iluma Elite cone-beam CT (CBCT) scanner at this year's ADA meeting, the newest addition to its line of compact imaging scanners. According to the company, the Iluma Elite produces images from the latest generation of CBCT technology. It also offers multiple reconstructions and faster reconstruction times, which promotes increased patient throughput and enhances practice profitability.

Advanced Automation (Booth #1114)

With its new product, Advanced Automation says it is providing "the missing link" for practices transitioning to a secure paperless office. enables patients to fill out necessary forms -- from new patient registration to medical and prescription history -- online, in the convenience and privacy of their homes or offices. All patient information is password-protected, and all transmissions that include patient information are encrypted.

In addition to online forms processing, features Virtual Practice Assistant, designed to enable dental practices to utilize one software solution that provides online appointment confirmation, recall reminders, marketing solutions, and more, the company said.

"We are all about customer service, and with, we have listened to our clients and have provided a state-of-the-art communication and workflow tool that meets the needs of the dental professional who wants to have a digital dental record that is truly paper-free," said John Moore, founder of Advanced Automation.

Johnson & Johnson (Booth #245)

J&J's healthcare products division rolled out the new Reach Ultraclean Toothbrush and Reach Ultraclean Floss, plus a variety of pre- and postbrushing rinses for adults and children. According to the company, Reach Ultraclean Floss is the only flexible dental floss with proprietary "micro-grooves" technology, which removes up to two times more plaque than Glide floss products. In addition, the Reach Ultraclean Toothbrush removes more plaque than the leading toothbrush and up to 90% of plaque in places that are hard to reach, the company said.

PracticeWorks (Booth #1157)

PracticeWorks is showcasing the Kodak 9000 3D extraoral imaging system at this year's ADA meeting. According to Paul Tucker, director of marketing, at a cost of $99,500, this compact "three-in-one" system is designed to bring 3D to the masses.

The system supports the capture of both panoramic and 3D imaging exams, eliminating the need to maintain separate systems for the two modalities. At the same time, there's no need to manually change the sensor when alternating between 2D and 3D images -- it all happens at the press of a button, according to Tucker.

In addition, the Kodak 9000's focused field-of-view limits irradiation to the patient while still providing highly detailed images, he said.

Suni Medical Imaging (Booth #2847)

Company president Bill Fitzpatrick outlined Suni's strategy to transition from a manufacturer of digital imaging sensors to being a provider of digital imaging systems. Suni has entered into a number of strategic alliances worldwide, including the Korean company E-Woo Technology, and is gearing up to launch several new products, including the Suni CamII intraoral camera and Suni 3D integrated imaging system.

In addition, Suni continues to partner with MacPractice; at the ADA meeting the companies are announcing MacSensor, which combines the SuniRay sensor with MacPractice DR software.

Copyright © 2008


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