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Nine great new products introduced at ADA 2012 in San Francisco

3M-TrueDef-es

As I walked the halls of the Moscone Center in San Francisco (yes, in both sides of the convention center) during the recent ADA Annual Session, I was able to check out some of the newest offerings in the dental industry. Listed below are nine products I personally saw in San Francisco…

True Definition Scanner from 3M ESPE (pictured above) – Perhaps the new product that generated the most buzz at the meeting, the scanner is supported by an open and secure cloud-based platform, offering you and your dental lab more ways to store clinical cases, share, and connect. I tried it out and was impressed with its “3D-in-motion” video technology. It’s easy to use, has a great “wow” factor for your patients, and starts at a reasonable price point. For more information, check out www.3M.com/TrueDef.

Deep Sweep Power Brush Head from Oral-B – It’s the newest brush head for the Oral-B Professional Series line of power toothbrushes, and provides the gentleness and superior cleaning of an electric brush without changing the familiar shape and brushing motion of a manual brush. It has a unique combination of sweeping and stationary bristles with an angled power tip, creating “triple zone” cleaning action that thoroughly cleans deep between teeth, and gets to places that manual toothbrushes usually miss. For more information, visit www.dentalcare.com.

Viroxyn Professional Use from Quadex Labs – One in three patients cancel their dental appointment because of a cold sore. What if you could help them combat their cold sores? Well, there’s a new answer — a single application cold sore product that will only be available through health-care professionals. The patented no-touch system contains 7.5% benzocaine to numb the site of the cold sore, which makes it possible to address the virus itself. Simply put, you numb and brush away the cellular debris, getting to the heart of the virus, cutting the average cold sore from lasting as long as 12 days to as few as three days. For more information, visit www.viroxynpro.com.

DDS Rescue from Patterson Dental – What if a fire or tornado devastated your practice? With DDS Rescue, a business continuity solution that includes an onsite failover server, cloud backup, and 24-hour system monitoring, you could be back up and running in as few as 10 minutes. DDS Rescue is designed to duplicate programs and data so that in the event of an issue (server failure, theft, natural disaster, etc.), a dental practice will lose very little time thanks to a failover server, or the office can view patient information online if necessary. For more information, contact your Patterson rep or visit www.pattersondental.com.

Imaging Suite 10.0.4 from DEXIS – Unveiled at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, this upgraded release brings new software architecture and features, including a cosmetic imaging module, expanded video capabilities, an enhanced implant planning module, and integration with select 3-D products. DEXIS Imaging Suite now also integrates 3-D scanners from i-CAT, Gendex, Instrumentarium, and Soredex, allowing users to manage patient data and 3-D images directly from within the DEXIS application. For more information, visit www.dexis.com.

RAMVAC Osprey compressor from DentalEZ – Like most dental professionals, you don’t really think about your compressor until it fails; yet a dental practice can’t function without it. Here’s a compressor to check out when you’re ready to upgrade. The RAMVAC Osprey has a quiet design (with rocking piston design technology) that provides clean, dry, oil-free air in even the busiest dental office environment. With high quality air at a maximum pressure of 115 psi, the Osprey compressor operates at 100% duty cycle during peak operation times. For more information, visit www.dentalez.com.

Steriplex SD from Southland Distribution and Sales (pictured at bottom of page) – This one-step cleaner and disinfectant kills Clostridium difficile spores in five minutes. If you haven’t heard of “C. diff,” be assured your patients have, as the bug and its sickening effects were recently featured in a USA Today article. Steriplex SD is premeasured and convenient to use as it kills 99.999% of germs in 30 seconds without bleach. For more information, call (800) 880-0240 or visit www.sdssouthland.com. In addition, there were two products that were “soft launched” at the ADA meeting and will make a bigger splash at upcoming meetings…

Mac-based practice management software solution from Henry Schein – How new is this product? It hasn’t even been officially named yet, but it will be named by and launched at the Greater New York Dental Meeting. If you’re a Mac person, this patient-centric software that will allow simple access to all patient information is a product to keep an eye on. It’s in Beta offices now, but will be rolled out in the Big Apple. Ask your local Schein rep for more information.

Slip-N-Click toothbrushes from Dr. Fresh – With these toothbrushes, dental practices can customize and create personalized messaging for their patients. A paper slip slides into the partially transparent handle of the toothbrush. On this slip can be any message the office desires, even the patient’s next appointment. Simply print out a label, insert the slip face up into the toothbrush, and when it “clicks,” you have a personalized message on a quality toothbrush. Orders for this product will be taken at the 2013 Chicago Midwinter Meeting, but you can get more information now by visiting www.SlipNClick.com.

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Unfortunately (or fortunately) our teeth are not identical to the VITA shade guide tabs.  There is far more complexity that exists in our dentin and enamel, so if we are to hope to acheive a higer level of replication we must put in some more effort than just writing a letter and a number on a lab script.

The good news is that you don’t need a masters degree in the fine arts to be able to take a good shade.  Here are some simple steps I use:

(1) Buy a damn digital SLR camera with flash and macro lens

I promise you that getting a professional camera will bring you to another level of dentistry.  There are a number of reasons, which our friend, Dr. Albert Yoo, is writing about in this month’s issue of Dental Economics.  But for now let’s be concerned with the fact that shade communication is far better with a proper camera set up than with your smart phone.  Two popular palces to get the whole package are Lester Dine and PhotoMed.

(2) Pick a few shades that look good

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(3) Take a proper photograph with the shade tab

Make sure the tab identifier is visable (e.g. A2, C4, etc).  Make sure the tab is held at a similar orientation as the teeth of interest so that the light plays off of it similarly.  Take a few photographs under different lights and not just your treatment room.

The orientation of the shade tab is a bit off, thus giving us a reflection that is not present on the teeth of interest.  This photo isn't terrible, but we lose an opportunity communicate some information to the lab.
The orientation of the shade tab is a bit off, thus giving us a reflection that is not present on the teeth of interest. This photo isn’t terrible, but we lose an opportunity communicate some information to the lab.

These photos are more accurate.  We have good orientation of the tabs, we can see the tab identifiers, and the lab has two photos for comparison.
These photos are more accurate. We have good orientation of the tabs, we can see the tab identifiers, and the lab has two photos for comparison.

(4) There’s more than just shade to communicate

But of course we’re not ONLY interested in communicating shade, are we?  There is also characterization and texture; what are the nuances of how the shade is distributed on the surfaces and what tiny lumps and bumps are to be found?  For these bits I like to take an extreme close-up photo, which can really only be done with a camera with a proper macro lens.  This can be separate from your shade tab photos so you’ll have a free hand to use a cool toy like a contrastor.

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