One of the earliest breakthroughs in restorative care trailed a product category that is still being refined in 2012 during the first round of voting on the “The Greatest Dental Invention of All Time” bracket on DentistryIQ.com.
Amalgam restorations, which became the dental restoration of choice in the 1800s and for much of the 1900s, is paired against the controversial innovation of electronic health records. EHRs, which are still under development due to controversy over security issues while facing looming federal mandates, led the voting 56% to 44%. EHRs are projected to benefit patient care by improving communication between various health-care providers.
DentistryIQ.com created a playoff-like bracket of 64 dental inventions to determine what is the greatest invention in the history of dentistry. To participate in the first round or subsequent rounds, click here.
Other close races included curettes over saliva ejectors (54% to 46%), xylitol over shade-matching systems (57% to 43%), and toothpaste over topical anesthetics (56% to 44%).
Otherwise, the first round of voting for dental products as the “greatest invention” was marked by several routs in progress:
• In the first quadrant of 16 product categories, manual toothbrushes held a 94% to 6% edge over disposable high-speed handpieces, and anesthetics held a 96% to 4% lead over carbide burs.
• In the second quadrant of product categories, fluoride was leading intraoral viewers 86% to 14%, and composites lead fluoride rinses 82% to 18%.
• In the third quadrant of product categories, orthodontic braces led TMJ products 93% to 7%.
• In the fourth quadrant of product categories, sterilizers held a commanding 93% to 7% lead over apex locators.