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Director's Note: New products that will inspire shock and awe

Oct. 25, 2016
Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, introduces some new products that she learned about this fall: two Locator Attachments from Zest, a tablet-based intraoral scanner from 3M, and a 3-D printer from Formlabs.
Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, introduces some new products that she learned about this fall: two Locator Attachments from Zest, a tablet-based intraoral scanner from 3M, and a 3-D printer from Formlabs.

I have so much to tell you, and I can barely contain my excitement. Earlier this month, I was at the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) Annual Session in San Diego, and I got to check out some seriously amazing products. I am usually pretty interested in checking out new products, but I am ridiculously excited about the potential these ones have to improve and revolutionize my practice.

Zest launched new Locator Attachments

I don’t know about you, but I use Locator Attachments in my practice. I believe that they offer a great service for my removable denture patients, but every once in a while, I encounter a case where I could use a little more flexibility with my attachments. It is almost like Zest answered my removable—and now fixed—prosthodontics prayers with the Locator R-TX (pictured on the left) and the Locator F-TX (pictured on the right).

Locator R-TX: The “new” Locator
The abutment is new: Gone are the days of picking food out of the internal triangle so that our traditional Locator Attachments can be retained. The abutment has a harder and more wear-resistant surface. The attachments can pivot on the abutment, so you can create a path of insertion when picking up the housings. The housings have a different coating to adhere better to our resins when picking up in a denture. The attachments have an improved design and one set of inserts. See the new generation of Locator here.

Locator F-TX: A new fixed attachment system
We now have another solution for fixed full-arch restorations. This system does not require screws or cement; this is a secure snap-fit design that works similarly to a ball and socket. Once the housing is seated in place, it can rotate to generate a path of insertion. The patient cannot remove the prosthesis, but we can easily remove it through an innovative hydraulic system. Check out this new system here.

As an aside, you should check out some of the tools that Zest offers. For example, Zest has burs to prepare sites on the intaglio surface of a denture for Locator Attachments. They also have tools to help us retrieve very retentive dentures. Just last week, I had to use all my might to remove a maxillary denture that was retained with six Locator Attachments. My birthday is next month, and I can honestly say that there are a few things from Zest on my birthday list.

3M launched the world’s first tablet-based intraoral scanner

We are always looking for products that do not take up a bunch of space in our treatment rooms, and 3M has really given us something to smile about. I first have to mention that there were multiple lectures at the ACP meeting that discussed the many advantages of integrating intraoral scanning into our practices. The 3M Mobile True Definition Scanner is compact and can be easily transported for use in different treatment rooms. The tablet can be used on a countertop or be placed in front of a patient for education and communication. One of my favorite aspects of this scanner, aside from the accuracy of the scans and portability, is the price. It is priced competitively and will be accessible to many dental practices. Learn more about it here.

3-D printing in the dental office?! The future is now!

I attended a course about 3-D printing and was expecting it to be something unattainable for a normal dentist like me. Well, Formlabs offers a 3-D printer called the Form 2. It is a desktop 3-D printer that can be introduced into the workflow of a dental office. Using stereolithography, devices including surgical guides, bleaching trays, nightguards, and custom denture impression trays are being routinely printed in an increasing number of dental practices. More and more dentists are integrating this technology into their practices. I was surprised to learn that this 3-D printer has very competitive pricing. Learn more here.

I must admit I was blown away at the new products that are available. It is certainly an exciting time to be a dentist!

Due to the second edition of the Product Navigator conflicting with holidays over the next two months, this is my last edition for this calendar year. I have had a blast this year sharing my perspective and new products that I stumbled upon with you, and I am already working on a fabulous lineup for you in 2017!

Author's note: As a little “thank you”for a fun year, I wanted to share a discount code for all of you. To get 15% off of your first order of Cocofloss, use the promo code "DRPAMSOCTPEARLS." The code is applicable for first-time buyers placing orders over $10 until December 1, 2016.

Editor's note: This article first appeared in Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator.Click here to subscribe. Click here to submit a products article for consideration.

Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, is an editorial director for Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator, an e-newsletter from DentistryIQ and Dental Economics. She was a dental hygienist before earning her DMD from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and her certificate in advanced prosthodontics from the UCLA School of Dentistry. She teaches, and she maintains a private practice in Salem, Massachusetts. In 2010 her practice was named the Adult Preventive Care Practice of the Year by the American Dental Association.
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