The 2017 American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Scientific Session was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, this spring. A bevy of eager dental professionals descended upon Sin City to sharpen their craft and add to their artistry. From emerging product trends to courses by some of the biggest names in esthetic dentistry, the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) conference was the place to be for cosmetic dentists looking to advance their knowledge and network with like-minded colleagues. Legendary dentists such as Ross Nash, DDS, and Larry Rosenthal, DDS, two pioneers in the field of cosmetic dentistry, provided headlining lectures on triumphs, challenges, and pearls of wisdom, which they shared with a captivated audience. Dr. Rosenthal introduced his book Open Wide, a reference guide for both dentists and patients.
The Opening Session of the 2017 AACD Scientific Session in Las Vegas
In addition to the four days of lectures on topics ranging from sleep apnea to digital smile design, the AACD had a sea of exhibitors on hand with the newest products and innovations in dentistry. The AACD conference goes beyond just the notion of continuing education. With the lecturers, workshops, and receptions, it’s an opportunity for dental professionals to return to their practices as better artists and clinicians for their patients. The AACD also emphasized the importance of giving back smiles to those less fortunate with its charitable outreach programs.
Dr. Larry Rosenthal speaking at his Legends course
On the exhibit floor, a plethora of vendors were on display with the newest products and innovations in dentistry. The large exhibit hall met you with new angulated implants, lasers that cut up to 20 W, and burs that remove zirconia crowns. The range of subjects in dentistry on display were unprecedented and continues to expand every year. There were booths that sold dental-themed sculptures for décor and others that offered lending solutions for patients. There was an exhibit to help with ergonomics of the back and a vendor table that had the newest cameras for dental photography. Exhibitors on display could help to increase practice revenue, and others would refine scrap metals. There were vendors that sold lotions to help hydrate skin and booths to remodel dental office cabinets.
The Gemini Laser from UltraDent was one of the many new products on display
Composites and biomaterials
Dentistry has seen new advances in biomaterials, and big names such as Ivoclar Vivadenthave taken advantage of the science available in the newest research. According to a representative from Ivoclar Vivadent at the AACD exhibit area, “Dentists are constantly interested in new advances with composites.” Ivoclar discontinued its Variolink-2 cement and replaced it with a new dual-syringe version, leading “to less mixing, easier clean up, and more advanced shade stability.”
The application of the biomaterials in dentistry have also advanced to lead to less waste. Ivoclar’s new seventh generation bond, the VivaPen, is an example of an innovation that helps save material and lead to more conservation of bond.
The new VivaPen Bond from Ivoclar Vivadent
Bisco Dental, on hand at the AACD, had on display its new TheraCem dual-cured self-adhesive resin cement. When asked about what dental providers are looking for in newer cements, according to the Bisco representative, “Dentists are looking for cements with easier cleanup and defense against sensitivity.”
TheraCem offers continuous calcium and fluoride release, and according to the rep, “provides higher bond strength than glass ionomer.” The rep added, “Practitioners who restore implants ask for more opacity, which TheraCem provides, to mask the darkness in titanium implants.”
The new TheraCem cement by Bisco Dental
GC America was on hand at the AACD, and on display was their new CeraSmart CAD/CAM Blocks. When it comes to CAD/CAM, dentists want the best possible strength and esthetics. According to the GC America rep at the exhibit hall, “The CeraSmart block consists of a flexible nano ceramic matrix combining the best characteristics of a composite and a ceramic.” Dental practitioners who are on the cutting edge, quite literally, by providing CAD/CAM technology cite the following as the most important esthetic properties in regards to the blocks of their choosing: opalescence, fluorescence, gloss value, ease-of-cementation, and glaze ability.
The new CeraSmart CAD/CAM block from GC America
As early as the first year in dental school, dental practitioners are introduced to dental loupes. Advanced optics with detailed magnification helps providers see in greater detail. Dental professionals search for the best optics to match their visual acuity. It’s not just for magnification that dentists should search for the best loupes, however, but also for the protective glasses that accompany them. The human eye needs to be protected against not only fluid, blood, saliva, and debris from the oral cavity, but also intense lights that can be deleterious. Harmful wavelengths from curing lights and lasers can lead to corneal damage as well and early-onset cataracts.
Surgitel was at the AACD exhibit hall had on display new glasses with laser filters and x-ray protection.
New glasses from Surgitel help with x-ray protection as well as magnified optics
Patient communication systems
There has been expansion in marketing resources for dentists also. Companies such as Ceatus Media Group now use advanced parameters to help target local market trends based on online patient searches. John Oliver of Ceatus says, “Dentists now can know which services are most in demand for a patient base in their locale and market that locale with their services.”
Lighthouse 360, a patient communication system, says its new technology helps sync patient information every 10 minutes and sends frequent treatment plan reminders.
Dental labs bringing digital technology to smile design
Dental labs have been at the forefront of innovation in dentistry for the past decade. From digital scanners, to milling machines, to digital smile design, the most progressive dental labs offer new technologies to help clinicians deliver better and faster treatment. One of the labs on display, Da Vinci Lab, is one of only a few national labs that offers digital imaging. Clinicians take before photos of their patients' smiles and send them to Da Vinci Lab. Da Vinci Lab then sends back an "after" mock-up image of a potential new smile. Marketing research has shown that patients are more willing to accept multiple restoration treatment plans if they are able to visualize their new smiles.
Dental courses by esthetic pioneers and peerless providers
There was an array of courses on diverse subjects at the AACD in Las Vegas, ranging from "Esthetic Implant Retained Digital Overdentures" to "An Introduction to Sleep Apnea." One could learn "How to Use Reviews to Promote Your Practice" in one conference room, and learn about "Pneumopedics and Craniofacial Epigenetics" in another. One could hear about "Creativity with Ceramics" by David Hornbrook, DDS, in one lecture hall, and then learn about "The Ins and Outs of Implant Impressions" in another. Lecturers spoke about courses ranging from "Replacing a Missing Tooth in the Esthetic Zone" to "Harnessing the Power of Subconscious Marketing for the Dental Practice." From increasing revenue to easier implant restorations, from "Periodontal Disease Management" to the "Therapeutic Use of Botulinum Toxin," there was no shortage of expansive curriculum at the AACD. The challenge became choosing which lectures to attend.
Dr. Iman Sadri with Dr. Ross Nash on the exhibit floor
The Evy Awards
The AACD prides itself on being one of the organizational leaders of esthetic-driven dentistry. Every year, the closing reception becomes a celebration of excellence in cosmetic dentistry, celebrating the accomplishments of new and seasoned cosmetic dentists alike with the presentation of the Evy Awards. Newly-accredited members and accredited fellows are recognized, and the AACD Conference is given a celebratory bon voyage until the following year.
Dr. Andi Jean-Miro received the Rising Star in Cosmetic Dentistry Evy Award.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation's annual Give Back a Smile program included a silent auction at the AACD in Las Vegas. Proceeds went to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence to help them regain their damaged smiles. The transformative power of one’s best smile should be an emotional experience enjoyed by all. The AACD is doing its part to help those less fortunate put their best smile forward.
The AACD 2017 Conference in Las Vegas presented many exhibitors who had on display the vastness of products new to dentistry and the new trends cosmetic dentists are evolving towards. There was a varied course list spanning across the many disciplines in dentistry with a focus on esthetics. The speakers ranged from the legends and household names in cosmetic dentistry to up and coming leaders in the field. W.B. Yeats said, “Education is not a filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” And continuing education in cosmetic dentistry continues to light the fire like-minded practitioners have burning.