As expected, new products abounded at the 149th annual Chicago Midwinter Meeting. Here are six that caught our eye:
What it does: 3D Printing
Manufacturer: Digital Wax Systems
More info: http://dwssystems.com
Italian style, jewelry design, an idea ahead of its time…there’s nothing more fun than walking into an exhibit booth and being completely surprised by the story behind a product. In this case, we dropped by the DWS booth and spent a half hour hearing about a product that will probably be commonplace in a decade, but one that very few people in the U.S. know about now.
DWS was founded in Vicenza, Italy (near Venice), in 2007. Today, its goal is to streamline 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing or stereolithography technology). Their products are currently exported to over 60 countries around the world. In Chicago, however, they were introducing the U.S. to their DFab machines. These machines are ultra-fast 3D printers that can stand chairside or on a desktop. Designed to impress, these ultra-fast machines make the manufacturing of high-quality temporary restorations possible in a single appointment.
The quality crowns and bridges these machines can produce are impressive. DWS has applied sophisticated technology it developed from other industrial applications, particularly the jewelry industry, that required sophisticated laser and light curing methods in order to preserve precious metals.
Both the chairside and desktop DFab machines are compatible with the majority of intraoral scanners and open dental CAD/CAM solutions. Look for these to make their way across the Atlantic as the price comes down and practices become honed for speed and extreme patient satisfaction.
Product: D900L 3D Scanner
What it does: 3D Scanning
On the opening day of the Midwinter Meeting, Denmark-based 3Shape showed the world its new 3D scanner for dental labs. While the reviews have yet to come in, 3Shape’s D900L 3D scanner has a nice list of features that make it worth looking into. Here’s what 3Shape told us:
First, the scanner has expanded space for larger models. Lab techs can scan objects such as mounted gypsum models, large impression trays, and models with attached articulators.
Second, it’s faster. The D900L scan speed is accelerated and its four 5-megapixel cameras capture color, enhanced details, and implant bar accuracy.
Lastly, it saves time by skipping the bite scan. The D900L allows techs to scan only upper and lower, while patented Auto Occlusion technology automatically calculates the bite.
Time will tell if this latest high-end scanner from the company known as “the Google of the CAD/CAM industry” will hit the mark for the ever-evolving needs of today’s labs. However, early bets are on this scanner being another big hit for 3Shape.
Product: Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush
What it does: Helps cleans tykes’ teeth (ages 4+)
If something is 75% better than something else, it’s worth looking into. In this case, the Philips Sonicare for Kids toothbrush claims to be 75% more effective than manual brushing. If you’re a parent, you’re probably thinking, “That translates into 75% less effort nagging my child to clean her teeth!”
Here’s what’s new: Philips introduced performance and design enhancements along with two colorful designs for both boys and girls. Each toothbrush includes stickers that allow children to customize their toothbrushes. The stabilized handpiece facilitates children applying toothpaste – meaning the toothbrush lies nice and flat on the counter. Sonicare for Kids also has a timer that gradually increases to two minutes, training children to brush for the recommended time.
The bottom line: A whole generation of kids will be raised hearing, “Back when I was a kid, we had to walk 10 miles to school — uphill both ways — and use a toothbrush without a motor!”
Product: Oral-B SmartSeries with Bluetooth 4.0 Connectivity
What it does: Tracks brushing habits
At the Midwinter Meeting, Oral-B generated buzz with the announcement of a smartphone app that will be available this summer. The app will be interactive with Oral-B’s powered toothbrushes. The app will transfer the toothbrush timer data to the smartphone app, which also displays the quadrant needing to be brushed.
The result: Dental professionals can help users adjust the amount of attention paid to specific areas in the mouth.
The Oral-B app also monitors statistics that track how effective toothbrush users are with their oral hygiene habits, including flossing and rinsing.
“[W]e’re proud to introduce this new interactive electric toothbrush with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, which was developed in conjunction with leading dental experts around the globe,” said Wayne Randall, vice president of global oral care at Procter & Gamble. “It provides the highest degree of user interaction to track oral care habits to help improve oral health, and we believe it will have significant impact on the future of personal oral care, providing data-based solutions for oral health, and making the relationship between dental professionals and patients a more collaborative one.”
The new Oral-B interactive electric toothbrush with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and the Oral-B app will be available in limited quantities in Germany this spring, with a global rollout in June 2014. The new Oral-B app will be available in iOS in May, and in Android in August.
What it does: Detects caries
It was a busy Midwinter Meeting for DEXIS, which unveiled two new products and previewed another. New items were the DEXshield, a “positioning ring” that reduces radiation exposure by 30%, and DEXIS CariVu, a caries detection device that utilizes transillumination technology. DEXIS gave attendees a sneak peak at its DEXIS Mac, which provides a Mac-based digital imaging workflow and integration with Viive and MacPractice.
Here we’ll take a quick look at the CariVu:
The CariVu is a compact, portable caries detection device that uses unique, patented transillumination technology. It allows for detection of a range of carious lesions (occlusal, interproximal, secondary/recurrent) and cracks. Designed as an adjunct tool, CariVu can aid in the identification of tooth decay when used with clinical and radiographic examinations.
The CariVu is the latest generation of transillumination technology, which has evolved significantly over the past 10 years. Transillumination is important because it can sometimes find lesions earlier than an X-ray, as well as represent the lesion’s structure with a high degree of accuracy.
What we love most is CariVu’s design, which is rightly described by DEXIS as “light-weight” and “sleek.” The CariVu also utilizes autoclavable tips and has a number of refinements that make it easy to use.
When using CariVu, the dentist sees near-infrared light, which in images turns the natural tooth transparent and the caries dark (similar to radiographs). Images are captured and stored with the patient’s other images. DEXIS claims that this provides an advantage over fluorescence reactions because it correlates better with actual physical conditions.
Don’t believe DEXIS? The designers of CariVu are up for the challenge. Check out the images on DEXIS’s website and see what you think.
What it does: Bioactive restorative and base/liner
Last, but certainly not least, is ACTIVA from Pulpdent. This product release was certainly buzz-worthy. We’ll put it this way: If there was a science fair at the Midwinter Meeting, this product would have been a strong contender for the blue ribbon.
ACTIVA is a restorative and base/liner that goes beyond just plugging a hole. Unlike amalgam, composite, and glass ionomer restoratives that are dissimilar from surrounding tissue, ACTIVA is nutritive. Its bioactivity includes the release and exchange of calcium, phosphate, and fluoride ions, making it dynamic in relation to the function of the tooth.
While that’s pretty amazing to think about, there’s even more. Pulpdent has taken care of all the details: The esthetics are life-like; it has advanced, life-like physical properties; it requires no bonding agents; and it seals with superior marginal integrity.
There’s a lot more we could say about this groundbreaking product, but here’s the bottom line — Pulpdent believes this will change the standard of care, and we’re not going to disagree.