Focus on partnering, expanded opportunities at Lab Day

28 02 2010

New products and technologies were on display in the spacious ballrooms at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers on Saturday as part of Lab Day Chicago, but another common theme of the day was talk of partnerships between a number of prominent materials and manufacturing companies.

Straumann USA was showing off a variety of technologies including its milling systems and custom abutments, while the big news was surrounding a partnership between Straumann and Cadent’s iTero to form Straumann Digital Solutions.

3M ESPE, meanwhile, unveiled its not-yet-available Lava CNC 240 milling machine, a 4-axis compact desktop mill that works with all Lava materials. With an automated tool changer, users just add  their choice of frame — Lava Zirconia, Lava Wax, or Lava Digital Veneering System — and the machine will choose the right tool.

“It’s not available yet, but we want to show it off,” said 3M’s Chad Naughton, Marketing Communications Supervisor for Lava C.O.S. “This is the mill, but we have the full end to end digital solution.”

The Lava C.O.S. was on display, along with information on its new guaranteed fit program, and  3M also announced its partnerships with 3Shape and DentalWings at Lab Day. “When we introduced Lava C.O.S. two years ago, one of the challenges was to make it clear that we’re not talking just about Lava materials, that it’s not limited.”

Naughton said the new agreements will further expand on the company’s abilities to serve its customers — and patients — the the fullest. “Cooperatiziation is my new favorite term,” Naughton said. “All of these labs now get to offer Lava restorations. We’re building this network. Lava’s a very powerful brand, but now we’re talking about the Lava Network.

“We validate everything 3M for the lab, for the customer and for the doctor. We’re doing the heavy lifting. We’re going to validate all the partners.”

Product Launch: Cleankeys’ one-wipe-clean keyboard

27 02 2010

Among all common surfaces, keyboards are one of the most germ-infested. Studies show that in medical environments, keyboards are known to spread infection more than any other surface.

“Viruses like H1N1 and other infectious diseases are most commonly spread through people’s hands and shared computer keyboards, but Cleankeys stops that spread,” says Randy Marsden, CEO of Cleankeys Inc. “Computers are used in every dentist office in North America and infection control regulations are becoming increasingly strict.”

The one-wipe-clean wireless keyboard from Cleankeys has proven that it has the ability to become completely sterilized with a single wipe using a disinfecting cloth. Clinical trials show that 99.9% of all bacteria is killed on the smooth surface of the Cleankeys keyboard.

“Just wipe it down and it’s ready for the next patient,” says Dr. Doug Stringham, DDS.

Product Launch: DiaDent’s dazzle whitening system

27 02 2010

DiaDent’s new advanced whitening system, dazzle, features an exclusive formulation that is said to efficiently absorb light energy coming from various dental curing lights.

According to DiaDent, the system relies on cold type of photochemical reaction without use of laser, ensuring that there is negligible increase in tooth temperature when compared to other products on the market.

The treatment time is only 30 minutes and also makes teeth whiter and shinier without a chalky appearance associated with dehydration.

A discussion about ethics

27 02 2010

 We see it in the news all too often. Someone, maybe a CEO or a Senator, has done something unethical. It seems to be part of our culture these days. But what does this mean for dentistry?

 Dr. Ann Boyle talked about just that during her “Ethics in Dentistry” seminar Saturday morning at the CDS Midwinter Meeting. She covered various scandals that have come up over the years and how they have shaped the public’s perception of ethics in general and even how they look at dentists. She also covered ethics in dentistry and dental schools.

 During her talk, Dr. Boyle hit on key ethical topics, including selling to the patient, only treating patients when it’s convenient for you and overtreatment. Dentists have to remember they are health care providers first and are there for the patient, not just to make money. She also shared poll results that show while patients still seem to trust dentists for the most part, that trust level is slipping. Patients know you make money for the services you provide, and to them that may mean you’re suggesting unnecessary treatment plans, even when you’re not.

 “We run a small business and we need to be efficient and productive,” she said. “But if we approach each patient as a potential sale and are only focused on selling cases and lose sight of the health care aspect of dentistry, we’re going to lose the trust of our patients.”

 During the three-hour course, Dr. Boyle also went over the ADA Code of Ethics and ethical dilemmas doctors may face in their practice.

ORA Dental Studio becomes first Chicago EDA-certified practice

27 02 2010

Dr. Mladen Kralj, Dr. Steven Koos, Ina Pockrass, Susan Beck and Dr. Goran Kralj at ORA Dental Studio during Friday evening's reception.

Drs. Steven Koos, Goran Kralj and Mladen Kralj are part of what Dr. Koos describes as a movement.

They created a state-0f-the-art, eco-friendly dental office designed to promote wellness and create a relaxing, enjoyable experience for patients. The Eco-Dentistry Association recognized them for their efforts with an EDA Gold Certification. Director Susan Beck and Co-Founder Ina Pockrass presented the doctors with the award at a reception at their practice, ORA Dental Studio, Friday evening.

“We’re recognizing the leadership and innovation ORA brings to the table,” Pockrass said. “It’s been an honor to work side-by-side with these doctors, and their practice is one of the first 100 to be certified. That is a designation we thought long and hard about.”

 Those who came out to the reception had the opportunity to take a tour and learn more about what it means to be an environmentally friendly practice. The paperless office has a long list of eco-and patient-focused features, including private,  noise-reducing treatment rooms, low flow sinks, massaging chairs, an esthetic room dedicated to whitening and cosmetic procedures, just to name a few. They’ve also eliminated as much disposables as possible and are a chemical- and latex-free practice.

While ORA Dental Studio is a state-of-the art facility complete with eco-friendly design and products, clinicians who want to go the same route should know they don’t have to do it all at once. Dr. Koos encourages dentists to do what they can to eliminate waste and take those first steps toward an eco-friendly practice, no matter how small that step is.

It can be daunting, Dr. Koos said, but it comes down to collaborating with like-minded doctors and organizations like the EDA.

“It’s a learning process to see what works best for your practice. A lot of it is trial and error, which is why collaborating is so important,” he said. “We want to be open, this is something that should be shared and is important as a movement. This is not a trend, but a movement in health care. Anything a clinician can do we encourage, even if it’s just a little.”

Product Launch: Sirona’s Biogeneric Software

27 02 2010

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of CEREC this year, Sirona is definitely not content to rest on its technological laurels. This week, the company debuted its new CEREC Software with Biogeneric Capabilities. Able to easily and precisely reconstruct natural occlusion, the new software helps automate the design process and is said to be fast, reliable and compatible with all restorative indications.

The abbreviate press release below:

Like fingerprints, no two human teeth are identical and each tooth has its own unique characteristics.  A group of researchers led by Professor Dr. Albert Mehl (Zurich University) and Professor Dr. Volker Blanz (Siegen University) have unraveled the rules that shape natural teeth, and these rules are based on a patient’s genetic makeup.  Sirona has harnessed this understanding into the new Biogeneric CEREC 3D software.

Version 3.8 of the CEREC software enables dentists to create lifelike reconstructions – even while working with completely damaged occlusal surfaces.  On the basis of a single intact tooth, the program extrapolates the natural morphology of that tooth to the patient’s damaged tooth structure.  CEREC 3.8 software can be used for all single-tooth restorations and for three-unit bridges.

“Biogenerics is based exclusively on the patient’s individual dentition status,” remarked Professor Mehl.  “This is a major advantage in terms of clinical reliability.  The more individual the occlusion, the better the resulting functionality.”

Currently, all occlusal design approaches are based on limited dental libraries and databases containing data records of various standard teeth.  Conventional CAD/CAM programs retrieve a matching tooth from the archive, and then generate a design proposal for the given clinical situation.  The user then manually edits and adapts this proposal.  No objective principles exist to justify this selection, and using matching databases can be subjective and time-consuming.

Explains Professor Mehl, “These standardized teeth are comparable to off-the-rack garments manufactured in standard sizes.  Frequently, such garments do not fit properly in all places and require subsequent alteration.  By contrast, a biogenerically designed tooth is a made-to-measure product; ‘tooth couture,’ if you will.”

“Biogenerics will revolutionize occlusal surface design,” remarked Bart Doedens, Vice President, Dental CAD/CAM Systems at Sirona.  “With a single mouse click, the user will obtain a natural and individually designed restoration that requires hardly any manual adjustment.  Such made-to-measure restorations are simpler, quicker, and, above all, more precise than their ‘off-the-rack’ equivalents.”

The Biogeneric design feature will replace the “dental database” feature in previous CEREC software versions.  With Version 3.8, it will be possible to easily create crowns, veneers, and anatomically sized bridges.  The user will simply require an intact reference tooth of the similar type – i.e., anterior or posterior.

The time-consuming process of selecting tooth morphology from dental databases has been virtually eliminated.  Moreover, due to the standardized and largely automated routines, the software is easy to learn and use.

Live Video: Water Pik

27 02 2010

Water Pik Senior Professional Relations Manager Carol Jahn discusses the Waterpik Water Flosser at the Chicago Dental Society’s 2010 Midwinter Meeting.