Jensen’s Clarity event shows European flair

26 02 2010

From the presenters to the attendees to the very venue itself, Jensen Dental’s Clarity Education Day held today at the Swissôtel exhibited a particularly European vibe. Instructors from Europe and/or trained by European master technicians shared their knowledge of restorative techniques being developed or perfected across the sea to an audience that reflected their own international flavor.

Peter Pizzi, CDT, MDT, conducts a Town Hall-style lecture on PFM restorations.

From large-format, widescreen-projection lectures for a 500-person, standing-room-only crowd to more-intimate tabletop hands-on demonstrations and small-format Town Hall presentations, the focus was on materials.

Hands-on demonstrations allowed up-close interaction with expert technicians.

Sascha Hein, MDT combined formats with a hands-on demonstration of porcelain layering techniques projected onto the big screen before a full house, Technicians were shoulder-to-shoulder craning the necks to get a view of the the breakout sessions with about 10 hands-on demonstrations. German technician Jürgen Mehrhof, MDT, presented the keynote lecture on innovative techniques for implant-retained multi-unit restorations using metal, ceramic, and zirconia materials combined with hand layering, pressing, CAD/CAM, and electroforming techniques.

Everyone had the opportunity to end the day of learning together at the evening reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while talking both shop and non-shop.

The Clarity Event continues Saturday showcased by a panel discussion on technology.

Collecting history

26 02 2010

Some attendees are interested in antiques, and obviously all are into dentistry. Friday afternoon, dental collector Dr. Samuel Wexler of Richmond, Ill. spoke to many attendees interested in both.

Dr. Wexler’s lecture on dental antique collecting included many old photos and a lot of stories about interesting places, people and old dental equipment. Long before the days of eBay, Dr. Wexler began collecting dental chairs, old instruments and plenty of now-obsolete equipment. His collection features cabinets, x-rays, books and even a dentist’s diary from as early as the 1870s.Those listening to his lecture and looking at photos learned a lot of the history of dentistry and the evolution of some manufacturers and technologies.

With a basement full of antiques, it’s clear Dr. Wexler loves dentistry and its past. But he also enjoys the personal side of of his obession. Over the years he’s driven to a lot of places to meet people and acquire special items. “Half of the fun of collecting is meeting the people,” he said, noting this his son who grew up sitting in dentail chairs from a young age is now a dentist.

Dr. Wexler suggested others looking to learn more about the history of the profession look into becoming a member and attending a meeting of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry.

Product Launch: VeriFresh hygiene products

26 02 2010

The entire line of VeriFresh products

Looking to make an impact on the U.S. homecare and hygiene markets, Israel-based VeriFresh, Ltd. used the Chicago Dental Society’s 2010 Midwinter Meeting to launch a range of products. The VeriFlosser, VeriFresh gum massager, VeriFresh tongue cleaner and Fresh Breath Gel were all introduced at the meeting.

Designed for use at home, and to make it easier for hygienists to floss patients’ teeth during prophy appointments, the VeriFlosser features a rotating floss head that can be twisted 360º without being removed from the ergonomically-shaped handle. This reportedly makes accessing any part of the mouth easier for both patients and hygienists. The proprietary head design has a wavy shape that is said to allow the floss to surround teeth much like it does when traditional dental floss is used.

The VeriFresh gum massager is designed to  stimulate the gum area with its soft head. The concave design of the massager head can hold gum care gels for easy application, while soft, oval protrusions provide the massage action.

VeriFresh’s tongue cleaner features a head with multiple plastic ribs designed to effectively remove bacteria and other materials from the surface of the tongue. Available in a Fresh Breath Kit with the Gel which can be applied to the ribs of the cleaner to provide a more thorough cleaning.

Visit for more information.

CBCT: The missing link

26 02 2010

Dr. Scott Ganz describes CBCT as “an essential tool for every type of implant case,” no matter how simple or complex, because it eliminates the guessing game. It tells you how much bone the patient has. It helps you develop a solid plan and doesn’t leave room for any surprises to come up during surgery.

The technology is there, has been for awhile, and it’s great. But Dr. Ganz and Dr. Jack T. Krauser, who presented to The Barnes Group and Friends at the Knickerbocker Hotel Friday morning, agree there are barriers to clinicians implementing this technology. Getting their lab technicians involved is one of these challenges.

So how can dentists and technicians get over this barrier? By understanding the different views CBCT offers, Dr. Ganz said. Once the team understands where the implant goes, you can create a plan. Many dentists take information from the scan and do the surgery free hand, without a template, which means they’re still playing the guessing game.  A CT-derived, lab milled template to guide the surgery will make the procedure much easier, so much so Dr. Krauser said, if you have the correct plan and the correct template, “you can do surgery with your eyes closed.”

 The Rebel 3D desktop scanner is one tool that helps make this type of detailed template possible. Labs can use this surgical station for in-lab implant surgical guide drilling. From Boomerang Dental, the scanner links key dental implant technologies and produces an accurate 5-axis, CAM-drilled surgical implant guide.

“The lab is an integral part of this equation,” Dr. Ganz said. “Putting some of these devices in the labs’ hands is going to make the process faster. We want to use labs in our communities and to deliver cases to the patients faster.”

The Barnes Group and Friends gathering ended Friday afternoon, after a full day of presenters, conversation and learning. Mike Gerard, RDT, Dr. Abramson and Eli Ganon are among those who presented at the two-day event.

Lab owners: What’s your vision?

26 02 2010

It’s all about the vision.

 That was one of the key messages David Lesh, CDT, and founder of Dale Dental, wanted attendees to take away from his presentation, “Purchasing High Technology for the Dental Laboratory,” at the Westin on Michigan Friday morning. His talk was one of many offered at this year’s Cal-Lab meeting.

 While you need to have a vision to be successful in the lab industry, you also have to figure out what pieces, what technologies, fit into that vision and the lifecycle of those pieces, he said. You also need to understand economics.

 The industry is rapidly changing, Lesh said, which means great opportunities if you have the vision to take advantage of these changes. Lesh recommends creating a strategy room, a place with blank walls where you can clip magazine articles or papers filled with your ideas and goals. This keeps your ideas visible, so you’re more likely to act on them.

 One of the huge, exciting changes Lesh sees in the industry is the shift to the Center of Excellence model. This model makes it possible for small labs to provide the same products and services as larger labs. Small labs can assess the same products and information from their dentists through the digital pipeline. Most dentists would rather work with smaller, local labs, Lesh said, but often don’t because they offer fewer services or have to charge higher fees. The Center of Excellence Model takes those factors out of the equation, giving smaller labs the ability to do everything the larger labs do.

 This model means what you make becomes more important than how you make it, Lesh said.  

 “This is the future. And we’re not the only ones doing it. A lot of companies are moving to the Center of Excellence model,” Lesh said. “…It takes the lab from the basement to the living room.”

 This year’s Cal-Lab meeting finished Friday afternoon, with Robert Ash, BC, CP, ACHE, Mark Murphy, DDS, FAGD, Shaun Keating, CDT, Dr. David Garber and Dr. Gui Cabral rounding out the day’s speakers.

“Controversial” Dental Panel a Big Hit

26 02 2010

With Dr. Gordon Christensen leading the way, a panel of six experts in a variety of dental fields answered questions from a large crowd Friday morning for the CE course “Panel — Controversies in Dentistry — 2010.”

Key “controversial” topics included the high cost of implants, oral cancer, sealants, surgical microscopes and more. Dr. Christensen, Founder and Director Practical Clinical Courses, sorted through so many submitted questions that he had to do his best to combine some so that as many attendees as possible could be answered.

Joining him on the panel were Drs. Jay Beagle, L. Stephen Buchanan, Karl Koerner, Samuel Low and Peter Yaman, who between them possess a wealth of experience and knowledge with specialities that include endodontics, periodontics, materials, implants and clinical research.

Most of the panelists agree that implants have gotten so predictable and effective that in many cases they are the best long-term solution, yet many attendees questioned how the industry can make them more affordable. “Implants are now a fetish for the affluent,” Dr. Christensen said. “We need to get them down (in costs).”

Dr. Beagle, an implant dentist from Indianapolis, shared his thoughts on how to choose the best implant procedures, the importance of patient selection and the waiting period neccessary before placing certain types of implants. Dr. Buchanan, meanwhile, reminded the audience that good endo care can often save more teeth than some clinicians may realize. He also talked about how much cone beam assists endodontists
both in their treatment and in deciding which cases to avoid.

“The cost (of cone beam) is not only borne by the fees you charge, but you can do more,” Dr. Buchanan said. “Also, I no longer treat ‘loser teeth.’ With cone beam, you’re not treating a patient for two hours and then telling them you can’t do a root canal.”

Look for more on this panel discussion later.

Spectrum dialogue Techno-Clinical Day Draws Crowd

26 02 2010

This year’s Spectrum dialogue Techno-Clinical Day drew more exhibitors and attendees than ever before, and organizers even had to add a second room to fit in all the exhibitors who were part of the day-long show.

Attendees spent the day at the Wyndham Chicago taking in CE and talking with exhibitors about their product offerings. Lee Culp, CDT, Luke S. Kahng, CDT, and Alex Seeger, MDT, were among the presenters, while Ivoclar Vivadent, KOMET USA, Renfert, Aurident, Vident, Nobel Biocare, Brasseler USA and Astra Tech Dental were among the exhibitors.

The morning coffee break gave attendees the chance to catch up with colleagues and to visit the exhibitor booths. The floor buzzed with attendees talking with exhibitors about product offerings and each other about their experiences back home.

The show continues throughout the day and will wrap up with a cocktail reception this evening.