Technology Report From the TradeShow Floor

Technology Report From the TradeShow Floor

Recently I attended the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting and the Pacific Dental Conference in beautiful Vancouver. While at these shows I saw some pretty fascinating technology and was amazed at the advanced technologies dentists have to choose from. Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) systems as well 3D-Cone Beam Imaging technology was amongst the biggest draws at both shows and while these things were interesting, they were not the reasons why I made the trips. I was there to find new ideas so that The Bridge Network could deliver to its clients in a unique way to give them the advantage to work smart. Here is a summary of some cool new things we’ll be implementing as well as some other interesting technologies you can pick up on your own.

Digital Radiography

As you know, our ChairSide Imaging gives you unrivalled choice in digital x-ray equipment. While in Chicago, we found out about some new x-ray sensors currently waiting for CSA approval before making their way up to Canada. We built relationships to ensure these new sensors will be made available to you.

Digital Imaging

Doctor’s Eyes. You would think that not a lot has changed here, but you might be wrong. What has happened is a shift – one that we were on top of in one of our earlier rants about Point-and-shoot vs. SLR cameras. Basically, high-end dental imaging is no longer the monopoly of the SLR set. With a point-and-shoot camera outfitted with a ring flash, you can achieve amazing results at a fraction of the cost (and a fraction of the training!). There are some fairly well-known vendors offering a point-and-shoot solution, but we came across one technology we had previously not seen before and a gentleman named Larry Blosser was kind enough to hand us the camera and let us take a few shots. We were amazed. The product he was showing was the Doctor’s Eyes Ring Flash Compact System – a compact, cost-effective and high quality solution when compared to the bulky and intimidating SLR with ring-flash which can cost upwards of $2000. We are working with Larry to provide our clients with this product in Canada to make shipping easier. We will keep you posted.

Eye-Fi Home wireless memory card. One of the most common requests we get about digital imaging is to make the process more instantaneous. Currently when taking images with your digital camera, images have to be downloaded to the computer and imported into ChairSide Imaging. Once you get the hang of it, it’s usually a pretty quick and straight-forward process. But why not make it better? Imagine being able to take photos and have them show up and captured in the software instantly. This is what the Eye-Fi memory card, combined with our unique integration in ChairSide Imaging, does. No strings (cables) attached. This will make the process more efficient and will provide an impact to the patient. Just be ready to answer the question “Hey, how did you do that and where can I get it?” This card is currently available only in the U.S., but we will be distributing it to our clients who are interested. Based on the reaction from our clients at the PDC, it will be another hit.

CameraBright! Lighting system. This is something I picked up at the local camera shop before I saw the Doctor’s Eyes. We all know that the trick to dental imaging is the right lighting and this is where Doctor’s Eyes really is the best product we’ve seen. However, if you want to try something on the lower end of the scale, give the CameraBright system a try. It is a very smart product originally designed for general purpose photography, but its low cost is worth a try in the dental arena.

Other

Compact Computer Systems. Cybernet builds computers that save space in the operatory. The iOne i945 has the computer built into the screen which has touch capabilities and the ZPC 9100 is a computer built into a keyboard. Both models were demonstrated at the PDC and the overall response was quite positive.

Perio Input devices. My trip to Chicago confirmed to me that voice recognition is the best way of doing perio exams. We saw some other devices that looked promising, but upon closer examination realized heavy price tags and limited functionality made them ineffective in a work smart environment. A $2000 game pedal that only lets you do pocket depths seemed like a fairly poor cost/benefit if you ask me!

The purpose of going to trade shows is to get new ideas and learn about the latest dental technologies. And while I did get some new ideas and was introduced to new technologies, I was expecting to be blown away with the latest and greatest from the U.S. since they are supposedly ahead of the curve. In that respect I was disappointed. In fact, my most lasting impression was how much more advanced we are in Canada on the software side of things. Tracker and ChairSide Suite are at the forefront compared to what I saw south of the border.

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